H O M E .      A B O U T .      C O N T A C T .      T U M B L R .      T H E   B O O K   J O U R N A L .      sailorjennie [at] gmail [dot] com

Monday, 26 October 2015

Hello, it's me...

Let's get reacquainted, shall we? I think it's time.

So blogtober was a thing that happened... sort of. It was a thing I started but didn't finish. And for once I can say that it's not because I failed. Something didn't feel right. Pausing was a conscious decision. And I paused everything I possibly could in my life. Because this isn't just a blogging blip. I think I'm having a life blip.

The notion of being secure in the decisions one makes, having the bravery to commit to the things in life that make one truly happy, and the ability to hold on tightly to the belief that those things will lead to something fulfilling and comfortable, for me, still has a mythical aura surrounding it. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Nor is it something I am alone in feeling. But it is a little tricky to navigate. I feel like I'm playing a game of 'stuck in the mud'. There's no one around to come and unstick me but I haven't quite figured out how to unstick myself, which in the game is cheating, but in real life I think it's essential to learn.

With general life things up in the air, blogging has been too. All this stop start, back and forth over the last few years has really been because I was trying to fit into a space I didn't belong. Maybe I did once, and I loved it, but I don't anymore. There's no point forcing it, or wasting time wishing I could go back to being the person I was then, because I'm not that person anymore. And it's okay. It's time to discover the good things about being who I am right now. And although I'm not really sure how to start doing that, I'm going to give it a good bash.

Allowing oneself to be vulnerable is difficult. My instinct is to close off my emotions as much as possible around other people, until I can retreat to a safe place alone and let them loose. I had reached the point of feeling as though this space was a safe place, but I listened to outside voices that made me feel like all the things I was feeling were wrong, somehow invalid, and writing them here was the worst possible thing I could do. That I should stop and push them away as much as possible. But I think it's okay to be vulnerable, to be honest, and I've learnt that writing things down gives my mind a much needed rest.  

So I'm trying to reclaim this as one of my safe spaces. Thus first on the list of things to tackle was adverts. I'm not against adverts. Never have been. Never will be. Heck, I still have some. But reaching the point of adblocking my own blog was a bit of a low point for me. After a lot of emails back and forth, the full page adverts should (better bloody be!) finally be gone, once and for all.

Next on the agenda? Saying hello again..

Hello, I'm Jennie. Officially Jennifer, but that makes me feel like I'm in trouble. Not cool enough to pull off Jen.
Closer to thirty than twenty and completely okay with that.

I'm terribly short sighted; the kind that involves needing to pay extra to have my lenses thinned to stop the edges looking a little bit like the bottom of glass bottles. Unable to shake my preference for ridiculously oversized spectacles. According to my other half, the pair I'm wearing in the pictures above make me look like a '1970s Italian film director'. I took it as a compliment because, well, why wouldn't I?! Brilliant.

I'm an only child, right handed, and many would describe me as shy but I don't think that's quite the right fit. I am however certainly one of the most introverted introverts there can be. And that's sort of funny because I am endlessly intrigued by other people and their stories.

I'm not the easiest person to get to know because I always feel so silly talking about myself.
Although I do have this blog. Writing things down is infinitely easier than talking.

I have been a complicated person to know. And that's different from complex. We are all complex with our quirks and unique nuances. Complicated is difficult and I understand now that it's tricky to be friends with someone who sometimes drifts into a world of their own for weeks on end. But I'm striving to lead a simpler, more present existence and I hope, in time, that will attract some new, stable friendships. The company of friends outside my family is something I sorely miss, and I'm not really sure where to start.

My school reports always used to say 'Jennifer must participate more in class'.
But Jennifer never did. Partly stubbornness (not my best trait, I'm working on it) and partly because I had an irrational fear that I'd be laughed at if I got the answer wrong.

