Why It's Okay to
Take a Detour
I wrote a post last month here on the blog entitled 'Why We're So Much More Than That' and as well as being incredibly therapeutic for me to share those thoughts, the entirety of that topic really did come from the heart. It stemmed from some comments I'd recently had about how if I'm one thing I simply can't be another, if I discuss one topic I can't also speak on something else and if I'm portrayed one way online I can't also have another side to me.
It was a recurring topic that had really started to play on my mind over time.
The truth of the matter is of course we're all multi faceted, both in ways that we show to others and ways that we choose not to. We really can't forget that if we know we're so many of these things all at once, then we also know alongside all those dimensions of ourselves, we're all just fighting to be the best versions of ourselves.
Along with each unique journey we're all traversing through as we grow, comes not only what we are and how we'd like to be seen, but the things we're taught to be too. There are of course so many reasons behind the things we're taught to be, do and feel but what if we consider that it's okay to be the things we're also taught not to be?
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From a young age although I've never really had an overly competitive streak in me, I've also been taught to be the best I can be at whatever it is I put my mind to. Not necessarily the best but just the best that I can push myself to be. To work hard, to persevere through the downs, to be strong and to know myself and my goals. They're parts of me that have been instilled in the way I work and the way I want others to see how I work. They're hugely important attributes of mine that I'm so glad I hold up when things get hard or hurdles appear but as I've grown so has my definition of personal success.
As I get older I've found that although I place my focus on being strong, confident, successful, consistent, thick skinned and a whole host of other things that life has taught me to be, I'm realising that more than one thing can be true at once. Sometimes I'd like to be soft, I'd love to be loved, even embrace feeling gentle and those are perhaps traits that as a woman we've been taught aren't the ways in which we'll succeed. Softness isn't something we see celebrated on inspo accounts, it isn't something we admire in others naturally or even crave to be at certain times in our lives but how lovely to take a moment and think that perhaps we deserve that softness occasionally. That feeling of being comforted, of letting our outer armour down and of taking a few deep breaths to release the tensions that all of the other traits can bring with them.
I think sometimes we crave so much inspiration, motivation and all of the ways in which we climb and race towards our goals, that we forget we may need all of the experiences and feelings, that are perhaps at the opposite end of the spectrum too. The ability to cushion ourselves, to express ourselves safely and to offer ourselves some much needed rest before it's too late to realise we need it. We often talk about how our journeys shouldn't be defined by other people and their milestones and even how we should celebrate all of the small things in life that we often allow to pass us by, for fear of looking self indulgent. But however easy it is to say those things, it's definitely not that easy to believe them and to implement them into our mindsets.
It's okay to be the things we're taught not to be. It's okay to be selfish if we need to be, it's okay to be soft when we crave that feeling, it's okay to be just okay at something we're trying to master and it's okay to recognise that every inch of ourselves is valid. Of course we can also be the things we're taught to be, but maybe it's time we wrapped them up comfortably with a whole host of things we've perhaps forgotten are so important for our mental health. Let's be gentle, let's be quiet, let's be second best - those things are all perfect ways to be because let's face it, perfection isn't really achievable and perhaps we'd all be a lot kinder to ourselves if we kept that at the forefront of our minds.
Be who you need to be.
Be who you want to be.
Be who you crave to be.
Even if all those things are the things you've perhaps been taught not to be.
For full transparency these images were shot as part of the recent campaign I was thrilled to be a part of with Jimmy Choo fragrances and their newest launch I Want Choo. (ad) This blog post is of course not sponsored nor part of that campaign but I couldn't resist sharing some more of the imagery we shot as it'd be a shame not to commemorate wearing sequins for the first time in... well a very long time haha!