Once again my life is turning over. I'm not the person I was even a year ago, though I suppose that's true for everyone. For me, it's especially so. One year ago, for starters, I was still pretending half to myself and certainly to the world that I was straight. It's taken me most the year to be able to say that I'm not to the great wide internet. Still not comfortable with it, really, but I guess nobody ever is. I'm sticking with the 'bi' label for the time being but we'll see how that goes.
One year ago I had never really fallen in love - loved people, certainly, but not fallen heart and soul.
One year ago I was jumping about from pillar to post, blown about by winds not of my own devising. This year, I might not like the place I am very much at the moment and I might not be very confident about how the places I am going will turn out, but I am here of my own volition. I am living somewhere I chose. I am choosing to leave my job and look for something else. I am choosing to take a great big break before I start in the Civil Service sometime next year. And I feel that I have achieved something this year in actually getting that damned job.
I'm done with Cambridge for the moment. My last night here will be the 31st of October, though I will feel like I've gone by then because I intend to stay with people that day having moved out of Argyle Street the day before. I might come back sometime - it's a fantastic city and the people are wonderful. I love some things about living here. But I need a break from it. I need to be away from the pressure cooker of excellence that is both stimulating and exhausting. I need to break from the people and the situations. I need to be somewhere bigger, where there are different people and different things to do. I will miss it hugely, especially when I'm trying to build a new life somewhere else and definitely when I'm back in St Albans or Cornwall trying to find something to do until somewhere between April and October when my life will be purposeful again.
I have become something, this year. More myself, less hidden. I have acknowledged parts of me and stopped apologising for them. Not in any way all of them. Self-confidence for me seems likely to be always a bit difficult and actually I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't want to be so confident in myself that I stop questioning ways I behave and think with regard to the world and my place in it. It is part of that recognition of who I am that I want to get a tattoo. I have never wanted that kind of permanent change to my actual body before - I've even talked about it on here. But this is sort of different. It's an affirmation - a revelation, not a concealment, as I seem to have envisioned it in the past. I am going to do that, I think, if Traci will come with me and it doesn't prove too scary to walk through the door.
Odd that I hate the New Year posts in January that I feel compelled into. This moment, the end of the summer and the descent back to the winter feels like the natural moment of change. Things are in flux - the year is turning, I can feel the summer heat fading and the autumn earlier nights are here and coming in fast. I guess it's always been the moment of change - it's September on Tuesday, and a new school year starts. I always enjoyed the first day back at school.
I sang at a wedding today, feeling shattered by a very difficult week indeed. It was pretty hard going, actually. Odd that it was 'One More Step Along The World I Go' (very slow and not very good tune recording here, though I'm pretty certain that practically EVERYONE sang that at school and still knows it by heart) that I found the hardest to get through. I needed to do something. I bought a bag, which I do kind of need because my beloved blue handbag is getting pretty tatty, but it didn't fill the hole. I needed to make a statement to myself. Do something slightly crazy to stave off doing something truly crazy. So here's the haircut. What do you think? The woman who cut it looked horror struck when I first said 'same length all over, a couple of inches long'. She said it wouldn't look very feminine, and suggested a bob instead. I wasn't wedded to my idea, really, I just didn't know how to picture a bob. It was never boy hair I was after, just something that will look neater and more like I take care of it than my usual bird's nest, and would be the change I need in my life.
This still doesn't feel like my head. She showed me the back of it and it looks like someone else. I've NEVER had my hair this short. The closest it got was chin-length when I was 12 and I didn't like it then. This, I'm quite pleased with. It won't look like this after I've slept on it and brushed it and washed it, but I think the shape will be ok. My curls are a quite enthusiastic when I give them a chance. We'll see. It's definitely not what I had before. Comments appreciated...
Also, it turns out that it's bloody hard to take photos of yourself in the mirror.
I've been calling it grown up hair to myself. I haven't got the little girl long hair I've had for years, that I always wanted when I was tiny and never could grow. That part of my life is over. Here is something different. I am something different.