“I guess I’m just a little too sensitive for you.”
‘I Guess I’m Just A Little Too Sensitive’, TheOrange Juice.
Following On From ‘Accepting We Make Mistakes’
I mentioned in a previous post that I’m a very sensitive person. I always have been. I can’t help dwelling over anything I’ve said/done that has been wrong even it was just a simple mistake. Embarrassment is hard for all of us to get over sometimes but if you’re overly sensitive like I am, you’ll know how awful you can feel. It’s not nice feeling like this. I don’t like be so sensitive over little things but I can’t help it. I am only nineteen, I’ve lived a very sheltered life and I accept that my skin isn’t as thick as others. In a few years time, I’m sure that I’ll mature further and maybe one day, I might not even be as sensitive.
I wouldn’t be surprised if I remained this way for the rest of my life. I can try to act as cold and aloof as I want but at the end of the day, I’m too emotional. I suppose in that sense I am a delicate person, even if I don’t like to always show it. My emotions are fragile and my feelings can be hurt easily if I become embarrassed or flustered. Basically anything this is directed to me personally, I can be easily hurt. I don’t like to whinge or start a fight over ‘nothing’ so most of the time I keep my mouth shut. I know that it’s mostly me who’s making a mountain out of a mole hill emotionally, and that in the majority of cases the other person hasn’t even taken offense/meant to offend. Sometimes people say something bluntly or they use a harsh tone of voice by accident and it wasn’t personally directed at me. Sometimes people are only teasing you or they’re just being brutally honest because that would actually be kinder than being falsely ‘nice’. I have accidentally snapped or offended people before, we all have, so I need to remember that too. It can just be hard to stop my thoughts from reverting back to ‘why did I say that’ or ‘why did I do this?’ This normally happens when I’ve embarrassed myself or said my sentence wrong. It makes me wish I could turn back time and say it in a different way or I want to rush to that person and give them a long, detailed explanation as to why I said this, etc even if what I said wasn’t wrong, I just had a tiny slip up with a fact or said a sentence ‘weird’. I hate the idea that I’ve hurt someone else’s feelings unless I really dislike the person. I don’t like arguing with people, my friends in particular as it causes me to feel sick and I’ll think about the fight for the rest of the day, night – even up to a month or longer.
This isn’t something that easy for me to admit. I’m frustrated by this and I wish I could be this effortlessly confident person who is as cool as a cucumber under all circumstances. I wish I could brush off a mistake easier or be able to let a comment go if someone said something that offended me/embarrassed me a bit. I sound a bit pathetic and weak but I can’t help it. I can be very mature sometimes and I can handle a lot of situations very well. I can keep myself calm as I don’t like to panic and I can outwardly pretend that everything is fine. It’s what is happening inside my head that bothers me and I hate being so stupidly sensitive over little things. It’s the thoughts that circle round and round after something has been said or happened – that’s the bit I hate the most. It’s very annoying.
“‘Cause I’d be lost without you, I’d slowly be going crazy. You’re the place I wanna be, you’re all I ever need. I’d be lost, lost without you.”
‘Lost Without You’, Wynoona Judd. (I hate this song).
A Dangerous Attachment
I remember hearing that song ‘Lost Without You’ when I was younger and I hated it. I still do. The bloody song popped into my head this morning and after reading a status on Facebook addressing young people’s dangerous attachement to social media platforms it seems like fate. I also enjoyed the irony that the post itself was on social media; brilliant. That post got me thinking and the chorus to that bloody song played in my mind, creating the perfect summary for the one-sided love affair so many of us have with Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram – the list just goes on.
Before I go any further, I need to hold up my hands and admit that I am addicted to social media. I’m sure that half of planet, pehaps even more, would admit to the exact same crime. It’s true. I’ve considered deleting my Facebook in the past because there was a period last year where I never used it. I’ve managed to rekindle my ‘love’ for Facebook again and I enjoy sharing posts on various topics, from social commentary to left-wing politics to cute, fluffy animals. I’m a true stereotype of a ‘I-think-I-am-an-educated-teen-who-knows-everything-about-the-injustices-of-the-world’. That’s another thing I need to admit. That’s where I do see the value in social media. I have been educated on many topics from intersectional feminism, equality for poc, LGBT rights, British politics, etc to lighter topics regarding fashion, current trends, music, etc. The internet can be a wonderful, wonderful place where voices from all over the world can come together and debate everything under the sun. I work for a marketing agency so I can also see the value in advertising online. It’s great for companies to find their target audiences and for promotional ads. I love these aspecst of social media and I think it’s they all can be incredible tools when used effectively.
