Moving house is disturbingly stressful, all the advice goes out to adults and it’s about practical things…labelling, organising and packing a ‘survival kit’ to keep you sane. I love labelling and organising but no amount of this, can comfort a sad state of being. My anxiety has been spiralling out of control and I’ve been fighting hard to resolve this unsettling. Moving house, counties and most devastatingly, changing landscapes has been difficult for me. But, it is beautifully sunny as I write this and House Martins are bubbling overhead. So, as far as things go, in the grander scheme of things, it will be okay – I have that on repeat. So have my parents. It will? Things will settle. In the last week or so, not only have we been been busily packing but I was also invited, along with other young naturalists and conservationists, to film a young presenter piece for Chris Packham’s #WeWantWildlife BioBlitz. I really found the filming breathtakingly easy: – I was myself and acted as I would in real life when seeing wildlife – I get very excited! I love Murlough, it’s an astoundingly beautiful place. It was also wonderful to see Chris and Ruth Peacey again; and meet some really great people. You can watch the video here You can support the campaign here Afterwards though, the doubt crept in. In the moment I was fine, I wasn’t nervous – because I wasn’t processing. When the whirring started, my anxiety grew out of control. I also realised that I sought validation – which was something I actually hadn’t experienced before. I do things naturally that appeal to me and I’m normally ‘isolated’ – as in, just doing them for and by myself. Suddenly, I found myself obsessively comparing my words, my actions, my face…with others and it greatly disturbed me. Social media was exacerbating my palpitations. I have decided therefore to no longer post or remain active on Twitter. I have always enjoyed posting on Twitter but my enthusiasm and excitement now feels sullied and somehow, out of place. I sought refuge in the dunes and surf of Murlough Nature Reserve and as the sun set on my tumultuous mind it brought peace and acceptance. I wandered along the well trodden paths alongside Linnet call, Skylark song and Cackling Gull. It felt so good. Balance was slightly more restored. This landscape will shape the rest of my teenage years and teach me so much about coastal habitat and landscapes. I felt excitement bubbling up. I accepted that being in nature and writing about it, without any expectation or need for validation is enough. My relationship with nature and wildlife is one of the most important I have. I want to concentrate on that, nourish it further and work out more ways I can help wildlife- that is my ultimate goal! That’s how it all started. I’m autistic. I’m a perfectionist and always looking for ways to prove I’m actually an imposter…a failure. It didn’t take me long to realise that there are many more people who ‘fit the bill’, more than I do. I’m happy for them. I feel a release. I will make my own way. I’m writing a book and working with a publisher. I’m connecting with local wildlife recorders and getting involved with local events. It’s enough. I don’t have to broadcast everything, anymore. I want to quietly beaver away, write and explore. I will update my blog and occasionally share it on Twitter if I feel brave enough – I won’t be logging in for comments though. I need to realise my limitations and adapt accordingly. Like most species must do at some point in their evolutionary journey. I will leave the ‘spotlight’ to those who are better at that sort of thing. Those who are more social, more able at connecting with people and making an impression. I fail miserably at that. It’s very difficult for me. I stop and realise the Devils-bit Scabious is now coming into flower. I sit awhile and watch Six-spot Burnet Moths land and feed. Gothic colours, royal colours – wildlife shone against the overcast sky. Thanks for reading.