Stepping into being Me: the journey begins.
So I've admitted my breakdowns. My weaknesses. My past identity. Now what?
I begin creating Me.
I will tell you that your response from my last blog gave me the confidence to really start looking. Your response showed me that I was taking a step in the right direction, as scary as it seemed at the time - like, my fingers went numb and my left arm went dead for a couple of minutes kind of scary... haha!
Thanks to your response I went to one of my Work Days with Landmark and I really 100% threw myself into the exercises. Challenged myself.
I felt so fulfilled!
You know you live life on the road when you get excited about a lie-in in a hostel.
This morning I had a mission.
Get up. Get over to South Kensington and get in some sketching.
Breakfast outside in the breezy summer morning sun was just the ticket to a good Sunday start!
Speaking Spanish with the waiter and indulging in a "Breakfast Box" of sobrasada and mahón (chorizo and cheese local to Spain) croissant with fresh orange juice and coffee, I was exactly where I wanted to be.
I've been a bit sad I can't take a sunny holiday this year: I now didn't need to! Sure I confused the waiters a bit when I spoke Spanish the first time, however I had it all right here and I was being what I wanted to be right then. And what's life without a bit of surprise and fun, eh?
You know there are certain places you always feel drawn to? That you are just drawn to going back to? Well, the Victoria & Albert Museum is one of those places for me.
By chance, I arrived there just after 10am opening time, checked in my suitcase and picked where to start.
I had to be out of there by 1pm, so I started with the Fashion exhibitions (obvs).
For some reason the V&A doesn't sell actual sketchbooks in the shop so today I made do with a colourful mini blank booklet with Noah's Ark prints on the covers. Nabbed a pencil with "Dream. Inspire. Study" embossed on it - the perfect mantra for such a day - and got to work.
I love the fashion era from around the 1940s onwards because this is when the norms began to be challenged in a very obvious way.
It's one of the eras in which women began to make statements in the workforce.
After doing the rounds of my usual favourites (Fashion and Stage & Theatre Performance) I had some vague ideas for one project, and a definite idea for another: more info to follow soon...
So my mission was complete!
Enjoying the sun outside in the courtyard for five minutes, I swiftly head back to the cloakroom before some splashing children got too close.
I got to the Blogosphere Summer Party in Southwark just before 2pm.
In the classic Brit fashion I apologised for being early, was welcomed and introduced to the icebreaker sheet for the meet-up and I stepped in.
I don't know if you've ever been to some form of creator event - whether you're a blogger, photographer, designer or any of the hundreds I have missed off - but don't you just love the locations used for these events!?
Sure, I was a bit apprehensive about the geographical location, "why aren't there any office/obvious club-looking buildings...??"
But once again it was all about what had been done with the space once you're inside.
It was a beautiful studio with mix and match furniture and loads of light - massive tick box for any photographer, right!?
Now, I won't lie. I forgot about the icebreaker sheet. I love talking to people by nature.
In true magpie fashion, I stepped in the door and followed my magpie eyes to the sparkly, shiny Jewellery Box table first. They have beautiful, delicate pieces for all occasions and at super reasonable prices.
I had researched this company beforehand and had an awesome chat about the products.
This was when Alice, the editor and founder of Blogosphere, stepped in and introduced herself.
Now, for all of my boasting that I researched Jewellery Box and I actually first heard of Blogosphere back in 2014 when she interviewed Fleur De Force, I had never actually thought to look into Alice. Or what she even looked like...!
Having worked in the areas that I have, I had this presumption that she would be too busy to be at her event... What. Was. I. Thinking!?
She graciously shrugged off my mistake and brought up that she could fill in a section of my icebreaker sheet.
It was super inspiring getting to know her a bit more and listening to her story, including the foundation of Blogosphere. She is an awesome case of someone who saw a gap/something they wanted to do and she persevered to make it a reality. Definitely recommend taking a leaf out of her book!
Have you ever had that feeling of being so naturally comfortable somewhere that you could basically live there? And I'm not talking about your bed...
Through the icebreakers I slowly got to speaking to more and more wonderful people in the industry until I finally was stood in a circle with Lucy (http://bit.ly/2aNNLTP), Sarah (http://bit.ly/2aNNvnM) and Taylor (http://bit.ly/2aMidur).
(Source: @BlogosphereM Twitter account)
Despite my knees killing after three hours of standing up, these lovelies made it easier. They were hilarious and it was fun to learn from them and their experiences. What they did, Pokemon Go, how they got into blogging, Pokemon Go.
You know you've met great people when you're with people who flow with conversation naturally.
Once again, I was exactly where I wanted to be. Sure, a chair might have made it a bit easier, but what's life without a bit of challenge!?
Surrounded by creatives and authors sharing their voice and their view of the world from their own unique perspective.
If I've gained anything from life in terms of career at least, is that being in the right place comes about as a result of two things: being lit up and inspired or feeling butterflies in your stomach.
A paradox, no?
Well, I felt the latter before I arrived and the first after five minutes of being there.
Sure I've been to meet ups and similar events before. But this one actually meant getting serious and really demonstrating what I was passionate about in my writing to - at the time - complete strangers. I had two days previously been vulnerable online for the first time ever. I was feeling a bit emotionally charged. I wanted to run.
Now this has happened to me before many times of course. The difference this time was that I took a deep breath. I didn't beat myself up or tell myself I was stupid for being afraid.
I took that deep breath and I kept walking. I surrounded myself with trust and confidence, and I kept going.
And so it came to be that I was completely relaxed in a room of creatives. Listening to them. Throwing myself into something that I love for me.
I was where I was supposed to be.
A few of us got so caught up in chatting that we were still there long after the event finished. Oops!
But that's obviously the sign of a good time right?!
A big big thank you again to the lovely Alice and her Blogosphere gals for a wonderful meet up as well as Jewellery Box for their sparklies and the London Tea Company for their delicious tea!
So the first thing I will now say I am, is a writer. Or blogger.
Now sure I always loved to write. I don't have too much from my childhood but I've kept the notebooks with my first stories in them from when I was around five or six.
And sure I've been asked to write articles and blogs since, but I've never taken it seriously.
It never felt like it was mine.
Well, now I'm making it mine.
I, Han, am a writer and blogger.
I am building that for myself.
So the question for you now is: what are you? Who do you believe you are?
"If you wake up in the morning, and all you can think about is singing. Then you're 'sposed to be a singer, girl." Whoopi Goldberg's character Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act 2.
My fam and I used to watch this film all the time when I was growing up and for me it has been on my mind constantly for the last couple of weeks.
Whatever is in your gut, is who you are meant to be.
And that is anything.
The world is yours to do what you want with it.
Have a wonderful Thursday!!