There’s only one thing I would say to my 18 year old self:
‘Stop putting everyone else first, get up off your butt and go and do what YOU want.’
Every decision I ever made factored in other people first. And none of those was a wise decision. It’s why I am where I am today – alone, angry and failed.
When I was about 15 I was finally allowed to do what I wanted with my hair. I opted for a short look.When I was mistaken for a boy in my local sweet shop I decided to grow it. And one failed perm later I vowed never to go to a hairdresser again.
You see, I was never a girly girl. Which is odd considering my job. I’ve always been a bit of a tom boy. Never particularly comfortable in a dress. Always felt a bit frumpy. My mum always bought my clothes. I literally had no idea how to do fashion whatsoever. I just didn’t get it.
And I have never ever found the hairstyle that I thought suited me and I felt represented who I was.
It was 7 years before I went to a hairdresser again. Eventually years later I had grown tired of super long ‘I can sit on it’ hair. It didn’t suit my age and it annoyed the hell out of me. So I found a new hairdresser and gradually over time chopped it and chopped it and factored in a bang fringe.
These days I sport a very angled bob. It’s long at the front, super short at the back. Like, it hasn’t been this short at the back since I was 15. I daren’t have anymore off because I’m afraid of being mistaken for a fat dyke which I suppose is a bit like being mistaken for a boy at the sensitive age of 15.
Because all these years later and really I am still a tom boy.
I knew at 23 exactly what I wanted to do. Now at 41 I have no idea what’s going on…..
When I was young, I figured by the age of 23, I would have everything figured out.
Do you ever feel like one day you might go slightly mad? I was watching the film Vincent and Theo the other day. And Amadeus. Two films that should probably not be watched back to back by a creative person desperately trying to make enough out of their calling to pay the bills.
Creative people are generally a bit nuts. It’s part and parcel of being creative. Look at Alex McQueen. Creative people have issues. It’s what makes them arty. It’s the way it is.
And I wonder how long I’ll go on for before just losing the plot. The problem is I question a lot of things. I don’t get what it’s all about. Life – I mean.
I was brought up to want something more than marriage and kids. That a career – a calling was everything. But the problem is I don’t know what to do with it. Because careers do not buy happiness and they don’t make you enough to live on. And the rest of my life is so detached that career isn’t everything.
I don’t really have the infrastructure for basic happiness because I have moved house and town quite a lot and I haven’t found the place I want to stay long enough to build meaningful friendships. So my life is fragmented. There is one friend who has followed me through my life for the last 26 years. Work is the only consistent thing. And as I work alone, that’s a pretty dangerous place to be.
I also struggle to deal with the pettiness of life which is why I find it easy to dump people who make life difficult – boyfriends when they seriously fuck up, friends who are just so petty I want to scream. Who needs it?
I’m hoping I will stay in the city I’ve landed in, for a while at least. I’ve tried Meetup but I’m struggling to find anyone I really gel with and I don’t know if that’s because I’m not meeting the right people or if it’s me. Maybe it is me. If it is, this could go on for a while.