Whilst living on this Earth it has become apparent to me that I have somehow collected a number of peculiar objects that proudly linger amongst my shelves and/or deepest corners of my closed drawers. Here I present a list of just a few of these items!
#1 Failed attempt at ‘wine’
Some will undoubted view this possession as a sheer accomplishment of both a disregard for blackberry juice as well as cleanliness. Yet, residing amongst my most treasured ornaments lies what was -four entire years ago- a refreshing beverage. Now, however, it is a questionable, slightly fluffy, blob at the bottom of a plastic bottle. After four years of hoping it’d turn into something of interest, or at least a sip of wine, I can conclude that nothing extraordinary can be expected from the dregs of a once promising drink. Nevertheless, my sheer attachment to this item has grown so irrevocably over the years that no matter how icky it gets, I cannot seem to part with it!
#2 My leaflet collection
The art of collecting is not, in itself, an exotic nor remotely unusual concept. However, when I was a tiny bit younger (certainly not as young as I would like to admit) I decided that stamps or Beanie Babies just didn’t satisfy my human urges for hoarding. Instead, rather ambitiously, I took to collecting leaflets. Consequently, hidden amongst the depths of the darkest corners of my room, lies a shamefully extravagant box that is filled with not the remnants of what was the height in childhood toys or dolls but, rather, an extravagant array of brochures that probably gave me just as much excitement as those aforementioned toys.
#3 Antique ‘Smarties’
When the devilish tales of artificial colours flocked the news, it wasn’t long before the beloved confectionery ‘Smarties’ fell to this health-conscious pressure and decided to remove its artificial colours. It was 2008 and again, I was very young, and possibly scouting the shops for any new additions to the leaflet stand, when I noticed that there were a number of ‘Smarties’ on the counter that had not yet fallen to the higher food standards and remained as artificial as ever. Thinking I’d stumbled upon a jackpot, I bought a packet believing that they would become an antique within the coming years. What is perhaps most astounding, however, is how I have been able to avoid the temptation to dig into this confectionery for the past 8 years.
Now I’m starting to think that I should convert my room to an out-of-date food and beverage rescue centre where possibly the only thing that needs rescuing is my sanity for I am sure that it is out there somewhere!
Although now a default method of transportation, it took humans seven million years to master just the first stroll. What proved to be an irrevocable step towards evolutionary precision is now, without a doubt, taken for granted especially as a child will be deemed a little dim if he or she has not mastered this skill within only a few years of existing. The art of putting one foot after the other is work of pure genius!
#2 Swallowing Pills
Perhaps it is just me with an aversion to swallowing larger that humanly-preferable items but it took me years to build up the courage to attempt this sorcery. With gag-reflexes on high-alert, this is a tricky one and hence an underrated life skill especially for those whose throats can handle swallowing pills without a second thought.
#3 Applying Eye liner
For those people who decide that covering your face in chemicals with the odd dash of congealed whale fat is not the way to go, applying eye liner is a highly underrated life skill. When I was around eleven I was occasionally referred to as ‘the girl who couldn’t put on eye liner’… although my problem wasn’t that I ‘couldn’t‘ put it on (in fact, saying I’d over do the make-up a little may be discrediting the fact my whole face became a dark shade of black) but it was because it looked like a total mess. The art of applying eye liner, I believe, could be an entire degree… it takes patience, a little creativity and mountains of impossible dexterity.
#4 Eating Broccoli
I have yet to acquire the skill of being able to stomach this green and irritatingly healthy vegetable, and I have great envy for those who can. I’ve been told that it is even possible to reach the level of skill to actually enjoy munching this tiny tree-like cuisine. Wow!
#5 Blinking and Other Reflexes
This is arguably the most underrated life skill as we barely even notice, and therefore never fully appreciate, the reflexes conducted by our bodies which include blinking, breathing and swearing. We’d be pretty stuck if our bodies didn’t decide to take control of these vital functions.
Behind my brave, courageous and intrepid exterior (Hah.), I am undoubtedly a total and utter wuss.
And it is, by the standards of health and well-being, a serious problem as it affects my day-to-day life.
For example, if my school bag feels like it’s being weighed down by one or two more bricks than usual, I will purposefully ‘forget’ a folder, and maybe a textbook or three, to save my shoulders from the fiend that is gravity. This has left me with a polished reputation of forgetfulness but of course, the truth is only worse!
My phobia of toads also brandishes me with a title of chickenry; those little slimy legged balls of yuck can turn me (a 5 ft 9 example of evolution’s ‘peak’) into a screaming, heart-racing picture of fright.
I was so terrified of my exam results last year that as soon as I sat down to collect them I turned the pile of papers in front of me a little damp with my spiralling, uncontrollable tears! Needless to say, the teacher giving me the results also looked a little scared.
So lets just say I think I’ll be steering clear of any ‘no fear’ merchandise; unless I give in to the wonderful art of irony.
(Did anyone else notice the number of rhymes in this post? Perhaps the poetry life chose me after all!)
What is there to do
When you’re told
That your feelings
Are an illness?
And it’s spreading.
A numb, wet cold;
A plague without desire.
My mind is diseased.
And what is there to do
But just let it bleed?
For there are no bandages to conceal
What cannot be seen.
I think one of the greatest causes of the taboo which shrouds mental illness is how symptoms are often not visible, or at least not as obvious, as those from other illnesses such as meningitis for example. Consequently, yet perhaps understandably, it can be easy for people who are not affected by mental illness to not quite comprehend, or even fully believe in, what a sufferer is going through.
Here is a poem I wrote which attempts to revoke misconceptions and respond to those whose answer to mental illness is, ‘just try and cheer up and get over it’. As it has been famously stated, ‘you wouldn’t go up to a cancer patient and tell them to simply get over it’. Telling someone how they feel, or how they should feel, is as redundant as telling Grumpy Cat to smile.
My feelings are
You can’t quite believe.
My thoughts are
And, in fact, imaginary.
My actions are
Untrue of a body in tact.
But it mustn’t be forgotten;
I am the liar you named,
The dreamer you shamed,
And the life you claimed.
(A merrier post soon, I promise!)
It was when I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room yesterday that I had the (greatly overdue) epiphany that perhaps, on the occasion, doing as you’re told can be the lesser of two evils. When you have to spend an entire hour in the company of an array of people with an even wider array of ailments, I suppose your own mind inevitable fumbles over the reasons why you managed to secure your very own spot there.
Unfortunately (and rather ironically) for me, common sense is actually quite a rarity and so when the piercer told me not to take out the piercing within 12 weeks, that’s exactly what I did. Ohhh, and how I suffered!
Waking up to see that my ear looked like it had come straight out of the gruesome side of Google Images, I almost half prepared myself for a very Van Gogh solution. It was so gruesome in fact, I sincerely wanted to spare any doctor the horrors of it’s ghastly complexion!
So after a tiny bit of very painful prodding and poking, I am now on a course of antibiotics (and shame) for my foolish ways!
Since I certainly would never wish to scar anyone with images of infected ears, here is a drawing of Bob Dylan… it’s amazing what you can find yourself doing at 3 a.m.!