(Photo source here)
If anyone asked how I would describe myself, I would confidently say I am just average. This is not doing myself a disservice it is just how I perceive myself. I am a 20 something, white female, from a middle-class family, living in the Midlands. Everything about myself seems to sit in the middle. Academically I have always done ok but I have never been the smartest in the class nor the worst performing, I have never been the fastest runner, the strongest swimmer, the best show jumper in my classes but I have never been the worst. I have never been the most striking women in a room but I am not unhappy with my appearance, neither will I be the thinnest, leanest girl there but I will by far not be the largest. You get the picture there is nothing descriptively great about who I am yet because of this I guess I am pretty happy. I get by in society which the privileges and ease of being one of many, one of the masses and that most of the time that is fine with me. Yet sometimes (I mean it doesn’t happen that often) I do something beyond my comfort zone which makes me realise I do a lot more for myself and maybe others which I do not give myself credit for.
I have always put myself down as a bit of a wimp, I find it difficult to leave my comfort zone or so I always believed. I don’t know where this belief sparked from. Whether it was because I was a shy child/ teenager or because I had always been told I lacked spontaneity. I don’t know but I knew from a young age I was never going to be the daredevil type. I will not ever want to jump out off a plane, fling myself off a mountain, be spun upside down on a rollercoaster. I liked to be grounded. My feet on earth and the only time that would change was to be on a horse, or flying somewhere exciting. Because of this I never had myself down for someone who took control of situations. Who took their life, destiny and happiness into their own hands and made changes for the better. Yet as I have grown older I have realised how crazy that thought is.
If I was to give myself credit for anything (and this is not something I give out lightly) I would say doing things which initially scare me is the one thing I can grab and just go with. What is the worst that can happen? I know I am not the ‘coolest’ person you will come across, I am not edgy or mysterious, I 100% wear my heart on my sleeves. I have reached 27 and honestly can say I do not care what stranger’s thoughts are of me. My main concerns are being a good daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, friend, colleague, someone to rely on. Whether as a stranger someone perceives me as boring, odd, geeky or just out of touch with reality then that is fine with me because I honestly cannot deny I am probably all of those.
Over the last year, maybe more I have noticed how much I don’t shy away from things which others have said to me they wouldn’t do because of either being scared or other peoples thoughts. I have had my braces fitted, I didn’t go for the easy clear option, I brashfully, for a year wore metal train tracks on my teeth. I started my blog despite no one being interested in what I have to say or having any idea of what I was going to blog about. I didn’t even have any writing experiencing other than my year 6 English teacher enjoying the stories I would write. But it was so far removed from what I was comfortable with I had to try it and with it, it has brought me so many opportunities, experiences and wonderful friends. I have bought a house with my sister, got a dog on my own who I treat better than myself, set up a company despite the financial risk and the commitment in time and energy. I can run further than I ever thought I would be able to run, I can ride horses. I can wake up at 5:45 go spinning, walk the dog, go to work, go riding and do more work when I get home, whilst juggling a social life and catching up with friends over the phone, in just one day. I have worked hard, stood up for myself, spoken out when something has been unfair and stuck up for others in similar situations when I wanted to stay as quiet as I could. Anything I now think I cannot do, I give a go instead of shying away in fear I wouldn’t be perfect at something.
I have gone against the grain of what many would see a conventional life of a 27 year old to make it better. I have walked away from damaging relationships, from people who were breaking me down instead of building me up. I have travelled, made effort with strangers who have turned into best friends. Pushed and pushed myself out of my comfortable bubble to have the social life and opportunities I have now. I have travelled, with friends, family, strangers, on my own. If something seems good I go for it. Whether it is to catch a plane or a train to see someone I don’t know that well, if it means I can experience something new, potentially building new relationships and do something I wouldn’t necessarily have done before I will say yes.
I don’t know where the idea of being boring and average came from. Yes, my life may not be one of those told to me when I was four of how young girls meet their prince and life happily ever after but after meeting a good few toads along the way I am happy to live my own fairy tale. One where I give myself more credit for the amazing things I achieve on a daily basis, and one we should definitely not perceive as average.
As cringey as it may sound and I am going to vom into a bucket after writing it. Today if you do anything write down all the things you have done over the last 2-3 years which you would never expect yourself capable or brave enough to do, I can guarantee you will surprise yourself.