Sunday, 10 February 2013
"What do you want to write about?" "I have no idea."..."That's the best thing you've ever said to me."
"Saturday mornings are made for regretting Friday nights but regrets just turn you bitter" were the words an elderly man said to me on Saturday morning. I was walking through Clapham North, wearing the same clothes as the night before, and it was quite obvious I hadn't removed my make-up from 8 hours previously. Any individual my own age would have looked me in the eye, mentally high fived me and carried on with their day but this man, this slightly crazy man with a beard Dumbledore would envy and tartan trousers covering his skinny legs, looked me in the eye and told me what he thought I wanted to hear. And I did want to hear that I'm not the only person to spend the majority of their Saturday mornings hungover, tired and questioning what really happened the night before. I wanted to hear that he too had spent many early hours of the weekend questioning whether anything had happened the night before that probably shouldn't have or whether my drunken antics would leave me in a state of panic as the day drew to a close. I wanted to hear every single one of his stories...I just didn't want to hear it at 10am, wearing tights I had been wearing for 24 hours.
This elderly man was just looking for somebody to talk too, somebody to listen as he spoke about regrets he held concerning his past loves, his career choices and how he had spent his weekends back in his youth. I just wanted to shower, go back to bed and listen to the Smiths all day. Looking back on the situation now, I wish I had stopped, offered to take him for a coffee and spent the day learning about this stranger; after all, that's how we make friends. Instead, I caught my bus, put my iPod on 'shuffle' and shut myself out from the world for the 25 minute bus journey back to the comfort of my own house.
I found it impossible to forget about the elderly man and for a week now, I've been wondering whether he could see beyond the obvious (24 hour old make-up, screwed up clothes and messy hair) and was telling me what he thought I needed to hear or whether he was just a little crazy and regularly walked around Clapham offering life advice to random strangers.
What I find weird though is how his presence in my life on Saturday morning changed my mindset for a little bit. This led me on to thinking how strange it is that we allow ourselves to be completely transformed by the people we meet throughout this surreal journey we call life. I never used to believe that the people around you could change your entire being so dramatically - I thought that only happened to the weak, not people who had a strong sense of being and a mindset laid out in stone. But overtime, I've realised that only the lucky ones allow themselves to have their world turned upside down by a handful of people they've just met. I've always gained inspiration from those closest to me, mainly because since the age of 16, I've always made sure my role models provided not only a level of positivity but also an education. I want to be taught, I have so much to learn and I'm lucky because I've always found guidance/role models in people with an intelligence I can't even explain.
Even though I barely remember his face, the man at Clapham North opened my very blurry eyes to the fact that I'm one of the lucky ones I mentioned above. Inspiration oozes from the majority of my friends and if it's not inspiration, it's love, creativity and positivity. Be it an e-mail, a text, a phone call, a tweet or a Facebook comment, any form of communication gets my brain whirring and in the last two weeks, I've seen such a positive change within myself, a change I can only put down to purging myself of the negativity I seemed to hoard within my life and opening my arms to the positivity I refused to acknowledge beforehand.
"Your energy has changed Vickers, you can completely see it. You seem different but in a good way."
I'm just being honest with myself now, I've got a long way to go before I'm halfway to where I want to be but I'm manifesting an awful lot to the Universe. If I've been lucky enough to be blessed with such brilliant people surrounding me, I'm pretty sure the Universe can make Caitlin Moran my drinking buddy/writing guru, teach me how to drive in two weeks (and fund the driving lessons) and somehow say thank you to the crazy old man who doesn't even realise how much of an effect his words have had on me. Universe, you rock.