I'm happy to report I don't mind being wrong now. And I don't really feel embarrassed too often. Being willing to laugh at myself has been one of the single most freeing revelations I've had.

That's not to say I don't have things that embed themselves within my heart and hurt a little. I certainly do. Although they're few and far between right now and I'm eternally grateful for that.
And those things that are able to hurt me, I push them away and ignore them as much as I can.
That's not necessarily the best way to deal with things, I know. Especially when those actions inadvertently end up hurting someone else's feelings.

Never have I felt more comfortable in my own skin.
The way my nose sits a little wonky on my face? Not horrid, but interesting. Those seemingly perpetual blemishes on my chin? No big deal.
But that's not to say that there aren't things I'm working on changing.
I'm striving to be more generous, more informed and less inclined to fall into my self built comfort zone that I can quickly become reluctant to leave.

For the last four-ish years I have lived in the countryside on the doorstep of some of the most beautiful views I've ever seen. Note to self, appreciate them more.
Before that I lived by the seaside.
And Oh how I miss the sea, the salty air and the pine trees.
Moving to Scotland is up there on my list of life goals. Hopefully somewhere close to the ocean again.

Recently I gave up tea because I was pretty concerned for my teeth.
The headaches that would develop if I didn't have a cup every few hours weren't great either.
Fun fact, I've never really liked tea that much. 

The truest, most authentic sense of joy I feel comes with writing and taking photographs.
When I was nineteen I was accepted to Edinburgh College of Art to study photography.
With such small classes, that is still one of my greatest achievements to date.
Unfortunately I had to give up my place to be with my family, and somewhere along the different path I took I convinced myself that it wasn't for me anyway.
But I was wrong.
Film photography makes my heart sing like almost nothing else, and I'm making a promise to myself to shoot more pictures much more frequently. 

I believe that life is for learning.
Discovering new things. Enjoying old loves. Being with people who make you happy.

A few weeks ago I got my degree certificate in the post. (I skipped the ceremony.)
I now officially have a BA (Hons) English Language & Literature from the Open University.
It took me a little longer after a few false starts at 'regular universities'. But I got there in the end.
It was totally worth it.
I will forever champion the wonder that is the Open University, and how much it does to encourage its students and champion education for all regardless of circumstance. I hope it will continue.

Rinko Kawauchi's work has been a constant source of inspiration for almost ten years. 

♥ Lost in Translation. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. The Breakfast Club. Ten Things I Hate About You.

♫ Banks. Nirvana. Adele. Amy Winehouse. Florence and the Machine. Sia. The Civil Wars. Lana Del Rey. Zero 7. The White Stripes. Sampha. Leon Bridges. The Libertines.

The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is perhaps the novel that has had the biggest impact on me in my adult life. I haven't felt quite this way about a book since Harry Potter

Concepts and theories surrounding high literature aren't hugely important to me. If a book, poem, play, whatever form it takes, makes me feel something, whether that's happiness, devastation, the warm fuzzies in the pit of my stomach, that's what I'm looking for.

My television loves are still firmly with the Nickelodeon shows I watched as a kid. Sister Sister showed me how valuable family is, Kenan and Kel the beauty of friendship, and Sabrina that even magic can't solve everything.

Sailor Jerry rum was the inspiration for my online presence, sailorjennie.

Everyone has at least one special talent, of that I am sure. I'm fairly convinced that mine is sleeping. I can sleep any time, anywhere, even if I'm not tired.

Getting caught up in the details isn't important right now. And that's sometimes difficult for me, but I'm learning to seek out and appreciate the value that lies within the bigger picture.
Because there are an infinite amount of details. And the bigger picture is a whole that seems easier to tackle right now.

Forever finding myself looking up at the sky. Especially the night sky. Watching milky peach hues gradually change to the clearest blue, before everything darkens and the stars come out to say hello. True beauty.
I like to believe that our souls drift skywards when it is time for them to leave our bodies.
Maybe we'll go on to form black holes, or simply drift for eternity with a sense of blissful contentment. But that is for another time. Another existence.
For now I'm constantly learning what it means to be human.

