Forever a small fish in a big pond

Friday, 24 January 2020

I travelled to London ON MY OWN.... AND DID WHAT?

Being 3ft 11, public transport has never been my bestfriend- from not being able to reach the ticket machines to jumping 5.5 miles to reach the train platform, the strain it puts on my body means it's not something I love doing, even more so as it often forces me to do my least favourite thing in the world..... ASK FOR HELP. So public transport where possible has always been a no no!
However since moving away from home, public transport has become more of a neccessity, it's how I get home. But necessity or not, it's not my favourite thing, far from it, especially when I have no one else to rely on.... so..... this may come as a bit of a surprise when I say..... I TRAVELLED TO LONDON. ON MY OWN.

Surprised? too....

It started when I got a message on my blog, explaining about a project taking place at the London College of Fashion- promoting an ajustable clothing range, which they needed a little person to model for. OK SO LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. Firstly YOU WANT ME TO MODEL. Secondly... IN LONDON, YOU WANT ME TO MODEL IN LONDON. ON MY OWN? ME? A MODEL? NOPE.


Wasn't happening, I mean really, me? Surly not....

"Yes of course, I would love to"-Ummmm, ok abort mission. What did I just sign up to?

As the day crept closer, I didn't tell many people. In fact, the only people that knew I was going away were my parents, my bestfriend and one of my colleauges. That's it. This was something I had to deal and process with myself before sharing it with anyone else, this was huge. Like proper huge. If there's anything that scares me the most it's..... Crowds. Big cities. Travelling and putting myself out there. And today I was about to face all four of these things.

The morning came, and I felt like a naughty school girl; I had taken the day off work- giving no valid reason, and I had turned off my snap maps with no possible trace. I didn't tell any lies, I just also wasn't very forward in telling the truth. Part of me I suppose was still in disbeilef, another part of me didn't want anyone to worry; I mean I knew telling my family that I was jumping on a coach to the city centre of London on my own, wasn't something that was going to go down without hesitation. Another part of me, also knw I had to do this for myself; if I was going to take the step to push myself this far out of my comfort zone, it had to be because I was choosing too, not because I had anything to prove to anyone else.

When I arrived at the station, London seemed even busier than I remember, I felt even smaller than usual, surrounded by rucksacks and breifcases, all in a rush of different directions. I had half an hour to get to what I beileved to be the otherside of the city; in rush hour. Brilliant. So far, I had felt calm, almost no different to when I was travelling to and from a visit home. But this definitely wasn't home. Newport feeled like a village in comparison to mayhem aorund me.

The whole sensation felt surreal.

Walking through the crowds, crossing the business roads, jumping in taxis; from one side of london to the other, how did I ever get to this point? How did the girl who struggled to get on a train, ever end up travelling through london. ON. HER .OWN.

Fast forward to the journey home, I sat and thought if this whole process actually happened. To some this journey would've been part of their daily occurance, but for me, it was never something I ever would've considered. Would I love to be a girl who travels, who books holidays and goes on roadtrips? Of course. But when you stand at the average height of a five year old; the big wide world isn't somewhere you always feel brave to venture.

In this day alone, I had conqured more fears than I could count; not to mention the fact of standing in front of a camera. No filters. No hiding behind anyone else. Standing there. As myself. And you know what, it was so much fun. Was it scary? Of course, did I feel insecure; obviously. But the laughter drowned out the worries and the excitment for the oppitunity I had been given, outweighed the anxieities it was causing. Not to mention the different I felt I was making, there I was in front of the camera, no filters, no alterations, no hiding, why? Because people who are different don't need to hide. And that's the message I hope, my photos would spread. As someone who grew up, surrounded by unrealistic media, with body and selfimage expectations set by the tease of photoshop; I knew how important it was. I knew how much I wished, I had seen someone in the media; who just looked ordainary. Regardless of dsability, difference or race, I longed to see someone without an air brush cheek, or without a size 8 figure; and that's exactly what I was. Did that suddenly make me a model that people will aspire to? No, not in any stretch, but someone might. And even if they didn't, they'd still see me, they'd still see me condition, and perhaps it may become more of their norm. A norm to see people who are different, a norm to see someone with dwarfism; and perhaps that was going to take us one step closer to the society I dream of that sees someones height difference as no more extreme than someones hair colour difference.

And for that it was worth it. Worth the fear and anxiety, to think I may have made a difference; even to one person. Not to mention the fact that our project as a whole promoted diverse and adjustable fashion. Something which in 2020; should not be something as a society we still fight for.

So there we go! Who'd have thought it, me, venturing out through the capital city, doing modelling shoots, and conquring public transport; I for sure never imagined it was possible! But if i've learned anything through this experience, it's that sometimes we never know what we're capable of, not until we're in the midst of it, doing it because we have no other choice! For so long I waited, held back from oppitunities; 'UNTIL I FELT READY', well I'll tell you now, I did not feel ready. Sometimes we never feel ready; not until it's done and you're left wondering how you did it!

What's holding you back? What dream are you putting off? And for what reason? I didn't think I had it in me to do any of these things..... turns out that was only because I had never given myself the chance.


Thursday, 9 January 2020

It isn't built for me..

Ever wondered what it's like down here? Ever thought about how the way I see the world may be different to you? Ever considered that how I see the room may look comepltely different to you... even if what we're looking at is the same? 

I took these photos for a university presentation- A micro teach I had to present about my life. Something which despite being a blogger, and having done many public presentations before.... it's something which still is hard to summarise in words. So I used pictures instead.

The top rows of all of these, are what my average heigh friend sees.... which means... you've guessed it... the bottom row is what I see. The same objects. The same day. The same time. The same place.
Yet the views are compeltly different.

All these things are featured in my University, and all these things are ones I use on a daily basis, their essential to my lifestyle and study as a student.... yet... they're not built for me. None of them are. They're built for my friends. The average... the majority.

I'm lucky enough to have very supportive friends, who carry my load and make the fact all these things are out of reach almost forgetable..... but the truth of the matter is... they are. Initially anyway.

Being here 3 years now, I've got myself into a routine, I know my limits, I've learned ways around things and I've learned when I need someone else on hand when I can't achieve my outcome independenly, but this thought process..... on top of a full time work placement, and a BA hons degree... can sometimes feel overwhelming.

I used to be jelous, jelous of the things that all my friends could do with ease. Jealous that whilst they're fretting over their dissertations i'm left fretting over how I'm gonna reach my lunch. Somedays it doesn't feel fair. But then other days, honestly.... I don't even notice and I don't think others do too.

The fact is..... I could be angry. Easily. I could be frustrated, and beileve me somedays I am.... but more often than not, it doesn't cross my mind. Because after 21 years experience I've accepted that there will never be a day I don't need someone to reach something off a shelf, or a day I can see over every counter and desk I greet. And in the mix of all of life's pressures... You can guarentee I am not adding an addition one in the form of my thoughts and frets.

We all need a little help sometimes... and althought it took me a long time to accept it, my help just comes in the form of the little things. But in turn my degree is allowing me to help others with big things. Big things that I can do, that others may not have mastered yet. So if it turns out that reaching a book off a top shelf is my biggest weakness...... I'm happy with that.
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