Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Parents, Who'd Have Em?

Heh, this amused me (perhaps a bit too much).
I love my parents, really I do, I just don't cope very well with actually living with them for any long period of time like I am currently. I've always been a rather independent child, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was an only-for a long time I've been comfortable in my own company and have probably spent more time with myself than with anyone else. I've never been someone who misses home easily-when, on our first trip away with school in year 4, some of the other kids were wailing and being inconsolable because they weren't near their Mum and Dad, I found I didn't actually miss them all that much at all. By the time we went away again in year 6 I was perfectly contented enjoying myself for the whole week without thinking about my parents except for when writing postcards to them in my clumsy penmanship. Zip forwards through my life and I've been away many times without ever really feeling a burning desire to come home again. Even at uni, where I moved out and finally gained my independence, I often didn't think about them at all, forgetting to ring them when I said I would and being scolded for it when I remembered a week late. I know some people who communicate with their families every day, that update them on every little thing in their lives but I just don't feel the need to (even though I know I probably should!). Maybe it's because we're not the closest of families-I still don't really talk to them about anything important in my life. We don't talk about boys, we definitely don't talk about sex, and I rarely mention my feelings to them because it feels weird. I nearly cried in front of my Dad in the car the other day talking about my future ambitions and turned away because I didn't want him to see, despite the fact he's my own FATHER and has seen me cry a million times before. (Probably).

It's something that's definitely got worse since I got back from uni though, because I came back feeling like a woman who knew herself and her own mind and yet still get treated like a teenager. I've gone from being the only person in charge of my life to having to check whether I can use the washing machine and having to write down my food requests on a shopping list which gets lost anyway. Don't get me wrong, I'm not ungrateful to them, I know how hard it must be having an extra person in the house again after all this time, an extra mouth to feed, an awkward person stomping around at 3am in the morning when normally the house would be silent, one extra person's mess to clean up. I try and help out when I can, but it definitely doesn't help when my schedule doesn't seem to run alongside my parents' any more-I keep getting told off for not doing things, when in my head I just hadn't done them yetThe amount of arguments we have over little things, coupled with the fact that due to my lack of driving licence I rely on them for lifts to places, is enough to make me feel like that stroppy teenager again. 

And then there’s boys. If I so much as mention a boy’s name my parents’ proverbial ears prick up and they want to know who he is and how I know him and when are they going to meet him? Even if this was a potential love interest of mine, things would get awkward quickly when I brought him home and they were horribly embarrassing, and then I took him upstairs and they reminded me that my bed is directly over theirs. It's certainly a romance killer, living with your parents!

So yes, I love my parents. I'm endlessly grateful to them for housing me, and not charging me rent until I can afford to pay them any. I thank them for feeding me, and for heating the house we live in, and driving me places at stupid o'clock in the morning or when I'm running late for things and the millions of other things they do. I know they do so much for me and I really appreciate that. It's just...I know that I'm going to appreciate them much more once I can afford to move out and don't have to see them every day. We'll have a lot fewer reasons to fall out with one another and so will get on much better, and I will feel more like a grown up, proper person, and less like a child, which can really only be a good thing. In the meantime I guess we just have to try and put up with each other as best as we all can, and try not to fight too much. Here's hoping.


Saturday, 19 January 2013

One Day More...

One more day til unemployment
It will make you feel so glum,
No more money left for cool things
Or for anything that's fun...

