When I was a little younger, I had officially come to grips with the idea that I am not as ‘naturally pretty’ as other girls. Where I got this idea from, I do not particularly know, but I do know that I believed it with all of my heart. In my young mind, some people are just beautiful. They were born with the lucky combination of chromosomes that made them gorgeous. But it is not all bad, because the rest of us have strengths too. Some of us were born with smarts, some can sing and dance, some have the undeniable talent to make people laugh. I did not believe I was given beauty, but that was okay because I exploited my strengths. I sang, I made people laugh, I worked hard in school, I wrote and I was a good friend to people who needed me. All the while, I never felt like not being ‘conventionally pretty’ hindered me. If anything, it empowered me, because I believed that everything I had, I had earned and didn’t have just because I was nice to look at.
Looking back, it is clear that I only had this view about myself because I compared myself to other people.
For most people, comparing yourself to others just distracts you from the many good qualities you hold. You might be amazing in one aspect, but complete overlook it because someone else shines bright in one particular thing. I learnt that I was beautiful. Maybe not in the conventional way, but then again, who wants conventional? I learnt that some of the things that make some people pretty do not work for me. I had to find indiviudal things that worked for me and made me confident and gorgeous. I think I have.
If you realise something does not work for you, you either forget about it or make it work for you. Life does not give you time to whine and cry about things that do not work, because there will be many things that do not work. If you do not work hard for it, you do not deserve it. Simple as that. And if you get things without working for them, you will not fully understand its value.
I am proud of the beautiful, young woman I have become today, mainly because I worked hard to become her. Because of this, I fully understand my value. I do not ever need to compare who I am, what I am, what I have to someone else, because I am enough. Until I realised this, I was incomplete, whether I realised it or not. If more people could see their worth, they would not care so much when they are cast down or told they are not good enough.
When I was a little girl, I was ‘encouraged’ to join my church choir, mainly because they desperately needed members. I had no interest in music and singing, I was much too busy with things nine-year old girls do. But I joined and soon I realised… I hated it. It was not for me, so I believed. I couldn’t hit the high notes, it took up way too much of my time and to make matters worse, the members were incredibly rude. They were not afraid to tell a nine-year old girl that she really could not sing. After crying on multiple occations, I realised they were probably right. Compared to the adults in the choir, I could not sing at all. However, I also realised that if I kept working hard, I will be able to sing. Fast forward a decade or two, and here I am. I can sing. I may not be Mariah Carey, but I can definetly hit more notes than I could then. The point of my anecdote is to demonstrate that comparing yourself with other people can also be a positive thing, but only if you use the comparison to motivate you. If you do it to pinpoint all the bad things about yourself, then it is not helpful.
You do not need someone to make you realise that you are better than where you are in life, right now. You just need yourself to make that first step to improvement. But sometimes it can be just as helpful to have people to measure against, just to show your progression.
Paula Melissa xx
I feel proud to be a young person whilst writing this post.
I feel proud that there are young people making a change and standing up for what they believe in. Inspiring young people is my passion, which is why I am always quick to praise and promote some encouraging, like-minded youth.
Suraj is seventeen and the founder of ‘Youth on Abuse’. ‘Youth on Abuse’ is a recently established campaign which aims to educate young people on the realities of domestic violence, through workshops at high schools and primary schools. Its primary focus is to highlight any stereotypes young people may have about victims and perpetrators of domestic violence, whilst allowing pupils to understand the forms that abusive relationships may take. This includes understanding its financial, sexual, psychological, physical and emotional shape.
Domestic violence can be such a hard, emotional subject to discuss. It can take a lot of courage to openly discuss and examine the issue. I think ‘Youth on Abuse’ is an amazing group because it demonstrates to men and women that have had to deal or are having to deal with abuse and violence, that we care. We as young people care about the problem and we are committed to deal with it.
Recent surveys reveal 40% of teenagers are already being subjected to relationship abuse. Both my parents are marriage councillors and they always say at their seminars, “Do not allow your marriage or relationship to be based on fear or dread of the other person. Get out of a relationship where you are being abused.” I totally agree but at the same time, I am not naive to believe that it is always as easy as packing your bags and leaving. That is why I respect this charity, for being a voice for people who cannot speak out.
The ‘Youth on Abuse’ aim to lower the amount of people subject to relationship abuse by implementing three elements of their strategy: Protection, Prevention and Education. They aim to fill young people with knowledge that will carry them through their adult lives and therefore positively influence them when building their future relationships. If from young ages people can learn that certain behaviours and certain acts are not okay and are not expectable in our society, we will see a significant decrease in domestic violence and relationship abuse.
