What we show to the world isn’t necessarily what’s going on on the inside.
Rosie 49. From America, lives with her long term partner and has two children. She's just written her first book.
How are you?
I’m good. I worry about my girls and having adopted the second, it’s added an element of extra stress.
What do you think about marriage?
We had a civil ceremony in 2006. We did it to help me get a visa. I believe in long term couple-hood. There’s a Alan Alder film that says marriage goes through the seasons: In the spring it’s budding, the summer; there’s heat and ripening, autumn is maturing and in the winter it dies. We have to go through the death to have fun again.
I remember my mum saying “There are times when you’re married and you'll hate everything about them and you will want to shoot them, but those days will pass, so don’t think it’s all going to be sweetness and light. Romantic love as it is portrayed is utter trite. Infatuation is great fun but it’s not a marriage".
How do you feel about children?
Can’t live with them can’t live without them. They’re fantastic but they drive me spare. My advice is ignore all the shit that’s out there and go with your instincts.
What’s your most memorable experience?
After having my first child the month that followed was wonderful. There were a clan of women in my home. My aunt, my partner, my sister in law, a women's clan; cooking and cleaning. I felt so cared for. That time was magical - every moment felt like a whole day.
How do you think other people see you?
Organised, which I am not! Creative, motivated, a doer, cerebral, a thoughtful kind friend. Somebody who likes change.
What are your dreams?
To be a published writer and for my book to be out on tour. To have less anxiety about my children.
What’s your views on body image?
It was one of my greatest fears growing up. It was always portrayed in films and on the tv how you should look and be but now it’s magnified ten fold. Beauty is very narrowly defined and girls continually define themselves by the way they look.
I look back and laugh now but when I was younger I was a late developer and was desperate for boobs. I remember me and my dad would sit by the bed at night time and pray for my boobs to grow. That sounds weird but you know what I mean.
What do you think about faith?
I pray with my girls even though I have serious questions about the whole Christianity thing. I think the practise of praying, being really honest about things and asking for help encourages reflection. Morals are good. Jesus was all about the underdog.
From a spiritual perspective I’d like to think there is a grand design but I’m not sure there is. We all search for meaning and find it in different things.
What brings you down?
Thinking about my children.
Where does all your energy go?
On my girls, running the house and organising everybody. Writing, walking, shopping. I love a bargain and the January sales. I regain my energy by daydreaming and having idle time. I lie down on the floor for ten minutes or so if I feel overwhelmed. I feel much calmer and focused after I’ve done that.
How do you see yourself?
Increasingly like my mother. If someone gives me a direction I shove it up their ass. I follow my heart. I have fought and bled for things I believe in and have suffered the cost. I’ve led a truthful life and it’s been hard. I have to keep recalibrating what I’ve learned and what’s changed. I’m very reflective.
What do you like about yourself?
I like my spirit. I’m feisty. I’ll fight for things. I have conviction. I’m loyal. I like that I get involved. I like my creativity and enthusiasm. I like that I embrace change. I can get very excited about stuff. I like my physical strength and that I’m flexible. I used to like my breasts but they’re saggy now.
How do you best express yourself?
Thought my writing, cooking and I like to spontaneously dance!
Who or what inspires you?
Other writers and artists and increasingly scientists too. The way they make discoveries. People who chip away at the truth. Nelson Mandela, he offered friendship, time and time again. He kept his generosity of spirit. People who are trying to overcome their past. Malala, she’s inspired millions. People who've lived a life that I couldn't have.
What do you think about life?
I’d like to believe in reincarnation but I don’t. I suspect life's a shot we all get and nobody knows what the hell is going on. We’re fumbling our way through. We have a chance to make some magic whilst we’re here. We are here for a flash then we’re gone. You can make some amazing things or you can create chaos, either could live on or vanish.
What would you like to leave for the next generation?
Be yourself, take a chance. It’s easy to go through the motions and not follow your heart and then not get from life what you want. People are all fighting demons - what we show to the world isn’t necessarily what’s going on on the inside.
Are you free?
Yes because of the parameters I’ve chosen. As a parent it can feel like your freedom is lost sometimes. There are times when I’d like to drift from one sun terrace to another.
How do you feel about doing this today?
Having someone whose not going to judge me allowed me to really hear myself. It was most profound. I have some clarity about my daughter now. She is a person who will make her own choices in life. I’m going to try not to control her so much. I was being judgmental about her then after I unpicked it I realised that wasn't the core problem. I just wanted to protect her and make her future bright. I can’t control that, it’s her destiny not mine.