When I was 12, we moved to Glastonbury and it’s where I spent all of my teenage years.
Anyone who hasn’t visited the small town in Somerset will usually conjure up images of hippies, crystals, the tor or more than likely the festival (although the festival is actually held in a village a few miles away).
I also conjure up images of all these things but I do so in the form of memories. Glastonbury plays such a big part in my memories, some of which are good, some of which are bad but all of which I would like to keep in the past.
I feel so disconnected to the person that I was as a teenager and walking down Glastonbury high street does nothing but make me relive my past in too much detail. I only live a couple of miles away and I regularly drive through but yesterday was the first time I had a reason to walk into the town and I was immediately taken back in time.
It’s not that it was a bad time, it really wasn’t but I am a completely different person to the one I was then and the things I used to do are so alien to me now.
The thing about Glastonbury is that a lot of people end up there on a journey to ‘find themselves’ and usually these people are so busy ‘searching’ that they don’t realise what their kids are up to. And what a lot of the kids are up to is hanging around the streets taking drugs. I know that this happens everywhere but there is something that makes it almost socially acceptable in Glastonbury.
From the age of 16-19 my weekends were all about drinking and drug-taking and because of the way they enhance and magnify how you are feeling, the highs are amazing and the lows are awful. I would spend most of Friday night experiencing the most intense burst of euphoria, then it would just wear off and I would come back down to earth with a bang. It would then take three days of feeling depressed, teary and panicky before I started to feel normal again.
Was it worth it?
I would say yes and no. The feelings that I experienced when I had taking drugs were indescribable and I am glad that I have the memories of them but at the same time I wish I had been stronger and not felt the need to take them. One of my best friends never took any and I admire her for that.
The reason I have a hard time revisiting it all is because there is something a bit dirty about it. I walk past the flat that I used to live in and I have flashbacks to the not so pleasant side of taking drugs. The early hours of the morning when they have worn off and you can’t sleep. Everything feels strange and the people who you were completely in love with a few hours earlier are suddenly a bit creepy and weird. It makes me feel uncomfortable reliving those feelings which is why I don’t like walking round my hometown.
I’m not ashamed of the things I used to do, I am nothing if not honest and I would be more than willing to tell anyone about my past because it’s exactly that, my past.
I would be interested to hear where you spent your teenage years and whether they involved any drug-taking, it’s hard to compare as I never grew up anywhere else! I can’t be the only one…surely?!
Here is a photo of the old me at Glastonbury Festival.