I feel really vulnerable about it as it’s when I’m at my weakest.
I like a guy.
Like. Really like a guy!
Not an online guy or a guy I think I like because I think he may like me and he said ‘Hey’. Seriously thought shit like this would stop in my thirties! Clearly I ignored the countless warnings from ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’ – they definitely didn’t have it together.
Anyway, I digress! Back in the room.
I’m going to put on my ‘courageous cape’ (actually don’t own one of these) and let him know I like him. By……
asking him if he wants to go out for a drink!
Okay so I know this may not be a BIG thing for most people. But to me its massive!
Clearly my ways of trying to make it ‘known’ to guys in the past that I like them hasn’t worked.
So, it’s time to cut to the chase and just ask.
Regardless if the answer is: yes, no or………..silence. I’ll be so pleased that I’ve asked.
My career took off when I started to make it known what I wanted. Four promotions in 3.5years was possible because I asked and took action.
Alongside the four – Yes’
I got No’s
And even a silence… 2 years later, I’m still waiting to hear whether I got the job after having an interview! I knew the answer when I left the room but still they ignored me after countless calls and emails (they practically turned me into a stalker)
I got rejected and I’m still here and definitely in a better position than if I’d got that job.
Rejection sucks. But rejection from myself is no longer an option. I certainly shouldn’t be the one standing in the way of getting what I want it!
Whatever the answer is when I ask him out, I know that I’ll be in a better position than I am now. The unknown!
So wish me luck 🤞
(I’m also hoping he doesn’t read this blog – now that would be awkward).
Oh yes, the other confession.
I think I’m really nearly an adult!
Last night whilst changing my bedding. A thought crossed my mind that maybe I should iron it!
Can this be happening?
I immediately shook the ridiculous thought from my mind and left the iron in the cupboard.
I’m part schoolgirl with a crush and part old-maid wanting to iron things!
Here’s hoping you have a great week x
p.s. If you have any tips on how to ask a guy out without looking desperate or sounding too awkward – throw them my way.
p.p.s. If you have any tips on how I can stop thinking about ironing before it gets to the stage where I’m grabbing pants and socks – throw them my way – right now!! Seriously!!
“Oh July August. What’s happened to you? You used to be so bright and have such a warmth about you. Now you’re miserable, keeping me in the dark, trying to dampen my spirits. I understand that change is good – but come on!”
This has been my conversation on most days when I leave my house burdened with a coat and umbrella. Hey, what can I say? I’m English, we love to moan about the weather.
Once I’m satisfied that I have given the weather we are currently having in England enough air time, my thoughts move onto what I’m going to focus on in August.
The words Generosity and Space rained down on me (excuse the pun), making me look at ways I could incorporate them into my goals for the month.
I would say that I’m a fairly generous person. I donate to three charities a month, always tips, give my spare change to buskers and the homeless, love to gift friends and spend a lot of my free time visiting family/friends. So I was quite surprised that generosity was a strong contender. Until I looked deeper. As all of these things are second nature to me, they don’t push me forward to be more vulnerable.
How could I make being generous bring me out of my comfort zone and in turn give me valuable life lessons?
An email provided one of the answers. I was going to spend a full week volunteering at the youth centre I usually volunteer for 3hrs a week at. I wanted vulnerable and I got more than I bargained for – so much more!!
I’ve mentioned in earlier posts that I am a ‘people pleaser’ and I ‘like to be liked‘. Well not this week……I became Miss Moany Pants. Constantly telling the young people off, asking them to respect the guys running the session and each other. Most of the time I opened my mouth it was to tell them to be quiet or to watch their words. I was a different me, it was tiring and it made me feel incredibly uncomfortable.
Looking back. After I had a large drink. Or two! And some time away from them. Away from my constant nagging. I realised that it was also one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. What the theatre company and the young people put together in a week was wonderful.
I stepped away from my normal self and by becoming vulnerable, I developed more in character. I discovered things about me that I didn’t know before. I threw aside my shyness battles to be able to support the young people with their insecurities. I got through the days without raising my voice, I didn’t let grudges grow or use passive aggressive means to protect myself. I used my skills to highlight their strengths – of which they had plenty. It really was a money can’t buy experience.
I already respected teachers, youth and social workers but WOW – I commend any one who spends so much of their time working with young people.
Another way I looked at being generous was with dating. To be generous with my choices and to not be ruled by physical attraction.
Last week I had a long overdue catch up with one of my best-friends from childhood. Of course the conversation turned to dating. And my lack of it.
She told me how she used to go for what she perceived to be her ‘type’ and how it would lead to nothing but heartache. Until one day her friend told her to cast her net wider, give other guys a chance. Taking those words on board she met someone who wasn’t her ‘type’ on paper. Almost three years later she is happier than she’s ever been.
I love and respect this friend so when she suggested I try OKCupid, as a few of her good friends had met their long time partners on there. It wasn’t long until I downloaded the app. Taking the time to thoroughly complete the profile and answer as many of the questions that didn’t make me cringe or shudder! Yes, I do have a blog that’s about being open and vulnerable. No I don’t want to answer questions about sexual positions and fantasies.
6 days in and I’ve had 635 likes and 52 messages! So my ego has been dancing around, feeling flattered that so many guys have liked me. I in return have responded to two messages. TWO! Online dating is so time consuming and in my defence I’ve been silly busy the past week, hence not blogging for sometime. I also don’t like to lead people on, in the past I’ve responded saying ‘thank you, but you’re not my type’ which then led to more messages, stealing more time. Still – I can’t help feeling bad and maybe I will respond to them all.
