Monday, July 28, 2014

Going Down In History

My first thought when I was recently asked how I would like to be remembered was "That's easy!" 
I'd like to be remembered as kind and clever, funny and successful. Attractive wouldn't hurt, either. I'd like to be remembered for accomplishing something meaningful, whether it be founding a company, helping to achieve world peace or winning an Academy Award. But what about the small things? The more personal things.
 In the grand scheme of things my life is unlikely to make a difference in the world. I can talk and people will listen, tell a joke and make them laugh. I can even help to change the world if I try hard enough. Yet for all that and more I am an ordinary person. History is unlikely to remember my name. Friends and family will remember what I was like and may talk about me from time to time. My children will be extraordinary in their own right but are likely to be as ordinary by global standards as I am. They will tell their children about me and once they are dead and gone my name is unlikely to remain.
Do I really need any more than that?
I think that in our own way we each want to change the world and leave our mark. It would be amazing if our pictures were to be featured in history books so that generations from now we would be remembered as truly exceptional people. And we should strive for that. Go the extra mile to change things for the better, to help people and show that we are worthy of being remembered. Even if we never accomplish anything beyond making people laugh or keeping an orderly household, that's ok. Those are our accomplishments and ours alone. They don't need to be weighed against the success of others'.
So after all that, how would I like to be remembered? Fondly. If only one persons remember me that will be enough, as long as they remember me with love.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

She cried for what was and what wasn't
She cried for what she had and what she never would
She cried until her head and her heart ached
But never loud enough to be heard.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

An unpleasant milestone

I recently reached an important milestone in any girl's life: I had to make my first breakup phone call.
Technically it wasn't really a break up. I'd only been out with the guy once and although we had had no trouble making conversation over a long dinner it just didn't feel right for me.I'd realised when I met him that he was older than me but managed to convince myself prior to the date that the age difference was only a couple of years. When I found out that the gap was significantly larger than I had previously thought it sealed the deal for me.

He was nice and funny, talked about bands I'd never heard of and we had similar taste when it came to movies and TV. Still, it didn't feel right. I'm not naive. I wasn't expecting a perfect date like in the movies and I don't buy into the whole idea of feeling 'the spark'. But it still didn't feel the way I thought it was 'supposed' to feel. I wasn't comfortable. When he stepped forward I stepped back. When he told me about yet another friend who was getting married I stuffed more food into my mouth so I didn't have to respond. I felt like we were at completely different points in our lives and we were. He has graduated from uni and is now pursuing different strands of his chosen career. I'm still in uni and have no idea where I want to be next week, let alone in a year. He's had previous long-term girlfriends. I've been out with only one other guy and we never progressed beyond holding hands.

The friend who introduced the older guy to me said she thought we'd really hit it off and we did. He was easy to talk to and we had a good time. But that wasn't enough to convince me. When my mother said that the fact we had never been lost for words was a good sign I didn't entirely agree. Easy chatting is definitely a positive but it's not exactly the clincher. I can talk for hours on end with pretty much all my friends. It doesn't mean I want to date my friends.

So when he asked me on a second date the next week, I felt cornered and said yes too quickly. For months I'd been whingeing that so many of my friends had partners but no one was asking me out. Having any guy actually show an interest in me, let alone one I was pretty sure I didn't like in 'that way', absolutely terrified me. I worked myself into such a state that I felt physically sick.

After a long talk with a friend of mine I made the decision I'd been considering for a while. The night before the date I debated how best to break the news that I didn't want to go out with him again in a romantic capacity. After considering and then dismissing the idea of going along to the date and telling him in person I decided to call him the night before instead. I didn't like the idea of meeting him under false pretences. The phone call lasted only one minute and consisted of me explaining the situation and him responding to each phrase with 'ok'. We said our goodbyes and I hung up feeling surprised and more than a little cruel.

Around ten minutes later I received a long text from him thanking me for having the decency to call rather than text and telling me that he meant it when he said that if I ever changed my mind I should give him a call.

Of all the moments that made up our brief acquaintance, it was his final text message that impressed me the most. In a few sentences he showed me more kindness and respect than I felt I deserved and went further towards making me like him than the hours we'd spent talking. I stand by my decision. I'm not ready for a grown-up relationship with a real adult. I still feel very much like a kid and I don't need someone to treat me like a princess. Right now I need to learn who I am and what I like in a guy, whether I'm dating him or just hanging out. I need to meet new and different people; go on dates and maybe even ask someone else out instead of waiting for them to make the first move. And who knows? Maybe I will take up his offer some day. When I'm good and ready.

Monday, May 5, 2014


I see him huddled in the corner between two buildings, sheltered from the wind. He is asleep but not at rest; his face twitches and frowns as he dreams. His thin coat and a layer of newspapers could not possibly keep him warm. No wonder he is having bad dreams.

I wonder who he was. I see him each day, shuffling along on tired feet in worn out boots. He never smiles, never looks up, never makes eye contact. He looks as if the weight of the world is on his shoulders and it is. Of all the people I have seen in life he is the saddest and he is the one who has the most right to be.

Suddenly he stops moving and lies still. Is he dead? I wonder. I wouldn't know what to do if he was. I feel immensely sorry for him. A nameless, sad man lying in an alley, with no one but a passerby to see.

Then he smiles. He is not dead but resting, having finally reached a peaceful state of slumber. I wonder what he is dreaming about. I try to imagine a happy life for him. Maybe he is remembering his daughter's wedding, walking her down the aisle and smiling. He looks old enough to have an adult daughter. Or is that just shadow on his face? In this light and under so much dirt and an overgrown beard he could be anyone, of any age. Does anyone miss him? Does that happily married daughter wonder where he is? I don't know. I hope there is someone out there waiting for him but I will probably never be brave enough to ask.