Almost Amazing Grace | The official blog for Things&Ink

25-year-old Grace, who lives in the South East, right by the sea write things, mostly her blog but also bits and bobs for other websites and publications. Grace also models, manages social media for small businesses, and occasionally lectures in Creative Writing at the University of Winchester. In this post Grace talks about how open she is on her blog and what her tattoos mean to her…

25.03.2018 mine

Can you tell us about your blog, how long have you been writing and what can readers expect to see on it?I started my blog when I was 17; full of feelings, hormones and angst, with nowhere to put it all. I made myself an online diary between lessons one day at college, and loved updating it with personal stuff for a couple of years – until I realised that it was a public domain and people could actually read it!?? Then it became a convenient place to post my creative writing work while I was studying at uni, still with the occasional (and much more carefully edited) personal piece. When I came to the end of my degree, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour and found my blog was the perfect place to share all the info about it, for folks to read – while spilling out all my emotions, too. These days, Almost Amazing Grace is a place for book lovers, coffee addicts, theatre goers, feminists, sex-positive humans and anyone needing a few lifestyle tips or travel recs.

grace (9 of 74)

You’re very open on Instagram about your life, what inspired you to do this? I made myself an Instagram account when I was away at university, and at first it was just a place to share super-filtered selfies, snaps of my cute (but very cold and damp) box bedroom, and blurry portraits of the family cat whenever I visited home. These days I share a whole lot more on there; it’s not just a highlights reel. Much like when I started my blog, and why I continue to write it, I love being able to pour myself into my socials, hopefully be a voice for good, and find others like me. I’ve found friends for life online, maybe more than I ever have ‘IRL’.

Grace Jan (18 of 20)

You often post about your recovery from surgery and radiotherapy, scarring and your body, what motivates you? Do you hope to raise awareness or help other people in similar situations? Readers of my blog and followers of my social media accounts will probably know almost everything about me, and what’s happened in my life in the last few years. I have blogged about every step of my journey with a brain tumour – my operations, my radiotherapy treatment, my reconstruction and my struggles with post-op recovery and general mental health. I don’t hold much back. I also share photos of myself and my fabulous scars (usually taken by genius babes Erin Veness or Sophie Mayanne) on my Instagram grid very regularly – partly because I do love the way I look, but also because I want other people to see something a bit different and maybe realise not everyone looks like the models in the mass media.

Sometimes strangers or friends of friends will approach me, in public or online, and tell me they feel they know me – and that they’ve experienced certain things with me. Some say my posts have moved them significantly; they may even say they relate, and then share their own stories of health problems or life events, and I always feel so honoured they trust me with their personal information. I think it’s so important people are open, and talk about what they’re going through in life; bottling things up and ignoring your own feelings won’t do you any good in the long run. I really hope others find me and see me being my true self, and can apply some of those values to their own lives and maybe have more kindness in how they view themselves.

grace (10 of 74)

Have your tattoos helped you to see your body differently or love your body more? My tattoos are the way I decorate and express myself – they are also the best way I can think of to reclaim my body, after everything it’s been through that was out of my control. I get beautiful and very personal things inked onto my skin, for all to see, and for me. Sadly, there are people in my life (some of them are family, or family friends, and others are just strangers who feel the need to voice opinions) who don’t ‘get it’, and some of them even say to my face that they’re not a fan of the artwork. I don’t get defensive very often, because to each their own etc. but also it’s none of their business, and it makes me happy, and that’s all that matters.

Grace Jan (16 of 20)

Which is your favourite piece or the one that means the most to you? I’d say my favourite tattoo will always be my first – the little words on my left forearm, a phrase I heard a lot from Grandad when I was young that I now have on me, in his handwriting, to hopefully serve as a reminder not to mess about or make bad decisions in life. That one was actually done by the gorgeous Kelly when she worked in a little shop near my university – and OMG, look how far she’s come!? The babe.

My second and third favourites would have to be my beautiful brain and crystals on my upper left arm (by Ciara Havishya,) and one of my most recent additions, a drawing the wonderful Frances Cannon did just for me, inked by the babe Vicky Jeffree in Birmingham.

Photographs taken by Erin Veness, more of her work can be found here. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: