Is it Selfish or is it Okay?

So, yet again, it’s been a hot minute since I last wrote a blog post as (it kind of also feels like ‘yet again’) I’ve been going through some personal stuff, which hasn’t exactly inspired me to write.

As a result of all of this though, I’ve been wanting to write about ‘being true to yourself’, but couldn’t do so without giving you a bit of an insight into my personal life which, quite frankly, scares the sh*t out of me, as it means opening up and exposing some vulnerabilities.

I know writing about such a subject is a bit left field of what this blog is supposed to be about, but I’m a big believer in “signs” and I’ve seen a few recently which made me feel like it’s time to suck it up and find the courage to be open and honest. To remain “unapologetically Amy”.

I’m not one to share my relationships publicly, but I did mention in my previous post that I was in another long term relationship after the breakdown of my marriage. Sadly, after 2 years together that’s no longer the case.

I’m not here to tell you why or lay blame – I’m certainly no frickin’ angel – but I wanted to share some realisations I’ve had recently which, rightly or wrongly (you decide), have forced me to be true to myself and put me first once more after a bit of a hiatus, let’s call it.

I’m definitely the kind of person to place others’ needs ahead of my own – it’s the sign of a decent human being, right? But I’ve also always had a very clear mindset about who I am and the kind of life I want to lead.

And when the two clash, potentially requiring me to put myself first, I really struggle with choosing me over the other person. I don’t want to be perceived as “that kind of woman” because selfishness, as a quality, doesn’t sit well with me.

Ultimately, having to choose yourself over someone else makes you question whether you are in fact selfish, and also whether that is a desirable trait you want to see reflected back at you in the mirror. In short, it f**king sucks.

So, on one of my many head-clearing morning dog walks I was listing all of the things I love in an attempt to be positive and convince myself I was happy. And it struck me when I was at item 10, “at what point was I going to say “me”?” Yes, there were 9 items on the agenda of my life that were apparently more important than myself…

Long story short, at that moment I made the decision to walk away from something that had turned toxic to (following the apparent theme of this blog post) “yet again” start my life from scratch and once more be on my own, rather than remain in the confines of what could be described by some as “comfort” or “safety”.

Not two days afterwards (unbeknownst to her that I was going through some sh*t) one of my best friends shared with me a post on Instagram – sign #1 – which really resonated with me and made me realise, maybe being selfish is okay sometimes.

I mean, I wouldn’t say I’m at the “I adore myself” point (feels a bit narcissistic in all honesty, as someone who’s’ default is to be their own worst critic) but f*ck me, was it a moment of realisation that it’s about time I stopped subduing all of the things that make me thrive in order to allow another to do exactly that…to my detriment.

And you know what? It *doesn’t* stop me from enjoying seeing others succeed, it doesn’t make me selfish and it doesn’t make me a dick. Caring for others is in my nature, the very fibre of my being and I bloody love supporting my friends and family. But why do being selfish and being caring have to be mutually exclusive? Short answer is, they don’t.

Yes it’s scary as hell to make such a monumental decision, terrifying in fact! Particularly when you start wondering what others will think. But if this chapter in my life has taught me anything, it’s that only you can be responsible for your own happiness. No one else. So when I was sat there, miserable and at a loss about how to change things, sign #2 appeared…

My first thought was “balls. Bloody valid point right there. Harsh, but nonetheless true.” Swiftly followed by “what am I actually waiting for? A knight in shining armour? No one is coming. If I want my life to change, it’s got to come from me.”

What has surprised me the most throughout taking this next step though, is the almost unanimous response I’ve had from people as they’ve found out…“you’re so brave”. It took me aback the first time I heard it, but by the third and fourth time, I started to question what was brave about such a decision.

I had assumed most would view me walking away from a relationship, stability and a beautiful big house (my dream home, in fact) as utter madness. I had armoured up in preparation for being attacked about making such a decision, ready to defend it and myself. But it never came.

It turns out there are many people who are in the same situation but don’t feel equipped to put themselves first, to love themselves more or, maybe more precisely, to do what it takes in order to achieve that. They’re scared of the unknown or being alone, and that makes me sad. So I’ll end my ramblings (apologies for the unintended length!) with sign #3:

Amen to that. Until next time…

Imposter Syndrome, BIG TIME

Firstly I need to apologise for not writing a blog since frickin’ December…where the bloody hell has time gone in this lockdown?! But secondly, I think I’ve finally built up the courage to talk about something that’s been weighing on my mind and I wasn’t sure I should or even could.

This requires a bit of back story…rewind the clock by about a month when I received a very out of the blue message from a wonderful woman I worked with at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon back in 2018, asking me if I had any Tokyo plans. Of course I don’t, barely anyone in the world does right now!

Well, off the back of this message a very surreal conversation was had about whether I would even be available to act as a last minute stand in Deputy Media Manager for equestrian sport, let alone be a suitable one. Not for a second did I think I’d be offered the role, but I spoke to my CEO anyway to see if 7 weeks away was at all feasible.

For those of you that can’t see what’s coming, thanks to an amazing company agreeing to my leave request and after lengthy talks and a couple of interviews with TOCOG, I was actually offered the role. More like TOCO.M.G. 🤯

Of course I’m absolutely buzzing, what an incredible experience! But then as I start to tell my nearest and dearest, at a time when I’m supposed to be on a total high, I get hit by a huge wave of doubt…what are people in the equestrian industry going to say about me getting the role instead of someone else? Do I even deserve it? Jesus, what was I thinking?? I’m not good enough for this!

And it stops me in my tracks: shame, self-doubt and almost embarrassment. I can’t share this news with my peers, they’ll all be judging me behind my back – “why did she get it? Surely she’s not experienced enough. It should have been [so and so].”

In amongst the shame, was the thought “I shouldn’t share this with people who know me, it’ll come across as bragging and make me sound so big headed. Not what you want when you don’t even deserve the role in the first place.”

What was weirder was that I felt more comfortable sharing the news with a bunch of total strangers on my blog page than I did telling people who knew me, people who (I’d hope anyway!) actually like me. Because I didn’t have to worry about the strangers’ opinions, they don’t know if I’m capable or not. Bizarre how the brain works hey?

So, obviously, I gave myself another good talking to, kicked my own butt like no one else could and decided to bloody well practice what I preach – be unapologetically Amy.

I completely acknowledge the critics in the back row telling me how they can do it better, there’s no getting away from them. To ignore them would be both ignorant and arrogant in equal measures.

But know this, whatever they say can’t be any worse than the things I’ve said to myself already…and I’ve survived those, so anything else thrown my way should be an absolute breeze!

Yes there are people with more experience, there are people with more equestrian knowledge who have been immersed in the sport for as many decades as I’ve been alive. But I can bet your arse none of them can walk into a media centre at 7am and just get sh*t done with a smile for 15 hours straight, whatever it takes.

Yes, it might be with the aid of copious amounts of coffee in the morning and a fair quantity of rum as 10pm hits and we’re still going strong, but I’m still there smiling and cracking jokes, and I’d like to think the rest of the team will be grateful for that when we’re in various states of despair.

Some call me solutions driven, I call it a JFGID (just f**king get it done) attitude, either way it’s a seemingly transferable skill and serves me well.

I know I wasn’t the first choice, I wasn’t even the second, but someone must have enjoyed working with me and seen some level of capability to recommend me for such a job. That level of confidence in my ability from someone that knows what they’re talking about means a lot, and I shouldn’t disregard that.

So, here I am finally admitting that I’ve got this incredible opportunity, I’m sure as sh*t not going to screw it up and, quite frankly, I’m a little bit proud of myself.

Until next time…