Saturday 29 December 2012

A1: S2 - Childhood Disappointment

For the second instalment of the pre-resolution explanation, I thought perhaps I'd explain these series of extraordinary events which have lead to the epiphany that it's time for me to make it. Post-epiphany, I can see now that the past 20 years of my life have been full of small little signs, little fateful coincidences and have all been indicating something to me. So I guess I'd better start from the beginning.

Growing up, there was nothing I wanted nothing more than to be an inventor. I remember being very young, still in middle school, and being absolutely convinced that I could invent hover shoes. Of all of the things for an impressionable young tween to be obsessed with, I guess jet propulsion engines was probably one of the less common. I'd spend hours on the computer looking up jet packs and hover boards from back to the future, before being convinced that with two space heaters, a pair of rubber trainers, a hefty amount of Velcro and a black bin liner for a parachute, I'd be able to make my own hover shoes and fly around for the rest of my life. Proposing the idea to my parents was a nerve-wracking experience, but I did the best my 10-year old self could muster, with a pretty impressive PowerPoint presentation to match. It was when I got to the bin liner parachute that my Dad just lost it. I will forever remember the pain and rejection I felt watching him absolutely weep with laughter. Clearly now I see why, but that was just the beginning.

My dreams then strayed back onto a more expected path of a young girl; pop star, supermodel, actress, teacher, marine biologist (that was a weird time of my life), but each time with the same reaction. Mostly just laughter or a consolatory pat on the back, ruffle of the hair and a "Maybe one day kiddo." It was not that my parents set out to ruin my dreams or dissuade me from pursuing them, it was just despite my best efforts, I could never quite convince them that I was actually serious.

Fast forward a few years and my teenage self (still secretly harbouring all my childhood dreams) tries to make progress independently, seeking to fulfil her own destiny. She spends hours googling open acting auditions, attends countless, and as always, gets nowhere. Still achieving full marks in drama and theatre studies and cast as the main character in every school play, the auditions are fruitless. My parents will not pay for me to attend drama school and no acting agencies will take on someone with zero professional experience. Then the seemingly brilliant idea comes to the still aspirational me of auditioning for the X Factor - the every man's one shot at global stardom. Surprisingly, things actually go well. The producers see a potential in me and my voice, and I get through the first few rounds. Then in the final show before walking out in front of the celebrity judges, after a harsh interrogation by a snotty executive about every aspect of my private life,  I get kicked out of the running for being 'too boring.' 

That was when I began to grow a little bitter and a hell of a lot wiser. To this day I still retain that there has been no more worthwhile learning experience than those X Factor auditions. They were hell on earth. I learnt so much about myself, self-sacrifice, the entertainment industry, the price of fame and  above all, the human desperation for recognition.

The final events in the first stage of 'The Days of Silver Uncertainty' was when I was applying to University. I'm not going to beat around the bush with modesty as you'll soon see I'm arrogant as hell, but I'm kind of quite intelligent. I knew that if I put my head down I could get some seriously good results, and this is what I did, getting straight A's. I was invited to attend an English Literature open day at Oxford University. In the end I submitted my choices with Oxford being my first choice. I was then rejected from Oxford, no doubt because of my lack of aristocratic background. Quickly losing faith in everything I did to try and make progress in the world, I went a little off the rails and ended up going into clearing which resulted in me enrolled at the most spectacularly average of mediocre universities; The University of Hertfordshire. Little did I know that it would, too, be one of the best things that ever happened to me.

But that ventures into the territory of the second phase of 'The Days of Silver Uncertainty'. So at risk of losing all of my readers for my stupidly long blog posts, this is where I shall sign off. Stay tuned for the rest of the build up to the big launch.


Friday 28 December 2012

Act 1: Scene 1 - The Pre-Resoloution Explanation

So, before I fully launch Scarphelia in the New Year, I have decided in the last few days of 2012 I'm going to do a summary of how I came to create this blog, why I created this blog, what is going to be in it and what I aim to achieve by it. This will lead up to the chime of 2013 and my New Years Resolution which is quite simply: 'To make it happen.'

In the most arrogant and self-righteous way possible, I believe that there are two types of human; silver people and grey people. I believe that every human being is born grey, but laden with limitless potential. Those who never quite have the epiphany of realising the latter, remain grey. Grey people live their lives blissfully unaware of more. They think on a consistent level, live a wonderfully unextraordinary existence, but are content that way. They're born, go to school, grow up, get a job, have children, retire, have grandchildren, die. Done.

But then there are the silver people. Silver people are the artists, the creators, the great thinkers. They see life as an adventure, plunge headlong into it, squeezing every drop of life out of existence. These are the reckless, the thrill-seekers, the adventurers, the people who live every day as if it were their last, the people who have great dreams and great passions, the people who believe that they are important, and strive to leave an impact on this world. The people determined to seek the more.  

I know that I have unfathomable amounts of potential to achieve greatness, just like everyone else. I know that I could achieve so much in my life, and that... is just such an overwhelming pressure. What if I continue to procrastinate and then one day realise that never will I ever now be able to do the things which I could have easily have done when I was younger? I've just turned 20, and that fear has just become a startlingly realistic possibility.

When I was about 9, my 94 year old step-great-Grandmother, (try and figure that one out) called Kitty, told me something that I will never forget. I wonder when she told me, if she knew just the profound impact it would have on me. I like to think that she did.

"I was 15," She said. "I'd had my eye on this pair of black leather boots in the shop window in town, for the whole summer. Everybody wanted a pair, but they were quite expensive, so nobody's parents would buy them for them. Now, I thought these boots were the most beautiful pair of shoes I'd ever set eyes on. There was nothing in the world I wanted more. So, I slaved away the whole of the summer, working and working, all whilst begging my parents to help me pay for these boots. Finally, at the end of the summer, my parents agreed, and together we bought the boots. How envious everyone was! I was so happy and instantly fell in love with my new shoes. But they were so beautiful and special, I wanted to treasure them. I didn't want to wear them just anywhere. So I put them in the top of my wardrobe and waited for that perfect special occasion, all whilst not wanting to wear them in the meantime in case I ruined them. When, the time finally came that I wanted to debut my new boots, I went to put them on and I couldn't get my foot inside. I'd been so determined to look after them, that I kept them away for so long that I'd grown out of them."

That is why, I decided that my first step on the path to not waking up as a grey 30 year old, is to set myself a goal with a time limit. My first goal is to create something spectacular by the age of 21, which comes at the end of 2013. Over the past year, has there been a series of extraordinary events which has concluded in me creating this blog - my first foot in the door to 'making it happen', the first step to making something spectacular. I guess 'Scarphelia' is the end of an era.  It is the end of what I shall call 'The days of Silver Uncertainty.' It symbolises the past twenty years of knowing I want to do something important, to be somebody, but having no idea what to do, how to do it, or where I go next. But it is also the beginning. It is the very, very beginning of one hell of an adventure.

I refuse to remain unremarkable for any longer. Scarphelia is the log of how I'm going to become remarkable.

It's going to be pretty long journey, so in my classically melodramatic way I am going to chronologise these events which have lead to the birth of Scarphelia in a series of Acts and Scenes. So this is Act: one Scene: one. The end of the days of Silver Uncertainty, and the beginning of the rest of my life.

Welcome to Scarphelia.