Defining who you are

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It kind of dawned on me that I’ve been writing in this blog (admittedly, on and off) for four years.

Like most people in their mid-twenties, those four years held some of the biggest changes in my life. They also coincided with our forever-rising dependence on social media. I’ve documented my experiences in various ways across both. Instagram especially. Weirdly – is it just me? – memories have felt more solid since we’ve been able to immortalise them online. Solid and yet somehow skewed? The photos and captions ingrain the images much deeper. Hard to forget. Hard to erase. Like scars. Everything before then is hazier, less tangible, in a nice way.

Looking back over various online platforms and profiles, the older posts and photos have started to look like relics of a past life. A life when my parents were together, when I was travelling, when I was engaged to my ex, when my grandad and younger cousin were still alive. A manifestation of memories, and one that the whole world can see. Documented originally as the happiest times of my life. Lingering on as painful reminders of what was.

Social media can be a dangerous place to dwell. We use it to define ourselves way too often. It reinforces how much we align identity with how other people see us, or by the things that have happened to us. And like any overbearing, oppressive society, it can prevent us from ever feeling free.

I’ve created a new website because it feels powerful to edit the past. I’m also really proud of my journey. Learning, letting go, and being reborn in a sequence of fluid spirals is the only way to stay sane in this life. I used to view mine as a straight, long timeline. One story. One with logical steps and dependable reappearing faces. Now? It’s the sea. The tide comes in and out as always, sure, but nothing is ever the same. Bit by bit, the shape of your life is eroded, sculpted and reformed, until one day it looks completely different. Softer in new ways, sharper or harder in others. If my life is a cliff, then, somehow, I’ve gone from standing at the crumbling edges with fear in my heart to observing its unlikely beauty from sweet patch of grass below.

No matter how much your life changes, the essence of you is the same. Find it, nurture it, trust it.

Words have healing powers, you know. There’s nothing that could make me believe otherwise. Whether reading or writing, they offer expression, release, comfort and understanding. Whether directly or indirectly, we, as humans, generally encounter similar issues in our lives. Betrayal, loss, illness, confusion, pain, death. And yet the online space we share is still disproportionately filled with illusions of perfection. I’m guilty of it myself. My Instagram is a shrine to good times and little else.

Like Her Type is, and always has been, a space for honesty. For admittance that things can and do often go catastrophically wrong. It means that we’re all the same. We all need reassurance. We all have our traumas. It’s also a space for the healing power of words. For me, for you.

Here’s a bit about me…

I like to say that I’m a writer but really, I’m the Lead Copywriter for a massive digital advertising agency in London and that kind of saps the bohemian romance out of the picture. Argh, why do we all define themselves as our job title? I’ll start again.

I really love peanut butter and marmite on toast. Yes, together. As in, I literally have it every morning. In some of my friendships, I’m the extreme worrier, and in some, I’m the most laidback person ever, and I feel lucky to have both dynamics in my life. I conceal a vast amount of anxiety every single day. I’ve been told that I’m very calm so I know how good I am at keeping those bloody annoying butterflies at bay. I’m definitely an observer, not a performer. I’m shit at accents. I have the metabolism of a 12-year-old (really, I did a test). I can run 5K in less than 25 minutes. I have four tattoos – a goldfinch on my back, Japanese Cherry Blossom on my arm, the alchemical sign for air on my other arm, and my cousin’s name on my foot. I have an incredible family. My sister and I aren’t twins but are telepathic. I have learned the value of having a handful of close friends rather than a house full of unreliable near-strangers. My beautiful boyfriend treats me like royalty (and sometimes like stray cat that needs lots of love and food). I really, really, want to write a book, and should probably just get on and do it rather than write this blog. I find it hard to watch TV or go to the cinema because I’m generally pumped full of adrenaline and can’t sit still. I’m ridiculously clumsy. On Sunday, I spilled my tea three times, dropped my dinner down my shirt and bashed my newly painted wall somehow with my dining table bench. I’m a homeowner. I’m still amazed that I’m a homeowner. I’m weirdly quite private which makes writing this blog all the more liberating. I love beer, gin, and red wine way too much. Also, Thai food, Vietnamese food, Japanese food (ok, Asian food), but I hate cooking. I have a secret passion for Drum & Bass and Tech House and used to party A LOT. My best friend and I once went for afternoon tea at 3pm and got home at 10am the next day. I have slowly started to enjoy a slower pace of life. I started writing this post thinking ‘Who am I?’ ‘Where is my life at?’ ‘How far have I really come?’ And I’m ending it with some answers. See, words.

Ask yourself. Who are you? Where are you in your life right night? And where do you want to be? Sometimes these questions aren’t as hard as you might think.

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