Planes, going to the dentist and large spiders are the silly things I'm afraid of.
Some of the bigger things are being completely alone, leaving this planet before my mother, and being unable to have a child.

I wish for everyone to be able to live as their truest self. Not to me, no one owes me anything. But I hope everyone is able to be honest with themselves. Everyone deserves their best chance. 

I used to operate solely in dream form. It was like I was disconnected from reality and my mind was firmly in the future living an alternate life.
Although I believe in the power of dreams, laying down the groundwork to allow oneself to reach those dreams one day, alongside living in the moment is essential.

I've learnt that it's not silly to seek out good things, no matter how inconsequential. That beautiful sunrise. That really great piece of cake. The bus arriving early. That silly conversation with someone important. All of those things do matter.

Happiness used to come from surrounding myself with things, just so I could feel like there was something there that I owned.
But now it comes from elsewhere and that's comforting.

I am enough. You are enough. We are all enough.

Hello, I'm Jennie. 
It's wonderful to meet you. 

Tell me something about yourself? 
I'd love to hear from you.  



  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post - I love your writing style! It's so enchanting. I agree that pausing and taking a step back to figure out where to go next is really important, as it means having a chance to think about the positives too :) I'm in my early twenties and am working towards the next best steps for me - my special talent/party trick seems to be the ability to clap really loudly... I'm not sure how far that will get me though, haha!

    1. Hi Sian, thank you so much! Absolutely, it can be so easy to fall into the trap of looking backwards and romanticising it, but concentrating on the present is often so much more fulfilling. Wherever you end up going, I hope it brings everything you could wish for and more. And clapping really loudly is always a good talent to have, I think. <3

  2. Oh, Jennie. This was such a lovely post to read! You are a wonderful writer and I love finding out more about you as a person :) I think we are peas in a pod to be honest, a lot of what you've said resonates with me very clearly. Those shows were my after-school shows! Keep following your heart <3 xxx

    1. Thank you so much, Carly. You're always so supportive and wonderful. You could never go wrong with a bit of Sabrina hehe xx

  3. Hiya Jennie, what a pleasant and open post about yourself and to read about c:
    I can relate with many things you have written here. Stay true to yourself and
    write because you are such a great great writer. Oh and congratulations with
    getting your degree too!! xx Ice Pandora

    1. Thank you so much, your kind words are always so appreciated! <3

  4. Jennie this is beautiful. Somehow you always manage to get right at the heart of things with your writing and it makes me smile every time. It's wonderful to meet you, too. x

  5. Good to get reacquainted Jennie :) Congrats again on getting your degree!

    I recently read A Little Life. It was definitely an experience. I'm not sure if I could read it again, though.

  6. I read this post. Twice. And I cannot believe how much I can relate to your - beautful - words.
    It's nice to meet you again, Jennie!

    1. Thank you so much, that means so much to hear! <3

  7. Such a lovely post Jennie, I've been reading here for years so feel I know you quite well anyway in an internetty sense, but always good to read some more (like nosing through someone's diary)

    Hope you get bitten by the blogging bug again soon. I've just gotten back into it myself after a year of not being at all bothered and am really enjoying it again. Sometimes you just need a bit of a break

    Charlotte xx

    PS. I made the assumption years ago that your name was inspired by SJ, so glad that wasn't just my love of rum taking over all of my rational thoughts!

