#DearJune Days 11 – 20

Part 2 of my #DearJune posts for the Instagram challenge set by Hannah Witton.

Read Days 1-10 here and Days 21-30 here.

Day 11 – Sea

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🌊 #DearJune Day 11: Sea 🌊 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I didn’t think I loved the sea until I got in the sea when it was warm. I have long adored being in water; I love to swim more than almost any other kind of exercise, and water is so effortlessly calming. I have never been as confident in the sea though. It’s often cold and wild, and you’re never really quite sure when you will step on a crab or brush up against a jellyfish. Perhaps one of the reasons I prefer warm sea is because it’s often also clear sea, and it’s harder for creatures to hide. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In September I visited the island of Korčula and just let myself float in the clear glittering water trying to shut off my brain. It felt so good to be in the sea. The day before I had made an impulsive decision to visit another beach I happened upon on my way to the ferry. It had been months since I had been in the sea and something inside of me just clicked, the only thing that got me out of the water was knowing I was going on to even quieter beaches. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ On New Year’s 2018 shortly after the clock struck midnight my friends and I wandered down to the beach and dived amongst the waves. I had been so nervous about this new year’s, not being sure how everyone would get along, and if I would feel welcome. Jumping around like an idiot in the sea that night was one of the times in my life I have felt the most content.

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Day 12 – Superheroes

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🦸‍♀️ #DearJune Day 12: Superheroes 🦸‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I think I purchased this T-shirt in 2014 and haven’t let it go since even though it now has holes in it. I was a little scared to wear it at first – women in particular are often questioned on their knowledge of whatever logo is on their shirt. I didn’t know a lot about comics, or superheroes, but I knew I liked badass women and I look cute in a crop top. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Since then both comics and films have been edging toward better representation for women, and I’m beginning to pay attention. I genuinely can’t put into words the emotions I felt watching Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel. They sure weren’t perfect but I was actually seeing women superheroes! In big budget films! Fighting bad guys with their ridiculous powers! (Even watching the all-woman ghostbusters I felt awesome). I know it’s cliché but I always leave movies like that with the thought ‘is this what (cis, abled, straight, white) dudes feel like all the time?’ because I do genuinely come out of those movies feeling empowered. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When I learned about the fat superhero Faith I lived above a comic book store, so I literally walked down the stairs and bought an issue immediately. I had never bought a comic before in my entire life, but I HAD to read about this badass woman superhero who was FAT. That was all it took to get me into a comic store.

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Day 13 – Blood 

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👯‍♀️ #DearJune Day 13: Blood 👯‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I miss my sister. Growing up together was never without drama. There was a fair share of screaming and door slamming. There were lots of ‘borrowed’ clothes and books. Sometimes a good dose of quiet time was needed. We might not always have been best friends growing up, but we have always had each other’s backs when it mattered. The older we got the more important I knew she is to me. There is no one in this world that I trust more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When you’re the little sister, you always think your older sister is the coolest, and you can’t wait to be like her. This hasn’t changed for me from age 3 to 23. My older sister is still the coolest. I’m so proud of her and amazed at everything she does. I hope I grow up to be more like her.

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Day 14 – Learning

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📝 #DearJune Day 14: Learning 📝 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I love to learn. According to a ‘Via Institute on Character’ test my love of learning is my greatest strength. However, while I love it, I definitely struggle with it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I did not always find learning difficult, it came very easily to me as a child. At primary school I was exceptional at maths in particular, but never struggled with other subjects. In my first year of high school I became embarrassed by being good at maths. By my fourth year I missed it. I couldn’t process science and maths the way I had been able to before. It was incredibly frustrating. University was a whole different ball game. I worked my ass off for my degree, and I didn’t do badly, but I couldn’t believe how hard I found it all even when I put hours and hours and hours into something. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ While I often didn’t enjoy ‘education’ I still love learning. When I discover amazing facts online, or in museums, or passing conversation, I light up inside. Not only do I enjoy it more, but I actually remember it! I don’t have to pore over books and test myself for hours and hours to drill it in. Something that strikes me is how less than a year ago I could name maybe 10 British birds (don’t tell the people that hired me). Through my job I now know more about Scotland’s wildlife than I could ever do anything with. Someone suggested to me I write a book about birds the other day, like, in a genuine way. I never sat down and forced myself to learn about birds, I’ve just read, and written, and shared such a volume of content at this point that if I didn’t know these things it would be incredibly strange. But the best part is I’ve enjoyed (almost) all of it. Maybe it’s because I’m getting paid instead of paying, maybe it’s because of the variety of ways I’m exposed to information, maybe it’s because the people I learn from are so passionate that they’ve dedicated their entire lives to the subject. It’s just so different to just listening, taking notes, and regurgitating information, and now that I’m learning outside of school, I’m learning to love it again.