Hopefully Herbert Kretzmer won't mind me bastardising his lyrics to make my point here. On a side note, I haven't been to see the film version yet, but I am hoping to in the next week or so because I do really want to goooooo.
It's 2am, I just (about half an hour ago at least) got back from a night out at my theatre for Skit-the staff version of the pantomime that I've been working for the last 6 weeks (Originally typed months here, it feels longer than it's been, clearly). It followed basically the same story line although there were a lot more nob jokes than in the family friendly version, and it was pretty hilarious. Tomorrow I'm working the matinee performance and then watching the final showing as is traditional. And then that's it. This time tomorrow I'll be unemployed again. I'm only just realising how much I'm going to miss it-it's not the most difficult job by any stretch of the imagination, but it's something I've really really enjoyed doing and can do well. Of course, it's the people that make it, and no matter how much they could have resented us newbies for coming in and purloining all their shifts, none of them seemed to in reality. Actually, they're all really great people, I've never had a shift where I felt like I didn't have anyone to talk to or like I wasn't included in the group. They've helped me out when I needed help and didn't try to help once I knew what I was doing which is always nice. Theatres can be very cliquey places and it's easy to be estranged from people within them, but I've not felt any of that whilst I've been here. Everyone will nod and smile a hello at you even when they clearly haven't the foggiest who you are, and that's really wonderful. It makes me really sad to think I more than likely won't see most of them ever again.
But that's not the only rubbish thing. I like having a job, I like feeling like a helpful member of society, I like having a reason to get dressed and leave the house a couple of days a week. I know that I'm just going to go back to spending all my time in my pyjamas and feeling sorry for myself again soon, and that's RUBBISH. And then I'm going to have to spend my time getting REALLY stressed out at application forms to the point where I just get cross and then don't do them anyway, because that's what always happens. I'm really bad at this whole 'being a grown up' thing. And if anyone tells me that 'All good things have to come to an end' I'm going to throw things at them, because that's a pants life philosophy to live by. Also because I don't want this one too, because I love it just a little bit too much. 
Hand me the job section of the local paper, but know that I'm not going to enjoy this, not one little bit. I think I'm entitled to just a little bit of sulking, no?

One more shift left at the Playhouse
Then it's time to see the show, 
I've had such a brilliant time there
And I don't want to go.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Don't Go Changing, Trying To Please Me

"I don't understand. I'm supposed to be beautiful!"
"But you are beautiful!"
I had originally had a different idea for a blog post floating around in my brain but then I read something this morning and was inspired. A good friend of mine writes a hidden, secret blog (more like a diary) and had written a post on living healthily and trying to lose bit of weight etc etc, like hundreds of other people in the new year I don’t doubt. The thing that made me really sad was when she listed her reasons for doing it, this sentence was amongst them: “...but men don't dig fat chicks. Men like smaller girls, and you aren’t small.” 
I understand there are hundreds of reasons for wanting to go on a bit of a health kick and try and lose weight/get fitter/become a bit more comfortable within your own skin, but the idea that we need to do it in order to help us be more attractive to the opposite sex really saddens me. I too want to get a bit fitter and should really start doing some exercise, if only so that I can run up the two flights of stairs to my bedroom without feeling like I’m about to die. But to do it to attract a man? No  thanks. If a bloke can’t be happy with me as I am, then I’m not interested. Even if he was Mr. Perfect, if I was totally butterflies-in-the-stomach-besotted with him, even if he was THE ONE, if he told me I had to slim down in order to get with him I’d tell him where to get stuffed and possibly forcibly stuff him there myself.

Thing is, I've been in relationships where I've tried to change myself to please the opposite party and it feels pretty crappy. To realise that someone you're in love with doesn't like you exactly as you are is a horrible thing, particularly when it's to do with how you look because that's one of the reasons they're attracted to you, surely- if they don't like the way you dress or the size you are does that mean they don't fancy you much any more? (That's how it feels at least.) It's horrible. I'm not the girliest dresser in the world and have a penchant for big snuggly hoodies, sloppy skate trainers and Doc Martens*, and I've dressed the same way for years really. So when the Ex used to pick up on these things (that hadn't changed since we started going out) and basically point out why he didn't really like them, I used to feel like he didn't like me, like he was trying to turn me into someone I wasn't.
And I let him. I bought fitted coats and dolly shoes and T-shirts that weren't baggy and tried to wear my girly outfits when I visited him over my sloppy, comfy ones. Fat lot of good it did me, we still broke up and now he is with someone who is basically my girlier twin looks/style wise, so I'm sure he's happy now. It gives me the freedom to wear my Docs every day and only wear my girly clothes when I want to, and I wonder to myself why I ever tried to change. I know the answer, of course. It's because when I fall in love with people I am constantly doubting the relationship and worrying that they'll leave me, so I'll always change myself if I think it'll make them happier. But I'm going to try not to.
A very wise friend of mine once told me "You should never be with someone who doesn't think you're brilliant, and tell you that often" and I have to say I think it's excellent advice. If the person that you're with is trying to change the way you look or the way you act around them then they're not really interested in you, but the person they can make you into. I recognise the need to adapt some of our personality traits in order to live with other people without constantly arguing for instance, but that's a two way street, and I think you should never change your looks or your style for someone else- and I'm going to try to stick to this rule in the future. Change yourself if you're unhappy, go on a diet, try out a new hair colour, wear different clothes, but only on your terms, not on someone else's. I'd rather be happy with myself and single than change myself to fit into a relationship, and for me, that's saying a lot.

