During our lives there are the experiences that completely shape and mould the person you are. Sometimes, these are small things. Experiences that, at the time, don’t exactly feel significant like riding a bike for the first time or baking a cake. Then there are those massive events that shake up the path of your life forever.
In my mind, those small experiences can be just, or maybe even more so, important than the crazy, earth-shattering ones. The tiny events, that are just part of day to day life, can be the reason for some of the most central parts of your life or being. These experiences that are dotted throughout the timeline of our lives are the things that make up who you are, what you do and how you live your life.
Discovering Jaqueline Wilson
I have always been a massive bookworm. As soon as I was able to, I could always be found reading a book. But then I read a book that changed my life. It made me fall, even more, in love with books. I had discovered Jaqueline Wilson; with her slightly gritty tales that focused on a variety of female characters.
After reading my first Jaqueline Wilson book, I devoured everything and anything I could by her. I remember the utter joy I felt when I spotted a new release by her in my local Tesco. Before her books, I’d always been a reader. Afterwards I started filling notebooks and old exercise books with my own little tales.
Her writing made me realise that I could write my own stories – or in the future, blog posts! Her books were also the first time that I really discovered narratives written about and by women. So it was probably the very early beginnings of my feminist awakening.
Going to my first gigs
Back when I was 16 (which feels like yesterday, but also years ago), I went to a gig with just my friends. It wasn’t my first gig ever, I’d been to a few before with my dad, but it was my first one alone. So off I went to Brixton with three of my friends to see You Me At Six. It was this gig that really instigated a love of live music within me.
It was a band I was desperately in love with – as the little wannabe emo I was. I was with friends in London, with no parental supervision. It wasn’t only my first proper gig, but it was a taste of freedom. The act of screaming along lyrics with hundreds of other people and your best friends whilst being pushed about in a mosh pit. It’s something that, six years later, still feels me with a strange kind of euphoria – although I’m much less likely to be found in a mosh now.
Taking sociology at A-Level
Most people would assume that taking English Literature at A-Levels was something that really shaped me, but I already knew how much I loved English. Whereas Sociology was this wonderful new subject that taught me some really important things.
I’d always had opinions, but Sociology taught me how to articulate these. It taught me about feminism and encouraged me to be outspoken in my beliefs. I discovered what I believed to be morally right and influenced my political opinions. I think if I’d not taken Sociology, I’d probably still be an opinionated little shit. However, it helped to develop these opinions and draw them out until I was confident to debate them in front of people.
These are some of those small experiences that have changed who I am and the life I live. There have also been a few of those humungous experiences – like going to university, moving to Dubai and more – but these are the ones that have influenced my life in a more subtle but still significant way.
Let me know in the comments some of the small experiences that made you who you are!1