As much as I spend all this time working on Nishaantishu, and you are wonderful enough to spend some time reading it, I wonder if I really give an accurate depiction of who I am. Me. Freya Dowson. As in, what it's like to really know me. So in the spirit of getting to know each other, I’ve put together a few things that you may not know about me. And since we're sharing, why don't you tell me a fun fact about yourself in the comment section below.
Here we go. Have I ever told you...
Laugh Lines or Frown Lines
I laugh a lot. I find the weirdest things to be absolutely hilarious, and am often that person who laughs when no one else does. I find humour everywhere and I have this really annoying habit (I'm sure it must be annoying sometimes) of pointing it out. All the time. I can't help myself! Sometimes I feel a bit like Chandler Bing, from Friends. Joke joke joke!
Shy or Outgoing
I feel like I’m one of those people who talks non-stop, but I have lost count of the amount of times I have been called shy. I also think that I wear my heart of my sleeve, but I have been called a closed book on more than one occasion. I’ve always been at a loss as to how to interpret this contradiction and when I was younger it used to make me feel a bit invisible - I was speaking my mind and no one seemed to hear it, and when they did hear it they just didn’t get it. I’m pretty sure that just comes with the territory of being a bit creative and seeing the world in your own way.
I sometimes find it easier to have a genuine conversation with strangers than with people I already know. The pressure to be interesting with people I know can sometimes have a soporific effect on me - it quite literally puts me to sleep! But with strangers there is so little expectation and I find that quite exciting.
I've been told my whole life that I'm too sensitive. I used to hate it, now I take pride in the fact that I can really feel every moment and every experience. It's not easy, but it makes me feel like I am really living. And as a result, my empathy game is strong.
Tough or Weak
I'm really strong for my size. I think it comes from years of riding horses that were way too big and strong for me, I was so little growing up that I was determined to seem really tough by going for the biggest and flightiest horses. And strangely enough I've never had a broken bone. I had three horses when I was younger, not at the same time, and spent most of my life before London in a field trying to catch a wayward pony.
I never feel so free as I do when I'm working overseas with my camera, telling people’s stories through my pictures and helping to give a voice to issues that sometimes go unheard. Whenever I catch 11:11 on my watch (which is surprisingly often) and I go to make a wish, I always wish to be happy in life. One time recently, when I was traveling and photographing for work, I went to make that wish and just... didn’t. In that moment, I was the happiest. I also feel happiest when I'm on a horse, but sadly that doesn't happen so often these days.
I used to love the thought of journaling. I would buy so many blank books and get so excited about the idea of filling them with amazing thoughts and stories. But I would always write a few lines and just... abandon them. It drove my parents crazy, and I just couldn’t explain it! But the minute I would start writing, the whole process made me cringe and felt so wrong to me. I stopped buying journals and started Nishaantishu, and writing to you all never makes me cringe. I always felt like I had a need to create something, but it just took me a while to find the right outlet.
I love watching documentaries! I rarely go the the cinema and I find it really difficult to watch shows like Game of Thrones or Orange is the New Black - they make me so anxious, Adam says it’s because I’m too sensitive. Like the ending of the last season of Game of Thrones? Just reading about it disturbed me. I physically couldn't watch that. But I love the plot and intrigue so if I can't find a spoiler online I make Adam explain the story to me in detail – just not the upsetting bits. I guess I just think life is disturbing enough without having to watch that stuff for entertainment. And shows like oitnb, I just want to yell "sort your life out!!" at the screen non stop. Why can't they just stop being jerks? It's so frustrating.
Don’t get me wrong, I do binge watch TV like everyone else! I usually go for adventure documentaries and recently we have watched Departures and 180 Degrees South which were really good. Even more than adventure, I love photography documentaries! I’m really looking forward to watching Salt of the Earth, when I can find it online. But I definitely zone out in front of trashy shows too, and my guilty pleasure is the Big Bang Theory – I could watch it for hours along with anything David Attenborough and any cheerful Studio Ghibli film. My great trashy TV love is The Goldbergs though - have you seen it? Oh I love it so much.
I truly believe that the best things that have happened to me in life have come from putting myself in situations where I pretended to know what I was doing, but really I had no idea. I'm an expert at free-falling and making things up on the way down. I hated school growing up and I really didn’t like university all that much, I just wanted to get out into the world and start doing things. I believe in taking opportunities and taking chances – I get scared and I don’t want to do it, but I always make myself because all of the best things in life live on the other side of fear.
Some of my strengths (according to me): I’m fiercely loyal, I’m handy with a camera, I always show up, I’ll try anything once, I always try to put myself in others’ shoes, I keep my word, I'm a good listener.
Some of my weaknesses (according to me): I have a failure to commit when it comes to exercise and healthy eating, often my anxiety levels are off the charts, I can be pedantic, I have trouble letting go of a grudge, I project bad opinions of me onto other people, I doubt myself constantly.
Thanks everyone who asked me some questions for this post, on the blog and on Instagram – it was a lot harder to write than I thought it would be so having questions was super helpful. If I haven’t answered your question here, it's because there's a post dedicated to it coming up. Keep an eye out!