Saturday 2 January 2016

Hello Sixteen

I've given up being cynical about celebrating the arbitrary increments in which we measure time. It's tiring always being that guy.

Yeah, having to be forcibly aware of every single person's 'New Year, New Me' crap is dull as hell, but it's harmless really.  Besides, why disregard any opportunity to reassess who you are, what you are and why you are? My mind forces me to do that every damn day anyway, so why stop now, right?

I began 2016 with a little self-piteous laugh to myself, as a little pop up informed me that this meant it was exactly three years since Act One of my life closed, and the second began. Three years since I rebirthed into a messy and premature adulthood. Three years since I started this blog.... and three years since I foresaw a prophecy about said blog, which I have now grandly and flamboyantly failed.

You see, at the very beginning, gathered in an excited hush with fellow younglings, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we were initiated into this world, unified by the new language we were learning, and bound by the community which stood tall and powerful above us like great hooded gods, gazing down upon the mere mortals who'd come to learn their ways, I said:

'Three years, Lads. I've worked it out. Stick it out for three years... then that'll be us up there.' I sat back grinning triumphantly. 'I just know it'.

And today is that day. And I just made a little noise, half that kind of sweet pity you get like when you see an old photo of yourself where you thought you looked super cool and really you just look ridiculous, and half of that self-depreciating hilarity that comes from the fact I couldn't have been further from the truth. A noise that can only be described as a snort, because lads, I gotta 'fess up. I didn't make it.

Sure I'm still 'here', sowing my seeds beneath the listening sun. But I never did, never have and never will be up there, wearing that cloak. I will never 'make it', and that simple fact alone saved my sanity.

Because this is what 2015 bought me; peace.

In 2014, I garnered one million hits, loathed myself if I didn't keep up with my content or missed an editorial opportunity and attended every single event I was invited to, even though I knew I was never going to blog about it. I obsessed over my follower counts daily, accepted as many sponsorship collaborations as I made a fair amount of money. I still enjoyed what I did, and realised the internet was a beautiful land of opportunity.

In 2015, I barely raked in more than 200 views on a post. I attended perhaps three or four events. Fashion Week made me want to puke a bit. I didn't earn a single penny from my blog and did no collaborations. Sometimes I only put out two posts a month. I still enjoyed what I did, and realised the internet was a beautiful land of opportunity.

But boy, did I fucking LIVE.

I travelled to Iceland to watch the solar eclipse and saw the Northern Lights. I went to festivals and left my phone behind, taking a film camera instead. I laughed, loved, got lost and moved to New York City on my own. I lived on a boat, lived in a house, lived in an apartment and lived in a beach hut. I got my heart broken and broke a few too many hearts than I'd have liked. I got two tattoos and piercings. I sold my writing and artwork to pay my rent. I cried in the rain because a boy didn't love me enough. I slashed my leg open really bad drunkenly cycling back from a dive bar whilst trying to cradle a pizza, which ended just how you would have expected. 

And all the time I wrote. In notebooks, sketchbooks, on the back of receipts and business cards, and I wrote on the internet. But I didn't blog to make content. I wrote to make art. 

2015 was a rubbish year to be Scarphelia, but it was the greatest year in the history of time to be Katie Oldham. And the greatest thing about it has been learning why that doesn't suck. Because there's still a part of me that protests that I could have made more of what I did, but I know that part of me thinks that for the wrong reasons. 

So, yeah. I guess I didn't 'hit the big time' like naive little me thought I would, but instead I got something so much better. If '14 was super pro-internet and '15 was super pro-real life, then I guess '16 looks a little something like balance. And I'm pretty damned okay with that.

So, here I remain, sowing seeds beneath the listening sun. 

And while for some, their joy is sowing seeds far and wide, riding along in their combine harvesters to reap their bounteous harvests come Autumn, I look on and wave in admiration from my little greenhouse, because I have discovered that my joy is in fact just a few little ornate pots, hand-planting each seed and patiently waiting with love and attention until those first few green sprouts start to show.