The other week I read a blog post that made me feel something. Not that I don’t still love reading blogs, I do, but it is becoming seemingly rarer and rarer for blogs to effectively convey personality in the same way that a vlog or even a Twitter account can. The post in question was written by Chloe, and is entitled ‘This is Who I Want to be on the Internet’. I’ve followed Chloe on Instagram for a while (it’s @chloeplumstead, by the way) but this particular post made me feel like I knew her, it endeared me to her endlessly, and it also made me realise that I have never done anything like it.
My blog has been active for more than six years and so I am put in a strange position whereby many of you have, for some reason or other, been following my life since I was seventeen, but some of you are very new. It is difficult to gauge my ~audience~’s perception of me when you have all entered my life at different times, via different platforms, and paying varying degrees of attention. I have an ‘about’ page, where you can learn where I went to uni and what brands I have worked with, and I occasionally I write about personal things, but my life story, as it were, remains largely untold.
So here we go. I’m Hannah.
I’m 24 years old but I look much younger, and I’m from a small town in Lancashire. The last time I went back there I bumped into someone I knew in a pub and they said ‘I thought you’d escaped!’ My school life was fairly unremarkable; I had sleepovers with friends where we just stayed up watching Kerrang! and Scuzz for hours, I spent my weekends hanging out with the other moshers in town and drinking bad cider at house parties, I whiled away summers on the skatepark without actually ever setting foot on a skateboard, and started going to hardcore and punk shows at 15 or 16, which would form the basis of many of my closest friendships.
I was always pretty academic and went straight out of 6th form to the University of Manchester at 18, and graduated three years later with a first class law degree and no real intentions of ever becoming a lawyer. I spent a lot of my ‘youth’ in relationships: one for a year and a half from aged 15 (he cheated on me repeatedly), one for four and a half years from aged 17 (he was great but we grew apart), and then found myself in a severely emotionally abusive relationship (which I wrote about a bit here) from around the time I moved to London in September 2015 to be a Full Time Blogger.
London was a stressful and ultimately very lonely place for me at first. I had a few friends here but my relationship was all consuming and left me with no energy or desire to try to make new ones – I wrote a bit about that here too. Things began looking up after the end of that relationship in summer 2016: I took every opportunity that came my way, I travelled a lot, and I had time and the strength to actually develop the friendships I had in London, as well as meet new people. I spent some valuable time single, and since March of this year I have been in a happy, caring relationship with a man who I love. It all worked out ok in the end.
I have struggled and continue to struggle with my mental health, largely as a result of the abusive relationship which has been very difficult but something I’m slowly getting a handle on. I try to write about it sometimes. I often feel guilty about the fact that I get to be a full time blogger; my boyfriend and most of my friends are writers of one form or another and I view them to be endlessly more talented than I am, but the more commercial element to what I do and the sorry state of a lot of UK publications means that I am often paid much better. I get wrapped up in impostor syndrome, I often worry about my quality and relevance both within and outside of blogging, and Instagram is just a bloody nightmare. But, I very much enjoy what I do and have just recently started to feel proud of what I ‘create’. Sometimes people tell me that I am their favourite blogger or even the only blogger they read or follow and I find it very hard to get my head around the fact that I could be anyone’s favourite anything, so that means the world.
I’ve never really felt passionate about fashion in the traditional sense, but I have always loved clothes and ‘style’. I bought Vogue once or twice in an attempt to like fashion in the way that everyone else seemed to and thought it was full of overpriced shite and uppity columns (still true), which is perhaps why I fell into sites like Tumblr, Lookbook and ultimately this blog in the first place. Now I have learnt to appreciate a wider range of fashion publications, but most of my inspiration comes from music and the internet or social media, as it has since I was 12.
I’m vegan and I should probably post more helpful things about that. I don’t much care for salad but really love fake meat and fake cheese. I joined a gym for the first time in my life a few weeks ago, we’ll see how that goes. I still spend half my time and money on music, live shows in particular, sometimes I post about that on Instagram (although nobody seems to care much) and occasionally I make Spotify playlists. When I was a lot younger I played the violin and flute quite well, but then I found out about drinking and emo and now I’m just really good at Guitar Hero. I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to do that quite a lot in the last few years, but I’m a bit rubbish at blogging about any of those travels. I’ll try to be better. I read way less than I should, but I love watching telly. I can’t sing and I can’t dance but I’ll still have a go at karaoke. I REALLY LOVE BEER and spend altogether too much time in the pub, and I tweet a lot about literally everything and probably swear too much, sorry.
I’m Hannah, I’m not really sure who I want to be on the internet, but I hope you’ll stick around anyway <3