Despite all of it’s glory, social media does have many dark sides to it. We all know about cyber bullying, online grooming, stalkers, narcissism, selfies, online dating disasters, the TV show ‘Catfish’ – we get all of that. There are problems surrounding online personas and the obsession many have with gaining mass followers, hundreds of likes and lots of positive comments on their selfies. We all know that people can become dangerously obsessed with celebrities and their lives by stalking their social media accounts. The mundane becomes amazing on Instagram when some model posts a photo of her vegan protein shake and suddenly it’s a new online craze for a couple of days. The creepy, dangerous and superficial side of the internet is so evident, you can’t miss it. These examples can all have damaging effects on people, especially impressionable youths, but I think the biggest danger with social media sites is our complete dependance on them.
I said earlier that I’ve almost deleted my Facebook account in the past. I’ve also almost deleted my Instagram account. I haven’t, I still have them and I still use them daily. Why haven’t I deleted them? I haven’t deleted them because I feel a slight ache in my chest when I seriously consider getting rid of them for good. There’s a panic that ‘if I delete my Facebook, how will I keep up with what’s going on?’ When I almost deleted my Instagram account for real, I panicked that I had already almost achieved reaching 3k followers, why would I delete it now? I like posting photos of Brian Epstein and the Beatles and all sorts of other things. I also like the attention I get from my selfies. BOOM. I said it. It’s something we all need to admit – it’s all about you at the end of the day. Why would we post a selfie if we don’t want attention?
I do feel dependent on social media. I feel like I need it to keep in contact with my friends (which I is true because everyone uses Facebook Messenger) and I’d honestly feel like people would forget me…which some would, let’s face it. I’ve met many friends through social media. One of my ‘internet friends’ from Switzerlan even came to visit me and my family. I value her friendship, along with the other friendships I’ve formed online. The loss of communication would be the hardest blow if I ever did finally delete my Facebook.
From Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter, to Yik Yak, to Snapchat, to Tumblr and beyond, they are all a huge part of our lives these days. I think it’s true that people are starting to lose the art of communication. Young kids don’t want a skipping rope for Christmas, they want an iPhone or an iPad. The teenagers signing up to Facebook are getting younger and younger. Is it getting out of hand or do we all just need to keep moving with the times? I don’t have an answer to that question.
I don’t really feel strongly towards either side of any debates about the pros/cons of social media. I value points from both sides. I suppose we’ll just have to see how everyone’s lives pan out and wether social media continues to grow.
“Why does it always rain on me? Even when the sun is shining I can’t avoid the lightening.”
‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’, Travis.
Sometimes “Today Is Just Not My Day”
I’m a very sensitive person. It’s something I can’t help, although I do think my skin has thickened when I compare my current confidence levels to how I used to behave last year. Sometimes I can be tough, sarcastic and able to withstand criticism. I’m happy to discuss controversial topics, I can take banter or offensive comments and I’m a fan of black comedy/ dark humour. I’ve always been much more confident around my friends, in situations where I feel comfortable or when I’m not having a face-to-face conversation (meaning I can be very opinionated in writing or when I’m on social media, etc). For crying out loud, I even hate having to answer a bloody phone!
A lot of the time, I just find that I’m a very sensitive person. I don’t always take personal criticism well and I hate making mistakes (don’t we all?) That’s the main thing I don’t handle well; accepting I will make errors. I get so rattled by the slightest little mistake. I can be easily flustered and embarrassed when I make public errors but at least I can hide it well. I can keep very calm but on the inside, I’m all over the place. I’ve even used lies to get myself out of situations and I’ve had a few problems at home due to this. (I’m still trying to learn from this but those lies need to be left for another day because there were many factors involved in those incidents). If I’m caught making a mistake I dwell on it for the rest of the day, sometimes even longer. It’s something I’m trying to overcome but I’ve always been that way so I don’t know if it’s just a natural aspect of my personality. Overall, I see myself as a laid back person in a lot of ways (unless I’m riled up about injustices in the world) but I can be anxious/frustrated over seemingly small things.
