America’s sweetheart - Elle King

This song to me represents breaking free of stereotypes and the roles we feel were expected to play in life

I grew up believing, as a girl and later as a woman, I was expected to look and act a certain way

I had to be pretty, thin, demure, sweet and never too aggressive, loud, bossy or confident It got more complicated as I got older: I had to be innocent, but not too innocent. Quiet but not mute. Intelligent but not a know it all

I didn’t know where these rules came from, and determining whether they were all in my head, or whether it was bigger than that, drove me mad

I ended up sectioned

I don’t feel like I have to prove myself anymore, I am who I am, I fought hard for that, earnt it, the right to be myself

No one has to earn it, you are born deserving

I don’t want to go backwards, and that why I won’t bow to societal pressures anymore

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring. Marilyn Monroe

Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness. Allen Ginsberg

Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. Judy Garland

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love – for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you from misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Max Ehrmann, Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life

You were born to stand out, stop trying to fit in. Roy T. Bennett

When I was first diagnosed with anorexia they asked me what caused it

I said I just wanted to be normal

I thought that included being thin

They said normal doesn’t exist

And how did I define normal

To me it was the girls at school who didn’t get teased. I didn’t want to be anything special, just under the radar. Passable

Baby was a very elaborate system of self defence and protection. She was a false identity, a shell, a costume and a mask

I lived as her for a decade. When I say that I don’t think people understand how deep it went. I blocked out the memories of how I looked before the makeover, as soon as I did it.

I never looked back

It was only after the psychosis that I recovered childhood memories I’d lost

Gaining weight was, and still is, traumatic to me. I’m not my goal weight, I’ll get there

The main point of this blog entry is to be yourself, and stop trying to be everyone’s sweetheart. Be outspoken, be smart and funny and kind and whoever it is that you really are

I’ll end with another song:

It’s Gonna be Okay, Baby - MUNA

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