Monday, 5 September 2016

Adulting: use a moral compass and you'll never be lost

Let's take a stereotypical blonde female running away from
demons, make her turn around and kick their ass.

‘You think you know what’s to come... what you are. You haven’t even begun.’ Joss Whedon, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’.

Ok, ok, the quote may or may not be an indication of binge watching said TV show, but my goodness I’d forgotten what an impactful quote it was. I’m also reminded of my flirtation with dark romanticism; when I thought it would be very cool to be a vampire or some sort of Transylvanian concubine. Well, I say vampire, but I mean a vegan one, or a vampire with a blood intolerance… Essentially, I’d take the living forever and being ultra badass, just without all the killing and blood-letting. (Although, if you’re not drinking blood and killing people and you have a baby face, then I don’t really think you can use the words ultra badass – in fact, I don’t think you can even say badass. Equally, I wouldn’t want to be likened to Edward from Twilight; I like to think I’d have more sass than him. I’ll ponder on this.)

Anyway, that period of my life is also reflective of the quote above. I was around 22 years old when I first heard it and I hadn’t even come out yet… But I knew it was coming. My self-realisation/actualisation was all part of the journey, and I remember thinking that coming out would be the final piece completing the Corina puzzle. I think it’s ok to take a meaningful quote about a vampire-slaying hero ultimately becoming a much more powerful and awesome version of herself and apply it to little old me studying Sports Coaching and Rehabilitation and thinking she might fancy girls. That’s the beauty of Joss Whedon’s writing, he really does speak to your soul – or at least he spoke to mine. It’s a clever metaphorical play on demons (aka the Big Bad), strong independent female characters and having a resilient moral compass. And, of course, there’s the blonde badass woman who gets to punch evil things in the face.

Lately, I’ve felt a bit like I’m 22 again, not because I’m out partying every night (although, apparently, Facebook implies otherwise – see social media tripe)… It’s more about feeling that I’m at a crossroads again. When I was in Perth, I had sold everything from my past ‘life’; I literally owned a few boxes of stuff. I remember sitting in my room surrounded by a few boxes thinking, who am I? And why in my late 30's am I asking myself that question? Surely by now I should have figured things out? Why did a fully furnished house and a partner make me feel like I knew who I was? How terribly materialistic! Why am I talking to myself in my head? Have I lost my mind?

A couple of sad events have happened recently, and it was while listening to the quote above that I thought I should do something brave – a solo road trip – which might not be saving people from burning buildings or thrusting a stake heroically through vampire hearts, but for little old me it feels brave. Then I thought of my cousin’s wife and how she was a hero donating her organs after passing away from a stroke, to save other people. I also thought of my Uncle Peter who is also a hero, fighting MND every day. I wanted to do a little something for them both, so I thought what better way than to dress as one of my ultimate heroes and be Batman (Wonder Woman’s attire would have been obscene in my current shape, and Superman doesn’t have a cool mask) to raise money for the Brain Research Trust*, while pushing myself out of my comfort zone and travelling solo even further off the chart. I will be driving around Great Ocean Road and covering just over 500km, 200km section of that will be as Batman around some key tourist spots!

Having always been secretly jealous of kids being able to wake up in the morning and tell their mums they want to dress as Queen Elsa or Spiderman – or any other fantasy character – for the day, I’m also going to have a lot of fun doing it. At my sister’s wedding, I was majorly jealous of a small child dressed as a storm trooper – so I figure it’ll be good for me to wake up and randomly dress as Batman.

Proof of me at Bells Beach, Great Ocean Road,
dressed as Batman.

I’m actually a little excited, as well as nervous, about sticking out like a sore thumb along Australia’s Great Ocean Road. But I’m thinking of it as a journey that will push my own personal boundaries, inspired by the above quote, and keep me pushing myself whilst trying to do something worthwhile – not quite like Buffy – raising funds to research possible causes and treatments for neurological conditions. I couldn’t be there for my cousin as we are on opposite sides of the planet, and hope this is a way to show that he is constantly in my thoughts.

I am taking some time out and my mini break from 1 September (which will probably be long gone by the time this is published), means I will also be throwing myself into working on my book, which, as you know is now in edit, or in utero as I affectionately like to say. We’re about a third of the way through now, and I have a brilliant editor who has been a massive help on my journey and is now doing more hours per month. So the good news is that things are looking up for having the book ready to approach publishers with by the end of the year. It is starting to look and feel more like a proper novel, rather than a first draft of ideas thrown onto a page! As you know, the blog is to entice you into one day reading the said novel. It has been a long and perilous (not really, but I wanted to add some excitement) journey. Thanks to Sophie, it is starting to become a more polished reality, and thanks to Fi, who is sanity checking the readability of the story.

*If you’d like to donate, you can through Justgiving, because me, as Batman, journeying alone along the Great Ocean Road is a little ‘out there’, when I’d rather be blending into the background. In fact, I don’t know why I even said out loud that I would do it: but in a fortnights time I’ll be standing out like a giant polar bear in the outback. By the time this is published, you’ll be able to see evidence that I’ve completed the challenge! 

Written by Corina Hawkins, soon-to-be author, and edited by Sophie McClelland.

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