At present, I feel like I’m having ‘one of those days’. Imaginary rain is falling over my head today. I keep making silly mistakes at work today and although my manager is absolutely lovely and accepts that I’m still learning, I hate it. I hate making silly errors even though I know it’s the best way to learn. I know that I just need to change my attitude and see it as a way to improve, to learn from my slip ups. I do see it that way and I can/will learn from my little stumbles. I just can’t help myself from feeling frustrated and rattled. It’s petty and childish, I suppose, but I just can’t help it. Embarrassing moments stick in my head for days and I know I’m not the only one who has these thoughts.
I just want to say that I do not have any dramatic hardships in my life. There are so many others who have serious issues that they have to deal with on a daily basis and I am aware of this. I just wanted to get this off my chest so I can sort out my thoughts. After writing this, I’ve come to the conclusion that the feelings and thoughts I have after I slip up are down to two explanations. This is all simply a character quirk; I will always be sensitive and I’ll always need to be patient with myself to overcome personal criticisms/mistakes. I’m not alone in this. That or I’m simply still a young girl who needs to allow her confidence to grow as she matures. Perhaps it could even be both?
There are positive things that I can focus on today. The air is chilly and crisp, which is my favorite type of air because it’s so breathable and calming; you don’t feel suffocated. Everything is on track, I’m in a good place and nothing is actually wrong. I need to take a breathe, maybe open a window. I’ve brought some homemade pasta for my lunch.
One of my favourite ever quotes is this:
‘Milked’ might seem quite a harsh word when you’re genuinely having an awful time. If someone bluntly said that to you it would be very offensive and quite nasty. When you just have a little blip or if only one insignificant mistake is getting you down, you should try to let it go but s I said before, I find it hard to simply let things go. It’s still always worth a try.
I like this quote because it reminds me to focus on other things. It reminds me that a bad 5 minutes within 24 hours is tiny, irrelevant and small. It helps me brush off the worries at the front of my mind so I can carry on with the rest of my day.
I don’t like to dwell on such daft little things. I want to be able to waft away the frustration and disappointment I feel when I make an error. I want to be able to just think ‘right, how can I move on or correct this?’ It’s hard to put the fact that you made a mistake out of your head but that’s what this quote is for. It tells you that all you have to do is carry on with the rest of your day.
“Let me get this one thing very clear, there ain’t enough going on down here.”
Mainline Florida, Eric Clapton, from the album ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’.
Another Holiday Is Coming Up…
I’m always grateful for a good holiday. I think travelling is an amazing thing and I firmly believe that visiting different countries is essential for personal, cultural and spiritual growth. It’s always eye opening to discover a new world beyond your front door. I want to travel everywhere and anywhere, I’m not fussy. I even want to explore more of the UK.
I didn’t feel ecstatic when I found out my parents are taking me to Florida again, only this time I need to pay for my flight because I’m an adult now. I was still very happy because a change of scenery is always good and Florida is a great place to visit. I was just slightly disappointed because we’ve been to Florida about six times already but thankfully, we’re going to visit some new places this time. We’re going in October so it won’t be too hot hopefully, it also won’t be too busy as we aren’t going during a school holiday. We are planning a trip to an old colonial town and we’re going to spend more time visiting some of the beaches rather than constantly spending full days in the theme parks. Personally, I would happily skip going to any of the Disney parks we could see some new areas but I still want to go to Universal as I bloody love those two parks.
The holiday is a long way off (well, not too long) and I can’t wait to share my photos of the difference places we visit, along with the typical photos of the theme parks. I’m also hoping to either go to a festival this summer or visit either Manchester or Leeds – or perhaps Germany to see my friend there. I’ll have to think about it. Apart from the deaths of many great celebrities, 2016 isn’t looking half bad. I’m excited for all of this!
“Ever see a young girl growing old, trying to make herself a bride.”
Handbags and Gladrags, written by Mike d’Abo (from the band Manfred Mann).
