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University: Moments Missed

There have been more times than I care to admit that the need for extra sleep has outweighed my need to attend my lectures and, although, this post may feign at being about how I have realised all the information I’ve missed, it’s not. I mean, duh, I can catch up on Blackboard. No, the act of playing truant has on many an occasion been for a worthier cause than eating cookies and playing sims. It has been for my grandmother. This is not to say that my gran demanded I stay or represented herself as a charity case in need of attention, but to say that there comes a time when savouring the small moments in life comes paramount to education. You see, upon scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I stumbled across a post that haunted me with its veracity. It was the picture of a coat hanging off the end of a banister; a coat that once belonged to the photographer’s deceased grandmother. The woman commented on how she would never again see their grandmother put this coat on and nor would they witness any of the other inane, bog-standard things that she did. The Facebook post concluded with a particularly thought-provoking suggestion for its readers:

Appreciate it the next time you see your loved one put on their coat. Savour that second where they’re stood in front of you in the flesh; in glorious living form, touchable and huggable and real. Embrace the image of them cooking or drinking from their favourite mug or smiling as they walk through the front door.

So, you know what? I did, and here’s what I savoured…gran, I urge you not to get too emotional reading this one. I don’t want you breaking your computer with water damage. How else would you continue researching your family history or check your Ya-hoo account? I wrote’Yahoo’ like that because that is exactly how my dear gran pronounces it. It will never cease to make me keel over with laughter and it will never be okay for her to pronounce it any other way. Please don’t. We should all lead by your example. In fact, we should follow her example in a lot of things. You see, although my gran claims to be a Christian, I believe she has more Buddhist tendencies. With an empathy for the animal kingdom and an undemanding temperament, I feel she may have rather enjoyed a life with the monks. To me, at least, she is a spiritual advise-giver, the problem-listener and, always, the hope-holder. A woman that would defend me to the end. I will not lie, however, and claim that she is a woman without limits. Listening to other peoples problems can be a weary task for anyone, never mind a 78 yr old. Who doesn’t ignore peoples’ calls every now and then? I mean, I do daily. In all fairness, my gran is a better, more morally compassed, person than me. Unlike me, she does usually think that it is sales people trying to sell her stuff she would never need. Contacting her via her mobile is often a safer bet. She loves her mobile.

my-lovely-nan

I know my gran loves her mobile because she often sends me my weekly horoscope. It’s my highlight of the week and I beg you nana to never stop doing it. My gran has always been fascinated with astrology and the universe at large. In another life I feel she would be married to Brian Cox whom she loves very much. It is my suspicion, however, that her deep rooted beliefs would clash somewhat with his scientific approach. Now, I wouldn’t go as far as to say she is a freethinker or a hippie, but her firm belief in something more, in something wholesome, is an attribute I admire and in many ways adopt. This being said, my gran is also a woman with some very strange opinions. When you’ve read as many books and watched as many house of Commons debates as she, however, it would be ludicrous to think that arguments on how the country should be ran would not be formed. Many of which are twittered at the telly. This is something she has done since forever or, you know, the 21 years I’ve known her. Finding her in her chair whilst watching a news show she likes or listening to ‘Classical FM’ is one of my most favourite sights in the world. There is always something quite therapeutic about watching telly with this lady. Perhaps this is because she is one of the few people I can have a running commentary with without being hushed. Probably because we’re both trying to work out what on earth is going on. Me more than her. You see, as one might expect when one has several years of retirement under ones belt, she’s seen many of the day time shows before. Especially ‘Pie in the Sky’. I remember this complaint distinctly.

My most favourite concern that my gran has, however, is how much I talk about my best friend Ellie. This is something that has become quite a joke among my friends and family, for you see…my gran thinks I am a lesbian. Admittedly, this conclusion is as much my fault as it is my gran’s era, as I have no filter. You see, upon me and my gran’s regular catch-up over pub grub, I have the tendency to vent about the month’s events. Now, the month in which I did all this savoring was a month in which I felt like a very left-out person. Ellie was no longer always with me but with our other friend Anya, and as I’ve already told Ellie, I was very jealous about that. Everyone else seemed to either be on their jollies, with their significant others or chilling with someone I didn’t much like and I was very grumpy about that. So, as you do,  I vented this out to my gran and I instantly saw my mistake when she said “you have an unusual attachment to this Ellie girl”. My back-tracks only made it worse.”Gran, for the last time. I’m not a lesbian. I’ve got with girls but I could never see myself in a relationship with one.” Clearly the wrong thing to have said. Even now, her response to myself and to my mother when we approach the subject is “I just want her to be happy and settled, whether it’s with a boy or girl”. Which I suppose is very cute. You see, I love my gran but once she has an idea in her head it’s exceptionally hard to shift. In fact anything you say will only reaffirm her thoughts so there’s no point arguing. She takes things very literally. In my gran’s head I am a lesbian and that is fine. That is good. In my gran’s head Borris Johnson and Nigel Farage are the best people to run the country. That is not good gran. That is bad. But that’s your opinion so I guess I’ll live with it. Mainly because it makes me laugh.

my-fave-ladies

My fave ladies.

When I was younger (and even now) I felt as if  I would never get better unless she was by my side. Who else would bring me the perfect cup of tea and bombard me with all the correct remedies? Who else would give me a water-bottle and cook me amazing food for sustenance? Even my cat comes back fatter after a weekend stay. The amount of times I have played hookie from school and, even, University just to be with this woman is uncountable…little does she know it’s for the biscuits in her always full biscuit tin and the ready salted crisps in her cupboard. I’m joking. Who chooses ready salted? On a serious note though, my gran’s treat supply and food offerings are second to none. It was better when Fruitellas had sugar in them and she could remember the spice for her egg fried rice but it’s still pretty great. To this day, my gran even boasts of how I went to Italy the land of pasta and deliciousness and asked the chef for not his but “nana’s pasta“. I was 7 and I was exceptionally picky but still, even when she cooks that pasta now, I feel safe. I would feel safer if she added garlic, but she pretends to be allergic to it. A bit selfish. But you could say I am a pretty selfish person. No. I am a very selfish person. Because, even with my gran’s ailments, I allow her to make me brews and cook me dinner. This is mainly because I love to see the sight of her shuffling around in her little slippers, busying herself with this and that. Trumping here and there. She’s my favourite, which is why I’m glad that she is moving in with us…

…I can introduce her to my men…

nana-cutie

…gingerbread men.

polly written

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Laziness: A Strength

Sadly, the common malpractice of brushing ones thoughts under the proverbial rug, is a method I have become all too familiar with. The notion of “letting things go” or “seeing what happens” is a societal agreement, that previously, I have not only supported but proudly pioneered. I’m a fun-loving gal and the rise of unnecessary stress has, somehow, never appealed to me. It has never appealed to me, yet, still it tauntingly follows me because, quite frankly, I’m lazy. In fact, I’m worse. I’m idealistic. I’m that profoundly irksome girl that leaves her assignments until the very last day and still expects to get a first the following month. I’m that unbelievably vexing girl that gets ready 2 minutes before she’s meant to leave and still expects the men to come flocking. And in case I haven’t made myself clear, I’m also that severely confusing girl that avoids any kind of serious conversation with her romantic interests and still expects them to be on her wave length. “I’ll deal with it later” is my favourite mantra; closely followed by “there’s no point” ” I can’t be bothered” and “your greatest assets are your greatest flaws”. My laziness, unfortunately, is an asset only to me and, maybe, my cat. Okay, not my cat. She doesn’t get fed (by me). Nevertheless, until quite recently, it has been my assumption that my body language and pure psychic power is so well-founded that everyone must know what I think and feel already. Unfortunately, events have time and time again proven that this method, along with relying upon someone telling someone that will eventually tell him/her about my issues, isn’t a surefire way of getting my message across. Or, you know, at all. What I’ve also learnt from the process of not talking is the curse of assumption and an unresolved conscience. I’m going to assume my cat doesn’t want feeding because she hasn’t come to bother me yet. I’m going to assume that my mum doesn’t love me anymore because she hasn’t made me my brew yet and I’m going to assume that everyone is assuming. So, like, when do you stop assuming and start talking? My answer to this is..f**k knows, but bizarrely, I’m going to talk it out and see where I end up.

lazy-cat

Me in cat form.

