I had my appointment with my psychologist in the morning before I got on the train. She helped me get through it. She is amazing. It's good to write down and map out all my irrationalities.
I didn't crumble that evening - I went, I held my head up high, and I still looked nice. I did it.
The immeasurable waste. It's always a waste isn't it, this stupid quest of mine. It's never made me happy. All the money and the hours of aching muscles and the nights of hunger and vomit... I do it for something grand, something wonderful, something I deserve... something I can't put my finger on, perhaps because it's not really there...
This was my first big performance on the public stage since Alex left and I fell apart. Tonight I was going to be a glittering diva again. I spent £50 on a new dress. £88 on new shoes. £75 on getting my hair styled. £10 on lashes and makeup. £60 on a hotel room so I could get ready in private. £40 on trains. £10 on taxis. £30 on dinner. £10 on drinks. £10 on binge food.
All that for... for what? So I could turn up at an event with people I used to know and new people and look beautiful. That's it. I chatted and laughed loudly with old friends, did the polite rounds of old acquaintances, happy, quirky, vibrant Ophelia, danced a little, ranted, drank, screamed in joy, had a cigarette... and felt unequivocally empty - because I did all this, I spent all that money, I put in all that effort, took all those laxatives, forbid all that food... for something, for sparks, for fireworks, for love, for passion, for SOMETHING...
I spent pretty much the entire evening talking about 'my ex-boyfriend' and how 'i hate men'. All I kept thinking was that I wanted Alex to see how wonderful a show I had put on, and how beautiful I looked on the public stage again after hair and makeup and costume had done their work. His ghost stood over me, completely.
I left on my own in a taxi at 5am without saying goodbye to anyone. I silently undressed in my hotel room, slipped under the cold sheets and ate a cheese and pickle sandwich.
That university and that life of drinking and flirting was who I was - and is not who I am now. I am past all the charades.
I was supposed to be staying for the Saturday night as well to see some other uni friends who couldn't come on the Friday - but I'd had enough. My skin was tired and so was my soul.
And so I gave my body shitloads of food - as is habit and protocol after every big, draining performance.
I seemed to have a lot more to say about the whole situation when I was thinking about this post last weekend - but now, a week later, that's all I have to write. I found out yesterday that one of my friends pulled two guys that weekend - both of whom have girlfriends. So I politely told her off. There are enough cold-hearted cheats and assholes in this world without us helping them along. Women should all be on the same side.
I'm struggling to get over this infatuation I have in thinking that men are the enemy. I've been reading lots of feminist literature and theory, trying to get at some understanding of the link between femininity and madness. I feel like so much of what is wrong with me stems from that - from being a woman - and from being utterly unable to cope with the demands of being such.
At the core of my illness lies this simple fact - I want to be a perfect woman with all the fairytale ideals that come with it. I want to be beautiful, I want to be thin, I want to be glamorous, I want the beautiful dress and beautiful shoes, I want the charming prince, I want to be loved, I want to be adored, I want to be kind and lovely, I want to be dainty and demure, I want to be intelligent and witty, I want to be well-spoken and well-educated, I want to be charming and individual. And everything I have done to try to fit the damn plastic mould has made me mad. And not even mad for myself, but mad for society, for men, for the everyone else to see I am well moulded.
The story of Kate Middleton's engagement to Prince William has been interesting to me in a way. She (or her parents) have been social climbers. To look at her and hear her speak, you'd think she could quite easily have come from an Aristocratic background because she is well-dressed in a quintessentially English manner, has a posh voice and comes across in a very elegant and sophisticated way. That's how you get by in this world - you carve yourself out into what you need to be - you force yourself into a certain mould that's gonna get you places.
I taught myself to speak with a well-spoken English accent, I chose my fashion tastes to reflect my femininity and elegance, I taught myself the way to act and come across in a corporate, polished manner so that I could become an asset to a team in an Investment Bank.
I am a daughter of a single immigrant mother on basic wage in South London - but people who meet me think I went to an excellent private school, come from a well-off family and have always been confident and charming and happy. Because I moulded myself that way. And because of that moulding I can get a job in an Investment Bank, and I can have friends with huge trust funds and I can be the girlfriend of a wealthy ex-boarding school boy who attends black tie dinners.
It's not who I am, but who I have moulded and presented myself as being, which has brought me everything I got.
I have to sign the contract for the job at the Investment Bank on Monday or I lose it.
I went for an interview for an assistant position at a Boarding School in the countryside on Thursday and got the job - of course. Great if I want to continue with my 'ideal' career into teaching. But I don't know. The countryside is beautiful. I will have so much spare time for long walks and runs, I can wear whatever clothes I feel comfortable in and plain makeup... but I'm afraid I'll get bored, I'm afraid I will still crave the city and the stage and bright lights too much... and it will be too late for me to return once I have cut these ties, I know.
And where, where would I ever meet a man to love me if I'm hidden in the countryside...
I feel like, I have this great opportunity to be "successful" in the eyes of others. I mean - I care so much (too much) about what people think of me. Telling people I work as an assistant in a boarding school says to them that I am weak, unambitious and couldn't get a better job OR to tell people that I work in the city, I deal with big people, work on big deals and make loads of money says to them that I am smart, driven and successful. When I went back to see my old uni friends I was shocked at how many graduates were shop assistants/unemployed/working in a call centre... they would kill for the opportunity I have.
If I turn down the Investment Bank and go to the boarding school, I will have to be a teacher. It's a big career move and you cant go back. I'd be on half the wage as well. But I might be happy. And I'm sure I said, the pursuit of happiness is everything. Fuck the social standards and the social hierarcy.
...But casting all that aside means casting aside the mould of social perfection I have been striving for all my life... a mould which I know gets you 'places'... and which I believe will earn you 'love'.