29 December 2019

My End Of Year Post - Looking Back At My Decade

*Long post

A couple of months ago I was on Twitter when I saw someone pose a question.  "We are in the last month of the end of a decade, what have you accomplished?"

My initial thought was, nothing. How depressing.

That was because I was judging my life by the atypical milestones and accomplishments that most people have by my age.  House, marriage, children, successful career.

I don't have a house that I own, I'm not married and I don't want children.  People tend to judge a successful career as being doctor, a solicitor, a business owner etc.  That isn't my career; however I not only enjoy my job, but it is also worthwhile and I do, in a small wheel of the cog, make a difference to people's lives.

If you look at the list above, all the things that you are expected to have achieved and done, there are some that would say that you are failing in your life.  But life is not just about those things.

The truth is that I am a completely different person to the woman I was in 2010.  This blog may be anonymous but I think that I can share my story here as I think it is important for me to note it, remember it, remind myself of how far I have come.

2010 me hno confidence, no self worth, no voice, no opinions.  I needed validation from others as I could not validate myself.  The previous decade had been lost to depression and I was determined to change.  To find myself and be myself instead of trying to be what I thought others would like more.

The change was started by joining Twitter.  I joined to find fellow Formula One fans online and by chance, I came across a blog post, the first I had ever read.  She was a fashion blogger who wasn't the typical size 8, something I didn't know existed.  She had confidence in bounds and talked so well about not just confidence, but other topics and shared things from her life that I could associate with well.

I started my own.  I was terrified.  But slowly, I started posting more, working with brands, going to events, networking.  My wardrobe changed from a sea of black to colours, prints and many, many dresses.  I also started writing about what I felt, about subjects that I felt passionate about.  My love of writing that I always knew I had, allowed me to heal in so many ways.  My thoughts flowed through my fingertips on to the screen in a way that I could never truly express before.

Fast forward a few years and my writing was less about fashion and more about topics and opinions.  By then I was also working with brands and PR firms writing advertorial content which nicely topped up my full time job income.

But then.  Then the last couple of years happened and my world changed again.  On a massive scale.

By 2018 I had fallen into left wing politics and intersectional feminism.  I wrote about both a lot on my blog and I now felt confident in expressing my thoughts and opinions both off and online.

I have always wanted  to learn more and if I am interested in a subject, I research.  I look into both sides so that I can talk with some background knowledge.  I believe that life is about learning, whether academic or just becoming more knowledgeable about the world you live in.  Be it politics, feminism, different cultures, etc.

I came across an article about a cyclist called Rachel McKinnon.   A transgender woman who was beating biological woman on the track.  Not just beating, but winning races, creating record times.  Not surprising really.  That is what sent me, like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, into gender critical thinking.

I had always previously been of the opinion, and in the main still am, of let people be what they want to be.  What was the harm in respecting others?

But suddenly it was not just about respecting that some men identified as women.  It wasn't about respecting pro nouns of those people who went down that path.  The worm had turned, seemingly overnight but I suspect (and know) and that the topic had not come across my path until that point.

Suddenly, it was no longer just about respect.  It was activists saying that trans women were actual women.  That lesbians should accept "lady dick".  That 12 year old girls having double mastectomies was normal.  That immediate affirmation was more important that  making sure that someone was actually on the right path.  That self ID instead of the current GRA rules was the only acceptable way forward and to disagree, was to be a TERF, a transphobe.

I started tweeting a lot about the subject and quickly found that my views were not acceptable to the PR firms and clients I worked with.  I was advised to be more PC.  I could not do that.  I stopped writing on my blog, deleted my 9 year Twitter account and refused further work.  I could not and would not bend the knee.  I lost my part time income, but it was more than worth it.

The groups that I had previously been part of and helped me to find my confidence, were now shunning and banning me.  That hurt.  I was talked about and actively ostracized.  I was told that I no longer belonged in feminism, yet I never felt more a feminist in my life.

But what I lost, I gained in spades.  The gender critical community were massively supportive.  I felt, and feel, like I had found my people.  People who believed that women's rights were being lost and needed to be protected.  People who believed and knew, of course, that biological sex is immutable.  People who, like me, had to be anonymous now because of the waves of attacks from people who claimed to be on the left and the most progressive.

What they are, and I quote the amazing Magadelen Burns here, are people who are so woke that their brains fell out.

So where I am now ending 2019 in comparison to how it started?

I have confidence.  I have self worth.  I have a voice and am not afraid any more to say what I think.  If you follow my Twitter, you more than know the last one.

My depression and anxiety has been better than it has in the last twenty years.  My dysthymia, which for years I didn't even recognise that I had, is improving but that is a battle.  One I think that I am slowing winning.

I am part of an amazing community of people who fights back against trans activists and supports women and our rights.  They inspire me and teach me every single day.

I am, for the first time in my adult life, in a relationship with a man who is amazing. Some who not only treats me wonderfully but also encourages me to say the things I am scared to say.  To learn more.  To be braver.   To be the person I really am, without fear.

All in all?  I have had a bloody good decade.  Here's to 2020. 

1 December 2019

Retraining Your Mind

When you think about education, you think about high school, college, university.  Gaining the knowledge that you need in order to get the job that you want.  Learning the right information that will gain you the skills that you need.


Not everyone is able to learn in the same way and whether you go all the way through to gaining a degree, or just end your education when leaving high school; you have been left with tools which will help you move forward in life.  From the absolute basics such as learning to read and write, add up numbers to having the information you need to start a career as a lawyer, doctor, engineer.

Personally, I believe that education never really ends.  Even after you leave the formal institutions of learning, we do in the most part, learn something new every day that adds to our knowledge or helps us to improve.

We do in the ways that we interact with other people, the news that we read and see, the subjects that we are interested in.  When our interest is piqued, we want to know more.   One spark of interest can lead to everything from feeling more knowledgeable about a subject you enjoy, to even a change in career.

While formal education gives you the basics, certainly in high school, it is when we find the subjects that interest us when our brains are truly stimulated and in turn, we learn more effectively and  it does not feel like a hardship or chore as it is something that we enjoy.

As we all know, time moves quickly when you are having fun or doing something you enjoy.  Time seems to slow down the most when we wish it away (like the final hours of a Friday afternoon at work).

Just like educating your brain, you can also educate your mind, to motivate you and make the most of your time.  This can help in many ways and certainly in a work day.

Generally, if you are having a good day, you are more productive.  A bad mood can result in a slow day with not much work done which does not benefit you, or your employer come to that!

It can take a second to change a bad mood to a good one.  To change the path of your day from sluggish and unproductive, to motivated and active.  Like when your favourite song comes on the radio and suddenly, you feel happier and more upbeat.

More and more now businesses are turning to training courses to offer to their employees.  Everything from team building exercises to helping you motivate yourself to be more productive.

NLP Training Courses is one such company that businesses use to assist their employees with new ways of thinking and helping to change the way that you self influence your behaviour.  Learning techniques that will help you to change your day and mood, thereby increasing productivity which helps in both your work and personal life.

Learning to think in a different way can turn a "I can't" to a "I can".  It can push to believe that something that we believed was not possible, to become a reality.  

This is how the one minute mile was broken.  How imagined inventions become real.  How your interests, like in my life, writing, can become a career.

How do you think that changing the way you think could help in your life?