“A few people have raised the issue that because we are a young group who aren’t specialised in this topic, the campaign won’t be effective.” Suraj says, completely aware of the criticisms ‘Youth on Abuse’ has received. “But I think it’s about being open to a neglected issue within our community and beyond, not necessarily being qualified. So I guess our greatest weakness is our greatest strength because the campaign puts emphasise on young people interacting with other young people on an ignored issue.”
I am a such a romantic, which means I love love and the idea of being made specifically compatible for that special someone. Domestic violence and relationship abuse is the worst thing because it takes away that joyful part of your life, and makes it a burden that you have to carry. If you genuinely believe that everyone deserves true love, as I do, you will support this campaign.
Please follow ‘Youth on Abuse’ on twitter (https://twitter.com/YouthOnAbuse) to keep updated with the movement.
– Paula Melissa xx
“What are you passionate about, Paula?” I asked myself, thinking hard. “What do you care about?”
When I contemplate on the word passion, I think of burning desire. Of undivided attention and care for something. “What are you passionate about, Paula?” The question rings clear in my mind, and frankly I do not know the answer. When you find your passion, you find your purpose.
I care about young people. I care about them because I am one, and I’ve seen young people deprived from things I’ve come to believe as necessaties that everyone should be entitled to. I care about reducing the amount of pain and abandonment young people feel can feel. This crucial stage of life is a tricky one, because it pretty much sets up how the rest of your life will shape out. I’m not trying to scare anyone, but I genuienly believe that. That is why I care about young people, because young people deserve to enjoy life, just as much as children and old people and everyone else in the world does too.
Inspiring young people is my passion. Find out more about what I care about here.
Paula Melissa xx
My last post was rather emotionally driven – more of a spur in the moment thing – and I have considered deleting it many times, but for now I’m leaving it. I think that I’m leaving it because I understand the importance of writing personally and being myself. This is a lifestyle blog, and death is a part of life – that’s my reasoning behind it, basically.
Anyway, on a happier note, here’s a short funny story my friend told me yesterday. It probably isn’t the funniest thing in the history of comedy, but at the time (In a painfully boring English Language and Literature lesson) I was crying actual tears of laughter.
I’m telling it from his point of view (with lots of added exaggeration (of course)):
I was at church on Sunday. The Pastor (the guy who stands at the front, basically) announced that his young daughter had a song to sing to the congregation (the people who sit on the chairs, basically). His youngest daughter refused to come up to sing the song unless her sister came with her. So the two sisters probably aged four and six, came to the front of the church to minister their song. They began singing into the microphone, first shaky then progressively more confident.
*The snow blows white on the mountain tonight…*
I was like, Hold on! I swear I know this song. Obviously, I said this in my head because it would have been rude to interrupt the little girls singing. Suddenly, I heard synchronised screams as other Frozen fangirls joined into their jam.
*LET IT GO! LET IT GO!*
Were they really singing Let It Go from Frozen, at church. I couldn’t actually believe it. When they finally finished screeching, the adults began clapping like they sang the most inspiring song ever.
I told you that you wouldn’t find it as funny as I did. Honestly, I was laughing so much. But on a side note, who else is tired of Frozen and Let It Go now (I used to be a die hard Frozen fan, but even I can admit, it needs to be stopped).
Paula Melissa x
You know I like you if I give you my undivided attention. You know I like you if I ignore you.
You know I like you when I am always nice to you. You know I like you when I constantly tease you.
You know I like you when I laugh at your jokes. You know I like you when I dead out your jokes and tell you that you’re not funny.
You know I like you when I smile at you. You know I like you when I frown at you.
You know I like you when I’m always positive around you. You know I like you when I always complain about things around you.
You know I like you when I talk a lot around you. You know I like you when I’m really quiet around you.
You know I like you when I remember every little fact about you. You know I like you when I literally forget you name.
You know I like you when I complement you. You know I like you when I don’t comment on your new haircut when I probably noticed.
You know I like you when I have cyber stalked and professionally preed every social media account you own. You know I like you when I don’t like any of your pictures on Instagram or retweet any of your tweets on twitter.
You know I like you when I know what subject you have at what period. You know I like you when I ask what subjects you do when you told me just yesterday.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that, you probably wouldn’t know if I liked you. Only I would know. But I probably like you. I like everyone.
Thank for reading. I was having a really girlish moment earlier this week, and felt like sharing a snapshot of my daily thought process. I’m not saying every girl is like this, I’m just saying I am.
A friend (within or outside marriage) is that person who will still hold your hands when you are in error.
A friend is the person who may be unable to solve your problem but can give you a shoulder to lean on.
A friend is the person who can listen to you even when you are not making sense.
A friend is the person you are not afraid of sharing your struggles with.
A friend is the person who can still call you ‘my friend’ when you do not deserve it.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you. Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that ye should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (John 15:13-16 ASV)
– written by anonymous guest writer