Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
As we head into Fall, with the leaves changing all around us, the trees becoming skeletons of their former selves, I’d like to think about transformations. How have you changed or transformed in your life? What parts of yourself have you left behind?
In relation to books/media: Who are some characters that undergo major transformations (figurative or literal?)
This week we have such an in depth topic and I really had to think about what I wanted to put here. In a way, we all change every single day without even realising it until eventually we look back on the years gone by and realise so much is different. I want to say that I am the same person I was when I was eleven years old but that would be a downright lie.
Once upon a time I was a carefree child. I would play in the sun, giggle with my friends, laugh just because I could and do embarrassing things because I simply didn’t care. As I grew older I began to change. Everyone does but we each do it in our own different ways. For me, when I started secondary school and started to be bullied was the first time that I changed. It was during this time that I started to keep my thoughts and feelings inside instead of vocalising them. I took each and every word those bullies said to me and kept them in my head, letting them play on repeat every single day.
I was certain what they said was true. I wasn’t worth the time, my friends were just pitying me, they weren’t really my friends and I was just a waste of space. Over and over again, I put myself down and growing self-confidence was incredibly difficult. I didn’t have a great bunch of supportive friends either, a few were bullied themselves, others were just as emotionally unstable as I was and just really, we were the misfits in the school. The ones who had been outcast and we just needed someone to turn to.
As I grew older I learnt to at least try and ignore the taunts and sneers, the bullying itself went away but when I looked at them, I couldn’t stop thinking about the words they said. They had changed the way I saw myself and to this day, I still hate them for it. I struggle to stand in front of full length mirrors, I hate photos taken of me from too many angles, and I just simply don’t believe in my own self-worth. I want to. There’s a small part of me that, on my good days, reminds me that I am worth it, but this voice is small and doesn’t break the surface enough.
I know that I have a long way to go, I know that one day I will be able to look in a mirror and be happy, that I’ll be able to hear someone compliment me and agree with them – without dripping sarcasm in my words – but for today, it just isn’t happening. While this transformation in my life wasn’t a happy one in some ways, it is also good in other ways and I want to outline these out because this post is getting a little sappy and I’m not good with stuff like that.
I used to be a shy person, usually teetering on the edge, sucking my thumb and twidling my thumb instead of going out and doing things and talking to people. I was quite content on my own, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to have people to things with as well. This shyness grew when I got into secondary school and was bullied – I simply took what they gave me and that was that. Until finally, one day, I decided I’d had enough and I told them where to go. They weren’t used to being challenged, I got agressive enough with them that they actually backed up. Being bullied helped make me more confident and it gave me the confidence to stand up for myself as well.
Nowadays, I still get the odd day of shyness and nerves; you know that feeling where you’re pretty certain you’re going to throw the hell up, but I have a lot more days of feeling confident. With the jobs I have worked in and my time at university, I have learnt that being the one to speak up first makes things easier. Sometimes everyone is just as shy as you are and they just need that extra push. This confidence has given me job opportunities I may not have had before, it has given me the chance to speak about my ideas and thoughts in seminars and it gave me the willpower to start this very blog. So, in a way, I have the bullies in my life to thank for this boost, without them I may still be that shy flower, unable to stand up for what I think is right.
Change may not always be good, but it is the way we deal with change that reflects who we are.
There are so many books that deal with great transformations of characters but I’m just going to list five of the most recent books I have read (in the last year) that have really depicted it brilliantly (in my opinion.)
Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Corriell; A story about a girl who starts out as an obnoxious, annoying, gossip, self-obsessed queen but who transforms into a lovely, caring, protective and beautiful girl. The book is based on her transformation, her ‘coming-of-age’ story and it is a brilliant read.
Saving June by Hannah Harrington; Harper has lost her sister. An event which causes her life to shift out of focus. This book deals with grief and loss and how it can change us and scar us and yet we can continue to live and be happy throughout it. An amazing read.
Forgiving Trinity by Liz Reinhardt; Trinity got addicted to drugs and it changed her life, but her decision to give them up and start life anew is something that has transformed her life. This book is about the tough battle that occurs once such a heavy and important decision has been made. A magnificent book.
Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert; Depression can strike at any moment. In this story it is a failed suicide attempt that changes Olivia’s life. She soon realises that there is more in life to live for then she realises. This is a truly remarkable story about what is to live with and fight against chronic depression.
Speechless by Hannah Harrington; One of my new all-time favourites, Speechless tells the story of a girl who has a lot to learn. When her big mouth nearly gets someone killed she changes her life to repent for her sins. It is the story of finding out who you are and not letting the world drag you down. A truly stunning read.
Really, there are so many books that I could write about here but since I don’t want to ramble on for much longer I’m going to stop! Hopefully this gave you some good recommendations though!
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