I feel like my last post perhaps came across a little more negatively than I intended it to. My point was not to rant about how bad my week has been (although it did help to get it all straight in my mind), but rather to say that even when things don’t go according to plan we have to keep going. Things happen the way they do for a reason, and there may be other opportunities that arise in the next few months that wouldn’t be possible if everything had happened the way I was hoping it would right now.

It doesn’t stop the feelings of disappointment when things don’t go quite right, but those things are out of my hands (for the most part – I’m a stubborn person; I don’t give up easily), so it’s better to focus on the things that are going well. That’s what I’ve been doing this week, putting my energy into my studies, and other activities. So here are a few things that have made me happy this week:

1. I’ve spent the past few Tuesday mornings volunteering with the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) at my local stables. The RDA are a national organisation that give opportunities with horses to disabled children and adults. It’s honestly the most amazing thing. We have a group on a Tuesday who are partially blind and yet they put their trust in an animal with a mind of its own. Others have walking aids or struggle with balance etc. It’s truly inspiring. Not all of the individuals have the same level of disability, but something they do have in common is their get-up-and-go attitude. It’s very humbling to realise how lucky I am to be able to do everything independently and with relative ease. My main job is to lead the ponies and make sure the tack is safely done up and all that jazz, but it’s also very rewarding to be able to talk to the kids, particularly those I have seen for a few weeks now. It’s such a rewarding feeling to see how much they enjoy riding, and know that you’re helping to make a difference, even if my role is very small indeed.

2. The second thing is more selfish, but I’m sort of nervous-excited. I’m getting my name in print for the first time! It’s only the university arts magazine, and it has a very small readership, but they’re publishing one of my poems in their issue, Serenity and Rush, which launches on the 2nd December. I still don’t feel like I’m qualified for people to read my work, but I’m happy all the same.

3. I also have an internship with Riptide which is a short story journal based at the University of Exeter (UK), where some of you might know I’m studying. I had a lecture as part of my Creative Writing module a few weeks ago which was given by one of the editors and afterwards I asked her if there were any volunteering opportunities and basically that was that. It’s amazing what you get if you ask. So far I’ve assisted with some events management  for the Children in Need event at the university last Friday (16th), and am currently proofreading the next issue of the journal which will launch in February 2013. It’s great to get to work alongside the other interns and gain some experience of the publishing process, and hopefully this will continue throughout the year.

4. I went horse riding on Wednesday and cantered by myself for the first time, and I really enjoyed it. I also got to ride my new horsey friend, Daisy. She’s so sweet. I’ll have to try to get a photo at some point. I can’t promise though.

It’s difficult not to dwell on the negative things all the time, and I think, particularly because the good things that I mention above have mostly been in motion for a few weeks now, or at least on the horizon, it’s easy to forget about them in the face of a really awfully disappointing week. They’re equally important though, and I want to stress the point that I am stressed out, and not having the most positive of weeks, but at a base level I am happy, and it’s the good kind of happy. The lasting kind that simmers below the surface of everything, rather than the fleeting in-the-moment happiness.

So, whether it’s something big, or simply something small, there’s always a reason to smile.