“If you knew me in real life you’d know that nothing makes me happier than a bookstore, that I’ve never drank tea or coffee in my life, that I almost always ugly cry after laughing hysterically, that my favourite kind of food is a tie between Spanish and Chinese, that I’m useless at small talk and will always go straight to the deep stuff, and that I will most likely cheat if we’re playing a board game but I will feel terribly guilty about it afterwards 🙈
If we knew each other in real life what would I know about you? 🌿”
I immediately began reading the comments of others, becoming lost in a web of beautiful souls, drinking in the intricacies that make up their unique, beautiful character. I instantly felt a sort of connection as soon as I read a person’s comment, their vulnerability evident, I could hear their voice saying these words, I found myself tapping onto each profile after reading. Wanting to find out more, scrolling through their feeds and inevitably following many of whom I wanted to hear more in the future. I found it so interesting that just by reading a few sentences about a person, I instantly felt I knew who they were. I wanted to connect.
Part of the work I do is around creating a friendship group, both online and offline, which encourages us to be who we want to be, that lights us up, inspires us, that fills our heart with joy. A group we can relate to, that can relate to us. Loneliness rarely kicking in because we have a tiny community, a mini tribe of like minded souls who get us, who know us, even if we’ve never met them. Nourishing ourselves soulfully isn’t just about the food and drink we put into our bodies, it’s about the messages we receive and digest from society, the media, the content we consume. It’s our social media feeds which we ravenously devour every single day. This is even more important than the ingredients we are ingesting, because that content, those thoughts, those opinions, those stories, they change our own perspective on life, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. They are the building blocks to new thought patterns and stories we tell ourselves over and over again. They can be the comparison, the tiny seed which is planted by one picture, one caption, the consequences unavoidable, inescapable.
I can’t hammer this point home enough, it is something I never stop banging on about to anyone who will listen, the content we consume - online, offline, through Netflix, Instagram, Newspapers, Cinema, Adverts on the tube, Twitter, Youtube, even the slogans on boxes of cereal and ready meals, they matter so much. It’s up to us to become more aware, more mindful and choose what we allow to dictate our thoughts and behaviours.
So, how can we find more like minded souls to follow? How do we build that community we crave so very much? We connect, through real, honest, friend making chitchat. We have to put ourselves out there, show a little vulnerability and know that we will find other wacky, unusual, souls out there just like us. Jen’s post is an example of how we can connect, it shows that by just taking time to properly SEE others, we can truly appreciate who they are. That primal instinct to connect will kick in and from that tiny connection, the most caring, understanding, compassionate friendships blossom. I have made some wonderful connections on Instagram, some I have met, some I haven’t but goodness me, I think of them as friends, close friends, very very close friends, who in the middle of the night, I can scroll through my feed, see that they’re going through something similar, or have been through something similar, and even though everything may not be okay right now, it will be okay with them by my side, in my comments, in my DMs, at the end of the phone or opposite me on FaceTime, or even, maybe just maybe, sat across me in a cafe eating a scone with a big pot of tea in the middle of the table at an owl sanctuary watching donkeys… too specific? Put yourself out there and you’ll be very surprised.
So, if you knew me in real life you’d know I really do drink tea all day long, even if I’ve only got 10 minutes before I need to leave the house I will make a cup of tea and take it with me if I have to. I can’t manage more than an hours car journey without a tea stop, let’s be honest, 45 mins is pushing it! I will find any excuse to show my friends and family love, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I sometimes get mixed up with Spanish and English words even though English is my mother tongue. When reading a book I find I can get quite anxious to finish it, desperately trying to pick the pace up to get to the end and I have to remind myself that I’m actually enjoying the book, why not make it last?
I am totally addicted to Instagram. I am very self conscious about my skin, I’ve had acne since my teens and it breaks out angrily whenever I’m ill, worried, stressed, sad or on my period. I stand in front of the mirror and poke and prod it way too much. I don’t like colouring in, it makes me really anxious. I begin to grit my teeth and clench my jaw as soon as I start. The older I’ve gotten the more procrastination I do. The more I doubt my abilities to support and help others. I find cities and busy places very overwhelming and have always lived by the sea. Cleaning organises my mind and I clean my whole home every single day, it’s something I take a lot of joy from. I like time by myself, listening to birds sing, with cups of tea and my cats close by. I really would do absolutely anything for my four cats and cry whenever there is some kind of cat related drama - broken tails, poorly eyes, being stuck up a 40ft pole…you get my drift.
I snort when I laugh, I love a spot of banter and find my other half absolutely hilarious. He makes me laugh that way in which your belly hurts, and the laugh becomes silent, every single day. If I could I would spend all day pottering in my kitchen and the garden, they are my happy places. I have a deep seated need to help in some way, wishing that when others need help they would ask straight away. I’d pick a coastal walk over a night out any weekend of the year. I don’t enjoy New Years Eve at all but I am totally bonkers about Christmas. My real smile is huge and it makes me look a little crazy. I love love love love love working with children and the one thing I’ve always wanted to be, is a mum.
Heavy metal music makes me angry from the inside, I find people chewing and slurping loudly really really really difficult to listen to - I will leave a room if I can. I love chocolate sauce on salted popcorn and any period drama - oh the clothes, the cars, the home decor! My dream is to have a farm one day with a donkey, chickens, ducks, a few goats and definitely a pig or two and a huge vegetable patch with a little field for fruit trees. I dream of owning a ride on lawn mower. Yep. I promised my Grandad I’d name the donkey after him when I get one. How about you? If I knew you in real life, what would I know?
Feel free to reply here or join in the wonderful conversation over on Jen’s Instagram.