I suppose that I could come up with a more inventive opening sentence of my first ever blog post, but I think this line is funny and ironic so this will have to do.

I don’t know exactly where to start, so I’ll be cliché and ‘start at the beginning’ (queue anxiety at having to talk about myself and bare my soul).

The reason I am embarking on this journey of blogging is because I have always been somewhat jealous of those who have the confidence to share their opinions, doubts, fears and deep dark secrets on the internet for the whole world to see. However, I am at an age where my teenage angst and adolescent self-doubt are starting to have a diminishing impact on how I see myself and how I want the world to see me. So what better way to document my every thought and criticism of the state of the world than to write about it.

Now, on the topic of writing – I have always fancied myself gifted with the English language: a sort of silver-tongued writer. My passion started when I was a wee lassie reading an author who (unbeknownst to me at the time, obviously) would set the course for the rest of my life. It began with Rahld Dahl. That James and the Giant Peach, Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory author captivated me with his stories and illustrations to such an extent that I could picture myself alongside Charlie meandering down the chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. From then on, I was hooked on books like my friends were hooked on cartoon network and kiddie’s high-heel shoes made with glitter plastic (you know the type – those uncomfortable hideous little pink and purple heels with the big fluff on the toe). I’d spend every break in the library reading everything I could get my little girlish hands on – not because I didn’t have friends, okay, (don’t pity little me too much) but because I found it so much more exciting to travel through stories than to play marbles or swap Pokémon cards.

The next big call for my artistic soul was the Harry Potter series. I was obsessed – I am not even being dramatic when I say I read each book seven times. Yes, I was that kid. Following Harry and his mighty quest of defeating Voldemort, I fell in love with Bella and Edward’s love story (which, in retrospect, is really not that inventive of a story-line, but it had kissing and other such naughty content which was appealing to awkward adolescents like myself). After The Twilight Saga, the next thing to grip me was The Lord of the Rings. This time, however, my fire was lit by my high-school English teacher whose classroom had movie-poster cardboard reproductions of Frodo and Gandalf upon entrance. This was ‘The Shire’ in my mind – it existed alongside a passionate, dramatic, somewhat-scary, acquired taste of an English Teacher who has probably been the beat in the heart of my creative source, and still is almost five years later. Fast forward a few years to after too many heartbreaks (and so many more to come), (a lot) of anxieties about my future and an excess of internal struggles to the present, in which I find myself sitting at a desk. I am looking out onto my pool with my German Shepperd sleeping next to me, writing a blog, excitement in the pit of my stomach, hoping that you like it.

Kathryn van den Berg

When trying to come up with an alias for my blog, I turned to words people have used to describe me for inspiration. The term 'control freak' popped up in my mind, but I'm not that confrontational and opinionated (anymore...). And so came into existence a happy compromise between my A-type personality and sense of humour.

Kathryn is The Control Enthusiast.