Soft lips and John Smiths…

Soft lips and John Smiths…

I often wonder what sort of a life a person or human ‘think’ they deserve. What they feel they deserve….or what their life even is and if it’s enough to fulfil their own ‘want’ or ‘need.’

It was today when going on a rather long and brisk walk around my new ‘back garden’ that I realised just what my life is as of now and what I thought I needed. What I maybe assumed I needed anyway and just how different the two were.

I stood there. I stood there and I took in the remarkable view. The colours, the sea, the sound of seagulls, the heat from my breath and sharpness of the wind and I breathed. It hit my chest hard but brought me back to the now of living in the moment. Seeing the world as it is and admiring just how beautiful and brilliant the world around me really was….is. There’s a part of me that feels a little amount of anxiety, the ‘am I actually allowed to feel this good?’ and the ‘is this view actually in front of my eyes?’ It comes to the front of my mind and I realise that I am. I try and separate the ’emotional mind’ from the ‘reasonable mind’ into that of the ‘wise.’ I try and allow myself to just ‘be’ and take it all  in. The main part of this process to begin to love myself and the world around me without doubt and fear.

It was a six hour trip (nearly) yesterday that took myself to this destination. The destination that Uzo the Merc Sprinter triumphed in! On arrival the overwhelming fear of ‘what the f**k is this place?’ and the ‘am I going to die?’ To the settled belief that actually what was in front of my eyes was real, that people did come to stay here and have their little holidays on the coast from time to time and that the amount of information given was actually true and real. That all of this was not actually some falsified vision and that sometimes to ‘land on your feet’ is just what happens!

It was then. At this point that the ‘settling’ began. The calm arrived. The hope began to appear slightly and the worry fade ever so gently. It was a conversation just the day before with my mother about fear for all things new that pushed me to not give into the anxiety around this journey. The constant ‘I will do this’ and ‘I won’t give in to what people think I’ll do.’ I guess a certain amount of stubbornness. As ever, illness has been an ever present part of my little journey so far. To not bring it with me in the van and so far away from home as part of my ‘safety blanket’ was and is ever so alien. Scary. I worry that I might get sick whilst away then realise it’s an irrational worry that might always be there somewhere once hitting remission. I then do the ‘get your shit together Soph, you’re fine and well and not poorly at all. Even the tonsillitis and infection is lifting and for that….be grateful!’ Nothing more than grateful. It’s so easy to forget these simple things…the ability to feel well. To be well. To take the simple and basic things in life for what they are. Just ‘life.’ To not fear them or worry and to grab them in our arms through to our souls, hearts and embrace them.

For this. For today I thank the world. I sit. I appreciate some more and I look forward to the little things. The homemade lip balm on my lips. The bitter John Smiths. The cooking that is about to come of foods that I would never have allowed into my body before. The simple. The little. The love. The hope. The wonder. The world that is actually my life and I remain excited about the unknown. The tomorrow that will be!



A letter of hope to the world….

A letter of hope to the world….

Dear world,

I wanted to write you a letter to speak openly of how I’m feeling about you and how this last year has seemed for the many of us. A letter of hope really to people out there who maybe feel like life isn’t worth living, to the masses who need everyday support – some days more than most, people who have had bad news – grief, loss, hurt and deep set damage; physically and mentally…people like myself who feel like they’ve been beaten from pillar to post from incredible amounts of trauma and unfortunate circumstance.

This year; 2016 has been incredibly difficult to say the least for the majority. One that has been full of death…loss for those extremely close to me and those that bit further, some particular strangers known by names. A year of extreme violence and political harm and hatred. A year of segregation and deprivation, anger and hurt. A mix of negativity and emotional struggle for many a human living on this planet.

I ask the question world – is this what we have to live with? Is this negativity what we’re supposed to focus on and keep dwelling on to carry on mentally tying so many people down? Are we not allowed hope? Positivity? Happiness? I am well aware that a lot of these circumstances are both in and out of our control as humans living on this earth. I’m equally aware that a lot of the time, we cannot really change other people’s lives either or the way in which society is conformed but what I do know is that every single person on this planet has the incredible ability to love.

I am one single human on this planet who has felt like you world have tested her. In fact more than the most. My year began by continuing to be incredibly ill with both cancer and anorexia combined, I then got raped before January was even over and then the year continued to present me with further struggles splitting what could have potentially been a great future relationship from no fault of any parties just confusion and mental trauma, authorities who didn’t look after me when they should have resulting in more trauma to then feeling like there was no way out and becoming mentally unwell, to more recently with further medical and legal struggles….tipping me over the edge once again not wanting to continue life at all. World, I am one single human on this planet who has had an absolute shit load to go through in the space of twelve months and yes, yes right now world I feel angry, bitter at you! I feel sorry for myself and utterly at my end but I am not willing to have you, this negativity or this upset pull other people to this point EVER.

This is where my letter World defers a little to those reading into our personal chat… This is where I address this part of my letter to the many on this planet who are struggling, continue to struggle and need that support and understanding. To those reading this, hello! You don’t need to know my name if you’re reading this without knowing who I am but what I do ask is that you please read and listen to what I have got to say. For those who don’t know my story, what I’ve been through and what my life has entailed, I’d like to think they’d know no different. This year, when focusing on all of the negatives seem like it has been the worst for sure, as I’m sure may be the same for the many of you! But I ask you now to please, read and listen.

