“Ok people. We are going to try something a little DIFFERENT TODAY… WE are going to write an essay.. of no less than a 1000 words describing to me who you think you are.. and when I say essay I mean essay. I do NOT mean a single word repeated a 1000 times… is that clear!? Maybe you’ll learn a little something about yourself…” BREAKFAST CLUB, 1985
Creativity takes Courage’ Henri Matisse
‘Get creative Becki!…” my friend texts. “Just BE creative!”. “Do something creative..”.
‘You’re a creative person.. go write!’ a friend from a previous writing class slights.
A bit of direction here would be nice. I think. To myself.
I sit down. With my laptop. And stare at the screen in front of me. Amazing.. just amazing what that Steve Jobs achieved.. I let my mind wander.
Whoever said I’m creative. I sigh. So much pressure. I pull up word and type a few words..
The coffee barista is giggling in the distance with her colleague and I feel a stab of envy.
I think of an idea to write about and write a page and a half of drivel. And delete. I look back at the barista. Who is now being chatted up by two builders it seems. I wish it was the bald builders I smile to myself. Funny guys. I look back at the now blank screen before me.
Envy has no place in this passing moment of time. I tell myself.
Pressure. The word pops around my head like the cork of a champagne bottle bouncing around aggressively. Triggered by some outside source, that of which has crept in to my psyche subconsciously.
GOTTA BE MORE GOTTA DO MORE! Dead Poets Society…
I decide to put Queen’s ‘Pressure’ on my Spotify. It seems fitting for this moment.
Thinking about pressure – *the more I think the less I do* I decide to procrastinate for a little while longer.
So I flick up my facebook page. A few baby pics. I’d hate to upset the parents here but generally baby pics do all look pretty much the same. Sorry… all cute though. A few people shaking their *virtual* fists trying to save the world. Good on you! I whisper silently to the screen.
I *scroll down*.. Some engagement photos. Some wedding photos. Someone’s holiday pics. Fuck.
EVERYONE’s life is so much better than mine!!! The thought dashes in before I can stop it.
They are even in a snazzier coffee shop, that serves unlimited fucking tea. Tsk.
I spend another ten minutes beating myself up whilst perusing others posts. Then decide to search for the realists…. “I’m going bald and I’ve just been dumped!!!” a friend has posted. I giggle to myself sadistically.
Phew. I can always rely on *Dave to keep it real. Who was that guy I dated a few years back… I ponder. I wonder what he’s up to..
I receive a text. ‘How’s ‘being creative’ going?!’ it queries. They are trying to be helpful I remind myself.
‘I’m in the coffee shop now. With my laptop’. I reply.. steering my way around the question. ‘Great!’ they reply. I’m amused by their reply. I pull up my ex.
OMG. He’s married! When did that happen! WTF. He said he wouldn’t touch any of his colleagues..?! *A pilot and she a flight attendant…Well. Good for them. Thank god I don’t have any feelings for him anymore. She could have the decency to be ugly though.
And here it is. The grand late 30’s. Where time has flashed before my eyes faster than well. Pretty bloody fast. Where one takes pelvic floor tightening a bit more seriously. *Just in case*.. because 40 is closer than 30. I wipe a tear away at that reality. 30’s are also the new 20’s I tell myself.
“You know.. Rebecca you could have a baby now you now…”. my mothers words to me last time we spoke. To which I tortly replied ‘Oh REALLY can I!?!?! Thank you for the permission’.
Teenage years you’re pressurised to NOT get pregnant for fear of bringing shame and sluttiness upon the family. And then the late 30’s the pressure to start popping a few out.
I deactivate social media to save myself from the mind control, time stealing and comparing – and look back at my screen.
“Good artists copy, the geniuses steal” ~ Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
I slam the laptop shut.
One of the young lads is cleaning cutlery next to me. He has a grumpy scowl. I titter to myself in amusement. *Ive done all the ‘cleaning’ jobs in my youth so I feel I’m allowed some allowance*
‘Wax on. Wax off’. I say to him. He furrows his brow. And I don’t think he understands what I mean. “Wax on wax off?” his colleague smirks…
Wax on. Wax off. And don’t forget to breathe. Very important.
Very fashionable mindfulness is these days. You’ve been doing it all your life and you’ve probably just forgotten it. You don’t need to pay £50. Just wax on. Wax ..off..
I walk home. And pull out some old photos.. That capture some of my younger experiences. That I never thought that would be *so far my best experiences.. I think about the Labyrinth and how she defeats the Goblin King and I reflect on all the layers that film has. I think about all the friends I haven’t seen for a long time. And those that I haven’t told them that I miss them. Or how I feel.
I think about one of my best friends who committed suicide just three months ago. Someone whose life seemed perfect. On facebook anyway. And I think about pressure. And how it doesn’t need to be this way..
And should you need me… I’m always here. And I’m sorry for not saying that I need you too.
Dedicated to Ryan Hall. Rest in peace and get to heaven safely. Still devastated. I’m sorry you didn’t feel you could talk to me. Becki Xx