Kinectricity

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“The Pretender”

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” – Maya Angelou

So, a lot has happened lately and I just want to fill you in about what’s been going on in my life.

First off, I was supposed to be in Berlin right now (14th July – 24 July). However, early last month, my host that I booked with via AirBnB informed me that her apartment cannot accommodate a ramp inside and thus be made accessible, despite her thorough efforts. The host was very kind and helpful (and even offered to help me find alternative accommodation), but unfortunately I have decided to cancel my holiday for this year. I’m just finding it too difficult and stressful to sort this for now. This is the situation we often face as wheelchair users when we wish to go on holiday. It makes me very frustrated, as it feels like society is stopping me from just living my life to its fullest potential and only wants me just to stay at home and be unhappy. I just feel cancelling my holiday is currently the best option for me, as I just don’t want to rush anything or make a decision in haste. I feel very sad about this because this would have been my first holiday in over 15 years and the first time I’d be going without my parents considering now I have a support workers via a good care package. Though hopefully I will be able to go on holiday to Berlin in the future.

As you may remember, earlier in the year I was allocated some tickets to a couple events for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as well. Sadly, I won’t be going to this too because since the beginning of the year I cannot find any accessible accommodation in Glasgow, and even the accommodation I can find that is very far away is either not accessible or well over £3,000.00 just for the 5 days I need. Oh well, forwards I go.

On the job side, I made a big upward step. As you may have seen, I was recently selected to be a Festival Guide for D&AD’s New Blood earlier this month. You can read more about my inspiring time with D&AD here. I also have two interviews this week at the BBC; both are for a six-month placement that would be from October 2014 to February 2015. Wish me luck that I get one!

Although I wish I could get a job in the creative industries but I’m still struggling with this. In my opinion (from experience for over two years), the adverting industry in particular is challenging to breaking into, especially as a disabled person. Quite surprising, considering I have a unique experience / skills I can offer and that according to the UN disabled people are the largest minority in the world. It is as if most people are not willing to support me and give me any opportunity. I feel as all my friends are doing some amazing things, but I’m just stuck here wanting to do more with my life and being disappointed with myself not being able to physically do so.

If that wasn’t enough, I am still waiting to get funding (of about £35,000.00) for my new to meet my complex needs. The local wheelchair services across the country don’t have the skill-set/knowledge or experience (and are not fit purpose) to meet the requirements of clients highly complex with wheelchair and seating needs such as myself; and the NHS takes forever to fund anything since there is no way I am able to fund this myself. No one really understands that I need to have ongoing support specialist who know how to deal with my wheelchair and seating needs, otherwise my condition will just deteriorate faster than it should.

Despite me trying (and working) very hard just to get on with my life, this is all very frustrating. I am tearful. I am angry. I am tired. I am screaming inside. The pain of life kicking me often is intense, but I focus on the good I have and feel grateful for everything.

Thankfully, there are some amazing people who are so continuously kind and supportive. The specialist, excellent team at 3C wheelchair & seating service have been thoroughly incredible helping me with my complex postural needs in my current situation with my wheelchair and seating. They are continually my choice to meet my needs and in their own words they are “just trying to keep me alive.” On the career and care front, it is also great to have the support of some special mentors and some wonderful organisations such as D&AD and the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign amongst others.

All of which is most prominent in my life by the fantastic support network I have, namely my lovely family and awesome friends is brilliant too.

I believe the future is what I want to be and will get better soon, as I don’t believe in dystopia. I am going keep working hard without fear and do as a smart fish once said, “… Just keep swimming…” Staying positive and laughing at myself is the only way I know how to live.

To fear failure is to fear life; to fear life is to fear living; to fear living is fear death. FEAR does not take me: I take the FEAR. So I aim to be bold and be fearless — I am not afraid and wish to live my life to its fullest potential.

Like Maya Angelou best says and sums up how I aim to live my life everyday:

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

So, watch this space for greatness!


