Fractured (and a Little Bit Lost)

I’m not going to pretend I’m writing my second blog post in as many days because I have anything particularly interesting to say. The truth of the matter is that I have nothing to do at work, and I am kind of grumpy, and I am angry at myself for doing something last night that I told myself I wasn’t going to do anymore. Plus, in typical Amy fashion, I am wallowing in existential angst and wondering what the hell I am supposed to be doing with this life of mine, that seems to be casually passing me by.

Image result for pixabay fractured

Right now I feel about as fragile as a piece of glass, and the smallest amount of pressure is going to be enough to fracture me into a billion tiny pieces. My emotions feel like a raw, exposed wound and I am struggling to keep it all together, even though all I really want to do is explode out of my skin.

I am so, so very sick of feeling this way. I feel like I post about it periodically, which I’m sure you’re all tired of reading about. But no matter what I do, I can’t seem to shake this feeling. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I am, and how I think who I am is being shaped by my circumstance, and my location. I said to a friend of mine on the weekend that I feel like I can’t really become the person I am meant to be until I get out of this state.

I don’t think it’s an uncommon thing, particularly amongst people in their 20’s, to feel like they’re still becoming. I think as a general rule, we have this notion that we’re not who we’re supposed to be yet, and that we have to spend the next however many years figuring that out. That’s certainly how I’ve been feeling lately. I feel like I’m not able to be authentically me yet, because I don’t have the freedom to reinvent myself into who I want to become. I feel as though I am living in this shell of myself, and that I need something explosive to break it open and reveal the real Amy underneath. Logically, I know that moving away isn’t going to change who I am. I know this, because I’ve moved away a few times, and I’ve always come back to my home town more or less the same person. But it doesn’t stop me from dreaming of the day I can finally have my own house. And when I think about that house, I think of it as being as far away from my home town as I can get without moving to another country.

What I think I need, is to move so far away that it isn’t easy to just come back home. I need something completely new and fresh, and different. Yes, wherever I go there will still be people who annoy me (thanks, customer service) and I know that wherever I go, my mental health is going to come along for the ride. I know that I will still have doubts, and states of depression, and fears and probably a lot of sleepless nights. I am not naive enough to think that moving away is going to change my life so drastically that I’ll wonder why I never did it sooner. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to believe that a fresh start can be cathartic, therapeutic even. At any rate, I have to believe that there is something better for me than what I have now.

I wrote this post today, because I needed to create something. I am stuck at work until 5:30 and every particle of my being is screaming out to make art, in one form or another. I feel trapped here, stuck in this godforsaken shopping centre, and this small square shop, and I am battling my very emotions, as well as my very irresponsible desire to just leave and never come back. But, as yesterday’s post will attest, I have a stupid adult obligation to stay where I am, at least until I have enough of a financial buffer behind to allow for the kind of freedom I so desperately crave.

Life is hard, and I’m angry and I kind of just want someone to bring me their dog so I can cuddle it.

Advertisements

Responsibility Sucks

There is nothing fun about being responsible. Being responsible means you stay at home when you really want to go to see a movie with your friend, because you know you can’t afford it. Being responsible means getting up and going to work every day, even though it makes you want to drive a fork through your eye. Being responsible means staying firm about decisions you make, when all you really want to do is give in with reckless abandon, and indulge in forbidden pleasures.

Whoever decided that it was up to us, as adults, to bear the weight of responsibility must have been a pretty uptight kinda dude. It certainly makes me miss aspects of my childhood, when hard decisions were up to other people to make. What I need is for someone else, someone smarter than me, to make my decisions and then deal with the aftermath and the responsibility of those decisions. Or, alternatively, I need to just be more carefree, and throw away responsibility altogether. To be fair, neither one of those options are sustainable in the long term, but right now I’m having a lover’s tiff with responsibility, and at this rate, one of us is going to end up sleeping on the couch.

