home away from my parents.
I was seventeen, I worked in a café in a small seaside town and I had been out of high school for eighteen months and I needed to get away.
I’m not from Scotland, I’m actually from Liverpool or to be more precise a suburb of Liverpool called Bootle. It’s an extremely working-class area and it was my whole world until I was thirteen. Then I moved to Largs and felt like a fish out of water the whole time. It’s a small town, everyone knows everyone, it’s mostly quiet and nothing really happens there. It’s dull and my city loving soul just couldn’t stay there forever.
The thing is, I don’t crave anonymity but what I do crave isn’t far from it. I didn’t like so many people knowing my private business, knowing my family, knowing my dog’s name. It was just far too intimate for me. I needed to be left alone, to not be hassled, for people to not know my business if I didn’t want them to and for people from my past to not be there every time I walked down the main street. I needed city life and I needed it fast.
My home life wasn’t great, either. I argued with my parents non-stop. My younger sister took any opportunity to annoy me and because 5 people lived under one roof, my house was always so loud. I needed a place of my own, somewhere that was quiet, away from noise, people I didn’t like, my parents… everything. Just your average angsty teen but with money so that was that, I decided to move 40 miles away to Glasgow. A city. I’d be flat-sharing with a girl I didn’t know. Perfect.
I went to view the flat, I loved it, I saved up for my deposit, packed away my bedroom and looked for jobs in Glasgow. The day came and I didn’t feel anything as I looked around my pink walls covered in lyrics that I’d written on myself (I was RIDICULOUSLY angsty). I just felt relieved and excited.
I got into my flat, unpacked everything, signed the necessary papers and went out shopping with the money my mum had given me. When I got back, my flatmate had left me a box set of Sex and the City on my bed. She overheard me saying I liked it so she said I could borrow it.
That night, my first night in my new home, my flatmate went out. It was just me, my bed and Sex and the City. The smugness, superiority and excitement had gone. I suddenly felt so alone. My new home was so quiet despite being on a main road. I kind of missed the noise at my mum’s, the comfort of noise. I never thought I would.
Then I laughed at something on tv. And all I could hear was my own laughter in an empty flat. I’d never felt so lonely in my life, I realised that from now on, it was just me. The future was in my hands and the only person I’d always have day and night, no matter where I lived was myself.
I’ve kept that, I’ve looked after myself as much as possible and as damaging as it may be sometimes, self-preserving has helped me through some of the roughest times of my life.
this post is day one of the scintilla project…