So I’ve been thinking recently about who I am and everything I’ve experienced in my life. I still feel tiny, like a child sometimes not knowing what’s good and what’s not. I seem to be incapable of making ‘right decisions’ according to those who think they’ve made them. I get questioned constantly about what I’m doing, how I’m living my life. When people at home find out what I’ve been doing, and how I’m choosing to spend my time, they cannot understand. They ask me why, how, when will I stop, when will I ‘settle down’, ‘find a nice boy’. And I say to them, I do not judge you for living your life in England, if working a nine to five and being lucky enough to find someone you can live your life with makes you happy, I am nothing but happy for you.
I’ve always known since I child I wasn’t really a usual girl. If I had a pound for every time I’ve been called, funny, eccentric, quirky, a dreamer and some not so complimentary things I’d be a rich young lady. But. I don’t judge myself in terms of being what society deems successful, I’d make a terrible lawyer, I don’t particularly want a nice car because I’m an appalling driver anyway, I’ve never liked white picket fences, I think 2.4 children is clearly a ridiculous number and I certainly don’t judge myself in terms of being ‘with someone’, inherently I am fairly hopeless when it comes to being ‘in love’. As those of you that know me will know, I have had possibly the most horrendous choice of partners you can imagine. I’ve looked into the eyes of someone professing to love me so much he would die for me, as he descended into a madness that terrified me so much I struggled to even comprehend it – I watched as his insanity dismantled my life and everything I cared about, I watched as those I loved the most suffered vicariously through me by his hands, and when he finally crossed the line and went to prison I did what I do best. I ran away. The open road offers a solace to those that have been frightened and broken by life, that those that have been fortunate enough to avoid it, will never understand. And it offers its own challenges which are a welcome distraction from whatever it is that has made you leave. I’ve been in situations that even by my own standards have been slightly hair raising, and as silly and as daft as many think I am I’ve survived everything that life has had to throw at me – Ive just chosen to deal with them in some of the most amazing places on Earth and had the pleasure to share, learn, seek safety and heal with some of the most interesting ‘eccentric’ people travelling the world.
I have also known for a long time I have an indecisive and somewhat conflicted soul – it’s been extremely infuriating at times. Naturally, I’m a curious creature, my dad always told me I have a wandering spirit that has no fixed direction, just a constant inner nomadicness that can never be pinned down, I can fit in anywhere. Ive belonged to everyone, I like to think I can hold my own in most situations, but I’ve never really belonged to anyone, and I’m wary of letting people too close. Obviously every one has someone that meant the most – to him who knows who he is memories of dancing through the autumn leaves in 10 inch heels and patterned tights to the sounds of the mamas and the papas. Memories of being so outrageously wild I’m surprised we didn’t end up in jail. Memories of I love you written in blue sparkly glue on a window in south east London. Memories of smuggling tuna into a vegan house, lying on patch work quilts, being beautiful, young, fucked up, comparing poetry, laughing, dancing and crying together. Memories of notes on the middle page and secret looks shared, of aliens called Mike, of being barred, disgraced, dark and dingy taverns and secret deals in the night. The time you picked up that womans scarf and hung it back over her chair without her even noticing and I thought you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen to the point it made my heart ache. Those memories will stay with me forever and where ever you are now I think of you. I will always think of you and I pray that you’ve made it. That you’re ok. Because you’re the one that knows me best, and I miss your beautiful soul and life has taught me since that I will never be that person again. Maybe I will always think of you because I’m still looking for others like us.
Life since has taught me some horrible lessons that go against everything I know I am. After being battered and bruised by the paths I’ve chosen or been shoved on to, I’ve tried many times to trick myself into thinking I can be hard, I can not care, I can be the ice queen. And the inner conflict between life experience and the stupidly soft person I naturally am has driven me nearly to insanity before. Not even the open road can save you from that. So I’ve arrived at a place where I’m beginning to understand who I am, I’ve pushed myself to limits and places that would horrify some, but I’ve allowed myself to experience my darkest fears and desires, I’ve built lives that were everything I could of wanted and I’ve seen them crumble into pieces around me. I’m still dazed and a bit confused when I think about some of the things that have happened but I try not to take them with me, because I’m still going, and to those that are comfortable and have a home it may seem baffling. I search for safety in other people, and I know that nine times out of ten those people are not going to care as much as I do and it will hurt again, but this is who I am, and that is ok. I may appear crazy to some but I know that certain types of lives would make me wilt and die within weeks. I know I have an inner conflict and a struggle to stay who I am in a world full of people I sometimes don’t understand, I’ve accepted it, but I’d rather deal with it running round a beach then an office, that is my choice.
I still believe in the kindness of strangers, in small acts that make the world a nicer place, in the wishes I’ve made on stars or those little white flower things you can sometimes catch in the sky since I was a little girl, and I still believe that I’ll find whats right for me. And if I don’t, well I cant complain, I have nothing material to show for it, but I’ve had times and experiences that sparkle within me every time I think about them. everyday I have a deeper understanding of myself and an acceptance/determination that the bad will not change me from who I am, and if at any point that gets too unbearable where I am, well I have a backpack and I will pack it and I will keep going.