So, to start with, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’m not alone in this whole ‘not fully-disclosing’ malarkey. This is because, generally, the admittance of having feelings isn’t cool. In today’s day and age, it’s not cool to “catch the feels”. If anything it’s a competition of who can care less. Who has the most sidechicks. Who has met the most fuckboys on Tinder. More specifically, it’s not cool to have feelings for someone that hasn’t yet “caught the feels” for you. Like everyone else, I usually assume my love un-interest hasn’t caught the feels and thus act nonchalant. I then hope my cryptic conversations with others will work their way back to him in an attempt to decipher whether I have a chance. Writing all this out now, I can instantly see that this whole idea and, almost, etiquette of flirting is ridiculous. For starters how would you even know whether they’ve caught the feels, because nobody f***ing communicates efficiently anymore.”We’re kiiind of seeing each other” “we’re talking” “we’re talking but I think we’re both talking to other people” “we’re hooking up” and “it is what it is”. Go on, enlighten me, what is it? Because, what becomes painstakingly obvious to me is that by disallowing myself these feelings of affection, these feelings of warmth that, in fact, make relationships so precious, I am willingly promoting and practicing clone-like love. Robot sex. In-out-jobs a good’un contracts, because I’m not allowed to want more or, you know, want full stop. “You think about me? That’s creepy.” Is it creepy though? Is it really?! Well, no, I don’t think so. Especially if we have been talking for a number of weeks or, you know, had a number of heated moments. After all, we are human and to be human is to feel and form connections. If you don’t daydream occasionally, what kind of monster are you?  To actually have emotion and have tangible thoughts and memories about the world around us is to be human. Having intellectual emotion is unique to the human race, so why are we rationing it out? Why are we advocating this fear of being honest to ourselves? Why? Why? Why?..

Oh! That’s right. It’s because, sometimes and often, other people suck. Fear is a big motivator people. A motivator for seclusion. Now, I don’t blame us all in this joint hibernation. Who would rather face rejection, heartbreak and resentment  over denial and sanity? Erm, not me. But maybe I should because this Melissa girl is right:

We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least, are afraid to show it. […] If you like someone, you don’t tell them how you feel; rather you act interested enough for them to pick up on it, but not enough to freak them out. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s all a big game and if you don’t play by the rules then you lose, and if you lose you end up alone and drowning in a pile of your own insecurity, wondering what you did wrong.

Maybe we shouldn’t play by the rules. Maybe we should face our fear. The fear of saying to another human being “I care”. Worst case scenario we’re accepting heartbreak early; we’re time-saving, right? After all, what is so scary about touching or confiding in another in a way you do with so few? Maybe there is that complete loss of control we feel. Maybe there is that vulnerability of rejection, but doesn’t that make us stronger? Braver? I’ve come to believe with increasing vigor that doing the things that scare us is the most scenic  route to personal growth. In fact, I often wonder what my life would look life if I had learnt this sooner. Many times I have rejected the ebbs of my desires on account of fear or practicality. I have then later chastised myself for denying myself genuine pleasure. For being like everyone else and running away from displays of honest and strong emotion. Similarly, there have been even more times that I have lost my voice and I have been unable to say the words that were rehearsed in my head. “I really like you.” “I want you.” Or even, “I don’t want to be with you anymore” “You hurt me.” and, my personal favourite,”You’re a fucking prick. You prick”. Naturally, I have tortured myself with the “if only” requiem. Would saying these things have made any difference to the outcome? Will expressing my thoughts make any difference in the future? Well, I’d like to think so, because then I won’t have to bloody wonder about it. I predict that, actually, I would feel some sense of liberation of having been true to myself. Of having seen things out properly. I would hold some small hope that my honesty with not only myself but the people around me would be paid forward.

The pressure to be chill is the reason I pretended to be cool with an open relationship, even though that shit is really not for me. It’s the reason I never confronted men who fucked me, then ghosted me. It’s why I acted like it was fine when someone I was in an exclusive relationship with wouldn’t call or text me for days at a time. It’s why I let so many men lecture me on what it means to be “sex-positive,” why I accepted sending pictures of my ass and tits even when men said it was “too personal” for them to return the favor, and why I let these same men convince me that boys will be boys, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. – Alison Stevenson

For me at least, taking the chiller than chill pill (coz I’m already pretty chill) is no longer as cool as it once was. It has become some sort of sick sleeping drug guiding me into the most comatose kind of love. Honestly? It doesn’t make me feel like an empowered woman anymore, it makes me feel like a spare limb (useful when somebody needs it, a nuisance when they don’t).  Is there any chance we can maybe mobilize the development of real relationships again? Relationships that function because when it’s working we tell each other it’s working. When it’s not working we tell each other it’s not. Maybe, we all just need to be honest with ourselves and with each other because I know that sounds a lot simpler.

lazy-cat-2

…that actually sounds much lazier, and lazy I can do.

polly written

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Fate: A Foe

The idea that events are predestined is an idea that has been around since the dawn of time. It is as old as the discovery of sex and it is as old as the chocolate on my bed. Which, let me tell you, is pretty darn old. Did you know that chocolate dates back to the Aztecs? Cadbury’s World taught me that. Nevertheless, the consequences of this burgeoning desire to blame someone or something else for our circumstances is two fold. You see, on one hand it provides us with an agent to our misery but, on the other hand, it offers us hope and possibility. Recently, I must confess, I have been dancing on  what can only be described as the bridge  between the two. After a series of weeks containing exasperating events the events themselves have started to feel, well, exacerbating. The problem I have is that our elders consistently tell us that “if you want something, you have to go out and get it”, yet in the very same conversations they persistently tell us that “things will come to you with time, you’re only young”. Even our friends will advice us on the very same matters to”see how things go”, to “go with the flow” because, you know, we simply can’t tell that person we like that we actually like them. That would be silly. That would be easy. That would be forward and clingy. So, tell me, how should I be? How should I feel? What should I do? It seems there is an answer for everything yet nothing is synonymous. It appears that currently, as I’m sure a lot of gals and boys are doing in their twenties, I am merely treading water hoping the tides don’t kill me.

Last year I wrote an especially self-searching piece on incompleteness  and the feeling of being lost in the world and, honestly, it was rather odd  reading that piece back. I feel it was comparable to when you give yourself a drunken pep talk on a progressively wild night out. “Listen here pol. You are not a hot mess and you will probably forget that stupid thing you just did- you’re all good”. Strangely, however, just as I am by my intoxicated self I found myself reassured by prior self. I’m actually not a hot mess. In fact, I’m pretty smart. I did forget the silly things I’d done. Veritably, it is the silly things that are the subtle nuances between me and past me.Those silly things forced me to grow, albeit not always in the way I would like, but I’ve grown. Last  year I wrote:

I should be experimenting and going out my way to experience new things or do more of the things I like. I have been going stir-crazy. I need to get out more and go crazy.

