I really shouldn’t have done that…

About a year ago I heard of this awesome night held every second and third Monday of the month in London. It’s called Spark and it’s a storytelling open mic night. Each week has a theme and there are three rules:

  1. The story you tell must be true
  2. It must be your own story
  3. It must be under five minutes long

Now, if you read my post the other day on presenting, you’ll know that public speaking is pretty much my worst nightmare. But something about Spark really intrigued me! I wanted to push my boundaries and step out of my comfort zone. So I looked up the next event and found that it was about first love. Perfect. I had a story straight away in my brain. So I went along with my lovely friend Pam, had a couple dutch courage drinks and got up on stage and told my story. I was very nervous, but I LOVED IT. I got such a thrill and a buzz from doing it and now try to go as much as possible.

Which leads me to today. There was a Spark last night that originally I was going to go to, but unfortunately couldn’t make it. But the theme of the night – I really shouldn’t have done that – seemed quite cool to write about to. So, from now on just assume I’m stood on a stage and you’re my audience for the next five minutes…

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I’m a twat. No really. I’m one of those people who always says “oh I don’t regret anything, it’s all a learning curve.

And while I do stand by that, it doesn’t mean there haven’t been immediate moments where I’ve just thought oh fuck. Like yeah, maybe looking through an old ex-boyfriend’s phone because I thought he was cheating on me wasn’t the best move. And I felt awful when I found the graphic texts from other girls. But I mean, he was cheating on me and I found out so…And yes I probably shouldn’t have eaten that whole pizza that definitely wasn’t gluten free. But come on, pizza. And yessss I probably shouldn’t have sent that drunk text to that boy who I kind of fancy saying that I want to kiss him…but that’s what straight up denial is for!

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You see, I think I actually kind of live for the moments where you feel a bit stupid and play things over in your head. Because it’s a chance to be creative. It’s like making your own movie…but it’s you as the star and endless possibilities of how it could have been – which really helps mask the ground swallowing embarrassment these situations usually leave me in. I ten out of ten recommend doing it, really. It makes your life seem a whole lot funnier. And really, that’s what life is about, right?

But jokes aside, there is one moment that I think back on and feel a bit like if it didn’t happen, then my life, although not drastically different, may be less guilt ridden.

And it happened pretty early in life.

Allow me to take you back to Western Primary School’s reception class. Little Grey, all of four years old, looking shockingly like that actress who played Matilda was lining up for school assembly.

There I was, doe eyed and off in the clouds. A true disney dream.

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Now in reception there wasn’t much in the way of organised learning. Well, not that I really remember. I guess when you’re still learning how to tie your shoes and spell your own name you’re not exactly going to be taught the works of Shakespeare. It was all numbers and colours. The basics.

And I guess at this point in my life, this crucial, life changing point in my life, everything revolved around blue. At least for that week anyway. We had a big table at the end of the classroom that was full of blue things. Crayons, materials, books, cups. Everything and anything that was blue we were encouraged to bring in and pop on the table.

And at the front of it all? Well that was thanks to a boy called Matthew and a walk in the woods. He’d found a tiny blue sparrow’s egg.

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Everyone was enthralled! Maybe it had something to do with it being so small, and us being so small. I don’t really know. But it was amazing.

The table, like I said was at the end of the classroom. So, when we lined up and filed out on the way to assembly, we all walked past it, single file. I remember being towards the end of the line. If not the very end.

And, as I walked past the little blue egg, my little fingers reached out. To stroke it. Good luck maybe?….or not. My little fingers pressed a little too hard. And the egg broke. Cracked. Spilled out. CEASED TO BE.

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I can tell you right now that just thinking about that little egg breaking makes my skin crawl. Even this many years later. I’m a full grown adult and I still want the ground to swallow me whole.

Of course I freaked out at the time. Didn’t know what to do. My big eyes desperately searching for the answer and also making sure no one saw that I was the culprit. I seem to remember grabbing a piece of blue cloth and just putting it on top and then having to sit through an entire assembly in fear and sadness.

Now of course I know you’re sitting here thinking well what the heck happened in the end? And, well. I can’t actually remember. That immediate moment of “I really shouldn’t have done that!!” has apparently wiped out anything else of that memory.

I think I’m glad to be honest. That was the first time I felt real guilt and it has stayed with me forever. I felt so awful. It’s a real curiosity killed the cat type thing. I was so fascinated by the little blue egg that I went too far. Which is, what I do a lot in life.

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And now, obviously, I’m older and can see things for what they are. But that curiosity is always there. I’m one of those people who goes to museums and art galleries and just itches to touch the paintings. So far, I’ve been able to control myself. And I like to think that little egg has something to do with it. And I’m pretty sure if I didn’t control myself there’d be a lot more paintings like the Spanish jesus monstrosity in the world…

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But sometimes I just can’t help it. And I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing. Smashing that egg was a mistake and it’s something I can look back on now and laugh at (through the pain). And I think that’s just the way life has to be. What fun would it be if we stopped ourselves doing everything because it might have a risk? None! No fun at all.

We have to do things to figure out what to do next. It’s all part and parcel of the whole living deal. And you know what? You gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette so….

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And now of course it’s over to you guys. Do you have regrets or are you in the same camp as me? Is there a particular thing you think of when you hear the words “I really shouldn’t have done that”? Let me know in the comments!

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[PS, I find humiliation goes very nicely with a tall glass of champagne…]
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