Being constantly strong, putting on a brave face and 'pulling it together' is a gift to those around you, never to yourself. We aim to make those around us as comfortable as possible, to inconvenience them as little as possible with our pain.
To me, my dreams and passions are real enough to warrant any level of upset and change. It took me until embarrassingly recently to realise that not everyone was willing to be so drastic.
If you take one experience from this year, if you ask one more hurdle of your mind, ask yourself to live with the potential for love, rather than the expectation for hate. Perhaps this year has brought you to your knees and you laugh at the concept of having survived in one piece. If so, I want to take this opportunity to bow before you and acknowledge how hard it is to remain consistently strong in a world that demands an endless supply of giving. I hope you can progress and let down the heaviness of this year in time. For now, I will hold the pride for you, for your life until you can bring yourself to carry that torch for yourself because by God, you deserve it.
We were girls with loud voices, notoriously resented by the staff of our school for being outspoken and difficult to tame, as a year group. We were creative, wild and a bundle of loose canons set to explode into adulthood. Yet, these same girls, myself included, were unsure of ourselves, anxious and self-conscious in the extreme.
Give yourself to respect to acknowledge not what you are doing, but what you are being. "I think your life will be special," He told me. When I raised my eyebrows with no shortage of skepticism, he smiled a very genuine kind of smile. "Yes, I do. Because you've already got your why."
Yet, somewhere not-so-deep down, I have had a shame about the content I produce, the words I write. I let others decide what my words are worth in my mind and deny them the ability to declare them useless by not sharing what I work on, what I value most. After all, if the critics can't find your work, then you're safe, right? All in all, it's a tremendously stupid system.
At first, I was unsure what it was about this statement that truly struck me as unique and thought-provoking. Then I realised that if we all were to believe that we were at the exact right time in the world, then we would live our lives led by our potential, rather than our detriments.
There are certain things that I will always find soothing. Having my hair stroked or a hug from my mom after a hard day, those are in my very DNA. In order to cultivate an environment that feels safe, I have included some of these childhood soothers back into my life.
Can you just not be you? Except the messages are mixed as opinions change like the weather. Liven up, quieten down. Speak up, don’t interject. Be confident, but never loud. Can you just be anything other than how you are?
"I used to think that I was particularly white-washed as child, admiring only Aurora from Sleeping Beauty or Belle from Beauty and the Beast. My imagination was stunted when it came to Pocahontas or Mulan. Now, as an adult, I have examined my thoughts and I realise that I only allowed myself to admire Disney princesses that I could change myself enough to become."