What ‘Girlboss’ the series taught me

1. I am not cursing to my full potential: If you’ve watched the entire show in less than 24 hours as yours truly has almost-regrettably done, you will have noticed the colourful use of language the cherub-faced Sophia employs. I personally would like to question why women in power typically display slightly vulgar characteristics and are therefore taken more seriously. However, this isn’t the time or place – – well it is the place, but I don’t have time – – for such a question. I do curse occasionally. Usually in the throes of frustration or else while singing along to most of my favorite songs. Yet I tend to be more ladylike in business matters. I can’t really decide if Sofia’s methods are better or worse than my own. What I can determine is that being a bad-ass is not something to be ashamed of; confidence is always cool.

2. Stay humble: My biggest issue with Sophia’s character is that she was constantly thinking only of herself and forgetting the little people she left behind. Thankfully she seemed to have learnt her lesson by the end, but I was grinding my teeth listening to her go on and on about how great she was even though she was only just starting to pull her life together. Thankfully that taught me that when I have pigheaded moments (and I will…and I do) that I have to remember to stay humble. 

3. Boys who tell you they cheated on their last girlfriend will likely cheat on you if you become their girlfriend: That sounds so simple, but I fell in love with Sofia’s love interest almost as much as she did and it hurt me to watch him cheat. There were a couple times that Sophia ignored certain warning signs. It’s easy to ignore certain warning signs. I’m not judging her. I’m judging me. I’m judging my hopefulness which sometimes overpowers my logic and my heart. Be it in business or love, the warning signs are there for a reason. 

4. “Know what your shit’s worth”: This is basically my new life motto, not just with clothing or cars or anything else that I can buy. This short sentence applies to my very life. We’ve grown up learning how to settle and we have become comfortable with the fact that we may never achieve our dreams. That’s an unfortunate reality. But I know I’m worth something and I won’t settle for anything less.

5. Sometimes failure is a catalyst to success: I live at home with debt and my dad and my grandmother. I’m 26 years old. I look at myself sometimes and all I see are my failures. I have wanted to be a writer since I was 12. I think I knew that was going to be difficult and I expected people to doubt me, but nothing could prepare me for not for fulfilling my own expectations for myself. I don’t know what my future holds. Maybe somebody will look back at this one day and make a book out of it. After the memoir maybe there will be a series and I’ll be some cool and pretty actress. Real me will watch this scene where I’m sitting in an old T-shirt and underwear dictating to my tablet because I’m too lazy to type myself. This future me will laugh remembering how hard it was to imagine that I would be anything great. She’ll remember how much I cried and those days that I wouldn’t get out of bed because the rain reminded me of all the dark storms of self-doubt in my head. She’ll laugh because she’ll know how current me will get off her ass and refuse to give up. She’ll laugh at how much 12-year-old me could have never imagined how great life could be. She’ll be awesome because I’m only just beginning. This is my life. Giving up isn’t an option. 

What does blue hair say about you?

Coloured hair is the trendy “new” thing. I put new in quotes because like every “new” trend, it was once old. Expressing ones self with a new hairstyle has been a thing since Egyptians started making wigs…probably earlier…I’m a writer, not a historian. 

Coloured hair–punks did it and they were considered abnormalities of society. Kylie Jenner does it and her photo is plastered on every media outlet as a trend setter. Insert eye roll here.

I’ve got blue hair. I’ve been dyeing my hair since I was 18 and my Mum first allowed me. I’ve got an undercut, too. Some people will be quick to pass judgement. Am I gay? Am I obsessed with attention? Am I an emo kid (a little), or worse–a scene kid?? Am I an extroverted, bubble-gum smacking, moonlighting rock star? Kids stare at me when I walk by. Their mothers stare, too. A lot of people smile at me as if we’re friends before they’ve even spoken to me. 

