I'm not the same person I was one year ago. Especially not ten years ago.
I grew up in a good family. Just normal, everyday people. I was fortunate enough to do gymnastics as a child, but overall my teenage years and my early 20's were quite sedentary. If you told people I knew during that time that I have become a Personal Trainer, they'd definitely be surprised!
Our lives are journeys. Now, I don't like using that word. It seems a bit mammy-pamby to me, but it's true. We don't stop growing or once we reach physical and mental maturity. We stop growing when we die.
Think about it. Identity is important. What makes you, you? For some of us, this is an easy question to answer, but for many, it's quite difficult. I see myself as intelligent, fun, compassionate, determined. As females, we grow up with a focus on external appearances. This isn't a huge deal. There's absolutely nothing wrong with telling a young girl she looks lovely in her new outfit, or that she has beautiful eyes. However, if these comments aren't balanced, we can subconsciously "train" our young girls to think that it is super important to be beautiful, and that if we don't look good, then there is something wrong. I know that this isn't the intention of people, because sometimes you just don't know what to talk about with young kids, so why not talk about clothes? But I think we need to realise the importance of celebrating other parts of ourselves too. This also goes for boys, in their own unique way.
Personally, I enjoy getting genuine compliments from my husband and other people in my life about my appearance. Of course I want to look nice, I want to present well. But to have someone genuinely compliment my intelligence or my skills really hits the spot! It means so much to know that "I am more than just a pretty face". Because just like Neghar Fonooni says in the image above:
We have been blessed with amazing bodies. The things our bodies are capable of really does astound me. My body has given me the ability to think, create, perform, transform. That's pretty freakin' cool.
This is true and I am so so grateful for the ability to change. Hindsight is a great thing, and while I was happy in my sedentary teenage years and early twenties, what I have learned and applied to my life has made me so much happier. I have great satisfaction, knowing that I now have the knowledge to help myself and do the right thing by myself. And I get to help people learn what I have learned too. That's awesome!
Don't get me wrong. The changes that have taken place in me in the last 15-20 years have come with their challenges, and in a way they are still challenging me. But, if change was simple, it kinda would be boring, right?
I have a bit of an inferiority complex. Sometimes, I don't feel like a "proper adult". I look at other people my age, and they have nice clothes, fancy watches, they even have clothes that require ironing. I like being barefoot, wearing my Muppets t-shirt, relying on my phone as a time piece, and doing handstands wherever possible and whenever appropriate. But you know what? I accept that I don't conform to my own ideas of how a "proper adult" looks and behaves because I am happy, and I bring value to the world in my own unique way. If I was to have a job that required me to wear heels everyday (yuck!), have a full face of make up, do my hair (as in, more than brush it!), and wear a dress, I would not like it. I might enjoy the novelty of it for a short while but I'm pretty sure that after a couple of hours I'd get sick wondering if I had lipstick on my teeth. I love the fact that I am me, my husband loves me as I am, and that it's ok to not conform to anyone's mould.
I am Hannah. I am fun. I love gymnastics. I love food. I love sleep. I am intelligent. I like learning about the human body. I like learning about how things work. I work on cars with my husband. I love wearing casual clothes but I also love getting dressed up - occasionally. And I love the mould I have created for myself. I challenge you to do the same.