Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Is your weakness really a weakness?

I shall begin by stating the obvious: I don’t like a lot about myself. To those who know me this is old news and I can already picture some of you shaking your heads, while the rest of you roll your eyes and tut in disapproval. But that's the truth and growing up, I learned to despise who I am. I thought all of the things that made me me were weaknesses: I thought I was weak. I believed I was ugly, worthless and a little bit stupid. I blame it on a childhood and school life where I was made to feel that I was too sensitive, too vulnerable and God forbid someone should call me soft hearted. I hated it. I grew up learning that I had to suppress that side of me. 

Little was I to know that these things that I suppressed and replaced with biting sarcasm and well-placed bitchy comments, would actually prove to be some of the qualities that people complimented me on most often: soft heartedness, openness and vulnerability. That sensitivity has brought me strength, the softness I choose to keep as an act of rebellion and the vulnerability? Well that still hurts sometimes, but honestly? I'd rather have that than be hardened into the shape of bullies who taught me they were "tough."

I know the beginning may have read like a sob story (sorry about that one), but what I am trying to say is that our biggest weaknesses can actually become our greatest strengths: that stubbornness? It could give you drive to stick at something until you succeed. The bluntness? Combined with a bit of tact it can earn you respect. Perfectionist? Well at work things need to be ordered and organised; you could succeed at management. 

So where have my "weaknesses" taken me? They contribute a great deal to my writing; it is honest (sometimes possibly too honest), raw and open. I write to feel less alone, so others feel less alone and without its rawness or its vulnerability, there would be no truth in it. So yes, I may sometimes show too much of myself in what I put on paper, but why should I keep quiet when I have a voice and a platform that others may not?