thetillyvanilly

Awkward things.

Life’s a Beach

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Have you ever done something that’s pretty much convinced you that you are Superwoman/Batman/Wolverine/insert-applicable-and-freakishly-awesome-DC-or-Marvel-superhero-here? The other day I had one of those moments. I felt like I was a brand new and shiny person, like I’d ripped off my skin and revealed the real me underneath, the one that wears a cape, has a six-pack and would make even Benedict Cumberbatch swoon a teensy bit. So what gave me my superhero spotlight moment?

This:

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No. I didn’t lose a million stone and go blonde. I surfed. And it was freaking AMAZING.

I have wanted to surf ever since I was little, and it was one of those things that, under the surface, I thought would never happen. Kind of like sky diving, (one day definitely, possibly, if I ever get over my crippling fear of impaling myself on a unicorn’s horn) going to The Netherlands, (I would prefer it if everyone in the UK could just randomly start speaking Dutch. And singing. Basically, if life was a Dutch musical, I would be content) and having afternoon tea with Neil Gaiman (Ok, this one HAS to happen. I will even drink caffeinated tea and learn how to use all of the cutlery. Now that’s dedication).

But then I did it, and it was incredible.

The first lesson I learned was: You have to make things happen. Yeah, I know, it took me a while, but I still haven’t figured out how not to set things on fire, so call me a slow learner. I’ve always been convinced that epic things will just happen to me, and then when they don’t happen, I sit around scratching my head.* But this time, I was pro-active. I met a dude who surfs, asked him to teach me, nagged him a bit, then got my butt to the beach. It was that simple and that hard.

Lesson two: You will not be great at anything straight away. I am the perfect example of a narcissist with low self-esteem. I think I will be amazing at things, until I try them. Then I think that I’m the most useless, lame person in the world ever, and should probably move to a cave and stop bothering people with my incompetence. Ok, so maybe not that bad, but getting there. I had a vision in my mind of the graceful, skinny, blonde (despite my hair’s stubborn reaction to all hair dyes sending it to the ginger side of town) surf girl I could be, shredding the waves with ease. One word: Nope. There was a lot of falling and skinned knees, a mouth full of salt water and a lot of time spent staring out to sea, promising it gifts of fish, boats and mermaids if it produced some surf-able waves.

Lesson three: Promising the sea aquatic presents that you have no intention of giving really works!

Lesson four: Improving is amazing. Yeah, I wasn’t a surf Jedi straight away, but I learned to walk before I could run**. By the end of my first lesson, I managed to get to my feet, and that was good enough for me. I had been surfing. I did something that I seriously thought I’d never do, and it felt amazing, not only to achieve something, but also to keep a promise to myself, no matter how tentatively it had been made in the first place. I’m now planning to get with the program and come good on all my other wishy-washy goals. But first, I’m getting back on the board because…

Lesson five: Surfing is the most incredible thing I have ever done, and I was a bit of an idiot to put it off for so long.

So if there’s anything you’ve been meaning to do, but haven’t quite found the impetus, or the time, or the most convenient excuse that gets you out of it, stop stalling and do it. You will either be happy you did or get impaled by a unicorn horn. Either way, you’ll know.

 

 

*Do people do this in real life? Like, does it help with the thinking process? Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. Must do more scratching…

**Still haven’t got the hang of running. Something about moving at speeds sends me hurtling into hedges. And canals. And down mountains. It’s probably safer if I don’t leave the house.

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The Fear

mordor

In an age where we update our Facebook status obsessively, just to let the world know how great everything is and how happy we are, it’s hard to tell the truth. Especially when the truth happens to be that you’re not happy, despite the trappings you could gloat about, you’re not confident, despite the photoshopped, golden-hued selfies all set to post to Instagram, and you’re lonely, despite the billion and counting ‘friends’ you’ve collected via drunken nights out, jobs that lasted two days and friends of friends you thought were hot, but later found out to be married.

It’s hard to say it, but I’m gonna be brave and say it. Here we go…

I’m scared.

And the internet isn’t helping.

I forget that I’m supposed to be growing up, and I forget that my life’s supposed to be moving. That is, until I go online and see everyone else’s lives hurtling like hell towards married bliss and backs covered with sick. Everyone else seems to be on fast forward, while I’m sitting here, cooing over photos of baby sloths and imagining what life would be like if I went out on an actual date, in real life, rather than in one of my far-fetched dreams.

The world is moving and not taking me with it, and that’s scary. I’m starting to think that one day I’ll be sitting in a nursing home, telling tales of the time that Benedict Cumberbatch gave me a bucketful of piglets. Unless this actually happens, (it’s totally possible) I am in danger of going completely mental. The solution is obvious. Benedict Cumberbatch needs to profess his undying love for me and save an entire family of pigs from the slaughter to prove it. Nothing else will do.

Ok, so maybe I’m being a teensy bit demanding. Maybe I need to start small in my quest to get moving. Now I’m not saying that I want what everyone else has. I’ve never been entirely (or at all) conventional. I don’t want a job in PR, (possibly because I don’t really know what it is, and according to the magazines I’ve read, it seems to involve a lot of asking for promotions and being too busy to eat breakfast) I don’t want babies, (really, no.) and I don’t want to have to put up with a man who thinks that football matters and beer is a food group.

That’s fine for other people. You chat about Beckham scoring hat tricks offside nil keepy uppy ref whatever until your vision’s so blurred that there are five balls on the turf thing. Pitch. How many balls are there? Why doesn’t everyone just watch America’s Next Top Model and drink redbush tea to appease me? Why do things I don’t understand exist? It’s confusing and annoying every time I leave my house.

Anyway…

The real solution, should I choose to accept it, (and I might just stay inside and cower) is to do something different. I’m working on a non-fiction book right now and it’s set to push me out of my comfort zone, like way out, like all the way to Mordor. I like my comfort zone. My comfort zone has beanbags and hot chocolate with marshmallows bobbing on the top. Why would I want to leave? I have no idea what’s in the future and that’s scary. At least I know that if I don’t change anything, I’ll read a lot of books and write a lot of books. And that’s nice, but it’s not enough anymore.

I don’t want what everyone else wants, but I do want what I want. I want to share my weirdness with the world. I want to share my weirdness with someone as weird as me, someone who’ll think that my 2AM requests to go to the beach, acquire a gnome collection and eat nothing but pumpkin forever after are endearing. I want to feel like I have a place in society. I want to feel like I’m not a burden, not the weird girl, not one donut away from strangers suggesting suicide. I want to feel like I have a future that matters. I want to feel like one day I’ll have a life to tell fellow old folks about. I want things to change. And if you want change, you need to do something different.

From tomorrow I’m walking into a new book, a new life and a new story.

I’m scared, but I’m moving.

Here we go…

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