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As always, Jen here.
Let’s get right into it;
I have not always made decisions that have benefited me. This stretches from what I eat, to whom I talk to and of course, how positive I choose to be on any given day. And yet, regardless of these choices, I am a twenty-one year old girl with a treasure chest of gifts being laid at my feet. Particularly for a girl in a world when so many are slaughter for breathing, I cannot ignore my fortune in this.
Picture this premise – a girl chosen to rise to success purely by that girl’s ability to change the definition of success. It sounds like an interesting novel perhaps and yet it is my life. That girl is a template which many of us have been given as a birthright.
I choose to rise because I am not only lucky to have the opportunities given to me in life, but I am also deserving of such opportunities. Indeed, I have been fortunate and shall continue to be regarding my novel. I know this like I know the sun rises in the east and it is not my gender that defines this, but my diligence for nurturing exceptional talents, including a positive mindset.
However it is not lost on me that so many do not feel like this is an option for them. Recently, I have been insatiable in my awareness of all that I could be and just what I was doing to inhibit that. This knowledge was palpable everyday until I was at a concert in Dublin.
The entire day had been blissfully spent with my best friend. She is graciousness incarnate. Had she been born in a different era she would wear a crown of golden hearts and her kindness would be renowned. Instead, she has to make do with my love. Whilst I am not often my best-self despite my attempts, she is gentle in her reminders that to be myself on any given day is a wonderful thing. Because of this, the day was sweet.
Generally speaking, I do not handle long days well. Chronic fatigue plays a juggling game with my other conditions vying for the lucrative spot of illness-of-the-day. By the time we reached the concert venture I was more excited than tired. I was comfortable in the idea that we had seated tickets, something my friend did for me without thinking. However, the difficulty came during the concert when people began standing. They were taken by the music and began to dance. I stood for a time until my legs grow blood-logged and I started to feel heavily sick. When I sat, I couldn’t see a thing of the stage.
I am a positive and mindful person but in that moment I grew childlike in my petulance for my life. More than anything I was angry that I could not do this one thing like everyone else. Angry tears sparked it my eyes. What’s important is that I choose to be negative and this agitated my symptoms only more so.
Yet it was short-lived.
It all ended when I saw her. The girl was sitting next to my friend and we were the only two not standing. Yet whilst I was handing my health bullets and asking it to shoot me whilst I was down, this girl was plainly self-conscious of her appearance and weight. She covered her body as much as she could do and blushed when she saw me looking. She had a smattering of freckles and her hair was dark. She couldn’t be more than fifteen. Suddenly it struck me that she had come to the concert alone.
The world came up to meet me then and I was brought back to sense, not with a slap, but with an understanding. I looked down at my body then and realised that this girl and I were both berating ourselves insidiously. I glanced back at her then, and imagined her unashamed of her beauty and revelling in the bravery she holds to come alone. I imagined what that might grow into.
She could be a lightning rod of strength and climb the ladders in life which she had never dreamed of. Or perhaps she may invent a new ladder and girls and boys over the world who blush at their thighs and make eye contact only with the floor may follow her.
I could feel it then, just as vividly as I had felt my love of writing as an eight-year-old writing my first short story entitled ‘Starry Night’. This girl would have been the crown princess in that tale.
I would happily narrate the world a happier place if I knew I could help every girl or boy or woman or man as easily as I could write their joy. But we are all given our own treasure box of talents with a very individual key, and I can only thank mine for my words and the availability of a platform to use them.
Instead I stood for the last two songs of the concert and held hands with my friend. Sickness will come and go, and perhaps for me it may never go, but concerts and princess tales may not be around when the lights go up. So I stood, confident that my legs would withstand as long as my mind would.
But before all of that, I offered the sitting girl a sweet and a smile. It was all I had and it was just enough as afterall, good enough is good enough.