When Life Gives You Lemons…. Throw a Pie and/or Pee on Someone’s Floor

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So I moved. New flat, stabby area. It’s nice. My niece doesn’t wake me up by standing outside the door shouting ‘knock knock’ instead of just knocking at seven in the morning.

We had to borrow the deposit from my parents. It came out of the wedding fund. Which reminds me, if you are invited to the nuptials, would you mind bringing a packed lunch? Thanks.

But that means I have no excuses. Here, in the Anaglypta-and-Artex-covered flat (screw you spell check, they are bloody words), which, incidentally is owned by Damian Lewis’s father-in-law, the only thing getting in the way of me and my writing is, well, me.

(A side note on the Damian Lewis thing. I met my landlord for like half an hour. He managed to slip it into conversation though. Fair play.)

I started with the best of intentions. After wandering from room to room as though something interesting may have happened since the last time I was in there, then sitting for a while on the kitchen counter while drinking lemon squash and wondering if that counted as getting a new perspective, I got out the novel that I started during my MA.

I read it. I read all the comments from my old tutors and my super-brainy classmates, then realised that I’d thrown at least 10,000 words of it away.

Those comments though – they got me thinking about where all those uber-talented peers of mine had got to and how well they were doing. Turns out, most of them are doing brilliantly. Naturally I had to hide them all instantly from my news feed to prevent me from throwing my laptop out the window. All of this (finally) led me to the topic of today’s post – jealousy.

Gasp. It’s a touchy subject. No one wants to admit to it, but I don’t think it’s completely audacious to say that it’s something we all feel from time to time (uhum, every frigging day). So screw it. We all experience it. I’m just going to admit it and talk about it for a moment or two.

Social media has turned us all into painstaking curators of our own lives, flaunting the good whilst neglecting to share the bad so that it constantly looks like we’re all having THE best time with THE best people in THE best places in the world.

(Unless, of course, you decide to blog about the bad, in which case you probably have an ulterior motive. Would somebody reading this please give me a job?)

So, if you’re having a bit of a crappy time and decide to peruse Facebook for more than a second then it’s only natural you’re going to start feeling a tad envious of all the intelligent/stylish/ successful/young people (with lovely, springy eyelid skin) parading themselves for the world to see on your social media platform of choice. What’s worse, with Timehop, it’s now even possible to be jealous of your former self. What the fuck!?

It kinda makes me feel like this…

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Not that I’m going to pee on your floor. Just sometimes I kinda feel like. 

Anyway, back to jealousy. What should I do about it? I’m not going to delete my Facebook. I’m not going to spend less time every day pouring over my social feeds (although God knows I should). What I am going to do is to try and make a conscious decision not to wallow in it like it’s a two-day hangover. Hell, I’m going to embrace it.

Instead of seeing jealousy as something negative, I’m going to use it like a bloody big red flag that will help me to see what’s actually important.

The way I see it, if you’re jealous of something, be it someone else’s successful career, their international hijinks, their capacity to stay out past two in the morning or their bouncy frigging hair, then you should take a second and acknowledge the fact, and that at least this means you actually want something.  You should separate the ‘achievable’ from the ‘not on your nelly, love’ and go after the former with your big-ass sword swinging just like Brienne of Tarth.

In my case, it means I’ve not been totally trampled into accepting my lot. It means that not so deep down I really do want to keep trying and get the job I thought I’d already have by now. I’ve got a better bloody chance at that than I do of my eyelids regaining their former elasticity.

So, even though this week my sister, mother and niece are hanging out in Madrid at the swanky pad of a certain well known football player whilst I borrow £2 off my brother so I can afford to go to fat club, I’m going to take that cheeky little slither of envy and use it to fuel my success quest.

Must dash, I have a job interview to go to. Unfortunately I ran out of mascara and can’t afford a new one, so I’m going to have to go without.

On the plus side however, if I don’t get this job, at least I can blame it on my eyelashes…

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This One Time, At Band Camp (and how that makes me seriously friggin’ past it)

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This week I thought it would be a great idea to write my blog post into the notes on my phone when I was half asleep. It wasn’t.

