My ‘And’

As I’m typing this post I’m heading to Narbonne, a lovely city in the south of France. Can we all take a moment and appreciate buses with free wifi? My morning was rather stressful, I had to take a train to Bordeaux and I arrived at Dax train station to find out it had been cancelled. Great.
 Luckily I was able to take another train but my plans to have breakfast in Bordeaux obviously had to get cancelled along with the train. At least my workout for the day is complete because yes, running towards the bus station with a large bag and a massive suitcase definitely counts. So now I’m sitting here, letting my thoughts flow while desperately trying to get ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ out of my head – oh well, the perks of working as an au pair. I bet you got it stuck in your head as well after reading this. Sorry guys. Anyway, whilst I was sitting on the train this morning praying it would arrive on time an idea for a post popped into my mind.

A few weeks ago I watched one of Niomi Smart’s videos that hasn’t left my mind since. She was collaborating with Gilette and the company had started a campaign that basically encouraged people to follow their passions and not to limit themselves to one thing. It was all about finding your And. Niomi’s And was cooking, it was a passion that has grown in her from a young age and she really got into it when attending university, trying many different recipes and experimenting with ingredients. Niomi maintains a plant-based diet and is publishing her own cookbook in September, which I am more than excited for. Definitely by favourite ‘YouTuber’ book so far!

Watching Niomi’s video made me think further about the concept and the depth of it. Finding your And is about uniqueness and about following your dreams and passions. It is about breaking free from the boundaries society has created or the boundaries we have created for ourselves. The concept reminds me of another campaign Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter took part in a while ago – it encouraged people, predominately women if I remember correctly, that we can be more than one thing, we can be many. We can all be a mother and a business woman with a passion for football, cats and writing. This is just an example but I think you get the idea, we all got many facades, many different interests and there really are no limits.  The And campaign follows a similar purpose, encouraging us to be proud of ourselves, to follow our passion and to live a life beyond uni, school or work. It is all about finding our And and pursuing it.

Inevitably Niomi’s video made me wonder about my own And. Or Ands. As a young girl this would have been a very simple question for me to answer. For many years horseback riding was everything to me, I’d spend all day at the stable taking care of ‘my’ pony and all most of my thoughts were centred around horses. When ‘my’ pony was sold, my view of the world changed. It was a difficult and heartbreaking time but there was nothing to be done so I had to go and find another passion and look behind the world of horseback riding. Back than I threw myself into books, especially those written in foreign languages. I was and still am passionate about many other things, though. I love fashion, baking, playing tennis, (making) music and list-making. And mental health is a topic that is very close to me heart. But if you’d ask me about my And I would answer that it’s my love for words. My passion for learning new languages, for reading and writing and for analysing literature. I honestly wouldn’t mind reading a dictionary, I’d probably enjoy it. I do have a second And thought that goes hand in hand with my first one – I am talking about my love for foreign cultures and for exploring foreign places. I would say travelling is my passion but then I’m not too sure about that because although I love being at foreign places, the act of travelling itself means stress to me. Maybe that would change if I stopped overpacking.

Defining my And was harder than I thought, mainly because I do not have one thing I’m extremely passionate about, I got many and I’m trying my best to combine them. Blogging about travelling and reading other people’s post is a great way to do that but there many alternatives. I actually think it’s best to combine both campaigns, to allow ourselves to be more than one thing and to truly live our Ands. They are what makes us special.

What are your Ands? 

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  • I remember watching that video too and I'm also really excited for the cookbook! It's actually really hard to think of ands, I feel like I have quite a few – definitely reading and fashion and fitness. Also I do now have the wheels on the bus stuck in my head haha!
    Amy xx
    Call Me Amy

  • Haha I'm really sorry about that. Her cookbook is going to be perfect, I can't wait for it to be released! These are great ANDS, mine would include these three as well. 😉 xx

  • That sounds like a really cool campaign. I don't know if I can narrow down my "and" either because I have so many! Blogging is definitely one of them 🙂

    Mili | Sharmtoaster

  • I love that idea, and how it's phrased! I haven't seen or heard of the video, but will definitely be checking it out now. I think some of my Ands would be drawing and photography (:

    Angelina Is | Bloglovin'

  • Oh I remember watching her video and it was great concept! It's great to have many "Ands" otherwise life would be too bland. Mine would be reading and also singing but I need to do more of it. x

    http://www.wildfirecharm.com

  • Defining your AND definitely sounds easier than it really is! And that's great! 🙂 xx

  • You should, it's amazing! That's great, I really admire people who can draw, I wish I had that talent! xx

  • That is very true! the ANDs are what makes life interesting! Wow that's amazing! xx

  • This is such an interesting concept, I've not seen the video or any of the campaign so I'm really looking forward to thinking about this 🙂 x

    Viva Epernay | Festival Tickets Giveaway!  

  • I remember watching Niomis video & loving the whole concept. I never believe just one 'and' is necessary, for should it be limited. It's what makes someone unique. I would say my 'and' has recently been blogging! & also being a complete animal lover. 🙂 So interesting to hear about yours & everyone elses through your comments!

