#DearJune Days 1-10

During June I took part in an Instagram challenge named #DearJune from superstar and friend Hannah Witton. I surprised myself by managing to write at least a little something every day and also by being brave enough to be so open and to share pieces of writing at all!

I’ve decided to put the pictures I shared and all the pieces of writing up here as well, largely because I’m about to get a bit pretentious about my Instagram ~aesthetic~ and archive some of the posts.

Don’t forget to follow my Instagram @alliegrce and I might share more writing there in the future!

Day 1 – Beginnings

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☀️ #DearJune Day 1: Beginnings ☀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I chose these photos because they were taken on New Years; a pretty traditional ‘beginning’. I believe that New Years Resolutions can be unhealthy but I’m fairly sure I still set some. I don’t remember what they were. 🌅⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The beginning of a new year is easy to pin down, but often it isn’t terribly meaningful. I find it much harder to put a time stamp on the beginning of my achievements, relationships, and growth. But I do find it comforting to have such structured beginnings built in – new day, new month, new year – so that, when something feels like it’s gone quite wrong, you always have the promise of a fresh start.

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Day 2 – Yellow

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🔸 #DearJune Day 2: Yellow 🔸 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yellow is my favourite colour! It succeeds green, which I know was my favourite colour when I started University, but I don’t know exactly when it was usurped. 💛⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I like yellow for all the totally cliche reasons you would expect. It is bright, it is happy, it is hopeful. I think it’s really easy to feel despairing and helpless at the moment. I feel frustrated and powerless when I hear stories or even statistics from across the world, both about people and our planet. Sometimes, when I feel like this, I will close my eyes and picture myself in Monet’s yellow room (second image). It’s a special place for me, and rooting myself there helps give me a little boost, a bit of a recharge to keep me going. Growing up my family had our own yellow room. Yellow walls, yellow couches. When it fills with sun it is beautiful. I can feel my anxiety ebb just thinking about it. 💛 I hope one day we can all have our own little yellow rooms. Somewhere we can sit in the sun, breathe, and feel inspired to decide what’s next. 💛

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Day 3 – Music

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🎶#DearJune Day 3: Music 🎶 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It blows my mind how much music can make me feel. There are hundreds of pieces of music out there that I can listen to and see some part of my experience reflected in. When I’m at a gig I’m surrounded by people who also see that little glimpse of themselves in that artists work. For someone who feels lonely a lot, that’s pretty special. 🎵 This pic is from Maisie Peters gig where I cried a little bit. Maisie has a couple of songs that make me think of home, in particular the people there. There aren’t a lot of people I really truly miss, but the people I care about most in the whole world are either in New Zealand or in Australia. When I listen to certain songs I feel a little bit less far away, like maybe another girls night out at Chow isn’t so far off, maybe I’ll hit up Kaffee Eis and the dressing room of Forever New any day now, and one day I’ll get my mystery present from @tessa.lim 🎵

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Day 4 – Forgetting

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💬 #DearJune Day 4: Forgetting 💬 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I do not like to forget things. I have a pretty intense set up of calendars, planners, and notebooks. Despite being a top notch organisation Queen, the actual contents of my notebooks are all over the place. If you think I have a dedicated notebook for lists, one for poetry, one for budgets etc… Unfortunately not. My notebooks are a brain dump of whatever I need the notebook for at the time. I have draft plots for a novel next to notes from a digital marketing workshop. It’s kind of fun to have all the different kinds of things I do and all my varied interests living side by side on the pages of my (many, many) notebooks. I still manage to track down all the important stuff (that’s what stickers and colour coding are for). 📝 I did forget a doctors appointment last week though. First time in my entire life. Let’s not talk about that. 📝

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Day 5 – Lightning

Day 6 – Travelling 

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🚂 #DearJune Day 6: Travelling 🚂 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My anxiety says I should hate travel. I don’t like planes. I don’t like not being in control. I like to know where I’m going and I like to know where I am. This is made much easier when everything is in English, maybe on a good day I can get by with French or even Spanish. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In quite the twist of events I actually adore travel. The anxiety doesn’t go away exactly, but the worst of it is always on the plane. Exploring new places, discovering history, lying on golden beaches that aren’t also being rained on… I love it and I live for it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Since I started earning a full time salary travel is what I treat myself with. It’s what I look forward to most. I find it almost unbearable when I return from a trip not to immediately plan my next. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I hope all the good work I do for the environment helps cancel out the flights at least a little bit. I’m sorry earth, but until there are more supersonic trains across the oceans, I just don’t think I could live without it

