What are you good at?

I grew up with two siblings who I genuinely thought were the 'cleverest people in the entire world'. With us all being the same age, it was pretty much inevitable that comparisons would be made between us - not only in a physical sense, but also academic too. I'm not going to lie, for as long as I can remember I have struggled with school but I have always tried my very best, yet the outcomes have never been 'phenomenal', instead just resting a bit above average.

I remember that we would come back from parents evenings, get our school reports or receive grades from exams that we had sat, and I would, without fail, always feel disheartened by the fact that Alice and Luke would get top grades and fantastic reports, whereas mine were never quite so good. It's actually quite embarrassing looking back on it now how upset it used to make me. I put so much pressure on myself to get to their standard, and no matter how hard I tried I could never quite manage it.

This is going to sound so cheesy, but I always longed to find something that I was good at. Science and Maths were certainly not my speciality, along with other subjects that required a set answer. As you may probably know, if you're an avid reader of my blog or you know me personally, I do like to ramble on with myself ... so can you imagine me trying to explain the process of photosynthesis? I truly feel sorry for the person who had to mark my answers.

I have always been a creative person, mainly in the sense that I used to love to draw (note past tense, GCSE art utterly destroyed my hopes and dreams) and also that I used to create imaginary friends ... (come on, we all did it, right?). Visiting Art museums is something that I completely adore doing, and if any task is set which requires your own interpretations and creative thinking, then it's more than likely that I'll enjoy it.

It wasn't until around year 9 that I discovered my love for English. Don't get me wrong, it was always something that I enjoyed, but I just didn't have the confidence at all to believe that I may actually be good at it. As English began to get more advanced, and I began to learn about things such as metaphors, iambic pentameter and analysis, I genuinely couldn't get enough of it. Astray from popular opinion, I loved that Curley's wife's choice of dress had an endless array of representations and my essays turned into short novels. When I used to look at my timetable and see that I had English next, it actually excited me (*cringe*) as opposed to the terror I would feel when I saw that I had Science.

Then, I began to study Media in year 10. I remember sitting in that first lesson and thinking to myself 'This is what I want to do in the future'. It was a perfect combination of English and other creative elements, which was pretty much the full package for me. I can't pinpoint the exact moment when I decided I wanted to be a Journalist, but I remember sitting in the careers office at school and confidently telling the woman that that's what I wanted to do - and her reply was simply 'start a blog'.

Now, as I think I've mentioned before, I toyed with the idea of a blog for a very long time, and kept putting it off with silly excuses such as 'I've got exams coming up' or 'I've got nothing to write about'. Ultimately, I knew that I was putting it off because I was worried about what people were going to say about it. How pathetic! I knew that it was something I would LOVE to do, but I strayed away from it because of the opinions of other people - 'would they think I was good enough?' 'Is what I have to say important?' are amongst the endless worries I had.

The support I have received from doing this has improved my self confidence more than anyone will ever know. From someone who never in a million years thought that they would ever find their passion in the way that others do, I cannot even express how much it means to get a simple message saying that you like the way I write.

Doing what you enjoy is so utterly important, and I think you should be proud of yourself for pursuing your hopes and dreams. There have been times when I have questioned why I'm not typically 'clever' and why I don't understand complex things in the way that others do and, if I'm completely honest, I think that comes down to school and the way in which we are conditioned from a young age. We are praised when we understand maths, science or history, yet if we're not particularly artistic or creative it doesn't seem to matter. I may save that rant for another blog post, yet it is something that I have personally been affected by. Who says that your intelligence is measured by how well you can memorise a theory or solve an equation? We are all human, yet we are all so diverse and different - isn't that what makes us interesting?

"To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality".

Hope you're having a fabulous day, and I'll see you next week!

Grace x


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