As I’m sure, many of you know about how much Strictly has meant to me over the past two years or so, as well as the people who I’ve met through the show. Toward the end of 2016, I had the chance to begin starting to meet some of the people who I’d gotten to know of because of the show. Having lived in New York for the first (almost two) years of discovering my deep love for Strictly, and the happiness that it brought me, I decided that when I moved to England, I would save to attend the live tours of my favourite professional dancers. And a month before my move to England, I started making that dream come true.
Both 2015 and 2017 were incredibly pivotal years in my life, and I’m relating the confidence that I gained through watching Strictly to the incredible changes that I made in those years. It can seem sort of silly how much a show can impact you, or the people on it, especially when there’s a chance that you’ll never meet them (time has since proven otherwise after 2015), but the idea is the same. So this is a blog post to thank two incredibly wonderful women for being who they are and inspiring me to do the same.
“A person’s a person no matter how small.” – Horton, Horton Hears a Who
“You got to have a lot invested in something to boot as spectacularly as I did before that first show. I really believe I’m a big part of this. I’d be crazy not to stick around and see how it turned out.”
– Natalie Hurley (Sports Night; Bells and a Siren)
Continue reading “This is television. Things happen.”
“keep smiling darling, you have so many wonderful opportunities coming your way.”
– katie derham
This is going to be a blog post of a different sorts, it has a topic, but instead of giving you the history first, I’m going to start with the positive. Because that’s what someone who struggles with mental health is told, isn’t it – don’t let your mental illness define you. So, this is me – attempting to not let my mental illness define me and talk about how it has shaped me into the person that I am today.
I’ll give you a little bit of context too, for anyone who hasn’t been here (which is a lot of you!), I’m currently sitting by the window in the Brighton LEON. Which, I hope you’ll all know how that specific location, and the people connected to it, have impacted my life. Because that’s another, very important part of mental illness – being able to talk about your struggles with the people who you trust.
Well, I’ve done it – week one in England is coming to a close. I’ve officially been in England just over a week now, and I figure that this blog would be another way to keep everyone updated on how its going. The past few weeks have been crazy, but I’ve finally gotten myself settled down enough to write this.
Also before I go on, I want to take note to the fact that yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day, and I want to dedicate this blog post to a few people – people who have helped me – and the people who have encouraged me to take this step. A lot of them already know their significance in my life, but it’s worth mentioning once again, so to Izzy, Becca, Niki, Liz & Katie – thank you, this one is for you all. Continue reading “Week One… “
“Just image if we, the normal girls, stood united as an enormous, hysterical and proud army. We would be unstoppable.”
– Em Clarkson, author of Can I Speak to Someone in Charge?
First things first, I have never been that much of a reader. Even in school, I struggled through the majority of the assigned reading material, and despite the fact that my mother is a school librarian herself, I never found much excitement in a new book. Some of that, mind you, could come from the fact that I am an avid writer, so if asked to either spend my down time writing or reading, I will always pick writing.
Secondly, I had absolutely no idea who Emily Clarkson was – or what her blog Pretty Normal Me was even about until this past summer. So, the irony in the fact that I would find so much joy and comfort in reading a book by someone who I knew very little about. I first heard about Em – and her blog – through a tweet from Louise (remember her? I met her when I was in London) about a podcast that the two of them would be doing. Naturally, I decided to see what the podcast was about – and in turn doing so – realized that I also wanted to get to know more of Em’s thoughts, and read about the issues she discussed in her blog.
When I discovered her book was coming out, I decided it would be a perfect belated birthday/getting my student visa accepted present to myself, and I preordered it! A part of me knew about some of the topics she had chosen to focus on because of various mentions she had given in weeks prior, along with the discussion of a few of the chapters from the book itself. I didn’t realize until I actually received the book itself on how much I would be able to find myself relating to it.
The format of the book itself is told is a series of letters; to friends, to companies, to some of her personal belongings, to her readers, to herself, to anyone who has had an influence on her life but most importantly – to any woman who feels like they might not exactly fit society’s definition of a “normal” girl. A few of the chapters stood out to me much more than others – I have struggled with my appearance, the pressures of society to “fit in”, at various points in my academic life, and with friends throughout my life. Those were the ones that I found myself trying to keep from laughing at the moments I related to, nodding along in agreement, or at some points even trying to force myself to pause to reflect on what I had just read.
While I could go on for hours about how deeply parts of Can I Speak to Someone in Charge? resounded with me, I’ll say this instead – buy the book. Especially if you’re a young woman looking for a purpose in the world, someone to reassure you that your choices are yours, or just something that will make you laugh when you need to unwind. The entire book is written to empower us women – as young women – that we can do anything, choose any path, and live out the life that we aspire to live. Our rules are our own, and the pressures that we put on ourselves are of no fault of our own, but instead, society’s. And if you so aspire to, you can follow your dreams, accept the life you’ve been given, and know that – just because you’re a woman – you’re worthy of being in this world as much as anyone else.
Can I Speak to Someone in Charge can be bought through Amazon UK, and it ships worldwide!