I will not tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death…


‘What the fuck am I doing?’ was the echo to every decision I ever made up until I was about 28. Scrap that – I got married at 28. “What the fuck am I doing”, was very much the bridesmaid at that particular Vegas do. Let’s make it 30.

Yep, I lived my life to the tune of that phrase for a long time. I cruised from one completely-not-thought-out adventure to the next. I was the despair of my family. Most of those decisions resulted in a – emotional distress for me, and b –   a fair amount of financial distress for my parents. But I have to say, living your life that way totally negates the DULL. Nothing that ever comes with a ‘what the fuck am I doing’ tag, is ever boring.

I’m tired of being bored.

It’s been a funny old year, all things considered – good stuff, bad stuff and stuff that concentrates the mind. One thing I’ve realised is that I miss the woman who wasn’t scared of the world. She used to be me – before responsibilities, expectations, and this-is-the-way-life-is-done-dontyaknow-so-get-on-with-it kicked in. I’ve also realised life is short. Right now, I’m in a good place – work is going well, I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time, and I’ve got an inkling that the world is my oyster. What better time to try and grab that woman back?

So – I’ve taken a small step.

I’ve put my house on the market. Admittedly, in this climate that does not mean I’m going anywhere soon, but the plan is to sell up, stick some money in the bank or Premium Bonds (more chance of a return – still a bit grown-up) and then rent in London. The fabulous ex-@elliottbeth is moving to LA to make movies so maybe in a while I’ll go and stay with her. Me in LA. Now there’s a thought.

I’m looking forward to being free. Broke maybe, but free.

Let’s get this straight. I am not that crazy 18/19/20 . . .30 year old any more. I like to think my ‘what the fuck am I doing’ is tempered with a little more savvy than then. I intend to hedge my bets better than I ever did then. But still –  I saw my mother turn vaguely green and reach for a cigar when I told her my plans, and I felt a small glow of excitement inside. Gotta be risky, I thought. I haven’t seen her look like that in YEARS.

When the For Sale sign went up outside I felt a small twinge of panic. I have good friends here. This house has been good to me. I’ve been SAFE here.

I’m bored of safe.

And my friends will still be here. They’re good like that. A little bit of panic is never such a bad thing. It makes you feel alive. And who says we have to live any such way anyway?

Hopefully soon (ish) I’ll be able to say I’ve sold and am heading to the big city. Now that the decision is made my feet are itchy. I just want to get on with it. Maybe it will work and maybe it won’t but whatever happens it’ll be an adventure.

But, lovely people –  if in a year’s time you see me huddled in a cardboard box under Waterloo Bridge scribbling out a book on a soggy Tesco receipt . . .chuck a McDonald’s my way…things may not have gone according to my not-very-well-thought-out-plan. 😉

SP x

About sarah

Writer of supernatural and crime fiction for Gollancz in the UK. I've written six horror novels and my first thriller, A Matter of Blood, wa View all posts by sarah

10 responses to “I will not tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death…

  • doodlewhale

    Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

    I have to say I am feeling jealous, inspired and a little bit like having a nervous wee for you! Good luck you wondertron!

    Stu xx

  • Vincent Holland-Keen

    I’ve always known exactly what I’m doing and never thought ‘what the fuck…?’ about any of it. This post makes me think that’s where I’ve been going wrong.

  • Precision Grace

    It’s interesting because I’ve been asking myself the same thing lately but for completely opposite reasons. I want to stay safe and boring. I don’t want an interesting life. But every decision I made (or, more frequently, failed to make) lately is bringing me closer to the cardboard box under the bridge (because I too want the old me back).

    Anyway, back to you. Fingers crossed that what’s coming is what you were hoping for or better. And I might meet you in LA in couple of years time – always wanted to live there 😉 *

    *No, for heaven sakes, I am NOT stalking you. Honest. Cross my horns and hope to go to heaven!**

    **is that the correct expression?

  • Steve

    McDonald’s? Don’t make me laugh. I’ll throw you a Subway so you can be broke *and* healthy :).

    ‘WTF am I doing?’ moments are all too familiar to this little black duck. Usually after I wake and find, yet again, that I am not currently residing in a little village somewhere in Scotland, engaged in a unique version of domestic bliss with the impossibly well-spoken local schoolteacher or librarian and making a comfortable living from a combination of writing and academia. I’ll get round to it one day, ideally before I have more hair in my ears than I do on my head.

    You, on the other hand, have a less far-fetched goal in mind and an adventurous streak a mile wide. More power to you!

  • Neil Ford

    I believe I’ve already told you in person that I thought this was a cool idea, so I’m glad to see you’ve taken the plunge.

    Will keep everything crossed and hope to be meeting you in town for coffee, sooner rather than later.

    – Neil.

  • Sarah Higgins

    You have a large pair of hairy testicles. I used to live by the motto of ‘ah, fuck it’ and had a fair few adventures that way myself. Now I can’t do that so much, what with kids and husband and mortgage, although the few life-changing risks I have taken in recent years have changed my life for the better. I’m arranging a few mini-adventures for next year to try and keep my itchy feet at bay, but I am full of admiration for you and want to say, (although I can’t get away with it), ‘You go girl!’

  • Adrienne

    1 – Yes, your friends will miss you but are also really excited for you
    2 – Yes, we will always be here 🙂
    3 – If I see you in a cardboard box, I won’t through you a McD’s; I will pack you and your cardboard box up and bring you back to my house… however my dear, I cannot see that situation ever occuring!!

    oh and 4 – I expect an invite at some time so you can show be “your patch”

    Love you sweetie xxx

  • Angus

    I’ll always give you free Starbucks.

  • paul

    Stop bitching, writting to see what the’fans’ will say and ‘get a life!’ Got your attention? Writing from a bar (as ever) on my Blackberry. I have had a few great women in my time but you, were never as I remember short of ‘fuck you’ spirit or centiment. Get on with it girl and I will see you in zilli’s for a glass after ramadan. Years in the desert are over! Coming home to give being a real daddy a shot! By the way, you looking fucking great sarah, go to town and kill em all. Paul Anthony… You know that last bit.

  • Andrew

    How did you get on?

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