On set shooting as the Corpse Bride. Photo by https://atisang.co.za/
Anxiety has been a constant companion of mine and at times it cripples me to the point where I am unable to move. I make plans and cancel because of fear, I say I am going to do something but never end up doing it because of “what if”, which is silly when you think about it because more often than not that negative “what if” never happens.
Recently I packed my week full of distillery tours and meeting makers which turned out to be incredibly stressful. I drove all the way out to the Cradle of mankind as well as to Boksburg which was absolutely terrifying. As I battled the highway I began to ponder why I felt so fearful and came up with something really interesting.
Let me begin by going back in time. Once, long long ago, there was a little girl who was so painfully shy that she could barely say her name in public. So shy in fact that she had to go to drama lessons to learn to articulate and overcome her fears.
That little girl was me.
Now, I’ve told this to friends before who laugh at the idea of me being reserved because who I am today is extremely loud, flamboyant and full of confidence – or at least so I appear.
But the truth is that little shy and frightened girl has never really left me.
I love being on camera and performing but it is nerve wrecking every time.
Modeling as a bride
Combating the anxiety
Often times I find odd and unusual outfits that I adore and know will make people stare, but I force myself out of my comfort zone and don my regalia while faking it because I so desperately don’t want to be the little girl whose voice was never heard.
An unusual outfit that I wore recently
The mentality behind anxiety
Anxiety itself, I realised, appears to stem from my general lack of self worth. Again, a funny thing to consider when you look amount of modelling work I have done over the years.
The bottom line is that I don’t believe in myself. I am fearful of messing up something as simple as driving on a highway that isn’t the familiar old N1. I am nervous of going out of my comfort zone but once I am there, all cards bared, the ironic thing is that I thrive.
Since hitting 30, I’ve been doing a lot more introspection (more than usual that is) because this decade feels different. My 20’s were so insecure, full of craziness and instability. It sucks to hate yourself all the time and it’s draining comparing yourself to everyone around you.
So I made a decision to find ways to be kinder to myself. I read this question once that altered my perception of self talk.
It was a simple – “would you hang out with people who spoke to you the way you talk to yourself?”
Of course not! I would never put up with friends who called me a useless failure, fat, lazy and a waste of space. Would you?
No ways, right?
So why then is it ok to say those things to ourselves?
A snap of myself on a depressed day
Becoming self aware
I can’t say that I have the immediate solution to cure this sort of behaviour but at least I am far more aware of it.
I understand that everyone has their own battles.
The woman I think has the perfect body may suffer from an eating disorder. The one with the success and money may be on the verge of a nervous breakdown or who knows what.
Appearances can be deceiving
Adulting is all about appearances, the same as social media. Pretending we have our shit in order when the truth is that most of us don’t and there is nothing wrong with that! There is no manual to life.
Many people are afraid and anxious. They feel inadequate and worthless just as I do which leads me to believe that perhaps it is time that I begin letting go of comparisons. I am me and there is no one else who could do it better. Instead of trying to be someone else, I should remain true to the odd, quirky, freckled girl (I still call myself a girl) who may have her own set of problems, but more than that has immense passion and love.
The loud and quirky me
I’ve been working really hard at blogging and am slowly beginning to see the results that encourage me not to give up.
So yeah, I might have to conquer stupid mindsets on a daily basis, and there are times where something as simple as getting out of bed and brushing my teeth is an accomplishment, but I need not be ashamed of that.
My journey is my own. My battles are my own. And my life is my very own to live out in the best possible way, even if I don’t always rightly know how that may be.
Spreading the love
I just want to put out positive vibes and love to anyone else who is going through hard times. It always gets better, even if just marginally. And everything does really happen for a reason.
They always say do one thing a day that scares you which I always thought meant things like skydiving or doing shrooms or something. But it doesn’t have to be the huge dramatic acts. It can be something as simple as contacting someone to put yourself and your work out there, with no regard for the “what if”. It might be putting on a brave face to go to work and holding the tears in till you get back home again. These seemingly small feats are what make us all brave humans on a daily basis.
Whatever your battle, you are never alone.
Keep strong gin drinkers.
And till next time.