Despina Meris is an experienced journalist, editor, photographer and blogger as well as the author of a brilliant memoir, Every Conceivable Way, published by Hardie Grant.
The memoir documents Meris’ nine years battling infertility with IVF, adoption and then surrogacy in three different countries before having Evander, her ”miracle boy”.
Neos Kosmos caught up with her during lockdown to find out what she has been up to:
What have you been reading?
It’s the perfect time for self-reflecting, so I’m reading Girl, Stop Apologizing. It’s about letting go of excuses to clear the path to your goals, and owning who you are.
Non-fiction is usually my thing, but when I want to escape, anything by Liane Moriarty works for me. I just devoured Nine Perfect Strangers, but Big Little Lies is still my favourite.
What are you watching?
Modern Love, a series based on a long-running New York Times column. Each episode is a stand-alone story of love and human connection, a timely reminder that love defies definition and boundaries.
What music are you listening to?
This hugely depends on my mood. Upbeat dance music, like Dua Lipa, Lizzo and Camilla Cabello when I’m full of energy. Lewis Capaldi when I feel raw and unfettered. And traditional Greek music from Asia Minor when I want to reconnect with my roots.
What are you cooking?
I’m baking! Anyone who knows me will be shocked by this. It must be nurturing, I find myself baking bread, cakes, banana muffins, pizza dough. It’s also something my son can participate in, a beautiful thing we can share together.
What is keeping you sane at the moment?
Meditation, nature and music. Meditation to practise staying present, nature to remind me that we are all interconnected and part of something bigger, music to stir my soul. I’ve been singing with my guitarist friend, and I’m loving reconnecting with my long-lost passion for singing.
What is work like for you now?
Impossible. My very chatty 5 year old interrupts me constantly, so I’m holding the door closed while I’m on a radio interview or trying to keep a straight face on live TV, while he is causing havoc in the other room. It’s pretty comical, actually.
What’s something positive you’ve witnessed or experienced since COVID-19 entered our lives?
Pre-COVID-19, life was racing at warp speed, and I felt like I was connecting with people on a superficial level. Now, we are connecting over ideas, common passions, debating topics, and having some pretty existential conversations.
What have you learned about yourself during COVID-19?
That I’m not as much of an extrovert as I thought I was! I’m finding beauty and clarity in the stillness, and a perfect balance of socialising and alone time. I’m clearly more of an introverted extrovert.
Where’s the first place you’d like to visit in Greece once travel is allowed?
Chania, Crete. I’ve visited many times and find myself reminiscing about it all the time. As a travel writer, I’ve experienced so many parts of Greece, but Chania embodies the Greek experience. Live music, strolls along ancient streets, vibrant nightlife until the early hours of the morning, great pride in their traditions, incredible food made with local produce and love. The locals ooze ‘filoxenia’, they always make me feel so welcome.