Ever since it’s release in 1985, John Hughes famous classic ‘the Breakfast Club’ is considered to be quintessential 80’s teen film. Still to this day, teenagers across the world find the film completely relatable as it is us, young adults, who the film directly addresses. The stereotypes shown in the film are characters who can be found in any high school in any country; the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal. The funny this is that these characters are not limited to teenagers – they’re adults too. We’ve all heard the saying ‘high school never ends’.
I was thinking about this film today whilst I pondered my own conversion into adulthood. Am I ready for this? Am I ready for life? What does it mean to be an adult?
I am only nineteen years old, I only left school about half a year ago and I’m working full-time doing an apprenticeship. On one hand, I’m still finding my feet and trying to figure out what I would like to do with my future. On the other hand, I’m in full-time employment and although I’m only the apprentice, I’m still a ‘working girl’ with responsibilities. So am I an adult or am I a child? I’m in limbo with this. I’m surrounded by grown ups through the week but if I meet up with my friends, I find myself feeling like a teenager. My friends are either still at school, at uni or they’re working themselves. Everyone still feels very ‘teenagery’ to me. Honestly, I’m not even sure what direction I’m taking with this post or what I’m actually trying to say.
Basically, I just thought about the Breakfast Club on my way to work and then the Stereophonics cover of ‘Handbags and Gladrags’ came on my shuffle playlist. I just started thinking about my transition into adulthood and whether it’s really happening. I feel very confused when I think about it. I just don’t know what I am.
In some ways, I feel like I can no longer full relate to any of my friends who are still at school or the ones at uni because they just seem so very young, but at the same time I don’t feel grown up myself. It’s very confusing.
On one hand, I want to be respected as a working young woman who is going to climb the career ladder. On another hand, I want to be free spirited and make my own way in life without dedicating myself solely to an office desk. Then on yet another hand (pretend humans have three arms), I still feel ‘teenagery’ myself.
I don’t really want to grow up but at the same time I do? I have no idea what I’m writing. I don’t want to grow up in the sense that I’ll become stressed and tried and I don’t want my heart to do. I want to keep some naivety and softness, however I also feel quite hardened and cold. It’s like everything about myself is a strange contrast of childlike youthfulness and adult-like cynicism. I have no idea.
I suppose I just feel like I’m floating today. I’m neither coming or going. I think I’m alright with that though because I suppose this all means I’m not really either.
I might just dress up as a doll forever so I feel like neither regardless of whether is’s Halloween or not.
“Ahm comin’ home Newcastle, ah wish ahd never been away.”
Home Newcastle, written by the famous Geordie busker, Ronnie Lambert. R.I.P.
England is a unique country, full of very unique people and although us Brits share many common traits (a love of queuing and apologising come to mind), you will find that every region across the country, every county and every city have their own way of doing things. The same applies to all of the United Kingdom but as I’m English, I know my own country better. The differences you find across the country are one of my favourite things about being British. It’s humorous to listen to people from other parts of the country discussing your region and assuming everyone fits a particular stereotype.
Often when people think of the North East, they immediately think of Newcastle and Sunderland – the Geordies vs. the Mackems. The local derbys between the two cities football teams are infamous and due to fierce rivalries, there have been (and still are) many violent eruptions between the fans giving us North Easterners a reputation as violent, loud hooligans who can’t hold their drink. That’s one stereotype that’s only partly true.
Another stereotype associated with Newcastle and the Geordies is that we don’t wear coats. That’s true. We can brace blizzards in skimpy dresses, t-shirts and Newcastle football shirts – if we’re even wearing a top at all. It makes sense though really because it means you’ll never lose your coat after a drink, doesn’t it? We do like a good drink up here.
A more recent stereotype is that we act and behave like the bellends on the vile TV programme, Geordie Shore. They’re all orange, they’re always drunk, they live for swearing and sex and they just aren’t an accurate representation of the people here. Yes, we do like a decent drink and Newcastle is a famous party city but we’re canny people for the most part. We’re renowned for being very friendly and overall, we are. We do like our Gregg’s up here and our football matches can be rowdy. People can be loud, there are a lot of council estates and yes, unemployment is high. Teenage pregnancy is high compared to other areas of the country, you will see a decent number of chavs and a lot of people are from the working class. Maybe we can be a bit rough and ready but let me tell you, we’re a loyal bunch up here. We’re a good lot and we’re genuine.