    1. Thank you, Charlotte. I'm so happy to see you posting regularly again, you know I'm an avid reader of yours, but I agree that a break can work wonders. Haha it's definitely not taking over your rational thoughts <3

  8. This is a lovely post, I feel it came straight from your heart and drew me in sentence by sentence.
    Some of these things sing so true for me where I am at the moment. Life is changing. I am changing. It's good, but scary, and I don't like the getting older part of it.
    I try to always remember that life is all about the journey. With each step we take we get something that we must take and use, remember and cherish.
    Keep smiling x

    1. Absolutely. We are exactly where we are supposed to be in this moment <3

  9. I love this post so much, it is so much fun getting to know bloggers better and this was just perfect. I especially liked the bit about you being a complicated person to know because that just describes me perfectly - so glad I am not the only one! I hope you turn you space into something you love again, I went through something similar a few months back and I am just about back into a place where I love blogging again. xx


    1. You're definitely not the only one, it's comforting to know I'm not alone either. I'm so happy that blogging is firmly on your love list again <3

  10. I love this post Jennie, and I think you are such a wonderful person. Your honesty, creativity and ability to write inspires me every single time. YOU are incredible xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

  11. Such a lovely post and I really enjoyed reading it all! Sometimes it's good to take a break and then go back to basics and talk about what you like and who you are.
    I'm intrigued by how much you enjoyed A Little Life. I think it is a book I'm going to need to read at some point.
    Congratulations on getting your degree, and I'm looking forward to reading all your future posts. xx

    Bethan Likes

    1. It's really quite incredible how much good a little break can do.
      A Little Life is such an emotional read, I've read some reviews from readers who felt emotionally manipulated and I see how they felt that, but I don't know, it's one of those novels that felt like it was written for me. It's strange not being able to recommend it to anyone, unless I know them really well, because of how distressing it is. But I'll never forget it.
      Thank you so much, means the world! <3

  12. Nice to meet you, again. I've been reading your blog for a long time and this is one of my favourite posts. x

  13. Lovely to meet you. Your writing style is beautiful, one of the best 'about me' posts/pages I have read. I too dream of Scotland, and have to have to edges of my glasses thinned !

    Almost Everything

    1. Thank you so much, you're too kind! High five for being in the lens thinning club! :)

  14. Jennie you know I've been a fan of your blog for a long time and I think this is the longest post of yours that I've ever read, but also one of the most beautifully written. You really do have a way with words, please take that as a heartfelt compliment. I loved reading this and getting to know more about you. I love looking at the night sky too, there's something so reassuring about it xx

    Ioanna | Hearting.co.uk

    1. Thank you so much, Ioanna. You're always so supportive and your kind words mean so much! xo

  15. Oh Jennie I love this post! It's poetic, it's honest and it's a bit raw too - I think you're far better at sharing yourself than you give yourself credit for! Well done on your degree too x

    Laura xx | Loved By Laura

  16. ohhh how i loved reading this Jennie! hi Jennie it's nice to "meet" you :) and no worries about blogtober. i am totally with you on the blog hiatus - life happens, life happens.
    i find it harder to get back into blogging, the longer i've been away. life has just been so busy, in a not-so-good way.
    thank you for such a raw, open, and intimate post. it was one of the most refreshing things i've read in a long time
    and i think i've said it again but congratulations on completing your degree. post-uni life is always a challenge, but it can also be positively exciting :)

    rachel x

    1. Thank you, Rachel! I hope you're doing well! <3

  17. Dear Jennie,

    I've been reading and loving your blogs for years now.
    I wish I could express better what I'm feeling, but I'm not a native speaker.
    But this post has me in tears.
    Because I can clearly see what a beautiful, gifted, deep soul you are. I've always seen that.
    Because I feel like a "baby version" of you. I'm twentyone years old and I hope when I reach that age where thirty is closer than thirty, I will be a strong as you. Everything you're expressing about being an introvert, ambitions, career choices and reasons for them, friends and family, hits very close to home.
    When I was fifteen I couldn't leave the house anymore because of my severe social anxiety. I spent half a year in a treatment facility, switched schools and struggled a great deal until graduation. But I made it. Last year I went to Greece to volunteer in a life sharing community with people with disabilites. Despite all my fears, I made it and I'm so proud. It was a tough year but also a very beautiful one. One month ago I moved to the city to start university. I'm studying Literature (I'm from Germany) and English Studies. Although I'm terrified, I know I can make it. And I also know it's okay if I don't. There are other options. As long as we continue to grow and not get stuck. Even that's okay. To get stuck for a while. As long as you realize at some point, that life and love are worth it to unstick yourself again. Which is incredibly hard. So I am very proud of you. For realizing. For sharing. For being you.

