I just overhead a really big burly man mutter a gleeful ‘tee hee’ in a rumbling voice as deep as the deepest ocean trenches. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.
Oh look, jokes about Nelson Mandela’s death. At least this gives me a good excuse to purge my friend list.
I am trying to buy a hat for my grandma for Christmas and I went on a popular clothing website and the first hat I saw was a beanie that said INTERNATIONAL HUSSY on it and now I’m starting to think that this might be a much more difficult task than I first thought
I have just seen someone tell someone off for using the word ‘stupid’ as it is an ‘ableist slur’
Nope that’s it I’m done
Today we found out that a client is refusing to pay us for over 6 months of work and that’s really quite a big pain in the left ventricle because we worked our bottoms off for those 6 months and she’s saying she’ll only pay for 2 months. She says it’s because she’s unhappy with the standard of work but I think it’s really because she’s just not a very nice lady.
Therefore, I kept placating my boss with an array of Rolos. In the morning, I gave him a Thinking Rolo and a Placation Rolo, and in the afternoon I gave him a Soothing Rolo and a Bemusement Rolo. Between you and me, they are all just Rolos, but shhhh.
Also at lunch I went to Greggs and I was served by a woman whose eyes were rolling around in their sockets like they had somewhere else to be and I was so dazed and confused by her ocular motions that I dropped my receipt and had to crawl around on the floor looking for it like a medieval French peasant begging for alms at the feet of a priest
But then I noticed that the sky was bright blue with very stark and delicate white clouds and it looked like the sky was wearing a fetching lace dress and then I was OK again
Tomorrow I am going to buy some tinsel and some baubles to hang from the rusty nail sticking out of the wall behind my desk and it will be so festive and I won’t shed even one tear at the thought of all the petty cash I have to sort through tomorrow
Today, for the first time in a really long time, I felt very unsure of myself.
Let me set the scene for you. I’m 21, and I have to get a bus to work every day. Usually, I know pretty much everyone on the bus. We’re sort of comrades in arms, united against the common enemy of the 9 - 5 grind. However, the bus passes through a university campus on its route, and sometimes - although not often, as it’s only ever about 08:20 at this point - some students will get on, and I never know these students. They’re all strangers to me. Slightly younger, and much freer. Anyway.
Today, two students got on at this stop; a guy and a girl. They sat behind me, and although I was listening to music through my headphones, I could still hear the general gist of what was going on. I like to be alert as to what’s happening around me. Whether that’s an admirable trait or merely a by-product of my days spent shrouded in anxiety, I’m not sure, but it’s there nonetheless.
As the minutes passed, I became very aware that these two people were laughing at something. That’s fine, I thought. I like seeing happy people. It always makes me smile dopily, like someone in love. I don’t know why. Maybe happiness is infectious. They say it is, don’t they? I think they’re right.
But not this time. This time, their happiness spread to me, but it changed on the way, because as I turned around to glimpse them and see what had made them so happy - curiosity may have killed the cat, but boredom kills a bus journey - I saw the tell-tale suddenness of the silence, the immediate drop of the head and eyes, and I knew what they were laughing at.
They were laughing at me.
I don’t know what it was about me that made them laugh. Maybe it was the pink hair or the purple shoes or the heavy eyeliner or the lack of self-awareness as I danced in my seat to the music they couldn’t hear. Maybe it wasn’t anything as whimsical as that; maybe it was just my short stature or my almost unnoticeable bald patches or my nervous habit of darting my eyes around. I don’t know. All I know is that I was the butt of this joke. I was the punchline.
And I don’t think I need to tell anyone how that made me feel. Suddenly, I felt invalidated. I felt small. I wasn’t Anwen, the 21 year old accountant with an English degree and a 2 year period of recovery. I was Anwen, the 15 year old psychotic depressive who was half bald and couldn’t leave the house without crying. I wasn’t Anwen, the friendly and outgoing graduate. I was Anwen, the lonely, friendless teenager, bullied to the point of suicide.
These two people couldn’t have known that I was well versed in being the comic relief in a joke I had no control over. They couldn’t have known that I’d been laughed at more than I’d ever laughed until last year, but that was no excuse. Not to me. It didn’t make me feel any better to know that they didn’t know.
For the first time in a long time - the first time since I left the hospital bed and walked into the bright light of a town I’d almost left too many times - I didn’t like who I was. And it wasn’t because I thought there was anything wrong with me. It was because someone else thought there was something wrong with me.
The feeling didn’t last very long. I’ve been in recovery for long enough to know how to deal with it, and it was fleeting. Just a blip. But it was still there. It still felt raw and new, and yet familiar, like an old bruise was bleeding into new skin. It was a reminder not only of where I was, but of how far I’ve come.
And in that moment - that second, that flickering fragment of time in which I felt like I was somehow worse because someone thought ill of me - I told myself that it would be the last time. That I will not let my own self-perception and my opinion of myself to be dulled by what another thinks of me. Never again.
Because it didn’t matter if they were laughing at my pink hair or my short stature or my purple shoes or my anxious tics. It didn’t matter, not really, because none of those things are flaws. They are all characteristics. I am as much my hooked nose and my irrational chatter as I am my sharp wit and clever words. I am the good and the bad, the dark and the light, and I shouldn’t be ashamed or unaccepting of that because of the ill-intentioned laughter of two strangers on a bus.
My mum sent me this Snapchat of our cat wearing one of my hairbands as a dandy bow tie and I don’t know how to feel about it
I am being a cat and listening to the Prince of Egypt soundtrack and I should be in bed but that’s for LOSERS and oh my battery is nearly gone
Let my battery goooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Should I eat a Twiglet or maybe two Twiglets because I have work tomorrow and therefore my soul is about to become crippled and weathered and only a Twiglet can save me
I think I should stop talking because sometimes my stream of consciousness is enlightening but right now it’s just wheat-based snacks
I did a thing and now you can watch my necklace move while the rest of my body remains stationary, as still and defiant as the weathered white cliffs of Dover
Also I’m pink now which means I’m statistically 60% more likely to be mistaken for a teenager, bringing the total probability of that event to somewhere around VERY FUCKING LIKELY INDEED
Now I’m going to sleep and then tomorrow I will see my bby bro Liam who is unrelated to me and also older than me but childlike in his gentle naivety
I am going to do something potentially unadvisable and that’s a real word
I can’t leave my office because someone’s been stabbed in the access lane behind it. I’ve used that lane at night before. Very reassuring.