You have still got richies up here. There’s some big houses, posh folk who live in the quaint villages of Northumberland and every city has their jumped-up yuppies. We have some beautiful architecture in our cities and Newcastle isn’t as industrial as some people might expect. The city has designer shops, expensive apartments and fine dining restaurants. The North East is chocka block full of culture and rich history. We have so much to offer up here. Some of our schools are very good and we do have intelligent people. We aren’t uncultured, dirty, poor, uneducated swines who are incapable of speaking proper English. Newcastle is a relatively safe, small city that has a lot packed into it. It’s easy to get from place to place and there’s a lot to see and do; from sight seeing tours, to the castle, art galleries, shopping, theater, to brilliant buskers performing left. right and center.
Am I a Geordie? Technically, no I’m not and that’s annoying. I was born in Hexham, a market town in Northumberland. My parents are Geordies though, born in the city, as were my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. Since all of my family members were born in the city and because I have a strong loyalty towards Newcastle Upon Tyne, I do call myself a Geordie. I consider myself an adopted Geordie. I have a love for the North East and I will always recommend a visit to the city if anyone I know travels to the UK, as well as the rest of the region – Hadrians Wall is always a must see! We aren’t scary, we’re as lovely as anyone else. We’re hard as nails yet soft as clarts and it’s always easy to have a chat with a canny stranger. Travel here if you can.
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen, from the album ‘A Night at the Opera’.
That Strange Feeling
Admit to yourself that you sang the above lyrics in your head.
I just want to quickly write about the moments where I suddenly stop and feel a little bit out of it. I have strange little pauses where I look around and feel in genuine awe regarding the reality of life, how we exist in a living breathing world. There’s people walking around our big planet living their lives in all sorts of ways, some making better choices than others and there’s so much going on. There’s animals existing and breathing. Plants are growing and dying. There’s fish and reefs and other strange things in the sea. Then there’s simply the fact that there are mountains, grass, stars, gravity, black holes, etc.
It’s not just the natural world that makes me feel…I don’t quite know how to put my finger on it so I’ll think about that as I continue writing. I often feel disappointed in man because we are the most toxic, dangerous beings on this earth. We’re needlessly killing plants and animals, throwing so much waste away, hurting each other – the list just goes on. It’s so depressing and awful to think about the flaws of humans. Sometimes it’s enough to bring you to your knees and wish you could make all of us leave for good. Like almost everything in life there is good. Through all the bad humans can still move each other. We’re capable of so much love and care. We are able to use moral judgement and think of new innovative ideas. That’s the part of humanity that makes me wonder if all of this is real. I look at our beautiful architecture, art, literature, as well as human beings ourselves and our eyes, hair, skin, etc. Sometimes it all just feels somewhat too good to be true.
Perhaps that’s why I sometimes feel a bit – I’m going to say ‘out of it’ and hope that someone else understands what I mean by that. It’s the fact that I sometimes just stop and look at something and think about how something is real, like actually real. I just don’t quite know how to describe exactly how I feel. I suppose it’s awe, feeling small, feeling like I’m not real. It’s also as if the world just suddenly seems too big; it’s a wide, wide world. It’s also like I’m Truman Burbank (Jim Carry, The Truman Show, 1998) and I’ve just found out my life isn’t what I though it was. For me, it’s not as an extreme feeling as this character for reasons that should be obvious but still, it’s almost like an awakening every time, as if you’ve stepped out of a film into reality (at least it is for me). You pass through life just knowing that things are real, I just think it’s good once and while for us to actually appreciate it.
I haven’t written another post for over a week now which is a bit shoddy. I’ve been a bit ill recently – nothing serious, mind you – and I’ve also had a week off work so I was busy catching up with my friends, shopping, having days out, etc.
I will write a decent post soon.
I’ll need to keep on top of this blog if I want to get some more readers and find other interesting blogs to follow.
“I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally, because I am a queen.”
Video, India Aria, from the album ‘Acoustic Soul’.
