Hey guys! It’s been a while.
I’ve been purposely remaining absent from social media recently for various reasons. Since I came back from Mexico quite a lot has happened, both good and not so good, and it’s taken me a while to adjust to my newfound, less-terrified-of-the-world self. This in turn has made being online a bit weird for me, because feeling a little lost over the past two months has made it difficult to know how to express myself in a way that I feel comfortable sharing with the wider world.
I have been a bundle of happy, sad, broken, joyous, overwhelmed, grateful, excited and just whattheactualfuckisgoingon, and spent most of my time travelling up and down the country/continent visiting some of the people that make me feel most like myself.
It’s been an interesting few months with LOTS of feelings flying about all over the place, which I suppose is to be expected after facing the most emotional event of your entire life head on and leaving some of your best friends half way across the world for the third time (I pray that one day that gets easier). As I mentioned in my Facing Mexico post, my trip did me a whole lot of good, but that doesn’t mean that mapping the revelations I had over there onto my normal life back home was a simple task.
As well as all that, just a few hours after landing in Manchester airport came the messy end to a relationship that had been a huge part of my life for the previous six months. So not only did I find myself dealing with a blank canvas of myself, I was also without my partner in crime to help me figure shit out.
In some ways, this has been a blessing in disguise. Whilst break-ups are gross and no fun for anyone involved (unless you’re some sick and twisted monster), being alone over the past couple of months has given me the chance to spend some quality time with myself and figure out things in a way that I’m not sure I could have done had I been attached at the hip to another human being. I’ve been able to act entirely selfishly in my choices, thinking for the first time in a very long time, what do I want?
What do I want?
It’s been a lot of fun rediscovering joy in things that my mental illnesses zapped all of the fun out of. I’ve been reading like crazy again, something I haven’t done since I was a teenager. I’ve been watching documentary after documentary on women’s rights. I’m trying out veganism, something I’ve wanted to do for years. I’m going swimming and practising yoga on an almost daily basis, and I’m working on my languages in my spare time. Oh and the hours I’ve spent watching lifestyle vlogs on YouTube and That 70s Show on Netflix are not even funny, but I don’t regret a second of it.
I’m also finding out that there are a number things that have changed in my personality over the past four years, though there’s one thing in particular that stands out. Whilst I was unwell, I always felt bad about my body and my appearance, and so I hid myself in layers of oversized clothes and never wore make-up because I was afraid of being ridiculed for even attempting to make myself look nice. Figure hugging clothes were completely out of the question unless I intended to get very, very drunk or was having a one off, I’m-feeling-confident day, a sensation that would almost certainly have worn off by lunchtime leaving me feeling very self-conscious and miserable for the rest of the afternoon
Now, I can’t say I’m the pamper queen or that I look like a super model, but I’m definitely spending a bit more time getting ready in the morning. I’m trying things on before buying them rather than just buying the bigger size to hide inside. Whilst I would have once dubbed pretty pants a complete waste of time, I am now utterly obsessed with lingerie, because who cares if only I know that I look good under my clothes? I also bought MAKE-UP, like foundation and eye-shadow and everything, though I don’t wear it all the time because sometimes I really would rather spend that extra time in bed or I simply don’t feel like putting it on.
The best part? I’m not letting myself feel guilty about any of this. It’s actually OK to care about how you look, however you want that to be, and it doesn’t make you vain just because you spend an extra half an hour in the morning making yourself feel attractive rather than exploring the meaning of life. It’s not superficial to feel good in your own skin. The important thing is to do what makes you feel good, and fuck what everyone else thinks, whether that means layering 7 inches of foundation on your face each morning, going totally barefaced or somewhere in between. You do you, and I promise you’ll feel so much happier for it.
So all in all, I’m doing pretty well. As always I’ve had numerous wonderful people by my side helping me through the (slightly less) frequent wobbles of nerves and doubt, but I’m proud to say that most of my steps forward since I returned home have been down to my own determination to get to know the person I have always been underneath all fear and uncertainty. Again, there’s still some way to go, but I’m continuously moving forwards and feeling more confident than ever before.