After last week’s quite intense and serious post on my week of anxiety, I wanted to make this week’s post a bit more positive. This is a being published day later than usual because it wasn’t until gone 7pm yesterday when I had the realisation what I wanted to write about; Things I like about myself.
I want to make sure that these blogs are full of purpose and quality rather than just just any ol’ nonsense for the sake of it, and that takes time to really consider what I want to put out.
The realisation of this week’s post came when I was out Pokemoning with my pal, Kayne. A last minute, a 1 hour Onix ‘event’ was announced, so we went out in the hope of getting a shiny.
Toward the end of the hour we were just battling a gym and a stranger came to us to ask if he could stand with us. It seemed a bit of an odd question as he didn’t have his phone out so didn’t look like he was playing Pokemon either. We both apprehensively (and awkwardly) said “Uh, sure”.
He asked what we were doing and when we saying playing Pokemon he exclaimed “Really? How old are you?“. We both just kept looking at our phones a bit in disbelief at how judgemental it sounded, and murmured in the hopes he would get the gist we obviously don’t want to interact with him.
Then after a couple of moments he said “Are you really playing Pokemon Go? – People still play that?” – we said yes he said some other remark trying to be ‘witty’ about not being able to see any Pokemon around. As we finished battling the gym and left he said “Sorry if I’ve scared you away” then as we were a little bit further away he said something along the lines of “It’s not even real”.
Firstly: No shit, Sherlock! Of course it’s not real, it’s a game! We like to play a game we aren’t delusional.
Secondly: I was annoyed at myself for not just calling him out there and then. I felt I should have stood up for us to someone who wasn’t asking about the game out of curiosity. It was out of judgement and mocking. I just didn’t want to engage with him, but I also wanted to ask him what gives him the right to judge what we are doing so innocently and quietly?
Thirdly: After I got over this annoyance, I reminded myself of the reasons why I love playing Pokemon Go, as I previously posted about.
This also reminded me about another comment I received this week from someone I know, in questioning my tattoo choice and what would I tell my Grand-kids when I’m 70.
Now this person didn’t mean any harm in her comment, it was off the cuff because it is a silly tattoo and wasn’t aimed at any other other ones I have.
That said, I have received comments in the past from many other people I know and strangers, saying similar things.
Instead of posting an angry “Who do you think you are” post, I’ve turned it on its head and I’m taking the negatives and criticisms I’ve received and making it to a post about the things I actually like about myself.
There are many things I am unhappy with myself about and am trying hard to accept and adapt, but there are somethings that I actually like and I will not apologise for.
This is the story so far..
I don’t smoke, do drugs or wear make up. I went into my teenage years knowing I liked to wear boys clothes not girls. As a teen girl in the late 90s/early 00s these still had me in the minority. Smoking in pubs and clubs was not even being questioned and I was one of the only people I knew who didn’t smoke.
I also didn’t go to clubs /pubs where I had to ‘dress smart‘. If I was allowed in in jeans, trainers, and hoodie it was fine. Although my preferred music choices dictated there was only 1 club I ever went to in Ipswich. Kartouche – Monday night – Student/alternative night. Heck yes, some great nights were had here!
I’ve been lucky in having friends and family who have accepted my choices. No one (of importance) has tried to really bully me in to anything. This made me feel comfortable in accepting these choices myself.
My ‘Tom Boy’ dress sense is something that I have felt more than anything that I am happy with and feel thoroughly blessed that I have a partner, Matt, who is just as accepting and has never asked me to change (even if he has lost numerous hoodies and t-shirts to my evil clutches mwahaha!)
This isn’t just a case of wearing baggy clothes. I shop in men’s sections, buy men’s t-shirts, hoodie, jeans, jackets, shoes etc.
Going back to the late 90s/ early 00’s I was much a part of the ‘greebo’ world. I’ve not really changed. My band merch has been replaced with movie merch and my outrageously large trousers that completely covered my shoes with inches of space either side, has been replaced with jeans.
I mean, my clothes aren’t as baggy as they used to be – I’ve put on a lb or two since I was 19, but still the point is still there.
Some of the judgements I have faced for being ‘me’ include:
For wearing a coat while I was in the waiting room for an interview and being told I should make an effort to wear smart clothes to go out for the sake of other people.
