If only I was thin. An image of an impossibly tall and skinny model striding down the catwalk wearing beautiful wide legged trousers and a sexy jacket sets me off on another “why am I so fat?” tangent. Despite the fact that I’m about to turn 38 I still compare myself with these androgynous freaks of nature. I still believe that if I could only wear those clothes, like that, I would be happy. I wouldn’t want anything else.
If only I could dance. Last night we went to a dance performance. Rambert Dance Company performed four exhilarating pieces, and I was at the edge of my seat marvelling at their bodies’ fluidity, like molten mercury they folded into each other, effortlessly and gracefully. And best of all, all the time smiling, almost laughing, their joy so infectious that by the end of the performance the whole audience was grinning. We came away on a real high, yet I couldn’t help feel a disappointment in myself, in my own limitations. If only my own body was supple, if only I too could leap effortlessly through the air, then I would be happy.
If only I had my own room. In the Saturday paper there is a feature every week called “writers’ rooms”, which shows a photograph of an author’s room along with a short editorial on what’s in it and why. Living in a small one-bed room flat like we do I am obsessed with this feature. To have a room of my own is currently an unattainable dream… and so I pore over the details; the books on the shelves, the light pouring in through the windows, the arm chairs, reading lights… the achingly modern office chair set against a gorgeous antique desk, photographs and drawings, paintings… inspiration. If only I had a room like this one, like that one, oh, then I would be creative, really creative. And I would always be happy.
If only I had long, beautiful hair. Lucy at work, Lucy and her perfect long golden hair, beautiful and thick reaching halfway down her back. Sitting next to her my Michael Bolton haircut no longer feels wild and uninhibited. It feels plain stupid. I know that if I only had beautiful hair I would feel beautiful and I would therefore be happy.
If only, if only, if only… it puzzles me that I’m still so infantile as to think “if only I had this, if only I could lose 5 more pounds, if only blah, blah, blah… then I would be happy”. Sure I don’t wish for impossible riches or a lot of material things, but why do I put so much importance on superficial things like my looks? Why do I put off writing just because I don’t have the perfect space to do it in? Why do I fail to make the most of now?