Posts Tagged ‘AC’

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onyx paradise.

April 11, 2010

Those of you who know me will know that my screen name for 85% of the forums that I use is “onyxparadise”.  Originally I only liked the ‘onyx’ aspect of the name (since the word looks and sounds pretty), but the name ‘onyx’ had been taken already on the forums I was interested in using at the time, and I was inspired by Britney Spears’ Onyx Hotel Tour.  Choosing an alternative, mysterious-sounding gemstone quickly became apparently not an option: “sapphire” and “topaz” (both in reference to my mother’s favourite stones, and both pretty-sounding words once again) were far too girly, so I thought about adding something to “onyx” to make it work.  Again “sunset” and “beach” sounded too feminine, but I hit upon the idea of “onyxparadise” and it had a magical, mysterious ring to it.  When I think of what the word represents, it symbolises some sort of fantasy faceted-glass multicoloured landscape within a gemstone.  I don’t know how to verbalise it better than that, but I know that those words create nothing close to the image / atmosphere in my head.

Returning to Britney Spears, she did teach me something interesting about the onyx: although the stone is traditionally black when we see it used in jewellery (and although black is my favourite “colour”, I’m not a fan of onyx jewellery), any light that shines into it can be refracted back out in a multitude of colours.  Now, Wikipedia tells me that this is false (or somewhat exaggerated at the very least) but I’m going to go with it because it supports the metaphor that I want to explore and essentially base the rest of this blog entry on.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve always felt like I’ve had multiple personalities.  Different sides of myself expanded as I got older and I started to give them different names: Alan; Miles (ok that was ill-advised but he didn’t last long); AC; purehonesty; onyxparadise; Chase.  They embodied different things, different representations of me, and now I reflect upon it I see that onyxparadise was really the perfect name.  Rather than multiple personalities, I am one person with all these different facets, different colours, different aspects to my being.  Just like an onyx (or Britney Spears’ version of it, anyway).

Sometimes I feel like I keep getting it wrong: I hated the movie Kick Ass, which I went to see last night, because I could only see reference after reference to Kill Bill – at want point does a parody/homage become a rip-off? It must have just been me, as the vast majority of reviews online are hugely positive, but I guess I just didn’t get the sense of humour (though I enjoyed Hit Girl). I don’t eat pizzas quickly enough for my father to have as much space in the fridge as he would like, and the first thing he said to me this morning was “who opened the back door?” as if by getting my milk from the fridge I had unwittingly committed a cardinal sin.  It’s times like these that I feel socially awkward or incorrect (like when I confused the barista at Costa by barking at Toby not to be so healthy in his choice of biscotti, as he was making me look bad with my vanilla frescato and carrot cake), and it’s only recently that I’ve taken a personal stand not to let my family make me feel so ugly, because their problems are no reflection of me.

There is a facet of me that feels tough, dark and edgy.  I now have 3 tattoos, I dye my hair black on the regular, I smoke and drink and stay out late.  I’m still a good person, I have many friends and I work damn hard juggling studies and employment. So I feel I’m entitled to play hard, and I feel that at 24 years old I’ve proved to myself (and to anyone else, not that that matters) that I am intelligent and sensible enough to make my own decisions and to stand by them and live through the consequences, right or wrong.  By embracing that side of myself, I take less nonsense, stand up for myself more (although this is still a work in progress)and I feel that it’s been key in the shift in my life over the last 9 months to being much more happier and taking control.  I feel happier indulging the edgier, mysterious side of me, acknowledging there are dark depths of my personality and essence that I have yet to plumb, because it makes the light shine that much brighter too.

And now, I have some really good friends, people who are close to me.  If my family more and more are the source of unnecessary stress and drama in my life, then my friends feel like what my family should be.  So I almost glow when my new best friend tells me how glad he is to be friends with me; when my boyfriend tells me for the first time that he loves me.  These are experiences I never had before, that make me feel almost uncomfortably good because I am valued, I matter.  Sometimes being strong, being independent, being tough – even if it’s a self-fulfilling façade at times – is really lonely.  But it’s times like that, it’s times when Mike offers me to spend the day with him and his family, when Billy gives me a big hug and kiss before bedtime, when Toby holds me tight in his arms as we watch TV and I feel so safe, that I know I don’t have to be, don’t deserve to be alone.

