Proud

Crying Out for Acceptance, Approval & Appreciation

In this world, we find ourselves striving for material things, things that can be bought, things that can be studied or achieved. We want the nice house, the pretty clothes, the flash car, the good grades, the top job to fill our bank accounts with money, and the list goes on.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting these things, as most of them are basic needs and wanting our things to be nice or attractive to look at isn’t a crime. However, it becomes a problem when this becomes our main want in life and our desire for these things overtakes our need for happiness, love, inner peace or our own well-being.

We have a tendency to neglect our mental and emotional health, in favour of meeting the standards society has set for us, striving to make the most money we can, or get the best grades we can, or have as many things as we can. I’m guilty of this myself and I’ve been paying the price for it over the years.

I put myself under pressure and unnecessary stress to achieve the best grades possible at GCSE and A-level. I worked myself ragged as I did all I could to get into my dream university. I found myself emotionally drained and mentally tired, giving my all on a university course I hated, in an institution where I never felt comfortable.

Although my grades at GCSE and A-level were good, I got into my dream university and I persevered for two years at that university, it wasn’t worth the emotional and mental turmoil I put myself through. By putting myself on a pedestal and piling on the pressure, I ended up losing myself and a sense of happiness in the process.

My energy dropped, my mood could quickly worsen and I let little things upset me. I found myself easily getting into depressive states, I cried bucket loads of tears and I was self-harming over the years. I was emotionally dying, walking around in a daze and struggling to fall asleep.

Yet through it all, my desire to make others proud wouldn’t allow me to give up. I wanted to make my parents proud, I wanted to make my family proud, I wanted to make my Textiles teacher proud, I wanted to make my tutors proud etc, etc. However, I can’t say that I was making myself proud – all I saw was disappointment after disappointment.

My GCSE grades weren’t good enough for me. I wanted to get all As at A-level, just like my teachers had predicted, not just one A*. I was regressing rather than progressing at university, which depressed me more and more, because I was trying my absolute hardest and spending practically every waking moment on my assignments.

None of this was helping me and my desire to be the best (or perhaps the world’s idea of the best) was covering up the issues within myself. In trying to be the best, I was crying out for acceptance, approval and appreciation.

I wanted my parents to say how proud they were of me and tell me they loved me. I wanted to make something of myself so that people would no longer look down on me or look through me. I wanted to ensure that I wouldn’t be second best anymore.

Looking back on it all, I can see that all I want and all I’ve ever wanted is love, affection, support, care and appreciation from the people around me. I don’t want to feel lonely (despite not being alone) and I don’t want to feel like I’m second best all the time. Yet what I really need is to learn to truly love myself.

Another Year, Another Reflection

Saturday was my birthday.

Another year of life, an ideal time for reflection.

You see, birthdays aren’t a huge thing for me anymore;

God granting me another year is a blessing,

But the concept of getting older doesn’t seem so appealing.

 

Turning 21 felt weird,

However, I loved being 22.

Turning 23, though, just doesn’t feel nice,

And it’s like I can see 30 in the distance.

 

As I get older, it feels like time is running out,

To achieve what I want to achieve.

I want to make a difference, make my mark on the world,

I also want to get married and have a little girl.

 

In all honesty, I’d love to have been married by 23,

But of course this wasn’t meant to be.

Now I hope to be married by 25,

Having the one standing by my side.

 

There’s a slight problem with that though,

Because there’s currently no man in my life,

And I continue to wonder whether I’ll find someone worthy,

Or if they’ll even be willing to make me their wife.

 

A man in my life is not in the forefront of my mind though,

With so many plans for me to put into action.

Although I’d like to be further forward on my checklist,

I’ve done a lot in the past year that I should be proud of.

 

I’ve learnt to say no and not take every task on board,

I’ve continued writing and moved one of my blogs forward.

I found a way to take my youth platform to the next stage,

And I’ve finally come up with a business idea to put into play.

 

I visited new places in the world and made new friends,

I saw family I hadn’t seen for years on end.

Slowly but surely, my confidence is continuing to build,

And I’m seeing what I can do in the community I’m in.

 

There is so much more and for that I am proud,

But this year was definitely not full of good times.

I made mistakes and did not work as hard as I should,

But it’s been a learning process, which is always good.

 

Although 23 is an age that I’m not really feeling,

I did decide to celebrate my birthday a little bit;

Because I love those special moments with the people I love,

And being with them a little longer makes getting older worthwhile.

 

Level-headed, Intelligent and Funny

As it’s his birthday, I think it’s only right that this dedication goes out to my beautiful little cousin.  Of course, he’s one of my many cousins and he’s not so little any more.  He’s into the latter half of his teenage years and he is definitely towering over me in height, which may not be hard, but he really is tall.

Over the years, I’ve watched my cousin grow into a great young man, who I can sit down and have a good conversation with.  We can actually talk on a level and he comes out with things with substance, which makes me really respect him.  He’s got a very level head for his age, which I guess helps.

My cousin is also very, very smart.  I know that he’s intelligent by speaking to him, but I didn’t realise just how intelligent he was until a few months back after he got a set of exam results.  I was extremely proud of him and it showed how God always has his back.  I can’t wait to see what amazing things he does in the future, as he continues to mature and increase his knowledge.

Like the majority of people in my life, my cousin is funny.  My sister and I have mentioned how much jokes he gives us on numerous occasions.  He has a more subtle humour that not everyone will see and he delivers lines in a dead pan or serious way, which just makes them hilarious.  I don’t think he even realises how funny he is.

My cousin always believes in me and supports me through whatever I’m doing, which I really appreciate.  I know that I can always count on him and that I can always talk to him, which makes him extra special.  I really do love him with all my heart.