Words by Hayley Hasselhoff
What has this past year taught you? Has it allowed you to see that you are adaptable to change or has it made you believe you resist anything outside your normal routine?
For myself, this pandemic brought up a lot of uncertainty. I went from traveling between three countries and ten flights a month for the past eight years of my life, to being thrown into a world of stability like I had never known it. It brought up fear, uncertainty, confusion and the main thing – reflection. I turned this idea of self wonder into a desire of curiosity. Curiosity in myself, our world and what I had to offer.
On the first day in lockdown I launched a IGTV:INSTALIVE series called Redefine You: A Conversation For Wellbeing, a series in true purpose to amplify inspiring stories of personal growth.
To showcase friends of mine lending their voices to help others know “Its okay to not be okay” to encourage us all to see that there is strength in vulnerability.
It allowed me to understand I was hiding behind the pain I have endured for so many years not knowing how to vocalise this in my industry – always challenging an interviewer’s idea on how my childhood must have been tainted because of bullying and not because of my lack of self love.
I couldn’t keep my mind still, I knew even if I couldn’t control my surroundings, I could control my self awareness and reflection on the inside. It allowed me to dive deeper into my understanding of self love and the importance of it. I had been speaking about body positivity since I started in this industry at fourteen, but it was only until the pandemic did I learn how to vocalize my experience more authentically. The conversation around ownership to self and mental health made sense to me.
For once, I was able to tell my story and not feel ashamed.
I grew accustomed to using my ability to be adaptable to change through the profession I had lived beside for many years. As the fear of the unknown is something as artists we deal with everyday and the comfortability of knowing you could get called in an hour and everything could change.
What I wasn’t familiar with was using my resources and community to build vulnerable conversations to make impactful change. To look up and see the world, instead of staying focused on my individual path and always onto the next flight to the next opportunity. This year gave me time to see strength in community, the value in one voice joining together with another can make a real difference and the power that no niche is too small.
It led me to lead a mental health incentive and challenged myself in ways I never thought I would. The strongest thing you can do is allow yourself to grow. Evolving is a part of life even when societal standards may try to convince you otherwise. For once the conversation amplified the need for our health, that our bodies were our vessel in living this life.
You may ask, what came out of this self reflection? Well, a broadened idea of wanting to be a part of something bigger, to build a community of unapologetic conversations. With this I knew I needed to tap into the current climate – to evolve with the everyday market and encourage self love at it’s fullest. Which is why I swiped my beautiful driven Instagram from a past that no longer seemed familiar and to begin again with a letter to us.
A letter to what our year has been like and the triumphs we have all received to allow ourselves time to feel seen, valued, and heard.
I want to continue this conversation from where we are now. Encouraging we start with loving who we are today to get to where we want to be tomorrow. Knowing that we must have our good and bad days but support them with a community who believe in you.
The authentic you that you are today. The ever growing, ever evolving, kick ass person who has gotten through a pandemic and still found a way to be grounded. I want to use today to amplify the importance in finding our passions and putting them to purpose.
You must remember we all have a beautiful story to give to this world. A unified understanding from the past year and a broadened POV of a world who is coming out on the other side together.