It’s safe to say that everyone dates a 'Pablo' at some point, he’s the guy that rides a motorcycle and you’re not entirely sure of his last name. He told me more than once but I wasn’t listening because I was too busy thinking of an excuse to leave. I’m not particularly proud of such detachment and have always been confused why some men seem to be. Pablo Whatshisface looked almost exactly like Russell Brand, and dressed like him too. Which became even funnier when I realised that he had a complex about it. One night when we were hanging out he spent a good twenty minutes showing me photos of himself in LA with women posing in the background thinking he was the famous comedian. He also spent too much time trying to convince me that he developed his style WAY before Brand did, I never had the heart to tell him it was part of the reason we had hooked up in the first place.
I was having A LOT of fun, it was my favourite hobby. It felt good to be young, surrounded by friends, hanging out with cute guys and spending hard earned money. At times it crossed over into my professional life, as more than a few nights during the week escalated into 3am bar crawls. Which is when my friend and I discovered one glorious night that 7- Eleven HAVE to throw out their Krispy Kreme donuts after midnight when the store clerk gave us their unsold donuts for free. Which is crazy because the sugar in those things would preserve them fresh until the year 3020.
Considering the influence my lifestyle had on my mentality, I thought It might be helpful for this narrative to break down my week according to available brain function. As I feel it captures the space left for reflective thought:
Monday – Reeling from the weekend, limited brain activity.
Tuesday – Limited brain activity in the morning due to substance induced existential crisis.
Wednesday -Full capacity
Thursday - Full capacity celebrated with ‘Thirsty Thursday’ until the AM
Friday – 85% capacity. Slight headache, overridden by anticipation for later plans and relief it’s fucking Friday.
Saturday – Hangover cured by all night rager.
Sunday – Still intoxicated due to watching the sunrise, brain available for conversation around 4pm.
Naturally, Pablo would mostly catch me late on a Friday or Saturday, which worked for both of us given we had nothing in common but attraction. I’m sure I was a mystery to Pablo, as the version he saw was a part of myself that even I didn’t recognise. At that point in time I was so emotionally detached that in some ways I felt free, in a dark way. I’m sure my ambivalence was a part of the allure as it sure as hell wasn’t our riveting conversations. In fact, I rarely had anything to say which worked out well as he turned out to be a real talker. One night he was banging on about Orlando, or maybe it was Ohio… I dunno. One of em,’ when he eyed me curiously. I must have been absorbed in thought, staring at the floor absent-mindedly. He lifted my face, looked me in the eye and said “you’re sad aren’t you.” I stared back at him emotionless, dressed myself wordlessly and left, ignoring the calls after me. He became one of many I crossed off my list of contacts in my pursuit of unhappiness, preferring to hide behind distractions that upheld and validated my behaviour, I did not want to be seen through it.
I never planned nor wanted to reveal this dark chapter of my life, but considering the current climate is becoming more fucked by the day, I want to share what I have learned. So I’m about to drop some dimes, the first being unhappy people breed unhappy cultures. My ‘relationship’ with Pablo among others that I care not mention, represented just how detached I had become. I didn’t care about Pablo because I didn’t care about myself. I’m sure he’s a nice guy, I just never gave enough fucks to find out. I was out of alignment in every way, personally and professionally as I felt trapped in an existence designed by my ego. I still struggle to look at photos of myself then. I had dropped a significant amount of weight over a short period of time. At first it was novel and I was like “fuck yeah!” until it became scary as my body continued to shed weight and I wasn’t sure why. Which as a female led me on a weird path as I received external validation that the sick version of me was ‘better’ and yet, I had never felt so ugly. In retrospect, the weight loss was probably due to stress and not eating enough to combat my active lifestyle.
Friends and family started to express concern about my health, I told them I was fine, but the truth was I was struggling. Through their questions I perceived they thought I’d developed an eating disorder because the change in my weight was so extreme. That is except for my sister who always defended me as I spent more time with her than anyone. The growing awareness of how I was being perceived by those around me made me more self-conscious of my body, anxious and defensive. Which is the worst because people can sense it, as my response to questions of concern came across as you guessed it… “defensive.” I felt that way because it wasn’t true, but I can see why they struggled to believe me when my body looked Gollum. I realise now more than I did then, how lucky I was to have friends and family around me that cared about me and were concerned. And if it wasn’t for my sister in particular, I’m sure I would be still be in the same vicious cycle.
That beautiful curly fry has been Pointing North ever since she exited the womb having always known she would become a musician. Through her example I saw that I was the only obstacle preventing me from living the life I wanted, which was a frustrating revelation. As I understood that the only way to meet people who shared the same morals, passions and interests was to re-connect with myself. She also gave me tough love, which I needed. That I will pass onto those who need to hear it; If you’re complaining about the same shit for years, I hate to break it to you but the responsibility lies with you not your environment. If you’re spending most of your time in a place that does not inspire you to be the best version of yourself then I would recommend removing yourself from that environment. As I have found it is necessary to allow space and time to figure out what you want and instinctively need.
Knowing that my lifestyle was unsustainable didn't make the departure any easier, if anything it was more terrifying. Essentially starting from scratch, it has taken over a year to be completely at peace with my decision to let go of a career I’d spent time and energy building. Which turned out to be the best thing I could have done, as I allowed myself to be free of societal, familial and peer pressures that forged a life I didn't want to live. While the taste of a drunken Krispy Kreme should not to be underrated, I have since discovered that the high of Pointing North is by far longer lasting.