In a perfect world, I would have everything I wanted. In a perfect world, having to choose between my sanity or a paycheck wouldn’t even be an issue. Nor would choosing between fun things, and adult things. In a perfect world I wouldn’t have to sacrifice one thing for another, or give up on things altogether. But alas, we don’t live in a perfect world, and being a responsible adult is about the only thing I am able to do, even when I hate it.

A Strange Kind of Luck

I have a strange kind of luck. I have never won the lottery, and I never win any of the competitions I occasionally enter. I haven’t had much luck with jobs, or romance, or any of the things that are a general measure of success (whatever that means). I am frightfully clumsy, and will generally find a way to embarrass myself in any situation. So I wouldn’t at all consider myself a particularly lucky person. But what I do have, is a curious ability to avoid serious injury by the very tiniest of margins. It’s my superpower, if you will. Which, as it turns out, is quite a super power to have.

Take a couple of years ago. I was driving my car around a corner on a wet road, when my tyres gave way and suddenly I was hydroplaning. I spun into oncoming traffic, was narrowly missed by a car coming in the other direction, and ended up on the gutter. It was a quick accident, over in a matter of seconds, though it felt infinitely longer to me at the time. My car was written off after the accident, but I was unscathed. Similarly, a few years ago I fell asleep behind the wheel of my car whilst my brother was in the passenger seat. Again, it would have been for no more than a few seconds, but I awoke as I was drifting slowly off the road. I righted myself, and my brother took over driving.

When I use those examples, it sounds like my close calls are all car related. I promise you, I’m actually a very good driver! And I’ve had more than a few close calls that didn’t occur behind the wheel of a vehicle! Today, I had another flirtation with injury. One of the things I do at my job is cutting keys. I’ve been quite ill the last few days, and so I was wearing a cardigan to work to keep warm. As I was cutting a key for a customer this afternoon, the sleeve of said cardigan got caught in the machine and jammed. The super sharp cutter was millimetres away from the delicate skin on the inside of my wrist just before I turned the power off. Fortunately the only thing that got damaged was my sleeve. No trips to the hospital for me (touch wood).

I have countless stories of how I have managed to, by either my own foolishness or by universal design, end up in a situation that could be potentially harmful, and somehow managed to escape said situation without so much as a scratch. I am constantly amazed by the sheer number of close calls I have had in my life. Certainly more than the average person, I’m sure! Somehow, this strange super power of mine manages to save the day (and my life more than once).

I realise as I’m writing this, that I’m probably tempting fate. My next close call could be the one that results in severed fingers, or broken bones, or some kind of hideous injury that will take months to recover from. But for now, at least, I can say that I am quite alright and completely uninjured!

The Dumb

I used to be intelligent. When I was in primary school, I was praised for advancing quicker than everyone else in the reading levels. Into high school, I got consistently good grades in all classes but maths…words I could handle, numbers confuse me. As I got older, I was often considered the nerdy one, and words like smart and intelligent were often used to describe me. These days, I feel like I mostly just come across as angry and spacey. It’s like somewhere along the line, my brain contracted a serious case of The Dumb, and now I often feel like I’m the most stupid person in the room.

I was thinking today, about the books I’ve read this year. I track my reading habits through Goodreads, so I know what I’ve read, and can set a reading goal each year. I checked today, since it’s been a while since I last picked up a book, and something struck me. I’m a sucker for a good fiction novel, and everything I’ve read this year has been in that category. But then, scrolling through, I saw all these really intellectual sounding titles read by a woman I went to school with, and suddenly the books I have read this year sounded juvenile by comparison. If anyone were to guess who I was based on this year’s books, I imagine they would picture a 17 year old girl. Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, a handful of YA fiction, and a couple of Michael Connolly books. Not a single book amongst them about real life people, or current issues, or essays on women and motherhood, or…anything to spark thought or conversation.

