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I grew up in Penistone, South Yorkshire – one of those tiny market towns where it feels like no one ever enters and no one ever leaves. I, thankfully, got out at 18 but my parents still live there.

I don’t have a whole lot of good memories there but at least now I’m starting to see some of the beauty in the area, even if it’s not from the local people who hear my current weird accent and treat me I’m an ‘outsider’ to be mocked and shamed. (No exaggeration, I literally had people in a local pub mocking me for living in London and trying to make me feel bad about it and how I ‘must not have any friends’ – people don’t like you being different there, not even a little bit) Not everyone’s like this obviously – my mum works with some nice people, I went to sixth form with some nice people, my sister has the loveliest most supportive friends. It’s just a shame that the majority let down these lovely few.

My mum doesn’t like me talking about this stuff publically but I think it’s important for you guys to know this stuff about me for a few reasons. One being that I don’t want people to think I’ve ever just had stuff handed to me – I’ve not, it’s been hard, I’ve had some really tough times and I’ve worked like crazy for everything I have today. The second is that I want some of you guys to know that I’m just like you and that things can get better – I had no real friends in school, I went home most nights and cried, I should have probably been taking anti-depressents a lot earlier than I started because looking back, I needed them. I felt out of place, lost, completely alone. I hated myself. But I worked hard, got good grades while working 2 jobs, got into the university of my dreams and got out of there. It’s been hard work since for the last 8 or so years but it was all worth it and if I can do it, you guys can too. The tough stuff, being at school, being around the wrong people, it doesn’t last forever and you can make it through. It does get better.

A great thing about Penistone and it’s surroundings, that I never appreciated before, is all the big open spaces! Kyra absolutely loves it and you might see her make a cheeky appearance in some of the photos below!

Spot the Pickle in this photo!
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