Have been ‘off the radar’ for a few days: the events in France have really shaken me deeply, left me reeling, and I’ve also spent the past few days enjoying my littles before they went back to school/nursery (Today! The house feels so very empty). Lots of extra special hugs and ‘yes’ days (where I say ‘yes’ to all reasonable requests). They were a very special few days, despite being tainted with great sadness.
Charlotte emailed me to tell me she’s nominated me for a Liebster Award….thanks, Charlotte! Much appreciated! I frivolously spent ten minutes or so googling to find my dream awards ceremony dress (!)…voila!….definitely something from Ellie Saab (so much gorgeous attention to detail!)….and I’d definitely be wearing Chanel’s holographic nail polish (not the classiest polish but so fun!)….
On to the questions Charlotte posed:
1. What 3 words best describe your blog and why?
I found this one really difficult to answer! I think I’d have to say: positivity, encouragement and hopefulness. I lay myself bare in a lot of my posts (a friend says she loves “reading my heart”, which is just about the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid me). Why? I’ve (we’ve) been through Hell on Earth (I don’t use that term lightly; if anyone’s offended by it, I apologise, but I can’t think of another term to describe what was done to us) and feel that if my writing reaches just one woman in a similar situation and helps that one woman, I’ll have served a purpose. I feel, generally, that I’ve learned a great deal from my experiences (about myself, about life) and I’ve come to realise that I’ve been given a gift (writing) and that I should use my combination of skills to help: to encourage, to give hope. As my ‘About Me’ page says, “I want to be a light that lets others see”.
Quite lofty reasons, I realise, but I’m all about being more purposeful nowadays and one of the main goals I have for this space is to turn it in to a place of encouragement and hopefulness, of bright shining positivity, for women in need, whether that need be practical, emotional…or sartorial! I’d like I Will Bloom to become an online space women turn to because it lifts them up in some way, enhances their wellbeing and makes them feel that little bit better about themselves, about being alive….there, I’ve said it….written it. Finally…my mission statement for I Will Bloom.
2. What is your favourite quote and why?
Another really difficult one, as I have so many! I find myself reading Eleanor Roosevelt again and again and I spent most of my 20s with this quote stuck in my purse (so I could see it, and it would give me courage, every time I opened my purse): “You must do the thing you think you cannot do”. I’m starting 2015 with a handwritten copy of it in my purse again. I think it might find its way on to my headstone, to be honest: it’s helped me so much, throughout my life, and, recently, has helped me through so much. It always reminds me to strive for that little bit more, as I am capable of doing so much more with my life.
3. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging here at I Will Bloom on 1st September 2014 (when I blogged every day for Blog-tember) so I’ve been blogging here for nearly 3.5 months.
4. Who do you admire? And why
Who do I admire? Another difficult one. I admire anyone who lives a true life. What do I mean by ‘true life’? I mean anyone who’s living a life that’s completely true to their values and their talents. Artists, creatives, entrepreneurs who go out on a limb because they believe in themselves and that belief in themselves sustains them through thick and thin. I’m drawn to that level of self-belief, that level of commitment. I’m being drawn to creative people more and more recently. I find myself seeking out fashion/photography/artist’s blogs more and more. Loving, as always, The Sartorialist and Susie Bubbles (who makes me long to be 19 and in London again, walking around Saint Martins and singing inside, seeing all the amazing combinations of clothes on the fashion students). I guess it’s my current search for what authenticity means to me that’s leading me to seek out – devour – extreme expressions of creativity. I’ve been reading a lot of Hemingway and Fitzgerald recently (longing to learn more about the ‘bare bones’ school of writing) and Charles Bukowski is currently holding my mind captive.
5. What are some of your guilty pleasures
Dark chocolate. Silly reality TV programmes (why – if I dislike KK with a passion – am I always drawn to watching their shows?! I think it’s because they just allow me to switch my brain off). Pinterest (guilty because it takes up too much of my time, some days). What else? Can’t think of anything else. I’ve been living a life largely devoid of pleasure of any kind (living in survival mode does that to you), so any pleasure – however small – still kind of feels like a guilty pleasure. I’m a work in progress on the ‘pleasure’ front! I remember reading something by Tony Robbins a while ago that said, ‘What are you looking forward to?’ and it stumped me. Absolutely stumped me, because I realised I had nothing to look forward to. No trips out or meeting with friends or concert or well, anything….That’s the day I decided things had to change. I slowly emerged out of survival mode and am now moving towards ‘total wellbeing mode’.
6. Tell me something you feel strongly about
I feel the world’s heading in a very grave direction and that we’re not doing enough to avert this. I preach kindness, live kindness, and strongly believe that if we considered our fellow men – regardless of the fellow man’s race/religion/age/colour/clothing type/job/’whatever’ – and were kind to our fellow men, the world would slowly but surely become less selfish, less self-absorbed, a much nicer, kinder, place in which to live. It doesn’t escape my thoughts that if the world were kinder, abominable acts such as those the world witnessed last week, would no longer have a foothold. [I realise it’s probably ‘pie in the sky’ thinking but all the world’s religions – every single one of them – tell their followers that compassion – thinking about one’s fellow man and treating one’s fellow man as one would want to be treated – is the basis of good citizenship].
7. Think of a TV/book/movie character that is basically you – but tell us why.
Goodness, I can’t answer this! There isn’t one! I’m so unique (LOL!). No, honestly, I don’t really identify myself with any character. I’ve always said, however, that if anyone were ever to play me in a film, it’d have to be Kristin Scott Thomas: she’s so very British and just so ‘sort of me’! Strong. Classy. Very British. Cultured. Confident.
8. What is your main goal for 2015
To live my best life. This means, for me, making the best choice out of all possible choices, making the best decisions with my ‘long-term’ lens fitted, being the best ‘me’ I can be. It’s about forging something wonderful out of the ashes of my life. For my littles. Always – and everything – for my two littles.
9. Tell us about a cause you feel passionate about.
I feel passionate about many, many things. I believe strongly that many of the world’s problems could be solved if we made the conscious decision to be kind. Choose kindness, choose the kind option, and people’s problems will lessen – if not practically, then emotionally (and I know, from experience, that that’s sometimes more than half the battle; win that half of the battle and the other bit of it will be overcome).
10. 5 weird things you like?
Goodness, I wonder what might be classed as ‘weird’?! I really like healthy food. I really like to run. I like getting up really early when everything is quiet. I really like being alone. I love going to the cinema on my own. Love it. I like travelling alone. [I think I’m basically just a little weird!]
11. Where in the world would you like to live and why?
Two places: England (it’s my home and I miss it terribly) and a small island in the Caribbean (where – I have promised myself – I will within three years have purchased my dream plot of land). Why the island in the Caribbean? The first time I set foot on it, nearly twenty years ago now, I felt something in the land calling to me. I knew – just knew – I’d live there one day. We spent summers there every year until recently and I got to know the islanders and fell in love with the place, the history, the stories, the dramas, the simplicity of it all, of how stripped down, how bare but how rich life can be there. [Please note: I’m not a millionaire! Far from it! I had almost all the money I needed for my plot of land all saved up – from years of sheer hard work – until it was stolen. I’ve promised myself I’ll have the deeds to that land, in my name, three years from now. I don’t break promises to myself. Ever. So it will happen. By hook or by crook…].
I should now nominate ten other blogs for the award and pose ten questions….but I’m going to back out on that front. Sorry. Charlotte nominated a lot of the ones I would have nominated and the other ones not on Charlotte’s list…some of them are on blogging breaks. Sorry, Charlotte – you passed me the baton and I dropped it. But thank you for the nomination and the great questions. Much appreciated!