Defining yourself

For advent, instead of getting a calendar filed with chocolate or beauty products, I decided to document each day on my Instagram stories. Using the hashtag ‘selfcareadvent’ (original, I know), I shared a little dose of whatever was keeping me sane in the run up to Christmas. From the mainstays – long hot baths and early nights, to the smaller moments – a warming cup of mulled wine on a rainy evening with a friend or a walk through the forest on my lunch hour.

Like most twenty-somethings, I’m used to sharing my life on social media. There is the constant embarrassment of ‘Facebook memories’ documenting my life at uni. The first Instagram posts, less-artistic shots of New York City and the simplicity of froth on top of a cappuccino. Each photo documents a moment in time, an indelible reminder of where I was. But does it indicate who I was?

Perhaps, however much life changes, we remain the same people at heart. We adapt to moments, and people and places, but the essence of us remains. Often, when life takes a bad a turn, it can be difficult to remember who we are – more often that not, we’re left questioning it.

Here’s some things I know about me.

I’m a writer. Something I’ve always wanted to be, since I was little. Despite my job being focused on all things digital, I spend a lot of my time producing words, so I think I’m still allowed to call myself a writer. I hope so anyway.

I’m also a travel writer. As in, my specialism is writing about travel. While I haven’t got an extensive list of places I’ve been (I’m still trying to make my way around the world), I have definitely been to most places in my head. Plus, I’ve written for big travel brands, which I think is pretty cool.

There are many places on my to-travel list and plenty I’d like to return to. Next on my wishlist is Copenhagen, Lisbon and San Francisco, I’d really like to return to Bali –  I felt weirdly right at home.

I’m good at ‘sensing’ a room and what other people are thinking. Observing people is something I’ve always done, and I can usually get the measure of someone within a short amount of time.

I don’t think I could cope without my morning cup of coffee. Wherever I am, that initial jolt of caffeine is the only way I can begin my day. It is a ritual too – the Monday morning chatter at work while cradling a cup, the lazy Sunday still in bed. Lovely.

I read every day. Mostly, this means reading a book before bed, but I also read articles and blogs on my lunch break too. At the moment I’m reading Lily Allen’s biography – in this last year, I’ve got more into reading the stories of real people.

I’m a runner, and a bad one at that. My affair with running goes in waves – I’m not consistent, nor do I even feel myself to be good enough to call myself a runner. Still, I can shuffle around a park and do 5k in around 45 minutes. It makes me feel terrible but by the end, I feel invincible.

I’m fairly strong mentally, or at least stronger than I used to be. I think I get that from my grandmother and my mother, who are both made of strong stuff.

I also get bouts of depression from time to time. I’ve learnt now exactly how to look after myself.

Chocolate is my ultimate weakness. I could never give it up and I wouldn’t want to try.

I honestly believe in the power of a handful of great friends, rather than a million acquaintances.

I find cooking therapeutic (if I have the time.) Sometimes I follow recipes, but I find it difficult to follow the rules and more often than not, end up with my own culinary experiment. Thankfully, I’m a good cook.

I have varied musical tastes. I have a love for a bit of everything, especially brit pop, mid-noughties indie, Motown, 60’s girl groups and 90’s dance. I’m a sucker for a good lyric.

One day, I’d like to write a book. I’m still not sure I have enough to say yet.




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