Brace yourself, because this might be a little crazy to comprehend, BUT I have actually made a significant step towards potentially becoming a fully functioning adult, one who’s potential isn’t beyond one day contributing to society. After completing that PR internship and deciding quite definitely that I just wasn’t ready to be an alcoholic/sociable quite yet, I took some ‘voluntary’ time off to stare into some mirrors and really ask myself what it is that I want to do/be.
Me: Lucinda, what are you? who are you?
Me: I dunno
Me: A detective? You love Criminal Minds, 4/10 you know who the killer is, that’s better odds than in real life, you’ll be a star.
Me: Maybe in another life. I gotta go now and write about how I will always stand by The Simpsons even if the plot lines are getting more desperate.
Me: Wait a minute.
And that’s what led me to apply for a masters in Journalism. Well partly. The other side of that conversation was me reading various articles, moaning and being like ‘eurgh’ I could do that’ and my mum replying with ‘well why don’t you’.
It was like having an epiphany, but first I had to address my mother’s question, why wasn’t I doing what I wanted? A lot of my friends are into writing, and I have just always accepted that they were better, and more deserving of artistic success than me. Too scared of being outed as someone trying emulate real talent, I chastised myself for ever hoping. And yet I still started an online blog, available to everyone and anyone, which in itself bore testimony to my secret desire. All I had to do was say it out loud.
That was I did, quite literally. I told my family and some of my friends of what I wanted to do, and with each admittance I felt more free, and so much more brave. I felt as though it was already becoming real. Within a week I had looked up courses, researched prices and sent an email to my old Irish Literature lecturer and hoped and prayed that she a) remembered me and b) thought me a good enough student to write a praising recommendation. I admit I was scared she would just ignore me or respond only out of duty, but she was enthusiastic, even going as far as helping with my personal statement.
When I got that interview I made a promise to myself to blow them away, and in a sense I guess I did. As a part of the process we had to pre-prepare a short profile of an ‘Inspirational Person’. Of course I had no intention of following their guidelines, preferring to use the opportunity to prove myself to be ‘original’ and ‘daring’, because you know, isn’t that what liberal, artsy colleges like Goldsmiths want? So in a fit of what at the time I thought was artistic inspiration (actually just my inner pretension) I wrote this:
My Inspiration? I am my Inspiration.
Pretentious; Stuck-up; Self-absorbed; Narcissistic.
No doubt these are the traits you have branded me with upon reading this title. Certainly they were the ones going through my parents and my friends heads when they asked me who inspires me and I responded; “Honestly? I inspire myself”.
Here’s the thing, there are plenty of women and men I look up to, and a thousand more I could have easily written an article on, with a whole list of dates and bullet points documenting their outstanding, history – changing achievements. Frida Kahlo, Emily Davison, Emily Bronte, all certified heroines of mine, but I can barely paint a recognisable horse, nor do I have any intention of throwing myself under one, or for that matter, contracting tuberculosis and dying before my time. I admire their strength, their creativity and their legacy, but I struggle to state with any conviction that I truly aspire for my life to reflect theirs.
It’s just as Caitlin Moran declared in her novel ‘How to be a Woman’: “Show a girl a pioneering hero (-) and you also, more often than not, show a girl a woman who was eventually crushed”.
So what about potential inspiration amongst the living? Again numerous, and again I would be lying if I said that any one person jumped out at me. Personally, I disagree with the idea that we determine our self-worth by how well we compare to others. I have spent too long at school and on social media gorging on chocolate and tears, praying to be more like the gorgeous, talented girls that flood our screens and imaginations, without realising that actually I am gorgeous and talented already. All I have achieved and am proud of in my life – my education; my blog; the cakes that I bake; the fact that I have never missed a train or shied away from a poo-filled nappy – are only a reality because I decided to make them so. No one took my exams for me, or writes my articles or stories, and certainly no one made apply for a masters. I could have been anything, and yet I was the one who decided to pursue becoming a journalist.
It’s a foolish and never-ending feat going into competition with 7 billion individuals. Friendly rivalry is one thing (eg. a pub quiz) but you can drive yourself insane devoting your time to other people’s achievements rather than appreciating your own. All you can ever aim for is your personal best, so why worry about other people? They got their own thing going on. Compete against yourself, for yourself.
The only thing that reassures me of my worth whenever my depression knocks on the door, is the list I keep of everything I am proud of. Knowing I can do them proves I can do anything.
It’s like The Rock says ““Be the person that when your feet touch the floor in the morning, the devil says, “Awe sh”t, they’re up”.
Man I love that guy. He understands the game.
Every person I have mentioned in this article have each played vital roles in shaping me to become the person I am, but I don’t rely on them for anything. “I depend on me” (Destiny’s Child). I rescue and have rescued myself: I am my own hero.
So I guess you could call me: Pretentious; Stuck-up; Self-absorbed; Narcissistic.
Although I prefer: Independent; self-motivated; courageous; proud.
Thank the LORD I did not actually give this in (I wrote another one on Barbara Windsor, I’ll post her one up soon….still can’t believe they let me in with it). Despite the horrible pretentious theme and style, the obvious name dropping and the (false) impression that I wake early and grind ’til dark, I stand by its message. I was pumped up on a short-lived adrenaline and pride, but it shows a glimpse of the person I could one day be. Someone who considers them self a contender. Who recognises their achievements. Too often than not are women discouraged from displaying pride or confidence in themselves, as it is these qualities that breed leaders. But if I hadn’t drawn upon those natural characteristics I would never have got that interview, and I most certainly would not have been accepted to study on a course that is rated one of the best in the world.
Yes, we are amazing!