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 over 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…

@citygirlcountrylife_

Unapologetically Amy

So I recently set up an Instagram page to go along with this blog (@citygirlcountrylife_) and it prompted me to do a little bit of a more in-depth post about me. It’s something I’ve managed to avoid in the 2+ years I’ve been doing this and, in all honesty, it’s about time I stepped up – if you can’t beat the fear, do it scared!

As those close to me can attest, what you see is very much what you get with me, and one of my little life mottos is to always be “unapologetically Amy” – own who you are and don’t apologise for it. Ever.

I’m not going to lie, it’s not always been the easiest one to live by because, quite frankly, I speak my mind far too often and have a relatively faulty (ok, let’s face it, non-existent) brain to mouth filter that can land me in a bit of hot water on occasion. You’re surprised, I know.

So, yes, occasionally I have had to break my own rule, but apologising for dumb sh*t you say is somewhat different to apologising for your own existence, and the former is the only concession I make! And you know what? Being brave enough to accept accountability for your errors shows a lot about you as a person. I know many people in their 30’s (and older!) who still can’t.

To accept who you are is a tough one – worrying if your mere character is abrasive to others, if you’re “blank” enough (good enough, smart enough, funny enough, pretty enough…) to be in someone’s company – it’s difficult convincing yourself on a daily basis that you are any (or all) of those things and I’m under no illusion it’s a long old path to acceptance. There will be so many times you doubt yourself, I still do occasionally and I have to give myself a proper talking to!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last two years of my life it’s this: if you’re surrounding yourself with people who think you aren’t “blank” enough to be in their presence, then their presence isn’t worth your concern.

These are not the people that are going to be there when the sh*t hits the fan and believe me, you need to find people who will because at some point in your life it’s going to – on a monumental scale – and you will thank god every day for that small group of friends who pick you up off your arse, dust you off and tell you to get ready for round 2 because, “ding ding”, here we go again.

But that crap, that terrible situation you’re facing that seems unbearable, with the right people by your side and with one step at a time, you manage to deal with it. And here you are on the other side with an even clearer picture of who you are and who is important in your life. Invest in those people, they save you time and time again, no questions asked, zero f*cks given.

Last year I read a book called Daring Greatly by an incredible woman called Brené Brown. In it she describes life as a gladiator arena that you have to stand in the middle of and fight your demons, with the pleasure everyone watching. She made me realise that you’re always going to have critics in your life, but the important lesson is that the only opinions that matter are those from others who are (or have been) also in that arena. Essentially, if you’re not down here with me, struggling through the same sh*t and fighting the same battles, your opinion REALLY does not matter.

Of course, these arseholes in the cheap seats at the back pointing at you, telling you how you could be better are always going to have an opinion – and do you notice how they’re always the ones judging you the loudest?! You’ll never stop them and the sooner you accept that and block it out, the better. But as long as you show up and be seen and you get up again and again, you’re already doing better than them. I’ll say it louder for those at the back, their opinions REALLY don’t matter.

Now, some may call me arrogant, other common labels are ‘b*tch’ or ‘ballsy’ but I’ll tell you as I tell them: if I had a pair of b*llocks hanging between my legs, we wouldn’t be having this conversation now, would we? I’d be told I was confident, assertive, cocky at a push…so I’ll take b*tch as a compliment thanks, and don’t let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.

Unapologetically Amy…always. 😉

Until next time!

New Year, New Me…Blah, Blah, Blah!

Oh man it’s the 2nd of January and I’m already SO done with the whole “New Year, New Me” (along with a whole host of unimaginative emojis) crap!

Is it me becoming an even bigger cynic as I race towards my mid thirties at a rate I’m feeling less than comfortable with? Or is it just literally everywhere and on an even larger scale than usual this year?

Come on people, let’s own who we are or at least find a more creative way of jumping on the “personal development” bandwagon. Pleeeease!!

Not only that, but it seems like every other TV advert is for a holiday company at the moment…What’s all that about?!?! We’re all legit-poor after the exorbitant costs of Christmas (don’t even get me started on that one!) and I don’t know about you, but I am DEFFO not in bikini body shape after living on a diet solidly consisting of pâté, cheese, cold meats, Christmas tree chocolates and stocking sweets for the last 2.4 weeks!

(She says as she has absolutely no plans to get her fat ass out on a run in the next week)

But I do have a New Years resolution (aside from kicking my arse into gear and actually writing more than one blog post a month, of course)… I vow to remain the same sarcastic, loud-mouthed, opinionated gobsh*te with the grade A resting bitch face that you all have grown to know and adore…! If it ain’t broke, why fix it eh?! 😂

Until next time!