I’ve always been a bit of a square when it comes to rules. I’m blaming it on the omnipresent Catholic guilt but in reality I think it’s just one of my inherently annoying, ingrained personality traits. I will shush people on the quiet coach, follow a cake recipe to the letter, and police a game of Monopoly until the other players actually stop having fun. My mother has told me, on several occasions, to ‘chill out,’ a bitter pill to swallow coming from an uptight, fifty-something school teacher.
Breaking rules doesn’t come easily to me and my rebellions have been small and sometimes insignificant. Yet without them I wouldn’t be where I am today. At 16, when my peers were acting out, drinking stolen spirits in local parks and getting off with each other, I was doing maths past papers and re-reading The Great Gatsby. A quiet rebellion against rebellion itself could have lost me my friends and, more importantly, the very little street cred I had somehow accrued but thankfully it didn’t. Instead, I got great grades and an unconditional to study law at university (I genuinely thought I was going to be Ally McBeal, in quirky coloured skirt suits).
After 4 years of law, I rebelled again, telling my wonderfully supportive parents that I didn’t want to be a lawyer, but thanks for funding the last four years of cider-fuelled debauchery. As it turns out, budget tailoring doesn’t suit me. Another year, and one journalism diploma later, I found myself living back at home with Mum and Dad, working part time in a shoe shop and unleashing my creativity in regular, self-obsessed blog posts. In these dark days leaving my bed unmade or sleeping past 11am were my mini mutinies. Despicable behaviour, I know.
While some may call me a bore, a stick-in-the mud, a fun sponge: I think it takes a certain sort of bravery to stand against the stereotypical rebellion. Sometimes, doing the right thing is harder than doing the wrong thing and at times I have found the constant battle between head and heart to be emotionally exhausting.
Everything happens for a reason however, and my life is now exactly where I want it to be: I have a job that I love, a flat that is mine, and my hair is finally at its optimal length after an ill-fated Alexa Chung-inspired bob last October. I eat too much, I binge drink, but I am content. The only negative energy in my life is the knowledge that aged 10 I stole a packet of cheese and onion Frisps while manning the school tuck shop. For this was my ultimate act of rebellion, and my biggest regret.