I first read that quote sat in the English room of my hateful Catholic Secondary School when I was 17 years old. I remember the exact set of circumstances. I was venturing out into the world alone for the first time, but simultaneously studying and I remember thinking that I even though I was demanding to be treated like an adult, assuming the responsibilities of adulthood, I was, in fact, a complete imposter.
Nothing has changed. Well, I say ‘nothing’, when what I actually mean is ‘everything except the fact that I am still, nearly twenty three years later, struggling to come to terms with the fact that I am a grown-up’. I’m like a one-woman version of Harry Enfield’s Double-Take Brothers. Every time I see myself in the mirror I’m.. “WOAHWHATTHEFUCKINGFUCKWHOTHEHELLISTHATWOMAN???” How I don’t spend seventy five percent of my life just randomly landing on my arse every time I see my reflection is beyond me. Instead I just land on my arse because my body is slowly betraying me and before long I will be a wobbly, hunched over old lady. Well, that and because I’m a colossal piss-artist who insists on wearing ludicrously high heels and drinking Pinot Grigio at lunchtime.
Regardless, here I am, day by day, growing older and despite leaving many things behind, like a snake shedding its skin, there are certain loves, friendships, skills, opinions and values that I continue to carry with me. It’s like I am discarding my artifice, only to find that what is left was there all along, only I was afraid of it. And moreover, I was afraid that everyone else would hate what was inside. I’m done with duplicity, trying to be someone or something else to appease others or appear somehow better than I am, cleverer, more deserving. Who gives a fuck anyway? The human race is so self absorbed (myself included, clearly) and tiny in the whole scale of things that to my mind we should probably discard all bullshit and just scrape on through being who we really are and not die saddled with regret.
Which is why I am neither a journalist or a politician. Frankly, if I was a journalist I’d have lost my job years ago for punching a politician in the genitals and if I was a politician, I’d have dropped so many bollocks that the press would’ve had me dangling by the tits until I resigned and went on the public speaking circuit (then never booked again after telling Lady Pertlingston-Gonads she had a beak like a ‘fucking great crested grebe’ after quaffing too many gins and being interrupted during my tres amusing Daniella Westbrook Story).
Would it be incredibly inaccurate and intolerably rude of me to say that the current wave of party politicians are artificial, self-serving careerists with narrow minds and wide gobs? They somehow come across as people who have never had a crisis of confidence in their lives, wholly convinced of their place in the world and with an absolute absence of the sense of preposterousness that I and so many others feel when we open our mouths and attempt to discuss anything more cerebral than Strictly Come Dancing? We watch politicians chuck platitude after soundbite after buzzword into the air like they are fireworks for which they are ultimately no longer responsible once they’ve disintegrated into the sky. Treating us like fucking morons as we ‘ooooh’ at this and ‘booo’ at that. It’s like a pantomime. Only without the unique talents of Barbara Windsor, Shane Ritchie and The Chuckle Brothers.
I don’t know about you, but I like people who are largely like myself: a bit daft, loyal, honest, accepting, sweary, cheeky, creative, kind and most of all they have that constant self-evaluation that all normal human beings subject themselves to on a daily basis. I don’t care what they look like, wear or where they live. But I do care about the values they hold dear, their respect for humanity and that they look in the mirror and go ‘oh fucking hell, MY NOSE’ like every other normal human being. I reckon that on the whole most people reading my garbled rantings feel the same way. And those kind of people will never feel comfortable on the sort of public platform that even a local councillor occupies.
Voter levels are at an all time low. No party has any certainty of winning an election. Doesn’t that say that no party or the people belonging to them represent us? And perhaps…just putting it out there… people who care about people and not ‘strategies’ and ‘policies’ should now be given a chance to speak and talk about what is needed and how life really is when everyone is trying to be a grown up, but feeling like a vulnerable kid in a big scary world.