Over the past year people have told me I’m doing great, that I’m amazing, a great mum doing a great job, fabulous, strong, you name it, I’ve been told it. These comments have often made me feel uncomfortable, I’ve brushed them off and I’ve avoided listening to them and politely said thank you and that I’m not. My previous line manager used to say it all the time, “you’re so strong, you’re amazing” and again I used to say I wasn’t.

Over the past week on three separate occasions, I’ve been told I’m amazing or fabulous and for the first time ever I’ve replied with “yes, I am, and it’s about time I agreed with people.” One person was someone who knows everything about me, she was my counsellor for 6 years and is now a much admired friend. She’s always told me I was great and I’ve never turned back and said “yes I am” and I know for a fact she will be so proud, relieved and thinking “it’s about bloody time you thought it too!” As I responded to her message I could see the pleased smile and chuckle on her face at my response-she has smiley eyes and they’d have been sparkling.

Because the fact is, I am amazing. Not for any other reason than I am me and I’m allowing myself to enjoy my life and be my best self. I’m amazing because I admit that being a mum, single mum, a divorcee, a teacher, a leader, a friend, a daughter and all the roles I am are each in their own right, really bloody hard work sometimes and I have to ask for help and support from time to time. I’m amazing because despite any adversity, I’ve still got up, shown up and carried on, because sometimes you’ve got to. As someone said to me this weekend when I told them they were fantastic, “well what else can you do, you’ve got to carry on and make the best of things” and it’s true.

I know it’s easier said than done but you’ve got to take things one day at a time, allow yourself to live through some of the hard and tough times, have your sadness, anger and other negative emotions but then not stay in them, find yourself coping strategies and mechanisms to dig yourself out and make you happier.

I think I’m amazing because I admit that happiness is a permanent state. Ok my recent posts have been full of positivity but I don’t always feel that way, I have the crap days where toddler P drives me bonkers, or work is a challenge because the students are giddy and hard work or I have to address difficulties in my department. Life is always going to throw challenges at you, that is life, it is crap sometimes but it is also great and accepting that you’re allowed to feel different emotions and ride the waves is key. I think sometimes we’re searching for this permanent feeling of euphoria when actually that’s an unrealistic expectation, in reality what we need to search for is some contentment and the ability to enjoy the highs of life and to feel the sadness and anger of the lows and to be able to ride up and down this rollercoaster, because that’s normal.

I’m amazing because I’ve finally allowed myself to start loving myself again, it’s not easy and to be honest I think I’m amazing because I openly admit I also had a phase in my life where I hated myself. I had a phase in my life where I was miserable, allowed myself to be treated badly, treated myself badly and quite honestly didn’t dig myself out of that hole. I wanted everyone else to fix my problems, I wanted everyone else to make me feel better and boost my self esteem when in actual fact I had to face the reality and gravity of the situation and change it. I’m amazing because I admit this and I did it, I changed it.

I’m amazing because I’m getting off my backside and building what I want my life to now be. I want a nice garden, I’ve taken on the challenge and I’m building it myself (ok with a little help from my friends). I want to get fit and feeling better in my body so I’ve openly admitted I have sad and bad days and comfort and binge eat so I’ve stopped it and I’ve stopped stupid fad diets and I’ve started to take control of my comfort eating. I’m amazing because I admit how lonely it can be being a single mum, how you often feel left out or stared at because you’re the single one at family events, friend’s parties, you’re the one with the kid and no dad/husband/partner or because you’re childfree time is restricted due to lack of another parent. I’m amazing because although these challenges are there and I face them everyday I still know I’m a hell of a lot better off than other people and face each day and enjoy the positives and things I do have.

It’s nice to admit to myself that I’m amazing. It’s nice to tell myself how strong I am, how well I’m doing and how despite my faults, the difficulties I face and the challenges life brings, I’m ok, I’m lucky and I’m happy. It’s nice because I spent so many years chasing that affirmation from others, I sought for someone else to tell me and feel that I was brilliant and wonderful, I’ve recently had it from lots of close friends and family and now, I truly believe it.

Look in the mirror, tell yourself you’re amazing and remind yourself that anyone that doesn’t think so can shove off!

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