So I was on the tube on my way home from rehearsals a week ago today, trying to remember the last post I’d written, because it felt like a really long time since I’d force-fed anyone my daily chaos.
And just past Westminster, I remembered. That I’d dedicated an entire post to my inability to digest food, my permanent bloating and my infatuation with hot water bottles. And I thought to myself, so this is where you’ve ended up?
I still blame my English degree.
All I’m gonna say is, just be thankful it wasn’t an IBS vlog.
Anyway, steering away from that, I figured the next thing I needed to write had to be different…
Part of my new job involves reading a lot of newspapers. And I read this story, about a twenty-something girl, who wrote a blog promoting her special diet that cured her cancer.
Then, the world found out she didn’t ever actually have cancer, we think because she didn’t know what cancer is, though we cannot be sure.
And lots of things occurred to me after reading this article.
Mainly, though, the fact that her blog has had looooooads of hits now. And other writers are doing the same, to broaden their readership as such.
So I thought, hey, I could follow suit, to make up for the IBS shambles and also, because my new job ends in one month, so it could maybe like, make me a successful writer in time to pay my rent. So I tried really hard to think of some healing recipes of my own. But the problem is I’m a hypochondriac. And I started to convince myself I actually was dying and I lost all faith in cancer cupcakes.
And I thought, goodness, this is an epic fail in more ways than one.
I can’t smash real life, I can’t smash fake life. What now?
And then, after a significant period of time spent emergency bingeing various recipes to cure various ailments, and inspired by my first week back in London and “back to reality” I began to think about what real life means to me and how “real” it actually is.
I definitely have a habit of referring to “real life” like it’s always slightly out of reach, somewhere in Highgate with everlasting houmous. And as this blog is (supposed to be) documenting, I have made the year leading up to my 25th birthday my personal challenge to try and get a step closer to hitting reality.
In my head, whilst I still struggle to pay my rent, make compartmented packed lunches, dress up like this (below) on my birthday, constantly want to run away and hide in a duvet den and/or own a Party Ring shaped cushion, I’m not quite there yet.
If my social media feeds are anything to go by, being a grown-up, or being generally successful in real life is down to a few key things: having a job, a house, being in love, getting married and/or having (attractive) children, eating well, doing a run and showing everybody your Nike map, going on holiday, looking hot on a night out, being happy…to name a few.
I find it hard to engage with these things on a daily basis, not only because I don’t see why everybody my age is in such a hurry but also because I’m literally struggling to see ever since I accidentally took my eye make-up off with nail polish remover.
But if I do take the time to think about it, I begin to panic about just how far away I seem to be from ever managing to be a proper adult.
I’m 24 and lots of my friends have bought houses. So I thought I’d check my progress. And I discovered if I put my current house deposit on my Oyster card, it wouldn’t actually be enough for me to catch the bus to the estate agent.
The last time I had a true “crisis year” I did a pantomime. I am now the only one of the fairies who isn’t either engaged, with child or already a mother.
I made a deal with myself that I’d eat more healthily when I got back from Australia to celebrate not getting Ebola on the plane home. This involves a lot of raw carrot. But someone on Twitter actually tweeted a photo of me outside the Royal Albert Hall chowing down on one and I’ve really gone off the idea now.
I have been doing a lot of running. Not like, London marathon “a lot” though. Just like, more exercise than leaping to and from the fridge. But it is very difficult because ever since I wrote that I envied girls who had boobs big enough to hurt after too much dancing my boobs have been really hurting.
I love Ed. So that’s one off the list. More importantly it’s a small consolation for the fact I look like I’m made out of sweat in any photos of me on a night out.
I am also going on holiday. But my last conversation about it went something like this:
Emma: What baggage are we bringing with us? (Thinking, you know, this could be a good time to start my glamorous Italian travel blog / recreate Mary-Kate and Ashley’s When in Rome film.)
Ed: I’ve paid for one hold and we’ll each have hand luggage.
Emma: Oh great, lots of room! (Yes! Venice is going to LOVE me! Ed can be Ashley.)
Ed: No, the hold baggage is for our tent, camping stove, toiletries and sleeping bags. You’ll have to fit all your clothes into your rucksack.
Emma: Oh. (It hurts. It physically hurts.)
Ed: And you’ll need to wear your hiking boots on the plane.
Emma: Oh. (Is this real life? Or is this Witness Protection?)
So you get the idea. Real life is in my face all over the internet and I am blinded.
Upon consideration though I have come to three conclusions:
1. In reality, everything I see online is way unhealthier than the fake-cancer-diet-blog.
2. Comparing myself is definitely not the recipe for success.
3. We are all faking it a lot of the time to just get through.
So I’m making an effort to get real in a new way. I’m re-branding my real life. It involves sweat, hiking boots (apparently) and no mortgage whatsoever. But it also involves some pretty wonderful things. Like spring lambs. My crazy parents who have endless patience and love. My spectacular friends, who, whilst they are absolutely smashing their lives still take the time to read and support my blogs about constipation. My boyfriend who takes me to climb mountains and inspires me to keep on climbing every day. Having the time and the support to chase my dreams, be creative and try to make a difference somehow in my own weird way.
One day I will have everlasting houmous.
For now, I don’t have fake cancer. And that’s enough.