My two favourite roles are that of linguist and journaller. Both allowed me to have a voice when nothing else did. I started French at age 11, and took to it as easily and effortlessly as a duck to water. I was the best student in all my classes, consistently winning Speech Day awards because of my gift in both that and Spanish. When everyone else dismissed me as nerdy or awkward or the girl with the glasses, I didn't let it affect me. My gift brought me an identity and a feeling of uniqueness that no one could take away. It broadened my perspective, opening doors to travel and literature in a way that no one else in my family had ever had.
Journalling did something similar, albeit in a more private way. I started keeping a diary at age 12. Every night I would recount all of the stresses of the day, both school- and family-related, in the one place where I didn't have to sanitise my feelings. I could just be me. And as a lover of stationery and reading in general, journalling seemed to be a natural follow-on, piquing my interest in self discovery and catering to my nostalgic side. But it wasn't until I started following a few creative blogs online that I thought actively to combine both words and photos.
Being sentimental meant that I was the girl who always felt compelled to capture school and travel moments through her camera. I knew that someday I would want to pour over them 'to remember when...,' to reflect on how much different (or not) I was back then. I took a deeper interest in photography, focusing not just on capturing a scene for memory's sake, but on the power of composition, etc. I found myself drawn to the simple, quiet beauty of natural light, and am learning to look more closely, to appreciate the wonder in little things that I would never before have noticed. Journalling and languages have forced me to step out of myself and yet go inward at the same time. With the exploration and discovery of external things, you ultimately internalise, questioning yourself about how a particular experience is shaping you or maturing you. And that can be a really nice thing.