Stiff Upper Lip

 

So it’s been quite a while since I posted. I’m making a conscious effort to be a bit more positive and chilled out, and considering my blog posts are usually inspired by anger/frustration/misery/insert-negative-emotion-here, I thought it better not to vent publicly. Truth is, I’m still very bitter & wounded from my heartbreak (I was a moody bitch before so just imagine how cynical I am now!) but I don’t want people to see me that way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not running around grinning and exuding rainbows and shitting candyfloss… I mean even if I wanted to I’d never be able to shift this bitch-face or dry sense of humour, but I just want the world to think that I’ve picked myself up and carried on. Because I kind of have… I’m not giving in to the tears or temper tantrums. When I feel it all building up, instead of completely losing my shit I’ll send a friend some rant-y texts, apologise for said rant and get an early night. I’ll try to keep myself busy the next day until the rage subsides (yes those are delirium lyrics *In this white wave, I am sinking, in this siiiiiilence* Good tune).

You guys already know how paradoxical I am. So although I totally back the whole self love ‘movement’ (is it a movement? What defines a movement? The amount of people hashtagging it?), I struggle with it on a personal level. In the same way that I’m battling my own internalized sexism in my feminist awakening, I’m tackling the self-deprecation that’s really instilled in the British & Irish. We are definitely not taught to love ourselves. It causes problems on a national scale, including a mental health crisis (because we cannot talk about our emotions no no… stiff upper lip and all that!) but also something that I’m sure deeply affects every one of us… Not having any idea how to fucking sell ourselves in a job interview.

Interviewer: And what would you consider your strengths to be?
Me: Well, I’m kind of good at this and I once did that kind of well…
Interviewer: And your weaknesses?
Me: Oh god, where do I start? I’m always late, apathetic toward my work, lazy, hate responsibility, moody, short attention span…
Interviewer: Please stop
Me: I yawn a lot, I need to eat at least every 2 hours, constantly on my phone…
Interviwer: Please
Me: I’m sarcastic, can’t do simple maths, have jealousy issues, oh and I pull sickies at least 4 times a year.
Interviewer: We’ll be in touch

We are definitely not taught to love ourselves, look after ourselves or take time for ourselves. No, because that is self-indulgent and JESUS DOESN’T LIKE IT. Hell, if I had a quid for every time I’ve been called selfish… And being even slightly selfish, vain or egotistical is like one of the worst things a person can be. Better to be unhappy, unhealthy and unfulfilled than be accused of being self-centered. But fuck it. I am selfish. I love working on myself, what a fucking sin, right?

And this is exactly what I mean! When faced with (or apparently even just thinking about) the kind of people who think that looking after yourself is a bad thing, or somebody who isn’t selfish enough and is miserable because of it, it’s easy for me to get on my soapbox and preach the glory of self love! Yet, I have so many days and nights where I feel absolutely worthless because of what other people (one person) thinks (or doesn’t think) of me. Like half my brain is totally tuned in and yes we love ourself and fuck everyone else ’cause we’re totally killing it!!! And the other half is asleep/stoned/paralyzed and just kind of flopping about in there like ‘what now? What are we doing? I’m just gonna go lie in this dark corner OK? You got any ice cream?’. It’s probably the side that’s supposed to do maths. Fuck maths.

But, hey, I’m trying. Like I’ve said in an early blog post, I hold out hope for my thirties, on the sage advice of my lovely mum. Maybe if I try to start loving myself now I’ll have it figured out in 5-10 years! I’ll get a few comfortable years in before I start lamenting my youth and having a mid life crisis…

You can really tell I’m trying to be more positive, right?

 
No for real though, I do think it’s working. And I do think it’s really important for everybody, in terms of your relationship with yourself and with other people. If you are totally drained you can’t give other people what they need – love, empathy, a shoulder to cry on, whatever it may be. When we don’t look after ourselves we become exhausted and uncaring, and usually feel guilty about it to boot! I want it to be socially acceptable and even encouraged for people to take a step back from their life, their drama, partner, friends, family, job, all of it, to take a breath and step back into the ring with a second wind – without carrying a tonne of guilt with them!

So. I’m trying not to be so hard on myself, trying not to be so negative & doing things that make me happy! And since my relationship has very much taken a backseat in my day-to-day life, I can say with certainty that everything I do now is for me. And that’s how I want it. That’s maybe not how it has to be for everybody, but considering the way in which I lost myself in my relationship and subsequent heartbreak, it’s what’s right for me, right now. I’m eating right (trying to), I’m working out, I’m trying new things, booking trips with friends, I’m starting a new job & eventually I want my own place. Even if things work out with him, I think it’s important for me to have my own place, at least for a while. As scary as it is to be out on my own, I want to be that girl, who can be on her own. So I’m faking it til I make it… I’m suppressing all the stress I get over things I can’t control and I’m suffocating the bastard ’til it gets the fucking point.

Bad days – I am tougher than you. Lonely nights – You’re getting the cold shoulder. Self-loathing – I will punch you in the goddamn throat.

Who knows, maybe I’ll be preaching love and peace by the time I’m thirty. Namaste, bitches.

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2 thoughts on “Stiff Upper Lip

  1. I think ‘fake it til you make it’ must be the unofficial motto of everyone in their twenties! You totally summed up the same dilemma I feel, wanting and applauding self-love but being too self-deprecating most of the time to really feel it. My resolution for this year was actually to be nicer to myself…not sure I’m quite there yet but I’m working on it!

    Liked by 1 person

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