Here’s what I am. I’m 25. I’m Caucasian. I’m 165cm tall (although my license reads 168cm). I hover between a size 12 and a 14, usually closer to the larger end. I have red hair and milky-white skin swathed in thousands—if not millions—of pale chocolate freckles. I have small breasts and large, slightly manly shoulders. I have toe issues, foot problems, a dodgy right knee, a crooked pelvis, bad vision, cold sores, and endless teeth dilemmas from clenching my jaw while I sleep. I’m a catch, right?
You’ve picked yourself up off the floor, grasped your ribs in agony, and wiped away the tears of laughter? Well done. I’m sure there are hundreds of others who didn’t survive the torrent of incredulous guffaws produced in response to that last quip. Because, who are we kidding, I’m not exactly pin-up girl material. In fact, as far as 20-somethings go, I’m probably well below average when it comes to physical make-up. But here’s the kicker. I’m mentally and emotionally a bit under par too.
I have a quick temper. Yep, say what you like about stereotypes not being true, but this redhead has more fire than the aptly named matches. But I don’t just get angry. Oh no, I run the whole gamut of bad moods: melancholy, morose, discontent, disjointed, confused, and just plain lost. I’m can’t make decisions. (That’s not completely true, I can’t make decisions about my life—others’ lives on the other hand, I’m all over that.) I like control, but I don’t want it. I love spontaneity, but it terrifies me. I hate being stagnant, but change unsettles me too much. I want everything now, not tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I want that sense of achievement that comes from working hard, but do I really have to get up before nine?
So what about the deeper me? What are my hopes and dreams? What do I really believe in? What do I love to do? I want to travel. But I don’t want to just see the world, I want to take it by the hand and say “how do you do?” I love to cook and I want to be able to do it well. No not just well, amazingly well. I want to effortlessly rustle up the best damn soufflé you’ve ever eaten, or the most mouth-watering roast duck you can imagine. I want to create stuff. What stuff? I don’t know. I can knit and crochet. I (occasionally) make my own clothes and jewellery. I just need to create, damn it!
You know what I want most. I want to have some kind of purpose in my life. And that’s what this is. It’s about finding a purpose. Something more than just a lifestyle, a dream, or a career. I’m not searching for my real self—I’ve already got enough personalities fighting for control. What I’m hoping for is to slowly untangle the hopped-up, flipped-out, craziness that is me. And take you along for the ride. Now I’m warning you, on any given day this may involve absolutely nothing. But it may also involve high-strung excitement at completing a knitting project, the blissful calm that comes from producing a perfect chocolate tart, desperate anxiety over another failed job/interview, and even complete and utter depression when everything just falls apart.
Welcome to the ride of my life. Strap yourself in, it is going to get bumpy, but I’m sure (I hope) we’ll all survive.