When I was about 7 years old my family had bought a beautiful new home. When we finally got to move in I was so excited by the prospects of living in a new home and area. I also could not wait to make new friends. However, not long after moving in it became abundantly clear that making new friends was not going to be an easy task. Outside of this new area I was the bubbly child, always chatting and laughing but in my new area I just could not make any friends. I started wondering what it was about me that kids did not like. I thought, well maybe I am not pretty enough, maybe I was too loud and unrefined, or maybe I just did not look approachable. I became very aware in various social groups that I was different and slowly lost confidence. I became aware that my hair was not the right texture. My lips were too big for my face. When reality became abundantly clear I still wanted to fit the mould. Looking back I think I even appeared desperate for a place in the crowd. As time went on, some acquaintances were made here and there but still I could not find my place. I craved the companionship of friend. Someone I could count on who would always be there when I called. I needed someone to laugh with, to cry with, someone with whom I could share my ideas and aspirations without any fear of judgment.
I had all but given up hope at this point as it became abundantly clear that people did not understand me and I began to accept the fact that I might never find a friend. I might never belong and even though it was a tough pill to swallow I worked hard on being content and embracing me for what I was ‘The peculiar one’.
Then one day I was introduced to this tiny girl (she is just petite but to me she was tiny and still is) wearing spectacles she kept pushing up her nose. We said hello and then goodbye and some weeks later without expectation, without any hope, as if by fate she walked past my house and asked if she could visit. In this tiny person I found what I was looking for in a friend. She was smart, witty, kind and beyond funny. Here was my friend I would confide in my thoughts, aspirations, fears, and achievements. For the first time I was free to be myself, free to embrace the child that I was without any fear of judgment.
More than half my lifetime later she remains my confidant, my oldest friend who inspired this entry with a single instagram post. She wrote:
“Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we are not, everybody has their own strengths and weakness and it is only when you accept everything you are and aren’t that you will truly succeed”
This is why my tiny friend will always stand tall and without her knowing it, she has played a significant role in the friendships that exist in my life today. When I read her quote I immediately put pen to paper because her quote is where I once was in life (see she gets it!). We are all so busy trying to get into the society box of being popular we forget to embrace what is on the outside of the box. Acceptance starts with you. We cannot ask others to accept us if we cannot accept our own quirks for all that they are. There are people who want to fill your world with positivity, kindness and love and when you do find them hold on with all your might.
Today my friendship circle contains only six of the strongest women I know, women who have taught me all about kindness, honesty, understanding, strength, perseverance, acceptance and friendship. They have taught me that it is important you love others even when they do not love you in return.
So…….even though my circle is small, whenever there is doubt in my mind I only need think of them and my tiny friend with the glasses and I know that this is where I fit in, outside the box society has created. I am peculiar and that’s what makes me extraordinary.
I am Saleema Salie. I am a 30 year old female, a wife and mother of two wonderful beings. I am also a plus size, coloured Muslim woman.
When I was young all I wanted was to be a writer and I was quite good at it too. Now, after ten plus years of not having written anything, I expected to sit down and just have words of wisdom flow from my mind through my fingers and onto the keyboard. I expected paragraphs of genius to just explode onto my computer screen. Safe to say that that was the last thing to happen. Every time I sat down and stared at my screen, that’s all that happened, I just sat there and stared.
I have been wanting to do my own blog for over a year and after contemplating for months on end I have finally decided to sit down and write. As nothing but blanks filled my mind, I asked myself why is it so hard for me to do this? Why can’t I, a very bubbly, a very confident and very opinionated individual sit down and get one simple paragraph down? What is it that is holding me back? The answer to my questions is in fact, also very obviously, a simple one. It is not only difficult to admit to oneself but also extremely thorny to admit to everyone else that……..
I am afraid!
I am afraid of failure, I am afraid of rejection, I am afraid of people not being able to relate, I am afraid of putting myself out there to what could potentially be a very cruel world. I am also afraid to find that a part of me might not have the courage to face these fears.
So after admitting this fine revelation to myself I decided to be proactive and endeavour to face my fears. In my quest to eradicate these fears I started posting makeup looks onto my Instagram page with the hopes of building confidence, the pictures were not as successful as I had hoped, but nonetheless this action sparked not only more courage than I expected I grew more confident. I furthermore created a Facebook page to which I did not post anything as yet but I will get there. Then finally, the piece to resistance was to actually start the blog. This action proved more challenging than I thought it would be. I continued to put it off making excuses as to why the blog was no longer a good idea.
I then decided to “man up” and logged onto wordpress.com and not think too much on the psychological aspect of things and continue what I started.
What started out as a “simple idea” to start a blog about how I go about doing cost effective makeup looks, positive body image and just somewhere I could express myself turned to a journey finding courage to eradicate fears.
To some, when the word “courage” is heard they automatically think of dramatic scenarios and words such as bravery, fearlessness, heroism and great gallantry. For many of us courage is needed to perform, what seems to others, the simplest of acts in day to day life and that is O.K.!
This was not meant to be a dramatic first post but here it is, little old me deciding to share my journey of finding courage in the face of apprehension and finally kicking off this this blog.