No Beating Around the Bush
If you can’t handle talking about periods and ‘feminine products’ then move on to another blog post, please and asses yourself because what’s the problem? It’s natural, all women have to deal with their periods.
I’m going to get straight down to the point: more women need to talk about sanitary towels and tampons – especially tampons. I am no expert. Please keep that in mind. If you are going to start using tampons for the first time, please consult a professional or get a second opinion. What applied to me may not be the same case for you. I’m just sharing my own personal experience.
Why Should We Talk About Tampons More?
Women are very much aware of their reproductive organs and their periods. In theory, we know all we need to know. Do we know enough about putting this information into practice? It depends on the individual, I suppose.
Sanitary towels, pads, whatever you like to call them, are straight forward and need no explanation. You just rip one open, pop it in your knickers and you’re off – bish, bash, bosh. Tampons aren’t so simple. Most women will struggle to insert a tampon the first time they try using one and some women even experience pain. This is what I think we need to talk about more because I think that there’s still only a handful of women who are willing to talk to others about periods and using tampons. I wanted to write this blog post for any girl who can find a lot of information about how to use a tampon but not enough information on other women’s experiences with their first attempt. That means I’m going to tell you all about mine and I see no shame in it.
Take 1: Fifteen Years Old
The first time I ever tried to use a tampon was when I was fifteen on holiday in Florida and my period started just before I wanted to go swimming. My mam handed me a tampon and told me to put it on (or in). I had no idea what I was doing. It didn’t work.
I was upstairs in the bathroom of our villa trying and failing to do anything with the damn thing. I remember trying all sorts of positions that I was told about at school. One leg up on the toilet, lying down, etc. I couldn’t get it to go anywhere and I wasted about five of the bloody things trying. I just didn’t know what I was doing and even looking at my vagina with a hand mirror didn’t help. I don’t think I was mature enough to want to look at my private part properly and that’s not helpful. I was quite prudish at this age if I remember correctly. I shouldn’t have been and nor should any teenage boy or girl – or man or women. Our bodies are our bodies, warts and all.
I just had no idea how to get it bloody in. I went back and tried to tell my mam that I didn’t know how to “put it in.” I felt awkward, she felt awkward and all I got as a reply was “what do mean you don’t know how to put it in?” Well, I just didn’t flipping know. I wonder how many other girls have received replies like that from their mothers, aunts, grandma’s, etc. It’s not my mam’s fault for replying like that. I’m from the UK and still think that we do have a ‘no sex please, we’re British’ attitude and this slowly started to break down. I wasn’t asking for my mam to come in and watch me try to use the tampon, no. I just wanted a bit more support and some practical advice. I didn’t push though and she just didn’t know any other way to help.
I think there are two main reasons why my first attempt was a disaster. Firstly, I was too immature, as I said before. Your first attempt at using a tampon requires some level or maturity because it’s likely you will need to look, and really look at your vagina. It’s not embarrassing, it’s not shameful and it’s not weird – or at least it shouldn’t be. You also need to be as relaxed as possible or else your muscles will clench, making inserting the tampon harder and potentially painful. The second reason is simply that I had never received any practical information as I was only informed about my vagina and menstrual cycle in theory. I didn’t have a smart phone then and I had no access to wifi because my family didn’t need it then. I have nowhere to turn to for any advice, except for my mam but she was no help. She clearly just didn’t know how to talk to me about it, I just had to go and try and learn for myself.
Success At Eighteen
Three years after the first disastrous tampon insertion attempt, I finally tried again. I don’t think there was an particular reason as to why it took my three years to try again. I wasn’t traumatised by my first attempt or anything, I think I was just very comfortable using sanitary towels. They are very easy to use and of course, they are always necessary for when you’re sleeping. The problem that arises from using pads is what happens when you want to go swimming, wear white or when you’re moving a lot. I’m not an athletic person and I need to start doing more exercise. I wanted to start jogging and I knew that it would be much better for me to start using tampons.