And New Me can safely retort “Girl, I have been. I am!”. Undeniably, I don’t always do things that I’m later proud of (this can be seen in my many blog posts) but I do do what makes me happy. I do do more of the things that scare me. Ha. Do do. I’ve clearly grown loads…so why am I feeling so lacklustre? Why do I once again feel incomplete, incoherent and unsuccessful? Because, seriously, the dissatisfaction I feel is not with myself anymore. I’m fine. I am all good. Okay, not all good but, usually, very good and very well behaved. The dissatisfaction I feel is with this fate fella.Which, of course, sounds ludicrous and slightly biblical but I promise it’s not completely. I am just…fed up with fate. So I’m drinking Blue WKD and imagining I’m by a pool in Hawaii.

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Monday Blues

Now, let me agree with you adults and confess that “if I want something, I need to go out and get it”. You hear me? I agree! If I want an internship and I want to strive for greatness in my chosen vocation then I need to apply for internships and strive for greatness. Working my life away as a waitress and getting drunk in my remaining spare time won’t fundamentally help- but it’s enjoyable. Likewise, if I want to find a boyfriend and I want to be having regular sex then I should, probably, take more days off and get drunk somewhere that’s not my bedroom…drinking something that is not Blue WKD. Completely agree. Understood. But on the other hand, your other notion is also agreeable “things will come to you with time, you’re only young””see how things go”. Much of the time life experience teaches us a number of things about ourselves. Uncontrollable and unpredictable occurrences unknowingly educate us on what we’re good at, how strong we are and what we want out of the future.It is these unpredictable and uncontrollable occurrences, however, that causes me bother as of late. It is these memes on Facebook reading “J.K Rowling didn’t publish a book until she was 40” that bother me. It is “he clearly isn’t worth it, he’s not for you” comments that bother me. Because, thanks to these reassurances,  I’ve found myself just waiting and waiting for a light bulb to go off in my head. I am waiting to suddenly be granted with the precious creativity or the abstract dream to write the next Harry Potter. To be endowed with the knowledge to do something with my life other than lose things and drink too much. To bump into someone “worth it” whom answers my messages when I will him to. I am waiting. Waiting. I am so tired of waiting.

In terms of career, perhaps I am extremely wrong in believing that that it’s easier for people that know what they want to place themselves on the appropriate paths. After all, what if you’re not good enough for what you want? What if you decide too late about what you want?  We’re not all J.K Rowling. However, one quote by Jim Carrey, has always resided with me. He said “you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well fail at what you do want” and I think that’s so powerful. I feel to have failed or found you are unable to do the things you wanted is- although awful- is incredibly educational. To float around on this planet not trying to neither succeed nor fail at anything of any worth to your own sense of purpose is mediocre. I suppose that this in itself is educational for different reasons, perhaps these seemingly useless occurrences in our lives are to prepare us for something greater. That’s what we hope. That “fate” has something better lined up for us around the corner. Nevertheless, although I have a year at university left, I can’t help but think that these assignments, these exams, these academic achievements that we fill our time with are just ways of distracting ourselves from the bigger picture, or in any case, give us time to decide on what it is we want to do from here onwards. 9/10, however, we leave university with debt, some jargon and a newborn loss of identity. Understandably, just because we have a degree does not mean we have a calling. We have credentials that may or not fit the mould of our future. We are but a bag of misfits from the Cadbury’s outlet. Distinguished and disturbed. In many ways you could say I’m early to the graduation pity party. Promptness will definitely come in handy later for my big job somewhere doing something for someone. Regardless, the point I’m making here is, going for what you want is hard when you don’t know what you want and you are just waiting to know what you want by doing things you don’t really want but you, kind of, want because it’s doing something. Amma right or amma right? Jim Carrey will make you feel a bit better. Watch watch watch.

The solution to this- besides watch inspirational Jim Carrey vids- would maybe be to travel; to do other enriching things whilst you decide. To grow in other areas of your existence. This solution was what I intended to set in motion before I lost my passport and broke a MacBook Air. Now, despite these two incidents being unequivocally my own fault, they also feel like some other force’s fault. The latter incident occurred because I was attempting to avoid the exact thing that happened. I intended to move the cider to avert spillage on said laptop and in the process I caused spillage on said laptop. Of course I spilled a drink trying not to spill a drink because I am me. I am a klutz. Of course I “lost” my passport because I left it in a taxi that I was sick in because, again, I am me. I am a lightweight and that taxi driver is a liar. But I beg to question, when will I stop being me? Or more specifically, when do I stop obstructing myself? I know that there are many people that feel this way also. The old “woe is me” “I’m so unlucky” reproach. But, these people are genuinely unlucky or, in any case, these people are assuredly being punished for being themselves. These laughable instances start to seem symbolic of a force telling them that being you is not okay. They become pivotal moments in your otherwise boring life. You want to go on holiday and see the world Pol? You want to travel and experience these moments that may or may not help you define yourself no matter how cliche? Nope. Not you. You’re not allowed because you’re a klutz and you don’t deserve a passport. It’s your own fault but it’s not entirely. Accidents happen and they happen to you. They happen to everyone. Although sometimes just sometimes timing is everything and that, my friends, is fate. I f**king hate fate.

wkd

So, you don’t have much ambition as of yet and you don’t have the means to travel. Maybe you can sort out your love life? Make the wait more pleasurable. Winky Face. Like, where the actual s**t do I start with this one? The modern dating world gets more infuriating with every year, the platforms to get rejected on increases every month and my tolerance for the whole thing diminishes a little everyday. Of course, the dating world is different for everyone and not everyone wants the same thing. Some want casual, some want commitment and some want an in between. Okay, cool. Cool. So, how do we know what a prospective partner wants? Erm…does anyone know? I mean, do people even mean what they say these days? “I’m not looking for anything serious”…3 months later said person is in a relationship. “I love my girlfriend”… said person is in bed with someone else 2 weeks later. “I don’t want a boyfriend but I want us to be exclusive”. Like, what? With the “seeing eachother” “getting to know each other” “shagging each other” “talking to each other” phase stretching for as long as the eye can see, it’s hard to know when you’re investing in something or simply wasting your time. Frankly, often it feels like I’m half-heartedly playing a game I’m destined to lose. Even when things are going well are they really going well? What if he swipes right to a better, more interesting girl? What if he likes this other girl more? What if he doesn’t reply? What if. What if. What if. These what if’s are paramount to the paranoia that builds upon real experiences made with real ghosts. “Ghosting” is the fear in every romantic venture. Now you see me and now you…

I don’t want to allude you into thinking that I don’t try. I do try. I try in ways many girls would be too fearful to exercise. Take for instance my recent encounter with a handsome waiter. Upon feeling chemistry with my aforementioned server I left my number on the table. A number that he later messaged extensively for several days. He asked me for drinks and, as any girl would, I got particularly excited…until he didn’t reply. Now, I know I am prone to doing things wrong but on this occasion, I vouch that I did no wrong. I can see no wrong. We were getting on. It felt different. It seemed so so different yet, it wasn’t. For whatever reason “it wasn’t meant to be” and, you know, these things happen. He was not my first ghost and he won’t be my last but, somehow, these experiences set precedents that are hard to overcome or rationalize. It makes me feel as if it’s not even up to either of the parties involved whether the relationship makes the cut. I could do everything “right”, I could receive all the “right” responses yet still come up short. It’s like finding the perfect dress on sale and finding out at the till it’s full price because someone somewhere wanted to fool me. It’s not my fault, it’s maybe not even the person who misplaced the labels fault but it still sucks. It sucks to be denied the emotions you have never felt or, at least, felt with infrequency. Excitement. Love. Surprise.

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So much excitement and love in just one photo.

