I think its time I shared a bit about me…
So today I thought I would tell you a story. A true story, to get you to know me a bit better as I have only been doing this blogging thing for a day short of two months and I thought now is the time to get to know each other better. This is, after all, the beginnings of a love affair (I hope!) We have had a few dates and you have got to know the me that I’ve wanted to share with you and I guess this is still me sharing with you what I want to share with you, BUT, it is more personal. It is more intimate. It’s a side of me that I have not allowed myself to share with you thus far.
So you are probably a little curious right now, Or maybe not! shrugs you can’t please them all, but you can please yourself and this is part of the moral of my story but I am skipping ahead and should really just tell you the story
You Can’t please them all but you can please yourself, follow your heart but take your brain with you
When I was either in 9 or 10 so being born late in the school year I was either 13 going on 14 or 14 going on 15. The fact that I cannot even remember my age is an indication that I may have tried to block this sorry episode from my mind! Actually, I think it was year 9, as I was yet to have a mobile phone, I got one for my 14th birthday.
So my thirteen year old self had some insecurities, to be fair I still have insecurities and I defy anyone to say that they have none at ANY age but what I am insecure about now is either not the same things I was insecure about at 13 and if any of them are the same they have minimised with age which is good.
With every experience comes knowledge and knowledge is power, power brings confidence, confidence is sexy
With age comes knowledge and knowledge is power and again that is another nuggets I have learned from growing up and being more confident in myself. However my 13 year old self didn’t feel that powerful. I felt physically weak I was the short, skinny kid with the glasses who hated the fact that my ankles were tiny and I had a complex about them to the point where I WANTED to put on weight. That I felt that if I was bigger; taller, thicker I would be more appealing to the boys. If I was lighter skinned if my hair was longer if my lips were smaller I had serious issues because I looked at my friendship circle and no one looked like me. We were all various shades of brown and my closest friend, who I met at primary school, has a very similar complexion to me but had legs for days.
In the late 90s early 2000s when I was going to secondary school (high school for anyone not in the UK), in Britain, in South East London specifically; if you weren’t light skinned you weren’t shit (well it felt like that for me) I look extremely young for my age, I still on occasion get asked for ID to buy alcohol and lottery tickets! Now however, I see it as a compliment, I just didn’t then.
I was used to boys not noticing me instead filling the role of the ‘butters friend’ butters meaning butt ugly and would often have guys speak to me to find out if my friend was single and I used to wish that guys would talk to me. So when a guy showed an interest in me I was very happy about it, even though I did not find the guy aesthetically pleasing to my eye in the slightest! I had at 13 fallen in to desperation.
I now hang my head in shame, that I did this, that I grabbed onto the first guy that showed any interest in me despite not liking him. He told my friend he liked me and my friend came back and asked if I liked him because he liked me and not wanting to embarrass the guy and feeling really flattered I was like he is alright. She scuttles of to tell him I think he is hot. Now how does he is alright translate to he is hot is beyond me and for all my loud mouth I didn’t attempt to correct her.
He ambles over and asks me out I say yes and give him my house phone and that’s it we are dating but, I know this is bad to say but I said earlier I am trying to be more honest with you, so you can get to know me better I was actually freaking out I found him really repulsive he had a stupid name (I won’t tell you what it is, it is so rare to will likely identify him) and I had nothing to ay to him I clammed up when he was around.
Thankfully we went to different schools so I only saw him on the bus in the morning and after school and I distinctly remember telling my mum that I didn’t feel well the day after he called my house phone in the hopes of getting out of going to school! I claimed that I had a funny stomach,My mum weren’t playing that, she gave me some Alka Seltzer and off to school I went! I, random fact for you, had 100% attendance all through primary and secondary school and all through college! Go me! Woo!
Any way I digressed, So this boy we will call him Samuel got his sister to pretend to be one of my friends. It was so funny because the friend he chose was someone that I only got on the bus with, shared no classes at school with and when my mum said Gabrielle is on the phone (name changed) I was like ‘Who? Why is she calling me? I didn’t even know she had the house number!” We had an awkward conversation my mum gave me the corded telephone so I couldn’t leave the living room…and we vowed to meet on the bus in the morning, This is where I had a dicky tummy and took medicine even though I wasn’t sick!
This charade went on for a full week, which is a long time when you are school age until I could avoid it no longer and told him that I really wasn’t interested in being Samuel’s girlfriend. All my friends who got on the bus with us teased me something chronic that week saying how loved up I was and laughing at the faces of disgusted that I made, which I assumed they thought was embarrassment. It was partially embarrassment but it was down to how uncomfortable I allowed myself to be just to fit the status quo. The status quo of a group of peers some of whom are still in my tight circle today. As I am older I have realised that I did this out of desperation, I assumed everyone else was dating, whether they were or not was by the by. I felt that I wasn’t cute enough, tall enough and too nerdy to get a guy and when I realised that a guy did like me I threw myself into that because it meant that he didn’t like my friends who were way cuter, taller, fit the standard of beauty and were far less nerdy than me.
I think that is why as I have gotten older I have been very influenced by race relations I even wrote an article on racism in education, which you can find here. I have also been very interested in the ‘standards’ of beauty and also with being confident in my own abilities and what I bring to the table despite the fact that I don’t look like everyone else and I can’t be anyone else but me. So that means not conforming out of desperation but conforming because I want to and it makes me happy so often I don’t conform but if that makes me happy then why should I.
So the moral of this story is:
Live your life for you, don’t do things out of desperation but do them cos they make you happy and enrich you in someway.
I’ve shared with you, will you share with me? Hit me up in the comments section below (on a mobile device) or on the sidebar to the right if you are on a desktop/laptop or on my social media links below.
P.S I want to do an #AskAsh bi-monthly or monthly if I get enough positive feedback and letters to respond to so please hit me up on my email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get those questions answered. Any topic any question and I will endeavour to answer it.
Until next time…
Maya Angelou Phenomenal Woman.