To All The Women Who Inspired Me To Claim Myself, Here's Looking At You

22.1.19


I'm guilty of being the kind of girl who has always sought out the idea that being with a man would complete me. I believed my life revolved around the idea that my life would be 'fixed' as soon as some guy and I fell in love and ran off into the sunset. I thought that nothing would make me happier than being desired by someone else.

At 19, I quickly learned that that wasn't going to be the case. I was treated badly, hurt by the idea that someone was supposed to be the 'love of my life', yet used me in more ways than one, and saw the toxic side of a relationship that I had never experienced before. I began to realise the only person in control of my happiness was myself, not the guy that had decided they wanted to get in my knickers.

Sure, guys are great (most of them, anyway). They're wonderful for kisses and cuddles and, of course, sex (and yes, much more, but you see my point) but you can't rest all your hopes and dreams of happiness on the idea that that's what will give you a fulfilled life.

Last summer was when my eyes were first opened to this, you see. I had a sudden realization, an epiphany of sorts, and began to understand that I, Holly Rebecca White, was the only one in control of my own future.




TOP - PRIMARK

It was a summer where I was surrounded by women, and amazingly powerful women at that. I had my Mum, who has always been my rock regardless, but who supported me through what felt like the most catastrophic break up ever (it really wasn't lol), and also had a great new bunch of friends around me who slapped some sense back into me with the power of a gin and tonic and a good talking to.

I got to experience being around women who took no shit. And, well, I was so used to taking people's shit, that I was just not at all used to it. I was used to being walked all over and saying 'yes' to just about anything. But with these girls, it was eye opening - I was taught to take control of my life again, and remember that it was mine and no one else's to fuck about with. And, it's funny because I don't think anyone even realised they were doing that for me. I don't think the girls that I was with had any idea that I was absorbing this kind of 'powerful, got my shit together, doing it for myself' attitude from them... but I was.




BOOTS - PUBLIC DESIRE

"breathe for you and not for them."

From then on, I think my perspective on things changed. I remember telling myself I no longer even wanted a man anymore. I no longer sought after the idea of 'love' or the idea of 'relationships' because for me, that had been ruined. I decided that all I needed was me and good group of people around me.

So, I worked hard to keep busy over summer. I did shoot after shoot, went on copious amounts of giggly nights out, and took any chance I got to keep my mind away from lusting after romance.

I had built myself back up again. I channeled the energy of an independent person, and it was a real breath of fresh air compared to the way I had been feeling before hand.

I mean, for months, neigh, for years all I had ever wanted was a boy to like me. All I ever thought about was the idea of me - older, sexier and thinner - topped off with some amazing guy that would be 'my world'.

It was ludicrous.

I never thought about my career or where I would like to live, all I thought of was that need to be desired by the opposite sex.

M A D N E S S.




SHORTS - GHOSPELL

That summer taught me a lot about myself, and simply just about life too.

I see women every day - from my favourite bloggers like Chloe Plumstead and Alice Catherine, to a sassy business woman I've ended up sat next to on my train journey home - and I am so inspired. Women are incredible. There are girls out there just absolutely killing it and there's no need for the mention of a rom-com style romance with a hunky guy to further them, they're just doing it themselves and I love it.

How did I not realise that I am just as capable as these girls too? Why did I put all of my ambition into the arms of some figurative man in my mind?

I know now though: it's okay to be on your own, it's okay to focus on YOU and it's stupid to throw all your hopes of being happy onto the idea of a man... I can't thank the women around me enough for showing me that.




BLAZER - HUGO BOSS (VINTAGE)

"don't set yourself on fire to keep others warm."

I became happy and content over that summer. I knew I could take on life by myself, I had my goals in sight (and properly this time) and wasn't going to let anyone with a dick stand in the way of it.

BUT, that's ironically when I fell in love. I met the love of my life at this point - the point where I was fine with being alone.

Now, sure, this may seem like I'm about to contradict my whole blog post, but I'm not.

You see, this time around, I didn't feel the need to change myself. I was so self-assured. I wasn't embarrassed to speak about my blogging career, or explain why I write about eating disorders and depression. I wasn't worrying over the outfit I was going to wear or whether I looked 'hot' from a guy's perspective. I was just me, and I was fine with it - if the other person wasn't, then life would go on. The romance wasn't a necessity for me to be 'complete' anymore. Everything the girls in my life had said to me over summer had sunk in. It was like some mantra I'd been learning for 3 months that I now swore by.

The lucky thing was, I think that's what he liked about me (I feel weird writing about Josh as 'he'... Hi Josh!!). It was the first time I'd ever felt like someone found my career-driven, depressive writing and cutesy dress-sense, attractive. It's the first time I'd felt completely myself and that a guy completely liked it.

I think in a sense of 'love' and 'romance' that was what I actually needed to be looking for. Maybe that's the 'complete' I should have been craving - someone who I could be with, already content with everything, without trying to force myself to be what they wanted me to be and slot into their lives whilst suppressing my own.

I'd found the perfect balance between being a more confident, self-sufficient girl, yet also finding a guy who wanted to encourage me to be more so.

"I do not crave anyone who will fix me, just someone who will hold my hand while I fix myself."




PHOTOGRAPHY BY SOPHIA J CAREY

Anyway, back to my main point.

My life would not have turned out the way it has if it weren't for the wonderful women in this world. The women who taught me to push myself and stop hiding behind someone else.

I wouldn't have grown up, asserted myself further in my career, tried new things, and I certainly wouldn't have met Josh at the right time.

So stop thinking that a guy's love for you is what's going to fix everything, it's most likely not going to. Fix it yourself first, you QUEEN, then find a guy to accompany you along the way.

There's no one who can push yourself in the right direction, more than you.

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