Rather excitingly, I've been nominated to take part in the Profoundly Loved Blog Party by Kaitlyn of Kaitlyn's Simply Vintage. I've never been chosen to take part in anything like this before, but I really enjoyed thinking about my answers. Here are the seven questions I was asked and the answers I gave:
1) Tell me about something you love and why.
I love reading. Through my entire life, I've always been a reader; I can't remember a time when this wasn't my absolute favourite thing to do. Books have the ability to transport us, to play on our emotions, to capture our interest and slow us down in this busy, bustling world. They document the best, the worst, the happiest, the saddest, the most brilliant aspects of humanity. They make us feel, they make us think, and above all, they give us a sense of belonging. I've never read a book where I felt unwanted, or uninvited. Books suck us in and make us a part of them. In my mind, to read is to live.
2) What is one thing you do that makes you feel like "I could do this forever"?
Something I could do forever is travelling up and down preserved railway lines. As a family we often visit the East Lancashire Railway near Manchester, which puts on events like Diesel and Steam Galas, making use of locomotives which no longer serve the main line. The sound they make, and the ability to lean out of the window and wave at people as you pass are things that have been lost in the transition to newer, electric trains, but which I feel make for a more enjoyable journey. The sense of adventure, freedom and joy is heightened on a train ride which involves a plume of smoke billowing into the sky. It makes me feel more alive, somehow, and I love that.
3) What do you love about yourself?
I love my sense of morality and the acceptance I have that being different is ok. I think of myself as a socialist, everyone has the right to equality, but in a world where so often people believe they should be more important than another, I sometimes feel alone in my beliefs. Similarly, I often get the feeling I'm slightly out of sync with the rest of my peer group, though whether this is simply the choice to not act like a typical student - I'm teetotal, which creates a surprisingly large barrier between me and others at uni - or something deeper rooted than that is hard to put my finger on. Despite this though, I've not changed for anyone so far, and I doubt I ever will. For this, I'm proud.
4) What advice would you give someone who doesn't think he/she is beautiful?
I have this struggle with my boyfriend on a daily basis. For me, beauty begins on the inside. Often when you meet someone, they may not be the textbook definition of beautiful, but after getting to know them and realising how good they are inside, their appearance changes accordingly. I'm also a strong believer in the saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder.' To me, this is true; everyone is beautiful to someone. In my eyes, my boyfriend is one of the most beautiful people I've ever known, not just because of his physical appearance, but because I know how kind and selfless a person he is. Naturally though, he never believes me.
5) What is the best piece of advice you've ever received about confidence?
I don't really have any words of wisdom on this topic; I'm a naturally shy person, a fact I'm constantly being reminded of by my seminar leaders at uni. However, confidence comes in all shapes and forms, and I think once people can accept themselves for who they are and embrace their flaws, confidence will naturally follow. Learn to like yourself, and others will like you too.
6) If you were your own daughter, what important thing would you tell them?
I would tell her to not be afraid of living every day to its fullest. To explore, to travel, to have adventures, to make friends. To live her life the exact way she wants it, because we only get one shot at this. Make it count, and above all, have fun.
7) A verse, poem, sonnet, ancient old proverb, that inspires you to love yourself and others.
I've chosen a quote from Jimi Hendrix which I feel perfectly sums up what is so often wrong with humanity, but inspires so much hope. 'When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.'
Thank you Kaitlyn for the nomination. I'm passing this onto Kristy of Scientific Sewing and Kylie of Stitches and Spoonfuls, but don't feel obligated to take part if you would rather not :)
Thank you, as always, for reading.