Day 24: Sleigh

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Christmas can be a difficult time, all that family together in close quarters, all that cleaning and cooking to do. I try not to allow myself to stress but invariably do, spending much of Christmas morning red-faced and cussing. Sometimes snapping at my loved ones, as they naturally try to help me out, and I don’t let them.

I’m not talking about my immediate family here because these days it’s just us, chilling out but I saw something on social media about how hard it can be to spend all that time with the people you love when they just don’t understand you. This post in particular was about a girl struggling with being called fat continually throughout the Christmas period by her parents and extended family.

Now, I do know how this feels as I grew up with critical family members, who from an early age made digs about how much and what I ate at Christmas (and all year round). I still remember the exact words and who uttered them, and I must have been no more than 8 at the time. They didn’t stop as I grew up and honestly, if I had a penny for every time I’ve heard “You’d be beautiful if you lost weight”, I’d have a lot of pennies. (Which I’d spend on crisps).

I wish people would stop. Or at least consider how even the most throwaway comment can land and stick for life. I’ve never been conventionally attractive or slim and it doesn’t matter to anyone. Why should it bother an aunt I only ever see briefly at Christmas or funerals?

It isn’t always about weight or looks, either. It can be about career or lack thereof. Or your inability to hold down a relationship. Maybe you have the wrong relationship. Maybe you’re just not living up to your family’s expectations, whatever they are.

In my own meandering way I’m trying to say, if you’re in a situation like this: hang in there. It’s hard just to say fuck them when they’re your family, I know*. Sometimes you’ve no choice but to grin and bear it. But please try to remember that you should be answerable to nobody but yourself.

So they don’t like the way you look. And? They think you could do better career wise. What do you think, are you happy? 

They despise your boyfriend/girlfriend? Well, you’ve kind of got me here ‘cos in my experience, Mother is always right. But you know, you’re the one who has to decide this and you will decide this when the time is right. (I’m living proof you have to take your own time to figure this shit out).

Go slay this Christmas season: be secure in who you are. Try and be patient with the ignorance of others, if you can. Don’t tolerate anything that upsets you. Believe in yourself and don’t forget, people with happy healthy lives never feel the need to throw verbal punches, so consider that.

You’re fucking perfect the way you are. Merry motherfucking Christmas! ❤

*Mum, if you’re reading this, I don’t mean you!

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