Monday, 25 May 2015

A Note To My Younger Self

I’m writing this on my hotel balcony in Thailand, it’s very early in the morning and I can’t sleep (It’s a combination of heat and tiredness). We arrived in Phuket yesterday – after a 7 day trip around Bangkok, Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai. What can I say – other than my life has changed, undoubtedly forever.
Getting ready for a fabulous evening of food & drinks in Bangkok two nights ago,
When we left Heathrow late Friday night 10 days ago, I felt pushed. Pushed for time, pushed for energy and almost certainly pushed for emotion. Thailand has restored my faith in humanity, given me clarity and a renewed zest for life and adventure.

I have had my fair share of troubles in life – I’m not scared to admit that, because they have made me the person that I am today. I’m a fighter – I always have been, ever since being born prematurely and starting life in an incubator, I have fought my way through shyness, bullies, mental illness, troubled friendships & being desperately overweight and unhappy. When I say mental illness – it’s something I’ve never written or spoken about before, ever.

When I was fifteen, about to enter my final year at school (Y11) I found myself in an impossible situation. I have only ever told my husband the events of that fateful afternoon – my family have never spoken about it ever since and sometimes I feel like it didn’t happen, but today I want to let go of it, for good.

I was fifteen years old, and had begun a difficult puberty – when I say difficult, it was no different to what most teenagers’ experience. I suddenly had a bust, a period and an undeniable attraction and obsession with Leonardo Dicaprio, Gareth Gates & Westlife. Yes, I was that cool.

The part that didn’t sit well with me – was the sudden change in people. My friends chose cigarettes, nights out and extraordinary sleepovers that mostly involved pursuing the opposite sex. I just wasn’t ready – and still wanted to keep my childhood close. Barbie was still my pal, Bugs Bunny still slept in my bed, and above all I was far too INNOCENT.

I had a basic understanding of sex, and adulthood – but that was all. When my classmates used sensitive language, sexual references and innuendos, I often failed to understand or grasp the ‘joke’ even when it was on me.  I remember my very first history class, Andrew Baker (the class joker), directly asked me if I was a ‘lesbian’ and I was mortified as I had never come across the word before – what did it mean? I quietly replied ‘no’ – taking my chances, thankfully I gave the correct answer.

Did it make me the odd one out, because at eleven years old my parents had never explained to me what a lesbian was?

School grew increasingly harder, and I became less interested in my lessons and far more fixated on escaping the troubles of teenage life. I didn’t choose one best friend – instead I befriended two already ‘best friends’ which seemed a good idea at the time, but sitting together in class, doubling up in P.E just didn’t work as I was always the odd one out.

The thing I hated most about being a teenager was the uncertainty – life was hugely clouded with doubt. Every day posed a new problem for me – from having no one to sit with at dinner time, to how to stop the bullies calling me fat, ugly or a lesbian (that word crept up a lot at my school).

I realised today, that I was a scared little girl – who found it hard to accept how life was so rapidly changing around her. It’s nobody’s fault I struggled though, or that I self-harmed and spent the entire year(s) afterwards being called the school ‘psycho’ a name that stuck to me like glue, and I never shook off until way into my second year at college.

A magical day - Swimming at Erawan Waterfalls
If only, I could have told the fifteen year old me that one day things would be majorly different. Ten years later I would be happily married to an incredible man, own our first home, be able to drive a car, have a beautiful cat, and get paid a salary to work a full time job – then I wouldn’t have believed it.

Thailand has taught me so much about culture, taught me the meaning of respect, and boosted my quest for adventure - but most of all it’s given me a true reflection of my life & significantly where I am at.

I wanted more than anything for 2015 to be the year of change, I wanted clarity and I’m definitely feeling close to achieving that.

 photo alicesign_zps71940e85.jpg





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5 comments

  1. Thank goodness that we never stop growing, changing and learning, no matter how old we get.
    I hope writing this has helped put it all to rest.

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  2. As someone who can wholly relate to your previous life-experiences, Alice I'm very proud of you and your achievements so far fellow human being. That picture of you shows a confident, mature, poise;beautiful!

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  3. What a wonderful post to read. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. This is so lovely, I am so pleased of how far you have come and I am glad that I can look back to a similar journey of my own...

    Maria xxx

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