There are lots of aspects of myself that I love, and I’m grateful to be grown and confident enough to admit that. I love the symmetrical and defined shape of my face, I’m grateful for my nose, and most importantly my ability to abbreviate everything… even words that shouldn’t be shortened.
I’m also a big fan of my gentleness, and how I can now accept my sensitivity as a strength, rather than a weakness. The ability to let yourself feel and react is so important, and even though it can be awkward or embarrassing or just really really hard to do, I’ve learnt to let it out.
Rage, sadness, vulnerability… these are all things I struggle with. Even as a child, I loved being extroverted and hiding behind humour with stupid plays and voices to mask any uncertainties, and this is a habit I’m still in. But I’ve never been very good at keeping things together, or hiding a single thing I feel.
But before awkwardness was cool, and before people openly discussed depression and mental health, it was very hard to accept those aspects of yourself. Coping with severe lows and sadness is never easy, especially when you feel you have let yourself down by feeling those things.
I’ve always had a temper. From the sound of people eating to somebody telling me I can’t do something; even the smallest things can trigger that familiar burning in my cheeks and knot in my chest. When I was younger, this feeling would be followed by storm outs and screaming or throwing/kicking whatever was in my way.
But you can’t really throw a toddler tantrum in the middle of Asda at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon when you’re 22 and livid in aisle 3 because somebody cuts you up with their trolley. And you can’t really drop kick a newspaper stand in the middle of London just because your boyfriend has mentioned you might be walking the wrong way, or if he asks to put something in your bag. You especially can’t tizz out when you’re a professional, in the middle of adulting, whether you’re at work or a coffee shop.
I learnt the deal with rage in the same way I learnt to deal with a furious cat. Take things slowly and quietly. Blink alot. Offer (or accept) a calm hand, and if that doesn’t work then just walk away. Cry if you have to, dig your nails into your palms if you gotta, and remember that everything is temporary – even anger.
I try and channel inspirational women when I’m on a mad one and think ‘What would Brigitte Bardot do’ or ‘Would Jessa from Girls be told this was this and wasn’t that? No – she’d make a sassy remark and walk away with her head as high as her heels.’