So, this is my first article as well as my first time writing a blog post in general besides when I was about 9 years old and had a poptropica walkthrough blog, if you can believe that.

I've been through a lot in the 5 most recent years of my life. I started high school 5 years ago and finished it last year, I've now gone onto my very first year of University which is daunting, to say the least but its the start of a year that I want to be one of the best.

I just got back from watching the incredibly heartwarming movie Love, Simon and wow I cried in that movie. It was beautiful, I loved it. I'm not personally gay therefore, I cannot say I've felt the feelings Simon has, but, I can say that I understand it and can relate to it even if not in the same way.

Throughout the most part of the movie, Simon was struggling with expressing himself, telling people about his sexuality and being able to talk about it freely without judgement from other people. Expressing myself is something I'm not particularly good at either. I feel like I've never truly expressed myself as the person that I genuinely want to be.

If the past 5 years have taught me anything, its that you shouldn't keep living in the shadows of the people around you. You shouldn't have to keep up this act that you have placed on yourself to be "who you are" with your loved ones. My closest friends saw one side of me and then as soon as I wasn't with them, I was a different person and it only took me losing them to realise that by keeping up that act, the act that I subconsciously had placed on myself, I wasn't allowing myself to grow into a person that I could be proud of.

Now, to be fair, a lot of people find they can only be their true selves with their friends, and in a way that was also me. I had never felt more connected to people in my life in those 5 years that I spent with them, but I also know that I've never felt more alive than in the past few months that I've spent without them.

I think to express ourselves we need to look at ourselves first no matter how difficult it is. I never wanted to look at myself through my own eyes because I'm the person that I critique the most. Isn't that a bit counter-intuitive? I've spent my whole life looking through my eyes, observing my own actions yet as soon as I decide to actively watch myself and try to discover who it is that I am, I shy away and tell myself that it's fine. To express myself as the person I want to be, I must look at what needs to change about myself to ultimately make me happier. I don't want to change myself to fit what society is deeming perfect right now I want to renovate myself in order to be what I consider myself to be grand forever. Perfection is not an achievable goal, no one will ever think of themselves as perfect regardless of how great you think they look or how much more together it seems their lives are. Besides, perfection is boring. Perfection is an ideal that will never be entirely fulfilled, our lives are a series of moments that can be thought of as perfect one minute and imperfect the next, but that does not mean our lives are any less significant.

How does that all relate to expression? Well, I've discovered that although we may not be able to choose our experiences, we are able to choose how we live them. When everything with my friends passed by, I easily could have fallen into a hole that was filled with bitterness and self-disrespect and in a way I did, but over time I've come to see that we don't have to sink to rock bottom in order to start expressing ourselves as who we want to be or change our lives for the better. Rock bottom is an emotional state where people believe the worst, whilst also hoping for the best, why is that the only place where we are able to turn around and get better and fix ourselves? Rock bottom only gives us a glimpse, a fraction of ourselves that we want to obtain, but, we should never settle for a fraction of ourselves.

Strive for more, look at yourself, who are you? Who are you really? You can express who you are or who you want to be with confidence, you just have to have the courage to see that the most beautiful you, is the you that doesn't hold back. Express yourself, be the you that you can feel proud of and don't live life for other people. Love, Simon, brought me this epiphany but my life has shown me the difference between living and feeling alive. I no longer want to simply live as a ghost of a person holding onto an idea, I want to solidify my thoughts, emotions, experiences and desires to become the person that I was always meant to be, me. That begins with expression.

Thanks for the past 5 years, Emma. Here's to the next chapter.