The #SelfLove Tag
A good friend of mine recently wrote a blog about the importance of loving yourself and, in the ethos of getting back into blogging, but also spreading the importance of #selflove, I thought I would join her. You can find the original post here at Lisa’s blog ‘A Star Fell On Her’. Also, if you’re not already following her, I highly urge you to.
Recently I have gone through the task of converting old home videos to DVD and it’s actually been quite an emotional job. One of the things that struck me as I watched them back (apart from how my brother’s 80s toddler mullet was fantastic!) is just how confident I was when I was a young kid.
It’s strange to think this boisterous little tyke turned into the self conscious, shy and socially awkward mess I became in High School. Saying that, I can also spot the small moments of silence, seriousness and contemplation that, even as a 4 year old, I managed to have. I definitely grew up very fast. Whether or not that was because of the impending genetic onslaught of Depression just waiting for the hormonal cocktail of puberty to set it free, or maybe I was just what my Nan used to call an ‘Old Soul’. Either way, there was some point where this little girl who sang Ghostbusters as she sat on the potty and told her little brother how to hold his lunchbox on the first day of school, turned into a socially awkward, self conscious adult.
I’m not going to lie; I had my loud, fun moments growing up. As soon as I left High School I very much came into my own, but that self consciousness was always there niggling at the back of my brain. It made me constantly crave approval – whether through being on stage and showing off, throwing the best parties, or acting like a complete tool when I was drunk! I’m sure everyone has this little demon on their shoulder constantly telling them they aren’t good enough, but mine always seemed that little bit louder and, well, meaner, than everyone else’s.
So, I guess why this hash tag is important. We are all always criticising ourselves or being told by the media that we should criticise ourselves if we’re not already. But we all need to stop. Even if for a moment (Because, let’s face it, you can be the strongest person on the planet and with the amount of adverts, posters, magazines and social media out there, even you will question yourself at some point). The media will never be on our side whatever we look like or however we act, so first and foremost we need to make sure that we are on our side!
Anyway – rant over – onto some questions…
What’s your favourite thing about your appearance?
I actually really love my hair. It’s the one thing about me that I feel is really me and reminds me of when I went away to The Kubert School, which was probably one of the best times of my life.
What do you like about your personality?
I am pretty damned stubborn and determined, which may sound like a negative (and sometimes can be, of course), but I am pretty proud of as it has got me to where I want to be. I am always determined to prove people wrong when they think I can’t do something and that has fuelled me to take on a career which is definitely not one of the safest as far as financial security, but makes me ridiculously happy.
Tell us something you’re good at:
Skill wise, I’d like to hope I’m good at art… I always find it strange talking about what I’m good at as we are always taught not to ‘show off’ and be arrogant, but when your career is based around your own unique skill you have to learn to put that aside and just be proud of your skills; because who wants to hire an artist who sells them self as being ‘just okay’. So, yeah, I’m good at art or at least the way I do it. And I’m a damned good singer.
What has been your biggest achievement, over the past 12 months?
Probably going to Dublin MCM. It was my first overseas convention as an exhibitor and I was nervous as hell. Everyone was very supportive and welcoming, but you never really know until you try out a new convention (let alone a new city… and country… and currency!) how it’s going to go. I was pretty proud of doing it on my own and actually managing to have a good time too.
Also, since last year, I have been at a convention almost every week since the beginning of the convention year in the UK. I guess that’s a pretty big achievement. It’s been exhausting but really useful and extremely fun.
Psychologically I think I have finally started to make progress with actually enjoying my shape. I am a pretty short girl and, more importantly, I have quite a short torso. Since I’ve realized this more and more (it’s mostly obvious when I put on weight – it always seems to bunch around my top half), I’ve started to appreciate my legs more and dress accordingly, wearing longer tops and just trying better to dress to my shape.
What goal are you most likely to achieve this year?
I’m really looking forward to creating and publishing my first ever creator-owned book later in the year. I feel like I’ve been pretending for so long that I’m a comic book artist, when realistically I have only ever worked freelance for other people. This will be my first creation that is entirely mine and from the heart, so it’s pretty nerve racking to be putting something that personal out there.
