#13: Melissa

Name: Melissa

Occupation: I’m in the middle of changing jobs at the moment, so I’m currently a Business Writer/ Policy Analyst. By day. At night, I’m a blogger and a writer – and hopefully, I’ll find a way of merging the two at some point.

If we were to ask those around you, what role would they say you most often play in the lives of others?
That’s a tricky one. I’ve changed so much in the past year that I think it’s hard to pin down where I fit in! Sadly, I think I lived in my own little world for a very long time, and possibly created more concern than any other emotion. Now, people seem to relate to my blog and I get a lot of positive feedback about how helpful my openness is, and how reassuring it is to know that recovery is possible. I’ve also been trying lots of different things to explore the world a bit, and I think that this has amused (and hopefully encouraged) my friends to try new, and often random, things.

What is your unique place in your family?
I am close to both my siblings, and they’re really important people to me. I’m also close to my Granny: she’s 90 and lives alone, so I try and send her a letter each week,which helps her to feel in touch and lets her know everything that’s going on.

Hardest trial you faced, and ways it has made you stronger:
My hardest trial was certainly recovering from my eating disorder. I developed anorexia – and then bulimia – at an early age, and was ill for about 18 years. Recovery meant changing my whole life and facing all my fears, as well as accepting the damage that the illness had done. Having said this, I now appreciate every minute of life and don’t take anything for granted. I have also gained so much insight into myself that I’m sure will help me move forwards.

Your definition of beauty:
Beauty is completely impossible to pin down. I see it in the faces of each of my friends. In the sounds of words and music. In summer’s days where everything seems to sparkle... That sounds really sentimental! – but I honestly think beauty is so diverse that if I described one thing, it would only remind me of all the other things I was missing.

Accomplishment you're most pleased with:
I am amazed, on a daily basis, that I’m still here and I’m most proud of turning my life around and getting well. I’m also really proud of my blog. It has been a way of turning a negative experience into something positive and has led to loads of great opportunities and learning that I really didn’t expect.

Next feat you're tackling:
Breaking out of my comfort zone in terms of work, where I live and my next steps. Up until this point, it’s been about survival – now it’s about choice. This means I’m thinking about where I want my career to be, where I’d like to live - those kind of things! The practical feat is therefore getting confident, getting out there and working out what I want; the emotional feat is letting myself aim for the sky.

Dream job:
I have been thinking a lot about this recently. I love writing and think in words, but it’s the conversations and the connections that take place behind the writing that really excite me. I’m looking for something that brings the two together – and also uses social media (love it) and will change the world! Any ideas?

Favorite food: Sushi (new discovery), Strawberries and Rhubarb. But not together.

Three things that make you terribly happy: Books; interesting conversations; my family and friends.

Best advice you've ever received: Do the best with what you have, and try and take the positive from every experience, even if it’s hard to work out what that “positive” is. Also, to remember that I am only human.

Favorite quote: I adore Emily Dickinson so pretty much any line from any of her poems! (especially the “dwell in possibility one”) – and also, this quote from George Eliot: “It is never too late to become what you might have been.”

Favorite picture of yourself:

Book you're currently reading: Life Class by Pat Barker and I’m looking forward to The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver


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