I have over the last couple of years been on a bit of a journey of self discovery. Yes I know that sounds so incredibly wanky but a lot of things were changing in my life and I knew it was one of those times for me to re-assess what I wanted in life. Sometimes when your life falls apart, it means an opportunity to rearrange it to suit you better . This required a deeper understanding of myself and what was possible/realistic/desirable for me.
There is a lot of pressure as a woman to be a certain way. And it took A HELL OF A LOT for me to look at these supposedly required traits of a woman and human and see if I even wanted them for myself. I realised I was beating myself up for not being a certain way when I didn’t even want to be like that.
Here is a list of things I realised I would never be or want, and I am ok with.
I will never be able to work long hours in the city, sandwiched by a long commute and then be able to exercise and cook a healthy, nutritious meal at the end of the day. One of these things will have to give.
I will never be bothered putting make up on when I am not leaving the house, and most of the times even when I am leaving the house. This is a big change for someone who was a goth in her younger youth, but these days I have more important stuff to get done. In terms of how this affects my relationships, I don’t want a partner who expects me to put a full face of make up on every day, so this is a good way to weed those guys out.
Similarly, even when I go out, I want to wear clothes as close to being pjs, while still being acceptable outdoor wear (thank god for joggers and leggings and t shirt dresses). I no longer even enjoy going to places where I feel obliged to dress up.
More on a similar point, I can’t be bothered AT ALL with heels. I am 100% happy with the appearance of my feet, something I can’t say for many of my body parts, and I attribute this to not wedging them in uncomfortable heels on a daily basis.
I am not a doctor or lawyer or engineer or any of the professions that are regarded highly in my culture. I might dress up like one sometimes though. Fancy dress is actually the only time I can be bothered putting any real effort into my appearance.
I will never be skinny.
I will probably be the kind of mum who is dying to get back to work after maternity leave. No this doesn’t mean I won’t love my kids.
I will never care about brands. Clothes, cars, phones etc. I want it to do what I need it to do and preferably be a little quirky in some way. I am now of an age and mindset where I buy clothes from the supermarket. I started buying huawei phones many years go, not because I predicted its rise in popularity in this country, but because I could get an amazing phone outright for £120. This isn’t me being an anti-snob. I just literally cannot, through lack if interest, time and energy, keep up with what is trendy and what isn’t.
I will always be anxious. Some of this is borne from legitimate dangers. I always drive with my car door locked because I directly know several people who have had their handbags taken off the passenger seat at traffic lights. I won’t answer the door to someone I don’t know or I’m not expecting, because that’s how old ladies get beaten to death on their doorstep. Some of my anxieties are less rational. When I am in a happy place, I often flip and start to panic that my loved ones will die, because that’s what would happen if we were in a movie. This will never change so instead I need to avoid situations which raise my anxiety levels further.
I feel pure relief now that I just accept these as facts about myself and work around them, rather than try to change them or feel not good enough because I can’t. Once I accepted these facts, they became less of an issue to me with regards to others. If they don’t like these facts about me, they know what they can do. And in the immortal words of my next tattoo, ‘those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.’