Like a lot of people, I do not have very good self esteem. There are a huge variety of reasons for this, which I've spent many hours talking through with a counsellor, so I am very aware of my 'issues' and what has made me the way I am. From bullying to bad boyfriends to baldness, I've had more than my share of negative experiences, all of which have left me lacking in confidence, both in my appearance and abilities.
I've reached a point where I feel as though I need to look at things with a different perspective. There is no denying that the things that have happened to me are absolutely awful and the people involved should feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves, but what about my own responsibility? I don't mean that any of it was my fault - it categorically wasn't, although there were times I could've made better choices - but I can either allow past events to continue influencing me, or I can make the choice of a better life; to let go of the hurt and stop allowing it to have any kind of power over me. In short, and in the words of Rage Against the Machine, "Yo, we got to take the power back".
It's an easy statement to make, but harder to put into practice. As I get older and having had the brutal truth of mortality imposed on me by cancer, I realise more and more that it's down to me to make my life the way I want it. I can't change what has happened, but I can change what will happen. I'm obviously discounting the possibility of a cancer recurrence, because that is out of anyone's control.
The reality is that no-one can do it for me. If I want it, I have to do it. I've always been shy, which has undoubtedly held me back, but at my core I've always had a quiet confidence - a sense of self and who I am. It is that which I want to find my way back to.
I want to rediscover the girl who pushed herself to do scary things and had moments of outright ballsiness; the girl who gave a handmade Valentine's card to a guy who got on my bus every day; the girl who would wake up and drive two and a half hours to the coast on a whim; the girl who would stay up all night writing and drawing; the girl whose first time properly abroad was flying to America, alone, to meet complete strangers.
A lot of the time these days I just feel scared and hide away at home. I am slowly finding my way back to the core 'me' and it is up to myself to make that happen. Hence the name of this post, Operation: Badass. The first step is one of the easiest aspects of ourselves to control: appearance. After being completely bald from chemo, I am grateful for and love every single hair on my head (even the greys), but it is not me. I have always been blonde and I miss it so much. So, first up is a haircut on Friday and soon after I will be blondified! I'm really hoping to have it done before my birthday at the end of the month.
There are many more steps that need to be taken, some of them I have no idea how to tackle, including possible confrontation, but slowly and surely I will take them one at a time. And each step will be progress towards living a more fulfilled life, as the me I deserve, and owe it to myself, to be.
Stay tuned for progress updates!
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