Firstly, I’d like to reassure you that things WILL get better. No matter how terribly horrible they seem right now, whether I make it through this next week, weeks, year or few years, I can promise you that they will because they simply have to. I also ask that you trust me when I tell you that nobody can change that, nobody but YOU! I share my negative year with the fact that I can equally counteract it with my positives. My year has been awfully horrendous yes but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had some amazing things happen as well. I have indeed had some incredible acting jobs and begun to work again, I have travelled to see one of my closest over in Hong Kong, I got approached to publish my book, I have helped hundreds of young people and performed to even more. I have made new friends, gained trust and friendships with some stunning people and met even more amazing humans from the traumas whilst by some miracle raising the £4,000 for me to be able to look into and begin the process of freezing my eggs to one day have a family. I also realise that no matter how bad things are, no matter how bad they seem or how ‘on your own’ you feel….you are NEVER EVER alone!

It would be so easy, in fact it is so easy to forget these positives when you’re at your lowest point I get that believe me. When time and time again this ‘world’ kicks you mentally and physically in the face. When you loose the people closest and things that mean everything to you but may I ask you something? Can you for just one second stop and look around at the beauty. Look at the smallest thing….that weird mark on the wall that if you look close enough is a shape of something you recognise, the fact that the feather, dust or bit of a dandelion is falling slowly, possibly in time to the song in your head. The wind, rain or sun on your face. The feeling of warmth falling down your cheeks from your eyes. Yes – even in tears there is beauty! The beauty that you’re able to feel, the fact that you can cry if you need to and that there is always someone willing to grab you, hold you and tell you that everything will be okay. The capability to speak and communicate in some way – whether that be speaking, blinking, looking, the vibration of a shake, the silent swallow or glazed glimpse in the ever so tired eye. Someone, somewhere and in some way WILL understand. I promise.

So world, I’m talking to you now and asking for us both. Can we please begin by injecting more beauty and love into the world? More kindness to each other? More consideration and understanding in that we all make mistakes, we all hurt people when we don’t mean to, we all aren’t perfect but can try to make you, us all, each other a little bit better? A little bit nicer? A little bit more tolerable for the many? It’s fact World, that all us humans living on you have negatives and positives to live through…good and bad but can I ask you….can you please help to make these; no matter how hard, just that little bit more beautiful?


Movement, laughter and lots of writing…

Movement, laughter and lots of writing…

The visionary complication of life hitting you in the stomach or mind at some of the most unexpected of times is less than ideal. It’s whilst speaking about my writing to strangers that it becomes comfortably apparent of just how much easier speaking of yourself; your tale is when there’s an immediate purpose that isn’t just about the actual illness or process of what you’ve been through.

It was sitting at the wheel of my driving instructor’s car in my driving lesson that I began to realise as the words were flowing from my mouth, just how much had changed in the single year. The amount of dramatic turns, happiness and unpredictability that had occurred in only 365 days of living. People joke about the fact that they would like themselves featured in a chapter of my book which is often rather amusing as a lot of my writing, my unprecedented chapters filled with stories and adventurous tales actually, inadvertently are! It was whilst sat in this vehicle that I felt a single pang of excitement for what was upcoming this week. I was actually going to be living without even initially realising it…as an sctor with an ‘actor’s life!’ I, Little Miss 26 year old Northerner Fighter Chops pixieface am going to be living the dream over this next week doing what I have worked so damn hard to do – ACT! Write! Perform! Travel! I have been, am and will be living my life as an actor! Hurrah! *joyful clapping occurs*

It is with this single smile that plasters itself across my face that I have to bring myself back down to earth a little bit. I remember that I am actually in fact sat on the little broken chair at the side of my very good friend’s stall which admittedly sells rather ridiculously garish, five-pound England, London or anything generally UK-based gifts. It is observing these stalls that I also take note of the verbalised wails of said ‘buskers’ below, these fellow performers – good ole’ ‘Barry’ le’ resident opera singer, The beauty of ‘Emma’ who sings much more stunningly and the odd violinest….all, like myself selling their soul and doing what they work so hard for to earn any form of income and not conform to the mundane corporate world we are unintentionally forced to be in.

It’s personally one of the most fascinating things sat in the hustle and bustle getting my thoughts out to paper as they wheel around in my head. In fact, I’d rather like to add that it makes me take in this atmospheric ‘hustle and bustle’ all the more intently. As seven o’clock draws nearer, the people turn from families and children into young couples, lovers and foreign tourists who are spell-bound by such an interesting and dynamic exterior of quirky shops, performers, unique people and beautiful sounds. I remember my mother and father bringing me to Covent Garden as a little girl and then similarly doing a mirrored trip with school, knowing that it would be a dream to live in such a crazy and exciting life. The raised roofs filled with decor at christmas time and the obscure toy shops that seemed so very different from the standard Peacocks and B-wise back in my little Northern town. The difference in culture – HUGE! The amount of people – enormously more large and yet so ridiculously fascinating. At eight, then again at fourteen or so hobbling around or being pushed in my wheelchair, I would never have expected to have ever had this dream come true. Be living in a place of dreams, in such a massive city, away from the closed nature of my birthplace, following my craft and doing what I loved and still very  much love!

I would like to make the small point that at this stage….this single, poignant moment my little assed life, I am in fact-finding the spontaneity of not knowing what might go on in my life rather wonderful. The fact that tomorrow, I shall be shooting my book cover with the incredible Tommy Reynolds (Check out his stuff – it’s pretty darn epic!, the day after I prep for a recall and the finals of Leicester’s Monologue Slam, the next two days travel back and pack up, audition and later….in just under a week, I shall be finding myself in Hong Kong not knowing what the heck may happen! The bad ass ‘unknown.’ The fear. Excitement attached to the fear. The worry from the masses huslting and bustling around me who also hold these same emotions to the unplanned part of life. The adrenaline of not knowing who, what or where their life, my life may lead!

Bring it on I say!

S x