Posts Tagged ‘moving forward’

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end game.

April 18, 2010

It sounds silly to say, considering the last 8 months that I’ve had, but sometimes I still feel a waste of space.  I get down sometimes and I feel so indecisive, so useless… I don’t know what I want.  I have made huge changes and huge improvements in my life, and I am so grateful to that and I appreciate things like I never used to, so I don’t feel I’m being ungrateful or taking anything for granted.  It’s just that despite everything seemingly going my way for once, despite the career change I’m making and the reasons I have for doing it, I still wonder… what is it all for?

I always hated the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I’ve never had any idea, apart from when I was a child and I used to fantasise about running away and catching a plane to America at age 13, so I could be a superfamous pop singer by the magical age of 17.  Needless to say, that didn’t quite pan out (although I am very proud of my latest album Quiet Storm) and since then, I’ve felt at a loss, and somewhat a failure, for not having achieved that ridiculous and yet wildly romantic childhood dream.  In much the same way as I’ve been academically brilliant, I have always been able to sing, dance, write songs and play instruments because I just always assumed that I was capable of those things.  I never doubted myself, and through sheer force of will and plain naïve arrogance I turned out to be really good at all of that.  The only time I’ve ever failed any kind of test was my driving test, and 5 years on I’m making moves to finally erase that failure.  Generally, I’ve believed in myself and it’s pushed me to the top.  So why am I not famous, successful, rich and happy?

I look to my twin Ciara. She was born on the exact same day as me, and in her life she’s accomplished exactly what I wanted to but never did. Where did I go wrong? Did I ever have a chance, or was it just luck?  If I had my life over again, what could I do differently to end up where she is? Does that mean my achievements are nothing? I’m not going to brag about anything I’ve done in my life (the last paragraph sounded plenty up myself for this entry) but I know that I’ve achieved things which are pretty decent, some would say admirable.  But it means far less to me than perhaps it should, because it’s never really gotten me anywhere that’s mattered to me.

But then, looking at what the music industry is, especially now, I think perhaps I was naïve in believing that I could give up everything and just be famous.  Having the talent is one thing, but I don’t know if I have the stamina to stick out the years of churning out radio-friendly fodder to get to a stage where I can call some of the shots and have any sort of creative control. Especially now, where I’ve got to the stage of clearly becoming an “adult” (i.e. old) because I find 90% of what is played on the radio recycled garbage.  As I’ve grown my musical identity, I have gained more fixed ideas of what I want musically and who I am, and I certainly don’t fit into any of the current moulds.  I would not last five minutes on X-Factor and similar programmes, because even if I have the talent to make it, I don’t have the obedient personality which can be crammed into a shiny black suit and forced to sing mundane cover versions with choirs and key changes.  Frankly, I’d rather die.

But then, we all end up dying anyway, right? So I have let’s say, 65 years, to make something of my life.  Ideally, I want to have a life where I’m remembered for all time, but that doesn’t seem to be too likely does it? Either I go on a killing spree (which is a little bit messy for my liking), or I become a leading politician (I’d rather go on the killing spree), or I do something incredible on a grand scale.  This incredible thing was going to be the super-influential singing career idea, but I guess I’d rather sing for my friends and those online who appreciate my music (THANKYOU ALL btw!) and get to write, produce and sing the music I want, which means sacrificing the fame. Oh well.

My logic for going into Careers Guidance was to do an incredible thing on a smaller scale.  If I can’t have / don’t want the burdens and trappings of fame, I could still touch people’s lives as an individual, because doing Good Things gives meaning to my life and my actions, and it’s the meaning that I truly seek.  Just as my friends and I influence each other (again, thankyou all of you! YOu know who you are), I would like to be a good influence in people’s lives when they need it most, to enable them to progress and achieve what they want.  If it’s a less grandiose dream, it still has its heart in the right place, I feel.  And perhaps one of the people that I advise, that I support, that I help, will become the superstar I always dreamed of being.  That would make me feel incredibly proud, and perhaps that would be enough. I just hope that I do get a job as a guidance worker somewhere, because I finish this course in 2 months (it’s flown by, hasn’t it!) and I need the money, I need the experience and I also need to get my own place and not waste any more time!  Otherwise I will end up dying, and not having made anything of my life on whatever scale.  And that would be a disappointment and a waste of myself.  I need to make my life a life worth living.

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what we want.

