Like most people, as soon as I'm asked what makes me, me, my mind goes blank. I forget all my habits, qualities and quirks. It's like that horrible job interview where you're asked to stand up, introduce yourself to the rest of the group, and tell them an interesting fact about yourself. Suddenly, I'm a boring, empty canvas. I can't recall my favourite place, a phrase I say too often, or why I crush egg shells before I throw them away – (EDIT: it's a super cool superstition – Google it).
For a while, I stared at my blank screen, desperate for anything to say. A few things eventually did come to mind.
- I overthink everything (proven by this blog post)
- I look like a frug – frog x pug
- I care too much about what people think
- My feet are odd – some say deformed, I like to say further evolved
- I trust too easily and love too hard
- I really need to stop talking in that strange goblinesque accent to everyone but my dog
The list went on, and reading back over it, I realised that every bullet point was self-depreciating. Even my (attempt at) wit couldn't disguise that. Society has raised young women to feel uncomfortable with every aspect of their being – their opinions, their bodies, their intelligence, their sense of humour, their appearance, their sexuality...
Too often, we, as young women, are told what is wrong with us. Not what is right with us.
It's become such an epidemic that I, like many others, feel uncomfortable verbalising what we like about ourselves. It's much easier (and more socially acceptable) to list our flaws and pitfalls when asked to define what makes us unique.
Despite this realisation, I still didn't really know how to answer that simple question – what makes me, me? I reached out to my closest friends to see what they thought, after all, they know me better than I know myself. They see through my deflective wit, barrel through my walls, and make me laugh until my crudely applied eyeliner is no more.
This is what they had to say...
Marriam – cat lady / expert colour coordinator:
'Kate is my travelling partner in crime. Her retreating back is a regular feature in my photos of historical monuments, usually because she's grown bored of waiting for me to absorb every little detail. We've spent a lot of time together since she cornered me before a uni lecture on Renaissance literature, so I know a few of her tics and habits. She rubs her hands together like a fly when nervous. 'Mhm' usually means she's stopped listening. She likes her toast burnt and cold, and obsessively brushes her teeth. She also always has to sit in the seat with the best 'feng shui' at a restaurant or coffee shop.'
Jaz – 60's throwback / hater of orcs and dragons
'Kate is on WhatsApp around the clock, which is great when I need her advice or to send her memes. She underestimates herself, but she's a brilliant writer, and an even better friend. She's quick-witted and intelligent, and she makes amazing cakes (which I will hopefully be rewarded with for writing this testimony!)'
Ruth – football fanatic/ despiser of food with flavour
'The most prominent quality that springs to mind is Kate's attention to detail, whether it be in conversation or just general observations in day to day life. She often uses this to comfort a friend, or to do the complete opposite, and spin a wild tale that inevitably becomes a ridiculous story and treasured in-joke.'
So, hello Safe Space. I'm Kate & I can confirm that no friends were harmed in the making of this blog post. I'm a twenty four year old Cancerian, who is part frog, part pug, part fly, it seems. I'm a YA junkie who moonlights as a Commissioning Editor. I eat ketchup with everything, have watched Dexter a grand total of eleven times, and dream of crushing patriarchy. Pleased to meet you.