This week you may have seen that Funeral For a Friend announced their farewell tour for 2016, which will be their last one ever. Now to be honest, they’ve basically been off the scene for years. But FFAF represent a huge, gigantic, emotional, painful, wonderful and crazy part of my life. I knew I had to get tickets.
Hearing their music instantly takes me back to my first year of college, and it was basically the best time of my life so far. That’s not to say I’m not happy now, or experiencing the most amazing things in my life; I am! You better believe I am now more honest, creative, true to myself, open and wise than I ever could have been back when I was 16.
But the thing is… how fucking awesome was it being stupid/naive/angry/delirious with the world?
My sixteen year old self was so different to my current self in almost every way; some good, some bad. She thought she was fat (she wasn’t) but still had the most confidence ever, she had time to just lie on her bed and play albums over and over on repeat, talk on MSN, write in her diary, talk on the phone for hours and draw. She would cry over boys, wear band tshirts, colour her hair and daydream about being a writer (even though she was studying Art). She would go out EVERY Thursday night with a huge group of friends, the same friends every week, and always making more. She would get piercings and be silly at 3am with those same friends and be convinced she was going to die young (I’m not sure why.. but I was always convinced).
These days I’m up until 3am a lot still; but it’s always sat in my office still working, or in bed watching Netflix. If I’m at a park at 3am or out on the streets… something has seriously gone wrong. The only band tshirts I have left are for sleeping in, and well… in a way I never imagined; I am a writer. And an artist and a crafter and a social media manager (my sixteen year old self would find it mental that social media is big and important enough for people to pay you to do it for them). Yeah I still colour my hair, and my tattoos are now a part of me. Twitter is the new MSN, except without the emo screen names and ‘oops, sorry wrong convo‘ shames. I barely have the time to sleep, let alone lie around on my own just to listen to music. I have to schedule seeing friends weeks (even months) ahead of time, and no one can be spontaneous any more.
It’s almost breaking my heart a little bit to write all that, because that was my time growing up; and I loved it. I’m very lucky, I had the best teen years and early twenties anyone could ask for. If I could go back and do it all again… yeah, I’d do it. I’d party a little harder, I’d love myself a little more and I’d bring in as many sunrises half drunk with a friend as possible. (And I’d start blogging a lot earlier…)
As much as it breaks my heart missing so much about that time, having no responsibilities and feeling like the world was mine for the taking; there’s a lot I have now that I could never have imagined back then, and I wouldn’t want to give up for the world. I have a boyfriend who treats me like an actual princess every single day. No, not pretty nice. No, not generous or kind every now and again. Every single day. A partner who tells me how beautiful I am, every day we’ve been together. Someone who asks about my passions, and remembers things I’ve said in passing. Someone who supports my dreams and encourages me to grow. Someone who puts up with my shit. Because I can be quite shit. We have a place we live together, that I pretty much love. It’s not perfect and it’s not particularly glossy; but it’s ours, and we love it. I have dreams I’m chasing, I have amazing opportunities and I have friends all over the world. I’m so fucking truly blessed.
So the thing is, I love sixteen year old Jemma. God, I adore her. She still makes me laugh and I envy so much of her life. But she’s got a lot of shit to learn too. These days, at the age of twenty seven I find myself wanting the best of both worlds. I think that’s why I wanted to get these tickets this week so bad. Seeing a band I so prominently resonate with my wreckless youth is important to me.
It might be the band’s farewell tour, but I’ll also be saying goodbye.
I’m gonna stop mourning the past, and I’m going to accept that I can’t be sixteen forever. I’m going to accept that I have responsibilities, life can be shit sometimes and I won’t always see my friends everyday. But I’m going to remember the fucking spirit and passion I had back when I was sixteen. I’m going to remember how important it is to just take the time to lie down, immerse yourself in the music you love and forget the world. I’m going to remember how much I just really never ever gave a fuck what anyone thought. I’m going to remember how much fun I put into every single day.
So I’ll say goodbye to certain things, sure.
But I’m hoping this blast from the past will remind me to stay young at heart.
…And maybe to see in a few more sunrises drunk as hell.
Here’s to the farewell tour.
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