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Day 7 – Risks

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🎲 #DearJune Day 7: Risk 🎲 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This is a photo from the day I graduated university. I think it’s fair to say moving over 18,000km and spending let’s-not-say-how-much-money for university is the biggest risk I’ve ever taken. It didn’t really feel like a risk when I first started, I don’t even remember feeling that scared (though there were some really sad goodbyes). I don’t remember when it hit me that I was so far from home, but I remember a lot of the times it hit me hardest. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I didn’t always think I would make it all the way through my degree at Edinburgh. I got homesick a lot, friendships that were incredibly important to me at the beginning crumbled by second year and weren’t replaced, some academic achievements seemed to be beyond my reach no matter how many hours I put in, my heart was broken at least twice (i think i only broke one heart in the same period), and I went through some of the worst periods of my mental illness that I’ve ever dealt with. I went through a lot of this alone. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What got me through was 1️⃣ my determination and drive (I am part Slytherin, fight me) 2️⃣ the amount of money my parents had invested in me and 3️⃣ not wanting any of the people that thought I couldn’t do it to have the satisfaction… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Spite can be a powerful tool sometimes 💁‍♀️

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Day 8 – Connections

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🤝 #DearJune Day 8: Connections 🤝 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Since high school I have really struggled making lasting connections. For the first 18 or so years of your life you are with the people that are your friends a lot of the time, like, all day most days. While sometimes that makes conflict rough and the basis of your friendships kind of arbitrary, it makes being friends and being there for each other much easier. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Now I am grown I find even the friends that I know like me and care for me are very hard to maintain relationships with that support the social and emotional needs of both/all of us. Everyone is so busy and tired, it often costs money to socialise, we’re all so scared of being rejected and ignored. I don’t think it’s just me who feels lonely and disconnected. (maybe I’m wrong and everyone is actually hanging out and sharing love and support all the time; a serious fear I also hold) ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Anyway, invite me to your parties, I’m very cool 😎

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Day 9 – Bodies

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👯‍♀️ #DearJune Day 9: Bodies 👯‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I could say A LOT about bodies. Much of it about mine, but I’m not short on commentary on societies perceived ownership and right towards other people’s bodies. The obvious example being reproductive rights, but it doesn’t even come close to stopping there. I’ve decided to talk about fatness. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ As someone who has been fat most of my life, people have often felt entitled to comment on my body. I remember almost every incident when strangers have commented on it in public. I remember people telling me how awesome I looked when I lost weight. I remember all the times even family and friends made me feel guilty for eating while being fat, filled with good intention. I remember people thinking I should be grateful that they wanted to hook up with me. Up until this very day people will assume a lot about my health and not be afraid to tell me about it. Society’s fatphobia has become completely ingrained in me. I am still terrified to show my body. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Yesterday I went to Murrayfield stadium and I didn’t fit through the turnstile. Now, I’m a small fat, so I still have mucho privilege, probably amplified by my mostly hourglass shape, and I STILL have these moments where I don’t fit through spaces, I’m in pain in cinema seats, and I get people giving me angry side eye when I slide into the plane seat next to them. The world is not designed for us. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There’s a body positivity movement, which has been embraced by people of all sizes. There’s a big emphasis on learning to love yourself, regardless of what society thinks or says. While I understand the value of that; I understand that my journey to loving my body isn’t complete (though I have come very far), it’s not really the problem. What good is loving myself if I’m still less likely to get hired, taken less seriously by medical professionals, and unable to even find clothes to wear. The problem isn’t fat people not loving themselves, I think you’ll find most of us know we’re fucking brilliant. The problem is the rest of society acting like it’s our fault we didn’t love ourselves in the first place.

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Day 10 – Glitter

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✨ #DearJune Day 10: Glitter ✨ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The first time I remember realising just how persistent glitter was involved a bath bomb. It had just a little sparkle on the outside to lull you into a false sense of security. A couple of seconds after it hit the water it looked like a bath full of glitter glue. I’m not entirely convinced that you couldn’t find specks of glitter from that same bath bomb there now. There were definitely several weeks of emerging from the bath a little more sparkling clean than I was aiming for. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I learned my lesson. I now largely avoid glittering bath bombs. I definitely don’t avoid glitter though. If I could wear sparkling outfits every single day I honestly might. I’m sad that glitter and sparkle is reserved for special occasions, but you can bet I’m looking forward to #pride where I will be lathered in it head to toe, and of course the many weeks afterwards during which I will still be finding inexplicable traces of glitter on clothes I wasn’t even wearing.

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Read days 11-20 here and days 21-30 here.

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