Monday, 19 March 2018

My Worth is Not Determined By My Mentions

My hand holding mobile phone

It was International Women's Day the other week and people all over social media were doing shout-outs for women they admired; be it their friends, women who are excelling, or simply their family members. I wrote a very general tweet that didn't tag anyone because I have such a bad memory that I didn't want to miss anyone out, but also because I just didn't want to leave anyone off.

I am lucky enough to speak to a lot of people on Twitter and am inspired by many women on a daily basis, but I did see the same people from the same categories being mentioned a lot. It made me think of those with a small follower count, those that weren't included in the masses of mentions, and I could relate.

I'm in no way a big fish; in all honesty, I only received a handful of comments and it was that which motivated this post. A part of me was upset; I was overlooked as a disability blogger, overlooked as a lifestyle blogger, just overlooked. I began to question if I fit in with the community, if my words were valued, if anyone cared about my opinion or not. And then I thought about the people that never even featured in a round-up tweet/picture/tag. Those that are incredibly important but left out of the celebration of this day.

Again, I made a broad tweet that was directed to those women that felt excluded. I told them they were valid, that they mattered, and I support them. I received quite a few replies and direct messages thanking me for my sensitivity, and it made me wonder; is my worth determined by my mentions?

Why was I so bothered? Do I really care about mentions?

And I guess the answer is yes. Yes, I care. But only when it comes to the disabled community. Mainly because I feel like that it where I fit in most, where my passion lies and my best work is produced. When I'm not recognised as part of that group it does get to me, and I really wish it didn't. 

But does this determine my worth? Hell no, it doesn't. If I had four followers and only my Mum gave me blog views, I would still write. I always write for me and because I have something I want to say and I don't think that will ever change as it is what I have done since I could string a sentence together. It's more feeling like an outsider as opposed to writing. And I suppose that is my own issue to overcome.  

I spend hours a day online flicking between my various social media platforms, conversing with multiple people and dropping comments on posts; I don't consider every mutual follower a friend, and I'm sure they don't think of me like that either. Some I've never exchanged words with and others I chat to regularly but you know who your friends are. 

Well, I do when it comes to my online pals; they're the gals Whatsapp'ing me now and the ones in my DM's. The ones I tell things to that I wouldn't share online. The ones I send ugly selfies to and snort laughing. Those that always support you and don't only show up when they want to know the gossip. When it comes to online, those are the ones I am bothered about when it comes to determining my worth. Am I a good friend? Am I supportive? Am I someone they can rely on? And the answer is yes, I am.

When it comes to offline, it's not even something I think about. But online, it is easy to get caught up in the numbers and wondering whether what you're doing is valuable. As much as people say that the numbers don't matter, they do to some extent but I definitely don't let that affect me. It's more my mental health chipping away at the part of me that convinces me that I'm not good enough, and that I'm not liked and don't fit in. That's what bothers me, that's what affects me. And only when it comes to being acknowledged. Only when people don't see me as part of the disability community. It's pretty difficult not to overthink.

When I think about everything I have to offer, being a disabled writer and activist is up there, but I don't do that because I want others to blow smoke up my arse and tell me I'm great, I do it because it's important to me. I do it because I want to make a change and bring light to topics that are often overlooked. That, and a few other things make me worthy.

If you're ever feeling underappreciated I highly suggest making a list of all the things that make you awesome; it could be things like, 'I have great hair' or 'my laugh is infectious', to 'I have a degree' or 'I learnt to drive.' Make a list. Big up yourself.

Mentions have zero influence on my worth. Nobody else is me. Nobody else has my experiences. Nobody else can offer what I can offer. 

I am valuable with no mentions or five thousand.
And so are you.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...