Hello Megan! Thank you for agreeing to this interview. First off, can you tell us about you and your blog? How did you get started with Not So Perfect and what are your passions?
I’m Megan, a curly haired British American teenager living in England. I’m a summer lover, washi tape collector and Starbucks obsessor. I’m a big sister, puppy momma and sprinkle enthusiast. Most importantly though, I’m a lover and follower of Jesus. On my blog you will find all sorts of things- creative lifestyle ideas, faith, inspiration and an abundance of happy things. But remember, nothing will be perfect! Visit Megan’s blog and Instagram Page Here!
I created my blog because I truly believe there is no such thing as perfection. In this age of social media, the misguided notion of flawlessness is often forced onto us. We see influencers, bloggers, YouTubers and social media stars and look at what they post of their lives and bodies, all the while thinking to ourselves how unattainable the level they are on is.
Then we try and imitate them, asking ourselves what they’d do so we can live a similar lifestyle or achieve the same results. We try their workout challenges for an identical body, copy their daily routine so it appears we have it all together and in the bag. Yet we always feel disappointed when these things don’t work out as we’d envisioned. We worry about our inherent worthy or beauty as we don’t match up to how we perceive these people to be. In reality, it’s all about how they present themselves. Tricks of the light, the right angles.
What is your philosophy on life and why?
Pretty simply, Jesus! I’ve learnt that without Jesus, life is impossible. I’m by no means a perfect Christian or even a good one by any standards but I try my best to put Jesus at the forefront and centre of my life. I endeavour to make all my pursuits, my purpose, about Him. It goes without saying that it’s a daily struggle to put Jesus first– after all, I am not perfect! All I can do is pray and pray some more, all the while trying as hard as I can! I want to live a vibrant, abundant life and I know deep down that this is achieved through a focus on Jesus and his teachings.
Where do you live and what do you enjoy most about your hometown?
I live just outside of London, England. I’d say my favourite thing about living in the suburbs is the beautiful combination of city and country areas. Central London is half an hour away from me on public transport so it is easy to travel back and forth on the train or the bus. This ease of access makes fun days out in London all the more breezy and enjoyable!
On the flip side, I’d say we’re a twenty minute drive away from more rural areas. There I enjoy long, peaceful walks and day trips away from the hustle, bustle and noise of the city. The beauty of the countryside is not to be underestimated.That’s not to say I don’t enjoy London city. It’s incredibly diverse in so many ways. Packed full of history, rich with diversity and culture experience, a variety of art works, wonderful architectural interiors and exteriors and many weird and wacky things!
What does your creative process look like?
Well, in keeping with the theme of blog, my creative process really isn’t perfect! It involves a lot of trial and error and re doing things. Whether it’s creating graphics, photos, blog posts, Instagram feed posts, Pinterest stories or curations unrelated to my socials, I cycle through lots of half baked drafts before eventually reaching my finished, polished product.
Once I’ve come up with an idea, I starting jotting things down to help the idea take shape and extend. Beyond that stage however, my ideas still tend to shift and even change completely from time to time, often in ways I hadn’t expected or envisioned.
Even then, funnily enough, it’s still not perfect- one day I’d posted some digital lettering on Instagram only to have my dad pick out an error the next day. He’d noticed that I’d spelt something incorrectly in the graphic. It was too late to take the post down so it’s up there in all its glory for everybody to see.
Talk us through your experience culturally being British American and having dual citizenship! Truly the best of both worlds. Where have you travelled to so far and what’s the contrast like between the two countries?
Wow! So my mom is American and my dad is British. Whilst I live in England’s London, I’ve grown up visiting my family in Michigan every summer. Michigan is by far my favourite place in the world and I absolutely treasure the summers we’ve been back there and the memories I’ve made and stored away.
Nothing beats the camping trips we’ve been on, whole days spent at the lake and good times we’ve had with our friends, frequently with an ice cream in hand. Outside of Michigan, the only other place I’ve been to in America is Chicago where we also have family. Since we spend all our time in America in the places we have family, I haven’t gotten to travel elsewhere in other states. That’s something I’d love to put on my bucket list for the future!
Smoothie bowls! What are your top five blends and how do you get the consistency just right?
If there’s one thing people know me by, it’s my appreciation for smoothie bowls. It’s so much fun to experiment with different fruits and veggies, adding tons of new toppings each time. One of my favourite bowls is packed full of blueberry, mango and banana with fragrant coconut yoghurt. So delicious! I also love a good old mango bowl- mango, as the name suggests, banana and greek yoghurt with a hint of turmeric for colour and a slight spice kick. It’s the best topped with raspberries too!
A few other go to blends of mine are a raspberry and peach bowl with blueberries and banana and a summer fruits bowl with mango, strawberry, orange, cherries and banana. Finally, an original recipe! One of the first bowls I made and enjoyed had passionfruit, banana, raspberries and blueberries and topped with pomegranate and more passionfruit!
As for consistency, getting this step right often requires some trial and error. It depends on your personal taste too. Do you prefer a thicker more gluggy smoothie or one that is creamy and silky? I like to start with some banana, yoghurt and a splash of milk. If the frozen fruit doesn’t break down enough to blend, I’ll add a dash more milk. Once I’ve finished, if it’s liquidy, I might add some thickening ingredients like frozen banana or mango for chunk.
So, tell us about your puppy and the sunflowers you’ve planted lately. Are you much of a green thumb? What else has your summer involved?
