Confidence

See What They See

After speaking to my wonderful friend Ellie, I was inspired to write this poem:

Amazing, beautiful, special

Is what they see,

Looking at me with a loving gaze;

I wish I could see what they see.

Lacking confidence,

Self-esteem,

Not loving my face,

Hating my body.

Not worth worrying about,

A plump basic girl,

That’s how I see myself

Without a doubt.

I wish I thought better,

But I don’t,

Struggling to value myself

As much as others,

I think I missed that boat.

My 2015 Journey

2015 was definitely a journey for me, taking me on an emotional rollercoaster, flying me to different destinations, driving me forward in my endeavors and breaking to a halt at times.  I’d been told by some that this would be my year and it was in some ways, but there were times when it was a complete mess.  I found myself feeling happy, excited and loved, but there were times when I felt lost, weak and withdrawn.  Let’s just say that it was an intriguing year.

One of the greatest factors was watching myself grow in confidence and start to develop more self-esteem, which I’ve seriously been lacking over the years.  Going to Bosnia was a major help in developing my confidence, as I was forced out of comfort zone numerous times.  It was nerve-wracking, but so much fun and amazing for my development.  Bosnia also helped a little in developing my self-esteem, but I know that mainly come from studying the Gospels and reading them as if they were just for me, as recommended by Pastor Kelly.

However, there are a number of issues that have continued to rear their ugly head this year.  In fact, I’ve found myself in my third round of counselling, which has been a great help and allowed me to address some of the things I’d pushed to the back of my mind.  There were the continuing issues of self-worth, understanding my feelings, being more assertive and the need for love or attention, which resulted in a regrettable situation that left me in a mess for months.  I’m getting past it now though and I’ve learnt some valuable lessons in the process.

As I told you yesterday in my Top 5 Moments, I was blessed enough to leave the country twice, get my first paid writing job and make a short film to take my youth project forward.  Speaking of my youth project, I was also blessed enough to get myself a logo and domain name, as well as a little help from some funding.  I’ve continued building up my other blog, Young People Insight, and the support has been great.

I also had the opportunity to start writing for Limelight Magazine in Croydon, a lifestyle magazine for young people by young people.  Reporting for Limelight gave me the chance to attend the press day for the stunning Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A.  However, as I started at Limelight, my time writing for Live Mag UK sadly came to a close with the decision to end the online platform, also for young people by young people.  I loved being a part of Live for the past year and I will forever adore them for allowing me to write about my beloved American sports.

Friendships were made, some ended, some were repaired.  Walls and barriers were broken down, disagreements and arguments erupted.  I laughed a lot, I cried a lot.  God gave me the strength to push through the hardships, although there were occasions when I was too weak to fight and gave up.  However, I’ve almost made it through the year and I’ve grown more than I could have imagined and gained more than I ever imagined.

There is more that I wanted to achieve this year and I know that there is more I could have done, but I’ve got to take things one step at a time and be thankful for everything I have achieved.  After all, 2016 is another year and I know that by God’s grace, I’ll be doing a lot more when the new year comes.  I look forward to the journey 2016 will take me on.

So They Never Feel How I Feel

For some reason, I am overcome with emotion and a sense of care when I see people sitting alone.  If someone’s eating by themself in a restaurant, I get the instant urge to want to join them, even though I’m sure most of them are perfectly fine.

My friends at church tend to find me a little weird when I approach and start speaking to strangers who are sitting on their own, but I see nothing wrong with it.  In fact, I think it’s the right thing to do — as Christians, aren’t we supposed to make everyone feel welcome.

It’s not only at church where I approach people who are sitting or standing alone though.  I do it in a number of places, as long as I’m feeling comfortable and in the right mood to talk.  And do you know why?  Because I never want anyone to feel the way that I feel.

I’m someone who struggles with being confident in a social setting, when I am simply being me.  I’m fine with being at an event for a purpose, like when I’m going to write a review, because sitting alone makes some sense and talking to people for an interview is easier, as the questions are set.  I’m fine being out on the floor dancing, because I don’t have to speak to anyone and there’s nothing wrong with dancing by yourself.  However, I find starting conversations, and at times carrying conversations, with people extremely difficult.

If I don’t know anyone or am not part of a group, I will sit awkwardly on my own, not knowing what to do or where to look.  It becomes very lonely, very quickly, as there are only so many things you can look at on your phone (well, for me anyway).  I want to be able to say something, but no words come to my mind.  I want to be able to approach people, but I don’t want to intrude on their group, so the only thing to do is sit (or stand) alone.

I’ve never been one of the cool kids and I never will be — I’ve always been the awkward loner or nerd who wants to get on with their work — and I’m fine with that.  However, feeling out-of-place and like you don’t fit in can be upsetting, and I hate that.

I approach individuals who are on their own and make the effort to make everyone I meet feel welcome, because as I said before, I never want anyone to feel the way that I feel.  Feeling like a spare part, someone left on the sidelines, is horrible and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

So to all the people who have approached me and made me feel comfortable, welcome, or at ease, I want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  You made me feel like I wasn’t alone.