North South East & West; How to be Both, or More

(Note: I found this blog post saved in my ‘drafts’ folder. I’m not sure when I wrote it, why I didn’t quite get around to clicking ‘publish’ and I never actually do a ‘draft’, preferring instead to pour things out in an unthinking flurry of fate and parentheses, but here we are. Its content seems timeless, at least… So I’m giving it an airing.)


you-can-do-anything-but-not-everything-prints(Sounds like a challenge to me.)

This is seemingly a favourite conundrum of mine; I whizz round and around this marvellously dizzying quandary in cyclical repetitions that drum with alarming frequency a merry (melancholic) beat that thuds and thuds and thuds on and on and on….

The woeful soul’s cry-for-help I’m alluding to –  the north/south/east/west of the title, while also (absolutely) literal (I do have a spreadsheet at the moment for how to fit in which countries when, and in which most logical order according to geography, climate and finance), is more metaphorical in nature: reader, I want to do everything on earth.

We all know I want to be a published novelist and a published novelist I shall be, if positive thinking and perseverance have their ways in the universe.

Alongside that, however, had I roughly ten lives to live in parallel, I wouldn’t sniff at a foray into a few alternative side-careers which range from dance teacher and performer to prison worker, from artist to doctor (although this last one, I concede, is unlikely, given how squeamish I am, even if my pain-tolerance is rather high, according to a woman who shot lasers at me this afternoon), from reflexology-touting-herbalist to singer/musician and from EFL tutor to women’s rights activist, and from linguist to counsellor.

I find it fucking annoying that I can’t commit to being all of these things at once.

Even though I am proactive and productive in my dabbles and infatuations – goal-orientated in my parallelism –  I have lost dreamy periods of my life staring into space just willing a solution to arrive in some form. Something metaphysical. Something impossibly magical. Some shift in time and matter, and an extraordinary sense of spaciousness.

After despairing over this particular aspect of experience, briefly (this refining, this need to confine and choose) – and, crucially, writing everything down – I usually decide to carry on in multiple directions, as always (perhaps like a particularly expressive, mildly-resentful, wildly-joyful, dancing crab).

Endnote from updated self: this explains why, for example, I have recently been torn (heavenly-ly) between two continents, started learning the ukulele, got out watercolours, started learning Indonesian, and also quite accidentally started an enormous new project which is probably going to require relocation and change my entire life if I let it (which I think I will).


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