Rewriting your own narrative

Here’s the thing about resolutions They don’t just have to be reserved for new years eve. You can make resolutions at anytime; whether it be the start of a new year, the start of a new month or even the start of a new week. I mean, how many diets are started on a Monday?! In my case though, my latest resolution came when I turned 40 back in July.

And the resolution? To change my own narrative.

I know, I know, it sounds really Instagrammy and self helpy doesn’t it? But bear with me here because I think this may be something I’m able to stick with and is actually going to make me feel better, or at least, more in control of a few things, which I’m hoping in turn will make me generally a bit happier.

There’s two things about me that springs to mind when I think of my own narrative that I want to change. One I’ve kind of already done, which is to be more honest, to myself and others about who I am and what I like. In my early 20s and even into my early 30s I was desperately ashamed of the fact that I was an adult boyband fan. So I would play up my love of Bowling for Soup and Matchbox Twenty and play down my love of Backstreet Boys and NKOTB. The best thing I ever did was take the conscious decision to just be more open about what I love.

It’s one of the best things I ever did for many reasons but mainly that it’s completely widened my circle to include lots more like minded people, and given me the confidence to be myself more. People have completely embraced my boyband nonsense and I love that when BSB are on TV or the radio I get tagged in things to do with them all over social media. It’s a nice feeling that people associate something with you, in a largely affectionate way too, I like to think.

The second one is going to be a little trickier and take a little longer, but I’ve made the conscious effort to change my own narrative around the perception of me being a bit of party girl who likes to a drink a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I do love have fun with my friends and I absolutely love a glass of white wine. And it’s absolutely a perception that I’ve fed and facilitated myself for for the most part. But it’s getting to the point now, where someone at work, or someone I feel doesn’t know be very well will make a throw away comment like ‘ah yeah you like your wine don’t you’? And it’s starting to annoy me.

Like I say I don’t blame anyone one, and I’m not saying anyone has said something intentionally to make me feel bad, but in the same way, in my 20s and 30s I was more than happy to be seen as as someone who liked a drink and could hold her own with the lads. Now I’m in my 40s, that’s not a narrative I want anymore and it’s within my power to be able to change it. Because the problem is, it starts to become its own beast and people start to believe something that’s actually not true. I only ever drink at weekends and I actually lead a pretty healthy lifestyle by and large. But by emphasising the drinking part, it makes people believe a false version of me, and if correct someone, it sounds like I’m sensitive about it, even though it’s a beast I created myself.

So how do I plan on doing this? Slowly and subtly, focussing on all the other areas of my life that I was to emphasise and want people to know. Not posting so often about drinking on social media. A friend of mine recently stopped drinking for nine months and it made me wonder whether me posting about drinking at weekends would make him feel tempted or uneasy or that it was throwing it in his face.

And this isn’t about hiding parts of myself at all, because I will continue to enjoy a glass of wine at weekends or a cocktail out with the girls, it’s more about resetting a little bit and not perpetuating a false narrative and perhaps letting people see a little more about the other aspects of my life, rather than me liking a class of white wine being the first thing someone thinks about me.

Because being a massive boy band fan should be the first thing someone thinks about me anyway.

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