What strategies do you use to overcome challenges?
I don’t think you purposefully sit down and come up with a strategy; they evolve, your personality evolves and your sense of grounding in who you are also evolves. Often when we take a step back we would see it [the problem/challenge] isn’t that important.
On the journey on recovering from conflict…
It is all about letting things go! I did something recently that was very brave. I had a 10-year issue with someone and I thought I knew in my heart what it was. So I took them out for lunch and I was right, we said sorry and we moved on – It was amazing!
On the journey to love…
My nose, yes! It is such a damaging thing for women to critique their physique. When I was young I honestly thought I would have a nose job by the time I was 22. I was fixated with the bump on my nose for too long, and at some point, I thought “you know what? Forget it!” and I am so glad I didn’t touch it. My makeup artist told me that your nose is the architect of your face, like scaffolding! So the journey is complete! I love my nose.
Award-winning journalist & co-host of the podcast ‘The High Low’
How important is it to mark achievements in one’s journey?
I think it is so important. The passage of time is something that I am quite gripped by. My mum has always said, “As you journey through life, things get really tough and things will blindside you in a way that the things you don’t worry about will hit you and tragedies do strike. It is even more important that when there is a moment of joy, to raise a glass and take stock!” The journey is the destination and every day there is something to experience and learn.
Where does your positivity come from?
I come to realise with age that I am very privileged. I haven’t had to battle with a huge amount of adversity throughout my very comfortable middle-class life. A lot of my positivity is accidental.
What is on your birthday milestone list?
This is again the ‘marking’ thing I do. I used to write a letter to my future self in a year. Every year I do try and write things I would like to achieve that year. As I have got older I have got kinder to myself, now I write things that will really affect me in some way such as get better at guitar, ringing my mum more etc.
What is the goal at the end of the year-long journey that these women go on (in the Women for Women Sisterhood program)?
Our aim is to help them rebuild their confidence and also give them access to very practical skills and resources and as a result of that, we see such incredible changes.
How do you personally engage and not turn away from the enormity of the problem?
I didn’t choose to be in a middle-class family, so I think “what am I going to do with this amazing privileged”. I believe you can choose today to tell one other person what is going on, to host a coffee morning etc., the key to me is this is your journey and our journeys are all connected. We all have the power. Guilt is not going to get you anywhere, so think about what you want to do and then do it.
On people saying she is a ‘passionate women’ with no gravitas?
It is honestly, recently that I have owned the fact that that I am passionate, and if you [people] can’t see that I also have a huge amount of gravitas and I am very serious about what I do, then that is really not my problem. I was coming up against barriers by just being passionate, so I have learnt this thing called ‘turning the volume up and down’. I have a choice, do I just want to be me and thus may not connect with certain people or do I want to turn my volume down and find a different way of expressing what I want to say.
Radio Presenter & co-founder of charity Help Refugees and the Kindly collective
On clothing and rule breaking…
I think the best way to look at clothes, is they are a lot of fun. When I was really young my mum used to say I wore very weird clothes, to the beach I would want to wear a ball gown, or to something smart I would wear a fancy dress outfit. I think that is nice, there shouldn’t be any rules. It should be what you want to wear in that moment. I have this rather strange pair of half leggings and half boot which have a 60’s vibe to them which transport you back to another time.
When my granny died, she was 103, she handed down this polka dot shirt to me. She is one of the most incredible and inspirational women, she escaped Russia as a refugee and totally turned her life around. It is quite nice, this idea of people handing down clothing from generation to generation.
On the journey of life…
I do think life is a journey and as you get older, you have to become comfortable with where you at, at every point as well and relish each time for what it is. Growing old doesn’t need to be tough. Life is an adventure and we need to try to make the most of it.