Sunday, 21 December 2014

Growing Up is not my friend.

For most, and in many circumstances, Growing Up is not one's best friend. Growing Up is in fact the enemy of practically anybody with a poor, fragile heart. It always comes in the least expected moments, in quiet bubbles of ignorant bliss it blasts your peaceful mind with Grown Upness which usually means realisation of some horrid thing or another.

It grows in frequency and weakens the amount of pain it causes for eventually Growing Up is fully done and the inevitability has had time to sink in. It happens when you realise that Father Christmas isn't real and for the next few years that once very special day dips in magic and excitement until you can come to settle with the other festive joys. It happens when your body starts to change itself despite your desperate cries for it to stop and stay the same for ever and ever in clean and new perfection. It happens when instead of games running off pure imagination your attention turns less intensely to other distractions that need more material than just the wonders inside of your head. Suddenly boredom is so much more prominent and hours go by with not one ounce of inspiration for a game or even for a cushion fort to make. Younger children seem silly now and with your sudden superiority you try to ride this wave of hormones and understanding with as much dignity as any young person is capable of. Unfortunately however you just keep falling down and yearn for your mum to hold you in her arms so that distant memory of being held as a baby can sooth you from the imminent Growing Up you will have to do.

As you reach the end of the official stage of Growing Up it's possibly the most painful. The absolute realisation of a childhood utterly lost to broken memory and a box of toys and DVDs that now collects dust in the loft hits hard at random points in the day. It is like you are stuck between struggling through this last treacle like stage to get out of it, or desperately clinging to whatever you can hold onto so as not to leave any of it behind. It is like you are both being rushed along by a strong current, and suspended in a stillness that you cannot wilfully remove yourself from.

Growing Up is, as we all sorely remember and experience, really, really, really hard. So far I'm not sure if I'm near to the good bit yet. I can still feel pangs of sad nostalgia that open new, sore wounds of memory. I'm fully aware of a slight feeling of loss, and yet anticipation all at the same time. It really is a wonder anyone gets out of this part alive.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Death to uniform.

I have been wearing uniform all my life. From the age of 4 I've gone to school in red, then blue and then finally black. As a primary school child I paid little attention to my uniform. Clothes didn't exactly bother me, I was pretty preoccupied with other important stuff such as who will play mum in today's mums and dads game. Or if you were a child with a slightly overactive imagination like me, who will play the pregnant teenage daughter of the negligent mother in our more modern, more dysfunctional mums and dads game. But more of that later.

The point is, when one's individuality is only just beginning to form it's just simply more practical for the parents to have the same outfit ready everyday. The same goes for the lower years of secondary school, younger minds needn't be bothered with social conformity so conforming in minor ways such as wearing school uniform isn't at all a problem. The problem arises when the scepticism starts to kick in. When the individuality has finally arrived and it suddenly matters a great deal to the hormonal, bad tempered teenager. Suddenly you're being told to do something you most likely despise. To wear an ill fitting, uncomfortable skirt or blazer at the age of fifteen, an age riddled with crippling insecurity, is a little bit like death. One comes to the realisation soon after this age that, perhaps unintentionally or even wholly deliberately, you and all your peers have been trained into a uniform way of living and looking that is apparently the foundations on which the entire business world stands upon. Because then, of course, sixth form comes around and uniforms are abolished. Almost.

This is, for most schools, the pinnacle moment of uniformity. The boys will wear suits and the girls will look smart also. You will all look like lawyers and bankers or you will go home. The rules perhaps are more malleable for the girls, but totally unavoidable for the boys. This is the proper way to look. People will take you seriously like this, even if you have no say in the matter. Even if you'd actually prefer to look like an artist, or a punk, or a goth or any other fashion you can identify with. This is the adult world now, and we must all go forth together banded with ties and cufflinks galore.

Don't dye your hair, don't pierce your body, please wear a tie, do up your top button, wear a black suit, wear a matching skirt and blazer, don't show your shoulders, don't wear ankle boots, make sure your skirt isn't too short or too tight, and please, for the love of god, look the same as everybody else.

Looking your best is important, for most people it is even pleasurable. But everyone's 'best' is not the same, so please stop trying to tell me your made up rules.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

To the end of all things.

To the end of all things. Of all things good, happy and bizarre. I would like to say a thank you, despite each very sad good bye. Despite the moments after where everything returns to the mundane, the ordinary, the calm and the slow. It is in these moments where the end becomes real and the newly formed memories grow more distant and more surreal the more they're remembered. 

Oh happy dreams are only truly allowed to exist in our head whilst the outside world churns out its daily life with less sentimentality than we'd dare like to believe. But to these memories that happened only yesterday I do say thank you, because it is with them I can make up this strange and lovely fabric of my life and story. I hope it only grows in detail and vivacity as I grow older with it.