I have a weirdly vivid memory of being obsessed with the 2009 Eurovision winner, Fairytale, by Alexander Rybak, for a few days after he won. It was a weird time in my development, as I had all but left my goth stage, but I hadn’t quite emerged into the wider world, so I didn’t like to admit to myself that I enjoyed things like that…but at the same time I kind of wanted to admit it to everyone, as though they should be equally fascinated by the novelty of it.
I think it was the celebratory energy with which he sang “I’m in love with a fairytale, even though it hurts, ’cause I don’t care if I lose my mind, I’m already cursed” that truly hooked me, though.
I hard related to that declaration. That was my mantra. That was the meaning of my life, as far as I could tell. Every single word of it. A weird mix of brutal, unblinking self-awareness and determined, romanticised, exultant masochism.
I played that mantra out to completion. For many years it was, truly, my life’s work. It lost me my mind, and I had to build a new one. And standing several years to the other side of whatever portal it sent me through, I can see that it’s still true for me, but it’s different now. I can’t articulate what the words of the mantra have changed into yet; that’s something I’ll need to sit with. But the core of that journey is there in me, and always will be. It’s part of what makes me who I am: That fatal flaw in my ego has been transmuted into what I believe to be strength.
I will always be willing to lose my mind for the sake of saving my heart.