Finding yourself in a demanding world
Okay, so since the last time I wrote, I put my alternative modeling on hold to pursue playing Roller Derby. Alt modeling and roller derby were both fun while they lasted but as we all know, sometimes you’ve just got to move on. Life shifts, the time changes and as human beings, so do we. And, quite simply, I just needed more ME time.
So in May I snuck away from the world of derby and have started to embark on my own skate adventures at my own pace. My partner and I recently traveled to Barcelona to explore the city by tiny wheels (yes we did it on skates)! It was marvelous and it made me feel I was free to please myself: we only had ourselves to answer to.
Since we’re quite a relaxed couple, each day we set about the city with no real plan of direction. This resulted in skating between four and eight hours a day to tourist sites such as the Sagrada Familia, the beach, and the Basilica de Santa Maria del Pi. We also skated to the Michael Collins Irish bar (we’re both from Irish heritage), the Gothic Quarter and to popular skate spots such as the MACBA (Museum of Contemporary Art), most of the skate shops and ‘The Nevermind Bar’ which is a very popular skate bar. It is also worth noting Barcelona has a huge skate scene so we felt at ease the whole time we were there.
As well as over-committing myself with activities such as alternative modeling and roller derby, social media became an issue. It is a fact for most of us that we are living in a world where there is so much social media around us. Personally, I find every so often it becomes obtrusive and makes it harder to remember who I really am and what makes me happy. Now and then I feel as if from the second I wake up, I am attacked with notifications from the previous day. I browse news feed for hours, check emails, snap faces, write updates to let everyone what I am up to or communicate how the day is going. Later, I question where the time has gone and wonder on occasion how I’ve managed to do so little. All in all, it doesn’t make me feel good.
It’s no secret that social media can lead to all sorts of negative thoughts and feelings. How many times have you let the opinions and attitudes of others get in your way or compare yourself to others to your own detriment? We can allow ourselves to get caught up in so many tiny problems and negative thoughts or feelings that there is a danger for some to even spiral out of control and end up an emotional wreck or feeling really inadequate. How many times have you been sat worrying or fretting or with your mind screeching at you even because of something you saw on social media?
So, when I realised my commitments were beginning to define me, and social media had got a bit on top of me I decided I had to get out, unplug and rediscover me again.
Reclaiming a little “me time” can be altering something only slightly in your life or a small gesture of kindness towards yourself, but it can have a big impact on your health, mind, emotions, and relationships. Sounds cliché I know, but that’s because it is true. But, for me, reclaiming ‘me time’: is all about unplugging and making time to do something I personally enjoy, whether it’s sitting on the sofa binge watching my favourite series or having a relaxing bath or my trip to Barcelona.
Since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by tiny wheels but haven’t always had the confidence to get up and try it. When I found Roller Derby it allowed me to learn the basic skills, gather some confidence and put myself to the test. Which is why I’ll always be grateful to the sport.
Skating itself has a lot of benefits. For a start, it’s good exercise, plus you can skate on your own or with friends, it’s totally up to you. Great for introverts and extroverts. The skate community is wide-ranging and welcoming and there are skaters in every country. You’ll never be alone. It’s very sociable and supportive.
When I skate, I know I’m doing something that’s helping my body stay healthy as even just a casual cruise can help strengthen your core, leg muscles and boost your endurance and stamina. It’s an activity that the worries and problems in life can’t sneak into because (depending on what type of skating you do) it takes a lot of concentration. It helps to switch off from negative thoughts and those worries.
Doing something creative can help refresh the mind and nobody laughs if you fall. I like to think of skating as a creative outlet because as soon as I put wheels on my feet I feel as though I can do anything.
However, to be able to fit in some skating and feel better about myself, I had to realise a few things first:
Time to one’s self is underestimated. In a world where everything is ten times more hectic than it used to be, there is such a huge onus on keeping up, progress and self-improvement, and we’re expect to carry everything with a smile. Some down time from all of this and being by yourself should be acceptable, right? Wrong. I realised some people don’t see you as being productive with your life if you’re not working towards major life goals: buying houses, producing children or getting married.Once I realised time is precious and we should spend it wisely, doing the things we want to do and not feeling pressurized into doing something someone else wants us to do, I felt a LOT better. You deserve to be happy and if that means putting yourself first, that’s ok. You can’t please everybody.
Another change I’ve made recently is adopting a minimalist attitude to various aspects of my life, be that towards objects or relationships. De-cluttering is something that helps breathe space into our lives so I had to assess whether I was enjoying spending my time doing something and ditch it if I did not.
For instance, if it’s costing you a monthly subscription but isn’t making you happy on a regular basis, why keep it? You deserve more. Minimising your schedule frees up a lot time for you and the things you consider important.
DEALING WITH NEGATIVITY
Remember why we set out to do things: because they’re fun and interesting or make us feel safe. In my opinion, if something isn’t either one, both or all of those, it’s not worth doing. Once I realised this it helped to get beyond the negative attitudes some people might have and helped me to keep me on my own path and have and authentic positive outlook. Sometimes you’re the only one looking out for yourself and with that, you learn to recognize exactly what you need when you need it such as space from other people. And that is OK.
Remember: you’re entitled to spend your time how you want to.
Skating is what works for me. Let me know in the comments below what works for you!
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