SELF CARE COLUMN // BABY, YOU ARE GOLDEN
Whether we like it or not, most of the time negative events, comments or actions tend to affect us a lot more intensely than the positive ones. Especially in the long run. “Wow it’s kinda early for you to have boobs like that, no?” stuck with me a lot longer than “You look so pretty in that dress!” when I was younger.
Even though I try to dismiss all diminishing memories from my daily strain of thoughts, it’s definitely not as easy as I’d want it to be. Bullying stays with you. Other people’s disregard and ignorance might haunt you, too. And when they do, it’s up to you to turn the dirt they gave you into gold.
It’s difficult but it can be done. Let’s start at the beginning: I’ve a not-so-nice history of bullying that resulted in me making an eating disorder and a ton of mental problems I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy (ok, maybe the really bad ones, though) my best friends. Which, again, resulted in a lot of not very thought-through choices and wasting my time on people who were plain toxin to my already battered body and mind. At some point I was too terrified of socializing and basically just a ball of fear and sadness in human shape. The two only things that gave me some form of joy were expressing myself with fashion and - writing. While my love for extravagant clothing options fed into the bullying, reading and writing about it gave me peace and only made me stronger in my decision to keep following that passion. Why should I let go of something that made me so genuinely happy? I had one dream: becoming a fashion journalist. Or at least work in the field of fashion, so I could surround myself with all things mind-soothing (for me), express myself through the clothing I considered to be a form of art with the right person beneath them.
Unfortunately, after school I didn’t have the option to pursue that dream-career of mine. My father wasn’t a big fan of paying child support (still isn’t) and my mother, even though she wanted to, just didn’t have the financial means to support me. Fashion you must know, wasn’t and still isn’t really considered to be a “proper” field of work by a lot of people. Supposedly, only a few select, lucky will ever manage to be successful in that world. Creatively driven schools are expensive, moving to big cities is, too and for example the job of fashion bloggers is only now starting to be taken properly seriously outside of the creative work fields.
So I decided it would be best to choose something that would put my parents mind at ease and to compromise to make up for all the stress I’ve caused as a teenager (I never had any drug or drinking problems. On the contrary I just wouldn’t leave my room and hate anyone but my clothes). Well, not a good choice. I got lost again, not knowing what I wanted to do, trying to force myself onto a path that wasn’t mine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not encouraging anyone to drop out of school, STAY IN SCHOOL KIDS! But when it comes to choosing a possible career path afterwards: listen to your intuition. Fight for your rights (child support in my case) and don’t let anyone ever drag you down when you seriously, whole-heartedly believe in what you want to do. I ignored said feeling and it bit me in the butt big time. I changed colleges three (!!!) times, desperately trying to find a field of study that’d give me a certain feeling of satisfaction. On the side I was working and interning ( who would’ve thought - as a product and social media copy-writer in fashion) like crazy to earn some money on the side. The student’s life is not all that lazy and relaxed as some might think when you don’t have financial support. It took me four years to finally stand up for myself and accept me and my dreams the way they are.
While I’m still struggling to balance college and work and am still too much of a coward to sue my dad for the money he’s supposed to pay by law (so i can actually visit lectures and don’t miss them due to working all the time - ya gal gotta pay her rent somehow…) I learned to listen to my intuition. Don’t suppress that dream trying to break to the surface, work hard and find people who love you for who you are, all the quirks, all the weirdness (and believe me there’s a loooot) within you. Look into the mirror, know your flaws and accept those too and let them teach you to do better next time - with each day to come.