The Swingset, Or Saving Jilly Boyd

This morning, I went for a walk.

Originally, I was just going to post my Smut By The Sea contracts, but I ended up thinking “Why don’t I go through the park for a bit?” and then I ended up going through the park, all the way to the bustle of town. By the time I got to the station, my legs felt like jelly. But I treated myself to a slice of Caffee Nero’s red velvet cake which I had no idea they did but hey, they do. I read the paper and ate cake, like a proper morning person, except for the cake.

There was something in the Independent about wantologists. Apparently, in the States, they’ve stopped bothering trying to live their lives and have sourced their lives out to other people. For a tidy sum, you can hire people to read stories to your kids, go to visit your auntie Marge’s grave or coach your love life into shape. And now wantologists. The woman who invented the concept charges you three-hundred dollars and sits with you for a few hours, deducing what you really want in life.

I was torn between thinking that it could come in handy and thinking it was the biggest shambles I’d ever heard. If we’re living in a world where people have no idea of what you really want in life, it’s safe to say that the ish has hit the fan. But the woman’s reasoning behind it sounded oddly sound.

I had no idea.

After walking around town on a teeny budget and ordering some books in, my head felt musty. Bad thoughts were amplified by the noise of construction workers, buses and people.

I walked back to the park and cried ugly tears. But this time, I sorta knew what to do. There was a little playground with swings in the park. And I loved swinging when I was a kid, so I gravitated towards the swingset. My arse was way too big for the tiny thing, but I did not care one tiny bit because I sat on that swingset and swung my big, gorgeous arse off.

And that’s when I started thinking.

A while ago, I started the Save Jilly Boyd tag, as both an ode to my muse Rubyyy Jones and a way to chart some stuff that was happening to me. But I never quite figured out what saving Jilly Boyd was all about.

Suddenly it became crystal clear.

As I said, I loved swinging when I was growing up. I loved going to the funfair, sitting on the merry-go-round and eating funfair chips with mayonnaise and stoofvlees. I loved watching Spongebob for hours on end. I loved letting my inner child out. I loved having a good cry because it felt healing.

My dad hated me doing all those things. Everything was childish. Everything I loved was stupid in his eyes.

But those things kept me alive. My inner child kept me alive. And I miss that inner child. I miss being silly and flopping about and eating what I wanted.

And I realized that my mission was quite the same as Rubyyy’s. Cultivating my inner child and merging her with the adult Jilly. Helping other people do the same. Getting those parts of me back that I lost along the way without realizing.

The weight of all of that realization drove me home, straight to bed.

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  1. There is nothing more freeing, to be on a swing in my late twenties.


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