So I'm back, finally. Truth be told I was planning to blog way before now: last weekend was all about setting up my new website, then I had an idea to write away to my heart’s content. But I didn’t figure on writer’s block, the bitch. Anyone else who is a writer will understand why I just cracked open a bottle of prosecco…
I write well when I drink, but I’m typically well aware that this has the capacity to turn me into a raging alcoholic, so normally I’m pretty tempered with my taste for the bubbly stuff when working. Right now though, I figure desperate times call for desperate measures. Plus it’s bank holiday; a day on which I’m pretty sure it’s a requisite of the law to get merry.
Sadly my prosecco partner in crime, one of my best friends Lorenzo, has deserted me this last week to trek all over Vietnam. When I’m not sticking my tongue out at the jealousy-inducing pics he keeps sending me, his absence has given me time to hang out with the Girls - or namely the TV show of that name, if one wants to be precise.
Maybe I’m late to the party (blame Lorenzo for repeatedly distracting me) but until this last week I hadn’t even watched a single episode, despite being told by several real-life girls that I would genuinely love it. Me being me (I tend to be a little all or nothing), I finally started season one - and completed all six seasons quicker than Hannah takes her clothes off.
The thing is, I can’t even say I loved it, but it definitely drew me in. At first this was simply through sheer shock at the sex scenes. I’m sorry, but all I’ve ever heard about Girls is that it’s the realistic version of Sex & the City, but no one I know has ever had sex as bad as the first time we see Hannah get jiggy with Adam. Or at least, for their sake I hope not.
But something about Hannah did hit me (not her enduring nakedness) - and this with a girl who, on the face of it, couldn’t be further from who I am. For starters she doesn’t care a jot how she looks. I know I can be pretty damn vain, but I’d rather be that than have boyfriends comment on how bad I am at shaving my armpits. I mean, this is a girl who constantly looks like she needs a good scrubbing, with GBF Elijah commenting at how greasy her hair is and that she never wears good knickers. - True story: I once went to hospital and my mother said later how relieved she was I was wearing good underwear. I think she was happier about this than the fact I was going to be ok, but whatever, I feel that the fact I was wearing a lovely matching set to begin with indicates that she raised me to share her priorities.
Back to Hannah. While, yes, beauty is more than skin deep, the girl isn’t even that nice a person. She’s dismissive of her friends, constantly rude and always thinks she’s right. To quote: “I have pretty strong opinions on everything, even things I know nothing about.” She’s a nightmare, always thinking the whole world revolves around her. Although I have a pretty strong feeling my darling brother would say the same thing about me, we'll sidestep this today for the purpose of my point...
When it comes to what she wants out of life, Hannah and I are surprisingly in sync. By the end of the show she’s six years out of uni and trying to make it as a writer. Me, I’m nine years out and still don’t feel I have it nailed. (Clearly not, given today I needed prosecco to give me a push.) Sure, some might say my CV to date is impressive: I’ve written for several notable brands, launched online magazines and digital fashion hubs - but I’m yet to wake up every day, sit at my laptop and 100% write with my own voice and know I’ll get paid for it.
With Hannah, she takes a job writing for GQ’s marketing department, making it very clear that this is just a stepping stone. Me, I think I'd have been sacked if I'd stated such a thing back in the day, but I love that she says what she thinks, even if half the time it has me cringing. She ends up taking jobs that push her to do things she hates, like learning to surf, or blog posts that ask for a journalistic approach - all she wants to really do is write her story, in her words.
“I want to write stories that make people feel less alone than I did. I want to make people laugh about the things in life that are painful.”
Me, I’m not so morbid... But like Hannah, I do have a lot to say - and love the times when I get to write it all down. The above is actually said to a character who is an extremely successful writer, and it's his response to her statement that made me sit up and take notice: “You’re not a journalist, you’re a “f**king writer." He completely got her; understood that, to her, writing is a form of expression. She's at her best when simply conveying what's in her head.
Right now, I really needed to hear that. In these times of content writers, SEO writers, social media writers, bloggers, copywriters and journalists, when you’re working freelance and taking on several different guises in order to enhance your portfolio, it can be easy to lose track of what you’re about. I love to write, so I will write about anything and everything, in any way I am asked to, for as long as myself and my ability to write shall live. But hopefully one day that will be less about clothes - I predominantly cover fashion -more men who expertly take them off. (Please note, one of my ambitions is to write an erotic Mills & Boon novel.)
What I'm about is this: whether it happens next week or when I’m fifty-five years old and telling stories of trysts with toyboys, I want to be writing a bit more about my own experiences - with a little imagination thrown into the mix for good measure.
I guess this is why I’ll now always remember Girls so vividly (aside from the image of Hannah cycling in a bikini). Watching our protagonist push on with her dream, of being so resolute that this was for her, has been a reminder to me of why I choose to do what I do. Why I love it so much. I have that same passion, although sometimes it can drive me to distraction. Take today: I had a million DIY jobs to do, but instead I’ve spent four hours writing this. I’m realising it’s a funny thing, my relationship with writing. Like exercise, I sometimes have to push myself to do it but, once I do, I get a rush like no other.
For now though, I need to go as my neighbour is about to come over and regale me with tales of his recent sexual exploits on a trip to Barcelona. (I think he secretly likes to think he’ll one day spot himself in a particuarly sex-laden M&B.) Me hanging out with guys is fairly typical; I sometimes find them much easier to relate to, much less complicated. For this reason I'd like to end this post by saying it's actually a tad ironic, that a girl who typically bonds better with guys...
... Is very happy to have been reminded that she’s actually one of the Girls.