Today was a major throwback to adolescence for me. I picked up a pen, dusted off last year’s journal (still thick with blank pages) and began to write. I felt like a fourteen year-old again, barring puberty-driven angst and the invaluable knowledge that the world didn’t owe me anything.
What blossomed as I scrawled a somewhat incoherent letter to myself – or someone else – was that I am in the best place that I have been in in many months. Despite quitting university for the third – and last – time and being in a form of purgatory over the past few weeks, I honestly haven’t felt this content in a while.
I’m starting to read again: books by strong women with a sense of humour, the kind of women I aspire to be like when I “grow up”. I recently finished Lena Dunham’s “Not That Kind Of Girl” and was stunned by the candid, hilariously-honest way in which she holds herself.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find that I am not the only tomboy-esque, slightly awkward person on the planet. Who could be guilty of stealing snippets of other people’s personalities to form their own. Who got a huge Blink-182 tattoo on her leg because it reminds her of youthfulness and who, with no shame, still listens to pop punk music from 2004 and revels in it.
I want to share something groundbreaking with you. A few days ago, I was talking to a guy who informed me that he used to be a “skater” (for any millennials reading, you geddit). I had a slight “No way!” moment when you find a fellow human being and thought this was pretty cool, until he proceeded to inform me that he eventually “got a life” and started playing football instead.
My heart sank a little, but not with sorrow. More in a “wow, you’re a dick” kind of way. It occurred to me after that that maybe it had gotten to the point where I was beginning to care less about whether other people liked me and more about whether I liked them.
I didn’t feel even remotely compelled to agree with his statement, either. If I was younger, I would have laughed with him, knowing in my gut that I was betraying myself. Is this what being a functional, rational adult feels like?
Quitting university was the most rational decision I have made in a while. After countless sleepless nights and pros and cons lists, I decided it was for the best. I couldn’t justify spending a ridiculous amount of money per annum on something I wasn’t sure of, nor was particularly benefitting me. I was sticking it out for the wrong reasons.
However, it now means that I am a working woman with a real-life income. It means I can save, gain experience and hopefully, move elsewhere and create my little mobile coffee shop.
These recent revelations and new-found loves have made me feel like a completely different being. I am immersing myself daily in writing (even if I have a knack of going off on tangents), books (most recently: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine) and most importantly, life.
“Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” – Henry Miller