I have been manipulated into wearing a female’s style tshirt in the ‘work up’ to wear more feminine / smart clothes (which I wasn’t aware was happening at the time and it made me feel insecure but I did it.. hence the manipulation).
When I got my first lip piercing, I was told ‘what have you don’t to your face, you were pretty before‘ and similar things when I died my hair black, or purple.
A child asked their parent ‘is that a boy or a girl?‘ when I was standing next to them and the mother didn’t respond and I’ve been called lesbian because of the way I dress.
The ol’ classic ‘what will it look like when your 70‘ or ‘ what will you tell your grandkids’ in reference to my tattoos has cropped up a fair amount too.
Let’s not forget the favourite for a long time: ‘you’ll change your mind‘ when I say I don’t want children or to get married.
People have looked down on me because I’ve worked as a sales assistant in retail stores.
One specific time I was told I didn’t get a job because of my piercings and tattoos, even though I covered up/took them out and was told in the interview how amazing I was doing.
I’ve been left alone and ignored and I ended up apologising as if I did something wrong and heard people talk about me – not realising I could hear them.
I’ve apologised for myself for going to conventions: ‘Sorry, I can’t come then I’m going to a convention, because I’m sad‘.
I have questioned the deep core of my being and personality to the point where the only way I could describe it was by the following example:
‘It’s as if I’ve always liked the colour blue, then finding out it’s wrong to like that colour and then trying to change your mind’, and when I couldn’t I felt a failure. When in fact, I should never have been told that it was wrong to ‘like the colour blue’.
It should have been ‘okay not many people like the colour blue, but hey that’s fine there are still people out there that do and you don’t have to change that at all’.
All this from (mostly) people who were irrelevant to my life – old colleagues, associates, random strangers, fellow students. Those who were relevant I no longer have in my life.
“I make no apologies, this is me”
Regardless of this I like the way I dress. I like that I am kind to other people, and I see things from everyone’s perspective (although can make some situations hard, but it just means I am less judgemental).
No longer do I apologise for going to conventions, or collecting statues and figures. It is what I enjoy and I am certainly not sad for doing this.
I like the fact I shop in and wear clothes from charity shops, am unashamed about walking down the street playing Pokemon, or carrying a Pikachu plush around Asda with a cuddling grip like I’m a 5 year old never wanting to let go.
I like that I have an AMAZING circle of friends and family who accept me and who are just as unique, and daft, and individual in their own ways.
The glasses I wear are children’s Star Wars ones and they ROCK!
I like the fact I don’t hold grudges, and am accepting of everyone. I like that I do things because I like to and I want to.
I like the fact I don’t want kids.
There is a small bike chain sitting in my bedside cabinet I’ve had for about 21 years which was a gift while in high school from one of my best friends.
This was my type of ‘jewellery‘. I bought another one and wore it as a necklace, then as a bracelet.
I LOVE the fact I have friends from all ages, backgrounds, genders, sexualities, and beliefs. I will not apologise for the obscurities or differences of my friends either. They are all wonderful human beings and I like their weirdness, opinions and hobbies. It makes them the people I love.
These are the things that I like about myself.
“We accept you, we accept you, one of us”
So, what is the point of me publicly sharing things I like about myself?
It’s not narcissistic, it’s a reminder. My self confidence is pretty non existent so it’s important to recognise these things.
Also I want to encourage others to find something within themselves that they like.
There is ALWAYS something deep down you can find that you like about yourself.
Another thing is this fits in nicely with celebrating acceptance of who you are, not apologising or feeling like you should apologise for what you like, or who you are.
This is a celebration of you. You are important and worthy. You should do things for yourself and not for anyone else and you should never apologise for being you.
It’s okay not to get on, or like everyone – you don’t have to. Don’t let those people consume you though. If your words and actions mean nothing to them, why should theirs mean anything to you.
So, please I urge you, have a think about the things you do and write a list of things you like about yourself. Even if it is small things such as the way you make a cup of tea, how organised you are, your honesty or loyalty.
If you find everything too much right now and you’re struggling, break it down. You’re trying to get better, you’ve been trying for a long time and you’re still here and you’re still trying. That is a huge amount of strength that you have within yourself.
It is great to see a list of things I like about myself, and I highly recommend giving it a try.
Always be you.
Stay strong, stay geeky, stay you
Love, Ray X