Being unpopular made me tough as hell. I got used to incessant criticism, of myself and everything I did. It stopped bothering me to the same degree. When you are the class whipping girl, every aspect of your existence is a problem to someone. It taught me to pay attention to the misfits, the people on the fringe, the purple cows. After all, I was one of them. I still am.
Belief gets a bad rap. It's a very unpopular concept in these secular times, but the (obvious) thing is: we believe things whether we want want to or not. If we can at least accept that's true, we can start to take control of our beliefs, and make them work for us. But accepting they exist is the big first step.
As we look forward to another brand new year, here's an idea I had while listening to some experts talk about how to get promotions in conventional workplaces. If, as I've suggested in some of these posts, you might think of your freelance or creative work as within the framework of a sort of imaginary office, why not give yourself a promotion every now and then?
I was never the best at sport, I wasn't the best academically and the boys appeared not to be interested in me, but fashion and clothing gave me a creative outlet and a way to define myself. An opportunity to say 'I'm not as boring as you think', or maybe a more likely story, 'not as boring as I feel.'
We all need to feel safe and at times we can only get that by withdrawing into our bubble to feel anchored and grounded. Then there are those bubbles that can make us feel cut off, separate and disconnected from others and the world around us. If you really think about it, bubbles are there, for all of us, all of the time. Life can be about navigating bubbles.
So, I've spent the best part of four months unpicking my life, my personality, what I 'know' and how I think, and trying to absorb new mindful ways to manage whatever out of life's toolbox of suffering will fly at me next and in fact I don't feel any better equipped; I feel weakened, worried and considerably worse about myself.