It's Monday - the day we all question WHY, OH WHY has the week begun and the weekend has ended? We may have over indulged, drained our batteries, recharged our batteries and/or simply made memories. Monday is a day we sit and question ourselves and life.
Are we satisfied?
What is missing?
Why do we never learn?
What can we improve on?
Life is complex.. in many ways and in many forms. It puts us to the tests, and pushes us to the limits. We spend so much of our time looking for answers, signs and an escape route that in the end we lose the real understanding of life and ourselves.
With illness it is even harder, we don't get the 'normal' choices that everyone else has the flexibility to enjoy. Why? We all know why. Our health means our lives are thought out, with warning hazards in place and traffic lights to keep us from burning out. Going with the flow is often not something we can enjoy. This in itself causes us to fuss, focus too deeply on the details we DO NOT have control over. We love control, whether we are willing to admit it or not. Control gives us powers, helps us feel strong. We don't consider the fact that we can't control everything, ill or fitting fit.
It's so difficult to have faith in fate when previous you have been burnt by its hot forest fires, we get lost in the woods and fear that there will never be a way out. To escape this reality we try to numb the inner hurt through a large number of ways: sleeping, drinking, eating, working, writing and so on - the list in endless. We are all professionals when it comes to finding escape routes and we NEED them for our own sanity. Yet, finding the right balance is extremely hard and can be dangerous.
I watched around at Lytham festival - the people that walked by, all so different yet the same in so many ways that something really struck me.
When you have your shades on, you can capture moments where people don't think you are watching and for a moment their bubble bursts and their fun, happy go-lucky brave face just slips for a second. The make-up they have caked on can't hide scars that are deeper than the skin's surface. A happy photo doesn't mean you aren't struggling with emotions. Songs that mean so much to someone, makes them shed a tear as they remember a loved one who is no longer a part of their lives.
You can see society and the media's influence on people as they drink the same, act the same, wear the same - believing if they do this their life is perfect and they are truly living. This is so false... and this mindset is how we lose focus and understanding about life and ourselves. We give up our personality to become a clone and live our years being unhappy, never been content with what we have all around us.
Now.. seeing some sights made me feel a little better about not being able to wear what everyone else was, having to wrap up, keep warm, protect myself. Not be prancing around in barely any clothing at all. Yes, it may have made me look odd. But this is my situation and I have to owe it, accept it and feel comfort with it.
I am lucky, I know- living with Lyme Disease isn't a lucky thing but because of it I don't fall into the trap of becoming a clone.
My weight loss and taught me that inner beauty is worth more than outer.
My pain has made me channel negative energies into creative outlets.
My own personal hurt and sadness has helped me heal others and make others happy to try and help heal my own wounds.
My ill health has made me grateful for life and the people I have in it, realising how short our time is and how I could end at any second.
I love fashion, I love social media and I love indulging in reality TV but life and my personal experiences are teaching me vital, key lessons. Fashion, social media and TV are great fun and there are lots of different angles to each of them. Whether its game shows, 'real life' shows, vlogging, blogging, Instagram, New York fashion week, Asos sales and so on.
In school I used to dread non-uniform day because even though I loved the clothes I wore they never seemed to be as 'cool' as everyone else's. That was my own insecurities coming out. I would be so worried about looking a fool or out of place that I used to fuss and fret so much about my clothes, hair and so on. Never really nailing it, because I simply couldn't allow myself to become like them. My inner personality knew I was different, but I was ashamed to admit this. Now, through experiences and circumstances, I have faced judgements and harsh, often cruel comments that my skin is a little thicker.
I swore blankly when I was about 12 years old that I would get a boob job when I hit 18 to me a 'woman.' I was so stupid. Thank GOD I got poorly and I realised I should just be thankful that my body allows me to be ALIVE. Although, I have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions have realise that certain 'criteria's' don't need to be 'fulfilled' for you to be accepted. YOU are you. We are all unique and trends change! Surgery is for life, big bums, boobs and so on - change like the wind.
I still have days when I want to be a free-spirit or dress like models do ( we all do ). I have had to learn how to be a little more comfortable in my own skin and wear what I WANT to wear not what I feel I should.