January 8, 2010

It’s funny how what we want, on a smaller scale, changes. Presumably, nearly all of us ultimately want to be happy; it’s a basic thing.  But the little things, the goals we seek to accomplish on the way to that happiness, are different for all of us.  I was on the bus stop on Tuesday on my way to Starbucks, and I got into conversation with a guy who’d been waiting there for ages.  He was telling me that he had belated Christmas presents to deliver to his sister’s daughter, who lives across town. Because apparently he didn’t have much money (his brother owed him some but wasn’t paying him – bla bla) he couldn’t get what he wanted to buy, which was a pair of Timberland boots.  I get the impression that his niece was young, because he said that the following year, once she outgrew the boots, he would have had them dipped in gold (and then proceeded to tell me about how they freeze the boots in liquid nitrogen before dipping them in gold).  In my head I was furiously thinking that that was horrendously tacky (which it is), but looking at the man’s face as he was talking, he seemed so excited about the idea that it was genuinely sweet.  He really wanted it.  And if that made him happy, and it would make his niece happy, then who am I to judge his dream?

If I were to make a quick list of things that I want in the next year or so, I could go for ages and into specific minutia of jewellery, as well as vague wishes and hopes.  But concrete things that I would like, that I think are possible to achieve, and that would help me on the way to “happiness”, would be:

  • A good, decent boyfriend for whom I can wake up enough to appreciate him.
  • Passing my driving test and getting a car.
  • Finishing my careers guidance course and getting a job that enables me to have my own place.

I think that’s it really! Although sometimes I focus so much on these things that it feels like nothing that I have is ever enough, I appreciate that I have some really fantastic friends (it took me long enough to acquire them but in the last year alone, I’ve made three or four new bffs!), I am sorta good-looking and I lost plenty of weight so that apart from when I am having a little crisis, I know I am not fat.  I have nice things, including designer jewellery, decent technology and a wardrobe with which I am satisfied.  I have a pretty good singing voice, and the ability to make my own music and for that I am blessed, because even if it’s not on a grand scale, I have the tools to realise my own dreams.  And as you know, I finally got my tattoo!  None of this precludes me from wanting to improve or revolutionise all of these aspects of myself, but as things stand now, I am satisfied and I have made progress. My dissatisfaction just comes from a desire to keep moving and growing!  But in terms of goals, I only have those three main ones I listed at the top.

Mike told me that more than anything right now, he wants to move away from central Bristol to somewhere a little quieter, with more green space.  I can’t understand it myself because I’m the total opposite, but then he has a wife and child, he’s had a different upbringing, and so he has different things that will make him happy.  It’s really important to him in the next few months to achieve his dream.  I have a friend who is hoping to be successful in his new job application, another who wants to do really well in her finals at university, and one more who is on the next step to realising her dream of becoming a doctor – a journey which has taken her a really long time.  I admire everyone who has goals, because I think it’s goals that make us get up in the morning, work that little bit harder and keep it moving.  Looking at my parents, a generation older than me, and I don’t know if this is because relations between us are kinda tenuous at the moment, but I couldn’t tell you what they want.  I mean, they have done well for themselves in life, but I can’t imagine that at 50 years old, you suddenly just become satisfied with everything you have.  Isn’t it part of the human condition to always want something?  Again, by that, I think we all want to be happy ultimately, and we don’t stop on the quest for that happiness – but doesn’t everyone want at least one thing that puts them that bit closer to being happy?  I can’t imagine that changing with age… I hope that although I can always appreciate what I have, that I never feel completely satisfied… to me, that is a kind of complacency and I always want to be striving for more, for better, to be the best that I can be.  Tyler Durden in Fight Club said that that was a form of masturbation; the Army uses it as their motto; but I really want to be the best.  Not by anyone else’s criteria, but by my own – an even taller order.  Game on. 😉

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escape.

October 19, 2009

I am tired of being treated like a leper.  I am tired of not being asked how I am or how my day went.  I am tired of being made to feel like I am not permitted to speak or make any noise in your presence, except in order to answer your questions or support your arguments.  I am tired of being told to be quiet and stop singing during the day, only to have to listen to the sounds of you fighting in the night.  I am tired of of being made to feel uncomfortable in the midst of your baggage.  I am tired of being accused of never listening to you, when you bombard me with so much speech that I finally have to tune out your voice in order to save my sanity.  I am tired of being made to feel that I should be neither seen nor heard, and only trotted out on an occasion when you need to feel proud of yourselves that you raised a son like me.  I am tired of being asked to move from one room to another because “I don’t belong there”, when in reality I don’t belong anywhere at all according to you, and you only want to displace me that little bit extra to make me feel more insecure.  I am tired of being misunderstood or misdiagnosed, which just proves how little you know me, love me and care about who I truly am rather than the version of who you think I am.  I am tired of being punished for having my own opinion.  I am tired of being made the scapegoat when I dare to disagree with your views which you present as gospel or unshakeable fact.  I am tired of biting my tongue.  I am tired of feeling miserable and worthless.  I am tired of wondering why I am never good enough for you, when I am more than good enough for absolutely everyone else.  I am tired of being made to feel like I am the problem.  I am tired of being on the verge of tears only to never cry.

