September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
As I start to ready myself to move house, perhaps even city, again, I start to wonder what you (An outsider, that is; Perhaps even you) could learn from the little piles of debris that I have accumulated. There are things that I can try to erase by tearing into tiny white ribbons and things that don’t seem to matter enough to hide.
The most telling are the notes that I write to myself, varying from:
‘Now it came to it, I was seized with a great fear… that these wings were in themselves a kind of physical deceit; intended for the show and not use, like the beauty of some women.’ – Angela Carter, Nights at The Circus.
Two adjacent pages in the same reporters notebook. I guess that’s representative of what you will find here. Whatever makes sense at the time. I can’t apologise for that, but anyone who bears with it is very welcome here.
In any case, a large record of the last year of my life went in the bin this evening. It’s kind of liberating.
September 21, 2011 § Leave a comment
When I was having a meltdown the day before last, someone incredible soothed me and talked me back to myself and reminded me to keep doing the things that I know I need to do. And he was completely right. I’m still not doing The Things. So perhaps I just need to find a way to start doing Those Things in a way that motivates me. That doesn’t include writing a post it and sticking it on my computer screen that lists a thousand Things To Do At Once, does it? Because I’ve tried that and it’s not working.
Something to think about.
But right now, I’m late for work. At least my
armour outfit is reliable.
September 19, 2011 § Leave a comment
September 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
According to most of the world, or at least the internet, Autumn is a time of golden leaves, crisp cool air and misty mornings. In Wales, it’s about rain and lots of it.
Yesterday morning I went for a run, hoping to get out in a brief dry spell. As I crossed into the park and began jogging, I noted the number of people out that morning. Trickles of runners heading around the park with me. About five minutes in, it started to rain again. A thick coating of fine, cool droplets, that battered my eyelids and soaked me through. Shortly after, a man standing on the sidelines took a photo of the woman running shortly ahead of me and it struck me that I must have accidentally joined a race. Then, he took a photo. Evidently I’d been mistaken for a participant.
I would hesitate to call myself a runner. Around three times a week for the last almost-two-years I’ve run between three and seven kilometres. There have been pauses, long and short, within that time. And injuries. But, I love it and while my inner masochist thrives on it, there’s something relaxing, cleansing and without judgement about it. Because I have never considered myself to be an athlete, anything I do is better than nothing. Any run is better than no run to me. In fact every run is a step against the person I thought I was as a child.
So when I was mistaken for an actual racer, I was taken aback. And yet, there I was. Up before 10am on a Saturday morning, joyfully running in the Welsh autumn rain, accidentally joining the race.
September 14, 2011 § Leave a comment
This is how it goes.
I couldn’t eat the cookies that my friend brought over for me last night. They’re ‘bad’ and I don’t know who made them. They sit, ungratefully discarded on my kitchen counter, holding absolutely no temptation for me.
I have, however, eaten a dinner that consists mostly of my own, supposedly frozen for my own safety, cookies. They’re huge. I can’t stop at one. Or on any odd number. Except that there were five and I couldn’t leave one behind to torture me tomorrow.
So they went. ‘Went’. As though of their own accord, but, of course, it was my accord. My phantom hands that picked up what I couldn’t stop thinking about. All the time, my mind saying nonononono, and my actions doing the opposite.
This is how it goes.
Yesterday was the same. Not all out awful, but those gremlins came knocking. Chattering almost out of earshot, but not quite. So I wrote it off and this morning came. Back to work. New shoes, sunny morning, ready to start again. I was chattier than normal, mouth searching for something to fill it and distract my mind. There I was, hobnobbing away, happy at least to be out of the house. The new shoes gathered compliments from strangers, the outfit felt good. Trousers, which I always avoid wearing, felt comfortable. There were no gremlins.
Then I came home and there were cookies. After all, I’d done well today and nothing quite reminds me that under no circumstances do I deserve to believe that, than food I cannot resist. Cookies remove that worry of how long the good feelings would last. Hell, they’d probably make me feel shitty enough to not run this evening either. Or apply for the good jobs I’ve spotted. Mission accomplished. I know where I stand. Or kneel.
Really. I am on my knees with this.
The only way out this evening is to write it out, shame the devil and clear it out of my head. But is that making it stop? Evidently not. I always believed that if I could work out the thing that set it all off I could crack it completely. Again, evidently not. I can come here and proclaim that I am going to fix EVERYTHING over and over and over but that’s not helping either. So what is?
This one needs writing out on a real page before the plan is ready to read.
September 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
It’s a very foreign feeling to be able to pick up a real pen and put it to real paper at 23.59 on a Monday night. But that’s what I did last night, three days into my Life After Academia. Having the freedom to swim through a couple of days between the end of what was and the start of what will be, for now at least, a return to work full-time, has been filled with enjoying company and solitude equally. But more importantly, enjoying the stretch of time that two unplanned, unaccompanied days feels like.
Taking stock, however, is still scary.
Where was I? Ending my counselling sessions, full of hope. Where am I now? How am I? What am I doing?
The process of looking back is a fraught and dangerous one but, despite my evident…kinks… I like things followed through methodically. If for no other reason than that my brain may not be able to out things together again rationally at some point in the future.
So. Where I am: The city I moved to in a fragmentary fashion a year ago yesterday. Facebook appalls me in so many ways but I am not quite so organised with my looking back that I would have remembered the year anniversary of my driving along, across borders and along motorways, to deliver various kitchenwares and be nearly crushed to death beneath a wardrobe that the man I fell in love with and I tried to manhandle ten inches to the left and back. The year has moved me down the road, and soon will again, but I guess the important things is that I am still here. In a city I was sure would change things.
How am I? Comparatively, a thousand times better than the start, and larger part, of 2011. If my logging is to be believed, I am far less chaotic, my concentration is improved and I am far less consumed by my consumption. How am I really? Still bingeing. Still compulsive. Still secretive. Still cheating despite all the pleas for health I make to those around me. No matter how much I learn or information I spout, I am still merely observant of the things I buy, knowing that some of them will end only one way. Mindful of my unhappiness with my figure has come from a choice I keep making over and over.
I don’t really know how to talk about these things productively. So, so much is better. I am so happy about so many things. I am perfectly capable of throwing down this crutch. But left to my own devices, I continue to choose not to.
A couple of posts ago, I was leaving my last counselling appointment, smug with my achievements. Yet I left denying the stress I felt about finishing my course and being spat out the other side. And after a wonderful weekend away, I fell back into relying on tiny green packets of gum to keep my mouth occupied and erase the taste of regret. Sugars and caffeine. Pre-empting, predicting, distracting. That’s the reality.
I’m still scared and I still don’t know what to do. There’s good stuff to share, and I will share it because it’s far more important than any of this. But I still feel like I’m cheating.
September 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
My, my. Where has the time gone? In the process of finishing my course, camping out for the last few days of summer, watching some incredible music and spending time with my nearest and dearest, and cooking up several storms in the kitchen, I have completely lost my sense of routine. It’s been a welcome loss.
Getting all out of routine has proved to me what I love and miss, what is easier than I think, what is entirely habitual. I can’t quite decide what to tackle first, but rest assured I will be writing about it.