Same with social media. In lots of ways social media can be a bad influence, it feeds insecurities and the false ideals that the media in general thrive on. However, it can be extremely amazing. You can meet amazing, inspiring people. Showcase your work, inspire and empower others. Your feed doesn't have to be all about bikini pictures on the beach, a year round holiday. It can be campaign work, family time, personal work, adventures and so on. I see my Instagram as a platform to store all my memories and moments. The photo's aren't airbrushed, they are what you see - like me. It helps my readers find my site and I hope I prove that we can make life as colourful and as full as we want to, because WE have control of how we enjoy our time.
I am thankful for my situations in many different ways.
I was always plagued with feeling ugly because I didn't have 'womanly' figure and ashamed because I had quirks and so forth. I suffered and still do suffer with anxieties and fears but I enjoy conquering them. Gone are the days where I entertain them and allow them to harbour and grow. It took a lot of strength to overcome these and its an on-going battle just like my health.
I still haven't nailed or fully understood myself and life in general. I don't think there will ever be one clear cut answer.
Life, as time does, it keeps moving, progressing and developing. Just as we do.
We must... in order to make the best of our time.
I do cy, I mourn, I get annoyed, I am negative and I do make wrong choices and decisions but I am only human. I pay the price and the consequences and that is how we learn to grow.
Just like when my pain symptom are bad and there is so much background noise telling us we should give up, all is too much, we can't keep going. Like social media and influences that are background noises screaming at us, we have a choice whether to numb them and pay a heftier price later, entertain them or challenge them. The latter is always the best choice, even though sometimes its the hardest.
Why don't I stop caring about fashion?
If fashion makes me have to look in the mirror and feel disappointed then why don't I stop trying with my appearance? Giving up - its something I don't, nor am I willing to do. Fearing my fears of having to look in the mirror and the strength it takes to doll myself up shows not JUST me but the world that I am stronger than they believed I was.
Why don't I stop watching reality TV if it's all false?
I KNOW, I know...reality TV can be ridiculous and often paints a false image of life. Yet, watching how people connect, interact, live and deal with certain situations helps you learn a lot on how you can adapt traits, how talk in conversations better, how people work and so on. You can learn so much from reading between the lines of these shows, even if the surface is all a bit of a drama act.
Come off social media if you feel it upsets you?
Don't get me wrong, social media can be upsetting. Body's to die for, sun trips that look amazing, achievements left ,right and centre that it is so easy to compare and feel unsatisfied. It can help you connect to like minded people, inspire and help others and through finding the strength and bravery to be open and fear judgements you gain strength that you wouldn't gain in any other way. You realise that even if you feel you aren't enough your strength is really helping people and that gives you the drive to keep fighting on the darkest of days. I try to use social media in a positive way to show the amazing times as prove that life is beautiful and even if we are in a dark, dark place there are amazing things we can enjoy and DESERVE TO ENJOY. But also I do share the hardships, to prove that even if I seem to be living life that like everyone I have my hardships and my darks days. So many people just post their happy times, which of course is fine but people then guilt trip themselves when they seem to be going through a hard time. They believe it is their fault and question why aren't they happy?
The people who matter will always understand, support and be there for you. That is what matters and my mission to help others which is far more important to me than someone being a troll and trying to frighten me on social media.
Positive Role Model?
You may know by now that I have been shortlisted for the positive role model award at the Diversity awards. WHICH I CAN'T WAIT FOR but also I hope the above shows that I am too very human and so we all have the strength to overcome so much, we fight so many extremely difficult challenges and we learn lessons we never thought we would possibly have too.
Nobody lives the perfect life - celeb or not, ill or fully well. None of us have the ultimate answer, but I guess that is what makes life a mystery.
I have grown a thicker skin, I have had to. I have from my Mum's support found my voice a little more and her telling me I am beautiful on my lowest of low days is why I am where I am now.
Thank you Mama - my angel.
We must try our best and stay true to ourselves, in a world that makes it so hard for this goal to be achieved. I have overcome many hurdles but there is a whole marathon and more ahead.
Every day seems to get emotionally and physically tougher - but remember so are we.