I is for...Identity (or all about me!)

(WARNING - mega long blog of pictures and words!!)

This post is inspired by the lovely Kim over at What Peggy Said.

Kim has been doing an 'A-Z of Me' series and this particular post grabbed my imagination, so I thought I would do something similar.

The pictures below show me at different ages and stages in my life, I have added notes to each one explaining what was going on at that time, how I felt about myself and my situation (whatever that might have been) and how I feel my self image and identity has changed over the years...enjoy!

1. This picture must be from around 1982? I look about 2 or 3 and helen looks about 1? It is of my Dad, sister Helen, Mum, Me, Uncle Derek, Auntie Diane, cousins Lucy and Tom (clockwise from top left). I remember that sofa, I remember playing in our back garden with Lucy and Ton and that's about it....I loved the house we lived in when I was little. The old post office of the village, across the road from my primary school and it had a lovely back garden to play in. Happy days!
2. Eeek! Primary school picture, I guess taken in around 1989-1990. I would have been in Year 5 I think, as there are some of the older kids from Year 6 in the pic too (we were in the same class because the school was so small!). Can you guess which one is me? (front row, 4th in, black and pink tracksuit!) I loved primary school, I had a good group of girl friends, we used to play on the streets on our bikes and at each others houses, I did lots of activities like brownies, horse riding, steel band, gymnastics - you name it I did it!
3. Year 8 is secondary school, 1992, aged 12. Again, can you spot me?? (second row back, third in on the left). This was our yearly tutor group picture, 8TA. We had the school music teacher for our form tutor and I ended up being in choir, madrigal group and all the shows/musicals. Again, I was lucky that I had a good time at secondary school, all of my fiends were in choir so we hung out together, I was liked by the 'clever' people and the 'cool' people alike (even though my dad was Deputy Head of the school). We moved away from the village I grew up in when I started secondary school, which took me away from my primary school Friends and I guess made them a little more distant but we still hung out a lot. I was top of the class in most lessons and enjoyed everything (except sport - being the typical self conscious teenager who didn't like baring any skin!). I was a prefect and deputy head girl, and liked to stick up for the kids who were picked on. I always felt very shy at school, even though I guess it didn't come across on the outside to other people. I thought a lot about things and generally observed everything that was going on with people, friendship groups, relationships etc. I had a few boyfriends but nothing serious, and but the end of school (when I left to go to college rather than stay on at 6th for like most of my friends) I was beginning to feel like a bit of an outsider....
4. Hmmm...maybe taken around 1997 or 8, I was about 18, at college and going out as much as possible to Nottingham (The Rig and Rock City) I was Straight Edge (didn't drink/smoke/do drugs) and hung out with my sister and her friends as most of my college friends had gone to Uni that year while I stayed on to re-take some of my A 'levels. I was over weight (but didn't really mind as far as I can remember), still very shy but loved dancing to indie and rock music, didn't feel grown up and had very few responsibilities, living at home, driving my mum's car...I had a great few years at college, or should I say Rock City!!
5. Indietracks Festival, July 2008. The second ever Inditracks weekend festival near where I grew up - Midland Railway Butterley. The skinniest I have ever been, I loved that shirt too!! Not the most important thing in the worked, but I do feel good when I am confident about my size/shape/figure. It was mega hot that weekend and with practically no shade I was paranoid about getting sun burnt! This must have been on the second day as I am not wearing my dress (see pic below) that I sang in - I was in the Band Silence at Sea and we opened the festival. Loved it, I think it must have been at the peak of the bands 'popularity' and when we were doing lots of gigs too, we had CDs on the merch stand and everything! My mum and dad came to see the show, and my sisters and lots of our Cardiff friends, again, a very happy time!
as above..opening Inditracks Festival with Silence at Sea
6. Swn Festival 2008, in Dempsey's after a Silence at Sea gig. David and I had been together for Just over a Year I think (maybe 18 months?) By Swn 2009 I was pregnant and ready to give birth to Ada! I remember feeling very content at this time, I'd gotten over a difficult breakup, was settled in our new house (which we still live in and now own), I know this was when I was feeling particularly slim and happy with my figure too!

7. October 2009 - I know this because I was just about the give birth to Ada and we were on the Canton Craw, our friend Charlie's annual birthday pub crawl! I think we were either in the Robin Hood (Charlotte Church's mum's pub) or the Mochyn Du when this was taken. I was happy (when I was pregnant I was always happy!) and very big! I was wearing my favourite maternity shirt (green and black checks) from Peacocks.I managed to last all day on this pub crawl, despite being heavily pregnant! Go me! I love being pregnant!
8. December 2009, Ada was 2 months old and Gareth and I did a little acoustic Silence at Sea set for the local Headway group. A friend of our attended the group for support after recovering from a brain tumour and as he loved Silence at Sea and is a big music fan in general, he asked us to come along and entertain the group! It was a weird gig, we hadn't practised much as I'd been busy having Ada (and dealing with my mum dying!) but it was nice, people asked questions about the band and the song writing, we sang lots of songs, some people joined in or tried to play their own songs...they loved Ada, it was a lovely thing to do. Gareth and I are best friends and have been since going to University together, now he's happily married with a baby too! At the time I was tired, and over weight...but loving being on maternity leave!
8. Summer 2012. I recently went to a conference with work, where an elderly gentleman had a funny turn. While he was recovering he said, 'I really need to remember I'm not 25 any more, you know you get to an age where you feel comfortable with yourself and you never go past it, even though my body is old, I'm still 25 in my head'....that is sooo ture. I think I'll always be around 30, I'm turning 33 in December and am very happy with myself. I'm not perfectly happy with everything (weight, clothes, money, etc etc) but I am confident, I'm not too shy any more, I'm happy that I am a good mum to Ada and can do my job...I think I've reached the age where I am going to stay....30-something is a good place to be.
9. Now (ish) Roller girl & Mum. Done.

 I have to say that this isn't a comprehensive summery of 'my life', there aren't any pictures of me when I was at Uni and teaching, there aren't many of David and I and none of our wedding...it's kind of a summary of my photos from Facebook to be honest...but I thought I'd give it a go!


Ben said...

That was lovely! I did something a bit like this on a long gone blog and my current one isn't really suited to it. I guess that is what Facebook is for now :)

I Am Me said...

thanks Ben! x