Thursday, 26 May 2016

Buckaroo.

It's been a bit of a dramatic week. Actually, it hasn't been dramatic exactly, it's been worse. Did you ever play the game Buckaroo? You pile all manner of crap atop a plastic horse and then just when you have a load of brightly coloured bits of tack on it, it bucks and everything goes flying. But before the buck, you sit and you wait and you add things, all the while checking for signs of the impending drama.

I feel like I'm watching the horse thing and just waiting for everything to fly off. Sorry, this is a bit cryptic. I don't want to focus on all the shiny things on top of the horse, because the horse is the important bit. I'm not explaining myself well. I'm fine and safe. I'm overwhelmed with all kinds of different things going on at once though and in a bit of a bitch and whinge mode.

You know me though. Mostly, I love people. I bitch and whinge with the best of them, but I genuinely think that there will always be someone willing to listen to anyone do that bitching and whinging, which all in all gives me one less thing to B&W about. So that's pretty great. And I was reminded of that last night.

Yesterday I ended the day on a low. I'd been in London for the day for my last work commitment (that's one thing piled on top of the horse- I've left my part-time job ahead of starting uni in September) and was meant to meet a friend after my meeting. I found out last minute that she had to work, so I ended up with a few hours at the end of the day, before my train home. Of course, London isn't the worst place to waste a few hours, but I was in bad pain with my hip (anorexia is not kind to your bones and joints) and exhausted and ready for home by the time I left work, never mind by the time I got home at half 10.

On my way home, as my phone battery was declining, I did something I don't do often- I posted a bit of a B&W status. And then my battery died and I got home and collapsed into bed and that was that.

Except, it wasn't. When I checked my social media today, I had a fair bunch of messages from people checking I was alright. Which is really beyond bloody lovely. In the past, I've wondered if people only are interested because my life is so- pardon me- crazy, or if they feel obliged. I can sort of handle the curiosity, because I can get that and hopefully I can smash a few stereotypes whilst I'm at it. It's the obligation that really bothers me.

My therapist has said to me a few times that people choose obligation. They choose to care and if they feel obliged, that's because they care. It's a new way of looking at an old worry of mine and I like it. I want it to be true.

So thank you to those who choose to care. And to those who don't? As long as you care about something or somebody, thank you to you, too.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Because you deserve the best.

This post is for you.

You've smelt rotten death, tasted sickly destruction, felt the rough underside of this life, heard the cry of finality and seen unimaginable horrors.

You've also smelt the soft spot on a newborn's head or the perfume of someone you love or your grandma's home cooking. You've smelt freshly mown grass or the salt of the sea or the clean at the end of a spell of rain. You've smelt new paper or recently laid out paint or old books.

You've also tasted the first sloppy kiss of your childhood or a hot drink on a cold day or something that was made with love. You've also tasted a snow drop on your tongue straight from the sky or an ice lolly on a hot day or a last chip at the bottom of your bag. You've also tasted the anticipation of a new book by your favourite author or the end of a pen as you nibbled mid-thought or the goodnight kiss from your favourite person.

You've also felt the peachy softness of a baby's cheek or the grasp of someone who will never let you go or the story told by a wrinkle. You've also felt the crunch of fresh ice or the sunshine on your face or the relief of air pressure lightening. You've felt the potential of a blank canvas or the smooth of a pen moulded to your fingers or etchings left on the other side of a written page.

You've also heard the babble of a toddler or a story that transports you away or old fisherman swapping tales of who caught the biggest fish. You've also heard the fall of rain on glass or the ripple of the tide or the quiet after the final crash of thunder of a storm. You've heard a tender lullaby or a reading from a book told in a way you'd never imagined or heard a fable that matches your place.

You've also seen the trust in an infant's eyes or that person who makes you forget to hate yourself or an elderly couple walking hand in hand. You've also seen a rainbow breaking through a whole lot of rain or sand blowing gracefully in the wind or the sun setting after a long day. You've also seen a natural colour brighter than you knew nature could produce or a piece of work you will always be proud of or a person you love drift off into what you know will be a peaceful sleep.

You've also smelt, tasted, felt, heard, seen new beginnings and comfortable consistencies and things that have naturally come to an end.

There is far, far more beauty and wonder out there than your demons will ever let you have access to. But it's there, right in front of you, and I promise you deserve it all.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Age.

I was the world's cutest kid. Maybe not the world's, but I was pretty damn cute. Here's me being adorable in 1991-

Here's me (with my brother, but ignore him) being adorable in 1992-

And here's me being adorable in 1993-

Of course, it all went downhill from there. My blonde curls became auburn frizz (that I started dyeing when I was 9, because even my mum thought it was boring), I got glasses when I was 3 and my terrible dress sense became much less cute after the age of about 6. 

Or, well, maybe it didn't go downhill.

I bet that everyone has at least one photo of themselves that they can point to to show how absolutely adorable they were. I bet you were also the world's cutest kid. I bet your grandma was. Hell, I bet if she had one, my grandma would be able to show me a picture of herself at my age and marvel at how she was a gorgeous 20-something. And that's the thing- I bet when I'm old and can lay the evidence of a long life before my grandchildren, I'll be amazed at how beautiful I was at 25.

You're meant to think you were once lovely and that you screwed it all up. That you were once pure, but you muddied it. That you were beautiful, but that you threw it all away. It's the same story that you could read or watch or hear about anywhere, the wizened old crone who tells anyone who will listen that they were once glorious too. Society throws it at us all the time. We're programmed to wish for eternal youth and to believe that the only reason we're no longer how we were is that we didn't guard our youthful beauty as much as we should have.

Of course we all age. If you've made it this far in this post, you'll have aged a few minutes whilst distracted by my thoughts. The thing is though, it's all inevitable. We're born, we age (some for longer than others) and then we die. What we do whilst we age is what's important and I'm so tired of the idea that it's all downhill. That being young and beautiful is everything. Especially since we never even recognise our youth whilst we have it. Don't even get me started on how we never seem to recognise our own beauty.

I, for one, am tired of thinking that it's my own fault I don't have all the same levels of beauty that I had before 1993.

I'm an adult. I'm old to 5 years olds and young to 85 year olds. Once I was that 5 year old and one day- I hope- I'll be that 85 year old. And I hope I tell you how I was as beautiful in 2016 as I was in 1993. And I hope that when that day comes, some time towards the end of this century, I'll tell you how beautiful I am in my 80s and how I know this because I've spent 60-some years believing in my own vitality.