To cut straight to the point – I am more hopeful than worried. That’s not to say my anxiety has gone away. It hasn’t. There is plenty still to worry about, but I feel more hopeful now than I have these past few months. I feel like I’ve given the old machine a bit of a kick and its tired cogs have started whirring again. They are clunky, but the machine is moving slowly forward. Continue reading
I am hobbit-sized and taking that first step into uncharted lands, staring at a mountain blocking my path and wondering how to get over it. I know that I need to be on the other side, I also know that it’ll be difficult. Really difficult. I know that even if I don’t manage to get there, I at least need to attempt the climb.
While I may not have literal demons chasing me, there will certainly be figurative ones.
Already I am worried. Am I committing to the wrong thing? All my life I’ve worried about committing to the wrong thing. With so many options out there, a wrong commitment terrifies me.
I have a lot of interests and I’m constantly collecting new ones. I’m a hobby magpie. “I’m really loving learning to —- OOO… SHINY”. I can always see the benefit of taking any of this eclectic collection further. Consequently, none have gone further.
I am hopeful. Perhaps, finally, I will commit to something long enough to get to ‘the next level’. I was always a little envious of people who knew what they wanted to do and where they wanted to end up. It meant they could single-mindedly hammer away at that stone until they had carved the career they wanted. I’m only a little envious, mind you. I do like my multiple tangled strands, like the back of a beginner’s cross-stitch, that maybe – maybe – one day I’ll turn over and will see how they’ve all come together into something that makes sense (oh, by the way, I’ve recently started cross-stitching)
I am worried. What if I have no time for anything at all? Already time seems to no longer adhere to the physical rules and disappears the moment I think I have a handle on it, only to realise I never had a handle on it at all. It was an illusion. Time is an illusion. Unfortunately, it’s an illusion we have to go along with, or else we are late to work and late handing in assignments – how to balance this?
Talking of time… what if 6 years is too long to commit to a qualification? especially alongside a full-time job. Then again, I already know that time is an illusion – it’s simultaneously eternal and a mere blink of the eye. It is better that I do this now and have a degree at the end than never do it and always wonder.
I am hopeful. I’ve always loved reading, writing and literature and it still permeates everything I do. So, in spite of all the new shiny interests that come along, I know I’m choosing the path that makes most sense in that overall picture.
I am worried about the old classroom specific-type social phobia rearing its head, more than anything else this worries me. I wasn’t good at being at school – I was okay at school academically, but I was terrible at school socially. I developed an absolute fear of speaking up in class. If I was asked directly, I could mumble out a ‘safe’, middle-of-the road, ruffle-no-feathers answer. I could never just volunteer my actual thoughts. They’d just catch in my throat unable to escape.
I experienced a version of this again recently, after attending a writers group in Swansea. Eventually, once I was asked directly and I got out that first sentence, it opened the flood-gate and let out (most) of my actual opinions. This gives me some hope…
I am hopeful that I will get that first sentence out and develop confidence in regularly sharing my work. Even when it doesn’t feel perfect. That is the grail I am chasing most of all. What better reason than to go at this with all I’ve got?…
Cold, dark, damp and covered in cobwebs… this blog creaks and lurches in my mind as much as it does in the shadowy docks where I left it.
It’s time to dust down the decks and light up those old oily paraffin lamps.
I’m borrowing this hashtag. It fits the theme of this post, but I’ve actually no idea what it’s normally used for. I’ve seen Mindy Kaling using it on Instagram and Twitter, so as is the protocol when a celebrity does… well… anything, you adopt it and claim it for yourself and your own purposes. Uhhhhm, It’s called fond imitation, not blatant theft, thank you very much.
It seems to be an excuse to show off leisure activities.
I’m not using it for that. No. I’m using it in a whiny voice to explain why this blog has ground to its unannounced and hither-to unapologetic halt.
Quite simply, because something had to give.
I’m not trying to give the impression that I’m some super-busy, put-upon person – I mean, I am, but I’m not trying to give that impression. HA j/k lol lmfao. Nah, I’m a lot freer than many people my age who are saddled, sometimes literally, with baggage – their kid’s bags, their husband’s bags, their dogs bag, their secret lover’s bag. I just have my own bag. My own solitary bag………………..
Ahem. Anyway. That bag is big and it’s full and I just kept stuffing more things into it – which is great. It’s great to have lots of things going on, but sometimes it can get heavy and it’s hard to keep moving forward, till eventually I’m just a big heap on the floor crying at the departures gate because I want to get on that plane, dammit, but I can’t physically move anymore and find myself ground to a full stop.
So, it makes sense to take something out – for now, the least urgent thing that took up a lot of space was this blog. I’m attempting to write (and hopefully finish) two scripts for two different competitions at the moment, and it seemed if I were to be writing, it should be directed toward that.
