Task 10: Pride and Shame.
No; my proudest moments have all been fairly small ones. Collecting "top of the class" prizes at school speech days. Singing the lead role in a Benjamin Britten children's opera (albeit half a tone flat throughout, as the recording proved to my horror - but then I was only an understudy who got lucky). One particularly fantastic night of DJ-ing, on the Thursday before Christmas in 1988, when the cool and trendy city centre nightclub was packed, and everybody danced all night, and I felt like a proper club DJ, rather than a midweek dilettante. Successfully fielding a difficult call on our local Gay Switchboard, and feeling like I had genuinely helped someone in need. Loads of incidents related to my blog, which has given me my first ever taste of anything approaching what I would consider to be true success (something of a head-f**k for someone who has hitherto led a life of comfortable under-achievement). Receiving a glowing review in Time Out for the official website which I created for the Gay Pride festival in 1997. Eight years later, having my first ever piece of paid journalism appear in the same magazine, as the lead article in the music section. The day that my partner's money came through for the sale of his company, and we checked the balance of his current account on the cash machine in the middle of town, and laughed and laughed and laughed, and went for lunch, and booked a posh holiday, and had the offer accepted on our weekend cottage, and all within the space of a couple of hours. Being surrounded by friends and family at the all-day party for our 10th anniversary. Making it to the 20th anniversary, earlier this year.
Ah, STOP. That's the one. April 20th, 2005. Making it to our 20th anniversary as a couple. Now, that's an achievement in which I take immense pride.
I've just realised something else, as well. Those proud moments: there have been more of them in the last few years than at any time since childhood. Meaning that whatever was lost in adolescence, and pissed away in young adulthood, is now returning in early middle age. That's a wonderful realisation, and I'm only making it now, as I type.
And there's something else. Some of those moments haven't actually been all that small, have they?
Well, I'll be blowed.
So I'm going to have to get back to you on that whole Shame business. Because right now, with last night's hangover starting to kick in big-style, and with the memory of yesterday's mostly justified bollocking from the client still fresh in my mind, I actually feel rather good about myself for once.
Best not to check how the voting's going, then. I haven't dared to take a look yet. Is it very bad? No, don't answer that.