Throughout my life so far, I have often held myself back from doing new and interesting things. Whenever I was offered such opportunities my head would automatically come up with a million reasons why this was not a good idea and why I shouldn’t participate. For example, I missed out on many school trips due to imagined events that may or may not have even happened. Camping?! Jesus Christ, the germs! The Spiders! You’ll never come out alive! So I had to wait behind whilst my friends skipped off into the sunset for a week of camping with the other Year Eight pupils, anticipating fun and games, and I had to make some feeble excuse for why I wasn’t joining in the ‘shits and giggles’. It looked like they had an amazing time, and I bunked off school for that week watching Jeremy Kyle and comforting myself with the biscuit tin.
It started to dawn on me in the next couple of years that I would always be the Jeremy Kyle, biscuit-eating woman, slowly expanding my waistline and reducing my life-prospects, waiting for things to come to me rather than grabbing them by the balls, and eventually dying fat and alone. Things began to change slightly. I realised that my problem was that I was always saying ‘No’ to things. This is good in some cases, of course. But I was saying ‘No’ to really fun things, new and exciting experiences, things that would help me to grow as a person and would leave me with fond memories and feelings of pride. I started ignoring the voices in my head and started saying ‘Yes’ before I had even realised the word had escaped from my lips. I felt like Baby from Dirty Dancing, leaping triumphantly from the corner. As a result, I modelled in the Portsmouth University fashion show when I was 15. I had been approached in my local shopping centre and was asked if I would help them out with their graduate show. The old me would immediately have said ‘No’. The new me blurted out ‘Yes’ and a few weeks later I was strutting down a runway.
Last year I had an email from CUB Magazine asking people if they wanted to apply to write for the magazine. As always, I hesitated for a second: You can’t write for CUB! You won’t be able to do it, and besides everyone will laugh at your articles. But then I thought ‘Fuck it!’ And here I am as a columnist. I feel very proud to say this.
I am excited for the future. I hope to keep saying yes to things and having more new and fun experiences. Don’t hold yourself back, just say yes!