Today, all my friends are dressed in beautiful, billowing ballgowns and immaculately tailored suits, as they wait patiently inside the ancient, cavernous cathedral to receive a scroll and a handshake from the Dean of students.
Today, I sit in my pants and a long T-shirt, cup of tea in hand, the only scroll for me being my thumb down my Twitter timeline.
Yet somehow, I kinda feel like I'm graduating too.
This seems like the right day to let you know some stuff.
In the week since I returned from New York: I unpacked three months of a new life. A family member died and I clutched on to my Mother's arm at the funeral. A formal complaint was filed against me to Depop in regards to the Penpal Project, accusing me of fraud. I was offered a full-time job in London. And I realised it was time to quit Scarphelia.
Each one of these brings a lump to my throat for different reasons.
Firstly, all of the Penpal Project packages were complete before I left. Every single person who ordered one will get one - I just have no idea how long it will take in the post to arrive. I spoke to the person who filed the complaint and it was apparently a misunderstanding, but... the thought that anyone believed I would intentionally mislead readers of my blog and defraud them out of money for my own personal gain... that hurt worse than any insult could.
Secondly, completely out of the blue, in a bizarre twist of luck due to the undeserved recommendation from a successful friend, I was interviewed for and subsequently offered a job at a creative firm in London. I was genuinely stunned; initially elated, instantly humbled, and then very quickly crippled by doubt and guilt.
I so wanted to fist-pump the sky yelling 'huzzah! Take THAT everyone who said I was screwing up my life by dropping out of Uni!' but my mind wasn't strong enough to support that optimism, and my internal scaffolding collapsed under the pressure.
Congratulations, a dark part of me sneered, like the voice of Voldemort inside Harry Potter's head, Little Miss rebel, who claimed so ardently she'd never get a 'proper job', who dropped out of Uni to fight the cause for the penniless artist... has just sold her soul to the man. You are the worst kind of hypocrite. You've let every single one of those people who supported you, down. That little signature on that contract just killed Scarphelia.
Although I know that was fucked up, I couldn't shut up these stupid thoughts, and I fell apart in frustrated tears. Did taking this job mean I had gazed at that proverbial fork in the road, one marked 'corporate career' and the other marked 'creative dream', and despite my years of trailblazing for the plight of the impassioned artist... I'd surrendered myself to a lifetime of the former, just because I so desperately needed the money?
That lead me to the third point. In the pit of my worries, I resolved that I should just quit blogging. Besides, there were so many reasons why I was shit anyway:
- I let the biggest chance to get my writing out there, just slide away. I could've spent those 3 months in New York running round the city finding things to blog about every single day. I could've taken so many more photos for instagram. There were endless opportunities and ways I could have capitalised on my time in New York, and used that as a USP to exponentially grow my readership, but I didn't. I barely squeezed out one post a week.
- I preach how you should just 'blog for yourself!' but I get really fucking down when something I post gets no feedback.
- I only buy new makeup when I run out of my old stuff. And it's pretty much all Rimmel London. Yet I once spent £52 on an Urban Decay palette just so I could instagram it with a bit of smugness, when I only now use 3 of the 25 colours.
- I'm really cynical, and I actually think most things bloggers say and do online are really stupid, with the few exceptions (who - fair play - rock my world) and that makes me an intolerant person, and not fun to be around. I can be a reeeeeeeaaal bitch sometimes.
- I'm simply incapable of being brief. Always gotta drag everything out to approx 10,000 words.
- I think the way the blogging world acts around Fashion Week is the biggest load of shit ever and I cringe so hard at fashion bloggers every time it comes around. And worst of all, that all makes me the biggest hypocrite because I used to do it. I went and stood on those cobbles in as good as fancy dress hoping someone would think I was important. It is gross and I was gross and I'M STILL GROSS.
- I only talk about myself, all the time. There's no trajectory, there's no variety, there's no business model. I don't set goals, or project my social growth. It's just selfish, self-reflective rants and somehow I expect people to continue to care.
- There's zero professionalism, structure or conscious craft in what I do and I swear. A lot. I'm unrefined, lazy and negative and my work is stagnant, repetitive and irrelevant.
Quite simply, I'm a piece of shit, and I should just quit.
'Now hold on just a darn minute there,'
My thoughts are interrupted - This self-administered trash-talking of the soul seems to have finally awoken the bad bitch in me who'd vanished on vacay the moment shit hit the fan,
'Fair enough I'll accept that we fuck up a lot and don't deal with things very well and have more than earned the title 'Piece of Shit', but one thing I entirely reject, is the notion that we are quitters. We adapt, we adjust, we find a way to make it work - we NEVER quit.'
And I feel the atmosphere of my brain beginning to change. It'd be unjust not to mention it stemming mostly from a conversation with Emma Gannon however, a person whose wisdom, support and positivity I'm always astounded by.
"Dont overthink this. People have to earn money. No-one can be an 'artist' and lie in a hammock blogging poetry and getting paid for it, like no, that's not a thing. It's hard to get paid for art, so no-one will judge you for taking a 'corporate job'. I worked at a corporate company for 3 years before I got into magazines and I blogged in my spare time all along, and it led me to where I am now. It's not one or the other. YOU have to make it work."
It was the cyber slap in the face I needed, because I wasn't just being a piece of shit, I was being so much worse than that... I was being a little bitch.
And I realised the only way I TRULY would become this hypocrite I was so scared I was becoming, was IF I quit. If I gave up all my creativity and disappeared into the corporate realm never to be seen again. Stopping blogging wouldn't be the right thing to do AT ALL, it would precisely be the exact wrong thing to do. Negotiation doesn't always have to mean sacrifice. Sometimes it just requires a little evolution.
And only after some tough love from myself and from Emma, could I see that.
Yeah, I might be a piece of shit, but I ain't gonna quit.
It's time to snap out of it, without growing out of it.
So, I will be starting this new job next month, I will be trying to start work on that list of things that make me shit, and there will be some changes that are going to be made, but I can promise you, it's all for the better. And I won't be going anywhere, WHETHER YA WANT ME TO OR NOT.
I'm growing up, but I sure as hell ain't giving up.
And thank you, as always, for putting up with my shit.