The Empowering People In My Life

I have many empowering people in my life. I’m sure I am not unlike others in that I consider all of my close ones to be inspiring. However, I want to highlight a few.

My Twin - Myles

Being a twin has been a blessing for me. My relationship with Myles is inexplicable; we are so close. Last year, he left for university whilst I was still at home and it was one of the hardest years of my life. I’m pretty sure I found myself going crazy having him so far away! But I watched him struggle, flourish and succeed in his first year at Bristol and he taught me how to survive as a university student before I even was one myself. This is one way in which he inspired me, and made me realise I was ‘good enough’ to go to university too. 

If I was to switch personalities and temperament with someone for a day, it would be with him. He just has a calming, gentle affect on everyone (I know I am biased but I am not the only one who has said this). If you have a problem, he is the guy you go to. He often has to talk me out of panics and periods of overthinking and he is one of a very select few that can actually make me think rationally. So much so, during my A-levels last year I was struggling so much with staying calm at home, that I went to Bristol to revise there with him. I was adamant I was going to fail my exams before they even began and he said to me “A-levels are like building a tower, you’ve got all the blocks there - don’t knock it down before they’ve even begun”. I wrote that on a piece of paper and took it to read before each of my exams started. He has taught me that success in anything starts off with at least a little bit of self-belief to begin with. 

My Parents

To quote Rory Gilmore, they are “my twin pillars without whom, I could not stand”. They are exactly how I want to be when I become a parent. They taught me what unconditional love feels like, how to compromise, offer support and how to simply stand-alone when I have wanted to hold someone’s hand. They have given me every opportunity and made sacrifices in order to do so. My dad is a lawyer and I remember that whilst I was doing some work experience with him, I watched him stand up in court in front of everyone presenting his case, and I thought to myself “that’s my dad”. The same goes for my mum, who has literally taught me how to be a human.

I have been empowered by my parents since the day I was born and I know that feeling will never change. I hope that my relationship with my children will resemble the one I have with them. 

 My mum too is a self-doubter, and I often hear things from her like “I couldn’t do that” or “I’m not clever enough for that” but despite feeling like this, she has never quit anything. She has stuck to her word and she has gone above and beyond to please people, and excel herself. I have been inspired by her to never quit no matter how many doubts I may have. This is something I am proud to say I have never broken my word on. Sometimes I think I can’t do things, but I will do them anyway!

Josh Blackwell

You know when you meet someone, and you just KNOW? You just have that feeling that you’ve met someone special? I am fully aware it is ‘cringy’ but without a doubt I just knew that was the case when I met Josh.

He is the kind of guy that is friends with EVERYONE. And I mean everyone. He even came to Durham for 24 hours to visit me and we bumped into his friends who I hadn’t even seen in my first term here. We went out for a meal back home and he knew the family sat next to us. I come from a restricted social circle - I was never social growing up and have often shied away from anything that felt a bit ‘too much’ to me. I actually take introvert to a whole new level. In fact my parents will tell you how I often cried whenever I didn’t want to do something, and I vividly remember hysterically crying when I went to a ‘netball day’ with people I didn’t know, and my mum had to come and pick me up. However, Josh has made me realise that it is insanely fun  to meet new human beings and that also, you have to fake it till you make it. I don’t think I would have made it to a university so far away from home if I didn’t have Josh in my life. I still care what people think of me, but just not so much anymore. I still get myself in a panic over some social situations, but I do them anyway and I have actual confidence to do things alone now. I owe that to Josh.

He too inspires me to never think I can’t do something. He has been the unfortunate receiving end of uncountable mental breakdowns, and has managed to pick me back up out of all of them. The amount of times I’ve said “I can’t do it” and he has said “yes you can” is well, unimaginable. He is stubborn in that he is always right, and to this day, I still have yet to show him he isn’t (except maybe with the whole parallel parking thing, and he said cardiac hill was and I quote ‘nothing’… I KNOW RIGHT? He is wrong). With Josh, I feel like I can be unapologetically me and it seems to rub off in other aspects of my life too.

I’d like to think that the combination of Myles, my parents and Josh has empowered me to be the Sophie I am today. They have dragged me over hurdles, bundled me up at the end of the day, and taught me how to be at least a little happy with who I am. If there is one important thing to do in someone else’s life, it is to teach them how to be okay being them. I am okay being me.