This all seems very dramatic but what it comes down to is the inability to just be. It is a well known fact that different people bring out different sides in you and me. Yes, I’m rhyming. Well noticed. This is because we feel we have to behave in a particular way to gain prestige. These days everyone has so many options. You can like different people for so many different reasons and you can meet them in so many different ways. Next to no one wants to commit. You don’t want to get yourself in a relationship because what if the next guy you meet is better than the last? In a weird way, our options are, in fact, limiting. In a weirder way we’re all in a perverse poly-amorous relationship with each other. Ew. It’s  disheartening. At least, I think so. You see, if I’m being all these different things to all these different people when can I just be me and stop carefully tip-toeing around “the meaning”? Or at least ,when can I be just me to just one person for whatever amount of time?  I’ve found that once you’ve set the parameters it’s hard to break out of them. Take for instance someone I’m “talking” to at the minute. We talk most nights, we get on most nights and we get along fine when we see each other. Yet, I find that I can’t be myself, not necessarily because of him but because of these barriers I’ve set for myself. If I’m too affectionate he’ll think I’m keen. If I send this message he won’t reply. If I’m a bitch he’ll think I’m a bitch. Thus, some nights I’m on the border; I can be myself for a moment and then in the same minute I urge myself to be cool and uncaring. It’s hard work. It’s sometimes infuriating. I don’t know when I’m being desired or being entertained and I, equally, can’t decide on whether I like him as much as I think or whether I like the possibilities he presents. So, I talk to other people. He talks to other people. I assume we explore these very same emotions with other people. But, I don’t really like being an option and I don’t really like seeing guys as options, it’s demeaning. I feel demeaned. So, what is this I’m even doing? Well, I’m going with the flow. Like everyone else, I am just waiting for a sign from someone. I wait to feel something that doesn’t get confused and clouded the next day. I am begging to know when people are “worth it”, but I don’t think you ever can, because for so many reasons it’s really not your decision. It’s the alignment of various thoughts, moments and people. It’s just life. Just letting each other know we’re here, reminding each other that we are part of a larger self. S**t just got deep coz she wishes someone would go deep. Ey ey. lol lol.

So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect, so we never dare to ask the universe for it. – Jim Carrey

Despite all the above due to my rubbish last month, fate has also brought me many things that I am grateful for. Fate constantly brings me things that make the asking for texts, meaning and money worth it. It has shown me in abundance that life doesn’t have to be planned, in fact, the distinctly unplanned stuff can be best. It would be a grave misunderstanding to think that life is anything less than unpredictable. It would be an even more sinister misconception to think that life has to be set and outlined for the entirety of your existence. Fate is what keeps the intrigue and our eyes to the sky. It has brought me housemates that tick all the requirements to manage me. Aka they buy me Blue WKD and Kinder Buenos when I’m having a crap day. It has brought me an exciting week with a handsome waiter (well done me for trying and always trying) and it has brought me valuable valuable friends that don’t get mad at me when I spill cider on their laptops…

…or Blue WKD on their bed sheets. My bad.

polly written

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Friendship: Thinking Space

The process of getting older is an existential problem that is inescapable by anyone. It is a problem that led me to  cry on my 16th birthday and it is a problem that will lead me to cry on my 21st because, frankly, it’s not easy and it only gets harder. As we get older, everything becomes more measurable. Our lives become more comparable. Who’s got what job, who’s moving in with who and who’s travelled what continent suddenly feels more reflective of a person’s very being. They transform into insights of their passions “yeah, she quit university and became a dancer”. Into snapshots of their struggles “35 and she’s still not got a kid?”. To me at least, these arbitrary things start to suggest a certain kind of accomplishment or purpose. I’ll even admit that when judged from afar, these things feel indicative of what happiness can or should look like. A more”fulfilled” life. An “accomplished” life and as I get closer to leaving university, an impending insecurity has started to drape itself around my thoughts. Life  has begun to feel like a countdown within which I must cram in all these many many achievements and all these many many experiences before it’s too late i.e. I’m too old, too ill , too poor or, even, too distant from domestic prosperity. By this I mean I’ve spent so much time finding myself that I’ve forgotten to find someone else and  become the mad cat lady that I, never really, tried to avoid. You see, although I know more now then I did at 16; I strangely do not feel any different. The same pressures and fears of being forgotten are still present and, strangely, I still can’t predict the future. Annoying that isn’t it?

It seems foolish to confess that I cried on my 16th birthday but, really, there were an embarrassing number of factors. Not only was I about to move schools but ‘I was here- Beyonce’ had just been released and Miley Cyrus was still Hannah Montanna. By this I mean, Beyonce was lyrically jibing me with “look at me, I’ve achieved so much that I could die tomorrow” and Miley Cyrus was screaming “I made loads of money at the age of 14, what are you doing?”. Well, Miley, I was awaiting my GCSE results. It may not have been starring in a popular TV show but, you know, we work with the parents we’ve got. My most important reason for crying, however,  was my cat. Hilarious, I know. I can still hear my friend Hannie laughing at my admittance of this. Nevertheless, this is a cat that has been part of my life since the age of 7 and to this day is the best birthday present I will ever receive. It was on my 16th birthday, however, that I realised that although this cat is a member of my family and is as fundamental to my childhood as ‘Arthur’ and ‘Mona the Vampire’, in another number of years she will no longer be with me. She will no longer be with me and, sadly, she will no longer seem important, for she is just a cat. I was crying about these things that are yet to transpire, because I knew I know that they will.  To everybody else she is merely my childhood cat, but somehow to me she seems symbolic of so much more. Probably because she is. Symbolic of my social life lol.

Okay, I’m being serious. The new year is a disconcerting time for me. You see, the new year makes me reflect on all the things I have or haven’t done and, sadly,  it makes me reminisce on all the people I have and haven’t “said goodbye” to. In fact, my friend Ellie  informed  me that we lose “approximately” 5 friends every year past our 18th birthday. This, surprisingly, makes me feel no better. In fact, it feels like salt in the wounds. I have already been brooding on the whole concept of friendships. How they are formed. How they are lost. And the conclusion I’ve come to so far is that life gets in the way…for the most part. More appropriately, my friends are busy travelling the world, humping their partners and securing big time internships whilst I’m extraordinarily busy admiring the new google logo and deciding what to have from the Chinese tonight. I can’t help but notice that my life seems less exciting somehow. One day this will change. I hope. You see, failures to also be successful in these meager pursuits are, simply, due to my inability to put my brew down and get a wiggle on. Admittedly, watching these things play out in front of me has taught me a valuable lesson. People cannot always do things so you don’t have to, and I don’t just mean going to the toilet. You have to experience certain things for yourself. More importantly I don’t want peoples’ insights into my passions to be “yeah, she stayed at home and ate biscuits. Girl loves biscuits”. I don’t want peoples’ snapshots into my downfalls to be “yeah she’s in a relationship…on Sims”.

As we get older though the days feel shorter. Time gets spent in other ways; down other paths, doing other things. Christmas holidays are no longer dedicated to seeing every pal, but spent on making deadlines, making money and making family plans. Long gone are the days that you can see everyone you love in one day or one week. You’d be lucky to see even a handful of them in one year. Ha. You’d be even luckier to be acquainted with any of the people they discuss. But, you know, it’s okay.  It’s fine. Everyone is busy living their lives. Everyone is busy investing time into the people that are immediately around them because it’s logical. It’s natural. But it’s also sad. It’s sad that for a number of my closest friends I am not always the person they turn to first or, even, the person they talk to second. It’s sad that people I used to talk to everyday can no longer cease their Snapchatting to grace me with one reply to the 50 messages I’ve sent. It’s sad that I often do not have enough hours in the day for people that live just 30 minutes away. So, you know, it’s definitely okay. It’s…fine. However, it is with these half-hearted acceptances and the succession of sh*t ordeals that I have started to feel forlorn. Can you tell?

