Monday, 25 April 2011

Goodbye Adolescence, Hello Twenty Somethings

In honour of my turning 21 in about two hours, I thought I would take some time off from my constant stream of studious dissertation writing to write my last blog as a 20 year old. Turning 21 seems different somehow to turning 20... I feel like I am now definitely out of my teens, as opposed to being 'on the cusp' of my adolescence. People often say that youth is wasted on the young, but I think I made the most of being able to look ridiculous and get away with it. You can still sneak out and get drunk in your twenties (and it's still fun), but it is no longer acceptable to, say, wear baggy jeans with chains, or listen to angsty music at full volume on the bus, ignoring the glares of old aged pensioners whilst you hide away behind a punky backpack. These things I took advantage of. I suppose a twenty-something would have to stand up and politely offer their seat away were they in the same situation. It is for this reason I will be avoiding buses from this moment on. I suppose I can finally say goodbye to emotional moodswings, too. Although they have been ever so less prevalent since the latter stages of my teens, they still crop up every now and then. (For example, the other day I was forced to discard one of my PomBears as I got emotional looking into its smiling face and could not bring myself to eat it). Thinking about it, there are a lot of things that are no longer acceptable once you're completely out of your teenage years. Like being rebellious. Who can you rebel against? The biggest thing after your parents is the law, and I'm not sure that's a road I want to go down. Thankfully, I've never been that much of a rebellious person anyway. My mum went out the other night and the highest state of rebellion I reached was having the foot spa on the carpet. (Really though, what a rush).

There are a few good things about turning 21, though. Apparently it is still acceptable to name inanimate objects (Kezia bought me a colourful teapot the other day and handed it over, introducing it as "Thomasina"), so that is good to know. I am also excited about getting a pay rise at work, which I will make sure my bosses do not forget. I don't think more money will make it any more appealing though. Today, I was so bored that I went to help out on the "Tasters Table", which basically consists of standing there smiling whilst people wander up, eat the equivalent of a small dinner, and then leave without buying anything. I'd be annoyed, but usually I have just watched a small child pick something up, lick it, and put it back down, so that gives me a bit of satisfaction. I also managed to create a little bit of entertainment for myself by replying, "No, not at all" to someone who asked if the onion bhajies were spicy. I then watched as they shoved about five into their mouth, chewed for a while, and then gradually started to cry. Speaking of work, there have been a lot of changes since I was last there - so much so that my pride has been dented a little bit by having to ask the 16 year old Saturday kids what I'm doing. Their "haven't you worked here five years?" replies do not help the matter. I was also downgraded to wearing a blue apron as we had run out of red ones. Exclusion at its worst. You know how there was always that one child at primary school who had a different jumper to everyone else with a logo that had clearly been sewn on by their mum? That's what I felt like. However, we are now allowed more breaks, which I have taken full advantage of. It would be nicer if there was a better place to spend them other than the dreaded staff canteen, but you take what you can get. Apparently there is a new "book swap" club in which basically you leave all your shit books in a box and other people take them home. I had a look through it the other day and was shocked to my just-out-of-teenage-years core to see that the majority of them were erotic novels. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't particularly want to read a book that is filled with "fiery, seductive passion" whilst I am on my lunch break. Well, not until I'm 22, anyway.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Most Traumatic Experience of My Life. For a Bounty.

So, the Easter holidays have finally arrived and I am currently unsure of how to feel. On one hand, I am excited at the prospect of no lectures, free food from my parents, camping with my friends, lots of green fields and the lack of rich, conservative families swanning around the city centre (although, Bradford's lack of these families does mean that instead there is an excessive amount of highly defective families - tying one end of a dressing gown cord to a pram and the other to your child's wrist does not constitute as reins). On the other hand, my dissertation is due as soon as I go back. I feel this point needs little embellishment. The extent of my stress was made clear last week when I ate almost an entire bowl of ice cream with a fork before realising it was not a spoon... I decided to go to the library and do a little work in an attempt to calm myself down only to sit there for twenty minutes, playing Tetris and occasionally opening a document. After noticing the person sat in front of me was writing her conclusion, I had to leave rather quickly before I gave into my urge and stabbed her in the back of the head with my fountain pen. I did manage to sort myself out and prepare quite a bit, though. I even made an effort to get enough books out for three weeks (although that was clearly a mistake as I had to carry them all back to Bradford in a human sized backpack, on public transport no less, as Belinda sat back and thoroughly entertained herself, proceeding to call me "Snaily" for the remainder of the day). Still, after the trouble I went through to get them, I wasn't leaving them behind. The university library really doesn't make it easy to find the books you're looking for. I typed 'promiscuous women' into the search engine and was presented with 'Suddenly Single: a guide for men and women coping with bereavement, separation or divorce'. How could they possibly think that is what I wanted? (I checked it out anyway though, not entirely sure why...)

Still, I am home now and things are relatively less stressful. Kezia came to visit last week and we spent a few days having good ol' sibling fun. We even bought matching bracelets and played games. (One of the games was our own take on the Guess The Intro drinking game only instead of young, hip pop songs, we played it with hymns. I really hope none of my housemates were walking past my bedroom door at the time... There's only so much weird they can take and Kezia screaming, "COLOURS OF DAY, BY GOD!" in an excited, high pitched squeal would probably be toeing the line). It definitely helped with relieving my stress though. I've even got my presentation out of the way, which is excellent, although it did illuminate for me a few new things about myself that I was previously unaware of. Mainly that as soon as a large group of people start looking at me expectantly, I promptly start to perspire uncontrollably. I feel this may be the result of some kind of childhood conditioning. Possibly "The Birthday Bag" at primary school - a hideous tradition that requires all the birthday children of that week to walk to the front of assembly and select a treat from the bag in front of the entire school. Apparently, they don't take into account the fact that sitting cross legged on a wooden floor for an hour will no doubt result in crippling pins and needles. Traumatic story short, I fell on someone's head. In front of everyone. I then started to turn an odd shade of red, which resulted in a chronic case of the sweats, and had to hobble quickly to the front, dragging one leg behind me in the fashion of a maimed zombie from a b-list horror film. My only comfort lay in the knowledge that surely things could not get worse. How wrong I was. I put my hand into the bag, gripping onto the other (repulsed) children as I did so, and what do I pull out? A fucking Bounty. Now, here I stand, 20 years of age and still emotionally crippled by an event that happened almost 14 years ago. Primary school teachers, take heed. If your school has a birthday bag burn it, stamp on it, rip off the felt cake that has been so preciously sewn on by an old woman from church and GET RID OF IT. You're ruining lives.

I feel like I have just let go of 14 years of hurt. I feel refreshed, like a new woman. Maybe I should start telling traumatic tales often, to give myself a kind of natural high. I'll save them until after my dissertation, what a treat to look forward to. Anyway... back to being home. Since arriving back in Bradford it has been sunnier than usual and as such I have been sat in my back garden, working away and covering up as much skin as possible to avoid getting burnt. I also discovered the epitome of laziness as I sat there, wondering if it would be acceptable to wee in my own garden in an attempt to avoid having to go inside. As soon as the thought crossed my mind I got out of my chair defiantly and went inside - I think the sun went to my head, I'm not usually so animalistic.