|Me, on one of the last days of the year|
On my birthday I flew to Milan, newly unemployed, dead scared, and wrote this to myself on the way: On Turning Twenty-Eight
“On the last day of your 27th year, you took the morning after pill and it made you cry. You want children – to become a mother – more than anything, and there was the tiniest part of you that wondered, “But what if…?” Don’t be so fucking dumb. You need about £25,000 more in the bank before you have a kid and taking risks isn’t cute. But it *will* happen, and the wait will be worth it.”
The word “Fat” has as much power over you as you allow it to, I realised: I’ve Had Enough Of Being Fat
“I am perfect – perfect as I’ll ever be. I’m also fat. Those two things are separate, because the circumference of my thighs is not directly related to my worthiness as a human being, and I know that in my bones. I love myself, so incredibly much, and am proud of the work I’ve put in to being my best self. I meditate, I listen, I find the lesson, I share the story. I’m a good friend, aware sister, humble daughter, honourable employee, considerate housemate. But my Body Mass Index – an arguably flawed but NHS-approved general system for establishing an ideal weight range for one’s height – pegs me at obese. My belly rests on the tops of my thighs when I sit. My chin triples as I look down. My thighs applaud each other when I run up the stairs. Fat.”
So there was this one time this year when I made out with a stranger, on camera, for a national newspaper: Snogging Strangers
“How do you greet somebody you’re about to pash? I panicked. If I hugged him, that’d be weird and forced, but if I simply kissed his cheek he might think I was going straight into the good stuff and no way was I doing this without knowing his name. So I… I put my hand out and said, ‘Nice to meet you. I’m Laura,’ and looking him directly in the eye was the most deliberate, courageous thing I have ever done.”
Ohmygodness. There was a moment this year when I broke, and then had a breakthrough. But the process hurt so fucking much: Not All Who Wander Are Lost – But Perhaps Now I Am, Just a Little
“Money is running out. I am on the verge of signing a job contract for two months teaching in Russia. On New Years Day I have a flight booked to Bali, for two months doing yoga on a beach. And then, after that? What will I do? What is my life supposed to look like? This book I am writing – birthing – is the single most difficult thing I have ever done. It is laborious and strenuous and what if it is all for nothing?”
2014, the year I got my tits out: That Time I Was Naked In A Field
“I loosened the fabric around my shoulders and listened to the voice behind the camera.
‘Okay then,’ she said. ‘And now let it fall a little to reveal your sides. Yup – just like that. Perfect. And a little more…?’
I shuddered against the cold and let the gown disappear towards the soil. And just like that I was naked in the Cambridge countryside, nothing but a sultry gaze and an icy breeze adorning my frame.”
A man came into my life, showed me how good it can be, and then set me free: Falling. Question Mark
“He took me home and fed me carbs and that was when I watched him lean back in the bath, the candles playing tricks on his handsome face, eyes closed, exhausted because it was almost midnight. I ran a wet hand over his knee and marvelled at the water dancing at the top of his heart, and I thought to myself, oh hell, girl. You’re in so much trouble.”
I had sex to validate myself, and it felt really fucking shitty. But before that, it also felt really goddamn hot: I Had a One-Night Stand and It’s Made Me Really Very Sad
“Shy smiles over the crowded bar, mutual friends ascertained, phone numbers acquired and three pints down, he later pulled up a chair at our table and buggar me if he didn’t roll with every punch I threw, in front of an audience, eyes sparkling and wit razor sharp. Where would you like to go on Friday, then? he asked, apropos nothing.”
The older I get, the more ageing seems to be a sort of “undressing” process, stripping back all the lies I’ve told myself for years and years and years: What I’ve Unlearned in my Twenties
“Didn’t Picasso say something insightful about how it takes a very long time to become young? Related: WE TEACH OURSELVES OUR LIMITATIONS, YOU GUYS.”
I told my friend I loved him. It didn’t work out: More To Friends To Strangers, I Guess
“We’ve never even kissed. I always forget to mention that part. All of this and we’ve never even kissed – but he has made me orgasm before. Once, when we first met, many years ago. There was another time when he went down on me, too, about a month ago, but I didn’t come. I was all in my head, couldn’t relax. I wanted a union of souls – not a fuck. That’s unusual for me. It was unnerving. We didn’t talk about it afterwards. I should’ve known then. (I did know then.) (I ignored it.)”
You’re only uncomfortable until you’re not, right? Agreeing to two months in Russia was my brave moment this year: To Russia, With Lust
“She called me on the coach, on my way home. Can you come the day after tomorrow, she said. I know it’s hardly worth your time but I’m desperate. I’d already given my word is the thing. So I didn’t bother to unpack. I headed off. My bed had to wait.”
Happy new year, you guys. Putting together this post really made me aware of how writing about my life makes me more courageous in my life. Thank you for reading, for Tweeting, for commenting on Facebook. Thanks for your emails and your kind, kind words. I feel like the bravest girl in the world most days, lately, and that’s mainly because you embrace me as totally myself on this tiny corner of the internet that is my home. Stay in touch into the new year. And if you want any more of me I’m on Thought Catlog here, and jamming with my girl Megs on YouTube here. You can also get my eBook for free here (it's a pdf file, so you don't need a kindle or anything) - just click on the box that says "share and get 100% off".
Here's to 2015!
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