Although 2015 was a year that I said goodbye to many things, both concrete and abstract, when I think about losing people time suddenly feels more real. “This time last year I was with such and such doing that”. “This time last year I was with such and such planning this”. I’m left thinking, “holy sh*t has it really been a year?” Yes. Even two years, perhaps. Clearly, there were people and moments that seemed so important and enriching to me in 2015 that in 2016 seem as significant as my cat may seem to you. Not at all. A quote once read “arrivals and departures run side by side” and this is not to mean that there is some weird one in one out policy as you may find in popular nightclubs but more a revolving door policy. People are constantly coming and going out of our lives and there’s not much we can do about it. Trust me. I’ve tried.

With all sincerity, it just seems bizarre to me that I will now say “just someone I used to know” or “I used to have a friend that” about people I spent so many of my days with. Albeit they were 3 years ago but still, I do know them. Kind of. Do people change that much? It also seems  insane to me that people who once meant something to me may not even get a ‘Happy Birthday’ on their Facebook wall. Wait. I don’t do that for many people and it’s completely my own choice not to do that but, still, at what point does someone stop being your friend? Not in the “I haven’t seen you in ages” way but in the “you haven’t even crossed my mind and probably won’t until I bump into you in Tesco” way. The answer is I sometimes know but I don’t always know. Although geographical distance and the general process of growing up plays some part in these alterations, I feel it’s unrealistic to think these are fully-formed explanations. I have a number of friends who are elsewhere in the world that I am still fully invested in, but does that thus mean I’ve failed to invest in others? I know, for me at least, my moments of silence do not necessarily mean I’ve stopped caring. I can go from not talking to you for weeks months to suddenly bugging you everyday for an entire week. I suppose this is why it irks me when  I realise that there are people that have slipped or are slipping out of my life. Is/was it me? Is/was it them? Are they just being rubbish too? Have I been too distant? Have I been too needy? WHAT WENT/IS GOING WRONG?…friendships are hard to maintain sometimes man. When do you stop crossing oceans for people that wouldn’t jump over a puddle for you?

Clearly, I have spent many minutes meticulously dissecting my life (as is necessary in the new year new April) and in the process I stumbled across this quote:

“It’s your road, and yours alone.
others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you.”

Which I suppose combines the whole arrivals/departures analogy with the I have to do things myself muse. It’s made me realise that although I should use my friends achievements as inspiration, I should NOT compare myself daily. Inspiration is meant to make you feel better, help you improve upon what you already have. Comparison only makes you feel s**t. It tears you apart from the inside out. At the end of the day, I should not be making myself jealous about that one friend that’s visiting that place, or sleeping with that guy. I don’t like that guy and I don’t even want to go to that place…I don’t think. I shouldn’t be worrying about people having or not having the time to answer me because, hey, I suppose it means I have time to do something else. I need to just stop worrying what other people are doing and focus on my own journey- what’s right for me. After some self-indulgence (that has made me feel important) I see now that other people’s happiness should not stop you from seeing your own. I may not be on a  beach in Australia but, you know, I’m in a bed with pizza not getting sun burnt, so I’m still winning.

Conclusively, some people, like gingerbread lattes, may go away and come back to me and to them I say “welcome back, it’s been too long”. Some people, like my small breasts, are here to stay and to them I say “you’re alright, you’ll do”. And some people, like my cat, are here with me for a good time and not a long time and to them I say “thank you for the memories”. Perhaps I have not lost any friends at all. Perhaps I have, like other things, just misplaced them for now. Maybe when I bump into them in Tesco we will decide to reconnect and laugh together about how many biscuits are in my basket. Maybe, when I bump into them in Tesco we will have awkward small talk and I will decide to put the biscuits back. But ultimately, its time to “get a wiggle on”…

…after I’ve finished this brew.

polly written

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Luck: A Loss

Although it ails me to make this confession, I feel it is one that I ought to  confront whilst still feeling mildly progressive- I am a loser. As in I lose the majority of my possessions 40% of the time and there is no way that I can deny it. The time it takes me to leave the house is unbearable and the pain I inflict upon my awaiting friends is immense. It would please me to say that these are the reasons I stay at home but they aren’t. I just do. And although there are times in which I show great promise of being a sensible human being; these hopes are quickly dashed when I realise I can barely make 12pm lectures and I occasionally forget to brush my teeth. Staying indoors is safest right? In fact, I have so little faith in myself regarding these things that I once lost my glasses only to find them 3 months later in my glasses case. You see, I hadn’t bothered to check this rather obvious location because, frankly, I didn’t think I was adult enough to have put them back. Be that as it may, however,  I am also optimistic, if not annoyingly nonchalant. The disputable notions that “everything happens for a reason” and “emitting positive vibes reaps rewards” are theories I hold in very high esteem. Or at least I did until this week. Sadly, this week has given me a rude awakening. It has taught me that things don’t always turn up. Perhaps they didn’t even exist in the first place. I know my dignity certainly didn’t. Coming into the world naked you say? How humiliating.

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My life in a picture. An ode to all the biscuits lost at tea.

For several years I have naively believed myself to be an extremely lucky person. I dearly wish I meant this in the humble “I have people that love me and I’ve not wanted for anything” way but I don’t. I mean it in the “how the hell am I at university and how am I surviving?” type way. Until recently, no matter where I had strewn my possessions, they were always returned to me. Admittedly, it was often after I had replaced them but for the most part it was appreciated. Particularly my bank card. Thank you Tesco’s shopper, but thank you me for not getting a contactless card. Obviously, there is hope yet. Nevertheless, to install this sense of foolishness further, I once lost my iPod only to find it in a pair of old shoes 6 months later. It is ridiculous, I know, but such is my life. A Facebook meme once read “I’m an adult but more like an adult cat…Like someone should probably take care of me but I can also sorta make it on my own” which, to be honest, is a too kind description of my lacking abilities.  This month alone I have lost some trousers, a fob, a perfume and my cool. My only feat is that I have not yet lost my job and somehow my ID is still on my person…wait…yes. Yes it is.

Before I recount my story of annoyance and irritation, I shall first disclaim that I am my own worst enemy. You see, regardless of being aware of my own failures and faults, I continue to plough forth with my limitations anyway. Whether this is bravery or just plain idleness is completely up to your own discretion, but personally I think DNA is a hard opponent to combat. I mean, to be biologically programmed to go against intuition is devastatingly crippling. Einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome”. Although, I’d like to feign practicality and protest that, no, I do not repeat mistakes; the sad truth is I do. The sad truth is I did this week and the outcome was not best pleasing. Unfortunately, I lost my student card and, not only has it caused me inconvenience, it has caused me confrontation. A word that seldom features within my vernacular. However, I must firstly explain how losing my student card came about and how it irrevocably reinforces this suggestion of insanity. Read below.

It is with great shame that I admit that I have…or had, this terrible habit of putting my student card in the same pocket as my iPhone. I write this shamefully because, as you might expect, when I pulled out my phone my card decided to follow. The frequency of which this faux par occurred is embarrassing and something I should have addressed immediately. Me being me, however, I, of course, did not. I merely continued to pick my student card up off the floor and place it firmly back in its place- my pocket…with my phone. I believe my thoughts during this process were “I’ve noticed it fall out this many times, clearly, I’ll notice it fall out another number of times”. The only thought that should have gone through my head is “lets put this troublemaker in another pocket”. Oh well. Hindsight is the devil’s advocate. It is almost as annoying as when someone says “There it is! Right where you left it.” because a) duh and b) I didn’t know I’d left it there did I? Regardless, these things can be easily avoided, yet, for some reason my entire being says “avoid that? No Pol! Teach yourself a lesson”. A lesson that is seldom learnt. How do you think I lost my fob? Stupid phone pocket.

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The moment before she loses her tea, her laptop…and her degree. JK. They’re all okay-ish.