—-

Listening to “The Pretender” by Foo Fighters

Part 2 of 2: #funinthesun earlier today in this #glorious #weather! #London #summer #sun 🌴😎🌴 #FunTimes #sunshine #GoodDay #ONWARDSandUPWARDS (at Ray Lodge Park)

Just #enjoying #life earlier today, having #funinthesun. What #glorious #weather — I utterly #love #London in the #summer, especially when the #sun is out! 🌴😎🌴 #FunTimes #sunshine #GoodDay #ONWARDSandUPWARDS (at Ray Lodge Park)

@TargetMD @sibonobo @andreyatriana: Had another fantastic time attending the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign’s London #Muscle #Group meeting yesterday evening! It went very well and it was good to see some new faces there. I look forward to further working with MDC to get some real, #positive #improvements to #better the lives of people affected by #Neuromuscular diseases. This is my #good #friend James too. I’ve not seen him in years, so it was #great to see him yesterday! We must get the old MDC gang (Michaela, Nila, Sally, Bobby, etc.) together again James and have a proper catch up. Also, during the journey there and back I was listening to the #brilliant albums of two of my utter #favourite #musicians — #LostWhereIBelong by #AndreyaTriana and #BlackSands + #TheNorthBorders by #Bonobo aka the #genius that is Mr. #SimonGreen: #funtimes #London #2014 #events #MuscularDystrophy #ONWARDSandUPWARDS (at Muscular Dystrophy Campaign)

@DandADNewBlood @dandad: #NewBlood — This is D&AD’s New Creative Executive and me outside before the #NewBloodAwards #Ceremony last week. She’s the #awesome lady I was working with during the week as my time as a #Festival #Guide. #Thanks again Becki for all your support and I really enjoyed my time working with you! Take care and speak soon. #Cheers! #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity #2014 (at The Boiler House, Brick Lane)

@DandADNewBlood @dandad: #NewBlood — With D&AD’s Membership Manager (right) at the #NewBloodAwards #Ceremony last week. #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity #2014 (at The Boiler House, Brick Lane)

@DandADNewBlood @dandad: This is D&AD’s New Blood Programme Co-ordinator working at #NewBlood last week. #Thanks again Matt for giving me the #fantastic opportunity to be a #Festival #Guide. Take care and speak soon. #Cheers! #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity #2014 (at Old Spitalfields Market)

@DandADNewBlood @dandad @ScottSeaborn: So #great to my #friend, the #mobile #technology #legend that is Mr. Scott Seaborn at #NewBlood last week. #Thanks Scott for all your help supporting us and for saying hello. Take care and speak soon. #Cheers! #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity #2014 (at Old Spitalfields Market)

“Are You In?”

Last week, for the first time in my life I felt like I was having a real, positive impact to develop my career goals. I was chosen as one of the nine Festival Guides at D&AD’s New Blood in Old Spitalfields Market. It was a brilliant week that was filled with excitement, dread, fun, stress, enjoyment, inspiration, happiness and then hope.

Here’s a breakdown of what I did during the week:

  • Monday (30th June) – On Monday morning, I attended the training session with my fellow Festival Guides at the D&AD Studio. The training included a fun icebreaker, a presentation on breaking into the creative industries and some tips on social media usage during the event. I found it very useful and informative. After that at noon, we were all sent out to do a social media challenge and scout the area before having to meet up for lunch. Having done my social media challenge, I made my way towards Old Spitalfields Market to see the route that I would be taking to escort people to and from the market to the studio during the week, as part of my role. However, I just found it very difficult with no drop curbs on many of the pavements, having to walk on the roads throughout my trial journey and lots of cobble stones, which caused a lot of neck/back pain— in short, it’s not accessible and not very wheelchair friendly given the short time I would have to get back and forth from venues. This made me sad and I felt like I was already letting D&AD and my fellow Guides down by not fulfilling my Festival Guide duties. So after we met up for lunch and had some tasty food at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, I had a quick chat with the New Blood Programme Co-ordinator at D&AD and told him the issues I was having, as well as my concerns. He then kindly suggested that I could stay onsite at the Festival in Old Spitalfields Market during the week instead, and that I could help D&AD’s New Creative Executive with all the social media activities and other stuff for the week’s events. This made me still feel a bit sad, but I thought to try my best and see what happens. I was impressed by how kind and flexible he was though, and it turned out to be a great idea as I had a lot of fun helping the New Creative Executive. It really helps when whoever you are working with is willing to adapt, and makes me want to work harder.
  • Tuesday (1st July) – Tuesday night was the Private View for New Blood and I didn’t really know what to expect since I have not done anything like this before. Though, I was taken aback by the sheer amount of energy in the room and the truly inspirational work by some new, raw creative talent.
  • Wednesday (2nd July) – This was the first day that New Blood Festival and Exhibition was open to the public. When I arrived, I met the New Creative Executive at the D&AD stand and to begin with she gave a big social media challenge to work on. Once I had finished most of the challenge as the internet went down, I decided to go around the Festival taking photos, use social media to drum up people to come to New Blood, talking to students and tutors, and generally trying to be helpful wherever I could.
  • Thursday (3rd July) – This was the last day of the Festival and Exhibition, as well as the New Blood Awards Ceremony later that night. Upon arrival, I continued the previous day’s social media challenge and interactions around the Festival until about 17:00 when I went to rest for a bit and get ready for the Awards Ceremony. I got back around 18:00 and I then went over to the local with the New Creative Executive and some students to just have a chat before the Awards Ceremony at the Boiler House, The Old Truman Brewery. At around 19:00, we all left to head to the venue. However, as I got stuck since there was no drop curb, I ended up walking on the road and lost the crowd so I didn’t know which way to go. Thankfully, the New Creative Executive came to find me and kindly helped me get to the venue, though unfortunately we had to walk around the back and through the parking lot because the entrances had steps. Through the back entrance again it is for me. Story of my life. When I finally made it inside, I was very amazed by the décor and the playful atmosphere it had. Around 20:00, the actual ceremony began and some fantastic work won. Congrats to all the winners and nominees! I still feel really inspired after seeing your work and meeting some of you. It was really good to see all the passion and energy the new talent brought to the event, which I feel (no offense to anyone) was missing and is lost in the Professional Awards / environment by most agencies. All in all, it was a great night! 


