Thursday, 22 June 2017

How I got to be at the end of a year.

I am almost at the end of my first year of uni. Time has never gone so fast. Or so slow. Or felt so different.

Today as I took down the pictures I'd stuck on my wardrobe nine months ago an overwhelming rush of all the feelings I had felt came through me. All the things I had feared, all the adjustments made, all the settling in. I walk through corridors that now seem so familiar to me, that at first were so long and cold and strange. My room for the first few days was a box I felt very alone in, and now I feel tearful thinking of our goodbye.

I know that I am a different person from the girl who arrived here in October, but I can't put my finger on why. Am I wiser? Happier? Sadder? Heartbroken in new ways from the time before?

During my three terms here I felt like nothing and everything was happening. Time would drag along and speed up to twice the pace each week. Half way through I felt I'd achieved nothing. Now I realise I did everything under the sun, and still there is more to do.

I can't process everything that has happened to me this year, or how I have grown, or how it makes me feel because it is so huge. This whole year has been massive, like a big bang expanding over time, and now I have three months to look back, think, and then quickly move on.

I have done things and not done things. I have regretted and deeply enjoyed. I have been frightened, and loved, and angry, and new, and just happy to be alive. I have been low and unable to get out of bed. I have been so excited I could barely go to bed.

I'm not quite sure how I got to be at the end of a year, it's all a bit of a blur. I stumbled through, working my way, creating a new version of myself. I don't suppose that next year will be any different.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Other women.

I've been meaning for a while now to write something about the women in my life but I keep feeling unsure as to how to proceed. I'm finding it hard to put into words what it feels like to be built up and supported by so many important, clever, brilliant women because they are the absolute essence of my being. I want to say something tacky like "the sisterhood is real" because I genuinely feel like I am part of something bigger, that my womanhood is a part of a world wide society.

But I know that not every woman feels they are a part of this sisterhood. I know that some women want to exclude other women, women born in the wrong bodies, women who are 'different'. I find this so sad, so frustrating that the existence I have connected to and being empowered by other women does not materialise for some. I have this feeling sometimes that I want to take all the women that I will ever meet by the hand and have us stride to our brilliance together. I have this feeling that without other women I would feel nothing at all like myself, but very small and low and unimportant.

The women in my life include my mother, my sister, my aunts, my cousins, my grandmothers. Every female friend I've ever had has built me and supported me in some way. The voices of my favourite female music artists have always comforted me when my heart has been aching. The words of female writers help instruct me. The lives and ambitions of women in roles I desire to be in keep me going, keep me working, tell me not to give up.

In fact, when I am at my lowest, or most afraid, I tend to go to women to let them help me. Perhaps that is the result of being brought up in a primarily female family who openly discuss things and cry together and laugh together and heal together. Perhaps that is why I seek out women to help myself to heal.

This is a very personal outlook. Like I said, some women can be excluded by other women, from other women. And this is not to say that the men in my life have not helped me out of low moments, have not comforted me when I've cried, have not laughed and danced with me.

But I just have this amazing feeling when I'm with the women I love, and I can say literally anything, and I can show them my ugliest side, and I can be my absolute self. I just can't explain this feeling, but it feels a part of something. I feel a part of something bigger than myself.

Maybe that is just what it's like to feel human, to feel a part of something bigger than yourself.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

When neither here nor there is good enough.

I've come home for the weekend. From uni because I needed to get away. I cycled to the train station and it was warm and sunny and nice. I spent 20 minutes trying to work out where the cycle park was, moving my bike to several different spots before I found it. I bought a ticket and I got on a train going to London. There was a really loud family sat behind me but I managed to ignore them by listening to music through my broken headphones. I couldn't listen to some of the songs because they made me feel weird, and I wanted to the enjoy the view but it was tainted somewhat. I got off at King's Cross and suddenly remembered being on the same platform getting a train to Leeds for my interview there a year and a half ago; how different my life would be if I'd taken that offer. I walked to the underground and got on a train, and then I got off at Baker Street and walked to Marylebone instead to avoid the all stations Metropolitan to Amersham. I bought a cold drink from the AMT stand and I walked to platform 6 to get on the final train of my journey. I put my music on again but I don't think I was really listening. 

My mum was standing behind the ticket stiles smiling at me. 

And normally, God, normally that would be enough to make me smile, to lift my spirits, but it didn't do much. I felt hollow and I felt everything all at the same time. 

I came home to escape something, but I haven't really managed to escape it at all. I want to be at home, but I don't really want to be here either. I want to be at uni, but it's started to seem really huge and like I'm rattling around not really knowing what to do with myself. 

I think I had a nice day yesterday, but everything I did was tainted with the underlying feeling that something was very off. Unease swimming around near my heart, like an electric eel, shocking it when it got too close and leaving me reeling without really knowing why. Partly my thoughts, partly just a feeling. They seem pretty much the same at the moment, I can't get either of them to stop. 

When neither here nor there is good enough sleep seems the better option. But you can't sleep forever, and the here or there has to be the reality. I'm not even sure I am here or there anyway, I think my mind is taking me elsewhere.  I'm not sure how to get back to where I am, but I guess I will eventually. I guess I have to, at some point. Fear doesn't last forever.