Choosing Happy, Me and Fearless Femme

by Gurpreet Sihat

While holidaying in Belgium earlier this year, I had a realisation:

We each deserve the life we dream for ourselves. In order to achieve those dreams, we must be brave enough to take a leap of faith and fight for it.

The thought was triggered by a series of events that had transpired a few months prior and I immediately took to writing about it on Facebook. I was desperate to share this revelation I was having while sitting in a bar filled with strangers in a hotel where no one spoke English.

A contact from my time working at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Keira, saw the post and immediately got in contact with me. She told me how much she loved what I had written and begged me to submit it to Fearless Femme, an online magazine that supports young women to fight mental health stigma. She had recently become involved with them and felt my story would be a perfect fit.

It isn’t a secret that I struggle with mental health, nor that I had been slowly turning into a recluse since graduating from university, but I wasn’t convinced my story would be of any use to anyone. In the end, I decided I had little to lose and rewrote my little Facebook rant, turned it into a fully-fledged article and hit ‘submit’.

Barely two days passed before I was frantically messaging Keira back to tell her that the magazine had already gotten back to me. “WOW your piece is so beautiful!” their e-mail had read. “We would LOVE to publish your piece.”

I was in shock!

Screenshot 2018-05-01 19.23.43

My tiny little lightbulb, my epiphany, was going to be shared with others when I had only intended for it to be seen by friends and family who are familiar with my rather tumultuous last few years. I actually had a story worthy of being shared with young women who are also struggling with their mental health, who are also learning new ways to cope, who are choosing new paths and lighting the way for others as they figure it out.

A month has passed since I received that fateful response. My article has been live a week, the responses have been so encouraging and inspiring, and it’s safe to say the shock still hasn’t worn off. It’s not just on the Fearless Femme website either! I’m also in the Rebelle Base digital magazine too, right beside a quote by Michelle Obama!

A big thank you to Heather Pearson over at Fearless Femme for pulling out all the stops getting this published; to Keira Oliver for pushing me to tell my story; and to that small beautiful group of people who are always there to hold my hand and take a leap of faith with me when I’m not strong enough to do it alone.

So, without further ado:

Choose Happy. Choose You.

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