Thursday, 31 December 2015

What have you done this year, to make you feel proud?

I’m sorry Heather Small, but my list is quite short. Despite not being the winner of a Nobel Prize this year, 2015 has been absolutely outstanding. Although instead of rehashing stories, I thought it would be more insightful to reflect on some of the feedback that I’ve received throughout 2015.

‘You should just never talk’
Unsurprisingly, and rather worryingly, this hasn’t just come from one person. Honestly, I completely agree with them. It’s rare that I go a day without causing myself physical pain due to cringing so much over something I’ve said. I suffer awfully from word vomit, and I seem to be confidentially awkward; it’s not a great combination. Luckily, I don’t have a desk job, so I can literally just walk away whenever I regret opening my mouth. The only silver lining is that I seem to do a lot of extra cardio.

‘Your life is just like Bridget Jones’’
Secretly, I hope that my friend said this to me because he wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I managed to charm Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. In reality, he probably said it because I’m quite hopeless, carrying a little extra weight, and I shamelessly still listen to Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’. Although I’m really hoping that 2016 won’t end with me being locked in a Thai prison.   

‘Why do you laugh so much?’
This is probably one of the hardest questions that’s been posed to me, and I once taught children who ask the most obscure questions (yes, someone thought I was responsible enough to shape the minds of the future generation). My friend was in a terrible mood when he asked me this question, and I can’t help but feel like he meant it as an insult. I can’t remember how I responded, but I would like this opportunity to say ‘fuck you’ (affectionately…obviously). To me, laughter is one of my most favourite things. I love it when people have wonderfully infectious laughs, and I love it when people make me laugh.

‘Don’t take this the wrong way, but you seem like the kind of girl that likes mayonnaise. ‘
If this had come from a stranger in a bar, I might’ve thought that this was a pretty assumptive sexual innuendo. Thankfully, this came from a friend. He was right; I really do like mayonnaise. In fact, it’s probably one of my favourite condiments.
My friend’s assumption may have been based on the fact that I’m clearly not the kind of girl that asks for no dressing with her salad, even though I probably should once in a while. Or it could’ve been because I told him about the time that I got in after a night out, and ate an entire pack of fajitas wraps just with garlic mayonnaise. I still don’t understand why I’m not a healthy lifestyle poster girl yet.

‘You’re quite hard to please. I mean, you just don’t seem to be impressed by much.’
Originally, I struggled to understand why my sister had this opinion of me (I’m ridiculously pleased whenever someone buys me a bag of chocolate raisins). After giving it some thought, I realised that my sister was right; I’m not easy to please. I dislike it when people I hardly know compliment me because it seems shallow, and often leaves me feeling uncomfortable. I don’t massively care for material things, and I definitely don’t care about how much money someone has. I find it awkward, rather than comical, when vloggers pull silly faces during a make-up tutorial. I’m also not a great fan of people ‘getting to know me’ because I find serious conversations about myself quite difficult, and I'd much rather be mocked instead.  
Truthfully, I think I’m just impressed by things that aren’t as apparent. I’m impressed by people who are willing to stand up for themselves, and by people who aren’t desperate to ‘fit in’. I’m impressed by people who take risks, and are willing to try new things. I remember people who make sure that you get home ok, and care about your safety (even if they deny it the next day). I’m impressed by creativity, and by people who want to learn. This summer, I made friends with a guy who embodies a lot of these things. He didn’t care what people thought of him (which is why he could often be found rocking a crop top and dungarees), and he wouldn’t hesitate to include people (even if it sometimes backfired). For these reasons, he impressed me. Plus, it probably helped that he is one of the funniest people that I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Outrageous, but hilarious.

‘You’re such a fairy elephant.’
This is a family favourite, and I hope it’s said with affection. My family will be the first to admit that I’m clumsy. There are even certain things in the house that I’m not actually allowed to touch. Even when I’m helping with the washing up, my dad will call for back up for the more fragile items.  I’m genuinely surprised that they haven’t shipped me off to charm school yet. I guess there’s always time. If I ever disappear, I’m not visiting Aunt Jean on the coast, I’ve been sent to charm school.

‘You’ll never be cool.’
This might’ve been someone’s opinion, but it’s also a fact. I own too many bumbags, I’m far too partial to dad jokes, and I’m allergic to cheap piercings. I’m just waiting, in vain, for the moment when being uncool becomes ironically cool.  

‘I admire the fact that you wear jeans when you go out. Isn’t it difficult to get guys to like you?’
This did actually come from a good friend. Even though I can’t help but feel like she was trying to drop a hint that I should dress more provocatively, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for her. There was a time, thankfully a long time ago, when I would’ve gone out in outrageously painful heels and revealing dresses. I hated it. I’d feel ridiculously uncomfortable, and I’d often wake up with stubs for feet. Plus, I could never be a fake tan kind of girl because I’m so pale. Fake tan just makes me look like a rogue Oompa Loompa.
Eventually, I discovered that nights are so much more fun when you’re wearing shoes that won’t make you want to cry. It’s also a lot easier to aggressively dad-dance when you’re not concentrating on pulling your dress down, or checking that your nipples are still covered. And, if I’m being honest, I don’t go out with the hope of meeting a guy, so who honestly cares if a strange guy finds my body attractive or not?
‘Your puns are terrible.’
Honestly, this was the most offensive feedback that I received this year. Yes, I even found it more offensive than my first hate mail.

This year has taught me a great deal, and I’ve laughed an awful lot, but I’m looking forward to 2016. I’m hoping (rather optimistically) that there will be 366 days of frolicking, adventures, happiness, and ridiculous new tales to tell.

Happy New Year Everybody.