Tuesday, 6 April 2010


So, as keen followers of my Face Book page will have noted, I've failed in my new year's resolution. In truth, I actually only managed about two months out of the promised twelve. Most people have been very nice about it, although some have wagged their fingers at me good and proper. But I'm happy, so the tellings off haven't really mattered.

Would you believe me if I told you that this time is the best of all... that it's holding sunlight in my hand, that it's heaven come to call? (I can't claim those last few lines, they're from a beautiful song by a folk artist named David Ackles, called Love's Enough. Go look it up, you can thank me later.)

However, I'm not here to gush. I think you all know me better than that by now. Why look at the positives when I can rub my face up against some negatives?

I failed in my new year's resolution. And while I'm happier than I've been in years, I am also keenly aware that I look a bit foolish now, and that people are probably saying some unkind things about me, that I can't cope without a man and so on and so forth. (Although they're probably not, actually... as my DJ life partner and I like to comment, people probably aren't talking about you half as much as you fear they do for the simple reason that most of them couldn't care less about you and are much more concerned with their own piffling trifles.)

Still, the sting of failure is keen. AM I not able to cope without a man? You might remember, that was part of the reason I wanted a year off blokes in the first place... to prove to all the people who are forever telling me I'm rubbish at being single and desperate for a boyfriend and can't cope alone etc etc that those things aren't true. And you know what, despite my failure, I still don't believe them. Call it denial if you want. But my boat is sailing quite happily along the current of denial, and the sun is shining, and until it sinks, I'm gonna be happy. If it ain't broken, don't try to fix it, as the most wisdomous Will Smith once said. (Ok, so he probably didn't say it first. But he says it on my iPod with stunning regularity, and that's all that matters to me.) (And joking aside, I really don't think it is denial. I do cope without men. I just choose not to, quite often. So sue me.)

I have failed in other areas of my life as well. And I hate it. I really, really hate to fail. Failure stings me like lemon juice in my eye. It wakes me up at night. It whispers in my ear on some idle Tuesday when I'm shopping for shoes and not thinking about it at all, making me cringe bodily and whisper 'I hate myself, I hate myself, I hate myself' in a fevered furious pitch, so that fellow shoppers look at me like I've lost my mind. But who doesn't do that from time to time?

I guess my main failure has been my total lack of ability to get a job since I got made redundant from my last real one, back in... fuck... 2003, probably. That's a really long time ago. If someone had told me that day that I'd still not have had a proper job some 7 years later I would have laughed in their insolent face.

And ok, so I'm doing other things with my life now - I didn't have much choice when it became apparent that, for whatever reason: the financial crisis, magazines being closed, my own crippling and obvious inadequacies, you know, whatever... I was never going to get another full time sub-editing job and so would be better off looking elsewhere. And I'm very pleased I got into psychology. I love the research I'm doing at the moment. I love my office and my new friends. But I'm scared of what the future holds for me, because I don't honestly imagine anyone will ever want to employ me again. You leave anything long enough and it just becomes unimaginable, really. The thought of getting a phone call or a letter telling me I've been offered a job feels about as likely as me deciding I'm going to start eating meat again after 22 years of not doing so.

I'm really looking forward to not being a student any more. I miss money. I really miss it. I had it for a while, and oh Lord, does it make life easier. But I'm not nearly as hard up as I could be, so I should be thankful for that. But I'm also scared of the end of student life, which I've been back in for almost five years now, with another two or three to go. What if I can't get a job at uni in London? That would be very bad. What if I can't get a job anywhere? That would be even worse. Any more failure in this area and... well, I don't know what I'd do.

I've also failed to ever get any writing published, despite trying at that at least reasonably hard for a while. Although nowhere near hard enough with the book I wrote when I first got made redundant all those years ago, which I've still only sent to about six agents. Another failing! I did actually make a promise to myself earlier in the year that I'd start investigating poetry magazines and seeing about getting some poems published. Poems are much more manageable chunks than novels. So maybe that's something I'll do this week.

I don't really know how to bring this entry to a close. Another failure, no? Probably best to quit while I'm semi-ahead.

Oh yeah, I had some thoughts on the failure of my new year's resolution. Here they are:

1) If you want to make God laugh, hatch a plan.

2) To admit that you were wrong yesterday is only to acknowledge that you're wiser today.

So put that in your crackpipe and smoke it. I'm off to stalk the internet in the hopes that the newest and best bit of success in my life is around for me to talk to. Laters!


  1. Life, as the very wise John Lennon once said, is what happens when you're making other plans.

    And, as the very wise JFS is just about to say, life is too short to deny yourself happiness just because of what some other people _might_ say.

    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

  2. Thanks! :-) Wise words indeed.

  3. One of my fave quotes of the moment is by Mr Henry Ford - "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right."

    Another very clever person once said "The true definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results."

    I love people's attachment to the belief that failure is a negative thing. It's only negative if you continue repeating the pattern without learning *anything*. Invariably we always end up taking /something/ away from our experiences, which surely means we're not ACTUALLY replicating it as we're different people to the ones that made an innocent mistake once upon a time...