Sunday, 12 November 2017

Stranger Things made me feel strange (& things)

Warning: Spoilers ahead…but, ‘Stranger Things’ has been out for ages so if it gets spoilt for you, it’s no ones fault but your own. 

  • Started watching ‘Stranger Things’ series 1 - Thursday, 7pm
  • Finished watching ‘Stranger Things’ series 2 - Sunday, 9pm

The hollow feeling I am currently experiencing since completing the first 2 series of ‘Stranger Things’ is growing at a rapid speed reminiscent to a baby Demogorgon. Why am I feeling this way? Is it the dread of now having to wait a year for series 3? Is it self hatred for knowing that a mere week ago I referred to Stranger Things as ‘an overrated show about kids running around at night’? Is it the shame of bingeing two entire series in the space four evenings? Is it the disappointment at knowing that Barb is in fact fully dead and won’t be in the 3rd series? No. No, No and No. It was envy.  Intense ‘Jonathan hiding in the woods and taking pictures of Nancy while she hooks up with Steve’ levels of envy. Allow me to explain…

I have been thinking about the burden of ageing a lot lately and do you want me to let you in on a great trick to amplifying that horrible gut wrenching feeling? Watch a TV show filled to the youthful brim with excessively talented, highly confident and obscenely wealthy children that are not only half your age but are experiencing more success in their careers than you probably EVER will. I’m jealous and I do not feel good about it. You can’t swing an Eggo Waffle in the air these days without hitting some internet meme with the adorable kids saying sassy things to talk show hosts or video clips of them displaying yet another talent such as singing, rapping or modelling. With the constant exposure and relentless internet presence, these kids are basically the new Kardashians and pretty much impossible to avoid, I’m just waiting for them all to start filling their social medias with waist trainers and skinny detox teas. Asides from the jealousy of a group of rich adolescents, I’m also sad I won’t see Steve’s face for a while but I have been able to fill that void easily with the frequent instagram stories Joe Keery posts. One of his most recent posts involved Joe brushing his teeth in the street in silence. I watched it three times. 

In less than 2 months I am turning 27 and to be brutally honest, I don’t feel like I have earned it. I haven’t seen enough, done enough, tried enough or been brave enough. I’m old before my time and I have no one to blame but myself. I’m 26 going on 62 and I’ve not accomplished nearly as much as I thought I would have by this age! My life is made up of routines, resentments and actual repercussions for my actions - example: there are SO many drugs I’ve never tried. I can’t just decide at my age to try a proper drug for the first time! I have bills, rent, a pension plan and a student loan I’ll have paid off in around 34 years time. The time for reckless experimentation is gone, I now have to display my bravery with acts like trying a new speciality latte without hearing any favourable reviews first. It might taste terrible but it’s all just a part of the journey. 

I know its overly dramatic but I can’t help but find the prospect of turning 27 a bit scary. The Spice Girls were all in their early twenties when I was a peace sign wielding child and to me, THEY were proper adults but here I am, now older than they all were when ‘Wannabe’ came out and what do I have to show for it? I have zero number 1 hits under my belt. I don’t think I even own a belt! What kind of adult doesn’t own a belt! Worse than that, at 27, if I were to get pregnant, the initial reaction from my friends and family wouldn’t be ‘BUT YOU’RE TOO YOUNG! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, HOW DID YOU LET THIS HAPPEN?!’ instead, people would congratulate me, give me advice of fantastic places to get discounted baby chachki’s and give me their seats on the tube. I don’t want your seat! I want your judgement for me being so young and foolish, I can’t raise a baby, I’m basically a child myself! I think it’s clear by now that it’s a confusing time for me and I’m maybe not coping well. I am fiercely independent but can occasionally find myself in an incredibly childish mindset. The childish side of me just keeps secretly hoping I’ll stumble across a time machine at some point and can go back to being 10 years old with zero pressures or responsibilities (and no periods please) and I can have a second chance at setting up a life for myself. I’m a Britney enigma - not a girl, not yet a woman.

Would 13 year old Faye be proud of 26 year old Faye? No she wouldn’t. She’d probably be disappointed and a bit bummed that she wouldn’t grow out of her weight issues despite her mum constantly telling her she would. But these annoyingly wonderful ‘Stranger Things’ kids won’t have the same woes I did, they might even get to narrowly avoid the ‘awkward stage’ every teenager goes through where they try new risky trends for the first time and get mocked by their cruel peers - they'll have stylists who’ll help guide them seamlessly into chic (and probably successful) adulthood. If I had to have an awkward phase where I used a foundation 4 shades darker than my actual skin because that’s the only one I could manage to steal from Superdrug and a mascara so clumpy that you could count my eyelashes on one hand, then so should they. It’s only fair. Millie Bobby Brown is already a celebrated fashionista and has appeared in British Vogue at the tender age of 13 and I still get nervous when I wear anything that isn’t black. Where is the justice?! But there’s no time like the present to start making more of an effort to be the person I envisioned being when I was a child. Now don’t get me wrong, I can’t turn in to Hannah Montana overnight (my childhood dream) but I can be braver, be more confident and work with what I’ve got. I’ll try settling for easy options less and will promise to try enjoying myself more along the way and who knows? Maybe I’ll even make the old Faye proud (or even better, I’ll make the current one proud). I vow to embrace getting older and stress about it less, I just need to remind myself that I still have time to achieve great things - that is if Netflix stops creating life-consuming content. The man-hours wasted on that damn streaming service, I could have climbed a mountain or completed Super Mario Bros on my Nintendo DS (I’ll get around to that at some point I’m sure. Maybe when I retire at the tender age of 97?).

But for now, as a self imposed coping mechanism for filling the entertainment void and distracting my mind from the horrible quarter life crisis I have found myself in since finishing ‘Stranger Things’, I have now started bingeing ‘The Girlfriend Experience’ which admittedly is basically terrible and the protagonist Christine is less ‘Nancy’ and more ‘creepy phalic slimy vine from the Upside Down’ but I have promised myself that I’d wait until at least the new year to binge my new favourite show from the beginning again so…lets all look forward to another rant/bout of insecurity in January. 

See you at the Snow Ball. Bitchin'.

Faye x