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?