It sounds silly, perhaps. After all, you like what you like and I don’t think anyone should ever judge another person’s taste in literature. But this comes off the back of a conversation I had with my brother’s fiance a couple of weeks ago. Apparently she had a conversation with a mutual acquaintance, where the other girl said “Amy is so intellectual. I feel like I could learn a lot from her” and I had a moment of feeling chuffed, before my future sister-in-law said “yeah, she could almost give me a run for my money!” Cue a heart sinking feeling of inadequacy, a flush of embarrassment in my cheeks, and the nasty voice inside my head hissing that once again, I wasn’t good enough. I know she didn’t mean anything by it, and she certainly didn’t mean it unkindly. I think it was a compliment, actually. But she’s a nurse, and was studying to be a lawyer, and knows a lot about a lot. And here’s me; working in a shitty retail job, living at home, and struggling to convince people that I’m not a complete idiot because I don’t go to university, or because I don’t read thought provoking non fiction.

Part of my problem, is that I have an inability to clearly and eloquently put thoughts into spoken words. I can write pages and pages on a subject without a problem, but when it comes to explaining things in a face to face setting, I get tongue tied and end up sounding stupid. The other part comes from having a terrible memory, and getting overwhelmed when presented with a big block of information. I don’t know much about political issues, I can’t tell you dates of the wars, and I wouldn’t know how to have a conversation about intersectional feminism without probably offending people with my lack of understanding. Most of the time, I just kind of stumble through talking to people and hope that they don’t focus on me too much.

As a former smart person, feeling stupid is an in unpleasant thing. Maybe one day I’ll be cured of The Dumb, but until then, if I sound like an idiot, just remember to be kind in your judgement.

Two Shades of Grey

I don’t consider myself a particularly vain person. I don’t primp and preen, nor spend hours in front of the mirror basking in my own reflection. I mean, I do have very specific rules about leaving the house in trackies, but overall I think I’m fairly humble about my appearance. And yet recently I have noticed something that has, on more than one occasion, had me staring intently at my head in the mirror. You see, it has come to my rather offended attention, that my hair has started to go grey.

I am 26 years old. Still young, by anyone’s standards. And yet there, atop my brunette head, are the telltale signs that I am finally turning into the old lady I am forever professing to be. Only now when I make old lady jokes, there’s going to be a hint of truth to them! I noticed the first grey hair, right in the centre of the top of my head, perhaps two or three months ago. I made a joke, and moved on. After all, one grey hair is nothing. But then, yesterday as I was getting ready for work, I saw it. A second traitorous hair hiding at my temple. Cue feeling personally victimised by my own body, contemplating dyeing my hair (despite making a decision to let my natural colour grow out), and making plans to immediately go find the Fountain of Youth.

As my recent return to theatre will attest, I have a tendency to be a little dramatic. So, the emergence of these silvery threads amongst the dark (oooh, wasn’t that a poetic phrase), meant that everyone on my Snapchat list received a photo of the temple hair, unceremoniously yanked from my head. I announced plans for my impending funeral, because obviously two grey hairs means I’m old, and about to die. And there was at least two inches of colourless hair there; how the hell does grey hair grow so fast without my noticing? More to the point, why doesn’t the rest of my hair grow so fast? Rude.

I told myself that two grey hairs really isn’t a big deal. I could embrace it, like Tara Moss, one of my favourite badass babes. At 45, she is rocking her greys with grace. Total idol. But, on the other hand…guys, I’m 26! So I’m taking a moment to feel personally offended that my hair has the audacity to start greying. But then, on the other other hand, I can now totally join the ranks of super cool wizards, the likes of Gandalf and Dumbledore. Hey, maybe this going grey thing isn’t all bad!

Image result for gandalf the grey

“Bubble Bubble”, and Jumping Back into Theatre

“Foil and Stubble!”

