Friday, 31 May 2013

Day 31: A Vivid Memory

We've finally reached the final day of the May Blogging Challenge! Hurrah! 

Don't get me wrong; I've enjoyed this challenge. I've enjoyed challenging myself with topics I've not often given a lot of thought to, and I feel I've learnt a little about myself along the way. It's just that this challenge was much more time consuming than I'd originally anticipated, and I feel my regular content has suffered as a result. Hopefully with May behind us, I'll be able to get back on track in June.

So, bringing this challenge to a conclusion, the final topic of the month is 'a vivid memory.' 


I'm thankful to be blessed with a pretty decent memory. I remember a lot from my childhood and from my teen years, but most of my early to mid twenties are quite hazy. I guess my memory has made an agreement never to think of those years ever again. There was little worth mentioning, anyway. I'm not an interesting person.

I'm afraid I don't have any fascinating stories or anecdotes to share with you; none that I think you'd be interested to hear, anyway. I do, however, have a memory about body confidence. 

I remember being self-conscious of my body from a young age. I wasn't a fat kid, but I always believed I was. I was always a tall child, and started developing early, so I felt like my body was different to most of the other girls my age. I was ashamed and embarrassed of myself from an early age. 

I remember being on a school holiday in the New Forest / Dorset area when I was ten (or perhaps I was eleven). We stayed at a beautiful manor house called Avon Tyrrell which was set on acres of land lush in greenery; trees, hedges, and neatly manicured lawns dressed the rear of the property, as did a large lake. My recollection of the estate is of a place which would be the perfect setting for a Jane Austen novel. 

[Source]

The Wednesday was a grey day but it was dry, and not too cool as it was the first week of July. I remember this because my birthday was the day before the trip began. We were spending the day on the estate carrying out various sports, and team exercises. Orienteering, archery, kayaking... We were required to wear a t-shirt with shorts, and I vividly remember asking one of the teachers if I could wear trousers instead, as the thought of bearing my legs around all my classmates made me feel sick with dread. The thought of everybody seeing my (not) fat (at all ) legs was terrifying. I distinctly remember my heart pounding and feeling nauseated at the thought.

I don't know if the teacher sensed the reasons behind my hesitation to wear shorts like everybody else, but thankfully, she kindly agreed I could participate in trousers. I was enormously relieved, and had a great time trying my hand at archery, and kayaking on the lake in a pair of blue and white vertical pinstripe hipsters. They were not as cool as they sound... But in the mid nineties they were awesome, and I absolutely loved them.

I haven't thought about that day for a very long time, but even though I remember it as a fun day, it does sadden me that my self-consciousness with my body was apparent at such a young age. It began years earlier, but for some reason, this is one example I can recollect.

Did you have body confidence issues as a child?

2 comments:

  1. my immediate family fixated on my growing body, so bizarre! I was a little chub and it was apparent it was not acceptable, I was badgered about my weight during my formative years inc crazy auntie chasing me with a tape measure! my dear mum still offers diet advice despite years of me reassuring her of my awesomeness! because of this I am determined my own daughters own and accept their own awesomeness, they will not be defined by their body - good post Louise, it shows how deeply we remember x

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    Replies
    1. Oh you poor thing! It's really sad when family members obsess over other's weight. Good for you for finding your voice and the confidence to stick up for yourself. I think you're a great role-model for your kids with such a great attitude! xx

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