Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tea and Truth

There’s no escaping it. This blog (and each and every one like it) is a virtual reality. It could be seen as yet another chance to present a shiny, polished version of myself onto the Internet for all to see – a made up, well behaved, confident, funny and intelligent version of myself. No pressure. With social media growing at a terrifying pace, it’s astonishing that so many of us fall for the versions of others that they choose to present to the world. The aspects of themselves and their lives that they decide to share, when no doubt the reality is often very different. Ever found yourself perusing the pages of people who appear far happier than you? More beautiful, successful, organised and talented? As 21st Century women (and men!) we are faced with a constant barrage of images and lifestyles we are supposed to aspire to. The idea is that we compare our own realities with these and, more often than not, find that we don’t match up.

I don’t want this blog to adhere to the fantastical notion of what I, as a 25 year old woman, should be. OK, so the fact that I choose to talk about my faith rather than the latest beauty and fashion products probably bucks the trend somewhat. However, when starting this little space in the corner of the Internet, I set out to present an entirely honest reflection of myself. Not to lace it with a thick sugar coating, or photoshop it to within an inch of it’s life because that’s not real. I try to reflect my own struggles and fears in life and in my walk with God, as well as the moments when I feel pure contentment – yes, contentment, because (despite what the media tells us) it’s OK to be happy with what you have!

So, here’s a belated, basic intro for you. I ain’t no photoshopped, plastic, media friendly doll, because that’s not how I was made and neither were you. Here’s me in a nutshell.

I’m a 25 year old primary school teacher. For someone with very little patience, this may be considered an unusual choice of occupation. Indeed, there are days when I resemble Miss Trunchbull more than Miss Honey as I repeat for the thousandth time “You have just got in from break, you should have gone to the toilet then [insert child’s name here, along with angry eyes and gritted teeth]”. 

I long ago stopped trying to tame my thick, mousey hair and it is entirely left to its own devices each and every day – devices which, I might add, seem to swing from being relatively presentable to downright unmanageable. Stepping into a new hairdressers, I can always predict the sighs of wonder at the ‘amount of hair’ I have cleverly managed to grow on top of my head and the questions as to how long it takes for me to blow dry and style (HA!) in the mornings. On one occasion, the hairdresser managed to do such a ‘wonderful’ *hideous* job of ‘volumising’ my hair that I had to request anti-frizz be plastered in huge amounts immediately. Her efforts to hide the snigger which followed were courageous, though futile as she shuffled off to find the ‘extra strength’ bottle – kept out back (for emergencies I can only imagine).

I bite my nails when I’m stressed and I hold a personal record of approximately 2 hours of having nail varnish on without it chipping. Every now and again I optimistically attempt to shape them, but am bemused by the concept of sanding down my nails and tend to give up when I get to my right hand since my left is completely and utterly hopeless. Ambidextrous I am not (and, in the spirit of truthfulness, yes I did just have to look up the spelling of that word).

I wear jeans practically every day and have a proper fear of my skirt flying up in the wind when walking the streets in a dress. Truth.

I am useless at small talk and find the prospect of entering rooms with large groups of people that I do not know faintly horrifying. My brain will quickly clam up and I find myself panic talking about the weather… dreadful. I escape at any opportunity and retire to the sanctuary of my comfy lounge with a steaming cup of tea, sleepy cat and handsome husband. Heaven. On that note, long gone are the days when nights out were considered the perfect Friday or Saturday night. Nowadays, a good documentary (yes, you heard me), comfy slippers and a single glass of wine do me just fine. I realise this makes me sound old at the age of 25, but that’s me.

I’d choose a bath over a shower and prefer cats over dogs.
I read chick lit (despite my Literature degree), drink £5 bottles of wine and consider 11pm a late night.
I get bored by films and flick through the channels during ad breaks.
I can’t stand shopping for shoes and will wear the same pair until they quite literally fall apart on my feet before replacing them.
I can’t be done with taking hours over my face and my make up takes me 10 minutes in the morning, 8 at a push…

This has turned into a confessions list. Apologies. Here’s hoping you’ve made it to the end without flicking onto the next page. My tea has turned cold and the call of chocolate from the cupboard is getting louder, but I hope I’ve succeeded in (belatedly) setting the tone for this blog. A place where it’s OK to be you: whether that be a tea-sipping, introverted, frizzy haired, cat lover like myself or a totally different personality. Embrace the reality of who you are and celebrate it. Because God created you in His image and you matter to Him.

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