Be born from a large extended family thanks to numerous bad choices by the patriarch. Either way, make sure your dad and mum(s) are overwhelmed and distracted. By right, they will misinterpret your lack of conversation as moodiness and not in fact, awkwardness stemmed from not knowing how to communicate with them. They should also scoff at fresh and freaky ways you wear your hair. Notice that as your parents and siblings argue with one another, the volume on your earphones increases. Through process of elimination, electronic beats and haunting vocals, are the only genre that manages to drown out the cacophony downstairs.
Don’t panic when the lyrics of songs by Radiohead and Massive Attack start connecting the dots to your life. When your parents tell you that your legs are unshapely, don’t believe them. They’re not. When at Disney world lining up for the Back To The Future ride, don’t let their comparisons to the tall and shapely kids make you feel gross about yourself. They just say these things to remind you of your imperfections so that you strive for perfection. But it doesn’t. You learn after your naïve teenage years that perfection is a façade only mastered by the few whom by pure unjustified irony, become the loneliest people you’ll ever know.
Your friends are obsessed with residency. Should I stay. Should I go home. You tell them what they want to hear because you know their mind has already been made up. They want your approval. They ask you what you’re going to do now. You shrug. Its not that you don’t know what you want. You just want too much. You think you’re a dreamer without a map. Where to from here? Who knows. Apparently despite indecisions, they do. They have a 5 year plan. You did once. Now you don’t. Life has worn out your desires and left you with comfort. You settle. If life gives you lemon, you find someone with vodka and have a party. You can’t plan life. It just happens. A 5-year plan is like a bad episode of Blossom in dog years; the moral of the story only comes at the near end. At which point, you realize time has dragged on and it’s too late to be saved by the bell instead.
You have friends who think you could all easily be models for the United Benetton ads. They thrive on the culturally diverse milieu you have managed to build around you. They do clubs and dinner parties. Then one day they abandon you when you feel (gasp) alone. You tell them you need to talk over coffee but they’re sorry they can’t because “there’s a sale on at David Jones” or “its cold out”, well but of course, you say. You know what to do. Stand your ground. Make your face impassive. Your voice dismissive and forgiving. You are made of stone. Rock hard. They believe you. Suckers.
You walk the halls and learn what you want. I want her boots. I want her eyes. I want her skin. I want nails polished black. I want safety pins on my backpack. I want that leather jacket. I want to look like that when I wear scruffy scarves, faded jeans and vintage leather bags. Does that mean I want to be like her? You ask yourself. Or do I want to think that she’s like me? You see the lady in the power suit running around yelling into her phone telling people what to do. That could be me. I could be anyone. Or no one. I want to look like I don’t want anything. I want to want nothing. After all, those who are not content now will never be content even when they have what they think they want.
*I wrote this a while back. It has resurfaced as a self-reminder. Sometimes I forget what its like to just be.