200 Posts!

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Welcome to my 200th post! I’m so surprised to have reached 200 posts, it feels like 100 posts was just yesterday but in reality it was over a year ago. Who knew I had so much to say? I always struggle when people ask what my blog is about. I mostly write about what’s on my mind and where I have visited, and I try and be very open. Thank you so much for reading my musings!

I thought to celebrate 200 posts I’d tell you about some of the posts I am most proud of, as I self-indulgently thought it would be nice to reflect. I was initially thinking of maybe doing some kind of question and answer post- (does anybody actually have any questions??) so anything you’d like to ask please do so. And I’d also just like to thank you so much for reading and your support of the blog, every time you share a post or RT a link you make my whole day awesome! If you’re feeling particularly supportive it would mean the world to me if you’d follow my blog on Bloglovin – thank you so, so much. Tewkesbury abbey cotswolds gloucester england tudor victorian abbey architecture forest woodland exteriorSo let’s look at some of my favourite posts..!

On Continuing: for me this post was a turning point on my blog and it’s kind of a mission statement for what I write now. I was fed up with trying to fit into the blog world with fashion-related content that didn’t feel true to me. I thought if I just wrote what I wanted to then I would feel more authentic and maybe generate more of an audience. That didn’t quite happen, but I’m happier with my output and that’s all that matters. (Although I still don’t think this blog accurately represents me, as it barely showcases my “animated” facial expressions at all, which are basically my number one defining feature irl…)

Tokyo DisneySea: aka my essay on Japanese culture, creating art and the importance of commitment in creativity. I am SO PROUD of this post and want to publish it. It’s probably my favourite ever post. One of native Japanese friends told me that in this post I articulated something about his culture that he understood immediately, but could never have expressed. Which is the highest praise ever!

Friends and Magic: these posts are similar in that I was trying to write about how grateful I was in the midst of very personal situations that were occurring at the time.

Amy and John Keats: I find it takes a lot of time to write about my heroes in a worthwhile way. I’ve only managed it twice so far and it was in these two posts. I’d like to try and write about more!writing, notepad, pen and paper, bedroom, laila, bed, journal, journalism, article, want to writeWhat It’s Like Not Being White: by far the most popular post as it went viral. I already discussed this in a response post here but I couldn’t really not mention it. I’m so, so grateful for the feedback I received on this.

Pete: my next most-read posts (after ‘Not Being White’) are all my thoughts on Pete. I feel like I’ve poured my heart out in a number of posts that aren’t about Pete, so I’m always surprised that they get more attention as there’s a lot of raw emotion on this blog. I think maybe people just have some kind of morbid, car-crash fascination with that particular subject, or possibly it’s people who knew Pete clicking through?

On Not Feeling Part Of The Sisterhood: this is the only post I’ve ever written that I thought might receive more attention than normal which goes to show my terrible knowledge of my own audience (hey guys!).

Sharm El Sheikh: I loved this post because I managed to sum everything up in one single post. No mean feat as I normally waffle on for 5 or 6 blog posts at a time whenever I go anywhere. I spent a long while trying to distill my magical time in Egypt to something that wouldn’t take hours to read. Here’s to efficiency!

I hope you enjoyed this blog version of Audio Commentary on a DVD. You can read all of my longer posts here or pick something else from the archives or categories if you’d like to delve more into the other 199 posts! Thank you again for reading, it means such a lot to me. Please do let me know if you have any favourite posts out of the last couple hundred and what you would like to see more of! Whether you’ve read the last 2 or the last 200 (if that’s the case, please get in touch for your trophy) I’m so grateful to you. :) ISle Of Wight James Laila Tapeparade Quarr Abbey Winter Outside Nature Woodland ForestMuseum of architecture cite d'architecture black dress white tights

On Getting Old

Me aged 15 messing around with paint. Eat your heart out, charliexbarker

Me aged 15 messing around with paint for self-portraits (selfies weren’t a thing when I was your age, kids). Eat your heart out, charliexbarker

When I was a teenager I didn’t really have any expectations for the future. I had a big list of places I wanted to go and I knew what my interests were and I really, really wanted to meet some like-minded people. But there was no ideal, dream reality that my adult self would occupy. I just desperately yearned for certain situations.

I wanted a group of girlfriends who would meet me for lunch in nice bars, like on TV, except I wanted girlfriends who were interested in pop culture and vintage clothes and markets rather than hair and make-up and high fashion. I wanted people I could share music tastes with, and cook curries for, and my God, I wanted somebody to talk about Sailor Moon with. I wanted a best friend I could stay up all night with and have a million stupid jokes and call up any weekday evening and hang out with. And I wanted somebody who would come round and cuddle me just because, and kiss me at gigs, and tell me I was special.

I wanted to live in London, and go for coffee in cute indie cafes, and meet my friends in pubs where the bar staff knew my orders already. I wanted to try new restaurants in the evening and go shopping on the weekends. I wanted to have a kick-ass collection of fairy queen crowns, vintage sequins and old books. I wanted to take my songs more seriously. I wanted to write and paint more. I wanted to be free of the shackles of school and schedule my own weeks with things I loved and people I adored and pastimes that fulfilled me. I wanted to be trusted, and witty, and hold my own in conservations with my imaginary future friends.

Inventing the selfie on Prom Night aged 15.

Inventing selfies aged 15 for prom night.

My first ever outfit shot aged 16.

My trademark “wacky” style aged 16 + “goofy” pose. Probably before a dire house party.

So far, so teenage. If those ideals sound embarrassing, pathetic and wholly misinformed by pop culture and films then it’s because they are. I was lonely, misunderstood and bored, and these vague fleeting visions were primarily inspired by TV, manga, anime and films. I didn’t have very much real world experience. I didn’t really have any concrete ideas, or a game plan, or a dream set of goals and ambitions. There was no dream job, no perfect man, no ultimate fantasy house I wanted. I just saw my future self fleetingly in brief moments, picturing myself running around a museum in sequins, or chatting in a cafe to a guy with a sketchbook. Vague, aesthetically driven scenarios. I couldn’t really see a whole picture and I didn’t ever try to. I just had these moments of wishing I would be that person in the future.

Aged 17 with an outift that inspired the name of EL James’ bestseller.

I realised the other day that I now take all of those things for granted. All of those fleeting ideas I so wished for and dreamt of have become my everyday life. I’m becoming the person I always wanted to be, but I am also already there. I wake up in the arms of somebody beautiful, thrilling and smart who makes me feel happy. I get home from work and I chat my day over with my cherished housemates; talking through the ups and downs of the day. I stagger home from our local down the road arm in arm with my pals, and I get into our room and I look out the window at the whole of London, feeling part of this vibrant, sprawling city.

I no longer feel like a teenager – but I don’t mind. It’s better here. I make things and build things and with age comes gravitas and reputation. I’m less likely to fuck it up because I’ve done it 10 times already – and even if I do, people don’t mind as much because they know sometimes I get it right. I see my students now and I remember the feeling of there being this huge world out there and wondering how to get into the thick of it, how to find your place in the busiest city, how to carve a path in the toughest industry. It sounds corny, but when I stop and look around I realise in trying to get there, I’m already there.

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First job out of university aged 21.

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Last Christmas with kidney infection (post somewhere on this blog).

Me about two minutes ago!!

About two minutes ago.