Friday, 1 March 2013
The most important thing is not to think very much about oneself. To investigate candidly the charge; but not fussily, not very anxiously. On no account to retaliate by going to the other extreme -- thinking too much. Virginia Woolf.
It's been nearly two months since I returned from travelling. I am still unemployed - 35 job applications down, three interviews and a polite phone call.
"It was between you and the other candidate. You have a lovely manner, something very special, you will be snapped up very quickly."
But I haven't yet, have I?
"Thank you for this feedback. I really enjoyed the interview. Good bye."
The boy I lost my virginity to called me to ask what I was doing with my life. "Oh not much, just looking for a job. Yes, as a personal assistant. Oh no - it does actually have good prospects - I could even be an executive assistant in a couple of years time."
The boy who exploited me when I was depressed, bulimic, anorexic and borderline psychotic saw more potential in me then than I do now. So I sat on the bus and cried. I've always set myself the highest academic standards, won scholarships, seen anything less than an A* as a failure, attended the best university in the country, graduated with my head held high and filled with images of me striding somewhere. I've had an extended trial at a company and spent the last few days wrapping the boss's son's birthday presents, picked up face serums worth more than entire overdraft and made endless reservations in my beautifully modulated, well spoken voice ruthlessly pruned of any vestiges of my accent. Part of me loves this role - all I do is act - I don't have to think or engage I just smile and be charming and fulfil the accusation that gets thrown at me time after time. I am nothing but veneer and I don't have to pretend there's anything more but gloss.
I miss being anorexic - it's national eating disorders week or it was recently and on post secret I saw this - in the year I achieved my lowest weight I achieved more than in my consequent three years at university. In that year, my body was everything. Control was everything, my only thoughts were about the next meal and how to preserve the veneer.
This is my giving up on recovery. I have given up everything else - I will not give up this fundamental control. I have no idea whether I will have run out of my overdraft by next month or whether I will have finally found a job but I do know this and I promise myself this - I will weigh less, and I will have control over the veneer. The inside doesn't weigh anything, anyway.