The title of this blog post may seem really philosophical but I don't really want this to come across as a philosophical blog post because the answer differs for every single person; if you asked every single person in a room 'what really matters to you', they'd have a different answer. For some people, they may not even know what truly matters to them right now. For me, I know. Sometimes, something really bad has to happen, to make you truly realise what matters in life. I haven't done a personal blog post for quite a while, the reason being? I only believe in writing them when they come to me. Personal posts cannot be forced and cannot be rushed but here I am today with a topic I'd like to discuss. Let's go.
Coat online here / Blow dry by Paul Edmonds Salon.
I put most of my life online, I feel like you guys invest your time into me and I should actually let you know what's going on most of the time. But this month, a number of events occurred in my personal life and they made me realise what really, truly matters. Often, when it's to do with family, they're things I can't really discuss because whilst I am directly affected, the family member may not want me to put their private business out there on the internet, for that reason, a lot of things recently have been kept under wraps. However, it doesn't mean I can't discuss my feelings towards certain topics. Today I want to talk about why actually, bad things happening can be really positive. Let's discuss.
As a child, my family and I went through some pretty tough stuff, right up until now, aged 22, I'm still going through some of that stuff. Whilst I don't yet feel strong enough to say what it is (one day I will talk about it because I know it will help a lot of people, but I can't right now), I do feel strong enough to use it as part of my story. There's a really big part of my life missing and often, I get pretty down about this but actually, I'm starting to come to terms with it. If that person was in my life and I didn't go through the terrible things I did growing up, then actually, I may not be the person I am today. If I hadn't gone through what I went through and fought against it, I definitely wouldn't be as strong as I am. I feel like going through what I went through, made me a much better person. It made me grow up. I watched my Mum work solidly every single day, she really is proof that heroes don't have to wear capes. She made me independent, strong and realise that women can be the breadwinners. I'll always thank her for that. By working so hard, she was able to remove us from a dangerous situation and actually, save our lives. Nothing is better than watching someone you're close to working hard, it's instilled the 'go get it!' 'no dream is too big!' mentality in me and I know for a fact that my Mum will support me in anything I do, no matter how crazy the idea is. I feel so fortunate to have grown up around such an incredibly strong woman. It's important to focus on that, rather than the bad things I went through growing up.
I'm often asked where my drive and motivation come from, and I agree, my drive is crazy and my motivation can sometimes run me into the ground. I don't get enough sleep and have been told I have exhaustion far too many times. But you know what? Rather than sitting around and moping, I got my act together and worked really hard. Once upon a time, I was made to feel like I was nothing, I was told I would amount to nothing and a lot of my savings were taken from me. I was scared and I felt threatened. I could have moped forever but no, I turned that into a positive and turned that into motivation and inspiration. I am extremely motivated and will forever work as hard as possible for myself.
In life, there will always be someone in a 'better' situation than you and someone in a 'worse' situation than you (again, it depends what you class as 'better' and worse'). I don't look at people with seemingly 'perfect families' and 'perfect lives' and feel jealous, I recognise that these people have stories too. I know people could swipe through my Instagram and forget there's a story to every person. For example, only the other day I was Instagramming cocktails but actually, that evening I'd sat crying over abuse I received from a not so nice person from my past who's supposed to love me. Of course life isn't perfect, I'm pretty sure it isn't perfect for anyone. There's a great quote that says: 'never judge someone, you don't know their story' and I completely agree. Whilst someones life may look perfect on Instagram, you honestly do not know what that person is going through in real life, or, the demons they've fought to get to where they are. I absolutely love the online world, but it can be dangerous because it can make you feel like a failure. Don't let it, you don't know their story. Read my blog post about how Instagram made me feel bad for more on this topic. Equally, another great quote: 'don't judge me on the chapter of my life you walked into' - people change, every single day. The people I was friends with in high school wouldn't recognise me now personality-wise, I am a completely different person. I've used the negative things I've gone through in life and learnt from them. At school, I was probably quite standoffish at some times, but that doesn't mean I'm a horrible person, I was just dealing with some terrible things myself and no-one knew.
I often feel sorry for people who haven't been through anything in their life, going through bad things almost gave me a purpose, it made me want to work harder, become a better person and be stronger. For example, a young person I know was killed, and I use that to put life into perspective every single day. He would do anything to be here and actually, again, I don't think I'd be half as motivated or inspired if that didn't happen. Reading about the Jo Cox murder in the news today made me feel really sad, I almost know how her family and friends feel but her husbands positivity through such a terrible situation made me feel happy. To be positive in such a terrible situation takes such bravery.
What Truly Matters:
As I said in my intro, sometimes, you only really learn what truly matters sometimes when bad things happen. Recently, one of my closest family members had a stroke. I didn't see it coming, none of us did. On that day, I had so many deadlines, so many tasks but suddenly, none of them mattered. Nothing mattered apart from getting to his bedside as quickly as possible. When I got the phone call, I couldn't breathe. I felt like my whole world had fallen apart. Losing this person has never even entered my mind. Only last week, another very close family member was rushed to the resuscitation ward in hospital, another moment where I felt like my whole world had fallen apart. On top of this, dealing with friends and people who are close to me who are struggling with anxiety makes me realise what really matters. I often feel 'invisible' issues such as anxiety need more press, I want to see more people talking about them because they affect so many people deeply. I only wish I could do something to help. On social media, I appeared to be happy because obviously, it's their business and I wouldn't want to be the one shouting about it. But, the positive I'm going to take from it? Spend as much time as you can with your loved ones because life really is so short. I don't want this to be morbid, this is a positive post, but seriously, if it's taught me anything, it's that no matter how busy life is, we should try take a second to send a nice text, pop in for a coffee with a loved one or just call them for a chat.
Don't Be So Hard:
Don't be so hard on yourself. It sounds simple and I know it isn't that simple, but seriously - don't be so hard on yourself. Give yourself a break from time to time. Life is short, so make it sweet. I'm thankful for the curve balls life throws at me, because actually, a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.
Thank you for reading and as always, thank you for all your support guys. Please leave a comment and let me know how you feel about this topic.
Please watch my new video below about this topic, my top ten tips to happy! If you could click here and subscribe to my YouTube channel you'd make my absolute day.
Instagram made me feel bad
How do bloggers make money?
An open letter to my bullies
How getting cheated on affected me
Lots of love, Em x
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