This weekend we had the amazing opportunity of attending TEDx Vancouver. The conference was centred around the importance of personal identity and owning who you are to get where you want to be. It’s interesting, because so many of us live and work to obtain goals that society tells us we should obtain. Your degree, a good job, healthy lifestyle etc. I’m not saying I disagree with these goals, in fact I’ve lived by them for a long time. It wasn’t until I started blogging for myself that I realized some of my REAL goals and desires were different than what society may have wanted of me. In fact, I often hide parts of myself and my personality from those I am not close with because I have a fear of being judged and pitied by my peers (and I hate pity more than I hate judgement). In an effort to shed a bit of light on this subject, I have decided to share some things that I wouldn’t typically share with others and talk about why they have helped make me into the person I think I really am today.
1.) I used to be the chubby ugly one in elementary school – Seriously, I once had the nickname Megasaurus. It was awful, but it helped me to grow into a person who cares DEEPLY about a healthy lifestyle. My Mom was a single mother who struggled with certain disabilities for most of her life, because of this we never had an income that allowed us to get the best quality food out there, but she did the best she could with what she had and in the ways that she knew how and luckily enough I was still able to play every single sport I wanted as I started growing up (which was all of them) and those foundations literally shaped my body and my appreciation for sports, teamwork and my fitness.
2.) Some people think that us bloggers must all come from rich families or have this obscene amount of wealth to be able to do the things we do. Well, as mentioned above, we never really had money and when I was 16, my mother left. It was probably one of the toughest parts of my childhood. I had no money, no home and no direction in life. I was very very lucky that I had some amazing friends and family to support me through this and I was able to make it through high school (barely) and then move to a new city for University. I didn’t actually get in to University right out of high school because of this. I had to work my ass off to get in and work really hard throughout just to be able to afford tuition and rent. This education and work experience helped me land a few awesome jobs in my time and I consider myself lucky for those as well. By the way, I also don’t tell people this story because there is an assumption out there where people think that children with ‘unfortunate’ childhoods more than likely going to end up with problems in their future. I disagree. I think those challenges gave me the drive I have to succeed in my life now. I want to make sure that my future family wont have to struggle, and that my children can be healthy and have a quality education if that’s what they want.
3.) I am a super nerd. I read all of the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Divergent and Hunger Games books. I also have an OBSCENE obsession with the Vampire Diaries and I have seen every single episode of Smallville and I’m damn proud of it. Stories like these help spark imaginations and as a creative, I think this is important.
4.) I have played soccer and ran long distance for most of my life. Soccer is one of my deepest passions, I gave it up for a while in high school but rejoined in University and have never looked back. I don’t share my love of soccer on my blog mostly because it’s so dear to me. I like to keep it separate because to me, it’s a little escape from reality. I seem to forget all of the things that may be bugging me when I step on to that field. I also am a die-hard Chelsea fan. I haven’t kept up as much as I used to, but I still have a full sized flag hanging in my office. It’s bigger than the doorway.
5.) I’m a natural ginger. Well actually a dark reddish brown called Auburn, but now that I am getting older, it’s changing to this weird mousy browny-red colour that almost looks grey which is why I have no choice but to dye it so people don’t think I am a very young looking older woman. I actually used to hate being a red head, I used to get made fun of for that too. It’s funny how in the last couple of years gingers have taken over the media realm and now all of a sudden everyone wants to dye their hair red. I guess now that society is telling me its okay to be a ginger now, I can own it a little more.
Now that I’ve shared things about myself I wouldn’t normally share, I challenge you to do the same. It’s pretty liberating to get it out there. Add society to your “fuck it list”, you know you want to.
PS – I have to thank my boyfriend, my sister and my best friends for helping me learn to communicate and share things in my life (good and bad). Another reason I used to hide things was because I believed that by talking about them, you were letting them impact your life and they would make you weaker. I’ve learned that’s actually not true and I have them to thank for that.
Lots of love,