As sad as it may sound, I've spent a large portion of my teenage-adult life working out who I am, what makes me tick and how to go about doing it all whilst not caring what others think about it or about me. I guess that's your teenage and early twenties for ya, essentially what they're all about, finding yourself.
It took years to get to where I was in 2019. I was 27, the happiest I'd ever been (until now teehee), I had the best family, the most perfect group of pals, my gorge sausage dogs, I was a double business owner and a home owner and I'd created my very own world through sharing what I loved online.
After years of struggling with other peoples perceptions of my identity, I was in a place where I knew exactly who I was and I simply didn't care if anyone else didn't get it or didn't like it. I was me, I was happy and I was living!
Then 2020 happened and we all know what that year had lined up for us...
And I lost my confidence again, I had my old friend imposter syndrome sitting on my shoulder like the little devil it is and I was back to being a self conscious teenager, unsure how to portray myself to the world anymore. A number of things triggered this switch in my mindset; one being lockdown of course or more aptly, lockdown lifting. I'd spent, like everyone else, 3 months in my own little bubble of love with George and our puppies. We stayed home, we did our bit and to be honest we had a lot of fun despite missing our loved ones, worrying about the future and missing certain things about "normal" life. Lockdown lifted and my anxiety went through the roof and it still, continues to go through the roof regularly, but now thankfully I know exactly what triggers it so I can somewhat manage it to a degree. Going hand in hand with lockdown came a mass of trolling for most online creators including myself, which really knocked me for six. It effected my trust, my confidence and essentially altered my entire online presence, for the better IMO (thanks trollies) but it knocked me sideways and it's taken me a really long time to move on from it.
But that's the beauty of life, I did move on from it and I feel like the fog has lifted and I'm back to being myself again. I had the most beautiful pregnancy at home in lockdown no2 & 3 and then had my beautiful baby girl Goldie Rae. But then getting to grips with this new way of life, this new body of mine, that all contributed to my lack of sparkle and confidence too. But we found our feet, I get my 4 hours a week to train with an incredible personal trainer, who doubles up as a therapist (hi Kaif) and I'm beginning to feel and look like myself again. I feel like I've found my sparkle again and I wanted to share this in case others are feeling a little low right now, as it does get better. We're incredible beings that can find ways of pulling ourselves out from the depths of misery however big or small those ways may be, but we do it. Goldie saved me. Then Kaif saved my confidence. And those pre pregnancy jeans that I managed to button up last week, they saved me some money (ho ho ho) I don't know, it's small things that have made a huge difference and I know, from my DM's that many of you have noticed it too, which is so crazy but so so lovely of you to say.
Clothes are just clothes but our bodies are beautiful no matter what we dress them in and it's important to feel confident within them which is why I knew I had to do something for me, even at a time where I'm giving all of me to somebody else. Those few hours a week, early in the morning whilst Goldie and George are still sound asleep are my "me hours" hours for me to drive into Manchester, with my music blasting and of course having a good ole sing-a-long 'cause we all know thats good for the soul. My time to walk (ideally in the sun but mostly in the rain lets face it) from the carpark to the gym, lost in my own thoughts. My time to work on my strength, to talk to somebody who listens and who totally gets me and is outside of my immediate world. My time to recharge and be the best version of myself.
And that's what I feel like I might be again... The best version of me.
I've seen a few other new mamas online recently speak about the importance of doing something for yourself, particularly where exercise is involved and I can't tell you the value it has had for me. Not only am I looking but more importantly feeling better, it's a bit of time away, just an hour every few days that I take for me and that is so important for us all particularly those who have recently embarked on motherhood. Just one hour away means I'm the best version of myself for me and my family and that is invaluable.
I hope you're all being kind to yourself, looking after yourself and not beating yourself up about anything that is out of our hands or even in our hands. We have the power to change it, to mend and bend and to adapt to whatever is our new normal. Loosing our sparkle from time to time is bound to happen but it's how we get it back that's important. And just know, you will get it back.
Lots of love