How Will I Know…

After waking up this morning on the sofa – for the second time this week – I was sad to switch my laptop on and learn of the sad news of Whitney Houston’s passing.  As a big fan of 80s cheesy music, many a time have I jived away to How Will I Know in a nightclub, wondering if I will ever find someone to wonder if he really loves me…

With her voice ravaged by drug use, which had apparently started over 10 years ago, her death shows just how short life can be.  “Singer Whitney Houston dead at 48” read the headline on MSN UK.  In the 80s, when I was growing up to songs like I Wanna Dance With Somebody, anyone aged 48 seemed old to me.  But having reached the grand old age of 33 myself and having many friends in their 40s, and parents in their 50s and 60s, I realise 48 really is no age at all, and for some people is the true beginning of their life. 

I have never tried drugs and I’m not particularly interested in doing so, although I almost smoked pot last year in college in the States.  Luckily my indiscretion was limited to merely sharing a cigarette with a 20-year-old and avoiding his attempt to kiss me. 

What is interesting to me, is that having worked for the NHS’ Cancer Services Department for 10 years, is that I was a staunch opposer to smoking for all those years.  So what was it, that last year, after I had left that job, led me to smoke two cigarettes (well, one and a half) on two different occasions?  There was that time in the states and once in the summer, when I was back in the UK  and the guy I was seeing was a bit of a chain-smoker (unlike his Plenty of Fish profile, which stated, as they all do, ‘Non-Smoker’).  Like the first time I tried smoking, aged 19 at the Sports Cafe in London, either I wasn’t doing it right or it just didn’t capture me the way it has so many others.

For this I am grateful, for I have always known that were I ever to start smoking, I would be addicted for life and never be able to give up.  But luckily for me, I will continue not to know what to do with my hands while out in bars, and have more money to spend on other important aspects of my life, like feeding myself. 

I don’t know what has made me more open to trying something that I know from experience in my previous job has killed so many people.  I do know that since I turned 30, I am more willing to take risks, to try new things, and I’m frequently heard saying the phrase, “Well I just don’t care any more.”

It’s not that I don’t care, more that I’m not scared to do what I want to do, be it wrong or right.  My recent experience travelling to the States, which was opposed by many of my friends and family, but which I went ahead and did anyway, only to prove them right by returning home early, almost left me wanting to give up any dreams I had of becoming a writer or radio superstar and to merely have a ‘normal’ job.  I even called my mantra, ‘follow your dreams’, a crock of shit.

But there’s always been something inside of me that does not want to let me die, at least not until after I’ve lived my life.  That hasn’t happened yet, so I overturned my ‘crock of shit’ ruling and started writing, more than I have done in months.

Going back to Whitney, I imagine that she had some very dark times.  As a sufferer of depression, I too have had some dark times, especially of late.  But I’m grateful to whoever up there is keeping me safe, that my addictions are limited to Diet Coke and listening to my favourite songs over and over again, and that the only drugs I’m taking are prescription drugs.  In nothing but their correct doses.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mikeysmum
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 09:50:53

    Love you Jodie. Lori and Mikey xx


  2. Katy
    Feb 12, 2012 @ 19:17:59

    There’s nothing wrong with following your dreams hun, just keep sight of reality and what is meant to be will be. Big hugs xx


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