Yes, I do realise this blog post title sounds worryingly like a 'sugar babes' hit...but don't you worry there will be no singing, naughties hairstyles or shimmery mini skirts! (Some small part of me is actually slightly disappointed at this notion)
Basically, what brought this about is recently I've been going through the terrifying process of applying to university and thus writing my personal statement. In which I have included: 'I have written a blog since I was 14'.
Then it hit me...wait...14!?
Surely it hasn't been 3 years? To confirm my utter horror at reaching near adulthood I checked out my first blog post and realised that yes rather tragically14 year old me and 17 year old me are pretty much one and the same...however, there have been some notable changes to who I am and what my ambitions are.
Although there is an evident need to update my 'about me' page so people can actually know roughly what the person behind all these god-awful reviews is now like, I don't want to get rid of my original 'about me' section. After all, that Hebe was the one who started all this and thought it all up so I guess she deserves a mention.
I feel like growing up and changing who you are is something that needs to be documented. Even though it happens to everyone in pretty much the same way, it's an experience in life that is somehow very unique. As awkward and squirmy as this is, I want to be able to look back at my blogging experience and say 'wow...look how far I've come'. I want to be able to adapt and change my plans and hopes and dreams and notice they've been achieved or made more achievable. I want to be able to show myself and all my readers who I've become and then I feel I and you all can decide if that's someone worth listening to.
So here we are...gushy bit over sorry felt a little inspired!
Who am I now?
Well, to start my name is unsurprisingly still Hebe and this blog is still all about books. However instead of just reviewing I am now: recommending, hosting authors and giving advice to a much larger audience on lots of different social media sites. I'm now proud to say that no my blog isn't big or famous but it has a base and has expanded into more than I ever could have dreamed of.
I am now also receiving A LOT more review requests, which is humbling, flattering and also overwhelming. There have admittedly been times where blogging hasn't been the stress relief I first envisioned and desired and I still have so many reviews embarrassingly overdue, but fundamentally I still love what I do and blogging is still my escape.
Blogging was at first a bit of a step away from my everyday life, however, like all secrets eventually people were going to find out. 14 year old me would've died at the embarrassment of anyone at school finding this blog and shock horror maybe even reading it. But, as I've come to realise upon its discovery everyone I care about supports me and everyone who I don't doesn't care. I love what I do, so to hell what anyone else thinks frankly.
I'm still keeping my diary, however, still sporadically and I still do forget to write the most important things down. Being an author and actress are still my dreams but it is the saving the world part that has become the most prevalent of my ambitions. I've decided to study Geography at university and one day I want to work in the environmental sector in the UN. Seems impossible but why not dream big? It seems so far not many things about me has changed and you're all probably yawning or switching tabs at this point but hold tight...the part where I'm different is coming I promise!
The teenage years are similar to babyhood in the way that you learn so many new things and have so many little adventures in a very contained amount of time: I've made new friends, learnt new lessons and gone to new places. I've played sport, acted, danced, sung. I've had first kisses, let loose, been stressed, panicked, made mistakes. I've liked a few boys; some too much, some not enough. I've laughed and cried (sometimes both at the same time). I've been surrounded by people and felt desperately lonely (again sometimes at the same time). I've been nervous but brave and I've worked hard and admittedly drank wayyyyy too much tea (that took an innocent turn some of you probably weren't expecting!). As you can see my experience as a teenager so far has been fairly normal and seemingly very boring. All these things seem minute but at the time and in the moment they were huge and they've all made me the me I am now.
Where I think I've changed the most is that I am more open to myself and others about what I want out of life and what my passions are. I tell people where I want to go, what my dreams are and who I want to be without hesitation now.
Not because I'm super confident or because I know exactly what the future holds. Not because I know what I 100% want out of life, but because I've taken it upon myself to not be that person who always hides behind piles of books and can only express herself through a keyboard (of the computer variety...piano keyboards and me are not the best of friends).
Expressing your interests in something you love is a bold move, especially if you have very different interests to the people you are showing them to. But at the end of the day, I figured surely its better for someone to know your interests and love you for them than for nobody to really know who you are?
By letting the people I care about see the real me is my way of showing them that I really want them in my life. They're as important to me as the thing I am telling them, which is a real complement. That's not to say I don't let anyone but my nearest and dearest see who I am. If you love something or someone why not shout about it? (obviously in the right context...there is a time and a place after all!) Why not let people see that there is a lot more to you than they choose to see? You're only as 'boring' as you let yourself to be.
So to round this all off...no I don't know what I really really want from life, yes I'm still finding my place and getting things wrong and being a stroppy teenager. And yes often I do hide behind both piles of books and a computer screen (it's easy when you're still 5 ft 2"- yet another thing that hasn't changed) But I'm getting there...and so far. I haven't regretted a thing.