Papow Ponders #2: What Really Matters?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my grandma and how she’s always loved me. She loved me when I was a chubby, round baby. She loved me when my hair was long enough to sit on. She loved me when I chopped off all my hair. She loved me when  I refused to wear dresses and skirts. She loved me when I wore only black. She loved me when I was a fifteen stone fifteen year old. She loved me when I started wearing dresses and skirts again. She loved me when I started to wear more make-up. She loved me when I lost weight on my year abroad. She loved me when I got tattoos (especially when I got a copy of hers). She loved me when I started getting into pin-up and vintage. Even now, as she fades in and out of the here and now, she still loves me – I can hear it in her words and the way she holds my hand.

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Me minus any styling

It has taken me almost 28 years to realise that how I look has absolutely zero impact on the relationships I have with those who care about me. My family has always supported me no matter how I’ve looked. I have friends from many different walks of life and they have seen me in my various guises. The people who matter most stay with me. Although we have moved or changed in some way, we still make time for each other. Essentially, it’s the bonds we share that are stronger than our self-presentation.

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Walking around Malham with my better half

You do you. Just remember –  be kind, be open! How you wish to present yourself to the world is your choice, it does not dictate your personality, beliefs or attitudes. We can all change whenever we want. Some days I want to dress in pin-up style, sometimes I want to sit around in my pyjamas and often I just see where the mood takes me when I get up in the morning. No-one should feel any less of a person for dressing in a certain way – the person dressed to the nines with a full face of make-up is no better or worse than the person wearing gym gear. Whatever makes you happy – go for it! Flo and I love our vintage and pin-up gear but we’re still happy to see each other without it.

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Pin-up hair and walking boots

I don’t want to come to the end of my life full of regret and woe. I am tired of worrying what strangers think of me. There is so much good in the world – go out there and embrace it. Time is fleeting; spend your life doing what you love with the people you love – that’s what really matters.

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At the spot where we got engaged five years ago

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