Nevertheless, the losing of one’s possessions is something that is aggravating and is something that is far more hindering to the individual than it is to anyone else. Agreed? I do not want to sneak into the library like a secret agent (it’s not as fun as it seems) nor do I want to buy a new one. Because, honestly, my money can be better spent on other things like alcohol and Domino’s. So, when I was confronted with, possibly, the world’s rudest receptionist, I was already feeling pretty self-ashamed. You see, upon being unable to scan my student card through the barrier between me and my lecture, I was informed I had to go to reception for someone to let me through. The reception that, regrettably, homed the vilest woman I have yet to come across. Honestly, the tone in which she spoke to me could have made a grown man cry. Of course, although taken aback, I continued to be polite and cheery. I apologised for losing my card and I assured her that I would get a new one (eventually). I thought it was a simple slap on the wrists and a walk right through type procedure. Apparently, I was wrong. This receptionist informed me in an exceptionally snide voice that I had to sign in. She accompanied this with a remark that honestly made my blood boil. “You’re going to get far aren’t you?”…say what now? She wanted a conversation about getting far? I don’t want to have that conversation with myself never mind her. So yeah! *insert profanity* you.

This woman, who’s name and faculty I shall not disclose, was so impossibly rude that I could have self-combust with anger. Clearly, I lose things, but that day I lost something far more precious…my temper. The thought of even having one more conversation with this woman scared me, so confronting her face-to-face was out of the question. It was never in consideration. My supple skin and zen demeanor were not made for battle. I wrote an email to the complaints office instead and I got her fired. HAHA. Relax, I didn’t get her fired. I do, however, have a meeting with her superior tomorrow morning. You see, although I do not want this woman to lose her job, I do not want her dampening my day nor anyone else’s with that attitude again. You can protest that maybe she was having a bad day but I can inform you that that’s not the case. I state this because not only did I grace her dull world that day but because, on a separate occasion, she has dealt with my friend in a similar fashion. Which clearly suggests that this is an issue that should be addressed. At the risk of being dramatic, she made me feel unnerved and she made me want revenge. If not merely to understand that it is unacceptable for her to talk to students in such a way and that implying their imminent failure in life is not a good strategy. Only I can crack jokes about failure and sometimes I fail at that.

Nevertheless, this month has been testing. It has tested my faith in positivity and the strength of my own good luck. Although, there was a time in which my luck seemed misplaced, along with the rest of my worldly goods, and dampened like my ill dunked digestives; it has finally been restored. Today, after braving the torrential rain and making it to student services, I was informed that, no, I need not buy a new student card because my old one had been handed in! Woo hoo! From this turn of events, I can only deduct that my luck is on the rise. I shall find my trousers that are in my house somewhere and I shall find love. Okay, I was over ambitious with that one, I’ll rephrase; I shall find Domino’s. Seriously though, just you watch, things will start gravitating back. If anyone has ever watched ‘Cougar Town’ featuring Courtney Cox, you may be familiar with the character Andy. Andy is the kind of person we should all strive to be- an optimist. In one episode he loses all kinds of things but instead of moping around he radiates positive vibes, and eventually his possessions come back to him plus some. So lets all be Andy’s even if we’re losers. At least I think that was the message of the episode…

…who knows, the real one was lost on me.

polly written

 

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Not That Kind of Girl: A Reflection.

With an absence of chick lit on my shelf and a Netflix account that has been…okay, is being completely over indulged, I decided to purchase an autobiographical novel. Why, you may ask? Because it was a hopeful attempt to stimulate my brain cells. You see, I may not know much, but I know that non-fiction literature is renowned for making people cleverer. I just checked that that was a word and it totally is. Anyway, upon its purchase, I expected to experience nothing but mild entertainment. After all, autobiographies are often monotonous insights into a vaguely famous and barely interesting individual’s life. Not at all like this blog. I’m not famous. Not yet. Apparently, staying indoors drinking tea and eating biscuits doesn’t get you noticed. Nevertheless, with every other page turned down and some weighty paragraphs highlighted this literary creation has undeniably served me with a lot more. It has become ‘Polly’s Bible’ if you will. A ‘how not to live your life but live it that way anyway because it’s kinda fun bible’. The book in hand, or on shelf, as the case actually is, is none other than ‘Not That Kind of Girl’ by Lena Dunham. The creator of ‘Girls’ and vocal liberator of unashamed feminism; Lena has once again enraptured the masses and justifiably won best seller. Hollah. She can only be described as my new idol. My idol but never my role model.

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“Not that kind of girl” is a phrase that I hear myself proclaiming more times than I care to admit and, regrettably, I am uttering it more frequent still. Although I deem myself to be a moderately good person, I still have the ability to make exceptionally bad decisions. As do most people, right? Nevertheless, during this summer’s adventures and the gossip that long ago preceded them, the aforementioned book came to my attention at a very appropriate time. With its various “teachings” and humorous anecdotes, this book kindly offered me the solace that I so dearly desired. In fact, its 269 pages provided me with words of wisdom that were so precious, it would be a sin not to pass them on.

You may be wondering what it is about this book that makes it so special and the answer is simple. It puts into words the thoughts and feelings I have been unable to voice or explain. The thoughts and feelings that women all over are hesitant to discuss and confess. Tales of sex, of rejection and all the embarrassing things that come in-between. Essentially, this book has taught me that messing up  is crucial to personal development. There are moments in our lives that are seemingly vital, or even deceivingly defining, and yet on closer inspection they have little significance or prominence at all. This book alone has urged me to accept that any kind of creative success may come, and only come, from having lived these exact moments and interacted with these exact people. It has inspired me. Empowered me. In fact, one quote has spoken to me on such a level that it scares me with its poignancy.

“The way I saw it, I was fully capable of being treated with indifference that bordered on disdain while maintaining a strong sense of self-respect. I obeyed his commands, sure that I could fulfil this role while still protecting the sacred place inside of me that knew I deserved more. Different. Better.

But that isn’t how it works. When someone shows you how little you mean to them and you keep coming back for more, before you know it you start to mean less to yourself. Being treated like shit is no amusing game or a transgressive intellectual experiment. It’s something you accept, condone, and learn to believe you think you deserve. This is so simple. But I tried so hard to make it complicated.

I told myself I’d asked for it. After all, Joaquín never said he’d break up with his girlfriend. He let me know from the start he was a rebel and a tell-it-like-it-is-onator. He never even told me he’d call. But I also think when we embark on intimate relationships, we make a basic human promise to be decent, to hold a flattering mirror up to each other, to be respectful as we explore each other. Joaquín didn’t hold up his end of the bargain.”

Something I often like to tell myself is “people only do what you allow them to do”, much like “people only have as much power to hurt you as you give them”. Although I believe this phrase to be fundamentally true, I’ve also found it to be fundamentally flawed. You see, just because someone has the power to treat you like crap doesn’t mean they should. Agreeably, individuals don’t always intend to cause distress, but I also feel that there is little leniency upon the matter of respect. You see, the last time I checked, blanking someone you slept with never made anyone feel 100%. Neither did telling everyone all the ins and outs. Ha. Pun intended. But no, it makes you feel misrepresented and it makes you feel exposed. Like when you accidentally slip and your bathrobe falls off. Yes guys, I did see that puddle on the bathroom floor. Yep, silly me, I did trust my step and fall gracelessly. But, at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone willingly “let’s” someone or something bother them. It is a state of being that we unknowingly adopt and it’s something we don’t always expect. Sometimes we don’t expect to feel a certain way even when we know precisely what is going to happen. What can I say? Ignorance is bliss. We’re only human. Our thoughts and feelings are constantly altering despite our character, our past or even our desires. So, sorry that I can’t accurately predict my mood or my feelings #totallynotsorry. Pfft.

