When I decided to set myself some targets to achieve before my 34th birthday next year, I knew I wanted to make sure they were all positive in one way or another. Whether that be by way of broadening my horizons, having new experiences, learning something new, or by encouraging and nurturing the loves and friendships I am lucky enough to have in my life. And so, here we are: the first of my Blogger Spotlight posts. My intention is to have 12 of these – one each month – over the next year, telling you all about particular bloggers I love.
Today I’m starting the series with someone who deserves to be the very first on this list for no reason other than that she really is a pretty incredible human being. So make yourself comfortable and let me tell you all about Grace…
Grace is a freelance writer and social media whizz with an insatiable appetite for reading and, as such, writes a lot of books review on her blog, Almost Amazing Grace. She also documents her travels, life experiences, vegan food, photography, body positivity and everything in between.
Initially, it was Grace’s way with words that drew me in and I fangirled from a distance for a long time, wishing I could weave words of magic with the ease she does, and then through a series of events, our paths crossed and we became friends, and I soon realised I hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface of what Grace is about.
A free spirit with a curious mind, an open heart and a zest for adventure and experience, Grace has a personality that is infectious. We now find ourselves chatting via Whatsapp about everything and nothing, putting the world to rights and sharing our various experiences of our bodies being the quirky medical marvels they are, as we both boast a list of ailments and oddities that make us all the more grateful for, and appreciative of, the fleshy vessels we find ourselves wandering this planet with.
I won’t go into great detail here as it’s not my place to, but in recent years Grace has lived with and through serious illnesses (I’m consciously not using the term ‘battled’ because I know she hates it) and has come out of them with a reignited love of life. As I write this now she is currently at home recovering from reconstructive surgery to rebuild her head and get rid of her affectionately named ‘dent’, left behind from her brain surgeries. And she’s done it all with a grace (excuse the pun), humility and dignity that I could only ever hope to be capable of. She’s as delicate as a butterfly but with the strength of an ox and I find myself constantly surprised by her resilience.
But, aside from these instances – which could understandably be life defining and yet she doesn’t allow to be so – she is an intricately woven character of a person. A dedicated vegan, her love for the planet and all its animals is always forefront of her mind, closely followed by writing, charity work, seeking out strong black coffee and good whisky, reading (she hosts panels for authors quite often), decorating herself with tattoos and piercings, and spreading her body positivity message as she celebrates her own body in all its glory. A celebration of its ability to physically overcome, and mentally to become stronger and more fine-tuned to life with each day.
I’ve always been incredibly appreciative of Grace’s writing – there’s something about the way it flows. You can almost hear her voice speaking as your eyes sweep across the lines and you can feel the emotion of every single word – good or bad. She isn’t afraid to write about sensitive subjects, to share her deepest thoughts and feelings, or to write with whimsy about what the future may hold.
I think, above all, what I love most about Grace is that she sees the world the exact same way I do – she believes wholeheartedly that we are all miracles made of star dust and the mere fact we exist is such a rare piece of chance that we have to enjoy the time we have here, regardless of all the inevitable (and often meaningless) crap that comes with this thing called life.
I honestly can’t recommend enough that you both visit Grace’s blog and follow her on social media. She is such a breath of fresh air in a world that is often filled with negativity or materialism. It’s so important to be thankful simply for existing and I think that’s perhaps the biggest thing that Grace and I have in common. Life is there to be lived – and to be loved.
I’ve picked out 5 of my favourite blog posts of Grace’s which you can read via the links below, but I definitely recommend you settle down with a cuppa (or a black coffee, if Grace’s taste is more your kind of thing) and find some favourites of your own.
Almost Amazing Grace: What Not To Say
This post, written so beautifully, really spoke to me. I’ve briefly mentioned before that some people said some really strange things to me when I was going through my Cancer situation last year, and Grace touches on this same subject in this post.
Almost Amazing Grace: 38
Grace writes these posts on a regular basis and, honestly, I love them. It’s such a simple premise, but so unique at the same time. I always wish I could do my own version but I genuinely can’t think of enough facts about myself to write one post, let alone a whole series!
Almost Amazing Grace: Very Morbid Plans
I absolutely loved this post and have actually written my own version of it, yet to be published. Having a sibling who died means I’ve always been acutely aware of my mortality and so I’ve never been afraid to think about my funeral (although I am very much not ok with the idea of dying). I know what I want down to the last details and it makes sense to put that out there into the world; to make my wishes known. I also think it’s an incredibly brave and bold post to publish and kudos to Grace for being brave enough to do it – she’s inspired me!
Almost Amazing Grace: An Ending
A perfect example of the writing skills Grace has been blessed with. Recounting the ending of a relationship and the torrent of emotions that came in the immediate aftermath. Beautiful.
Almost Amazing Grace: Dating Myself
I’m always telling people that it’s important to treat yourself as kindly as you treat others, and Grace has the act of self-love absolutely nailed. Dating yourself is something I think more people could benefit from and I am wholeheartedly on board with it.
Keep doing what you do Grace, the world needs people like you.
PS A special mention to the Erin Veness, photographer extraordinaire who often works with Grace and creates these amazing photos!