I wrote this what feels like a million years ago (I wrote it originally during the London 2012 Olympics in fact), but I think this message rings so loud and so true right now. The amazing Lady Gaga performed at the Superbowl and her message was all about inclusion. We should all feel that we are included and part of the world regardless of our appearance, nationality or religious belief.
A few days ago I tweeted about how fed up I am of people making me feel like a freak because I don't dress like everyone else. I've been thinking about it a lot (one of my many curses is that I over-think EVERYTHING) and I think that at this particular time for people to react the way they are is completely and utterly inappropriate. We watch in awe and fascination as paralympians win medal after medal and break record after record, and we realise that to use the word 'disabled' is a complete and utter misnomer - it's society that disables them. Now, I'm not comparing myself to someone with a disability as clearly they have many more obstacles to overcome, but being 'disabled' by society is something we can all relate to.
How many times are we told 'be yourself'? Clearly we are only allowed to be ourselves when that self fits the mould which is seen as acceptable by general society. How can we be ourselves when our individuality is completely and utterly stifled by those who encourage us to be individual? Of course, we have evolved to be a judgemental species and that will never change, but we are now a multi-racial, multi-cultural country, shouldn't we be embracing all the individuality that has to offer?
It's taken me a very long time to feel comfortable in my own skin, and I guarantee there will be many a time when I feel less than comfortable, but I am finally accepting myself and I refuse to have that taken away from me.
Why does my pseudo 50's/60's appearance cause people to assume that I'm stupid? Maybe it's not just that, perhaps it's the fact I'm a woman? I was recently informed (when someone looked over the lunch I had made) that I couldn't possibly have made it and must have got it from the shop as I'm clearly not remotely domestic! Plus the fact that people seem to assume because I have a firm grasp on the English language and am eloquent and articulate that I can't be attractive. Someone I met after only having conversations over email told me that I couldn't be me because I was supposed to be 'short and dumpy'. OK then, so what you're saying is because I can construct a sentence I have to be ugly?
I know I have said that we are all a judgemental species and this will never change but is it not about time we stopped passing such harsh judgements on others and ourselves for that matter?
In a nut shell I am who I am - made up of lots of intricate layers of intelligence, self loathing, tattoos, make up, big hair, geekiness, domesticity, social awkwardness, depression, quirkiness, love and so much more. Take me or leave me, but don't assume you know anything about me until you make an effort to get to know me.
While I accept you will judge me don't make it obvious and don't mock me. I am human just like you.
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about success. What makes someone successful and how do we measure it?
For many people success comes in the form of money or some sort of accolade or adoration, for others success is simply just managing to make it through the day.
I do wonder sometimes why other’s people’s perception or understanding of success makes others feel like theirs are not successes at all.
I have to say that I’ve never felt like a success at anything. I’ve put myself forward for things where I could potentially be successful and never been accepted or acknowledged. I do a job - where despite my knowledge and being in a position which should be considered an integral part of the team - because I do not earn commission, and am on a low salary, I am not considered successful. And quite frankly, I don’t feel like I’m successful either. This isn’t helped by the fact that most, if not all, of my friends already own their own homes and earn in excess of £50k per year and this often makes me feel like an outsider. Because I am not on the same level as these people my life ‘successes’ are not comparable. I can’t say “hey look I’ve just paid off a chunk of my mortgage” because I can’t even afford to save for a deposit, I can’t say “wow, I just secured a huge deal and got loads of commission!” because my role doesn’t afford me that. I can’t say “I’m the director of a company” because I’m not.
Part of the issue is probably my own view on success and I suppose I always thought when I grew up I would be successful because I would be married and own my own house and either be a writer or be doing a job where I earned lots of money and could take holidays whenever I wanted. None of those things have come to pass. My age doesn’t really bother me, but as I approach my 35th birthday I suppose I am thinking more about my future. I am lucky that I have a roof over my head, an amazing boyfriend and the cutest little doggie known to mankind, and this should be enough. But is it wrong of me to want more and to feel that I have achieved something more in life?
I’ve tried so many things in life and never once succeeded in any of them – I write novels that nobody wants to publish (so I don’t finish them), I tried to be a pin up model but nobody wanted to hire me (so I gave up), I started a YouTube cookery channel which nobody watched (so I stopped doing it), the list goes on.
Success and worth shouldn’t be measured with anything tangible like money, but with our own sense of achievement. My boyfriend said to me last night (I’m paraphrasing here by the way) “if you can go to bed happy with how you’ve been as a person then you’ve succeeded” and he is right. Some days I have to accept that my success and achievement is merely getting through the day and other days it could be that I’ve got 100 views on the blog. We only get a short amount of time to live and we shouldn’t spend it comparing our ‘successes’ to others; we should embrace what we feel we have achieved and ignore those who tell us they’re not real successes because they don’t match to their view of accomplishment.
Having said that, I would still like to publish a novel or start a business. And, even if I do those things I’ll probably still feel that I’m less worthwhile than the rest, but at least I can go to bed knowing that I’m a good person and that I’ve tried my hardest even if other people don’t appreciate me or think I’m a success.