I’m an introvert, guys. Textbook. I’m terrified of small talk. I can’t be comfortable at a party longer than 2 hours. I would rather stay home reading a book than go spontaneous adventuring. Also, I have blue hair. My hair is for me, not for you (the impersonal you, no offense meant to anyone reading). I have blue hair because I love my blue hair. It makes me feel magical and unique in a way my shyness doesn’t often allow for in other ways. 

Coloured hair means a lot of things. Coloured hair means nothing. Coloured hair means whatever it means to you (personal, fellow dyed hair persons). My blue hair makes me happy. End of. I’m not obscure, I’m not trendy, I’m not edgy. I’m happy with myself and my very blue hair 💙 

If you’re thinking of dyeing your hair but afraid of what people might think, do it anyway. That’s the best part of coloured hair. If people are already going to think you’re a rebel, you might as well be one.  

How criticism hurts

Some people are born with a thick skin. Others have theirs created for them by having scalding words poured over them til they blister and callous. 

I was always a sensitive child. An only child til I was sixteen, my first friends were my parents. My parents were young. They had spent years of building their tough hide. I was soft. Newborn. Any little criticism cut into me like a knife. My Mum and I tell this story: I was eight or so. My Mum, once a secretary, has infallible handwriting like something from a fountain pen’s dream. I spent all day practicing with a random shopping list she’d left lying around. Perfecting my loops and thin, straight lines. Spacing. Agonising over my handwriting. She walked by, unaware of my task, and said curtly, “Your handwriting is so messy. You need to work on it”. I crumpled within. 

When she tells that story, she laughs, now aware of the childhood turmoil it caused. I smile along, but mostly I remember the stinging realisation that even my best wasn’t good enough. 

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t believe in “participation awards”. I do believe hard work should pay off. I also believe hard work should be encouraged. I spent years never quite trying to do anything because I wholeheartedly believed I would never be able to succeed. I understand some people are built differently. Criticism fuels them to prove the critics wrong. Congratulations if you’re one of those. I’m not and I know others who will welcome constructive criticism but get flattened by unwarranted judgement (there is a huge difference). 

What we–the blistered–need to do is stop trying to harden, stop avoiding critics. We need to be our own judges. We need to communicate our displeasure. 

We need to be our own friendly reminder that we are worthwhile and we can do great things. 

Don’t worry. Be happy. 

I’m an awful human being…

Okay, I’m being dramatic. To be honest, though, I don’t like myself a good amount of the time. It’s a chronic illness I’ve had since I was a child: depression, followed closely by anxiety.  I’ve almost always thought something was wrong with me.

Even on happy days. I would sometimes feel I didn’t deserve to be happy. To be honest, I still struggle with the concept of allowing myself joy. I’m the sad girl. If I’m happy they’ll think I was faking. If I’m happy, they’ll think I’ve forgotten the awful things I’ve done. I can’t write happy poems. No one would like them. I’m the broken girl. The plasters shouldn’t show. 

Here’s the thing though, a lot of the time I’m both. I went to a party recently–one of those great shindigs where you know almost everyone there and the music is actually decent. During the party, I was elated. I felt I could finally stretch my cramped, small-town wings in a big city and flourish. I danced. I played games. I laughed so hard my eyes watered. I was sad, too. At certain parts of the night, I kept imagining maybe my friends didn’t want to be around me. I kept thinking everyone there could somehow sense I didn’t really belong. I worried my dress wasn’t fashionable enough–a thrift store find I had been so proud of til I saw the floor-sweeping, mid-season gowns all around me. I worried I was dancing more and more like a stripper on an interview for an upcoming rap video. I hated myself for worrying. 

I have clinical depression. I was diagnosed with social anxiety at fifteen. I am both happy and sad. Sometimes I am sad about being happy. It’s all okay. It’s just who I am today. It doesn’t have to mean anything for forever. Today I am happy and sad. Likely, tomorrow will be the same. 

I’m an awful human being. I’m an awesome human being.