So many people are shut up tight inside themselves like boxes, yet they would open up, unfolding quite wonderfully, if only you were interested in them.
— Sylvia Plath
Unfold the Day, Manchester, UK
Unfold The Day, Milan

I was the kind of child who introduced self in a sentence, with a ‘hello, my name is’, rounding off with age, and address. Full postcode. A child who was fascinated by others, by making friends, by escaping into stories of children who rode bicycles, climbed trees, and colonised the moon. A child that became a teenager who wore headgear and read about girls who babysat, and become models aged 15 - girls who had names like Charisma, and Dawn, and walked the sidewalks of neighbourhoods that looked like those in The Wonder Years, lined with clapboard houses fronted by tiny, well-manicured lawns.

I was the kind of teenager who didn’t quite fit, of confused mind and loud character that a wearing of sheep’s clothing couldn’t shroud, all overbite and wrong eyebrows. An away-from-the-everyday ballerina who danced stages and hoped big. A teenager turned young adult, hopes dashed by clicky hips, who worked one job, then another, finding feet with a family for whom she helped raise, met man and travelled 17 countries across multiple continents with heat rash and crime books for in-addition company.

I was the kind of young woman who returned to education aged 23, made home beside man in Nottingham and instead of reading words began writing them. A woman who made friends with teenagers’ just starting adult life, introducing self with age and ‘I’m from’ once more, who wore crop tops on nights out, and the mark of regret-this by day, head in self-made clouds. The kind who said goodbye with a thirst for else and moved north with man to Sheffield, wrote some more, and moaned a fair bit, made memories via laughter. Friends for life via the same.

I am the kind of woman who moved again, to Manchester, with true crime’d words plugged into ears instead of sat before eyes, heart open to friendship making, whose picket-fences of dreams have been replaced by the red brick and street art of reality. A woman who drips words into space where community is king, has swapped uni-learnings for own ones, and continues to march with an ever-so-slightly confused mind as companion.

I am this woman now, aged 31, still prone to full introduction, ever climbing trees (because I can’t ride a bicycle, nor am I going to go all ‘Passengers’ on you) in my imagination.