The Journalist rang me an hour earlier than I was expecting. They were 15 minutes away and I was in my bathroom talking to him on my cell phone with one eye open because I had glued the other one shut with the glue from the fake eyelashes I was making a mess of.
15 minutes away
I was still in my pijamas. My hair was pulled back into a careless ponytail, and the only makeup on my face was the black mascara that had slipped down my cheeks the night before.
15 minutes away
The breakfast dishes were still on the bench. A half drunk coffee on the dining table…I couldn’t say for sure if the only jeans that actually still fit me were in the clean laundry pile, or the dirty laundry pile
15 minutes away
It was 15 minutes before the crew from Channel 7 would walk through my door and set up lights and cameras and microphones and sit me in a chair and put a camera in my face and film my every word and every facial expression and reaction for a national program and here I was with glue all through my hair, fake eyelashes stuck to my fingers and bloodshot eyes (from falling asleep in my living room at 1am the morning before, with my laptop in front of me writing to you dear people, or from the glue on my fingers transferring to my sight… who knows?) But nevertheless, this was not the image of myself I had carried for several weeks prior to this interview, where I saw myself with manicured nails, leisurely perfecting my hair, strand by strand and meticulously painting my face with foundations and blushes and mascaras…
15 minutes away
I whipped my hair up into a high pony tail and secured it with hair pins and too much hair spray. I paint-balled makeup in the general direction of my face and it was going to have to be good enough because I heard the knock on the door.
They were here.
I remember when I typed out that first piece of writing. That piece of this puzzle I thought no one would ever want to see. That piece that was meant to be just for me. The online journal I had to keep because I cant write pen to paper, because my hands tremble, and my hand-writing is ineligible. It was supposed to be just for me and when I shared it that first time to the world I truly believed that if anyone accidentally read it, that it would be the first and last time.
Now here I sit with readers from over 84 countries and counting. Belgium, Italy, Poland, Canada, Germany, The United States, Sweden, Spain, Malaysia, Netherlands, The United Kingdom, Brazil, Slovenia, New Zealand…There had been talks of a book deal, queries of a movie, requests for exclusives to my story and now, journalists with cameras knocking at my door.
How did this happen? Is this okay with me?
I didn’t have time to think about it, I just slowly walked through my living room and opened the front door……
Here we go….
As I have done so with every other story I have written to you, I must be honest with how this played out, and so here is my honest and transparent replay of what happened in my life today, after that knock on the door came…
The first person I saw after I opened the door, was Nick. He was with two other men. One was Adam, the journalist. The other was Brett, the camera man.
Nick was what I now refer to as ‘sound check guy’. He was wearing a green knitted jumper, and was sporting a very nice beard.
Oh dear, i’m in trouble and its only day 40. I feel like Channel 7 tried to sabotage these One Thousand Single Days by planting this fabulous man-creature in my living room who apparently, also knows how to play music…I see how it is, I see what you’re doing….He was beautiful. I happen to love tall men in knitted sweaters and hairy cheeks who have a gift in music. Be cool Vanessa. Be cool.
So in came Adam, the fabulous journalist who I will forever be indebted to for making me feel so at ease during perhaps one of the most uneasy and nerve wracking times of my life. And Brett – Camera man – who was a very, very suave and cool and who I liked as soon as he walked into my living room.
Lighting was set up. Microphones were attached to clothing and unusual sound equipment was unfolded onto my living room flooring and I stood back watching it all evolve before me feeling like a deer in the headlights. Is it too late to say i’m scared?
We had a chat, just Adam and I. We talked about where I am, how I got here, and how it feels. I was honest about it, as I always am, whether it be to you dear reader, or to myself….and yet my responses felt forced and reenacted. I began to feel tight in my chest. I cannot re-do this if I get it wrong, so tell them what you you feel now. Speak from your heart.
I called ‘CUT’ more times than I can remember. I froze. I kept requesting a re-shoot. Questions were asked which I didn’t know how to answer…This journey has been indescribably personal and yet here I was being being filmed speaking of it for national television and…after weeks of excitement I was left with nothing but insecurities. How can you speak of a decision that comes from deep within you to a television program without cheapening it in some way?
This choice means something to me. Don’t take that away from me, you journalists, with your cameras and your sound checks….
They let me speak. They were patient with me every time I said I needed more time. They joked around while I fidgeted and tried to collect myself enough to answer the next question. It was positive and fun and nerve wracking and fabulous.
Those in charge decided it would be a good decision to take a few sequences of myself and Adam, the journalist, discussing the facts of life over a bite to eat, and hence, we stumbled across the best place I have eaten all year: Alu Grotto in Surfers Paradise, who served several dishes to myself and the crew. They make the most delicious steak sandwiches and my salt and pepper calamari was an incredibly sexy little dish which I all but licked the plate to finish. Go and eat there. Then thank me later. We filmed more. And more. And more. The whole process took 3 1/2 hours and as I drove home I felt it was unreal. The first person I called was my mother. We laughed about it and shook our heads over the whole ordeal and I debriefed her about sound check guy. Mother was perfectly excited for me and praised my achievement with her mother-words and I felt completely happy. This blog, this website…. It was created initially for the sole purpose of being a journal for myself. To record how my life would unfold should I experiment with it a little. Take a little here, add a little there. Mad scientist stuff… But now that decision, and the consequences were being filmed in preparation to be aired to not only a national audience, but for those who had internet…. an international audience.
I feel suddenly shy. I battle with deep insecurities and self esteem. Creating anything is a risk because you are holding it up before others inviting them to approve….or otherwise. Whether it be music, art, poetry or stories. Creation is always crafted with the element of risk. What if they hate it?
Every time I write for you I do so with so much love and I enjoy it immensely, but come time to publish, I hover over that button for so long…sometimes days. I keep expecting to get it wrong. I keep waiting for someone to stand up and point at me saying ‘Hey YOU, what are YOU doing here? You don’t belong here, you words have no place here’ I have published once or twice and actually closed my eyes as I did so, then walked away from the laptop and refused to look at it again for the rest of the day.
But then you patiently read my stories and for one reason or another, you enjoy them and you have no idea what it means. I feel like I am finding my identity through these stories and each of you have become a part of that. Motivation is remembering why you Started. I started this because I had a premonition of a life that I had to discover, it was a life that I believe God himself penned forme… from the beginning to the end, and this new chapter in His story of me begins with a period of singleness and self discovery and after that…. who knows.
Ah life is a funny little thing. It can change from one moment to the next. One moment you are at the table surrounded by text books trying to study for finals, the next you are discovering what the love of your life is.
Be patient for the story to air, because it is too early to know just yet, but I will let you know as soon as I get word from the station, speaking of which, I would like to say a very sincere thank you to Channel 7.
To the producers, especially Erina – Thank you for your interest in my story and your support leading up to the interview. To Adam, thank you for being such a professional and walking me through a very foreign process and reassuring me that I didn’t ‘sound like a twat’. Brett, thank you for patiently reshooting every time I tripped up on my words and froze, you are a fabulous.
And to Nick, you have a good thing going on with that tallness and beard and green sweater. I hope you have a fabulous life. Thank you for being sound check guy. Best one i’ve ever met.
And thats a wrap.