    Thank you for taking us along for the ride.

    Much love,


    1. Hi Daphne. Thank you so much for such a beautiful comment & your English is perfect. I think you should be so proud of yourself and everything that you've achieved so far. Stay strong, you can do anything you set your mind to - I believe in you!

    2. Two days ago you got me in tears (not sad tears) with this post and now you've got smiling :)
      Thank you so much for your sweet and supportive reply!
      I believe in you, too! :)

      P.s. This afternoon in university the professor showed us a slide with the books listed for this years Man Bookers Prize - A Little Life was very big in the middle of them :)

    3. Aww you're so welcome! <3

  18. What a lovely post, thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and the vulnerability.

    I think we have quite a bit in common. Not just the fact we're both closer to 30 than 20, short-sighted, only children and had report cards that read we needed to participate more in class.

    I remember reading The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky years and years ago when it was the "It" book in the internet blogging communities I was a part of. Something about that book will always remind me of the innocence and purity of adolescence in a way.

    I think for introspective, sensitive souls, a large part of happiness in life is sorting through what this all means in our heads. We may never have the concrete answers (should they even exist), but it's the process of exploring the facets of what it means to be human that makes us grow and appreciate the little moments and marvel at the bigger picture.

    And congratulations on your degree - an achievement you can be proud of. I think you deserve to really treat yourself after all that hard work!

    1. I think you're right, and often figuring things out so they make some sort of sense in our heads can be the hardest part. Thank you so much, it's nice feeling that I've finally accomplished something.

  19. I'm always glad to see a post from you appear on my feed, and it was nice to learn a bit more about you as well. (Although I do have to also say I'm pleased to see the full page ads disappear too! They gave my laptop meltdowns, haha)

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

    1. Thank you, Nicola, that's so lovely to hear. Ahh yes, they were pretty ridiculous! x

  20. I've been following you for years and I had no idea that your blog name came from rum! It's great to read about you.

    1. Haha, it was my tipple of choice back in college!

  21. Glad to see you back, I've missed your presence

    Mel ♥ everyword.meljwills.com

  22. Your post sounded like I could have written it.

    I'm sitting here in my living room feeling profoundly affected by what you've written (or it could be the glass of red that's gone to my head). I'm marrying the man who is currently asking me how you send a fax, in 2 days and I couldn't be more scared/excited if I tried. It was good to meet you again Jennie, I hope you're having a great day.

    1. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you all the happiness in the world in 2 days time. I hope you have a wonderful day, your husband-to-be sounds fabulous!

  23. Jennie, I have to say that this is definitely my favourite post from you. I absolutely loved reading it and I could relate to a lot of things you mentioned.
    I think I'm having a life blip as well. I'm pursuing a new path for my master's degree - law, which is something I wanted since forever, but also something that absolutely terrifies me since it's so different from what I was studying before. So many of my friends are also moving in together, getting engaged etc, and I'm just here, feeling a bit stuck really. But as you said I am enough, you are enough, we are all enough <3

    1. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of sticking with what we've always known, it's scary taking a leap into something completely different, so good for you - you should be incredibly proud of yourself for following your heart! <3

  24. Oh Jennie, you sound so much like me. Are you an INFJ? I can completely understand how you feel. I used to blog years ago but stopped in 2012 when the world of blogging was changing. I really like that you wrote this! :)

    1. Close, I'm an INFP! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. The landscape of blogging has certainly changed so much in such a short amount of time, I often find myself longing for 'the old days', but I suppose everything has to change. I wonder where it will be in 5 years time?

