• Han Butler

Bloggers Uncensored: with Thrive In Chaos


Photo by Negative Space

Welcome to this weeks Bloggers Uncensored! If this is your first time reading a BU interview, this is my longest running blog series, and definitely my favourite. This series is a perfect opportunity to read your favourite bloggers' honest and uncensored opinions on real life topics, and to discover new bloggers to follow! This weeks blogger is Thrive In Chaos.


Tell us a little about yourself.


I'm a thirty-something writer from Manchester, UK. By day, I write for a small public relations firm, and in my free time I work on short stories, poetry and a novel, write for my blog Thrive in Chaos, as well as contributing to ECBC Manchester's blog and social media. My first book, Thrive - an illustrated collection of poetry and short fiction - was published in December 2019 and it's such a thrill to know that work is out in the world. I read voraciously, love going to the theatre and go to dance classes once a week (and have done since I was 2!). I live with my husband and our springer spaniel, Luna - they are both mad as hatters. I also pend way too much time on Instagram.


Why do you write?


So many reasons! It is a mode of self expression, a way of trying to understand myself and the world around me. It brings me joy - I'm always in awe of the power of words I encounter in the books I read and I love exploring through writing in an attempt to create something that other people will connect with.


Why did you start blogging?


I started blogging when I was struggling particularly with my mental health. I felt that I was spending so much of my time weighed down with sadness and anxiety and I wanted to find a way back to the joy in my life - I knew it was there I just couldn't seem to reach it. So I started to Thrive In Chaos as a place to consciously share creativity and positivity. I chose the name as a reminder that I still have the capacity to grow and enjoy life, even when everything around me feels messy and chaotic. It's not always easy but it has become a sort of mantra and it's helped me get back to myself over and over again.


What do you love about the blogging world/community?


I love seeing so many people seizing the opportunity to express themselves and share things they love or feel strongly about. I love the creativity and dedication of the individuals within it and I love the supportiveness that so many bloggers show to one another.


What do you hate about the blogging world/community?


I'm not sure there's anything I'd say I hate about it. I sometimes find it tiring trying to promote my blog and engage with all the bloggers I'd like to - but I guess that's part laziness and part my introverted soul finding most kinds of interaction tiring! I didn't really start my blog to gain a ton of followers and whilst sometimes I think I'd like to build more of a community around it I'm content with it being a small platform with a small following.


In your opinion, who are the most underrated bloggers?


Oh, that's such a tricky one. There are a ton of bloggers I could mention here, but some of my current favourites are Emily at Write Up, Beth at Books Nest and Nina at Wondering About Nina.


What are some hard truths you have learnt about life?


That there's no getting around the hard stuff, the only way forwards is straight through the middle. That there will be moments when you realise you are not the person you thought you were. That there are some things we simply cannot control. That no matter how hard you try, you will mess up. A lot.


What does freedom mean to you?


Being able to live life in a way that feels right to you, without others judgement and without having opportunities closed off to you.


What are your thoughts on mental health and how it's portrayed in today's society?


I'm glad that there seems to be increasing momentum behind the conversation around mental health but that there are still a LOT of misconceptions and misunderstandings out there. I'd particularly like to see more acknowledgement of how intertwined physical and mental health are - they are treated as separate entities and that needs to stop.


What are your thoughts on feminism and how it's portrayed in today's society?


I find it amazing how often I encounter the opinion that we don't need feminism anymore and I hate the perception that feminism is some sort of man-hating sport. Feminism is fundamentally about equality and I'd really like to see a shift in understanding that all genders would benefit from a more feminist world. I'm also very aware that today's 'mainstream' feminism is very white and that there needs to be a greater move towards inter-sectional feminism. Without that move we will continue to oversimplify the problems of gender inequality.


What are your thoughts on 'Love is Love' and how it's portrayed in today's society?


Everyone should be free to love without judgement. As with many such sentiments, though, I think it is sometimes easy to say or use in a hashtag and think that its enough. The message behind it is powerful but only when coupled with action. We have a long way to go before 'love is love' is free to be a reality.


What advice would you give to someone who is fighting a mental illness?


Remember that you have survived absolutely everything so far - you have the capacity to survive even this. Talk to people wherever you feel able. You are truly not alone - even though it feels like it.


What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied or harassed?


Reach out and get the support you need to tackle it. You deserve so much more.


If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?


If I could, I would rid the world of violence in all its forms.


What else do you feel strongly about?


One of the things I find myself most angry about in recent years is how often people in positions of power seem to feel at liberty to lie and manipulate - and the extent to which they get away with it. I find it disgraceful that leaders - especially those who have been democratically elected - lie and prioritise their own personal agendas over the wellbeing of those they lead. It is even more disturbing when they are not held accountable for the lies they have told and there are no personal consequences for their actions. Instead, those without power are the ones that suffer. It is no wonder so many people feel disengaged with politics but this is exactly why we must engage. Because otherwise the cycle of lies from the powerful few and suffering of the many will continue.


Let's end this with some fun 'This or That' questions:


Love or money?


Love.


Work hard or play hard?


Find work that feels like play.


Cups in the cupboard: right side up or upside down?


Right side up.


Chocolate or sex?


Both!


Plan everything or wing it?


Plan.


Happiness or money?


Happiness.


You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.


. . .


If you like to take part in Bloggers Uncensored please email me at chroniclesofacreativemess@gmail.com for more info.


There's a new blogger every Sunday at 5pm, see you there!


Love, Han


xo




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