At the start of the year, I was miserable. We all know that. I was down and I was out. I thought I had made it through the rough and tumble, and that I had had my fair share of shit. But, as 2019 rolled in, I was fully caught up in the wave of yet another saga. I had watched yet another relationship crash and burn and this time, from the offset, I knew it was my fault. I decided in the moment of the meltdown that I was no longer going to sit down and play victim. I was going to own my mistakes and I was going to do something that I swore I would never do; change.
And so, I set off on a mission, to make 2019 all about cutting out negative weight. I cut off the weight of the men I kept going back to. The ones who I always gave a second, third and fifteenth chance to. It hasn’t worked in the past, and so it was never going to work in the future, was it? It wasn’t about them being bad people, it was about the two of us not being the right fit, and revisiting to try again was only making things worst, holding us back from the people we should be exploring.
I began to say no to jobs that would add the weight of stress to my life. You might remember how at the start of the year I was featured in BBCThree Things Not To Say, and then for Mothers Day, I took part in an interview with North West Tonight, all about my (incredible) mum. Around those times, I turned down two game shows, a reality show and a couple of Mothers Day interviews. It isn’t about the ‘oh look at me turning down all these fancy offers’ vibe, it’s about me saying that I now recognise when I have enough on my plate, and adding to it, whether they be fancy TV offers or not, will do nothing but weigh me down. I have turned down other work too, because I finally listened to my therapist and recognised that time spent on yourself is just as important as time spent working.
I also started to resent the person in the mirror. It wasn’t about my size, my hair, the dodgy tattoos on my body, it was a culmination of everything staring back at me. When I was 19, I got a Ruby tattoo on my wrist for my niece, Ruby. It was meant to be a touching tribute to one of my favourite humans, only it didn’t heal properly and the artist went slightly away from the design, and so it ended up looking like a burn scar. Early this year I started the process of getting it covered up, and now I have a wonderful half sleeve tattoo of trees and a log cabin. I cut off my hair, cutting out years of dye and split ends, so it started to grow back healthy (and I am loving the short hair life, FYI). Finally, I started to watch what I was eating. So far I have lost some weight, with the intention to lose more. I will always love my chunk. I will never want to be a muscled god, nor will I ever be a twink. The physical transformations are about me trying to truly express myself, whilst falling in love with who I am. And so far it is working.
Lastly, and probably the hardest for me to discuss for fear of retaliation, is the friendships I have severed ties with. I realised recently that it is absolutely okay for friends to grow in different directions. It is expected that people grow as individuals, and sometimes we grow away from our bases, it’s a natural step in life. It isn’t about finding fault, calling names and hurling insults. It is about recognising that a friendship has run its course and has begun to weigh us down, holding us back. And so, my circle has shifted drastically in the last couple of months. I have rekindled with my oldest friend, let go of my closest friend and allowed my life to grow in the direction it naturally needs to grow in.
This is all a bit of a waffle, isn’t it? But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t sit and tell you the piece of advice intended behind all of this. Whether it is the weight of a stale friendship, the weight of a job holding us back or perhaps it’s our physical weight getting us down, only we possess the power and the ability to let it go. We have every right to change, to grow and to do everything in our power to ensure that we are the lightest we can be. In any sense of the word.
The last five months have been the biggest step in the right direction for me. I made a promise to myself in January 2019 that I would no longer be weighed down unnecessarily by anything, and so here I stand nearly at the half way mark of the year, feeling lighter than ever. Sure, a part of me feels guilt for letting friendships change. A part of my missed the financial gain that various jobs would have brought me. But in five years time none of it will matter because I will be stood in a completely different environment with a whole new set of challenges. But you can be sure that this time round, I will be doing it with less baggage and more umph.
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