Sunday, 29 April 2007
My dominant narrative?
Kim Ayres that rambling, philosophizing and lovely bearded bloke left a very thought provoking comment on my last post: he told me that in order to get over my procastination problem I need to shift my dominant narrative. When I first read this I just thought arrgh... But something started stirring in my little walnut brain. What, I began thinking, is my dominant narrative exactly? And, actually, what is a narrative in this regard, let alone the dominant one? Is it how I see myself, or how I'd like to see myself, or a mixture of the two? Is it inherited; modelled, consciously, on some individual or type I believe to be cool; modelled subconsciously on some individual or type I believe to be cool; entirely imaginary, or a mixture of the above?
This is how I'd like to be able to describe myself: Tall and thin with an innate sense of elegance nicely juxtaposed with a touch of allure. Searingly intelligent but quietly so. Unable to be ruffled: cool headed but warm and friendly. Flexible: someone for whom the business of living is second nature. Able to deal calmly with whatever comes along, preferably while wearing Marc Jacobs, even though appearances aren't important to me. Well versed in the arts without being remotley smug about it. A writer, who always has a notebook to hand - in her beautiful but battered old brown leather bag - in which to jot down life's oddities. A warm host with a talent for rustling up something delicious from half an onion a carrot and some bulgur wheat. Witty. Motherly but not frumpy. On top of things. Nonchalant, in that sylish French way of my imagination. Laid back, which may be the same as French-nonchalant, but with added Johnny Depp.
This is how I do see myself: Scatty, disorganised, frantic, always fire fighting. Short, scruffy, with a few more pounds to lose and hair that defies the brush (see accompanying photo for evidence of this last point). Constantly being taken by surprise though reasonably flexible and often quite calm. Someone who has never been able to find an article of Marc Jacobs clothing that I can both afford and that fits (or that I actually like for that matter, what's that all about?) Though I am the proud owner of a Chloe skirt that I picked up in TK Maxx for twenty quid and happily wear even though it's at least two sizes too big. Well it is dark brown with while spots and little pin-tuck pleats down the front. Someone who never has time to spend on her novel and although I do carry a note book around with me - in a too new but not for long brown bag - I only remember to write anything in it when I'm at home.
Anyone who asks me will be told I love my life, I just wish I was different. I wish my appearance didn't matter to me so much. I wish I could just get on with things and stop procrastinating. I wish my values and desires matched up.
So what is my dominant narrative? The photograph I've added to this post probably says it all. I like this photo: the sun is shining, I look relaxed, the dressing gown hides most of my shortcomings and my hair obscures the rest. I'm on holiday which suggests there's a touch of the traveller about me. Also, I was in the middle of my dissertation, so shouldn't have gone away at all which hints at a devil-may-care attitude. I look like I haven't got a care in the world. I haven't brushed my hair: I like the idea of being a bit tousled, not unkempt but relaxed enough not to bother too much. And flexible, I like to think I am that. This can mean, however, that I never see anything to the end becuase something else comes along and I think 'Ok, lets have a go at this then.' I'm not one for making plans anyway, I like to see what evolves, what comes up, how things go if they're not forced. I like to think my instinct and natural ability will see me through. Mmm... I think this could be where the 'shift' is required. I need to see myself as someone who plans but whose plans are flexible enough to absorb all but the most debilitating contingencies. Not someone who doesn't need to plan. I need to get it into my head that planning and dealing with life's more boring aspects (opening the mail for example) can be good because they leave the way open for true flexibility. The sort that means you can take off at a moments notice knowing that when you come back everything will still be ticking along nicely.
If anyone can point out a desirable role model here, I'd be most grateful. Does Kate Moss always pay her bills on time? Does Johnny Depp ensure his guttering is clear before he goes off on a shoot? Did Gertrude Jekyll have a routine whereby she dealt with all her correspondence every morning before going into the garden?