    Katie | Words By Katie

  • This is so amazing, Mira! And for my AND. I'm not too sure what it is really since I think I have too many things what I truly enjoy. It could be traveling in general, it could also be hiking or cycling. I need to think about it harder to decided what is my true And 🙂 x

    -Leta | The Nerdy Me

  • Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it! And I agree, our ANDs are what makes us special. 😉 blogging is definitely my AND too and being an animal lover is amazing! 😉 xx

  • Thank you so much, Leta! I also struggled to find my 'And' and it took me a bit to figure it out. These are great Ands though! xx

  • Free wifi in the bus sounds great! Though I have been to south of France but never to this place, looking forward to ur experience!
    http://www.thestyletune.com

  • It is an amazing concept for sure! xx

  • Free wifi on buses is the invention! xx

  • We definitely share the same Ands. I love to travel and learn foreign languages. I've gotten better at packing and only bring a carry-on now. I've learned that there's no point in bringing so many cute dresses or heels if I'm planning on doing an entire day of walking and exploring hehe. Lovely post!

    Stacey | http://www.thebambieyes.com

  • That is amazing, travelling & languages are amongst the best things in this world. And you really need to come and teach me how to do that! xx

  • Once again Mira, this was a beautiful post. And once again, I feel like we are very similar on this front! I love the feel of words, the way they shape things into new dimensions. I love how words take on a different taste and flavor in the many different languages that use words to speak. And I love connecting those words-flavors- to other countries. I would very much say my 'And' is words. But I would also say my And is my beliefs, they are truly the element that pushes me forward and actually propels me to be myself.

    http://cynicalduchess.blogspot.com

  • and wait a minute—— is that the barnes and noble bookstore in LA??? I practically LIVE there! I sit on those comfy chairs on the second floor and do all my studying. Like, everyday. When were you in LA?

  • I think I remember watching that video. I love Niomi and the direction she's taking with her channel, so inspiring! I still remember her first video, seems like so long ago!

    Sally – DiagonSally

  • Me, too, she is definitely one of my favourite YouTubers! xx

  • Thank you so much! You worded that perfectly, better than I ever could! Connecting to those flavours is one of the best feelings in the world! My AND is definitely words & I love finding someone who shares this passion! And beliefs are incredible important, they are what keeps us going. And I can't believe you noticed that haha, it is indeed the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Los Angeles, I spent hours in there when I visited the city. I went to LA in November and I had such a good time. xx

  • Love this! I like your photos so much. 🙂

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  • please, if you come again let me know, I'd love to meet up with you!

  • Free wifi is a godsend. Always.
    Awww, I hate mornings like that :/ (and you were right, I immediately started humming the wheels on the bus :P).

    Love this post, Mira. I love the fact that our generation is so sure that we CAN multitask, we CAN have more than one and – it opens up our possibilities to a whole new level! Awww, your horse-riding story ♥ My and is probably language and cooking, and piano – and so many things that I want and need to start incorporating more of in my life 🙂

    Raashi
    reflectionswithraa.blogspot.com.au

  • Such a inspiring post Mira! I hate those mornings from hell where nothing goes how you planned 🙁 and thanks… I do indeed have that song in my head!! Ahhh! I too used to love horse riding as a child and while I didn't have my own horse, used to spend days up the local stables caring for one horse in particular I had taken a fancy to. The more I find out about you, the more I realise how much of an interesting person you are. I love to travel but don't always do it so love that you are following your dream. Maybe I'll have to try and think about my "and" a little more as at the moment I have no idea!!

    Love Hannah xx

    http://www.HannahHawes.com

  • Thank you! xx

  • Haha it is impossible not to get it stuck in your head! Me too, that is what I love about today's society! Wow that is amazing, I also play the piano. 🙂 And yes, there are so many things I want to incorporate into my life! xx

  • Thank you so much! Haha I am really sorry, I couldn't help myself. Me neither, but it pretty much felt like my own and I was the only one taking care of it. That's amazing! And thank you, that is one of the nicest things a person has ever said to me. It definitely helps to think about it. 😉 xx

  • I remember watching these videos and they inspired me deeply. Thus, I really enjoyed reading this post as I find it inspiring and motivational. I love reading and writing and blogging and watching tv and travelling and holidays and animals. I'm a good listener, I'm a friend, I'm family, I'm shy, I'm weird, I'm a hoarder. The list is actually endless and this has inspired me to write a post centred on my ands and what I am, I want to showcase there are no limits. I can be whoever I want to be and all that cliche stuff haha:)
    Becky Shannon xx – Life-by-Becky

  • Thank you very much! You got a lot of great ends and you're absolutely right, the list is endless – we are never just one thing, there really are no limits and we can also reinvent ourselves every single day. I'm really happy to hear that this has inspired you to write a post yourself, I can't wait to read it. xx

  • Absolutely wonderful!

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  • Thank you! xx

  • Thanks 🙂