For most of my teenage/adult life, I have struggled to ‘discover’ myself. What it means to be Dannie. Who Dannie is, what she likes, wants. It has been something that has quietly plagued my life for over ten years and I’ll be honest, I find it exhausting. Every few years I go through this phase of wanting to redefine myself. I change my style, my hobbies and priorities after being influenced by the media or someone I follow online. Unfortunately, I can be influenced very easily and if I see someone who seems happy, I try to replicate that. Despite the fact I’m not unhappy. I’ve touched upon this a few years ago when I reflected on absorbing other people’s personality.
I don’t know why I think like this or whether is something a lot of people do. To begin with, I wasn’t happy with the way my life was, the backstory that ‘defined’ who I was. This council estate girl from a broken, none educated family. The ‘missing’ sister and absent fathered kid who’d been to 5 different schools all over the country… I was given such a hard time at school through thing that I had no control over and it made me ashamed. No matter how much effort my amazing mum went to to ensure I had a nicer childhood than herself, the past still sculpted how my peers persevere me and in turn how I persevered myself. That being said, this fuelled me to better myself, to break the chain that had followed my family through generation.
I think I subconsciously put peer pressure onto myself. Everyone around me is doing their own thing and without saying anything, I instantly compare myself and my life choices. 27 is a rather odd age. It’s an age that I can very clearly remember my own mother being, married and with two kids while working a full time job. My Mum felt like an adult to me back then yet I don’t. Perhaps people with children need to grow up more or just the pure existence of their offspring put them in the “more mature” category.
Within my work and social group, there is a 50/50 split between my peers feeling their age. Most have their own houses, partners and naturally, the bigger things will follow. The other half are pretty much as lost as I am but seem to manage it better. 27 is also nearing ever closer to the dreaded 3.0 and I do not feel mentally prepared for the next decade of my life. (Yes, I overthink everything insignificant thing.)
I’d like to think that over the past few years, I have learnt to accept myself more. Style wise, I’ll wear what I want without really thinking twice. I don’t fall into a ‘clique’. Some days I wear jean or bright red dungarees, the next I’ll wear a dress or shorts that don’t really compliment my figure. People can judge me and I simply just don’t care anymore, I am me. You can look through my blogs from 2 years ago and see how my attitude has changed and that is largely down to being on my own for the past few years. I’ve been able to grow and think for myself without having any other influence to change the path I’ve created for myself.
While there will always been things I want to try or random clothes that catch my attention, I don’t need to change myself. I’d can be a Dannie who plays the ukulele even though I gave up the guitar 10 years ago. I can be a Dannie that takes acting classes because life isn’t linear and nothing will stop me from finding new interests and having different experiences. I can be a Dannie who infrequently writes a blog, aspires to publish a book and longs to have her own designed postcards in Waterstones. No one thing defines me. I am not just one layer.
I am Dannie.