When I get quite badly ill, two things tend to happen:
- I get so hungry I eat pretty much everything and anything that takes my fancy.
- I get rather dizzy ad mentally disorientated.
Which may explain why today, when I woke up with a stinking cold, I immediately binged on carbs and felt in a similar mindset to Christmas Day. This was despite it being 25 degrees and sunny outside. I can’t really explain why, it’s just how it was. I also took mindsets of feeling as I did when I was unemployed, depressed and the similar feeling I had to when I first came to London; lost, excited and optimistic to be starting anew adventure.
It’s like my mindsets are memories, or collections of memories, a certain set of feelings which impose an acute sensibility within me. Today, although I had a whole catalogue of things to worry about, somehow felt full of optimism and laced with joy. The Yuletide feelings were not diminished when on our first official flat “movie night” the film of choice was The Family Stone. The first time I saw that film, which I’d forgotten how much I loved, was in my very first London flat with my wonderful flatmate Isobel. It brought back memories of that time, a time when I didn’t know who I really was, when £30,000 a year sounded like the most enormous amount of money for a job, when I thought I was in love with an actor named Will, when it felt like all the card were on the table and ready to be played.
That was all just three short years ago.
A moment in the film struck me this time which hadn’t before. There’s a beautiful moment when the mater and pater of the family are in bed together, just talking. They’re discussing a problem and how it should be dealt with. What’s so well portrayed is the total team-spirit of a long-married couple facing the hardships of life together.
It made me realise that’s what I want. I want to build that life together with someone, to mark the years in the trials we’ll face together. It made me realise how beautiful such a thing is. It made me pray that somehow, there’s someone out there who can love me for all my faults and want to built that life together with me too. That 30 years from now we’ll be lying in bed together, still making plans and still supporting one another.
I don’t have the easiest relationship with my family, I never have done. I’ll always love them but I know we’ll never have that tight-knit casualness which I used to so dream about as a child. I used to think of lovely, happy big families where everything would have an ease and warmth. Where the pressure to achieve wouldn’t be so heavily heaped by my Father. Where the pressure to conform wouldn’t be so stingingly made by my mother. Were I could just be me and loved for it. Where I wouldn’t be constantly criticised and made to feel so…freakish. Another aspect of the film I so loved: a big, quirky, non-conformist family. I used to keep a holiday diary as a child, as many do. But in mine I wasn’t me. I invented a new character, a member of a big, beautiful family. They had the same holiday, they went to the same places. But my lead character had all the experiences and interactions I wish I could have had.
My point is, I can feel the calling inside me to find my new family. Only in my case I don’t want to create the 5 siblings I used to dream about having. I don’t want school runs and extra-curricular activities and familial bliss. I want a well-appointed apartment in the city. I want a career I adore and am devoted to. And I want a someone so special they become my new family. A man who, in mutual respect, admiration, trust and love, is all the family I’ll need.
The man who will care for me as I care for him. We’ll support each other. Make those magical Christmases together.
And when I’m ill, it won’t matter what head-space I somehow get myself into, because he’ll be there to hold me.