As a little girl I grew up in a single parent family, for as long as I can remember it was just my Mum, Brother and I. As much as I adored my childhood and never wanted for anything, it wasn’t exactly as planned for Mother and not what every little girl has in mind for themselves.
From a young age I always wanted more. I wanted to be a singer in a band a la Gwen Stefani or the next Bond Girl. And in my head, this was going to happen, I had absolutely no doubt. As children we seem to have no fear, we don’t worry about the prospect of failure or rejection or what others may think, we just do.
My Mother now reminds me fairly frequently of the time I volunteered for the Brownie Guide swimming gala, lining up at the edge of the pool she wanted the stands to swallow her whole as she realised all of the other girls taking part were taking this extremely seriously, limbering up in their Speedo’s, ensuring that their nose clips and swimming caps were in place. And there I was, waving to the crowd in my floral two-piece complete with detachable skirt. Whilst they’d spent the past two weeks improving their PB I’d been mainly practicing my bombing. Regardless, I came a very respectable third place, and I knew I could, I was never even phased.
Although I would never admit it at the time, I always wanted the happy home for myself, the husband who provided and the 2.4 children. I wanted a nice house with an open fire and the constant smell of baking bread. Husband and I would stare adoringly at each other and we’d make love each night before falling soundly asleep in each others arms, still not quite believing that we were lucky enough to have found each other.
At what point do these dreams and expectations become smaller and smaller to the point where they have completely diminished and all that you’re left with is cold hard reality?
At what point did I realise that actually the only place I seem to be able to hold a tune is in the shower and that my portrayal of Dorothy in Gregory’s Girl isn’t about to win me any Oscars?
At what point did I decide that dropping out of uni was the right thing for me to do and that working as an HR Assistant for a year and a half until I had saved enough money to allow me to leave the country for a considerable period of time, only to return to the giant question mark that is my life once I had exhausted all of my Visa options, was right for me?
At what point do we come to terms with the fact that the likes of Nicholas Sparks are basically just bullshit artists and that the probability that the perfect someone, who makes your heart want to burst, who you couldn’t live without and would walk hot coals for, might not even exist? When do we accept that the person who makes us happy most of the time, who shares our values and makes us laugh, will do?
At my ripe old age of 24 I’ve learnt that life never works out how you expected it to, if it did I’d have at least one world tour under my belt by now and been awarded Best Female for my role in Skyfall. I still don’t have a clue what’s in store for me and sometimes that scares me a little, sometimes it excites me, sometimes it makes me want to curl up under the duvet and watch back to back episodes of New Girl. But mainly, I’ve come to terms with my reality and thus far, it’s been pretty good. Every once in a while though I wish I still had a little of my eight year old self inside, maybe just minus the floral skirted two-piece.