There you have it. I’m not giving up on the blog, I’m taking it out and putting it aside for a little bit, for the bigger picture – so I can board that plane and move forward. I hope to return when I’ve managed to create more space… or perhaps learn to pack better 😉
She’s been here before.
An out of focus photo, sepia and curling in her memory
It looks different, but nothing’s changed.
The same faces sneer down from their cells,
Teeth bared, drool dripping
Thick, like syrup
They’re hungry, but it’ll go unsatiated.
She’s going to release them today.
It’s finally safe.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, Mary Poppins helpfully advises.
My spoonful of sugar is watching an episode of (insert current televisual obsession) as I get ready for work. It’s part of the routine of making it (and me) bearable.
Recently, this was an episode of Buffy from the start of season 5 – the one where a demon hits Xander with a magic blast which splits his personality in half, so there are 2 of him – one of his selves have all the “strong” personality traits, the other all the “weak” traits.
One was focussed, driven and successful, the other neurotic, selfish and covered in garbage juice.
Naturally, I started imagining what it’d be like if I could similarly split myself in two. I feel like I have two conflicting sides – the one that wants to create, take risks, go for opportunities, work tirelessly to achieve goals… Then there’s the side which wants to sleep in till noon, spend the day playing video games, binge-watch box sets till 2am and generally laze about.
I think most of us have these battling desires.
The trouble is the latter, though weaker in spirit, is stronger in persuasion – I said in my last post, Jumping the Mind Barrier, that there’s something irresistible about the instant gratification immediate pleasures provide, but it’s followed by a crash when it’s over.
Imagine being able to let one half run riot with all its selfish, childish desires, allowing the other half to concentrate fully on being a productive, achieving member of the adult population – no distractions or desire to do anything… well… fun, I guess. Therein the problem lies, doesn’t it? If we were just one personality trait, we would be incredibly one dimensional. Both personalities would become unbearable to be around pretty quickly. Ms Focused would need to lighten-the-hell-up because she’s becoming a boring work-a-holic and no-one wants to be around her and Ms Lay-about would need to go take a god-damned shower because she’s starting to smell and, well, no-one wants to be around her.
To be an extreme of any one trait, would make us insufferable. Though it may feel confusing, to be a multi-faceted creature of many ideas, interests and desires, no matter how conflicting… it keeps us interesting and whole.
If my mind were an athlete it’d be running, running, getting somewhere, just about to jump the hurdle and …. oh. Why did you stop?
What’s that, brain? You can’t resist watching a few episodes of Buffy now that Netflix have put the entire 7 seasons up. What? You want to watch them all in one go? Well, okay, if you think that’s the best use of our time.
I cannot resist the temporary pleasure of instant gratification. Like grabbing a McDonalds on the go, instead of stopping for something nutritious. It may give a burst of energy but it burns off before its begun. Much better to put time into that salad, which’ll be better in the long run.
The long run.
That’s a vague and difficult concept for someone who can’t define her ultimate goal. The long-run brings me out in a sweat – I need a strategy and tactics but I can’t do that when the goal is hazy.
I keep hitting this barrier. Frozen to the spot like in a dream – I want to move my feet and carry on running, but they’re stuck and I watch helplessly as the demons catch up with me. The demons that want me to believe there is nowhere to go anyway (can you tell I’ve been watching Buffy?)
I find myself intrigued and inspired by disciplined people. People who seem to effortlessly deny the instant gratification of procrastination. People with clear goals, strong strategies, steely willpower – it seems both restrictive and freeing. Denying yourself what you want now, for what you know you really want in the future. I crave being around that mentality and yet I struggle to tap into it myself. I skirt around the edges of discipline, touching on it, then retreating. I think a lot of people who have creative leanings feel the same. Yet some overcome it…how? Are they able to switch into the ‘left brain’ when they need to? I feel like I’m making progress on that. Even writing this now, I ordered myself to put Netflix away and go sit at the computer.
That’s the key, I think.
Just starting. Or ‘Just Do It’ as Nike would say … guess they were onto something.
Starting is my problem. The task seems so big when it’s just a concept, the end so very far away, with many hurdles to jump before the victory.
Though the victory without the hurdles would be empty.
Get on your mark, get set and GO.
Once I’m up and running and the work has begun, I fall effortlessly into it, wondering whatever was so daunting in the first place. Sometimes I become so focused and absorbed in the task that hours will go by and I don’t notice the time passing at all.
So, why is it the next time, I go through the very same ordeal again? Up against the same mental barriers.
I know what I’m supposed to do, it’s just actually taking a deep breath and jumping that’s the problem.
Just Do It…
Maybe Shia has the right idea, after all 😛