Dreams Do Come True: A Journal Excerpt From 2005
From an old journal entry: January 11, 2005.
every morning on my way to work, i compare my life to the people i pass on the street. my job: i can dress how i like, i can show off my tattoo, i can listen to whatever music i like, i get to cut soap, i come home smelling really nice, if it’s quiet i can colour in or read magazines or wear face-masks, all my staff are really awesome, we have singalongs to the Grease soundtrack & choreograph dance-moves, & sometimes i do window displays in which i make our products into a miniature tea-party setting.
the people i see don’t look as if they are going somewhere as fun as i am. they move slowly, wearing uncomfortable yet expensive, conservative & stiff clothing. i can tell from the looks on their faces that they are dreading catching the elevator up to their floor, squeezing past people in the hallway & uttering the obligatory phrases about weekends & how long it is until Friday. they sit in their cubicle, drying out or inhaling bugs due to the nasty air-conditioning, drinking cheap coffee to keep themselves somewhat alert during conversations with women whose lipstick is smudged on their teeth & men who think the world owes them all.
i feel lucky. the thing is, somehow i am worried that people don’t realise that sacrificing themselves to a job like this is wrong. moreover, i am terrified that i am somehow going to fuck up my job & end up as part of the zombie brigade for the rest of my life. where else could i work somewhere as good as Lush?
i like my job. it’s great. but. BUT BUT BUT. i’m already at the top of the food chain, & i’m 21. i can’t do this forever. when i’m sick of it, where will i go? what will i do?
i want to do something worthwhile. selling soap & bath bombs & cosmetics, while fun, isn’t life-changing.
i want to write & publish. i want to have a writing party on top of a building where all the incredible people get together with a bunch of typewriters & write frantically, & when the page is finished it gets thrown over the balcony into the masses of people in suits, the kids at school who are wondering what the fuck they can do now, the thronging traffic, the people who need it.
i want thundering manifestoes, overflowing, i want to stick them to traffic lights & spray them on sidewalks.
i know that lives can be changed through tiny words, shiny like beads, strung into a sentence. i want to be part of things, only i don’t know where to begin. so show me.
We all start somewhere. In 2005, I was living in Auckland, New Zealand, managing a Lush Cosmetics store in Newmarket. I lived alone in the ultimate bachelorette apartment — everything was either black, white or hot pink — above Whitcoulls on Queen Street. Every morning, I would take the bus to work, reading Bukowski or Erica Jong or Haruki Murakami, wishing I could be like them. Wishing I had the guts to JUST WRITE like they did. But I couldn’t see how that was possible, & I still had to pay my rent, after all. So I would sit in the back room of the shop & write stories on my lunchbreak, & at night, I would sit in bed with a bottle of scotch & fill pages with my black ink pen scrawl.
The things I most enjoyed reading were those that provided me some kind of comfort, or let me know that I wasn’t alone in feeling the way I did. When you feel lost — which I did, a lot — reading about other people who feel the same way is like being given permission to breathe again. You don’t have to sit in the dark with your fears. You’re not alone anymore.
All I ever wanted to do with my life was write, & for what I put down on paper to help other people in some way; I wanted to create something which made people feel good.
Mostly, I wanted to write for girls. I wanted to make women feel good about who they were, especially because for such a long time I didn’t feel good about who I was. I wanted women to be able to discover who they were through what I wrote. I wanted to remind women how beautiful we are, how strong & magnificent & incandescent we can be.
It is so magical that now, six years later, I get to do this every day. I’m so immensely happy & grateful. Thank you for reading, thank you for caring, thank you for being so amazing.
I know that my little blog is but a drop in the ocean, but even that is such a huge thing for me. The simple fact that people read what I’ve written is all I’ve ever wanted, & then some.
I’ll never be Hemingway, & that’s okay with me. All anyone can ask is that we continue to look for truth & share it with others. I am going to do that until the very end. I’m going to give everything away until there’s nothing left, & I can only hope that you’ll be right there with me, holding my hand, glowing, twinkling & lighting up the world.
“Throw your dreams into space like a kite, & you do not know what it will bring back, a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.” (Anaïs Nin)