Why did you stop blogging?
Crossroads, the 2002 coming-of-age drama starring Britney Spears, is also where I found myself at the tail-end of last year. G4RL exceeded all of my expectations . There’s a time for bragging and that time is now, baby. Between June and December 2018, I was profiled in The Panoptic, approached by a well-known women’s magazine and nominated in two categories for the UK Blog Awards. Not bad for a girl with nothing but a broken heart and the word ‘REALISTIC’ written on a napkin.
But I needed to grow beyond the internet-walls of blogging.
What are you talking about?
I always needed to write, but I didn’t need to be an #influencer. As I spent every day promoting G4RL , I moved further and further away from myself. Integrity and authenticity can diminish once you’ve filtered your work through the lens of social media. That’s peachy when you’re promoting a brand or a service, but less peachy when your brand is yourself.
Once I started receiving validation online, it was all too easy to give more and more of myself away. I felt uncomfortable dedicating so much of my time to maintaining a social media brand. I felt called to be elsewhere.
I knew ‘elsewhere’ involved writing and sharing that writing when it felt meaningful. I knew ‘elsewhere’ involved far less social media and far more laughing IRL.
A very lazy Google gives me confidence to make this lukewarm statement: I’m pretty sure I invented ‘realistic love’. Or at least, maybe put the two together and wrote about it for over a year?
So it was about time I started just living it.
I made some fuck-ups in my personal life. Fuck-ups that saddened me, but which I accepted. Rather than plunging into despair, I chose accountability and growth. With a side order of: “You don’t need to ask permission to be happy, excited and proud”. For the first time ever, I stopped playing the victim and started playing the responsible, contented author of my own life.
I wanted to close the gap between Online Nikki and Real Life Nikki. And my god, there is so much Real Life to be lived when you’ve spent years plagued by depression.
I knew with total clarity that I was no longer @Nikki_G4RL. I felt totally liberated.
For the first time in a long time, I’m comfortable being Nikki, exactly as she is. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed it too, but she’s pretty swell.
Why do you write?
First, I wrote to mend a broken heart. I gradually healed it.
I wrote to help women navigate the intersection between love, sex and mental health. I received messages of support which truly moved me.
I wrote to prove I could write. Now, writing is my vocation.
The plot of Crossroads (2002 SPOILER ALERT) can be summed up by the phrase: maybe the real North-American cross-country-road-trip-wearing-bandannas-and-low-rise-jeans, was the friends we made along the way. Britney Spears makes some gal pals and discovers more about herself. She wrestles with being on the cusp of womanhood, to a beautiful rendition of I’m Not A Girl, Not Yet a Woman.
Oh yeah, I can still run with an extended metaphor sweetie.
I came to my own Crossroads and knew that I had to take the road carrying me away from G4RL.
What are you doing now?
Watch this space! G4RL will become a new site with the best of my freelance writing and copywriting, selling my skills for hire to those who enjoy my words. I’m still undertaking further study and some new projects, alongside my regular ol’ work and regular ol’ life for now. I’m writing about love, sex & relationships. But I’m keeping that writing closer to my chest. You’ll read it when it’s good and ready, Sandra!
To write, you have to live. I plan on doing as much living as possible. I’ve spent too many of the last few years in the twilight. It’s no longer time to be half-alive. It’s time for living deliberately, bravely and happily.
I will always champion realistic love. The values which underpin G4RL reflect exactly who I am: courageous, honest and above all, free. I’ve always been able to find humour in every aspect of life, and I feel warmth seeing that reflected in G4RL. Experiencing realistic love (most of all with yourself), is what it’s always been about: the rest is just background noise.
May the archive of posts here on G4RL be your guide across the intersection of mental health, love and sex, and any other crossroads which come your way.
Thank you to everyone who read, shared and enjoyed my messy words on this site. Thank you, next!