Let me introduce myself (this feels like the beginning of an AA meeting!). My name’s Natasha. I came to a point in my life where I realized I was old enough to do what I want and young enough to get away with it, and so like most people, I took full advantage of this leeway. A good time was never a good time unless I was sipping something, sniffing something, passed out and trashed out, and really for a student that kind of lifestyle is to be expected.
By Tash Vals, AFROPUNK Contributor
< -- This is me.
Correction: this was me.
I came to a point in my life where I realized I was old enough to do what I want and young enough to get away with it, and so like most people, I took full advantage of this leeway. A good time was never a good time unless I was sipping something, sniffing something, passed out and trashed out, and really for a student that kind of lifestyle is to be expected.When you’re a London-bred female raised in a black conservative household and educated in an all-girls Catholic school, good times are hard to come by and it’s safe to say that my adolescence was as innocent as it can get. I was the ‘mediocre’ looking friend with a tall and light skinneded best friend with that long wavy hair guys love. You know that short flat-chested girl stood awkwardly to the side while guys stopped to talk to the hot one? Yeah that was me.
Fast forward a few of years past my first training bra/kiss/heartbreak and all that tedious stuff and into the big leagues. University. New friends, new rules, new start. All of a sudden I was no longer shy and awkward (not that awkward anyway). I knew how to talk to people with confidence, I had no problem starting up a conversation with guys who interested me and dare I say it, I actually became kind of attractive!?
The gods were finally smiling at me and I was hit with the puberty stick of glory but instead of taking those blessings and using them for the greater good of mankind, I went completely the other way and befriended a bunch of people with a lot of screws loose.
Tentatively I dipped a toe into the pool of hedonism and next thing I know, a gust of wind blew and I fell headfirst into the damn thing. Before I knew it I got caught in a pattern of impulsively pushing boundaries and completely going against everything I had previously stood for.
They say it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt and in my case everyone including myself became casualties. I became selfish, arrogant and apathetic to the feelings and concerns of others. If it meant I received gratification out of it – however short-term – it was worth doing, no matter who got hurt. Nights out begun and often ended at the back of guy’s BMW’s doing strange things. Mandy, Molly, her great aunt Susan (don’t ask) you name it, I’ve popped it. Friends I’d known for years didn’t even recognise me even more; sometimes intoxication lasted for more than a day, so often I’d go to work still high or meet up with friends for lunch or something and be completely out of it. My responses were slow and didn’t make much sense, and keeping my attention was a challenge at best.
Eventually it came to a point where I decided that something had to change. Whereas not giving a crap what people think of your lifestyle can be liberating and something I would actively encourage, it is very easy to completely lose yourself in an attempt to prove a point. This is learnt the hard way by many of us but luckily the observer in me has been alert enough to pick up on a few nuggets of wisdom along the way that I am willing to impart to you, my dear friends. There are many social habits and rules that have come to my attention as a result of my experiences and I intend to make commentaries on them. Whether it’s sex and dating, depression, religion and drugs, almost every major life issue has come into question so I’m gonna get into it on this column.
Some of the topics may be alien to some of you, others may be all too familiar. Either way no stone is going unturned and hopefully along the way my own personal journey will settle into a comfortable little place and all will finally be still.
But then again that’s what I said the last time!