Monday, 30 March 2015

Bittersweet Errors

I've been thinking a lot recently about the whole idea of mistakes and learning and how everything you do wrong is a chance to learn. While I agree in principle, sometimes when I look back on my earlier writing, I just kind of cringe at the thought of how juvenile it was. While on some level, I know that you can't expect to be perfect at anything straight away, and that everyone starts somewhere, I just kind of wince at how obviously I am trying to find my voice earlier in my writing and how maybe that connects to my own struggle of searching for an identity at the time.

Part of me wants to delete all my earlier writing and start again but another, stronger part of me doesn't want to. Something about seeing my earlier writings, on my blog, old fanfics I used to write, and elsewhere helps me see the ways I've changed over the years, and the way I've progressed since then. I often look at things I planned to do and later changed my mind on, and interests that used to be all-encompassing and are now just a part of my life, rather than the whole of it.

I remember when I first started saying I'd do outfit posts and would then beat myself up for not getting round to it. (It's something I'd like to do at some stage but at the minute, I'm waiting for help on my ipod touch camera which takes far clearer photos than my phone, for some reason.) But it took a while for me to realise that it was OK if I focused on different work at different times. While I know it's part of life for my style and in extension, my writing style, to change, it still gives me a strange, bittersweet feeling, and even though I know that without earlier mistakes, my writing wouldn't have evolved the way it has, there's still a perfectionistic part of me that wishes I could iron out every tiny error and mistake that I've ever made.

So I guess I'm keeping my old writing around at the moment.  Even if I don't want to go back to where I used to be, if I'd never been there, I wouldn't be where I am now. What do you guys think about your old work?

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Playlist: Lilly Berger (Very Good Girls)

I wish more people would see the film Very Good Girls, if only because the acting's brilliantly, subtly good and some of the lines from Naomi Foner's writing are brilliant. Also, the soundtrack is amazing, filled with Jenny Lewis and Soko.  It sounds like a total cliché, but it's about two best friends who want to lose their virginity before going to college and who fall for the same guy. But it's about more than that, it's about family secrets and friendships and all the things you don't say in your friendships and all the mistakes you make when you're just trying to grow up and be a person. Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen are both great (as well as Kiernan Shipka, to make it more awesome) and so I made a playlist for Dakota's character, Lilly Berger.
How They Want Me To Be-Best Coast
I Wanna Go All The Way-The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
Lightning Bolt-Jake Bugg
Please Don't Ask Me To Dance-Eddi Reader
Stole You Away-Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Our Deal-Best Coast
Lovers Breakdown-Hannah Georgas
Elevator Love Letter-Stars
Call It Off-Tegan and Sara
Love Is Not Supposed To End This Way-The Icarus Account
First Love Never Die-Soko
New Romantics-Taylor Swift
Razor Burn-Jenny Lewis
Tell Her You Love Her (Acoustic)-Echosmith

Monday, 9 March 2015

Both Sides and the Question of Age

I wonder if there are really any labels, other than the ones we put on ourselves. Maybe we can all fall under different names than the ones that have been given to us, or maybe we can all fall under no labels at all. These days, it's becoming easier to be ourselves in some ways and so much harder in others.

I was reading about Paloma Faith and how she used to tell people she was four years younger than she was. Partly, this was because she didn't think her record company would hire her if they knew her true age but she also said that she didn't really believe in age. And while I don't know if I'd say the whole concept of age is ridiculous, I think that we tend to put too much stock in our expectations of people by their age-some people automatically expect teenagers to not know what they want, to be stubborn and constantly get things wrong just because they're young. People automatically expect the elderly to hate modern music because they're old and they couldn't understand the culture. People automatically expect people in their thirties to be getting broody and wanting babies, because it's the time when society dictates they should be wanting a child.

I was watching the music video for the band The Maine's song "English Girls", watching all the guys in their different outfits. Some of them are in what look like glittery dresses, others are dressed in more expected outfits for guys. (I was going to say "normal" but what is normal?) Some have long hair, some have short. They didn't dress as expected but that didn't mean they weren't being utterly, genuinely themselves. And that those selves couldn't change.

I've always hung around with both adults and kids. As a young kid, I sometimes felt more at home with my parents' friends than with other kids my age simply because my interests were sometimes more aligned with theirs-discussing myths about the Beatles and how many light years away the Sun was. All the fun stuff. But I could also sometimes empathize with my teenage friends, when they talked about how overprotective their parents were and how much they craved their own independence. I sometimes felt like I was behind a piece of glass, watching both sides objectively, seeing both points of view. I didn't think I was any kind of special snowflake-I just didn't want to be expected to act in any particular way because of my age, the same way I don't want to be expected to wear pink just because I'm a girl. Sometimes, I wonder what life would be like if we were all free of expectations and people just acted the way they genuinely were.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Eyeliner Stars and Building Identities

I guess I haven't been blogging quite as much recently. At the moment, I'm in this weird state where even though so many good things are happening, I feel like sometimes, I'm on the other side of a glass window, staring at them and wondering why they don't quite seem to touch my feelings. Instead, my brain will grab onto the question Can this go wrong? Could that go wrong? and let it swell bigger and bigger in my head until it's the only thing I can read behind my eyes.

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good things happening. But at the same time, there's something nagging at me a lot of the time, a feeling that there's always something more I could be doing to feel like me. At the same time, sometimes I feel like I'm observing myself from a long way away, observing myself going through these identity emotions and wondering how much of it is typical of the teenage years and how much of it is just mine. Sometimes, I kind of wonder if there's a part of me that sort of revels in the teenage emotions because they're something that we've seen acted out on TV and in the pages of books so many times. They're awful to feel but in some ways, there's something addictive about angst.

That's the case some of the time but the rest of it can just be difficult. Sometimes when life keeps hitting you over and over with not so good things and the news is telling the worst stories in the world, it can be hard to even think of things to like. Do any of you guys ever find it's just really, really hard to like the world?

At the minute, I've been playing about with clothes a lot. For some reason, they've become kind of important to me lately just in terms of expressing myself. If I'm wearing clothes that don't feel like me, I just-feel wrong. Wrong and like I don't fit in my skin. I don't feel like me. I can't even define what it is until I'm wearing something that feels like me again. And then things click into place a little more and I can feel that yes, this feels like me. (And yes, I know I promised more outfit posts and I'll get round to it, guys. It's explained by the fact that I am borderline useless with a camera.)

I guess this blog post is kind of the way I'm feeling at the moment, a little mismatched and confused. But hopefully, I'll feel more certain soon. At the moment, I can just take a deep breath, draw stars on my face with eyeliner and hang on to what's coming next.

And this is what I'm listening to right now, to complete the mood.