Auckland, New Zealand
What advice would you give your 20 year old self?
You don't know who you are, but you're not supposed to yet. The insecurity, self-loathing and anxiety you feel engulfed by now won't last; these form the yardstick with which you'll measure your progress. Love your body, show it some appreciation and respect, and above all listen to it because it's screaming at you. Youth isn't everything, in fact I wouldn't trade places with you for anything in the world. Nearly ten years separates us now, but the expanse seems far greater from where I'm standing. Be patient, you'll understand love and heartbreak, you'll understand your family and most importantly of all you'll understand your own mind, body and soul.
A book that has always stayed with you:
The Lover by Marguerite Duras has been ingrained in my mind since I read the slim volume five years ago. Her evocative description of tropical heat and intimacy, so beautifully rendered in the written word, is something I haven't been able to forget. Another equally visceral and well written book is Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, a fever dream hellscape of violence and brutality, incredibly poetic and disturbing.