I got the box of tampons I had saved in my drawer. Finally seeing daylight, the box almost seemed happy to be out. I went into the bathroom, picked up a mirror, put my glasses on and actually looked at my vagina. I studied it carefully and I realised that I had a hymenal strand which explained why I found it slightly painful and difficult when I first tried to use a tampon. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t of actually looked. I could have potentially hurt myself. A hymenal strand is an extra string of tissue down the center of your vagina. I quickly looked up ‘I can’t use a tampon’ on Google and that’s how I found out it’s name. If you have this too, you just need to be very careful. Inserting a tampon can cause the strand to rip and there may be a little bit of extra blood. just take your time, expect a bit of discomfort but use your gut instinct. Your body should tell you if something is wrong.
After I knew why I had such difficulties in the past, I seemed to intrinsically know how to carefully put my tampon in. I felt much more relaxed than the first time and I didn’t feel the need to rush. I used my mirror and my instincts to guide the tampon into my vagina. I did feel some discomfort but nothing seriously painful so I just took my time. I found the angle I needed to insert my tampon, something that is always important to know and a reason why you need to take your time. Keep repeating that in your head: take your time. There’s no rush. After a couple of minutes, I just felt my tampon slowly sliding up. The next thing I knew, it was up there and I couldn’t feel it. Well, I could feel it but I wasn’t in any paid. The first time you use a tampon you will feel a bit funny. You should know yourself, again, with your gut feeling, whether something is wrong. Give it a bit of time because you have just put something up your fanny, possibly for the first time ever and your body will be thinking ‘what the fuck is this thing in your vagaina? This is new’. After five minutes or so, I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t feel it when I was sitting down or standing up.
Et voila, I now use tampons. For the first few times, I had to use a mirror just so I knew exactly where to put it. Now I can insert a tampon easily without a mirror because like most things in life, a routine becomes the norm. I don’t even need to think about it now and I do prefer tampons to pads, just because I prefer the security of knowing that I won’t have any embarrassing stains or leaks. There you have it.
Enough About Me – What About You?
If you’re reading this and you already use tampons then you could just stop reading here. If you’re someone who is considering trying out tampons then this next section is aimed at you. Whether someone uses tampons or not is a personal choice. You use whatever you want to use. I think that some young girls seem to think that you have to use tampons one day or else you’re not being a big girl. That’s not true. Some women never use a tampon and that’s fine. There’s no right or wrong answer.
Before you start using tampons, I do think the question you need to ask yourself is ‘am I ready?’ Learn from my mistake when I was fifteen. I don’t think I was ready for it. It can be quite daunting when you think about it and that’s okay, it is quite a big step for some girls and women. If you aren’t willing to sit down, get a mirror and take a good long look at your vagina to see exactly what’s going on down there then personally speaking, I would recommend waiting a little while longer – take as much time as you need. It took me three years so there’s no rush.
If you do feel like you’re ready and you want to give tampons a go then that’s great. The thing to remember when you purchase your first box of tampons is the size. Do you need an extra thick, extra absorbent jumbo tampon? Proabably not if you’re a teenager. Only get those if you are a Mean Girls case, “I can’t help it if I’ve got a heavy flow and a wide set vagina!” It’s always best to start with a thinner tampon, espeically if you’re a virgin. That’s not uncool. It’s cool to be a virgin, no matter what you’re age is so if that’s suddently sprung an ‘oh no’ thought into your head, get rid of it. I’d also recommend buying yourself two boxes just to be safe because you’ll never know how much you’ll need on your first attempt.
As I’ve said numerous times, you should get a mirror and have a look at your vagina. Again, it’s not awkward or embarrassing so if you have those thoughts, try to calm yourself down. If you need to, take a look, see where you need to put your tampon and then try again at a later date if you aren’t ready. This is important and I think it’s necessary. It could be like trying to find a needle in a haystack if you don’t and you want to make sure you get the right hole or you might get a shock.
You might be wondering where exactly IS your vagina? Look it up on Google if you need to because I’m not putting any images on here just in case. You don’t need to search for anything seedy, just type in something about the menstrual cycle. Also, this may seem vile but the “blood” will indicate where your vagina is so there’s always that.
If you talk to other women or if you look up personal stories online, you’ll find that most women have experienced frustration when first trying out tampons, just like me. That’s okay. Some people could get a ‘hole in one’ whilst the rest of us could battle on for minutes, hours, possibly even years – three to be exact. It’s all fine. You will get there in the end. There’s no rush to use tampons.