In all honesty I’m also still struggling with giving someone a chance online that I’m not attracted to. I don’t view myself as a shallow person – maybe I am? BUT meeting someone in person is different. You get to know them, see their quirks. Just like my friend did.
I’m not giving up just yet. I deserve to be generous to myself and to others. So baby steps. I’m going to take time to read some profiles and respond to the ones that make me smile regardless of the profile picture that occupies it. Wish me luck.
So I don’t take up too much space in this post (oh yeah the puns keep on coming). I’m going to post about my other focus in another blog post, later this week.
I am at my most vulnerable wearing a black cape, stood in front of a mirror with my hairdresser one step behind me, waiting for a worded response which will hopefully convey the opposite of what my face is saying.
I have that type of face that doesn't need to say anything. My face is like an etch-a-sketch! Emotions drawn right on there!
It's okay. My long suffering hairdresser knows me well enough not to feel offended. She is a hair magician and has the patience of a saint. She knows this is all about me.
And the vulnerable hair journey I go through every time I have a lapse of boldness and decide on a new hairstyle.
Growing up pre-internet in a white household in a predominantly white neighbourhood is the root of my issues. I didn't get my hair done properly until I was about nine years old which not only affected the growth of my hair but my pain threshold! Long before the days of YouTube where you can teach yourself anything, my mum used to stick a pink bow in my hair and send me on my way!
I didn't give my hairstyle a second thought until it was time to go to Middle School. I'd gone from being a frog in a pond to a tadpole in the ocean! Rather than feeling comfortable that I was no longer the only black person in my year, I felt more exposed. Misplaced!
In Primary School, no-one commented on my colour, my skin, my hair – I was just 'Emma'.
Not only did I get taunted for having dry skin and a 'picky' head but I placed myself on a comparison scale. The school playground became my YouTube and I saw what hair could look like. It wasn't something that was just a minor addition, it became the biggest part of me!
Hair relaxers, curly perms, hair pieces, extensions, braids, bleaching – I did the lot! I frequently changed my hair. Wearing each style with confidence! I was no longer a tadpole. For years I felt comfortable with my surroundings.
Then, work happened. Putting me in the spotlight. Making me once again feel exposed.
Unlike primary school, where I was just 'Emma', work life and adults strengthened the roots of my issues and added to my insecurities.
Each time I had to talk through my hairstyle – often explaining that it wasn't all my hair – to be greeted with confused stares or a scroll of further questions.
Each time someone grabbed my hair to have a feel without even asking, pulling at the roots in the process, which FYI fucking hurts!
Each time I was asked why don't you have an 'afro' or 'dreads' or hair like *insert black female celebrity*?
A part of my hair confidence would wither!
I'd get my hair done when I 'needed' to. When it was literally hanging by a thread. Keeping to a 'safe' style and for the first few weeks after having a new style I would wear it up to try and disguise it.
I know people don't mean to make me feel bad and it's nice that they're showing an interest. But each time I get my hair done I feel like I'm stepping onto a talent show. With every person turning into an expert on hair and becoming a judge! "This is nice but I liked the other style better" or "This is the best style you've had". I almost expect Len Goodman to pop up with a 'SEVEN!'.
Maybe I'm being too sensitive but, if I'm struggling to sleep the first few night of my new hairstyle due to fear of the comments I'm going to get, then I can't just continue to ignore my feelings. As I said before, my hair became the biggest part of me. So when my hair is getting critiqued then so am I!
New hairstyles and vulnerability go hand in hand.
This is the first time I've actually sat down to take into account all the vulnerability buttons that are being pushed when it comes to my hair. So many factors come into play and thanks to my new hairstyle I've had a therapeutic journey up to Leeds thinking about it.
*Apologies to the guy sat opposite me from London to Peterborough as I was typing away, trying to hold my tears back, whilst eating an egg sarnie!!
Finally sharing my feelings about my hair vulnerability on my blog has definitely helped me get some kind of closure (hair pun to those in the know).
So here you have my new hair and the story behind how I feel about it.
Heads-up………this is a long, grab a cuppa, type of post! [6min read]
Everyone who knows me knows that I really like to challenge myself. What they may not know is that it’s not because I like pushing myself to the point of nausea or that I like acting to extreme measures.
I challenge myself because I want to change. There are parts of me that I want to bury and replace with something new.
I challenge myself as I believe it will bring exciting adventures, a happier me, a huge growth spurt and in the past a better me.
So last month I didn’t set myself just the one challenge. Oh no – that would be too easy, too simple. This ‘over estimator’ set 10 challenges! 10!
She crouched over, allowing her lungs to take in as much air as possible. She was tired but couldn’t stop now. The cut she had sustained on her leg whilst running away added to the lethargy.
Smells from the shore gave her hope. She could hear the soft night time waves lapping against the rocks. The moon shone between the entangled trees, getting lighter as she neared the beach.
She cursed herself and her quench for an exciting life. Promises of love and laughter soon were lost beyond the sea.
“Adele.” Jessie panted “Hurry up, they’re not far behind us! ”
She picked up pace to join Jessie in the water, wincing as the salt stung her wound. Jessie took charge of the oars when they settled in the boat.
An adventurous, immersive and fun holiday Jessie had described this as. She was still waiting for the latter part.
Looking back towards the shore as the other teams began to emerge, she felt a sense of satisfaction.
Okay winning was quite fun!
As part of my year of vulnerability I am putting myself out there with my writing. Here I am participating in a Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge. The challenge is to write a piece between 100 and 150 words (+- 25 words) inspired by the photo featured above.
Word Count: 172 Picture Credit: The Storyteller's abode by Louise