I think I’m most likely to achieve this goal because I have a great support system of encouraging friends and I know they will push me to succeed with it. Not to mention the fact that they have all already shown so much support and encouragement about it becoming a Kickstarter, so I really can’t wait to get started on it.
Are there any other goals that you think you’ll achieve this year?
I really hope that I will finally be sending my first novel manuscript out into the world this year. I actually wrote it for NaNoWriMo in 2009, but have been slowly editing it and adding to it over the years. This is, again, quite a personal story, so even if I end up publishing it myself, at least it will be out there and part of the world rather than bottled up in my own head.
I’m also trying to work towards a much healthier lifestyle. For those who don’t know, the artist lifestyle (especially a commercial one) can be very unhealthy. I’m not a huge junk food eater and I tend to avoid fizzy drinks (believe it or not), but I do sit down pretty much all day and not get up for long periods of time (especially when I have a deadline), consequently the pounds have been creeping up on me over the last year or so. I’m not aiming to be thin (if anything, I wouldn’t suit it – I’m quite happy being curvy) but I do like feeling healthy. Consequently I have been cutting down on carbs and eating a lot more fruit and vegetables. I’m also trying to get out to the gym when a lot more – even if it’s just for a long walk on the Treadmill.
What was the last thing that made you feel good about yourself?
I went shopping with my mum the other week to buy some more Summer style clothes and found a gorgeous maxi skirt. I tend to shy away from maxis as I mentioned before, I am pretty short, so they tend to blanket me; but this one was just gorgeous. It also had horizontal stripes, but my mum assured me that the whole ‘fattening’ aspect of these was a fallacy so I just went for it. When I wore it with my big black boots, it actually lengthened my body out and was really flattering. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve been quite happy with my style and shape.
Other than that, I have to say that my mister makes me feel good on a pretty much daily basis. He is always pushing me to work on my art and writing and he consequently gets inspired my drive. It’s always good to be in a relationship where you can reciprocate encouragement like that.
Have you noticed any positive changes in yourself recently?
When I was younger I used to be a bit of a push over. Despite being a stubborn person I would always let people walk all over me, be they friends or not. In the last couple of years I have started to notice that I don’t take much laying down any more. I have been unfortunate to meet a few people in my life who actively encourage negativity, or try to create drama out of nothing; and I think I just got tired of it. I am an incredibly loyal person and will always stick by my friends no matter what, but I think it’s got to the point where I’m finally finding it easier to know who my real friends are and who aren’t. Consequently the friends I have now are some of the kindest and closest I have ever had.
Share something that fits in with the theme of self-love:
Obviously I have to share the blog that led me to answer these questions in the first place A Star Fell On Her. She has recently written a post on body consciousness which I found really inspiring – here.
Also, this blog I follow, Rad Fat Vegan is incredibly inspiring for positive body image.
A book which I found really inspired me to love myself more, The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler.
I’m still pretty new back to the blogging scene, so I don’t follow many people just yet, but please feel free to share your own blogs which fit in with this theme in the comments below. I’d love to have a look at them.
When was the last time you treated yourself? What did you do, and why?
When I was working at London MCM I decided to take the Friday off and actually enjoy the con. I haven’t done that in a long time. It was so nice to get out of ‘seller mode’ and actually see the con through the audience’s eyes. It made me remember how fun and different these events are and how lucky I am to go to so many. And, even more so, how lucky I am that this is my job.
When do you next plan to treat yourself? Any thoughts on what you’re going to do?
The mister and I are planning to London in July for my birthday to see the band ‘Baby Metal’. The gig is in Camden, one of my favourite places, so we’ll probably be spending some time down there scoping out the market stalls. There is also a comic book art exhibition in the British Library that we’re hoping to catch while we’re down there.
Give us a tip for improving self-love:
Just remember that you are not alone. Everyone doubts themselves and questions the things they do. That voice can be a conscience or it can be doubt, either way it shapes the person that you are, it’s just a case of controlling it and changing the way it affects you. I’m not particularly good at this sort of advice as I’m not even close to figuring it out for myself yet, but here’s hoping we all do some day.