Why would you want to know more about me?
One reason I like reading ‘about me’ posts concerning other people is my desire to be nosy. I love to find out about what makes people ‘tick’. Each person has their own unique set of views, differences and perceptions of the world that make me intrigued to hear. Keeping this in mind I thought I would share a little bit more about me and hopefully you can gain a better understanding of my world.
When I went through a stage of ‘bloggers doubt’, I asked the question ‘why would people want to listen to me?’ These thoughts came straight from my inner critic and when I turned the thinking around using CBT techniques, I realised that I am just like everyone else.
I am human, I have just as much value as everyone else on this planet. I love to find out about other people; what drives them, what experiences they have had and their opinions on life. Using this reasoning I figured that some people might want to read about the things that make me an individual.
When I planned this post I thought about some of my friends who read my blog. I did not want to churn out stuff that they already know. It then struck me; what are the things that perhaps they do not know. I am aware that some people reading this might know one or two things that are on this list; only my husband and my best friend of twenty years know most of these. It is safe to assume that by reading this post you will discover something new.
I used to have a fear of Burt and Ernie
This is perhaps one of the most ridiculous fears to have, but I had it. I was scared of Burt and Ernie. Ernie was, for me, the main villain with Burt being a silent observer. As a young child, they haunted me.
I would dream of waking up in the middle of the night and seeing them at the bottom of my bed. Ernie would give me an evil smile, tilt his head and threaten to kill me. I would then wake up in a haze of terror and tears.
As a young child, I loved The Muppets and Sesame Street and could quite happily watch Burt and Ernie on TV. I have come to realise that the dreams I had were night terrors which I still experience.
The fear of Burt and Ernie was suppressed until my early 20’s when it re-appeared. I believe a toxic relationship I was in caused it; I felt like the scared little child again. Friends would joke about it, I would join in and comment how ridiculous it for two puppets to render me a nervous, crying wreck. What they did not know was I had recurrent nightmares about them which would have me wake up screaming and refusing to go back to sleep.
I still get night terrors occasionally, but thankfully a Burt and Ernie dream is something that rarely happens. This is due to feeling safe and secure with Mr T who has supported me through every fear and night terror with love.
I have hyperextended elbows and fingers
Strange, but true, my elbows can bend outwards. This would possibly make my bowling skills illegal when playing cricket as I could get more spin on the ball. I was never aware of my hyperextension until other people brought it up. People would be freaked out whenever I would lean my hands on a table and my elbow would go inwards.
My fingers are also extremely flexible which is possibly why I took so well to the keyboard rather than other musical instruments. With my fingers stretched outwards I resemble ‘muppet fingers’ as they go forward and backwards.
My guilty crush is Alan Rickman
Alan Rickman has been my guilty Crush ever since my early teens. It started with Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. I have a soft spot for a Villain and Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham had my heart racing. I originally bought the video because it had Christian Slater in but I soon became enamoured by Rickman’s wit and charm.
After watching Prince of Thieves too many times I moved onto one of the most beautiful films ever; Truly, Madly, Deeply. This film breaks my heart every time I watch it, it is a mesmerising story of love and grief. Alan Rickman is at his most handsome in this film and I will always associate ‘the sun ain’t gonna shine anymore’ with this film and my love for Rickman.
When Harry Potter mania swept through the world I was not a fan. I tried to get into the Potter spirit but the only redeeming feature of the films was Rickman as Professor Snape.
I remember being in work on my lunch when a colleague told me Alan Rickman had died; my heart sunk into my stomach. The world lost such a talented actor that day and someone who inspired me to get into acting. I fondly remember telling someone I wanted to be the ‘female Alan Rickman’ because I was in awe of his talent.
Brief Encounter is one of my top three films of all time.
Being a theatre student, I was aware of Noel Coward and would hear my youth theatre director talk about ‘Brief Encounter’ and how good it was but I put to the back of my mind until many years later.
I have always been a film buff; I was fortunate enough to do some film studies units in my first year of university. This sparked my enthusiasm; having always liking old films. I quickly developed a passion for Hitchcock films after watching Vertigo and The Birds at the cinema. This, along with my love of Audrey Hepburn led me to watch more and more old films.
I watched ‘strangers on a train one day and remembered my old drama mentor getting this film mixed up with Brief Encounter. I can remember picking the film up on DVD cheap and not expecting much. At first, I laughed at the extremely posh English accents the main characters had but by the end of the film, I was in floods of tears. I loved it.
Since that day I have bought and read the play, watched a modern remake and even seen the stage version done by Kneehigh Theatre. The story is such a beautifully crafted tale of a love that was doomed from the start. The film is directed in such a mesmerising way and the soundtrack is magical.
I wanted to be Lynda Carter as a child
Wonder Woman was the ultimate role model of the early 1980’s. She had everything; the strength, the looks, the body and thousands of men who loved her. Wonder woman was one of the first heroines and she will always be the best.
I loved the TV shows; it was cheesy and unrealistic but it gave me a bit of an escape every time it aired. Being a child with a wild imagination I always wanted to be something special and what could be better than a superhero.
The reason I especially liked Carter was her classic beauty. Many of the women featured on TV were blond or had light brown hair; being a child with dark hair I felt out of sorts. Lynda Carter, with her ebony hair, was a sign that you could have dark hair and still be classed as beautiful.
This was possibly the result of my desire to ‘fit in’ when I was younger. I was a tall, slightly chubby girl with a ‘strange’ personality. Sadly, I was bullied throughout most of my primary school and some years in high school.
