Never Say Never

I’m feeling rather pleased with myself right now.  You want to know why?  Well, today I passed my Compulsory Bike Test (CBT).  Recently I won a Vespa in a Twitter competition, which is a fab prize.  I haven’t ever ridden a bike myself, however, last year I rode on the back of my friend Jamie’s Vespa in Los Angeles, and loved it..  So when I found out I had won my very own Vespa, I was thrilled at the thought of learning to ride it.

Although there was a time when I would, and in fact did say “You would never get me on one of those!” about mopeds.  I always thought they looked a bit daft, having to put your knees together and bez about at 30mph just never looked as cool as riding a proper motorbike, not that “You would ever get me on one of those either!”.

It’s strange, when you get into your 30s, you’ve lost a lot of the self-doubt that haunts your 20s.  Don’t get me wrong, I still have bouts of self-doubt now, but those are only ever temporary.  On a good day, I know perfectly well that I am capable of being a best-selling writer.  That I can ride a scooter.  That I can graduate from university with a degree.

You see, the biggest thing I always said I would never do, was go to university.  After all my difficulties with being bullied at school, I saw sixth form/college and then university as just another version of school, with cool people all hanging out together and me being an outsider.  My grades would have been good enough to go, it was purely the people side of things.

To consider that I have now completed two years of my degree, and I’m about to embark on my third (which, yes, I am restarting but which turned out to be the best option for me and nothing to be ashamed of); to have been a co-founder and co-ordinator of MAPS – the Mature and Postgraduate Students group for the University of Lincoln; to be co-founder and co-host of The American Dream Team show on Siren FM, as well as having sat at many University Open Days to promote the American Studies degree, I think I’ve done pretty well for the Girl Least Likely To Ever Want To Go To University.

Doing my CBT has actually given me some helpful life lessons.  When riding a bike, you need to remember the following rules:

  • Look ahead to where you are going; don’t look down at the kerb or that’s where you’ll end up.
  • Keep your head held high and confident.
  • Keep in control; this will help your balance.
  • Don’t be afraid to sit in the middle of the lane and to go your own speed; if people want to overtake you, it’s their responsibility to go past you safely, while you find your own way.

I figure these are pretty well applied to life itself, as well as to riding a bike. So here’s to never saying never.  It may come back and bite you on the ass.  Or it may just teach you that nothing is impossible.

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Happy News: Part Deux

I’m rather happy to announce that I have just entered my first short story competition!  With a brand new story, I’m extremely happy to say.  After the great experience of The Reading Room Live in May, I was getting a little worried that I may be a one-hit wonder of the writing world, such as Charles and Eddie were in the 1990s.  Would I Lie To You? Baby?  Would I?  Sorry – went all Austin Powers there for a second.

As much as my heart will always hold an uber special place for The Princess and the Epiphany, I know that I am capable of more. 

Yesterday, I wrote this short story.  Fuelled by a bad few days, it flowed like the rain that fell yesterday tea time.  But better than that, it is nothing like The Princess, and for that I am overjoyed. 

So this morning I emailed off to the competition holders.  I will wait, patiently, to see whether or not they choose it as a story they wish to publish.  If not, I may publish it here.  But for now, it is mine, and mine alone.  I’m going to bask in the glory of having successfully written another short story, while quietly thinking, “I did it.” 🙂