Sunday, 7 January 2018

Hi, I'm Katy.

When you frequently delve into the vast world of blogging, it's not uncommon to every so often stumble upon a post that profoundly resonates with you, makes you feel something and truly makes the cogs in your brain start to turn. A number of months ago, I happened upon a post entitled, 'Hello! I'm Chloe & This is Who I Want to be on the Internet' written by the ever so delightful Chloe; and it did just that. In her post, Chloe conveys endearing personality, almost unlike anything else I've seen in the blogosphere as of late. She touches on the subject of who she is as a person, behind the blog, and poses the strikingly important question of how she might actually be perceived by her readership online.

Since reading Chloe's post, the subject of how we, as bloggers, can be perceived online, versus how we actually want to be perceived, is something that has been at the very forefront of my mind every time I sit down to metaphorically spew my thoughts out into a coherent post for this blog. It often has me wondering how my intentions as a blogger come across and whether or not my personality can truly be perceived through ramblings about my infatuation with a jacket. There's no doubt that it is something I have become increasingly more conscious of and, as it is something I love to see on other blogs, I have since been working hard to inject as much of my personality into my writing as I possibly can.

Though, that said, with it being a new year and all, I thought now would be an ideal opportunity to welcome it in with a sort of 'get to know me', as it were, largely inspired by the ideas put forth by Chloe in her post. Whether you've been reading my content from the beginning or just so happened to stumble upon my blog for the very first time through this post; I want to let you know who I am and what my intentions as a blogger are. But first, let's start with the basics...

Hi, I'm Katy.

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I'm 23-going-on-24 years old and from a small town in Northern Ireland. My mother raised me as a single parent and did a bloody good job at it, if I do say so myself. We lived in a nice house out in the countryside; which would now frighten me to no end if I were to go back and stay there alone. My childhood was fairly unremarkable; I had sleepovers aplenty with my best friend, often staying up well into the early hours of the morning chatting endlessly about our latest crushes and listening to our favourite bands on Kerrang! TV; Fall Out Boy and Paramore to name but a few.

School was, well... it was school. Again, for the most part, it was fairly unremarkable. I'd say I was academic, but school was never something I enjoyed. In fact, as I approached my teens, I started to truly detest it. I was a painfully shy teen, introverted, often preferring my own company with the exception of weekends spent with my best friends. It made school difficult, to say the very least. I often found myself surrounded by wildly confident individuals to which I struggled to relate; and, in combination with other factors, it took a toll on my mental health as I approached the ages of 15 and 16. Those years saw me struggle greatly with depression and I remember it vividly. I remember not having the strength, or the will, to get out of bed in the morning and go to school with my peers. I didn't understand what was wrong with me. My magnificent and strong mother tried her utmost to understand, staying by my side and grasping my hand as I stared at the ceiling of my bedroom, crying into the night for reasons my mind just couldn't grasp at that age.

Thankfully, things eventually got better through tremendous support from my loved ones. Back then I also found a lot of solace in writing, both on and offline, about what I was going through and how I was feeling. It was like a therapy. As well, I often reached out to online friends who were going through similar things. Fast forward to the present day and, although I do still suffer from bouts of depression, my mental health is, for the most part, doing much, much better.

When I was 18 years old I stepped far out of my comfort zone by hopping across to England to study law at university. University was an experience, and one that I will likely never forget. I met some wonderful people (and some not so wonderful), drank many a cheap cocktail out of a saucepan (yes, you read that correctly) and experienced things I may never have had the chance to experience had I not taken the risk. That said, I quickly realised that the university life wasn't for me and no freakin' way did I want to continue pursuing a career in law; and so, I dropped out after eight short months. Although I thought, and was routinely told, that I would live to regret my decision; there is, thankfully, no part of me that does. I then worked in customer service until I landed my current full-time digital marketing role.

These days, I live in Belfast with my boyfriend Adam, who I've been in a relationship with for five whole years this coming May. He's a wildly talented individual, though he would never say that himself. Like the true saint he is, he helps me with my photography for this blog, and he has a passion for art and music. He's the light of my life, and although we bicker about the stupidest things (especially when we're both hungry), we love each other unconditionally.

I'd say I'm currently the most confident I've ever felt in my life. Not to say that I don't have my insecurities, because boy oh boy, I have plenty of those. I'm more-so referring how I hold myself and my outgoingness, which wasn't really something I had when I was younger. I'm passionate and opinionated; my mother often tells me that I'm great in a debate, and I'll take that. I'm a completely obsessive person; when I love something, I just can't help but to love it with all of my heart - and I can be very vocal about it. I have a huge love for music; it plays an enormous part in my daily life and influences me in so many ways, from my creativity, to my style and beyond. I love to travel and when I do, it's usually to see one of my favourite bands in another country. I have no doubts that I will be going to gigs even when I am withered and grey. I can be an extremely unpredictably moody person, and I'm partial to the occasional whinge.

And so there you have it: me, in a nutshell. But, beyond who I am as a person behind this blog, what is the purpose of me writing and sharing and exploring my thoughts and opinions online? At the end of the day, what are my intentions?

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Honestly, my intentions are simple. On this space, I want to talk freely, personally and openly about the subjects that matter most to me and young women like me. That could be my new favourite sweater, or it could be the innermost thoughts pulled from my brain about how growing up scares the absolute hell out of me. I want to create a space where one might find solace and a brief escape from the realities of daily life, just as I did when growing up online. I want to build a platform where personal style is realistic and accessible and doesn't always have to fit into a structure or norm.

So, that's about where I'm at on my little corner of the internet. I'm Katy Belle, your Billie Joe Armstrong obsessed friend who doesn't always have everything figured out, who loves nothing more than writing and experimenting with her personal style and who is partial to watching Vine compilations at 2am. I really do hope you'll stick around.

Katy Belle.
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