You’re probably thinking, living life to the extremes is a badly written sentence, it’s living life to the extreme. However that is not quite my meaning. I am not talking about sky diving, swimming with sharks or some casual white water rafting. Most of these adventures would not end well with my hair. I can only swim breaststroke with my neck stretched high above the surface to avoid it touching the water. My hair and water ends with a horrific cloud of red water following me around, as if I have already met my fate with the above mentioned sharks. Unless you can offer me a wicked cool swimming hat, you’ll find me safely on a sun lounger, drink in hand, or on the relative safety of a lilo.
My view of living life to the extremes, has a more day to day meaning. I started thinking about it a few weeks ago thanks to the power of an internet meme, one that has now become illusive and I can’t find, which also makes me think did I completely make it up. It seems like something I would do.
It was two pictures of the same girl, one without any makeup on, hair everywhere, and the other a full face of makeup and perfect hair. Titled something along the lines of the two versions of me. I wish I could bloody remember the exact words. Anyway, it was funny because it’s true, and very, very true to me.
I belong to the group of girls who have ended up with a signature look, red hair, red lipstick and black winged eyeliner. Without any of these three components, people instantly think I am ill, haven’t slept in a week or somebody has died. The day that cemented this, was a day that I had a disgusting cold, I woke up late after a night of coughing, I smudged my eyeliner approximately ten thousand times, until I eventually gave up and headed to work. I was greeted by a very dear friend at work, who has as about as much subtlety as a Nicolas Cage film.
No ‘Good morning, how are you?’ First question ‘What is wrong with your eyes?’ I explained about my cold, searching for some slack, instead I was hit with the line, ‘I can’t talk to you like that.’ So very harsh, but said with love and advice of ‘You look rubbish, sort yourself out.’
From this one internet meme, I started to think about my approach to everything, and realised the approach of all or nothing covers most aspects of my life and always has, and not just in the appearance sense.
You will either find me in no makeup, hair not done, in a hoody and jim jam bottoms, (current look), or a full face of makeup, hair washed and styled, and I am not going to lie, there may still be a hoody involved for comfort. There is no in between, I envy people who wear minimal makeup, tie their hair up and go.
I am naturally very shy around new people, and in situations where I feel I am out of my comfort zone. You will then find me either not able to say a word, or add anything of value to a conversation other than an annoying and slightly creepy smile, or, the opposite side to me in those situations is to over compensate my inner turmoil and try and be involved in everything that is going on, often ending with me being socially awkward, and being at full sarcasm. My go to defence and safety mode.
I can be the most organised person on this very planet, prioritising lists based on time constraints and importance, colour coding and highlighting, waking up ready to crack on with the day, and that is just to get the house cleaned. On the flip side to this, is the other me, who has a million things to do, but can watch a day full of Homes Under the Hammer, guessing what year it was filmed, based on the way the buyers decorated the bathroom, (massive beige tiles with a brown thin border tile were huge in 2008), all whilst feeling unbelievably guilty for doing so.
Then of course there is my two states of drunk. Drunk, and super mega drunk. Regular drunk, most people can’t even tell, I write perfect grammatically correct messages, and keep conversations light and breezy. I can cross the line from drunk to super mega drunk with just one extra drink. Then you will find me head first down a toilet, apologising for my new found level of drunk, and saying I don’t know how it happened. Drunk lies, it’s usually tequila.
I think this all comes from the way I view my personality and that is as a social introvert. Again, two words that do not usually go hand in hand. I love my friends and family, I love having them round my house, I love going out and I do love work. I just find it hard. It takes up all of my energy. I work in a very lively environment, and bounce around in it, however I come home and nearly every evening fall asleep as soon as I sit down. Much to the joy of my husband, who works alone from home, then is greeted by his sleeping wife. It is something that as I am getting older, I am understanding more, and it is becoming less of a problem. I cope much better in high pressured situations than I ever have before, and I think it has come from just realising who I am, and that sometimes, it is fine to speak to the dog at a party instead of people.