  25. I've always adored you and your blog Jennie! There's something so magical, enchanting and uniquely "you" about Sailboat. An essence and way with words; something so special that I've not found anywhere else in the blogosphere and doubt I ever will. I long looked up to you and your beautiful self for years before I started my own blog, and I followed quite a few at that time that I don't read now, but yours is ALWAYS one I know I'll forever come back to. I'm so lucky to have found you, your heart and kindness has meant the world to me, especially this past year and I can't ever thank you for being so sweet to me when I needed it most. It would be the dream to meet you one day, and as for friends, I'd absolutely love to be a lifelong one of yours! <3

    Sophie | soinspo xo

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie. You're too kind to me! x

  26. This is probably the most beautifully stunning post I've ever read - your writing is truly something!

    Britt x | brittanylanelle.blogspot.co.uk

  27. This is beautiful, I love the honesty of your posts. I find it inspiring. Also, I adore The Luminaries and I think you have excellent taste!

    Massive congratulations on your degree, I think we are so lucky to have so many institutions offering education in a different way, but then as a teacher I would say that!

    Sophia :)

    Small and Happy lifestyle blog

  28. I feel like you've welcomed me as a friend with this post, thank you! And I can totally relate, all I got in my school reports are that I'm too quiet and I need to participate more in class. And one teacher said that means I might not be good at making friends because of that. Excuse me! I have a good set of friends and just because I prefer to listen and spend my life reading in my room doesn't mean I have bad social skills! But I do hate parties but prefer lovely trips to restaurants or central London with friends. Anyway enough of that, hi I'm Francesca, you can call me Fran. And I'm so happy you like Lana Del Rey and whenever I read Harry Potter I suffer from PHPS. (Post Harry Potter Sadness) You might like 30 Seconds to Mars and Marina and the Diamonds because those musical people surround my life and keep me grounded.


    1. I think introverts are often very misunderstood. Like you said, just because you prefer to listen doesn't mean you're unable to make friends. I just saw your post about going to see Marina and the Diamonds, your happiness radiate through your writing! <3

  29. Oh Jennie, I loved reading this and feeling like I could get to know you a little better, especially because so much of what you said felt like my own thoughts and words echoed back at me.

    I'm an introvert too. Despite writing a blog I find it difficult to share personal details about myself, even with close friends I've known for years. I hated speaking out in class when I was younger - even now I detest meetings in work because I still hate speaking in front of a group. I still struggle with where I am in life and if this is the right path - I worry no matter what I won't ever feel 100% certain (does anyone?).


    1. True certainty has been a bit of a mythical concept for my whole life. I'm not sure it's a real thing, all we can do is the best we can <3

  30. Lovely post, Jennie. I loved reading it and it resonated with me. I am sorry for keeping silent for so long on your blog, but I just didn't know what to say and the lovely commentators (is this the word I'm looking for?) before me say it so much better.

    You are enough and we are all enough.

    I am an introvert too and sometimes I feel lost. But I am getting there, I guess.


  31. I just stumbled across your blog today and I'm very glad I did, this is a wonderful post that I relate to in many ways.

    I've always been an introvert and easily embarrassed and these are things I'm working on, it's funny how you start to feel more comfortable in your skin as you start to leave your twenties behind, this is the year I've really started to *live*, y'know?

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, you've inspired me :)

    Kayleigh x

    1. I used to be so easily embarrassed, it held me back for more time than I would like to admit to, but it's a thing that can totally be overcome! You'll get there for sure! xo


Thank you so much for reading! I love when you leave your thoughts so I would love if you left me a little comment, I read every single one, they mean so much and I try my very best to reply to each one!

You are very welcome to leave a link to your blog in your comment, but please just leave one link and I ask you not to promote giveaways. Thank you for understanding. With love, Jennie May xo