Summer 2007. I am 21. I am waiting to start an MA in Creative Writing, which I still can’t believe I got on to.
In the meantime, I have gone to the Edinburgh festival to work as a venue tech. Mum said I should get out of the house – I was just moping about in Beverley. She was right. I love it here – the buzz and the sense that anything can happen, and I can help.
My boyfriend just got his first job, and we’re doing long distance – between Coventry, where I live in term time, and his place near Oxford.
I’m just about to move in with very good friends. I have lots of great people in my life, though I don’t see them all as often as I’d like. I love them.
Everything is spread out in front of me. I’m terrified I’m going to fuck it up.
Summer 2016. I am 30. I have just finished my first novel and I think I might be able to actually sell it. I work part time and write with the rest.
For the first year since I turned 19, I have not been to the Edinburgh festival this year – I was saving up my money and leave for my honeymoon. But I’ve already written next year’s show. I love being on stage, even though it scares me.
I’ve been married 6 months. We still live in Oxford. It turns out, I love it here.
All those friends from the house share came to my hen do. I have lots of great people in my life, though I don’t see them all as often as I’d like. I love them.
I have carved out a good life for myself; a place in the world. I’m terrified I’m going to fuck it up.
The weight thing is a very small part of the story. But for the record –
I honestly don’t know how much I weigh in the first picture, because I never got on scales back then. Maybe 17 stone? I did Atkins earlier in the year, and the feeling of glee I got from the weight falling off me was so strong it frightened me. I gave it up after I finished my finals and felt a bit more in control. I eat the same foods, again and again, because they feel safe. Pasta and pesto on a good day, cheese toasties on a day I feel like I need a bit of extra help. I drink all the time and think nothing of it because I’m a student. This is probably my biggest ever.
In the second picture I weigh 12 stone 12 pounds, and I know this because I get on the scales every Monday night, and then talk about what I’ve eaten, how I feel. I am still a stone away from having a “healthy BMI”. I think about my weight and my food a lot, but I don’t worry about it any more. I look directly at it. I am happy. I was then, as well.