I wished I was Lynda Carter/ Wonder Woman because I wanted the strength to be able to stand up to the people who made my life a misery. Realising now, thirty years later, I am my own type of Wonder Woman and I have the strength to get through the challenges of life.
I want to go to the Far East, visit a temple and see elephants
This is definitely on my bucket list. I know that at the moment it is not possible to do; but eventually, I will do it. Eastern philosophy and Buddhism has been an interest since I was a teenager when we studied it at school. Also, my idol Keanu Reeves had appeared in the film ‘Little Buddha’ and it was also an interest of his.
Being brought up in a Catholic family, I have always been aware of there possibly being ‘something else’ out there. I have been laughed at for having this belief but I am well and truly an agnostic. Having started to question my Catholic upbringing in my teens and since then I have just made myself aware of the different beliefs out there. I ultimately work on the principle that ‘you have one life to live’ and therefore I should be kind, curious and make the most of it.
Since I have started mindfulness meditation I have discovered a new sense of calm in my life. Focusing on enjoying being in the present, giving myself the time to notice things and it has made me function so much better. I want to go to a Far Eastern temple and experience a moment of ‘just being’ in one of the most breath-taking of places.
I am not a person who likes travelling so this would be a holiday of a lifetime. My desire is to see elephants that are not in a zoo. A colleague I know went to an elephant sanctuary and it looked like the most amazing thing to do. Elephants are my favourite animal; they are strong and beautiful creatures.
I have an art journal
Having always been artistic; I find joy in creating things and I often use art to express my emotions. At first, I used to make cards and do scrapbook pages but I found that I was not free to fully express myself. I have had no art training due to my Art teacher telling me I was rubbish so I did not pick it for GCSE. I am not sure how I discovered art journaling but I quickly found an amazing source of inspiration from a YouTuber called JenniBellie.
Although I now have other interests like writing and bullet journaling, I still dip into my art journals from time to time. They are great to just pick up, do a small amount and then put back down again. I have created many interesting pieces of art that have no purpose other than being a means to express myself. When I have an inspiration and my materials in hand I am ‘in the zone’ and nothing from the outside world can stop me from expressing myself.
I don’t watch horror films
I used to love horror films. As a teen, I would spend many a weekend watching scary movies with my friends and putting a pillow over my face in fear of seeing something. When I was a teen, horror films were all about the suspense and they had a certain element of cheesiness to them.
I do not know at which point horror movies changed but I remember seeing Hostel and feeling physically sick. Horror movies had turned into a gore fest and I did not like it. Horror films stopped being about the suspense. What proceeded were more and more elaborate attempts to show people being slaughtered.
You might argue that I have rose-tinted shades on and Horror films were just as bad. I agree that there were explicit films when I was younger (Evil Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre). However, horror films used to have a certain ‘unrealistic’ quality to them that made them easier to watch. However, due to modern cinema; everything is ultra-realistic and that is the thing that disturbs me. My husband still likes to watch horror films so I will watch the odd occasional one but I tend to steer clear. I have so little time on my hands that I cannot afford to spend it watching a genre of films that do not make me happy. This is possibly the reason I do not watch long Oscar-winning films as I find that I have to pay attention to them and they do not engage me.
I have an issue with control
At the age of seven, I tried to run away from home because of a doughnut. I often share this with my pupils as an anecdote to bring awareness to people having their own different quirks and respecting people’s boundaries. Being a drama teacher, we often look at what drives and motivates different people in situations. Drama links well with psychology and I hope I help my pupils develop empathy and understanding of the world.
What has this got to do with control issues? I have issues with control and I often use food as a control mechanism. I have been taught not to take other people’s food from a young age and this is a rule I have cemented into my mentality. So, imagine my horror when my mother ate my doughnut. It was my doughnut. As a family of three, we had two doughnuts each in a six-pack. On realising my mother had eaten one of mine I sat at the door crying saying I’m running away’, I could not take any more.
Food is a control device
This might sound extreme, but remember, I was seven at the time and my world did not revolve around many things other than, family, friends, food, toys and TV. Food was a thing in my life that I could control; I could eat it in the order I chose and would separate my food so I could eat the least favourite food first and my favourite last.
I came to realise that my relationship with food and my desire to control things as a coping mechanism associated with my over-thinking mind and mental health. My husband spent years not being able to dish my food out as I would get upset and irrational. I am aware that my need for control decreases when my mental health is good.
My control issues do not just extend to food, I have issues in general about maintaining a sense of control of my life and a sense of people ‘invading’ my own personal boundaries. I was only a child so it was somewhat exaggerated but control runs through my DNA. Whatever it is; the people that love and respect me understand about these issues and support me through times of crisis when I start doing things like crying over being given a popped egg (another true story).
I have been practising Mindfulness for the past six months
The power of meditation has always intrigued me ever since I was a teenager; partaking in relaxation exercises at youth theatre. As an actor; relaxation is a vital part of being able to embody another character without your own thoughts clouds your portrayal. As an actor, I learnt to relax but I never connected with or used it in my everyday life.
When my school said they were a mindfulness course for teachers; I jumped at the chance to take part. This involved an eight-week course and a one day ‘silent retreat’. Having suffered from my own demons, I knew that this was a viable option to improve my mental health.
The eight weeks were tough and it was different to how I expected. However, I have gained so much out of mindfulness and hope to continue doing it in the future.
Have you got any interesting quirks or facts you would like to share? I would love to hear from anyone who shares any of these things.
Ciao for now beauties xx