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Dear Humans,

It can be easy to forget just how difficult life is at times when things are going well without any distractions. As life does it always has a way of reminding you that anything can be taken away at any minute. I had a tough week last week and I thought to myself ‘It would be so easy to give up right now, because I have an excuse and I feel s***.’ I had 2 blog posts planned that I couldn’t even bring myself to post in-between my random outbursts of tears and napping. Slowly but surely Monday hit me round the head again, I am somehow feeling optimistic and ready to conquer the world again. If I had no hard weeks or days perhaps I would feel entitled to happiness and amazing opportunities. Luckily these are the times that remind us why we work so hard, to be humble and the importance of picking ourselves back up again.

As a curious person who is always noticing the feelings and behaviour of others I turned the attention to myself. How do you feel today Shay? Why do you feel this way? Do you know how to turn these feelings around? I looked over some of the interview questions used in my book Young London Vision & Voices and thought perhaps I could answer some of these questions if I interviewed myself.

What makes you happy?

I am happiest when I am surrounded by friends and family. It feels so perfect and I love that because nothing is perfect and all of our lives are definitely not perfect but we all leave our problems at the door and enjoy ourselves. I am happy when I capture amazing moments in my photography and when I get good feedback from my blog. These are the two things I want to do in life so knowing I am doing somewhat of a good job fills my heart with joy.

What makes you sad?

A lot of the things going on in the world saddens me but to narrow it down to what I thought of as soon as I read that question, It saddens me that so many children are brought up in unhealthy environments. That is what shapes who they are for the rest of their lives. When you see an adult who is mean spirited or a criminal or a compulsive liar it makes me think, 'I wonder what your childhood was like'. There are so many children who have behavioural problems out there control and it truly saddens me. It also upsets me that there are large amounts of small-minded and judgemental people in the world. What makes them think that they are allowed to be their true authentic selves but others can’t? We shouldn’t be judging each other we should be encouraging and spreading love.

What is the hardest thing you’ve ever had to go through?

My teenage years, just thinking back makes me feel anxious. They were so filled with so much fun and laughter. Being a teenager is difficult, you feel like you are so old, you have these new found responsibilities yet you aren’t actually that old and you still haven’t figured out exactly who you are yet. There are all of these different groups at school and pretty early on you have to decide which one you are going to stick with. I did a lot of shuffling around because I feel like my personality cannot really fit into one box. If you asked me if I was sure of who I was then I would of said absolutely. So when I see teenagers who think they are sure of themselves I just smile a little inside because I know that although they may think they are, they are about to go through about 200 life changes that will truly define them. It’s a beautiful time but also exhausting.

What shaped you?

Definitely my childhood, I spent a lot of time by myself. I would play teachers with my teddy bears, cook for my dolls in my toy kitchen, read books, write stories and draw. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I feel like it shaped my imagination and is the reason I know that the sky is the limit. I never wanted to be or do what anyone else was doing, I wanted to be with the things that existed in my dreams. The second thing that shaped me greatly was University, no matter who you are or where you go to University you just happen to find a group of people just like you, It’s amazing. It’s like you have to think to yourself ‘Hey, how did you find me, how did you know I was going here?’. There was no pretending at University, I moved to a new city and as cliche as it sounds, I found myself. I found out what I truly love doing most, I realised the type of people that I wanted around me, decided exactly how I was going to live my life and took major steps to get there. I am so grateful for this life experience, the degree was just a bonus.

How do you express your love/like to be loved?

I am such an emotional person, sometimes I distance myself from my feelings because I care too much, if that’s even possible. I like people to know how important they are to me so I will always tell you how I feel but I am not really soppy about it. I am not affectionate in person, I’m not a big hugger and I don’t really like being touched. I’m only really affectionate with people who are affectionate with me. I like to think that people know my heart, I don’t have bad intentions despite interpretations. I hate being misunderstood so I always like open conversations when their is an issue or miscommunication.

I like knowing what part I play in people’s lives. If someone cares about me or values my existence in their life I want to be aware of it because I truly appreciate it. I don’t like being taken for granted and I will give my all to you unless I feel like I am an not valued. When I feel unappreciated I kind of draw everything back from that relationship whether it be friends, family or romantic. It is either 100 or 0 with me. The most important thing in any relationship for me is communication, if we have a solid communication our love cannot be disturbed. Communication to me is knowing boundaries, talking without fussing, discussing until there is a conclusion and valuing the other persons input.

What do you like about yourself?

I think last year I would have said nothing because I wasn’t in a great place internally. When you are spending more time doing things you love it puts you in positive space. I spend a lot of time noting how I feel in each moment and I like the person who I am right now. Even though my emotional crying has got out of hand, I love that I feel others emotions so deeply, it reminds me that I am human and I too feel. I like that I know I am a reliable friend/person, I feel good knowing that if someone genuinely needed me they know I would be there for them. I like that I am a mix between a loud and quiet person. I like that I feel good knowing other people are in a good place, I like that I love writing because I always have a personal diary. I like that when I read this question I did not think of anything physical.

What would you like to change about yourself?

I don’t want to change but I hope that I continue to grow. There are things about myself that I do not love, I am human. While I recognise that I will always be me, my bad traits will always exist somewhere. I just hope to learn to control my anger, to trust my instinct and to become more confident in who I am. I know that as I practise mindfulness everyday I will grow in the ways I wish to.

What do you want people to know about you?

I am a human just like you and I am addicted to YouTube. (Comment if you are with me on that one lol).

I feel better already, writing is a beautiful form of therapy. Thanks for reading, these were only a small number of questions maybe I’ll do this again sometime because it felt great! On to an amazing week!

With Love,

Shay RS x


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