Friday, 23 January 2015

Sixteen


On Friday the 9th of January 2015, I turned 16. The age that the Disney princesses I grew up watching met the love of their lives, got married and lived happily ever after. The age that my primary school friends and I pretended to be in our imaginary games in which we convinced ourselves we were living in a fairytale for the fifteen minute break time. After being brainwashed by teen movies for years, I had spent my life believing that sixteen was THE age to be. I imagined myself being mature and interesting and happy, but as the day came closer I simply felt stressed and miserable and tired. When I woke up on that Friday morning, I was disappointed. I had placed so many expectations on this day that it would be impossible to ever live up to.

Lately I've realised how much my unattainable expectations can affect me. Nothing I do will ever live up to the perfect vision I had of it, so I'm left feeling frustrated and confused as to why things didn't turn out the way I thought they would. I think we take our lives for granted. Everybody is always in search for the perfect moment or an object that will make them happy. It's always "I'll be happier when I loose weight" or "when I have a car" or another materialistic item. We are constantly saying 'when I have children' or 'when I'm sixty' or even 'next week', when there is really no guarantee we'll live that long. It's a terrifying and tragic fact that you can attempt to avoid, but it will always be there.

Everyday I am torn between two expectations. I want to be good at school and focus on revision, but I'm also exhausted and stressed about missing these years that I am constantly told to enjoy. The best option seems to be hiding in my room until the next three years are over and I am no longer legally required to be in education. 

I want to enjoy the little things more. I want to remember how good it feels to squeeze into a Photo Booth with my best friends and the long seconds of waiting for glossy images of our laughing faces to print. I want to remember how content I felt at someone's birthday party despite the cold, because behind the bad music and mud, everybody was happy. I want to remember the conversations I have with my brother when we're walking home, and the stupid text messages from my friends. I want to laugh about how annoyed I was when I was left out, or how stressed I was about a homework assignment the teacher didn't even mark. When you're close to something, it seems huge. It looms over head and takes up so much room that you can't see anything to either side of it. It's only when you take a few steps back that you realise how small it truly is. As I continue to grow in my life, I'm going to learn so much more. I'm going to meet even more people who make me question things I thought I was sure about, and I'm going to see things that make me change my mind about everything I ever knew. Right now, like everybody else, I'm in a comfortable state of happy ignorance but I am completely prepared to watch as my life right now becomes a simple memory. I need to remind myself of this more often.

After my first day of high school I felt like somebody had ripped away my safety blanket and broken the rose glasses I viewed the world through. All of a sudden I was forced into a place where nobody said thank you for holding the door open and nobody cared how lost you were on your way to history.  It's as if you're sheltered for your whole life and then one day your house falls down, and you're left to rebuild it yourself with only a broken pen and a tie you don't really know how to use. If somebody had sat 11 year old me down and told me all the things I was going to do and say and feel, I would never have believed them.

It's funny how you can change without really being aware of it. I don't like the same music I did three years ago and I don't have the same opinions on things although it might be embarrassing to look back on, I'm so glad I can document these changes through my blog.

If I have any goals as a sixteen year old it is to have no goals. I don't want to imagine a perfect year and then be annoyed when it doesn't turn out that way. This year I want to let things happen the way they're supposed to, so I don't blame myself if they're not great.

So there.. another post made up of candid 3am thoughts...

Friday, 2 January 2015

Do better


It is especially at this time of the year when I begin to question the relevance of anything I do, as the earth completes yet another lap around the sun, just to begin again. As humans we seem to ignore the oddness of it all and create a million ways to distract ourselves. We invent problems that are ridiculous when you step back and realise how clueless we all are, yet people die for them. Sorry for getting deep, I shouldn't think for too long apparently..

As well as the disasters we put among ourselves, somehow humanity has managed to create something that's enough to kill you or fill you with hope. Art. Art can be expressed in a million different ways, whether it's photography, music, dance, painting or even make up. There are endless possiblities to show the world what you can do.

 In paintings you can see the brush strokes triggered by the movement of the artists hand. I can hear the sharp breaths of my favourite singer between lines of a song. I watch as the eyes of a dancer move rapidly, lost in the moment and thinking of the next move. Sometimes it is easy to view artists as unreachable gods, people who aren't really people and are larger than life itself. It is in the thick paint and sharp inhale and sudden movement that I am reminded that they are all human, and any human can achieve these things.

Because of this revelation I have one simple goal for 2015: 'Do better'. It is so easy for me to believe that I can't compete with other peoples talent and give up. However, it is within this belief that I forget that they are just people. It was a person who painted the Mona Lisa, it was a person who invented the internet and it was a person who wrote Thriller. A human being who had to sleep and eat and breathe just like me. 
Everybody is capable of something and I hope 2015 is the year you figure out what that is. 

Happy New Year.