I never used to wear designer clothes or jewellery.  I have never been a 32″ waist since I was a child, and I find it funny to be posing as a model in Toby’s photos on beautiful days walking around Bristol, because I always dreamed of being a model and assumed it was out of reach.  After the strife of growing up between my parents and their families, the violent alcohol-fuelled arguments and mental abuse I experienced as a child and adolescent, the periods of unhappy rebellion as a 16, 17, 18-year-old, the disappointment of not really knowing where I was going with my life having graduated from Oxford University, the turmoil of a year in retail unable to fulfil my potential, I finally get to experience everything slotting into place, the lights shining from the onyx in a rainbow of the right colours.  Life finally feels good, if not how I imagined it to be! So this entry is really personal to me, because it’s how I see that I’m a whole host of different things – I am one person with many different aspects, not all of them necessarily pretty but all of them important, all of them of value.

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alter egos.

July 8, 2009

As you will have noticed, this blog is titled “I am… chase.”  Apart from riffing off Beyoncé’s current album title, the reason for that is a future album I’m going to do, intended to be titled “chase.”  And who is Chase?  Well, a part of me that I think is coming to fruition slowly, I don’t really know a lot about him but I was watching the film Fighting (starring the delectable Channing Tatum, who did a fine job – I also like Dito Montiel’s direction, and enjoyed A Guide to Recognising Your Saints, also starring the delectable Channing Tatum) and I started to think how wonderful (although challenging to say the least) it would be just to get away to another country, start over again and make a life for yourself on your own terms, carve things out for yourself and see just how far you can get when your back is against the wall.  And then I went on to think what name would I pick?  And after a while, I decided “Chase”, because it sounds a bit more American (the film was set in NY), and we’re all looking for something, and I like the idea of chasing something and never giving up.  So that is how Chase was born.

Before Chase, there was “AC”.  AC was born because (and this is the true story I don’t usually tell people!) I was singing along to Mariah Carey records ever since ever (well, the last 12 years anyways), and when she would sing her initials “MC”, I needed to find an equivalent.  “AS” sounded lame, “AG” (my middle name is George – yuckyuckyuck) wasn’t right either, so I decided upon AC and I like to think of him has the more ghetto, gangsta side of me who is a bit more brash and ready with it, whereas Alan is a bit quieter and more refined.  Chase on the other hand is the man that I aim to be.  So I’ve basically moved beyond schizophrenic to multiple personality… but I think that they are all parts that make up the whole of who I am.  I think we are a bunch of contradictions, at least at times, and this is the way I rationalise the existence of those contradictions.

And I’m certainly not the only one who has an alter-ego.  Mariah has Bianca, Ciara has Super C, Beyoncé has Sasha Fierce, Madonna had Dita, Left-Eye had Nicole.  Janet Jackson explored the idea of multiple personalities all looking for love on her Damita Jo album, and rappers such as Nas / Escobar and ODB / Dirt McGirt  used alter-egos and different names to tell stories from different perspectives (as well as create new contracts and exploit legal loopholes).  Look at Sean Combs / Puffy Daddy / Diddy / P.Diddy / Sean John.  After all, maybe it’s healthy to be able to escape one side of yourself and take refuge in another – it allows you maybe to give yourself a breather and collect your thoughts for a little while.  I don’t know why other people do it, I can only speak for myself, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a marketing device but more a way just to express a different side of myself and tap into that energy.  Because why not? That way, I know where certain reactions or instincts come from which side of me, and it helps me understand how multi-faceted a person I am and keep track of that.  I guess everyone’s different, but I’m sure (well, according to the list above, I know!) I’m not the only one who does that, and it works for me.  So a little insight into my psyche this evening 😉