James is 22 years old, is unemployed, and lives with friends. He brought photographs to his interview which helped us understand three key themes of his current life: staying in balance, awareness, and external resources.

  • James

    Staying in balance

    “It’s a vegan diet with no meat and dairy and that since doing that I’ve felt some changes in my I guess well-being and body. I feel like I’m less heavy and chunky.”

    I was feeling it isn’t a very respectable thing I’m doing but I also didn’t want to not have a job…I just handed in my notice.”

    James is very ethically-aware and is searching for a balance in everything he does. He became vegan as a protest against the food industry and improved his health at the same time. His deep personal ethics extends also to his livelihood. When he got his first job he was proud to be supporting himself financially. However, in good conscience he could not keep working for this particular company so made the difficult decision to leave.

  • James


    “I think about it very often. It’s nice when you have money but it’s not nice when you don’t have money. I always wanted to make sure I always have enough. I would hate to be in the situation where I just don’t have enough money to live.”

    James reflected on his financial situation three times in his interview and talked about his jobs and about unemployment at many points. He has a keen awareness of the potentially devastating impact of poverty on his health and well-being and is anxious to avoid being in this situation.

  • James

    External resources

    “I kind of find solace in listening or making or hearing music. All the time, it’s just constantly there.”

    “I’ve had girlfriends before…I’m really connected with her and she generally makes us happy. Just kind of affects my world.”

    James and his mum were separated when he was very young and he grew up with his dad. They listened to music together and James still finds music helpful today. James’ girlfriend is also a huge support to him and has a major positive impact on his health and well-being.