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Nice to Meet You.

Hi, again.

So I started writing on here just over a year ago. Sometimes frequently, sometimes not. Sometimes from a happy place, sometimes definitely not! But always with an attempt at honesty. I like it, sharing parts of myself with people. I don’t know if anyone reads it that I don’t know about, but I like the idea that someone could stumble across it and be secretly enjoying reading it somewhere. I didn’t know what would come out of writing these entries and really, it’s quite a scary, vulnerable thing to do for no real reason. So what would any sane person do after a year of scaring themselves? Well, they would probably say “that was a fun challenge whilst it lasted, but that’s enough thanks.” I’m a creative person though, one who’s really really trying to be a better, freer, more self aware version of themselves. (If that's not the most millennial sentence ever I don't know what is.) So instead I’m going to raise the stakes. MORE of it all! More frequent writing and sharing, and most importantly, more vulnerability and honesty.

And so, with that said I’d like to introduce myself, properly this time.

I’m Clare Dove, I’m a songwriter.

I like to pick songwriter as the thing to define myself by first, because it’s what I focus on pretty much 99% of every day. I think if I say it enough the rest of the world might see it as fact, like I do. I brace myself for the question that always follows when I introduce myself as such: “Oh right. What songs of yours will I have heard? Anyone famous?” “Ask me again in six months” I laugh nervously, speaking it into existence.

I’m also a daughter, sister, friend, and sometimes teacher. I realise those are actually the labels that mean more. I really try and be good at them all although I fail frequently.

One day I hope I can add wife and mother.

I’m not a blogger, I just have a blog. I really love writing. I’ll write a book one day. As soon as I decide what I’m going to write about.

I don’t think “social media influencers” should be a real thing but I’d like to have an influence.

My name isn’t really Dove. It was a sort of nickname given to me years ago by someone I loved very much at the time. Way before I had any real idea of who I was. Some people think I should have left the name behind with the person. But it was an important time in my life that shaped a lot of who I am now, for better or worse. I own the name, it never owned me, and it’s as much a part of me as that chapter of my life was. I’m still growing in to it and what it symbolises: hope, grace, femininity ….

I believe in God. I believe in his(/her) purpose on my life and unconditional love for me. I don’t like the word religion but I do pray most days. I don’t call myself a Christian but it’s probably the box I’d tick on an online dating page. Sometimes I go to church when I’m not angry at it. I love praise and worship but I love slow jams too. I’m not sure where I stand on Jesus.

It’s complicated.

I talk about self love and self care a lot. I read books about how “badass” I am. I write down the things I like about myself. I look in the mirror and try to see things I like. I make an effort with my appearance. I dress in clothes that make me feel good. I subscribe to the notion that you have to love yourself before someone else can love you and other such affirmations.

…. Most days I don’t believe any of it. It’s a battle I’ve been in since I was ten. I don’t think it has a cure. I think it’s a constant working relationship that I’ll probably be in for a very long time. But I will not be defined by it. I expect more people than I know of will relate.

I started writing a sentence about love and relationships but that one’s still hard, although easier in songs for sure. Give me a bit longer to pluck up the courage. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

I’m obsessive. It's one of those things people say in job interviews when they’re supposed to say something that’s a weakness but they want to paint it as a strength. It’s both really. I’m obsessed with my work and the things I want to do. I'm passionate and so hungry and excited for more of what life has to offer. That’s GREAT. I also obsess with people, relationships, love. It’s hard for me to let things go. I replay scenarios at 3am. I get jealous. Not so good.

I get a bit weird around my birthday every year. I get panicked that I'm not achieving enough or as successful or in the relationship that I thought I'd be in at this next "milestone." It's silly.

I got my temper from my Dad. Only those closest to me have to suffer the shortness of my fuse though. I guess that's something.

I hope that if I look back at all of this in 10 years time and cringe, that I can remember my password and delete it all. Unlike my Myspace page.

I hope writing all this down doesn’t make me look like an unhappy person. That is so SO far from the truth. I love my life so much. I just want to be a little more honest, with myself mostly, about who I am.

I've left a lot out. Maybe it'll go in the book.

I’m going to try and post here more. I’m doing more other things that feel scary too, so I’ll share those as well.

Nice to meet you.

CD x

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