And so it ends. My time as a Festival Guide this year is over.

I thoroughly had an amazing time and I cannot thank the entire D&AD team enough for giving me this incredible opportunity, which I will never forget. It was also such an honour and pleasure to have met all my fellow Festival Guides, as well as to work with them. Thank you all for helping to make this an awesome event. I hope you enjoyed this wonderful experience as much as I did. I feel like I have made some great new friends, so please do stay in touch!

Words cannot express enough how proud I am to have a part of New Blood 2014, and how much I utterly love D&AD and all the extraordinary, hardworking people that work there. This whole experience makes me feel very hopeful that my career goals can develop and bloom; and I aim to continually help D&AD to make this our best year yet.

Cheers and see you next year!

ONWARDS and UPWARDS.


—-

Listening to “Are You In?” by Incubus

oeuniverse:

In order to become the supreme adult, you must perform the seven wonders:

  • Public speaking
  • Not being afraid of teenagers
  • Calling the doctor yourself
  • Taxes
  • Arguing without crying
  • Having a normal sleep pattern
  • Having an answer to the question ‘what do you want to do with your life?’

(via awraqalzaytoun)

@libertines @BSTHydePark: I went to the #British #Summer #Time #gig to see #TheLibertines last night! It was an #awesome #present for my #birthday yesterday from my #lovely big #sister - #29 years young. What a #wonderful end to the most #incredible week ever! #FunTimes #Libertines #London #2014 #events #music #live #livemusic #accesslivemusic #accesstolivemusic (at BST Hyde Park)

@andreyatriana @sibonobo @DandADNewBlood @HanburySt @dandad: Had an amazing week as a #NewBlood #Festival Guide and will have an #awesome day — #29 years young today! #ONWARDSandUPWARDS 😃

@DandADNewBlood @HanburySt @dandad: And so it ends. My time as #NewBlood #Festival #Guide this year is over! I had a #brilliant week that was filled with #excitement, #dread, #fun, #stress, #enjoyment, #inspiration, #happiness and then #hope. I thoroughly had an #amazing time and I cannot thank the D&AD team enough for giving me this #incredible opportunity! #ONWARDSandUPWARDS #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity #2014 (at The Boiler Room)

@DandADNewBlood @dandad: #Enjoying the atmosphere with 2 of the 8 of my fellow #Festival #Guides after the #NewBlood #Awards #Ceremony last night. It was such an #honour and #pleasure to have met you all, as well as to work with you! #ThankYou all for helping to make this our best year yet. I hope you enjoyed this #incredible #experience as much as I did, and I feel like I have made some #awesome #new #friends, so please do stay in touch! Take care and speak soon. #Cheers! #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity #2014 (at The Boiler Room)

@DandADNewBlood @HanburySt @laurajaybee: What an #amazing time I had at the #NewBlood #Awards #Ceremony last night! It was so #fantastic to see such #incredible #creative #work by some #awesome #new #talent, and now I feel really #inspired. #Congrats to all the #winners and #nominees! #party #FunTimes #London #Advertising #Design #exhibition #festival #events #creative #creativity (at The Boiler Room)

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