Sometimes in life you have to make tough decisions, often ones that you don't really want to confront and have to make.
At some point in life, everybody has to make at least one of these decisions, whether it's where to move, whether to swap jobs/hours or something much more 'simple' like going to a club on your own for the first time.
What is a big important decision for one, is a minor and insignificant decision to another - but that does not mean we can laugh at people for feeling proud about their actions when we do not personally understand it.
We should aim to encourage and congratulate people for those big steps that they have made, because it may help other people to make the same decision.
For me, I'm young (almost 19) and scared of a lot of the 'simple' things in life.
I don't feel comfortable walking down a busy high street alone. because I can feel people looking at me, perhaps I don't look right.
I try and go into a normal club, even with a group of friends, and almost immediately I don't feel comfortable and want to leave.
Until a couple of months ago, I was still terrified of getting a long distance train or coach by myself, even though I have been doing it for quite a while now.
Going on holiday freaks me out because I over plan and over think everything. Yet of course when I am there, I love it and enjoy it so much, and laugh at myself for being such a nervous wreck before hand.
But recently I have let myself relax and I have tried to take myself out of that comfort zone. I go to the local shops alone and often travel by myself, even in rush hour when people have to crush each other to get from A to B.
Above all that, there is a 'club night' that encourages body positivity and a safe space for everybody whatever your gender, sexuality, race etc - I reckon even if a ten eyed rainbow coloured alien from another solar system walked in to that place people wouldn't look at them in disgrace and in a segregating manner. In fact, they would probably invite the alien to get a drink and join in dancing. And while I go with my boyfriend, still stand around a little nervous to dance, I do feel comfortable there. I'll stay there for hours, I'll talk to other people there and most importantly I don't come out of there petrified and shaking with terror.
I don't want to say the name of the night and where it is held, because in my eyes it really is a safe space, and I don't want somebody to read it here and cause chaos in a variety of ways. But that place has been my lifeline, it has been a way for me to trust just a few more people and for me to feel like I can go somewhere without being looked at in a way that I don't like.
The reality is, whatever we are scared of and whatever the solution might be, we shouldn't force ourselves to do it and carry on regardless. Sometimes we need to look for alternatives or a way to discuss our fears and find somebody that is willing to help you resolve them.
As well as the reality that it would be nice if people realised that sometimes some things are actually big steps for people, it would be even better if people didn't push us backwards again.
Recently I had to make a tough personal decision to take time out of education, to be able to sort my personal life and mind out. Over the last month I plucked up the courage to go for an interview for some things, that I hoped would be my next 'big step back in the right direction' and while the interview went fine, I wasn't expecting what happened on the way there.
Walking along the road, wearing smart and formal clothes, and a van with two builders shouted at me and made some rude sexist comments. Them doing that reminded me why I hate going out alone, because people look at me and people make comments and view me as a walking vagina with breasts rather than as a young person that may just be scared about such things. I was literally terrified, I went and found a quite spot and cried to myself, because all I want, and all I believe I deserve is to feel safe when walking down a busy road.
Nobody deserves to feel like that, we all deserve to be able to go shopping and not be scared about what might happen, but because of how society has let such comments become so acceptable in our culture most people don't bat an eyelid and most people have become numbed to it. And that isn't right, everybody should be disgusted when such remarks and looks are made, because people deserve to live their life, and people deserve to be respected.
Of course it isn't that simple, at least sadly not for that many of us. There are many deep rooted reasons as to why we are scared of doing something, whether that be from bullying, news stories, sexual attacks or linked to a health condition/mental illness.
But the point is, we all deserve to feel comfortable in our own skin, we all deserve to not be scared to do something that many people can do without even thinking about it. Perhaps I am just a very scared, anxious and wary young person that is all too aware of everything that happens out there but I know other people feel like this too, and it's wrong.
How's about instead of shouting at people, staring at them and doing a wide variety of other things to make them uncomfortable, hows about you talk to them and find out a bit about their personality and try to be a nice decent respectable person, instead of a vile eye-popping sexist person, and when I say that I aren't just talking about men, I mean women too, because I know men that are as scared as women as vice-versa.