It has been over 12 months since I made my acting debut in my friend’s original one act play; Max Pry, Private Eye. It wasn’t something I had ever considered, but when the opportunity came up, I grabbed it with both hands and threw myself into the deep end. What I got was a fantastic experience with a bunch of wonderful people, and the acting bug. Recently, I was given the opportunity to be a part of another production, and you can bet your butts that my answer to the question of my participation was a resounding yes.

One major change between my last theatre experience and this one, is that this time my friends now have a proper production company, which is rad as heck. Unlike the other production companies in my home town, Uncertain Curtain Productions (um hello, is that not the coolest name ever?!) is a theatre company with a difference. It is, primarily, “a theatre group that provides access to the performing arts for people who identify as neurodiverse (E.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, Dyslexia, Mental Health Disorders)…by embracing the notion that “Our Differences Are Our Strengths”. “

Uncertain Curtain’s first ever play as an official theatre company, is called Bubble Bubble, and is a comedic retelling of The Frog Prince. Written by our fearless leader, Sarah-Jane; Bubble Bubble is witty, clever, and features a cast of kooky characters that you can’t help but love. Half our cast are kids under 12, and the rest of us are adults…though we act like 12 year olds a lot of the time, let’s be honest. So, as you would expect, our rehearsals have been a bit of a whirlwind. But, with our performance dates just a few short weeks away, it’s coming together really well and I’m excited to get on stage again.

Theatre is a fantastic creative outlet, and the more involved I get with it, the more I want to stay involved. Being on stage is a buzz like no other, and I’m thankful that I’ve been given another opportunity to get up there. Whilst I’m still a novice at this whole theatre thing, it’s such a fun and rewarding experience and I’m really looking forward to seeing the end result of our current performance endeavour.

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be…

When I was little, I wanted to be a doctor (read, surgeon). Not because I wanted to help people, but because I wanted to see what they looked like inside. You could say I was a bit of a morbid child, but don’t panic; I didn’t turn into a serial killer. I was just curious about the way things worked. It was probably that curiosity that drove my brain subconsciously toward the fascination with the death care industry, and my desire to become a mortician.

When I got a little older, I decided that being a doctor wasn’t for me. I thought maybe I would like to be an archaeologist instead, because I was fascinated by history, and how things got to be where they ended up, and the stories that could be told by bones and all manner of things one finds in the ground. Plus, I had a huge crush on Indiana Jones, duh. Soon, that dream too fell by the wayside, as I was struck by the revelation that there was so much study involved, and school was gross.

Of course, I’ve thought of doing many things over the years. Amongst many others, I considered being a teacher, a stewardess, a vet, a vampire slayer and, like almost every child in the world at some point (I’m sure), a rock star. None of these career goals lasted very long, and when I reached the age where I could actually go out and find I job, I went into the most easy and accessible field available; retail.

Now, at 26, I’m still working in retail, and still no closer to deciding what it is I want to do. I mean, yes, my ultimate goal is still to be a mortician. But as with anything, getting a job in a particular field is not as easy as simply having an interest and a desire to work within that field. I’m working on it, nevertheless, but in the meantime I need to find something that doesn’t make me want to shoot myself in the face every morning.

The one thing that has stuck with me all these years, is writing. I’ve always had a dream that maybe one day, I’ll write books for a living. This romantic notion comes complete with not having to wear pants, getting to work from home, being fabulous and reclusive, whilst also being friends with the likes of Neil Gaiman, J.K Rowling, and Gillian Flynn. And did I mention not having to wear pants? I lose motivation a lot, and I have writing lulls, and I doubt myself every time I put pen to paper. But one day, maybe.

For the moment, I have to content myself with the fact that I at least have a job, and a means to make money. I could certainly be a lot worse off, and I’m about to return to full time in the coming weeks, so I can at least go back to saving for a house sometime in the future. A job is better than no job, as they say. And unless I’m headed for some kind of untimely demise at any point soon, I’m sure I have plenty of time to follow my career dreams.