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 Personally, I see myself as being too forgiving and far too naive. This makes me seem sweet and defenceless which isn’t strictly true. It’s not true at all. I can also be blasé and thoughtless. i.e. void of thought or emotion. It’s only after events transpire and memories get given these rosy/stormy filters that tears are induced and I’m like “you fool, why did you do that”? “why did you let that happen?” In any case, I haven’t been an angel. In the past, I have been selfish, ignorant and scared of upsetting all the wrong people but, thankfully, we live and learn. Regardless of my past antics, my love life is famously sporadic and predominately non-existent. When s**t hits the fan, it’s usually all at once and then none for a year. Even, then it’s a year too late. “What did you say I did? Oh crap! I forgot about that”. Surprisingly, given my unexciting nature, I’m not too stressed about how things have turned out in my ventures. There’s always next year, right boys?..Nope. Okay. Hello dry spell. It’s been far too long..

Anyway, the notion that “our greatest assets are our greatest flaws” is one that my mother is always eager to recite. For me, this means that forgiveness is a head tattoo baring the words ‘MUG’. Predictably, the ‘friends with benefits’ dream is one that most 20 something’s are searching for. The feeling of mutual respect and friendship with the occasional cheeky “tumble” when the timing is right. Ideally, there’s no commitment, no stress and no “omg he’s not messaged me today”. It’s pretty much a perfect engagement- theoretically. And although I may have a vague understanding of the whole FWB malarkey, the above description is what I think it entails when with the right person. Clearly, in my 20 years, I have not yet found the right person. Frankly, friends of any nature do not tell others “I didn’t even wanna see her again” “I shagged a girl before I shagged her””it doesn’t even matter” because like we’ve said that’s not exactly respectful. You know what though hun? It didn’t matter. The truth hurt for a reason. Just bare in mind, however, that when the shoe is on the other foot that bitch needs to be laced up.

Nevertheless, it seems that, like Lena, I had misunderstood what my self-respect and my self-worth entailed. I had missed the part where someone explained how they could be affected. You see, when the sex itself means nothing, it is easy to assume everything surrounding it will mean nothing. What does it matter if I deserve different? Better? At the time it seems so unrelated. I think this is because you can’t foresee how things will pan out. You can’t foresee that awkward goodbye and the lack of contact, nor the fleeting hope that it might lead to something more…or at least another “tumble”. Until recently, I was absolutely convinced that sex had not changed me or my standards. This is not to say I’ve been promiscuous and that I sleep around because, personally, I could never do that. I will never do that. I’ve slept with 2 men at the age of 20 and I don’t plan on changing that anytime soon. I realise now though through my few (very few) yet educational sexperiences that it has, or at least it did, change the way I felt about myself. It changed the values I was willing to accept from others.

For some time, I couldn’t decide whether it was the act that made me feel unsettled or whether it was everyone knowing that made me feel unsettled. Similarly, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The answer is yes. Yes, my encounters have left me slightly ashamed because deep down, even when things are mutually casual, it’s not nice to feel dispensable. It’s even worse everyone knowing you’re dispensable. This has little to do with my virginity, commitment or even the sex itself, but everything to do with self-image and emotional integrity. Friends with benefits and “one night stands”  are attainable. I know for a fact that they can be achieved without disgrace and without a farce when the terms of engagement are right. There’s nothing to say, however, that those terms will stay right. It’s taken a few encounters but I know now that I require someone that desires me and not just any old means to an end. Frankly, I thought I could do casual-casual, like ‘love ’em and leave ’em’ casual but turns out I can’t. I can only do ‘that was fun let’s definitely do it again sometime’ kind of casual. This might be slightly harder to find but I know now that I am not a substitute for that girl you couldn’t pull; for that girlfriend that just dumped your ass, or hasn’t dumped your ass (yet). I am not a quick pickmeup for that come down you’re on or that loneliness you’re feeling. I AM a respectable, clever and averagely attractive woman, that has normal, healthy needs. I will no longer allow myself to be or feel like anything less. The modern woman is not always looking for commitment, but that doesn’t mean she’s looking for someone to make her feel belittled or devalued come morning. I know for a fact that I am the same woman in and out of the bed and I’d like to be treated as such. Does this mean acknowledging me in social settings? Yes it does. Does this mean not messaging other girls when I’m still half-naked? Yes it does. Does this mean I need to have better choice in men? Well, yeah. Clearly it does. Ultimately,  I can only beg myself to use my new found judgement. Something easier said than done. Naughtiness is too great an aphrodisiac.

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 So, there you have it! I slept with an idiot. Generally, that’s like a rite of passage. What I allowed to happen wasn’t particularly classy but I’ve heard worse. My stories aren’t even particularly unique. Despite my self-promises, I’ll probably sleep with another idiot just for the crack. With the help of Lena’s book, I’ve accepted that that’s okay, because I’m not married yet! I’ve not traveled yet. I’ve not even finished probation at my new job yet, but I have every confidence it’ll all work out. It will. Because things and people come back around with time. The right people eventually come around with time and the way we approach situations changes daily. So breathe in and release. I know I’m not a mess, I’m not a vixen, I’m not evil. I’m just living.

You may ask, if it all these tribulations don’t matter in the scheme of things then why have I written this blog post? My answer to this is a) I doubt anyone I know will read this and b) I’m writing this because for someone out there I may be their Lena Dunham. Last night I met a girl, who related to my experiences to such a degree that I thought we could be twins. She was so relieved to find that she was not alone in her resolutions that we formed a friendship immediately. It is so common for girls to think that not having sex or having sex is wrong in some form. It’s not. It’s just important to be aware of yourself, what’s right for you and keeping yourself healthy not only physically but mentally and emotionally. If I can make even one more person feel comforted then I have done my job. Finally, I’ve also written this for me. As I’ve already mentioned, I want to be in publishing and I want to be successful. I’ve accepted that shying away from the things or the problems that make and have made me me is not going to help. We all know that managing friendships and relationships isn’t an exact science. In my opinion, they are a degree of craziness or misery you are willing to accept from someone. There will always be someone out there that’s done things far worse or far less worse than you and to each and every one I say “it’s okay””don’t worry”. Unless you’ve seriously harmed someone. That’s not okay- do worry. There will also always be someone that’s experienced far worse or far less worse than you. I know one girl who’s virginity was taken for a bet. In reality, shit storms and mistakes are just really stressful ways of de-cluttering and re-evaluating your life. It’ll all be forgotten about before you know it. And another cliche I feel I can just about fit in is ‘when one door closes another one opens’…

… but you can also be a normal (complicated) person like me and open the closed door a few more times. That is how doors work.

PS: Sorry gran.

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Kendal Calling: See Me in The Fields

During summer, it is not unusual for the talk of music festivals to overwhelm the masses. Hailed and romanticized, the anticipation for a music festival is arguably the best summer has to offer. Daydreams of steamy kisses in sweaty dance tents promptly fill my mind and a deep desire to buy a Primark flower garland possesses my thoughts. Presumably, you will know it’s festival season because noodles will be in unlimited supply and your Facebook will have adopted 5 more group chats. These, of course, are group chats that completely ignore your small but wholehearted contributions. “So are you guys taking wellies?” “Seen by Everyone 18:43″…no response. The group I am receiving the most excitement from as of late, however, is “Krew does Kendal”. Kendal Calling, for those who have yet to come across it, is a local music festival held in Lowther Deer Park. The festival is family orientated and perfectly situated in England’s beautiful Lake District. For those that live in the Lancashire/Cumbria area it is also easily accessible. I’ve taken the liberty to mention this nugget of information because if you live in the general area of Kendal Calling, the chances are that on 30th Jul- 2nd Aug, you will be in attendance. In fact, it’s pretty much tradition. Winner of 2013’s best medium festival, Kendal Calling is known to be a fairground of delights- and this year is no different. It’s Kendal’s 10th bday don’t cha know. Bring yo coconut cups coz this festival sold out.

