Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Blog Challenge: Day 4: A Public Service Announcement: My S**t is Not Together

For the fourth blog post of the challenge, yes on the twenty-fourth day of the month (shut up), the challenge was to say something "about me: the good, the bad and the ugly."

I have decided to use this opportunity to address a common misconception about me - one which has a very "ugly" truth behind it, a lie which makes me appear "good", and which actually isn't that "bad."

It has recently been brought to my attention that many of my peers, those who are close to me but not so close as to share the same living quarters, are under the impression that I "have my shit together." To quote a famous evil wannabe dictator (not the one you're thinking of): "This. Is. A. Lie." It's not even the "alternative truth" that some might like to call it. It is simply inaccurate and wrong.

I hear it all the time. "I wish I had my shit together like you do," people say, They discuss behind my back: "that girl has her shit together. Her shit is so, like, together." The phrase is everywhere. And, while I appreciate the sentiment, and I certainly have had and will have worse things said about me, the inaccuracy of this makes me a little uneasy. To demonstrate the point, I relayed these comments to my mother one day over Skype, and she laughed in my face. Right there into her iPad. A proper creasing laugh.

My shit is not together. I have a gift of often sounding as though I know what I am talking about - to those who can't see inside my brain - but I honestly feel ignorant and unhelpful in many of the discussions I am part of. I haven't had my shit together since around 2014, which was when I started University and henceforth had no further plans. Now, I have even fewer plans. In a way, it's good that I don't have a dream job - which I'll discuss in a further post - but it would be kind of nice to know where I want to be at least, if not exactly where I'll end up.

I decided at quite an early age to be a "yes" person - and don't get me wrong, I highly recommend it. You've got to say "yes" to get anywhere in life and have valuable experiences. But I now say "yes" all the time to all of the things, and that becomes problematic. Oddly, I have no problem not giving a "yes" to invitations to the pub or on nights out, but I do struggle when someone wants me to do something. Can I write this/ edit this/ look at this/ join this committee/ organise this? Of course I can. This results in a mounting to-do list and I seem to always be doing just one thing too many, so something has to give. And often, it ends up being work for a seminar that I am really interested in. Or trying to make myself employable leaves no time to actually look for and apply for jobs. More sadly, it can often end up with not being there for a friend as much as I should.

So just to reiterate to any of you still under the impression one has one's life together - none of my socks match. I forget one vital task each week at least, usually for someone important to me if not for myself. I can rarely find my keys. I Skype my parents at least once a week an can't survive seven days without their advice and words of comfort. I can't drive. I am useless without eight hours of sleep and can be a real baby about having to get up at the ungodly hour of 8 a.m. I cry a lot. The crying is rarely serious, but it happens. I have very little self control around food and have put on weight recently due to this. Last week, I left the remains of some tomato soup burning to a pan for several hours, having gone out for the day - I now owe my housemate a new pan: it was not salvageable. I HAVE NOT STARTED WRITING MY DISSERTATION. Truth be told, I only vaguely know what I'm writing it on. And I really, really need a hug most of the time. Oh, and I recently found out I'd been wearing the wrong sized bra for quite some time. Who knew.

This draws an interesting conclusion: if my shit isn't together, is anyone's? If I am - somehow - a person who, in the eye of others, is totally sorted out and successful, and yet on the inside I am fretting, forgetting and fantasising... is this the case for all those whose shit I deem to be together? Do they always slightly miss the mark, too? Are they dependent on loved ones just as I am? Do they weigh just a bit too much and feel guilty just a bit too much? And do they sometimes just really, really need a cuddle?

I sure hope so.

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