Some choice gems that seemed particularly inspired at 3am (yes, still from the single bed at my sister’s) were:

  1. A rant about helping kids from underprivileged backgrounds aim higher.
  2. A reminder to tell you all about ‘that one time I got locked in Cardiff Castle, had to be escorted out by the Po Po, and then decided to tell a room full of people at a Weakest Link audition the day after all about it’.
  3. Some spiel about how Dexter should have died in season 4.

Although I’m sure you all would be fascinated to read about any of the above topics, and maybe when I’m really scraping the barrel for ideas I’ll regale you, what occurred to me when I was reading over my sleep-deprived ramblings was that this all could get a little ‘this one time, at Band Camp…’

Shit, even using that quote kinda dates me. I’m in the no-man’s land of my late twenties, a place where my cultural references are not quite old or cool enough to have gained cult status, but I’m certainly not a shit-hot graduate with a thousand followers on Twitter.

I’m pretty sure American Pie isn’t old enough to be retro, is it? So that means Road Trip isn’t either, and there’s scores of freshers out there finger popping each other’s ass holes who don’t know who Tom Green is or where he put his bum.  Oh, for shame.

So is that OK? Writing about that kind of shit? I mean, if I want to be taken seriously as a writer, maybe I should be writing something a bit more important? But then again, who’s to say what’s important?

I went through Uni looking back on my teenage years and thinking, shit, where was all the culture? I was gutted that my parents weren’t Guardian-reading, smoked-chipotle-frittata-eating liberals with degrees and fancy-pants jobs, and that they didn’t push me to do anything in particular with my book smarts. I still pretty much shit myself if a Made in Chelsea-alike so much as looks at me.

Despite lacking the folks mentioned above, I got stick for being too posh in high school. In year 7, because I talked ‘properly’ and wore my tie the right way around a friend (who shall remain nameless) declared in front of a large-ish audience that I bought my loo roll from House of Fraser.

Back then, I wanted a perm, a track suit, a sovereign ring and a pack of ten Lambert and Butler to smoke on the back of the 52. By the time I got to 6th form, however, I realised that I was as common as a see-through pair of leggings barely hiding a hungry, less-than-shapely arse in the queue at Primark.

(Yesssssssss….. that’s another 17 minute Google Vortex! Seriously, type ‘fat arse, see through leggings’ into Google. There’s a whole Twitter account devoted to Leggings Fails!)

Oh the irony.

I think it says a lot about the country at the moment, about wealth inequality, non-existent aspirations, and the near impossibility of a classless society. In the school I was working at before I decided to pack it all in, sell everything I owned and piss off to see (a teeny tiny part of) the world, I met a kid who had never left Cardiff and thought you were in France if you crossed the Severn Bridge. Who’s fault’s that? Certainly not his.

I’m not saying that I’m like this kid. Clearly I had a lot of opportunities that he might never have thanks to the parents that I’ve painted such a vivid picture of so far. (What’s that? You haven’t heard much about my mum yet? Ha ha! All in good time…) What I’m saying is that we should value the experiences of these kids as much as we value those of kids born into a life of privilege and instilled with a sense of, to quote Debra Morgan, a metric fuck tonne of entitlement.

I shouldn’t have quoted Dexter. They don’t deserve it. Not after that last series. Shoulda canned it after Trinity, guys.

What I’ve come to realise is that maybe it doesn’t matter that I didn’t read a Dickens book until I was 23, and perhaps I should embrace the fact that my soundtrack to high school was most probably Born to Do It.

I’ve got my own influences, my warped sense of humour/intense cynicism was not spawn in a vacuum, and if I think it’s worthwhile dissecting my hapless twenties on a public platform then maybe someone else will, too.

Anyway, back to those hapless twenties. Pearls of wisdom that I’ve received this week, relating to my progress in getting on and making something of my life, include:

‘Have you ever thought that maybe your workspace should be a bit less… bed?’  Attributed to my sister – she’s just jealous I make money in my jamas without being a hooker.

‘Didn’t someone get stabbed there last week?’ Brother’s new lady friend – on the flat that I’m finally moving into.

And, last but not least…

‘…………………………………………………………………………………………………….’ That’s grave-like silence, from every single job I’ve applied for.

My response to these? Well, I’ll borrow it from my niece’s favourite toy, a dancing Pooh Bear that sings about being a little chubby.

‘Oh bother.’

Hey wait, looks like I did get in all those topics from my midnight ramblings. Just not the Weakest Link audition. Oh well, guess I’ll just save that one for next time…

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