So be fat and fabulous, wear what you want to when you want to and don't let anyone tell you that you're doing it wrong.


*Let's face it, I'm having a love affair with my Docs, future boyfriends be damned!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Magic of Books

I can practically smell them.
If someone said to me that I could only choose one form of entertainment to indulge in for the rest of my life, I don't think I'd have to think very long before I chose books as my answer. I mean sure, after a while I'd go mad from the silence or I'd miss just slobbing around on the sofa watching pointless television, but I think I'd still stick to my choice. There's just something about a good book really. No other art form allows you to use your imagination in such a way- to basically allow it to fly free and roam where it will like a small inquisitive creature. In a film, you might have an establishing shot of a corridor to subtly let you know where the scene is about to take place, but in the world of books that corridor might be described in a hundred, maybe a thousand words- enough for you to paint that picture in your head of where the character is standing, enough so that you're almost transported there yourself, you can smell the smells and feel the door handle in your own hand.
I've always been a reader, since I was a small and precocious child and learned to read by a stupidly early age. I would always choose to sit and read a book rather than running around, and because I was severely anaemic for my entire childhood and therefore got tired out easily, I was perfectly happy to take the more sedate path through life. Something about reading has just always struck a chord in my own head- discovering new worlds through the words of someone else is something I consider to be purely joyful. Perhaps it's because I have a good imagination (although cause and effect of this is hard to decide upon), so I can paint a picture in my head of what I'm reading and fall through the page until I almost inhabit it. Even as an 11 year old, I was hesitant about seeing the first Harry Potter film because I didn't want it to ruin the images I had in my own head with tiny Daniel Ratcliffes strutting about and being awful. Luckily, I seem to have escaped lightly, I can mispronounce 'Weasley' to my heart's content in my own head and imagine Quidditch properly. Books can grab me in a way that no other art form has been able to- they take my emotions and shake them around without a care and give them back to me. I'm quite good at not getting emotionally affected by things I see happening on a screen (exceptions being the theatre when I'm already feeling emotionally fraught) but I've been shaken up by books more times than I can count. I am of the school of people that has to go out and do something once I've finished a book that's got inside my head because I can't shake the feelings that have been put there because I'm too involved with the characters. Particularly if someone's just been killed off or revealed a big life changing secret right at the end, it gets to me and I always have to find a way to stop feeling melancholy for no actual reasons at all. Basically, I'm this girl: Date A Girl Who Reads (Rosemarie Urquico) and I love the sensation of getting lost in those stories, not realising time is flying past until I finish the book and suddenly notice it's dark outside. I fully intend to have a house full of bookshelves bursting at the seams with tatty books that I've read hundreds of times and still spend too much time smelling the books in second hand book stores. In this modern world of technology and non-stop hustle and bustle, my favourite past time is the simplest of all, just some pages of words sandwiched between two covers, words that hand me the key to my imagination and allow me to set it free to do as it will. Words that can wrap themselves around your heart and squeeze until you cry, or make you sit there gaping at what you just read, or give you fits of silent giggles while you're sat on a bus trying not to annoy people.
Give me a good book, any day!