It has become increasingly apparent to me that this chapter in my life involves me adding blogging to the hobbies / extracurricular interests section of my C.V. Initially, I wanted my first post to be about why I want to begin blogging, however… typical of me, I changed my mind. Firstly, so much context would be required to accurately represent every contributing factor that has led me to where I am today. Attempting to paint the whole picture would be incredibly tedious. I’m also not sure whether I’m comfortable enough discussing certain aspects of my personal life, that would be necessary for context, on the internet. Secondly, (and most importantly) is that I understand why I want to start this blog, which is all that matters. Although, I’m sure I will eventually drop enough hints and anecdotes that one might be able to connect the dots.
I want my first post to introduce myself and explain what I would like this blog to be. So that is what I will do. My name is Rowan Kiffin-Murray. I was born at 11:30 pm at Whipps Cross Hospital on the 6th of May 1997, the same day as Meek Mill, Mateo Kovacic, Chris Paul, Tony Blair, Dani Alves, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, and I reckon other people too. I attended George Tomlinson Primary School (briefly), Guardian Angels Primary School, Christs Hospital Boarding School (on a full bursary, which as I’ve grown up, I feel it’s very necessary to specify) and graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Economics.
Both my parents are Jamaican. For as long as I can remember they haven’t been together. My mum was a single mum and my dad moved to New York when I was little. Like all Jamaicans, I have a large extended family. My Dad has eight children (I’m the 6th of 8). Although my immediate family in the UK is quite small, creating this peculiar dynamic of simultaneously having a large extended family but a small immediate family. I grew up with just my Mum and my brother (my only full sibling, the 5th of 8), in a council flat in Leytonstone.
Excluding my “generic” interests and hobbies, that most black young men from London are likely to have e.g., playing/watching football, liking urban music, going to the gym, etc. Lesser “generic” things that I love are… politics. I don’t know where my love for politics stemmed from, I’m still trying to figure it out. I’m by no means a political historian and I didn’t grow up in a political household, but I love politics as an idea. I think the fact that politics is essentially people trying to fix problems and improve livelihoods is quite appealing, as there are many societal problems we can fix and many livelihoods we can improve. On the contrary, I can understand why one would not love the reality of politics, as ideas and reality are often total strangers. Aside from football, other sports that I like are F1, F1 Esports, Basketball, and Battle Rap (a quite niche and left-field interest, I know, but some people would argue it’s a sport and I’m inclined to agree. Expect a Battle Rap related post in the future). I also love listening to podcasts, cooking (when I’m not forced to do it), fantasy football, true crime documentaries, psychology videos, Vox videos, learning French, a variety of music genres, meditating and Rubik’s cubing. And I have many interests that I don’t do enough of but plan to do more e.g., swimming, reading, or playing chess; to name a few.
Primarily, I want this blog to be an outlet for self-expression, I think it’s important to not suppress your individuality, as it is what makes you, you. Actively practicing being unapologetically yourself aloud is a great habit to adopt, if for whatever reason it does not come naturally to you. I want to use this blog to talk about anything that I find interesting. If you’ve ever heard my voice, it’s extremely monotone. Sometimes I get told that I seem very nonchalant and calm all the time but deep down my sock is wet and there’s a stone in my shoe (I jest). But like everyone, I’m incredibly passionate about the things that I’m passionate about and expressing that passion is important, so why not blog? I presume that writing regularly improves your writing skill, and although nothing is formal about this blog, I would like to get better at writing. I’ve never been good at bringing things to a close, so if you have made it this far, thank you and I hope you’ll hear from me soon, au revoir.