Photography: Corinne Cumming | Words: Zoe London
I’ve been on the internet a really long time. You may not have seen my story. Let me reintroduce myself.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it’s coming up to eight years I’ve been blogging. I’ve changed a lot in that time, but of course I’m still me. Inspired by this post from Hannah earlier in the year, I thought I’d talk a little bit about my story, about me. I forget often that you don’t actually really know me, you see photos of me, snippets of me and vlogs, but you don’t know my backstory, my life. I often get comments where I’m like, well, I have done that, or I have been there. I’ll try and cover some ground today, seeing as it’s a new year and I think a lot of you are new around here.
l was born Zoe Louise in May of 1989 in Huntingdonshire, England. Well, my passport says Huntington but where we lived – St Neots – is actually sandwiched between Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire. I grew up a pretty happy kid in St Neots, with one of my biggest passions being dancing. I went to after school dance, won medals and awards, and went on to do it at secondary school too. My other big passion was music, and I played the piano and saxophone. I tried to learn guitar when I got older, my parents bought me a Daisy Rock guitar but I wasn’t ever really all that good at it. I played guitar once, in the end of year school show, in an all girl band aged about 15. We played Nirvana’s Come As You Are. My rock and roll career started and ended more or less that same day.
I had a lot of friends because I gave everyone the time of day. I don’t really stay in touch with many of them now, but I know the reason why I socialised myself was because back then and still now – I love talking to people. I’d talk to anyone, with no judgement or prejudice, and still now it is something I do all the time. I want to talk to the postman, the girl behind the counter at Starbucks, the person sat next to me on the tube. I’m a talker, and I always have been. They say your role in the nativity defined who you are growing up, and I was the main narrator. Take of that what you will.
I started dying my hair when I was at secondary school, I think aged about 13 or 14. I had bright red stripes dyed into my brunette hair, and my mum didn’t mind at all. Actually, my mum took me to the salon. My parents have always been supportive of me dying my hair however I wanted to, and actively encouraged it with both me and my sister. We subsequently always felt a bit happier in our own skin, as much as we could. I always wanted to dress different, from about age 12 I was in band t shirts and couldn’t wait to buy a new eyeliner and draw on my eyes like Billie Joe Armstrong. Green Day were my favourite band, having graduated out of The Clash and The Jam thanks to my dad, I found out about Green Day and loved what I heard.
Of course my music, fashion and hair taste developed as I got older and my strong minded confident self marched off to London aged 19 to live and go to University. I actually absolutely hated Uni, and feel like it was a massive waste of my time and money. I originally wanted to do photography, to be a photographer, and after studying photography at college I figured it would be the perfect fit for me at Uni. I’m convinced the only reason I hated it was because I chose the wrong Uni, and had I not gone to London I may have chosen a different path. It was however, while I was at Uni in 2010 that I started my original blog ‘The London Lipgloss’ and well, we know where that went.
Prior to going full time with my blog I did work in several different office jobs. I don’t miss them but I do miss the companionship. I’ve always struggled with crippling serious insomnia, not just the throw about type people get once in a while where they’re still awake at 1am, no, the kind where I’d be wide awake all night until 7am and then get up at 7.30am for work. I physically threw up, I was really skinny and my emotional and mental state took a horrible beating. I’d lived with this my whole life since I was a kid and just figured that was my path, just something I’d have to battle every day. I cried over it a lot. Putting into words what insomnia did to me is really hard, but one day I’ll try. 2017 was the first year in my life I remember being able to sleep at night, to have a proper routine. I owe all that to George. You might go back and look at old photos of me on here after this post. I think you’ll think my face looks healthier now. Insomnia absolutely destroyed me and I’ve changed for the better.
I’m a serial daydreamer, my head is always in the clouds thinking of ideas, of stories and of creative expressionism far above my station. I often get frustrated I don’t have the funds or means to create my ideas and bring them to life. My family were not well off, but not poor. My parents struggled a bit bringing me up as a little baby money wise and often had only a few quid to feed the entire family on when I was small. Subsequently I now eat more or less anything, but I have some issues with my digestive system meaning not all food agrees with me. I have to choose quite carefully what I eat now. My mum calls me a ‘sickly baby’ and almost anything can make me unwell. I was born with both my eyes facing inward (cross eyed, yup, mu baby photos are hilarious) and I’ve had several operations to fix them. As a result I’m now quite blind – I’m -5 in both eyes – and rely on contact lenses/glasses to function.
My favourite colours are yellow, blue and purple. My favourite band of all time is The Clash, and my second favourite is Alexisonfire. I watch anything (and everything) with James Franco in. I sleep on the right hand side of the bed. I hate wearing socks when I don’t need to and they are the first thing I take off when I get in the house. My favourite film is Forgetting Sarah Marshall, although I’d love it more if it had James Franco in it. I’ve lived in something like seven different rentals all over London from Croydon to Kingston, Islington to Wimbledon before buying our house now. I started DJing 6 years ago, in Camden. I haven’t been brunette/my natural hair colour since I was 13. I have no idea what colour my hair will be on my wedding day. I’m a bit scared to turn 30.
Most importantly, I’m so proud to do what I love for a living, and I’m so excited you joined me for the ride. It’s nice to get to know you. Hi, I’m Zoe, and this is my blog.