One day, I will never warn you, but I am going to find somewhere else to live and to be.  I’m already working on it.  Then I will pack my shit, change my number, and vanish. Y0u will never see me or hear from me again.  I deserve to be free, and I finally will be. And I will not miss you.

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lazy.

August 1, 2009

I’m not somebody who’s not very good at doing nothing.  I find it difficult to simply sit in front of the tv and watch it, preferring to always multitask with a book, ipod and laptop to hand.  I feel guilty if I stay in bed past 9:30 in the morning, because I could have done things with that time, and I genuinely enjoy the mornings (like now it is 11:20, I only got up 20 minutes ago after another fantastic dream involving Jessica Simpson being a house guest who instructed another house guest how to flush a toilet, and involving my hair becoming fluffy of its own accord and changing from blonde to brown at will).  I don’t understand people who have no apparent aspirations or drive, because ever since I was little I wanted to be a pop star, so I’ve always been singing and making music (though this is an ambition I don’t tend to reveal in public, so it’s possible that people think of me as a bit aimless – who knows); I also want to be a Youth Adviser for Connexions, which is the goal of my university course starting in September.  I want to write books (on what, I haven’t quite decided, but this blog is a good start I guess!  I haven’t been so passionate about writing in such a long time, and somehow I keep coming up with things to say so I will try not to repeat myself too much!) or at least newspaper columns, and I also want to do something with perfume or clothes (that’s the fashionista in me – btw. Coco Before Chanel is a fantastic film, and Audrey Tautou and Alessandro Nivola do a wonderful and “elegant” job).  I have a huge creative drive, and so I can never imagine being lazy – even though my album is now ‘late’ (but I swear it’s nearly done!!!), I’ve been making lots of music during my period of unemployment which is about to hit 2 months, but is nearly over because am due to start at the hospital any day now.  Any day now.  Come on hospital, call me for my induction.  The phone is waiting!  And of course, I have started and been keeping up this blog, which is actually a proper thing now and it’s rare that there is a day that I don’t write.

So I don’t understand why, near enough every morning, the thought runs through my head that goes “urgh, another day? I can’t do this today”, even though today I have absolutely no plans and could stay in bed all day if I really wanted (something I would never do).  I guess it’s the fact that I am still waiting for my life to really “start” that makes every day feel a bit like a mundane trudge, even though I do my best to still enjoy myself.  After all, we never know but this could be as good as it gets, right?  I could be determined to make something of my life, but a car could hit me and that could be the end.  So I guess I must try to appreciate every day as much as I can, because you never know if we’ll get another.  I suppose that is why I can’t stay in bed into the afternoon, and why I make myself go to the gym even if I’ve only had 5 hours sleep and I’d rather not exercise when I’m tired only to make myself very tired.  (That, and the thought of impending obesity, of course)  And why I got tired of waiting for a record company to discover me, so I decided to make my own records (as amateurish as they might sound, I think I do a good job with what I have).  Actually, I’m gonna take that last bit out of brackets: I think I do a good job with what I have.  I was talking to my friend Nick yesterday about life, and the fact that we are 24 (well, I am nearly) and not high-flying executives nor family men (ha!) so we are made to feel we need to “hurry up” before we miss our prime, and “do something”.  I mean, what?  My life is certainly not over at 23, and I’m making moves.  It’s not like we sit at home all day playing Xbox.  We work hard and I feel that for someone to try to make me feel as if I’ve been wasting time is a little disrespectful because I have worked damn hard in my life to get where I am, and I am working hard right now to keep making it work and moving forward.  I am the farthest thing from lazy, so please don’t get it confused: if I had my way, I would have been rich and successful 5 years ago without even needing to go to university.  But life doesn’t always go the way you want, so we have to take our lemons and make lemonade; in other words, do the damn best with what we have.  So I find that life is basically living somewhere between the area of what is realistic to us right now, and pushing to make that reality a little bit better so that we can ultimately live our dreams.  It takes time and it takes effort, but that’s ok, because I’m not lazy.  I may not be where I want to be right now, but one day I will be.  And hopefully I’ll be doing at least a couple of the things that I listed at the top, because right now that is what gives me the drive to keep going and move on past the thought of “just another day”.