It’s therapeutic to take stock of your life and look back and reflect on who you used to be and who you are now, above shows the evolution of me, from the fresh-faced “Twinkleboi” to the cubby Toby you see before you.
I’ve learnt lessons throughout these years and I guess I want to just take a few minutes to share moments of my life with you that you might not be aware of.
2002 was a year in which I experienced many firsts in my life, I came out, I was in my first job and had been there for just over 2 years and it was also the year in which I lost my virginity at the age of 17, I also had my first major crush on someone (who shall remain nameless) and if I could find my diaries as I’m typing this I would have shared an excerpt from it, alas I don’t but it would’ve been along the lines of the following…
I’m in love with him, he’s sexy and lovely and flirty and he kissed me, he’s perfect and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with him
Blah blah blah and baaaarrf!
Yeah….in my defence, I was young and new to the whole gay thing and feeling these feelings for another guy was overpowering and intoxicating, I was infatuated with him and most of the diary entries from 2002 were very much about him until I realised it wasn’t to be. LOL.
2003 was the year I really exploded into being as flirty and outrageous as possible, throughout my time at school I was constantly bullied and with my new found confidence and look I wanted to get attention – as people that knew me around this time I was probably not the most reliable person to hang around with, there were many a night in which I’d gone out with friends and disappeared during the night – at the time I thought I was amazing, the drunk flirty twink with a big smile, big eyes and big *cough* to match who could get drunk and seduce people, I was pathetic really.
It was also the same year I got a computer and also met and got to know the uber talented Robjn and it was my knowing him and being friends with him that curbed (although not completely) my over-friendly ways, he taught me how to make and create music using a computer, how to take and edit photographs and installed in me a creative streak that I still have to this day, it’s likely that I wouldn’t have become a podcaster or blogged or anything like that if it wasn’t for him.
Thank you Robjn!
2004 was a year in which I made sure I had fun, lots of nights out and also Robjn and I got made the official photographer for the Dot Cotton nightclub in the later part of the year, it was also the year in which I met Fiona!
To start with the relationship was pretty normal, he was nice to me and we eventually decided that we were going to all move up to Manchester and start anew there – Leo moved up to Manchester a couple of weeks before I did and whilst staying at his old place in Norwich, I discovered an online dating account of his stating he was single and in Manchester…I stupidly put it to the back of my mind and moved up to Manchester.
From this point onward things got a lot worse, I won’t go into detail about what happened but after 3 months of living with this horrible person, I moved back home to Cambridge a broken boy, I managed to eventually dust myself off and return to my normal self, I was lucky to return back to working at M&S again and I changed my name legally by deed poll in September and carried on taking photos at Dot Cotton and got to meet Jason Donovan! LOL
I also attended a podcast convention in 2006 in which I got to meet Scott and Tim, they were the NICEST people ever and I loved meeting them, it was also on this day I was drunkenly convinced by Tim and Scott to interview the Podfather, Adam Curry!
2007 was a bit of a weird year, I met a guy called Mike and we had a short relationship, he was nice but we just weren’t compatible and we both realised this and split amicably, I think that my relationship with him was a test for myself to gauge if I could feel good in a relationship with someone after the experience I had with Leo, and I could.
I also left M&S in 2007 and started working for the company I’m currently with at the moment.
2009 was the year I met my boyfriend Tom and we’ve been together for over 5 years now *happy face* I also saw Britney Spears as a V.I.P with Robjn and injured my knee during coitus…LOL, I also left Vodafone and started working for a charity called Red2Green.
2010 was a strange year really, my hair grew bigger, Tom and I celebrated a year of coupledom, we saw both Blondie, Lady Gaga and Green Day live, I almost died at work when a greenhouse glass panel almost stabbed me (I was 1.5cm away from hitting me, I was saved by industrial gardening gloves!), I also visited Silverstone for the first time and I bought a car, Tom ended up buying it from me a few months later, I was also enjoying my new job until I was monumentally stabbed in the back…but that’s not worth even revisiting!
In 2011 I left my job at Red2Green and managed to start working for Vodafone again, thanks to Lana who offered me the job – it helped me get my life back on tracks and I picked up everything I thought I’d forgotten really quickly, the only downsides to working for Vodafone at this time was the distance and cost that was involved getting to and from work everyday, and the fact that no matter how hard I tried and proved myself, I was only on a 20 hour contract – that sucked, of course I would be offered overtime but every time Vodafone cut back on hours or I went on holiday, the next month I would struggle a lot! I also got swine flu at the beginning of the year, I have never felt so ill in all my life, it was horrible!
Me and Tom also got to see Fascinating Aida live for the first time in Cambridge.
For me, 2012 was not really a year of note, a lot of people celebrated the Olympics and Jubilee but I really couldn’t have cared less about it all, my months were spent on buses….seriously, I think by the time 2013 arrived I had become numb to just how awful having to do this day in and day out, early in the morning, every day, every weekend…..GAH!
2014 was a bit of a roller-coaster year for me, in September I finally decided to seek help with how I was feeling, I’d been suffering and trying to cope with depression on my own for months and getting help was the best thing I ever did.
Tom and I had our 5th year anniversary in London, I turned 30 (eeek! Actually, I’m happy I’m 30!), I took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge and also #Pants2HIV (both great causes) and the biggest and best thing to happen to me was finding a new job, in Cambridge for good money and full-time hours!