Being yourself and finding ‘your’ people…
All my life I have been consumed by what people think of me. How to make friends, how to behave to make sure everyone was happy with me, horrified to say the wrong thing, how to dress and desperate to please all those around me. I have talked shit about someone I care about to make someone else happy with me, I have gone to parties and desperately not wanted to be there but didn’t want to let others down. I have heard people say unkind things about a loved one or say something ignorant and offensive but let it slide because I didn’t want to rock the boat. I was a hysterically awkward teenager who desperately wanted to be included at any cost. This behaviour followed me throughout my teenage years but has also been quite present during my early adulthood. This is not the kind of woman I am, and it’s not the kind of woman I want to raise Rosie to be.
After dinner parties or nights out, I have driven home and gone over conversations in my head again and again making sure that I said the right thing, made people laugh enough and panicked at the thought of talking too much.
Even when you were born Rosie girl, I found myself desperately seeking others approval of how I was holding you, how I was feeding you, worrying when you cried in public and even panicked when you would grizzle when friends held you.
Last week something snapped. Something glorious in my brain broke in half. I was on the phone asking someone for advice because as usual, I thought I was doing the wrong thing by you. I looked down at you sitting in your pram and you were just staring at me. You had the most incredible smile that took up your whole face. I realised something incredibly important in that moment. You don’t care if I’m perfect. You don’t care if I say the wrong thing sometimes. You don’t care what I look like. You don’t care that I talk too much. You don’t care that I feel a little unsure of what the hell I’m doing on a daily basis. All you care about is that I am with you.
You taught me something in that moment sweet Rosie. You taught me that the truest friends just want your company and just want you to be there. Gee whizz you’re clever for a 5 month old!
You will meet so many people over the course of your life. Some will like you, and some won’t. But you know what? I think that might actually be a great thing. Time is precious. You will need to search for the people that are YOUR people. It might take you some time to find them, but when you do, boy oh boy… it’ll be worth it.
You will also meet people who don’t like you Rosie. This is something I still struggle with on a daily basis. I used to become obsessed with why they didn’t like me, what had I done to upset them and if I needed to change to gain their favour. But why on Earth would I want to do that? Over the last few years I have come to love who I am and now being your Mum, I realise how important it is to show you this every day because through loving myself, I will be teaching you how to love yourself too.
I once read “You can’t set someone’s world on fire without being a joke to someone else”. Read that sentence. Read it again. I will remind you of this your ENTIRE life.
I am a strong woman.
I am a great Mum.
I love deeply and protect those closest to me.
I always try to make people I love happy and remind them howmuch I love them.
I love a crowd laugh.
I can find the perfect RnB classic jam to fill a dance floor.
I give brilliant hugs.
After 33 years, I finally stopped caring a little what people think this week. After a lifetime of dreaming about it, I dyed my hair purple and you think its FAB. I got my nose re-pierced because I missed it and even though my body is a long way from where I want it to be…. I’m back wearing COLOUR because why wait until my body is back to “pre baby” goodness. Life is too short not to be covered in colour and being my truest self.
There are SO many things I’m not good at and plenty of things that I’m working on every day but as I grow as a woman, there is something I’m becoming certain of. NEVER apologise for who you are. As you grow you will make friends, lose friends, friendships will shift and change and some may disappear. As long as you are kind, you think of others feelings and you make yourself happy, you will be living your best life.
It’s also okay if you fuck up. It’s a good thing really. That’s all a part of what makes us human. I will teach you as you grow to be able to take on board constructive criticism as well as offer it to others. It’s a skill. Honestly it’s something I’m still working on. We will fight a lot about this but it is incredibly important. It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as you own them, apologise and learn from them.
Take the time to find YOUR people. The people who set your world on fire and make you feel like the best version of yourself. I have some of these people and they are the friendships that CHANGE you. These women have become your aunties and will help me shape you into the young woman we dream of you being.
Rosie, you set my world on fire and you’re only 5 months old. I can’t wait to watch you take on the world, I’ll be standing right behind you, cheering you on and desperately trying to still hang out with you even when Mums just aren’t that cool anymore.
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