Origami Girl

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

In which I have the first picnic of the spring

I am an insecure person. I'm afraid that I fail at the very things I want to be the best at. When faced with opportunities to live out my dreams, to do those things I've aimed all my life for, or profess to enjoy and be skilled at, I smack into a conviction that I can't do them. There are definitely moments I have said no because I didn't want to show myself to be useless.

Sometimes I find myself even avoiding repeating things I have achieved in the past by convincing myself that those were one-offs, flukes, luck, or just a good day. I couldn't be successful again.
The biggest example of this for me is writing. When I was 5 I wanted to be an author. When I was 14 I wanted to be a journalist. When I was 19 I wanted to be a literature academic. When I was 22 I wanted to be a mythology expert. When I am 25 I have the chance to make something of it all, and I am still not enough.

I got a first for my degree in English Literature. In fact I got a couple of 80s whilst I was there, a dissertation that I really loved and a tutor who encouraged me. I've written beat poetry that has some glimpses of magical use of rhythm and words. I've had work published in online magazines, and I've written a blog and a diary and many short stories on my computer. I never stop trying to write.

Yet when I see the chance to create something big, every sentence feels it would be better off if it was a copy of someone else's.  I'm always comparing my work to other people, and just waiting for someone to call me out and say 'You can't do it'. 'You're not imaginative'. 'You're not a great writer. You never will be'.

'You should just stick to simple tasks, and be a neat, organised, punctual person, who gets things done with no great stroke of genius behind you'.

Everyone wants to be special, but surely not everyone can be. What if I've had the wrong ambitions all along?


In other news, Sunday was beautiful and Andy and I went for our first picnic of the year. We went full on British for it with scotch eggs, pickle and mini pies with bread and duck pate. Oh yes. Despite my current mood of introspection the weekend was a perfect one of good food, photographing ducks, ice cream in the sun, and lots of Star Trek episodes with wine in the evening.


  1. Wow. This is brutally honest and I am amazed at your bravery at putting your vulnerablity out there like that. I think we all feel that way at least from time to time. I hope you take this opportunity you mentioned and go for it!

    On a more sartorial note, how adorable is this photo shoot? The bike print is cute and fits so well with the idea of a (delicious looking) picnic!

  2. I love your skirt and a picnic sounds great right about now.

    As for this post, I am in school to be a writer essentially. I love writing and I love the written word and I really just love creating. I am fairly good at poetry, despite not being into it. I can write just about anything and it's really the only part of my life where I'm a perfectionist. It's hard being in a creative field because there will always be people better than you. It's tough. I just keep writing and realizing that I won't make a career out of it, but rather, it's just something that I enjoy.

    My professor, who has a few books (new one out next month, articles on huge websites, wrote for Beavis & Butthead), friends with many famous writers, said this and it has never left me, "The best writers I know and the most successful are not the same people," It put everything in perspective for me. Ah, being creative.

    I have faith in you and you should just write as much as you can in small parts and don't reread it until you write a lot. That's how I do it.

  3. We all feel this way from time to time. I'm sorry you feel like this and from what I have read on your blog you are a great writer and I enjoy reading along.

    Choosing a path for ourselves is difficult there is so much to factor in and so much we will never know. My entire life I have based all my chooses about my future on what I was best at, but not what made me the happiest. Turns out, I'm stuck in a job I hate and I've I couldn't be more unhappy right, all because it was what I was good at. I'm slowly changing to do things I am happy doing yet not that great at.

    When I read this post I think of you and how determined you are to write and how happy it sounds like it makes you. I believe you are a great writer and you have the happiness that it brings you to make you even greater. Even if you are not the best of the best, you are happy and sometimes happiness is the only success you need from life.
    Failing everything, I like to apply the mantra of 'fake it until you make it'. So fake a confidence in your writing until you actually achieve it. Sometimes we need a little fake confidence to get us going :)

    ~ K

  4. As the above comments say, many people feel this way sometimes. Whether it's about their writing or something else. I certainly get similar insecurities. I look back and see how I was when I was younger, how much inspiration, passion, confidence and motivation I had in my writing. Whether it was a two page short story I wrote about the adventures of my stuffed dog, Pup, when I was five or a 5,000 word story (that I was no way near finishing) called "The Lake of Dragonsmere" that I had been writing when I was ten, I'm envious of it. Because I didn't write with the insecurity that I have now.
    It's really important that you never stop trying to write (so long as you enjoy it). For the record I think you are a fantastic writer. While I love the pictures and outfits you post on here, the reason your blog is among my favourites is because I enjoy your writing so much (particularly when you write your views on things like feminism and when you write refreshingly honest posts like this).

    Your picnic looks and sounds lovely. Your outfit is perfect for a beautiful picnic by a duck pond, particularly with that gorgeous skirt and basket.

  5. Oh, and your new haircut looks gorgeous!

  6. This post was beautifuly written. And believe me, I know how you feel.

    I went through phases when I was younger, I wanted to be all sorts. But there's one thing that stuck with me from a young age: my creativity. I made all sorts out of cardboard, lolly pop sticks, just anything I could get my hands on.

    It is difficult when you compare yourself to someone else, as easy as this is for me to say, don't do it! YOU ARE AWESOME. YOUR WRITING IS BEAUTIFUL. It's touching. And most importantly, YOU ARE YOU <3

    Imagine if we were all the same in some parallel universe, how boring would life be?


  7. Hah, you just described me! I've had a very "defeated" outlook on life and let me tell you something, it DOESN'T HELP THE LEAST! It freakin destroys everything good around you, it never makes you happy, it never helps you accomplish anything, so why do it, damn it. It's hard to be confident, when the world around you is all judgy and sucky, but you have to believe in yourself and say "fuck it, I'm gonna do whatever I want to". Life's too short for low self esteem :D
    BTW, this picnic basket is adorable! I so want one!!! *_*