Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

You Think You Know Me?

Yesterday was a hard, difficult and complicated day, I'd shared my heart on the internet and I also had to read about myself through someone else's eyes for the first time ever, that is hard if you are someone like me who's brain is scrambled and self-esteem isn't the best but I always favour the truth even when I myself by my own admission like to create a much more magical existence in my own head.

I think there's something which is important to state, what you read on the internet isn't always real, I've been writing this blog now for 11 years and I get lots of emails and comments which thank me for my honesty and you know what, that's great, I never lie but I can tell you something even with the way I write, I write best when I am at my happiest or saddest and when you are in both of those states the world becomes technicolor, it's glorious in all its shades in the happiest times and in the darkest days, you get more than fifty shades of cold hard gray so when you read them you really have to read between the lines almost and I know, you as my readers, you're very good at that thing, you are intuitive and you all know, it's not so much about what is written as it is about what isn't.  I love when people email or comment or leave lovely messages for me and for the most part it's heartening that you do actually realise that there's a real woman behind the words and she has a lot of thoughts and my feelings and can be hurt as much as the next person.

I realise that my right to privacy has been encumbered by the fact that I write about my daily life, I get that and if I didn't write my blog as a diary of my life, I'm not sure what I would actually write about, I guess at least I have an interesting enough life to write about, I should be thankful for that, well mostly, it's not all fun.  Yesterday I read a couple of comments from people who don't know me, negative comments, I didn't like them, I didn't understand them and I still don't know why strangers from the internet feel they have a right to judge me or tell me what I am allowed or not allowed to do. As I sat in my kitchen with tears rolling down my cheeks in a moment of anger and frustration that I couldn't get into an argument with the negative commenters because as much as I know the truth, strangers think they do too.  I considered walking away from blogging, I considered moving to a small island and selling cupcakes to friendly Koalas (that's kind of long been a dream of mine anyway), but in the end I realised that for all of the opinion, I and my real life friends are the only people who truly know me, I have friends online who I've known for longer than I've written this blog and they know me too of course but if you have actually been near enough to touch me (steady on there!) then you're in better position to understand the way my head works because unlike my blog which has what I would say is a 12A certificate, in real life you get the whole picture.

I as a person in my general day to day life am pretty happy go lucky on the surface with a big handful of low self-esteem underneath, I spent so many years in an unrequited relationship just desperately trying to do whatever I could so that I could be loved back that it turned me into someone who is eager to please and who likes to make people happy, in the best moments I follow my own path and dance to the beat of my own drum, I'm headstrong and independent and confident and forthright, in the dark moments, I am emotional, I seek validation from others because I don't feel I deserve it enough to give it to myself, I get overwhelmingly lonely and I cry because I don't know why I'm not good enough to be loved.

I'm messed up in the head, no, let's be real, I'm fucked up, for the most part, I own it and in the dark times, it owns me.  So to the minority of the people who feel they have the right to offer opinion or snap judgement, just ask yourself, before I speak am I going to hurt someone with my opinions, do I really know what's going on if I don't know someone personally, do I really have the right to tell someone what or what not to do?  When people email me with their issues and problems asking for advice, I always answer as honestly and eruditely as I can, they ask me personally for my opinions, I never judge anyone as far as I possibly can because you can't know or understand a situation unless you have truly walked a mile in someone else's shoes.

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