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Day 15 – Home 

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🏠 #DearJune Day 15: Home 🏠 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Everyone wants to go to New Zealand. A lot of people joke about relocating there entirely as if it’s some kind of utopia of equality and happiness. On the other hand, most Kiwis I know want to go everywhere else. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When you grow up in one corner of the world in a country missing from a surprising number of maps, you get a little restless. New Zealand is over 1500km from top to bottom with some of the most dramatic landscapes, beautiful beaches, and drinkable coffee in the world. It’s hard to imagine wanting to leave unless you’re one of the ones who grew up there and discovered that’s exactly what you want to do. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I don’t want to be away from home forever, in fact I miss it very much. I would like to be a part of the change happening at home, while other places seem to be going in the opposite direction*. Home is an amazing place and I am lucky to have ties there. However, just for now, I want to be close to the world, and New Zealand can’t offer me that.

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Day 16 – Icons

I was struggling with the theme of ‘icons’ a lot because I don’t have any specific icons of my own I look up to, and I couldn’t think of anything clever to say about computer icons. I googled icons and read the sentence ‘Pop icons of previous eras include Benjamin Franklin and Mozart’. This seemed kind of wild to me both because those two people are surely still iconic in some way today, and also because the term ‘pop icon’ just doesn’t seem a comfortable fit for them.
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I’ve realised I associate the phrase ‘iconic’ quite strongly with the queer community. Interestingly, there are many, many people with ‘queer icon’ status who aren’t queer. We end up in this weird position of wanting so desperately for both characters and actual real people to come out as queer because they fit this queer icon image. I hope in the near future there will just be more queer queer icons. They are definitely out there. I’m glad there are already some amazing queer icons to look up to, I’m just always starved for more.
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It really struck me at the Spice Girls how many of the attendees were visibly queer. I feel like the Spice Girls are such a weird image of 90s feminism and even though they were going full out with the inclusive messaging, I felt like I could see the split in the audience where there were super straight people and super gay people. Are the spice girls queer icons? Discuss.

dear june icons allie grace

Day 17 – Balloons

This is the first dear June I have failed to source my own picture for, but all I could think of for this prompt was the balloon photograph in the film Funny Face and I am far too sleepy today to think much beyond that.
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The part of the movie where they go out and take all the different photos was one of my absolute favourites, even though the song in that bit is one of the least fun (Give me Think Pink and Clap Yo’ Hands please). Someone please give me pretty dresses and a bunch of balloons and let me run around Paris.
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Also, take more candid photos of me you cowards.

Audrey Hepburn dressed in black dress holding a large number of balloons of different colours with some classic cars in the background

Day 18 – Post-its

You’re really challenging my need to sound pretentious and poetic with this prompt. I don’t really use post-its myself, I like the idea of them but actually they are of very little use and they are never sticky enough.
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The only real uses I can think of for post-its are for sticking the phone number for IT services to your work desktop, and then I suppose I see lots of people put post-its on top of stacks of paper about a thing to remind them what to do with that particular stack of paper.
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I’m not sure that I have ever regularly used post-its, but nowadays they seem particularly outdated. Do you think post-its could become obsolete?

two yellow post it notes stuck to a window. One has the word 'post' on it while the other has the word 'its; with a sketch of a pad of post its

Day 19 – Wishing

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⭐️ #DearJune Day 19: Wishing 🌟 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ For a grown adult I do follow wishing superstition fairly closely. Whether it’s throwing a coin in a fountain, blowing out candles, or saving a ‘fairy’ I tend to steal a quick moment to make a wish. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ These wishes have varied wildly throughout my life from wanting to be rich to wanting to have a British shorthair called Cake (both of these still stand). I went through a period in my teens where I made particularly serious wishes about wanting to be happy, or be able to control my emotions. While at that age I had well and truly accepted that losing an eyelash wouldn’t manifest anything, there was still some comfort in verbalising my hopes when prompted by these bizarre cues. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Nowadays I think I’ve mostly circled back to the more frivolous wishes, but there is still always a tiny part of me that thinks maybe, just maybe, it might happen.

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Day 20 – Skin

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🌌 #DearJune Day 20: Skin 🌌 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ When I was younger I thought it was important for tattoos to be meaningful, because they might be on your skin forever. I made sure I could defend my tattoos if scrutinised. I was more worried about how to respond to what other people thought than about what was important to me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I regularly forget my tattoos are there now. It’s been more than 4 years since I got a new one (largely thanks to budget constraints) and they’ve become a part of my skin. People have stopped asking what they mean too, which is refreshing. I mean, honestly guys, ‘Battle Born’ isn’t that deep. I don’t give a damn if you can’t read the font – I can’t read it either with my right boob well and truly in the way. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The stars on my wrist are a little more mystifying to people. No, it’s not the southern cross. No, it’s not ~quite~ the Taurus constellation, though I did model it off that in case I got any questions. Honestly, I got this tattoo because I was sad and angry about something that had happened. I wanted to do something that would put me right and make me feel badass again. The tattoo does have meaning, it has deeply personal meaning and has been an important reminder to me many times in the past years. But that meaning is just for me.

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