Happy New Year everybody and thank you to each and everyone of you for your amazing support throughout 2018. I wouldn’t have been able to achieve as much as I did without you all, so thank you xx
In 2018 I hit lots of new goals but my biggest one was the search for happiness, and I am still on a journey towards it but each day I learn a little bit more about myself, I am a little bit more grateful for what I have, am a little more accepting and loving of who I am and continue to learn new lessons. Sometimes things we are taught as children go completely out the window as we grow older; they seem so simple that we take them for granted and neglect them completely.
This year as I continue on my journey, my main focus is mental health. And I would like you all to accompany me. The first issue with regard to mental health I would like to tackle is with regards to self-image.
Self image is something I have struggled with since I was a teenager, and I know so many other people who have as well. It’s only in the past two years that I have consciously been trying, and learning, to embrace and love myself. With the start of the New Year we usually start with a ‘new me’ mantra, but this year I am doing something different. To start this year off my mantra instead is ‘this is me.’
So for the next 31 days of January I invite you to join me where each evening I will be posting a photo. Not the usual photos, with the right lighting, and the perfect make-up, and the well thought out locations, etc. REAL photos. You know those photos that are taken and you think “No! Not that one! Don’t post that one on social media!” Well, those ones. The photos where I feel insecure about something, but why?
We all have those things that we see that nobody else sees and talk negatively to ourselves over and over about them. We fear other people judging us (to their standards I might add, not our own) because they do. And then we judge ourselves on top of that as well.
Each one of us is unique and different and beautiful, and people regularly make comments like “oh you would be so beautiful if you had long hair”, or “this would happen if you dressed this way”, or “you’d be prettier with less/more make-up”… Stop!! Just, no! You are beautiful exactly the way you are. We need to stop judging each other, and more importantly, judging ourselves.
The world of social media that we live in now means that every single one of us is able to filter or photoshop our own photographs, and Instagram and Facebook and everywhere else is full of pictures of how people want to look. But it isn’t always exactly how they actually look. One thing I have found, from talking to so many people, is that they wish they had the confidence to feel like they looked good. And I hear them telling other people how good they look but they can’t do the same for themselves and that is a real shame. They also spend so much time wishing they looked like somebody else, or judging themselves against other people. And the saddening thing about this is while they are thinking the grass is greener for somebody else they are completely neglecting and missing their own beauty.
At the end of the day true beauty, like the old-fashioned saying that we have all heard all our lives but refuse to let sink in, comes from within. That radiance that makes your skin glow doesn’t come from make-up and lighting, it comes when you are happy and it is beaming out of you. And one of the biggest steps, I have found, towards feeling truly happy within yourself is becoming comfortable with who you are inside and out.
I have been battling with mental health issues for as long as I can remember, a lot of which I never accepted myself until recently and a lot of which I am still on a journey to overcome and learn to live with. Many of them I have never opened up about, not just to the Internet but also to people really, really close to me. Last year I made some really big steps on my journey to discovering myself. And this year I would like to be open about it. I don’t do this for attention or vanity, but I won’t lie, I am in part doing this for me. I need to stop hiding these dark parts of who I am from the world so that I can embrace every aspect of myself.
But, I am also doing this for you, anybody and everybody who has insecurities, who may be struggling with mental health issues or any other kind of issues that they feel they can’t open up about.
One by one, as we open up we can start to change the world, one tiny step at a time. So, for 2019, I am taking my first steps towards the type of world that I want to live in. Every single one of us has a part to play in this world, and I would like to make it a positive one.
Absolutely none of us should ever feel second-best to anybody else, because we aren’t. We should never feel better than anybody else either, because we aren’t. Instead of judging each other, we need to start embracing each other because we are human and we need to start acting like it.
So for the month of January I will be posting a daily photograph on Instagram, and will share it here on my blog too and I invite you to post yours too with #LetsBeReal and #NoNotThatOne. I hope you will join me in this, it’s sure to be an interesting month! And please do feel free to post, comment and message me with your stories, we’re all in this together remember!x