Monday, 30 January 2012

You can be whoever you want to be

I've heard a fair amount of very lovely platitudes since telling people I'm about to start all over again by abandoning everything I know and love to live somewhere alien and remote. Ish. And they are lovely. I appreciate them. They're stuff like: "nothing ventured, nothing gained"; "what's the worst that can happen?"; "life is short"; "take a risk" and "you can be whoever you want to be."

It's the last one that has got me thinking. "You can be whoever you want to be." Can't you be whoever you want to be anyway? Or is the implication that if you go somewhere new where no one knows you then you can pretend to be someone else? Or is it enough to present yourself as someone else and that makes you someone else? And if it's that easy, and something I should do, why am I not doing it already?

So I could go to York and, when I meet people, I could describe myself as a non-smoking exercise fanatic who is easy going and not at all neurotic? I could dress like a business woman and have serious hair? I could not talk myself down and be all self deprecating yet at the same time sort of aggressively shy? I could present myself as someone who only swears once in a blue moon when I stub my toe as opposed to every other word? I could be all ladylike and not talk back. I could become aquiescent and quiet. I could tell people that I know how to organise my time and that I never ever stay up till 3amwatching episode after episode of New Girl. I could, in short, present myself as a well balanced adult.

And who do I want to be anyway? I actually like who I am for the most part. I know that I can be a pain in the ass. I know that I over analyse things. I know that I can be intense and weird. But I'm sort of fond of all of that stuff.

But it might be nice to be someone who cooks proper meals. And doesn't sometimes only eat toast and satsumas for days at a time. And doesn't smoke too much. And doesn't waste time. And doesn't look backward all the time. And doesn't hold grudges. And doesn't tie herself up in knots so much that she can't breathe. And doesn't get out there and do all the stuff  that she actually wants to do because she's scared.

I mean, why not? This move is about as out of character as possible for me. I don't do things like this. What I do is stay where I'm safe and wish I was brave enough to do something else. So maybe I'm already starting to be whoever it is I want to be.

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