Update (Part 2)

I’d planned for this post to be December-January, but then I decided I wanted a separate New Year’s Eve one, so here are some end-of-November-and-December photos because we all know I am as good at sticking to my plans as butter on toast, which means sometimes I’m very good at it, and most times I’m not because the butter doesn’t land on the toast, it lands on the floor, and then I have to scoop it up like some sort of cat-child (CAT-CHILD?! I do not know why my brain said this, but it did – if there is any logic in that, I do not know what it is. Do you?)

Being in London when Christmas is approaching was weird. I felt like some sort of ghost. I think I usually do around December time, but ghost-level seems maximised when you live on your own in a big city full of humans who walk around with other humans and go for drinks with other humans and talk and laugh with other humans and – and even when you don’t want to be doing any of those things and are quite content in your overpriced iglu hiding in the quiet with a box of ice-lollies and a bowl of peas, something’s still a bit ‘should I be doing those things’ ‘why aren’t I doing those things’ ‘should I go and find some friends’ about it, even when you know very well that you DO have friends, in very many directions, and you know how difficult it is trying to find the time and the energy to meet up even when you really really want to. (I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want, and that’s to be able to not get depressed, and to be able to type the word ‘really’ twice in a row without a hundred leopard-print Spice Girls blurring up my brain in a series of jumping-slinky-shaped badly-green-screened army-animations, like some sort of unfinished 90s glitch-trip).

The other thing about December, is that there are PEOPLE EVERYWHERE, because, Christmas – but that might also be because I actually started trying to go places which were very busy, though sometimes it was by accident. One time, for example, the tube got really busy and I didn’t want to fight my way through to the door so I stayed on the tube – but then it kept being really busy and then loads of people were getting off at Oxford Circus so I escaped with the moving crowd-shape and thought, ‘I’ll just wander about around here until it’s less busy then get back on the tube and go to the stop I was meant to get off at’ (apart from, I didn’t realise that it’s Oxford Circus and it NEVER becomes less busy so I ended up there for much longer than I intended) – anyway, I got off the tube and ended up in an AMAZING SHOP – I wasn’t entirely sure where I was at first, it felt like an exhibition space apart from it turned into a glasses shop (as in, it didn’t turn into it there and then, it always was a glasses shop, I just eventually found out where the glasses were – and they were BEAUTIFUL) I just LOVE this shop – it was totally unexpected to find it, it completely changed my day and gave me energy I didn’t know I had (I was exhausted and overwhelmed, yet the calmness and magical intrigue that being in this place gave me made my heart fizzy) – just knowing I would never have ended up there if I hadn’t not been able to get off the tube at my correct stop reminded me that feelings aren’t permanent and that unplanned moments can be joyful. I ended up visiting that shop about 5 more times in December, and once at the start of January. I like going to the same place where I felt a feeling – it reminds me of scented candles filled with the haze of memory-wisps.

Also in December, I had my first university assessment, which was a presentation. I was extremely nervous about this, as usual, but it had also turned into an obsession (I still have the poster that I made at the start of my planning). I wrote a big thing out and stared at it every single day for hours, but then all sorts of things go wrong that you can’t predict and it doesn’t help when you’re so so nervous you think you’re going to be sick every time you remember what you’re doing. My presentation was about performance of inner selves giving permission to be; I discussed my own inner worlds as well as other creative people who used characters to perform or express through. I definitely learned that I would benefit from practicing out loud, because although I whispered it to myself for hours repetitively, I discovered that speaking is VERY different to whispering! I also learned that the next time I have a presentation, I need to make myself have speaking-out-loud conversations with people in the days leading up to it, definitely the day before it – even if it’s just the night before it. I was having days of not speaking out loud and the weekend leading up to the presentation I think I had 2-3 days not leaving the flat due to intense anxiety (which then makes it harder to leave the flat, and increases anxiety, of course). I think even if I’d made myself phone someone the night before it might have helped – that’s easier said than done, especially when you factor in the anxiety I was having at the time, but I know for next time to at least try. HOWEVER, despite me feeling like EVERYTHING had gone wrong with the presentation (it turned out it hadn’t been completely disastrous like I’d thought, it was just went very differently to how I had planned, which I was Very-Not-Impressed-About), what happened directly afterwards was unexpectedly positive: the performance of my presentation had inadvertently given me permission to be; I was IndoorGoblin, Sumita and all of the rest of me, and I felt… free. (I forgot to mention I went to uni as IndoorGoblin that day – public transport with a purple face is great fun). I got to my next class and, after a whole term of making it my mission to say something every week out loud in class, even when I felt uncomfortable to do so, I suddenly felt like something else was talking through me… I was commenting on everyone’s presentations in free-form, as in, not planning out what I was going to say in my head first and forcing myself to say it… and I even gave a 5 minute totally unplanned presentation using some weetabix-shapes I drew up on a powerpoint, talking about language-communication/translation of brain things, using the model of what it’s like when my brain counts weetabix to keep me calm or to keep my brain-shapes feel organised. (It probably went better than the one I’d obsessed over for weeks – but this one wasn’t assessed!) That was my last day of term… I’ll always remember my journey through that module. It proved to me that I could be the kind of student I never thought I could be; I proved to myself that I WAS that person, when the circumstances aligned to support me to be so – even when things didn’t go like I wanted to. I wondered where the experience would take me next.

(Where it took me next, was to Read-all-of-these-papers-and-learn-how-to-write-an-essay-about-them-you-have-deadlines-in-January-and-you-need-to-do-well Land, but more about that later…)

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