The Meaning Behind My Blog Name: Why There's Beauty in the Brain

All year I’ve known I wanted to keep a blog as I recover to share what has mostly been quite a secret journey up until this point. Whenever I told anyone new, they were curious to know how I found out, what it’s been like and because they care, they constantly want to know how I’m feeling. 

I’m so grateful for this support and have truly seen the best side to so many people this year, but at the same time it can be quite exhausting to tell the story over and over. Instead, I wanted a place where I could communicate all those things to everyone without it consuming me.

And to be honest this blog has become such a welcomed distraction. Designing it, thinking about it and planning it has kept me looking forward to the time when I will soon be on the other side of this. Maybe not fully through it, but over the worst, when instead I will just be writing about it like an event that happened to someone else.

But I couldn’t think of a name. So in March, I told my big sister, Harrie, the news and enlisted her creative help. After a bit of brainstorming she gave me “Beauty and the Brain”, like Beauty and the Beast. I loved it instantly and was disappointed to find out the domain was taken, until I went back to the drawing board and really thought about what that meant.

I suddenly realised I shouldn’t be playing on words and trying to refer to the tumour as a beast (nor myself as a beauty frankly!) because it's not. It’s actually quite the opposite and one of the best things that has happened to me – I know how this sounds, so stick with me for a minute!

So much beauty has come into my life in the form of people, opportunities and changed perspectives as a result of having a brain tumour and needing surgery.

Preparing for it has been a daily awakening and reminder to pay attention to the beauty in the world, because there’s so much of it and most of the time we sleepwalk through life not noticing. And, as it happens, some of the best people have brain surgery apparently and I’ve been lucky enough to build amazing friendships with people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Because of this, I knew I wanted to combine ‘beauty’ and ‘brain’ in some ways. Suddenly ”Beauty in the Brain’ felt not only symbolic of the fact the tumour in my head has been a blessing, and finding it so early even more so, but also of the fact that beauty comes from within.

There’s really no such thing as “beauty", only the way we observe and perceive it. It doesn’t exist on its own. Whenever I worried about the uncertainties of brain surgery; whether I would look the same, act the same, speak the same, think the same or feel the same, often fearing how this might come across to others, it was helpful to remember that beauty is nothing other than perception.

Regardless of what happens, this surgery will not change who I am at the core. Not to mention, the brain is absolutely incredible. The things it can achieve and traumas it can bounce back from are indescribable and there’s so beauty in that.

Despite being in a the form of a tumour that shouldn’t be there and granted is better out, it has been a blessing in every way imaginable and for that reason is quite literally Beauty in the Brain.

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