“To be old and wise you must first be young and stupid.”

Over the years I do feel like I have grown more mature.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that there are any benefits to growing up, especially considering how exciting youth can be. All the rushing emotions, the new experiences… and the mistakes.

The wonderful, wonderful mistakes.

I was always a sensitive girl, getting upset at anything and everything. No matter how much I loved someone or how sorry they were, if they annoyed me even a little bit I would lose it. And I could never handle it gracefully! There was always this urge to do something until whatever the frustration was had gone. When I was little the merest comment would send me into instant tears, then from about ten onwards I started lashing out. Honestly, the fights I got into are cringe-worthy to think of; all that hair-pulling!

High school was the big turning point though, as that was when I figured out my coping method… but it was also the first time I got caught.

Silly me, we’d been arguing all day so it made sense I’d be the number one suspect. And with all the renovations around my estate alleys just aren’t what they used to be. The police were unable to prove anything but still, I had painted a target on my head.

Part of me knew that the sensible thing to do would be to step back and forget it ever happened. But seeing that light flicker out… it was the most the beautiful moment of my life. A deep sense of euphoric peace came over me, in those few minutes it seemed like nothing could ever bother me again. And the more I tried to put it out of my mind, the more I knew I wanted to do it again.

This time I had to be more subtle, so I started going to anger management classes. It helped me control my feelings, plus my parents were happy that I was willing to get ‘help’ for my issues. As I got closer to finishing school I rarely fought, my grades went up, and the science teacher taught me a lot of cool tricks about the human body. The second time was still a bit shaky as I was struggling with an alibi, but this time they could not get any physical evidence. And by this point I was hooked; it was only a matter of time before I needed to see another light flicker out.

So like with any hobby, I practised.

By the time I moved away to university I was starting to manage a monthly routine. Heck I even timed it to match my monthlies; it gave me the perfect cover-up for the smell of blood. My record was still a bit dodgy. And there were a few embarrassing slip-ups (footprints, messy alibis, that toe the binmen found etc). And my anger had not completely abated. There were still one or two fights, especially after drinking.

The next big mistake was not long after graduation. I got caught beating up some foul-mouthed prick, the police arrived and I was arrested. Vodka made me chatty and not very polite, which did not help the situation at all. Thankfully I didn’t have my tools with me, so the charge was just for assault. Still had to go to prison but it gave me time to think long and hard about my mistakes.

I got out.

I got a job.

I cut back to one roughly every three months.

And I lived my life.

Never married but that didn’t matter; no relationship could ever compare to that dimming light. Better yet, all that experience meant I stopped slipping up. It was truly an artform by this point; a multitude of masterpieces that I couldn’t take credit for.

And now, as I am coming up to my fiftieth birthday, I look back on all those mistakes with fondness. Yes, I was a dumb girl who made some stupid moves, but you really do grow wiser with age. You start to see where it is worth taking the risk and where you have to step back and act more carefully. Getting something wrong at the beginning is fine if it helps you perfect your count in the end.

While I will never forget the first time, I am nearly at a hundred now.

That is quite an achievement, don’t you think?

*

I decided to edit and post this as a little confidence booster.

Honestly I’ve been struggling to write much to a finished state lately. Still editing my novel which is not going to be ready for 2020 as planned but better that I delay it until I’m happy rather than putting it out there just for the sake of getting it out. That’s part of the reason why I decided to go for self-publishing, so I could have full control of my work and make sure I’m happy with it.

Working on a couple of short stories, including one potentially for an anthology put together by the incredible Nita Pan (she is incredible and you should all check her out – links down below), but finding it difficult to get them finished and edited.

So I was looking through my old work and came across this piece I wrote back when I was in the creative writing society of my university. The title is actually the prompt we were given, and while it isn’t my best work by a long shot (I have improved so much over the years) I did receive a fantastic compliment for it. At a later session one of the other members told me that this piece actually gave her a nightmare. Considering how much I love writing horror and how much I want to do it well, this is the best best compliment I have ever received on any of my stories.

So there you go, just putting this up to give myself a little boost and hopefully motivate me to finish my other things. If you like it too that’s great but really I just needed to do this for myself.

Fun fact, most of the prompt responses I wrote were from the perspectives of killers, monsters and people losing their minds. I could turn nearly every prompt into something twisted, to the point where I got the reputation as the creepy writer of the group. And apparently I was creepy when reading them out loud as well, so if anyone needs a psycho lady voice-over hit me up haha.

Nita Pan twitter – https://twitter.com/nitapanwrites

Nita Pan website – https://nitapanwrites.com/

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