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The Good, The Bad and the Fugly

This week, from 16-22 May it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, or #MHAW16 for those of you that are hardcore tweeters! My sincere apologies to any readers that I just confused by quoting random letters, numbers and that seemingly useless symbol found on your telephone keypad. Blame the Internet.

Every year there is a theme chosen for Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year the theme is Relationships. So, acknowledging that, my blog is going to be all about relationships.

This is a very broad topic…I could have talked about my relationship with the weather, my dog (I don’t have a dog), or the mountains of junk mail that gets put through my letter box on a daily basis. But I wont be rambling about any of the above. Instead, I have chosen to discuss three topics, which you may have already figured out from the title. I want to talk about the good, the bad and the fugly.

My Mums Dog Phoebe – so I kinda have a dog…

My puppy

The Good

Have you ever met someone who you instantly felt connected to? Within moments of talking you feel a sense of calm around this person, like you could talk to them for hours about any old rubbish. Suddenly you’re divulging secrets and thoughts, which you instinctively know will be kept safe by your new kindred spirit.

I have been fortunate enough to meet more than one person that fits this description, and every single one forms part of my tribe, which I will call the Claydon tribe – not because I am the leader or the most important, but because every single member helps to make me who I am.

Having a tribe has saved me on countless occasions, as all good tribes should. They carry me when I feel weak, they praise me when I do well, and they listen when I need to talk. It isn’t a one-way street; we look out for each other.

The people that form my tribe also have their own, I am just one person that they can trust and rely on…and one person is enough. Numbers are definitely not important when it comes to those you can trust, it shouldn’t be a popularity contest. I’d choose one special person over a million ‘friends’ any day.

If you’re not sure who your tribe is, I’d look to those who you care about, who always show their face when times get tough. I’d say that’s a better place to start that any.

My advice is, don’t let these people go out of fear, or over petty arguments. There are billions of people on this planet, and many of us interact with new people on a daily basis, yet how many of those do we have a true connection with?

After travelling the world, moving cities multiple times, and having a career that allows me to meet new people regularly, I still only call a few my tribe. So whether it is friends, family members or lovers – if you find someone special, wrap your arms around them and hold on tight…and if they hate hugs, squeeze them tighter.

Rollercoaster fun times with one of my favourites

The Bad

Why are some people so insistent on making our lives a misery? Didn’t they get the memo that life is already hard enough?

Like many of you, I have had the misfortune of meeting a number of people whom for some reason make it their mission to make my life more difficult. Unlike my tribe, these people are instantly on my radar as the enemy.

Maybe you can relate to this too, but does anyone else somehow sense an enemy before you’ve even spoken a word? It’s almost as if their negative energy seeps out as an early warning system.

However, there are those clever few, whom you sense something isn’t quite right, but their smile and seemingly kind nature lures you into a false sense of security. These are the ones that have sometimes even made it into your inner safety circle, despite the advice your tribe gave to steer clear.

Whilst I don’t believe that anyone is inherently evil, I do think that there are those that find some form of enjoyment out of troubling others. My better nature wants to provide an excuse for this behaviour, and I am sure there are reasons for why they have turned out this way. But no reason is reason enough to not try and be kinder. We all have stuff going on, and nobody deserves to be your punching bag.

My suggestion is, if you have people in your life who make you unhappy, take more from you than they give to you, or just make you feel uncomfortable, distance yourself from them. It doesn’t matter who they are, nobody has the right to make you miserable.

I have distanced myself from people that have had a negative influence on my life, and I will always continue to review my relationships to ensure that none have slipped through the net. Also, sometimes people change, and if that change doesn’t fit with you, it’s okay to move on.

Mean Girls – Movie released in 2004

The Fugly

The title for this blog came to me instantly, but I did wonder what you would think about this term fugly, and the context that I may use it in.

If you haven’t heard of this term before, it’s well known for being used in the 2004 movie Mean Girls , or in the 2000 Pygmoelian Simpsons episode. However, I think it originated sometime in the 1970’s, but I can’t tell you much more than that.

Fugly is a word for describing someone who is extremely ugly, or f**king ugly – I wont swear fully, incase we have any young people present, but I am sure you can figure out what that word is. If you can’t, you honestly weren’t meant to know.

I hate to disappoint any lovers of a particular news outlet, that puts a lot of energy into hating on someone’s image, but I wont be judging anyone’s appearance in this section. Sorry if you’ve only got this far because you were looking forward to that, but it’s just not my style.

Instead I want to discuss the relationship we have with ourselves, which is in fact the most important relationship we will ever have.

Why fugly? Well, because one of my anxieties growing up was image, and how others perceived me. I know this anxiety doesn’t belong to me exclusively, so I felt it would be helpful to make this the topic.

I have put an unreasonable amount of energy into worrying about how I look to others, which put a huge strain on how I looked at myself. To the point that, if everyone in the world had turned around and said, “hey beautiful, you’re awesome” I would have looked over my shoulder, or thought I was being blatantly lied to.

This is something I have worked hard on, and I am now at the point where I care very little about what others think of me. However, I am still working on how I feel about myself, and that’s okay. I have a lifetime of hating on myself to undo, it was never going to be easy.

Caring less about what others think of you comes from continually channeling your inner Beyoncé and saying to yourself “b**ch I’m fabulous”. I can’t quite believe I just wrote that…but in all seriousness, tell yourself that you’re amazing! If that feels a little uncomfortable, start with “I’m alright” and work up to amazing. I promise that repeating this exercise really works. And forget all that nonsense we are taught about it being embarrassing to love ourselves, own it!

Liking yourself comes from accepting all your weird and wonderful ways. Right now, in the world we currently live in, there are always going to be people that don’t like you or your lifestyle for some reason. Equally though, there are those that you won’t be keen on too. Honestly, I think that’s okay. Ideally, we’d all live on rainbows and love one another. But in the meantime, let’s just accept that we’re all different, and get on with our lives – however we choose to live them.

My Summary

I appreciate that I have just babbled for a very loooong time. So I shall summarise what I think is important about relationships.

  • Hold on to those that you genuinely care about, those special few who would do anything for you; they are your tribe.

  • Distance yourself from anyone who is destructive in your life. Your time here is precious; make sure it is only spent on those that value it.

  • Be kind to yourself, and don’t let the opinions of others hold you back from being you. We may only get one shot at this life, so let’s not waste it.

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