Losing control and taking it back!

wedding shot

Some might say I lost control of my life when I decided to move away from the Polo wife lifestyle. Some might say it was when I came out and cut all my hair off.

Jana long hair

Jana Dowling











But I think I lost control one simple, boring morning at boarding school at the age of 12.

I remember it clearly, it was the end of the week, strangely I’d woken up before the school bell had rung so I was just lying there listening to the stillness and looking at the light coming in from behind the curtain. In that moment I just felt unhappy.  Lonely even and I had this feeling like I might dissolve or disintegrate. I didn’t know what it was at the time but looking back I’d say it was frustration for being misunderstood – something l think most kids feel at some point.

I’d had a weird week. I’d been told by the girls in my class that I was too blunt. That I hurt other peoples feelings a lot and I had to change who I was because being blunt was a fundamental floor in my character and if i didn’t change, people would just continue to not like me. I was also told by a teacher I’d never be able to be a journalist/reporter (at the time something I was sure I wanted to be) because I was dyslexic and my grades weren’t good enough so I should choose something less academically driven to focus on.

Lying there in my bed, I knew, I knew in my bones I was wasn’t good enough to compete in this world and I had to do something about it.  So I came up with a plan. I’d listen to every criticism (I could manage to) and I’d change myself and I would be a better person. A person people would care about, a person people would want at their parties!

So that’s what I did, now I don’t think I did it gracefully and I’m sure I fought back when I heard people say bad things about me but that was when I started to listen to what people said, not just about me but about others too. What they deemed as “suitable” behaviour, what was appropriate and what wasn’t. I tried to always follow what I’d picked up. It took me some time but I did eventually learn how to adapt myself and I kind of learnt in the process how to be a chameleon. I’d change my colour to fit my surroundings. No matter where I was I could fit in! It’s a skill to this day I’m happy I learnt.

But my priority was always what I could do to make another person like me at a time in my life when I should have been focusing on what made me like me.

And that’s how I lost MY…SELF.

So once you’ve lost it how do you get it back?

It’s simple really, it’s only taken me 18 years to figure out! But it really is very simple. I’ve found myself again by doing things that make me feel happy/joy/contentment whatever the word you want to use, from my insides out. Now here’s the important part – I’ve taken every step without caring about what others will think. You might just surprise yourself if you try it.

Here’s what I’ve figured out about myself so far (and it’s not all great but it’s true!)

1. I love wearing what I like to think are stylish clothes. I genuinely feel more content when I’m wearing something I love – shallow but true!

2. I love learning to play the guitar – even though I am totally pants at it and it hurts my   fingers and i’m what some may call “musically challenged!”

3.  I love presenting and acting, a crazy career that I don’t yet get to do full time. But hopefully one day I will.

I went from a life of dull nothingness to having everything I ever dreamed of just by doing things that made me happy regardless of what others thought.

So how often do you do things that make you feel happy/joy/contentment from the inside out? It should be everyday!

Be bold, be brave, step out and be counted.


P.s – It should go with out saying but just in case –  If what makes you happy is hurting other people, that’s not ok, and you should go get some help 🙂

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