my quiet strength


After hosting my grlpowr chat the other week (which can I just say ohmygoodness it was so much fun!) I got talking to my mum about strength, specifically my own, and wanted to share a few things with you all. 

I consider myself to be a fairly strong person; I know my thoughts and feelings on things and I'm not likely to let someone talk me into something I really don't want to do, I can trust my gut instinct and I know which of my personality traits are strong ones; and which need work.

One of my answers in the chat was that a trait I now consider to be a strength is my quietness; but I didn't always feel this way, partly because I didn't feel comfortable in myself but mainly because of society's idea that louder people are more. More confident, more assured, more everything than quieter people are.  From Year 1 to Year 13 myself and my parents were told in yearly reports, parent-teacher meetings and one-to-ones that "Eloise is hard working but quiet", "You should speak up more", "Eloise should ask for help when she needs it" etc. etc.  It was this last one that really got my goat, just because I'm not always chatting with my friends or helplessly waving my hand in the air doesn't mean I don't understand.  I'm quiet not an idiot and I am aware that I can and should ask for help but if I understand the task then I'm not going to do that!? 
For years I was always told to be louder; and to a quiet thirteen year old this translated as "you aren't enough" which wasn't exactly fun. It's only in the past couple of years that I've started to really accept myself as a just being a naturally quiet person. I'm now at a point where I feel comfortable and happy being one! There's nothing wrong or faulty about it. It's just part of me, part of who I am.

The summer before I started university was horrible; I was completely stressed and if something could go wrong then of course it did and when everything settled, I watched my parents drove away from my accommodation, walked back to my room and completely freaked out. For weeks all I wanted to do was give up and go home but thanks to my flat-rep & personal tutor supporting me and constantly handing me tissues while I worked it out I got through it. I stayed, two years later I'm still really proud of myself for staying and I'm stronger now because of it. 

To me strength is also sticking to my guns, going for things and shoving my way through everything life throws at me; my A-Level drama teacher told me I wouldn't get into university; I'm now going into my third year. When I first came out I had then-friends say I'd never find love or be happy; I'm still waiting on the first one but I'm now at a point where I'm really comfortable with my sexuality.  Almost every single maths teacher told me I'd have to retake, be prepared to fail; I got solid C's in every exam. I'm bloody determined and the simplest way to  get me to do something is to say I can't / I should give up (it's also the simplest way to get me to utterly despise you..)  Yes I have wobbly moments at times but I've got this far and it might take a while but trust me, I will prove you wrong.

As I'm writing I keep thinking of more Really Important Moments that shaped both myself and my strength but I won't bore you with them all, it's enough that I know and I recognise where I used to be and how I got to right here; 

Strength can come in so many different ways and sometimes it is running towards things that scare the socks off you which sparks off that flame of "I CAN".

Thankyou for reading!! I'd love to know about your own strength so let me know in the comments or point me in the direction of your own blogpost.

love el

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1 comment

  1. I love this, well done for writing this. I completely agree with your statement "Strength can come in so many different ways" Thanks for sharing!

    It may not exactly be the same, but I have an abnormal attention to unnecessary detail, sometimes I get called crazy, but it's helped in some really important situations.

    Jessica & James