Tuesday, July 11, 2017
As I stirred my mug of Maxwell House, I had a sudden flashback to ten years ago when, instead of trying to complete an essay for my masters, I was struggling to do some preparatory sketches for art class in secondary school. I stayed up so late those nights with my first boyfriend, trying to squeeze enough kisses and handjobs out of the day, that I’d be too exhausted to do any homework, so I’d have to wake up at 6 am to do those sketches – or get an earful from Ms. Walsh. A lifetime ago. A different Emma. But still remarkably the exact same person. Fifteen year old me was a coffee novice, gulping cups of instant shite, then slurping down mochas from the vending machine in school before after-school study. Mochas, imagine! I’d get irritable around 4 pm, whether from coffee-withdrawal or downright tiredness, who’s to say?
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about fifteen year old, almost sixteen year old me. Ten years seems like a very significant milestone. I’m happy to put some distance between then me and now me. I think I had a pretty by-the-book adolescence: boyfriends, underage drinking, all those teenage dramas. It was never dull. I’m glad it happened the way it did (if nothing else, it provided enough fodder for all that teen-angst blogging). However, I’m also happy to say it was forever ago. Not that twenty-five year old me is all that different. Given the time, resources, and attention, I’d probably behave the exact same way, making the same mistakes and embarrassing myself in the exact same way. Maybe the only thing preventing that from happening is the fact that I have a job and – somehow – a reputation that I’m rather keen not to tarnish.
Sunday, July 09, 2017
I want so desperately to have something tangible. Pictures online, memes, beautiful imagery are wonderful, and often necessary, but I want to touch them, to climb into the screen and really feel them. And printing the pictures you like best is something, but it’s not quite enough. Objects, then, should be satisfying but buying things feels like another imaginary endeavour. I see grass and rocks and the real world and I touch it and it still feels very far away. Why is that? I want so desperately to be in the moment (whatever that means) that I’ve rendered the moment a facsimile. None of this feels real.
The last ten years raced and crawled and slithered by. I remember so vividly being almost sixteen years old. I remember the beginning of that first love. The one I still think about all the time. And I wish I could remember the finer details, rather than just the sense of love, or worse – the sense of impending doom. Being an adult is often exhausting, depressing, and futile. But I wouldn’t do adolescence over again for all the money in the world. But maybe my adolescence, like my college experience, was particularly painful because I hadn’t found the right antidepressants yet. Imagine if I could do it all over again with Lexapro in my arsenal. Would it make a difference?
Maybe it’s not just the drugs. Maybe all that misery adds up to something. Maybe it has fundamentally changed my chemistry. Moving away has surely helped. But I’m never quite gone. Always teasing myself with the idea of coming back. And it seems like it comes down to a choice between two nouns that really mean the same thing. Do I want money? Of course. But I can get money anywhere with any job – that’s the whole idea. So then it’s about comfort, right? The comfort of being able to go to the supermarket and buy whatever I want, or go to the MAC counter and buy whatever I want even though it doesn’t make me happy. Maybe the comfort of the familiar? It’s the only real job I’ve ever had and I’m pretty good at it. How on earth would I ever do something else?
So it’s a choice between faux-comfort and love. Faux-love. Because I can’t help but shake the feeling that I’d fare much better, romantically speaking, here than I would there. All I have to give the world is my wit and my weirdness but that currency is null and void over there. I am not an Instagram picture or a Snapchat story. I’m a little delinquent and I am at odds but anyone but Irish boys who’ll follow me into graveyards at 2 am.
But if I really did live here, it wouldn’t be the escape that it is now. It would be ordinary drudgery. The same old ding-dong. Maybe I wouldn’t get to engage in all the summer lunacy that I do now. (By which I obviously mean sitting on my bed, drinking wine, and blogging.) Maybe this is all just a weird exercise in seeing how long I can survive. Just stay alive as long as possible. But I’m trying to gain extra points by ticking off all the boxes. Trying to lose weight. Go to the gym. Get the promotion. Buy nice Christmas presents. Find The One™?
Don’t get me wrong, I know there’s no “One.” But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a One?
Why does it always boil down to the same fucking thing?
Saturday, July 08, 2017
- Drink three cans of cider.
- Eat almost a full tin of own-brand sour cream and onion Pringles.
- Message boys on Tinder.
- Move Tinder conversation over to Snapchat and converse with strange ginger man frighteningly reminiscent of Crazy Cian.
- Re-read old messages from an ex.