87. Don’t try to live someone else’s life…

Judy Garland said ‘Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else’. It’s fine to see qualities we like in other people’s lives, but we should realise that we will never have exactly what they have, experience it in the way they do. We’re all different, and we need to carve out our own place in the world.

Take it from me; I listened to their music, I adopted their philosophies, I moved into their flat, made friends with their friends. I wanted their life. But the reality is that I could never have it. I don’t know what they felt when they woke up in the morning; when they went to sleep at night. All I saw was how happy and comfortable they seemed, and that was what I yearned for above all. But how much can we ever really understand another human being? We all live behind a mask of how we want to appear to the outside world. I never took into account my own personality and differences. And as it turns out it’s just not enough for me.

I’m not saying I haven’t learned a lot, because I have. I guess growing up is a constant task of refining yourself, deciding who you are and what you like. When you find yourself suddenly alone the options can seem endless. When we are no longer tied down to anything in particular… what do we want from life? Where do I want to be; who do I want to be? Honestly, there’s probably no wrong answer. The importance is in the asking. And making a choice that is your own. I’ve never done that before. I’ve always been led by other people, and now is my time to see what I’m really made of.

It’s unfortunate that it takes times of great change to push us to this. In the words of Lady Gaga ‘I wish I could be strong without this scheisse’. In the strange world that is my life I’m probably moving to NY in 8 weeks’ time to do a new job as maternity cover. I’m so nervous. And excited. And a multitude of other complex emotions. I might be homesick. I might be lonely. But I won’t know unless I try it. I wish I was going under happier circumstances but either way it will be an ‘experience’ and I have no doubt that when I get back I’ll be one step closer to knowing who I am. I just hope I like who that is.

‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.’ ~e.e. cummings