I’m having fun. I’m filing my nails, thinking about how to begin, and my powdered nails are getting under the keys of my laptop. This is fun, poring over how to do that thing I do good enough, so that I can call myself that thing I’ve decided to center my life around. After a lot of deliberation, this is what fun is now, a movement towards. As a 20-something year old, as a graduate during a year that’s laid waste to stagnancy, trying to have this idea of fun is like blood from a stone.
This new fun has cast a dead white sky over my life. In losing the noisy background, things appear so much more pronounced, and I should say there is fun to be had in acquiring such clarity. There was a time when everything was recreational. The mandatory, traditional fun of childhood. It was simple, throwing your body around, over or under the metal bars of a playground, baking colourful things and covering them in things that look inedible- two timeless fun symbols. Fun back then was finding other kids that wanted to be friends. It was eating food that wasn’t cooked by your mum in a house that wasn’t yours. Swimming parties, £1 worth of sweets on Saturdays, sparkly things, snow. Running- everywhere. It felt deserved, there was no guilt trailing behind. Fun was fun was fun, it stood alone.
My idea of fun changed when it became my responsibility to make it. When life got harder with age, when fun became forceful, it became heavy handed. Brash and thoughtless, empty- as fun on the brink of adulthood tends to be. But even reaching an age where adulthood can’t be denied, the space made for this kind of fun doesn’t suddenly fill itself. I’d made a lot of room for this kind of fun. The fun that pokes fun at delicacy, and sees destruction as par for the course. The kind of fun that absolves you. Everyday was Indulgence, disobedience, palpitations and impaired judgement.
But you find new things to do with the space, something often forces you to. Fun these days isn’t the lightness of my childhood, or the shadiness of yesteryear. It’s the dead white sky stretching over a construction site of a life. A stark yet congested life, with fun hiding in the plan to fill it out. It’s a fun that’s worked hard to find me, after many moons of deeming it my duty to do the searching. It’s a worthy fun for a life worth living. It’s free of the constraints of wide appeal, yet rigid in its demands- patience, and a vile of blood. But I can hold onto this fun and still look myself in the eye. Any other definition of fun now evades me, likely bubbling away in the newfound substance of life, and there’s something relieving in being bound to fruitful boredom. It’s real and good for me. It’s the fun that lines the pain and strain. It’s in the wait and the bated breath. It’s a fun that brings tears to my eyes. And at some point everyday I lose it, but I find it again, because there is no trickery, it wants to be found.