BELLA


We sat down with six women to discuss the stories and wisdom they've learnt thus far on their journey of self-love and self-exploration. Without knowing our whole selves, fears, and flaws, we cannot truly love ourselves. Self-love and self-knowledge are inextricably linked. Self-knowledge flows from self-exploration. Self-exploration is self-care. Meet the beautiful Bella.
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Q: What were three insecurities that you had when you were younger? How did you overcome them?

It’s funny because I only think I’ve realised how insecure I was when I was younger now that I’m older. Reflecting on my younger years I can now say that I never felt like I was good enough. I felt as though I often fell short of people’s expectations. This was totally constructed in my mind. I grew up in a very loving, trusting and supportive family so it wasn’t a reflection of how my family treated me. They never put me down. But being the youngest and the only girl of a loud, extroverted family I think it came from the idea of what I had created as success. It took me a long time to realise that my personality is different to my brothers and my parents. I have different likes and dislikes and I challenge myself in different ways. It wasn’t until the last year or two that this sentiment became clear to me. It was a lightbulb moment. The insecurity just faded away because I was able to recognise the differences in what I think is success and what it could mean for someone else. Just because our definition isn’t same doesn’t mean I’m not as good or successful.

Attached to this was another big insecurity of mine which was fear of failing. To be honest, it still is. I don’t like letting people down, I don’t like hurting people and I don’t want people to think less of me just because I can’t do something. I’d hope people wouldn’t jump to that conclusion but in my mind, I think this is what would automatically happen. Even though I still worry about failing I think I have gotten better at unpacking the insecurity. I saw a quote the other day by Atticus that was “A happy soul is the best shield in a cruel world”. This really resonated with me and I’ve begun to realise the value of my self-worth and the importance of being truly happy with me.  I do have to remind myself though.

This last one is a big one that I think most young girls struggle with. That is, I never felt as though I was pretty or beautiful. I remember getting to year seven and beginning to pinpoint what I didn’t like about my body or my looks and what I’d change if I could. I can honestly still remember the first time, clear as crystal, when I stood in front of my mirror and was like “oh this is what all the magazines talk about”. This again is still a work in progress. How could it not be with social media in our faces more than ever, and the “idols” we are surrounded by setting the beauty standards that are potentially only achievable through their status? In saying that I’ve come to really believe that confidence is key, and confidence comes from knowing your self-worth. It’s through my psychological growth in my early adult years that I’ve begun to overcome this insecurity.

Q: What are you like in a conflict?

SO uncomfortable! I really don’t like anything to do with it. I think my discomfort stems from my fear of failure so I people please to avoid anything like it. In saying that though, I do have a hot flare to me (probably the Italian side) so if my friends, family, work colleagues are under fire, I jump in. I’ve noticed that I’m so much more willing to defend someone else than defend myself; I don’t know why that is really! Another thought to unpack…

 

Q: What makes you nervous?

How much time have you got? I’m such a nervous person and always have been. I think as a blanket statement, anything that is unfamiliar or I don’t feel as though I have control makes me feel nervous. Recently, I felt nervous starting a new placement round; I also went on a date (incredibly nervous); I joined a sports team (moderate nerves). You can see the running theme. But at the end of the day, these have all been so positive in my life. 

 Q: How would you describe yourself in three words? Please explain why you have chosen each word. 

  • Loving: I don’t want anyone to feel like they aren’t cared for or special.
  • Open: I’m willing to share whatever with whomever if they ask for it. I also think being a nurse/midwife has completely gotten rid of any filter that was there. Trust me, this has a bad side to it.
  • Loyal: My family and my friends are my bread and butter. If I didn’t have them, hand on my heart, I don’t know where or who I would be so they will always be my priority.

Q: What is your relationship to sex?

It goes up and down to be honest. I’ve never thought of sex as a really big thing like you’re linked to the person you give your virginity up to or thereafter. I personally do need to have some sort of connection to them. I also need to feel ok in myself. For me, I need to be mentally ok, feel secure and safe, and feel ok with my body. If these boxes aren’t ticked on my end, even if they aren’t ticked for a while, well, then I guess I’m not having sex.

 

Q. What are five things that make you really difficult to live with?

/ I can be messy but I do clean it up!

/ I’m loud and I’m weird. I would say like bordering not-ok weird

/ If I’ve had a bad day or if I’m tired, you’ll know about it

/ I’m a worrier, which is sometimes good and sometimes bad. When the worry kicks in, it’s often followed by anxiety. If this happens, I may need some guidance!

/ I have food intolerances :( 

Q. What does your self-care practice look like? Do you have any rituals?

I wouldn’t say I have rituals... there are things I practice regularly but I haven’t found an exact groove just yet. For me, self-care started off with the usual face masks, treating myself to a movie night with my favourite meal, getting my nails done etc. These are still a huge part of my practice, but it’s evolved to become more holistic. I now know that with my nature, going to my psych is a huge act of self-care. I think because I’ve seen how incredibly beneficial this practice can be, self-care for me couldn’t not involve this type of reflection. So much so that whoever is willing to listen, I tell them to go to a mind doctor and get checked out. Other than that, essential oils, pasta, the girls, the fam and having a designated “me” night.

 Bella wears the YOGA tee and the DANCING tee.