I’m feeling nostalgic. I’m working in that halls of residence that I lived in five years ago and walking past my old block I was hit with the sense of what I was like at 19. So determined to stand out with my over-bleached hair, dyed blue, with my Buffy tattoo and my wrist piercings. I looked just like everyone else I had known the year before but like no body here in this strange new place.
I am so glad that I am not her anymore. Her anger, her insecurities, her brash defensiveness. I still get angry, I have some of the same insecurities and some new ones and I’m still defensive when provoked but those things are muted now, they’re less important aspects of my character. They’ve been sacrificed to make way for me to be funny and creative and relaxed. The essence of the song remains but the chord has changed.
I’m not sure I’m any happier now than I would have claimed to be then, especially not as I’m going through a slump at the moment, as happens from time to time but on balance, my dark places now are not as dark as they were when I was starting out and so unsteady. But five years ago I also had great friends (Spoiler: I’m not talking about anyone in the Featured Photo), maybe not exactly five years ago today, but in a couple of months it will be the anniversary of that blooming friendship solidifying. A friendship that has shaped me since.
This post isn’t really about writing today but it is at the same time, because at the end of the day, everything’s about writing when that’s what you do. If this is about writing for me then it’s about remembering this feeling to capture it on paper and finding the small ways that growth can occur and how to describe that. It’s in a calmer temperament, it’s with greater patience but less for people experience has taught you are not your people. It’s with an unwavering confidence that you can accomplish your goals because you’ve already achieved so much. Which is true for both character and author.