Ah, Fri-yay. I love that Friday feeling!
And what a Friday to celebrate – today marks my second week of blogging, and I’m loving this amazing journey! I have made some wonderful, supportive friends and the list just keeps on growing. I got nominated for 3 awards this week – and I made over 100 views on my page yesterday, my most views in a day so far. So today is an amazing milestone for me. I really feel I have made some amazing progress on my blog. Thank you so much to all of the people who have welcomed me in and helped me feel at home.
I woke up yesterday feeling a little demotivated about my blog; I was doubting my content and the interest in what I’m writing. I didn’t have belief in myself to produce content that people wanted to read and I was just angry at the day. This was at 6:30am – and it actually ended up being the best day I’d had so far in terms of numbers. I aim to have 100 followers on WordPress by the Monday coming. I created that goal on the 30th January, and I only have 12 to go as I write this so it’s going great!
So I think, after yesterday’s mood and everything that happened, today’s blog challenge seems rather fitting to remind myself as to who I am and why I am worthy to get my posts out there.
And today’s challenge is:
5 Things I Like About Myself
For someone who grew up being heavily bullied throughout my entire school education, and experiences in my adult life, a post like this is incredibly difficult to write. The experiences I went through all those years ago stay with me every single day, and I sometimes have to consciously mute that voice in my head telling me that I’m not good enough. I still see the faces of the people who made an already hard life even more difficult, and the names and taunts will never leave my memory. But – what I also realise is that I survived and overcame. I have faults that I refuse to allow to hold me back. I am conscious of them, but I have learned to embrace what I have and live. So this is going to be a really hard list to write – but as part of my personal development, I’m going to push myself to find 5 things, and not finish at one or two.
1. My sense of humour
I’ve been through a lot of trauma in my life. I still experience things everyday and what gets me through is my ability to laugh through it. I genuinely believe that laughter is the best medicine – it’s a drug that fills your whole body, spirit and mind and instantly changes our persona and mood. I have a sarcastic, dry but also very silly sense of humour, and can laugh at pretty much anything. I laugh when I’m nervous or annoyed. I laugh when I’m not supposed to laugh, or when I’m trying not to laugh. It’s just much better to laugh than to argue or cry. Laughter is contagious and spreads like wildfire – and it’s a quality I appreciate in this often difficult world we call our home.
2. My ability to talk to anybody, anywhere
I don’t like to admit it – but I have a face that just says ‘hey, talk to me’. That’s not always a good thing – I get a lot of strange people approach me; I’m known for it with my friends. But when I need to be able to just talk to anybody, I’m glad I’m able to do that and not retreat into a shy and nervous state. My boss is a socially awkward person, and at work events, I’m the one that does the mingling and the introductions which I feel he appreciates as it takes the pressure off of him.
I also work closely with people with learning disabilities and it can be quite hard for some people to get past that barrier – but I thrive in those situations and one of my best qualities is the ability to bring people out of their shell. In college, my tutors would put people in groups with me that were quiet and withdrawn – by the end of the year, they would be getting told off for being too loud or talking to much! (#sorrynotsorry) I love to just throw myself in – it’s either all or nothing for me.
3. My heart
My heart has got me into a lot of trouble over the years. I always fell quite easily, I wore mine on my sleeve and got hurt deeply, plenty and often. I craved to feel loved and wanted, and would be so upset if someone didn’t return my feelings for them. This sounds like it’s a bad thing but…
I like my heart. I like that I love freely and easily, I love generously and I have endless amounts of it to give. I have a kind heart, one that gets easily hurt but is also always ready to heal and not withdraw. I don’t forgive quickly, but I forgive easily. I can hold a grudge for as long as I feel the need to, but I don’t give up on people quickly. I get walked over and treated badly because of my forgiving nature. My heart has been exploited and taken advantage of so many times – but I’m still here. I persevered, and eventually found someone who chooses to love instead of cause pain and I let them in instead of push them away. And I always will – because I would rather loved, hurt and have lived than to have never loved at all.
4. My voice
I’ve already talked about my music and singing in a previous blog post but it’s relevant to this post for a different reason.
See, when I was growing up, as mentioned above, I was picked on and bullied constantly. For everything. I didn’t have good looks, I wasn’t ‘popular’, I wasn’t fat but I got called fat (kids.. eh) and didn’t have loads of friends. I’ve always been a ‘I’d rather have a small amount of good friends than a large amount of fake ones’ kind of person. I surround myself with people that are good for me, not good for my Facebook friends count.
But the one thing that people could never pick on me for or take away from me was my singing voice. It was my own special talent that nobody else could pick on me for because I was actually amazing for my age. I was singing Celine Dion and Whitney Houston ballads and hitting every note to perfection by the age of 14. Sure, for every kid that’s not good at maths, there’s 10 kids that are. Same with English or science. But with my voice, I was one of a few and that meant everything to me. When I could have been wallowing and miserable, I reminded myself that I had something they didn’t and they couldn’t take that from me or pick on me for it. It has gotten me through some really hard times, and it was always such an amazing feeling to get up on a stage and be appreciated for my voice, and not bullied for everything else.
5. My ability to be true to myself always
Growing up questioning who I am and where I fit in was really challenging for me. I have never fit into ‘one’ category or group. I was never really smart but I wasn’t stupid either. I liked loads of different genres of music and would openly listen to whatever I pleased – whilst my friends were going through their ‘mosher’ phase, I was happy not conforming and feeling the need to ‘fit in’ even when they jokingly branded me a ‘chav’ for listening to different music. I wasn’t popular in school – but I also wasn’t classed as nerdy or geeky. I was always just… somewhere in the middle.
But no matter what, I never changed who I was to try fit in. I was happy with who I was, who I am, as a person not to want to change. It wasn’t about how I felt about how I looked, I knew I would never be happy with that, but to remain loyal to my true self and not let bullies or social norms push me to be something I’m not is something I’m proud of.
I grew up in a different environment to my brother and sister – and I was nothing like them as a child. My brother picked on me a lot for it, my sister didn’t appreciate me most of the time – but I always stuck to my guns regardless of the taunting and teasing. But what’s funny is how the tables turned, and as I’ve gotten older, they’ve actually come to appreciate the fact I am nothing like either of them, and that they can come to me for a different perspective. It’s strange – I often get off the phone to them sometimes and say to my partner ‘you wouldn’t think I was the baby of the three of us’. I’ve matured and experienced life completely different to them and I’m happier for it. But I’m also really close to them because we’re different.We all bring something else to the table.
For me now, I’m confident in myself to stand up for what I believe in. I’m at a crossroads in my life where I’m expected to make decisions that ‘conform to the norm’ such as marriage, a family, a house. But I have a logical head on my shoulders, one that allows me to see past the smokescreen images of the ‘perfect life I could be having’ according to other people – and actually realise how great it already is. I’ve always remained true to my beliefs – and you can always count on me to be my strange, weird, quirky little self.
That was actually really, really hard to write! It was like trying to pull blood from a stone thinking of things but I got there eventually. I guess there is something in us all – we just have to dedicate some thought and time to it to realise.