Dear Self Esteem,
I know. I know and I’m sorry. You’re 25 years old now and you’ve taken more batterings than I feel comfortable divulging; more than I care to admit have been inflicted on you by me, the one person that’s supposed to help you soar. It’s a sad state of affairs when your protector fails to do just that and so I’m extending to you my sincerest apologies.
We’ve had a time of it. You started out like others, pure, unadulterated and hopeful, buoyant with the knowledge that as time passed, you’d grow and you’d flourish. You were buffered on all sides by sincere compliments from my parents, from extended family, even from random people on the street who’d bend down to admire the dimple in my cheek and the Jheri curls on my head. You held hands with ego and allowed yourselves to be stroked. I wish I could have continued building you up but it was difficult. It’s not an excuse; of those I have none, but it’s the truth.
There are times, such as this, where you have to appreciate the seemingly insignificant things in life. You curl your fingers around them and press them close to your heart; store them away in the recesses of your mind to pull out and hold in the palm of your hand when life batters against you like a persistent gale.
This past week and this past weekend in particular, has been littered with perfect little occurrences such as these; falling like warm raindrops into the dust.
- Tiring of paying the £5.95 a bowl for the Vietnamese pho I so enjoy; I in perhaps a brazen leap of faith, Googled a recipe and set about making it myself. That meant using soup bones, people. Don’t underestimate what that means. And it turned out perfectly thus propelling me from the safe haven of simple recipes and feeling comfortable and happy enough to try to cook all that more adventurously.
Dear Big Bro,
Do you remember that time, when, spurred on by hours watching Wrestlemania and dreaming of being one of those men clad in lurid spandex and tassels, you practiced on me, your six year-old sister and managed to catapult me into the radiator in your bedroom?
Do you remember the stunned look on my face that hovered for a split second before it gave way to astonished tears of pain and shock? I know you remember the reprimand both physical and verbal you received from mum only moments later.
Almost 20 years later, we’re back under the same roof, sleeping, eating and sharing snatched moments of togetherness that still, to me, are bittersweet. They remind me of simpler times before we had bills and jobs and before our time had to be expertly carved and shared around to accommodate girlfriends and boyfriends and work and exercise and chores and the general minutiae of being an adult.
How far we’ve come.
I remember back when we lived on the Isle, that even though for the first time I had my own bedroom, complete with double bed (a luxury for a six year old), I’d still run upstairs at night and climb into the second bed in your bedroom. I’d hold out my hand and even though I’m sure it was far beneath you, you’d take hold of it and tell me not to be scared. I’d fall asleep like that; cocooned in that brand of security that only a big brother can provide. In the morning, you’d suplex me into the mattress and then we’d run outside or make our way to school but at least I’d had a night’s sleep devoid of shadows and nightmares.
Thanks to you.
Inspired by Amy over at Justatitch.com
1. Plaster Halloween paraphernalia all over every single store I frequent so that I can’t so much as buy shower gel without turning around and smacking into a life-size witch or a damnable pumpkin.
2. Start doing this in, oh I dunno, say August because of course people just need that much time to assemble their menagerie of bullcrap.
3. Show scary movies back-to-back-to-back. On every channel. Don’t you understand that I am literally petrified of horror films? The original Amityville Horror (watched at a friend’s 10th birthday sleepover) was so traumatising to me that I spent the entire time shaking and was dubbed “Trembles”. Kids are cruel and for the most part, lame.
4. Thrust cut-price confectionary in my face every time I visit the supermarket so that I have to physically restrain myself from throwing caution to the wind and just like, burying my head in a bucket-o-candy. Trying to lose weight here. Morons.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the balance of your life can shift.
In a weekend that was characterised by junk food, the constant and comforting warmth of my electric blanket, back-to-back episodes of Mad About You, the company of Mister and the arrival of brilliantly blue autumn skies; life warmed the back of its hand against its jeans and delivered a slap so vicious that my cheek is still stinging from the blow.
I received a text message from a friend which, sweet as it was, was laced with the sort of cryptic content that makes you pause and “hmm” and set your phone aside. You turn back to what you were doing but the text message scrolls through your mind on an endless loop and you start to feel like something isn’t quite right. And then you remember that your friend has been going through the wringer for so long and you can’t remember the last time you saw her smile or heard the music of her laughter in your ears. You remember that her default facial expression is either one of resigned blankness or a tight grimace, almost as if she is waiting for the next disappointment to hit her.
You remember that her support system is almost non-existent and that try as you might, physical distance makes it impossible to convey how much you wish you could be there more.
Stereo. 20-something aspiring bon vivant. London based. Exceptionally Nigerian. Partial to snark. My default setting is "wry". Jeans and blazers are my uniform. Landlady. Speed reader, tuneless singer, hoarder of words, drinker of Schloer; I am suspicious of most people, have zero tolerance for tomfoolery, have a vast DVD collection, worship at the altar of Al Green, own too many bottles of nail polish, have small eyes, small ears and giant hair and owe approximately 86% of my awesome to the Parents Typewriter.
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