As I’ve Said Before…Follow Your Gut Feeling
If you feel like something is wrong, even if you’re not sure then please so go and seek medical advice. It’s not embarrassing going to see the doctor, honest. Doctors and nurses will help you and again, please don’t be embarressed. It’s all good. There are thousands of people who go to their doctors about their intimate areas so you won’t be the first or the last.
Take your time. I literally want to hammer that home.
Do not shove a tampon into you, no matter how frustrated you get. You could hurt yourself. Again again again, just take it easy. It’s fine.
Don’t feel pressured to use tampons either. I think this is often the case for young girls. If your friends all use tampons but you don’t then that’s fine. Sanitary towels aren’t childish and tampons aren’t for people who are mature. You use what you want, when you want.
Also, big thing – don’t wear a tampon for bed! Remember that. Use a pad.
“I’ve looked at life from both sides now. From up and down, and still somehow it’s life’s illusions I recall. I really don’t know life at all.”
Both Sides Now, Joni Mitchell, from the album ‘Both Sides Now’.
Who else could write as poetic, relatable lyrics as Joni Mitchell? She’s a Canadian artist who inspired many and her critical praise is completely worthy. This inspirational woman honestly changed my life when I listened to her music. Everyone has heard the song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and it’s been covered by god knows how many other artists who have taken the real meaning of the song completely out of context. I knew the song from the cheesy romcoms of the early 00’s and I wish I was shown her singing the song first. My parents never put any of Joni’s music on in the car or played it in the house. In fact, they don’t really play music at all, only I do. That’s likely because my parents work long shifts.
If I have any children in the future, I want to make sure that I play music around the house a lot and Joni is one of the artists I want them to be aware of before they’re six. My future kids are going to brought up with some decent, meaningful music.
How I Have Been Inspired By Joni
I’m not a particularly great singer and I can’t sing in front of an audience unless I’m being stupid but I do like to sing on my own. When I was at school, I was involved with the school choir and a short lived ‘busking club’. I don’t have the loudest or strongest of voices but I have found that I can cope with singing folk songs. I enjoy singing folk and my voice is suitable for covering songs by the likes of Joni, Vashti Bunyan and Kate Rusby. If I had the confidence to sing in front of people then I would love to go out busking and singing small gigs in local pubs but I can’t and to be honest, I don’t have any burning passion to do so anyway. It would just be fun.
Joni Mitchell basically inspired my voice. It was nice for me to find an artist who’s work I was actually able to sing comfortably. I was able to adapt my voice to the songs we sang in choir because after practising singing on my own with singers like Joni and Vashti, I was able to work out my range. I was learning by ear and I enjoyed my time in the choir a lot more.
I’ve been inspired by Joni in other ways than singing. I like the meaning behind her songs and their important messages that addressed social issues, as well as more personal feelings that anyone can relate to like love, longing, happiness, sadness, nostalgia, disillusion with life and love, etc. Many people found this inspiring, many still do to this very day and I agree with them. The way Joni and her music helped define a generation is incredible and she’s still helping current artists today express themselves. This is an amazing achievement for anyone.
The main thing I really found inspiring about Joni is how she kept full artist control of her music throughout her career and still to this day, Joni has the rights to her own music. On many of her albums, Joni is the sole record producer credited. She was writing and performing in a time where men dominated the music industry, which still is true even in 2016, yet she still kept total control of her work. Another important point to make is that Joni was respected and admired soley for her talen. Many female artists of that era had to use their looks as part of their promotion if they wanted a hit record. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing and the men did the same thing too, like my favourite band, the Beatles. They played on sex appeal as much as the lasses. Joni was beautiful but that wasn’t the reason why men and women bought her albums. She was one, if not the first female artist who gained genuine respect for her music, not her looks. Joni had an effect on many women and she gave a lot of women the confidence to demand to be taken seriously. Joni showed the world that yes, women did have feelings and sang about love but they also had intelligence and real musical and lyrical ability. Many artist have been influenced by Joni, from Paul Carrack, to Prince to Madonna.
If any artist deserved the title of ‘music legend’, Joni is one.