Ah, my puppy! In London’s first lockdown back in April of twenty twenty we added a new member to our family, a little labradoodle called Cooper! We love him to bits and enjoy playing with and cuddling him- although he’s not the biggest fan of snuggles! We’re working quite hard with him on becoming obedient and following instructions so here’s to hoping he’ll be beautifully trained one day. Fingers crossed!
As for my sunflowers, I planted ten back in April and I have nine now- they are gorgeous, tall and very green! I’m so excited for them to hopefully flower towards the end of the summer. I can’t say I’m much of a gardener but I’ve really been enjoying getting outdoors this summer. My flowers bring me a lot of happiness although I’m still working out how to care for them and ensure proper growth.
I’ve been on summer break for about a month now. So far I’ve done a lot of relaxing and spent ample time with friends which has been so rewarding. A highlight so far was throwing a surprise birthday picnic for a friend. We decided on a pink theme so all the food and drink was colour coordinated! I’ve also done lots of thrifting and shopping which has been so engaging!
How do you study the Bible and keep God at the forefront of your life? How has keeping Him in the drivers seat looked different over time and influenced you? What are your go to materials for your practice, whatever that be stationery, podcasts, playlists and the like?
These are great questions! I actually wrote a post on how I study the Bible recently. To sum it up, I’ll read through the passage, highlight key verses that stand out to me and make notes in the margins. I try not to be overly particular about how much I read or the length or depth of the notes I make. Instead I aim to focus on the word and doing what feels right and suits me best in the moment. Sometimes I’ll reach a passage and feel it holds so much goodness that I’ll spend an entire half hour on just a few verses! When it resonates so much and speaks to my heart, this process is worth it.
As for keeping God at the forefront of my life, it’s a learning process that is sometimes easier said than done. I try my hardest to read my Bible every day and pray not just before bed but when the yearning for connection with Jesus hits. I will feel called to conversation with him yet it’s all too easy to get caught up in meaningless yet tempting distractions if I’m not careful. I do get distracted frequently and am really not perfect in any way, shape or form. I do know however that if I attempt to take charge of my life, it will likely spiral in all sorts of wrong directions. I try my best to humble myself enough to surrender my life to Jesus every single day. Truthfully though, I frequently suck at it!
It’s definitely a daily choice you have to make. One that requires constant thought, effort, energy, intention and recommitment. You have to get up in the morning and say, ‘Jesus, today I pray that your will be done and carried out, not mine.’ You will have to admit that his plans will always trump over yours. Even once you’ve prayed with a steadfast heart, you’ll continue to slip up and fall back into chasing your will over God’s. Eventually though, you’ll be reined in and get to a point where you realise this life isn’t to be lived solo. You’ll come to understand that your power is from a source, from God. That you can’t do this by yourself anymore, relying solely on your own abilities. They are limited but God’s are infinite. Then you’ll surrender to his perfect plan all the more.
As for resources I use, I love a good podcast! The WHOA That’s Good Podcast with Sadie Robertson is full of incredible advice. Another bite sized option is the Messy Masterpiece Podcast with Tori and Chad Masters. They release a new episode most mornings that is short in length and therefore perfect to listen to whilst you get ready for the day. I also keep a journal where I write prayers, thoughts, take sermon notes and compile lists of things I’m thankful for. Another resource I love are sticky notes- I use them everywhere: thank you prayers, names of friends to pray for, thoughts I want to write down, notes in my Bible and journal. You name it!
So, band practice! What instruments have you played and what opportunities has this brought to you? How were you called to music and do you have any songs that speak to your heart?
So, I’ve played the clarinet for almost seven years now. For majority of that time I’ve been in a wind band, moving up levels as I’ve gotten older and more experienced. I’ve made so many incredible friends through playing the clarinet and being in a band has brought me so much fulfilment. I’ve had the opportunity to play and perform in concerts, help younger musicians and find my voice and style through music. I hope to continue doing this for years to come.
I didn’t explore other instruments before choosing to play the clarinet as my mother already had a clarinet she’d used to play. Ten year old me was oh so excited at the prospect of following in her footsteps. Although that’s not a glamorous story, It’s how I personally stumbled into loving music and finding a community in band. As for songs that speak to my heart, I don’t have anything specific that comes to mind. However, I’ve always loved playing old hymns on my clarinet and have been picking out the melodies to them as long as I’ve known the basic notes!
Your digital lettering is just beautiful and always speaks volumes. What are your favourite messages to share and how do you come up with designs? What platform do you use?
Digital art is something I’ve enjoyed doing for quite a while now. It’s so fun and creative and unlike with real art, if you make a mistake you have the luxury of pressing the undo button, resetting completely and trying again with a blank slate. I use my digital art to speak to people in my Instagram community and support the messages shared on my blog.
Whether one or a hundred people relate to what I share is beside the point to me. If even a single person takes away what they need, I’ve done my job. I want people to be wholly encouraged and uplifted when they read what I’ve written. I hope that they know the bountiful and overflowing love Jesus will always have for them.
As for coming up with my designs and creating them, there is a lot of experimentation involved! I use an app called Procreate on my iPad, along with an Apple pencil for the hand lettering. I pick some words, be it a quote or a lyric or a Bible verse, then begin sketching it out. In the initial stages of designing, I often change things around and just go with the flow. Overall, it’s an incredibly relaxing process!
Here are some of Megan’s hand lettering creations- isn’t my beautiful friend talented! Always speaking volumes with her passionate and faith filled artworks!