Friday, 17 October 2014

Be Somebody?

It's been so long since I wrote here yet it amazes me how many people still read my ramblings. When I first started writing I did it to find others like me and help along the way wherever I could. I really can't believe how much it has changed my life.

I was never the brightest kid in school, nor the funniest, I hid away in groups and quite honestly people rarely remembered me at all. Probably because I never wanted to be noticed, didn't want to stand out too much. My teachers always said I had potential but I rarely reached it! Not because I was naughty… simply because I didn't have the courage to make myself heard.

The last few years of living with a chronic illness has been a huge learning curve and I've had to do a lot of soul searching.  During that time Ive realised that all my life I felt like an "underachiever" for lack of a better word. Always feeling that I had let others down and in turn let myself down the most. Maybe it stems from my absent father, or my old fashioned upbringing where children were to be seen and not heard. Who knows! What I do know is, I had a strong will to please others, even if it made me unhappy. I thought that it was important to "be" somebody one day… you know, have a job where you could say, "This is who I am and I'm passionate about what I do!"

I found my "be somebody" job in nursing, I can honestly say I loved my time as a carer, I realised for the first time that I may not have the most glamourous job in the world but what I did made a difference… even if I was forgotten five minutes later! My close colleagues knew me well but something was missing. Simply by nature of being shy and trying to fade into the background it made me look young and inexperienced, regardless of how much knowledge or understanding I had in my head. If I couldn't stand up for myself I couldn't do it for anyone else!

So I decided to make a change, I started by changing my appearance as many girls do, I cut my hair short and dyed it the brightest shade of red I could get and instantly I changed from who? To me, in less than 24hrs. I found relatives were taking me more seriously and staff popping in from other wards actually remembered me for a change! It was like my life had finally started to mean something. I was no longer searching for myself and knew exactly who I was and where my life was going… I was going to make it happen!

Changing my look may have been what set the ball rolling but actually, it had nothing to do with my image and everything to do with my outlook. I found a whole new respect among my peers and eventually felt that for once I could actually be the "somebody" I was always told I should be.

I enrolled in university (somewhere the other people go!), it was a BIG deal to me and the proudest moment of my life (other than my children) being able to say I was bright enough to be allowed through the door!

Somewhere in the middle things started to change, as I learnt more about people, more about life, the more I found that "being somebody" was not what I wanted at all. The world doesn't really care who you are, you are one of billions of others bumbling around worrying about the same old stuff. What really matters is what you do!

I was placed in several controversial situations where I was called upon to advocate for my patients, mainly because they had the same feeling of vulnerability I had felt when I was a "who?" People in vulnerable situations find it so incredibly hard to stand up for what they really want, take a lawyer or even a Dr for example and make them strip down naked to be washed by a young woman and I can assure you, it won't matter who you are or what you do… you just want to be invisible.

 I learnt so much about life doing the job I loved and the most important thing I carry with me now is that I don't mind if people forget me as long as they remember what I did, you don't need a face or even a name but if you do something positive for someone else, they rarely forget!