Although it is adamantly the case that 3/4 of my local area will be at this festival there is no guarantee I’ll see anyone. You see, the thing I find ironic about Kendal Calling’s slogan “see you in the fields” is that I see next to no one I know in the fields. A dead phone and several ciders later, I lose everyone and everything (besides Ellie). This, I’ve reasoned, is actually to my advantage. Despite my well polished ego, a young woman with smudged face paint, slurring words of  wisdom, is not everyone’s chosen encounter. Although I’d like to imagine that my dignity does not come part and parcel with my misplacements, the sad fact is, it does. I therefore praise the heavens for nanoscopic mercies; I can now reveal that, Kendal Calling, have unveiled a new area for this year’s adventures- ‘Lost Eden’. I have decided that it is an area with increasing potential. It may become not only my permanent dwelling but a rather profound meeting place. You know, for when you accidentally let go of people’s hands in mosh pits.

11743710_1042972532387346_351289004_oInspired by folklore of the Eden Valley and supported by Arts Council England, ‘Lost Eden’, is a woodland wonderland hidden away from the main stage. Nestled in the trees, there will be giant bespoke installations, psychedelic/acid music and an abundance of audio-visual art content. Interestingly, this enchanting area will play host to costumed processions with looming puppets and gut-shuddering drum troupes. As if that didn’t impress us enough, there will be glowing stags, ballroom dancers, topiary-headed ladies and larger than life jellyfish—to, erm, name just a few. Personally, this all comes as fantastic news because the frustration felt at the selection of obscure meeting places is unexplainable. No, seriously. “I’m just by the stripey flag, on a hill, by the twisty tree, near the portaloos, near a man in a red top, watching Snoop Dogg’. Aha! Yes. I know exactly where that is…However, with the works of Mick Stephenson, Christopher Helson, and an array of performances enrapturing the forest, I have a slight suspicion that we will not lose our way. “I’m by the large-scale collection of clocks, computers and other devices bathing in artificial light while sprouting with lush vegetation.”

FULL LOST EDEN LINE-UP

 ART & CULTURE: ‘Nature Delivers’ Dan Rawlings / ‘Treeple’ Paul Calsey / ‘Liminal’ Christopher Helson / ‘Eden Avenue’ Sound Intervention / ‘Wild Life Strip’ Simon Williams / Spoken Word with Bad Language / Aziz Ibrahim Q&A / Lifestyle Talks with Betternotstop / Festival Culture Panel with Professor George McKay / Swing dance classes / Live art with John Pearson / ‘Paradise Found’ Mick Stephenson

 PERFORMANCE: Spark! / Kitsch & Sync / the Artful Badger / the Lantern Company / Sound Intervention / ‘Birdcage’ Caustic Widows / ‘White Stag’ Rhiannon White

MUSIC (LIVE): Aziz Ibrahim (ex Stone Roses) / The Church / Dogshow/ The Age of Glass / Twisted Tubes / Hermigervill / John Fairhurst / Wilf Stone (Pikey Beats)/ Bird to Beast / Fiona Clayton / Fading Face / Hardwicke Circus / Henge / Purple Heart Parade / RicBirtill / Strange Collective / Sykamore Sykes / Killer Computers / Beachmaster

DJS: Dub Pistols DJ set / Wolfie Razzmatazz / Culture Cuts / Mike Freear / Ki Creighton/ Lucid Dream DJ set / Mixmonster Menno / Mortisville / Vinyl Revival / Uber / Faux Queens / Engine DJs / DJ Mime / Lost Colours / Rubrick’s Crumpet Funk / Browlin / Understate / DJ Storm.

As I sit in bed with a cup of tea and the remains of pesto pasta, I have to confess that it warms my heart to see Dub Pistols on the line-up. Although, the likes of Snoop Dogg and Elbow will be a splendour to behold, there isn’t anything quite like the sounds of the Dub Pistols to reassure you you are at Kendal Calling. I have attended Kendal Calling since it’s 3rd year in 2008 (when it was, erm, actually in Kendal) and although Dub Pistols didn’t appear on the Kendal scene until 2010, they remain to be one of my token memories. This obviously means a lot because I have so many to choose from. No biggie.  Despite having seen Lucy Rose before, I am also looking forward to seeing her once again this year. In my opinion, that red-head is just too beautiful for her own good. And yes, don’t worry, I am also looking forward to listening to her. Haha funny. Nevertheless, although I could perch here all day listing a multifold of artists I am elated to see, it holds no necessity. I am far too busy watching ‘Monsters Inc’ and eating peperarmi. I will briefly mention, however, that Ella Eyre will certainly be watched and praised. This is clearly because I want to wail ‘Comeback’ to all those ex’s I have out there in the world. The grand total being none.

Kendal Action #2

In fact, when thinking about the festivities and merriment that festival season provides, it would be logical to assume that there is a greater amount of ex’s by the end of the season than there is at the start. With alcohol flowing and an almost tangible electricity coursing through the crowd, it’s not irrational to presume some wrong doings will occur. In fact, it wouldn’t be unusual to hear something like this- “Point her out to me! Was it her? That zebra with the wings? I’ll pull her boppers off”. You see, one process that comes with the dawning of the festival season is the grand opening of the fancy dress box. We at once welcome the mass of Borat mankinis and applaud the atrocities that Smiffy’s joke shop has to offer. The theme for this year’s Kendal Calling is ‘Kendal Goes Through The Decades’- as if festivals weren’t a time-warp enough. Hello? No phone. Nevertheless, the typical protocol for such events is that women dress as slutty as possible and men dress as silly as possible. This being said, it is my expectation to witness many a 60s hippy loitering around the campsite this year. The reason for this is that a hippy costume is commendably easy to construct. This is particularly so when flower garlands, fringed jackets and floaty dresses are part of the festival dress code anyway. Yep. Just peace and pout sister. Frankly, I haven’t thought about my costume yet, but I shall console your minds and promise that the rules will be met. My outfit will be either a) skin tight or b) minimal. You all happy? N’awh, mum! Are those tears? I knew you’d be proud.
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There are times at these kind of family festivals, however, that I yearn to reverse the clock and be a child again. They seem to have all the fun with none of the worries. Yes, Little Poppy Jones in her lady bug costume won’t be stressing over which outfit to wear tonight. She’ll probably be in bed. Nor will she be fretting over whether Munchkin Mark is going to kiss Hannah and Samantha as well as her tonight. She’ll probably be in bed. Kissing is also more an amusement than a declaration of attraction. Kiss chase anyone? Despite having given the impression that I do not partake in the kids activities, this is not the case. Circus classes and Big Hero 6? Sorry fellow festival-goers but I’m there. This year, Kendal Calling, is presenting ‘The Little Bugs Hub’. Yeah. I know. It’s too adorable. All festival long families can expect a hive of activity including games, creative performance, madcap mayhem, chill out zones and critter craft activities. Rumour has it that kids’ TV favourite Alex Winters from CBeebies will also be hosting the kids’ version of Tim Burgess’ on site café-Tiny Tim Peaks. These all sound remarkable but, really, Big Fish Little Fish, (Kendal Calling’s first ever Kids rave) is the one to look out for. Yep. Uh-huh. There is even going to be a BUG BIRTHDAY BASH and walkabout pirate crew. I do love alliteration.

Anyway, now I have sufficiently prepared you for what  ‘Kendal Calling’ has to offer, I feel it is time to stock up on baby wipes. I have pesto pasta all over my bed sheets and I feel portaloos are not going to be kind this year. See you in the fields!…

…maybe.

polly written