Thursday, 15 December 2011

Theatre review - 13 by Mike Bartlett

13 - by Mike Bartlett
Production date Friday 2nd December 2011, National Theatre
Directed by Thea Sharrock

Writer-in-residence Mike Bartlett's latest offering for the National is an ambitious, sprawling look at modern day London that has received mixed reviews from the press, and I can certainly see why. With an ensemble cast of 13 you would hope there is something for everyone, but instead it left me feeling bored and uninspired.

A Christ-like figure arrives in a painfully obviously parallel London of a few months ago, while a group of people are waking from the nightmares that plague them each night. He quickly gains a following of disciples (12 of them, making him the 13th - how clever) as he preaches on a bucket about 'belief' and other vague yet rousing crowd-pleasers. Meanwhile, the female Conservative Prime Minister, who is at pains to remind us is absolutely not Margaret Thatcher, agonizes on whether or not to join the US in a war on Iran. A precocious little girl is killed before the interval presumably to ask us if personal responsibility is greater than government responsibility, and because due to child acting laws she has to be in bed, but the character was so odious I hardly think many judged the mother too harshly. There is a sprinkling of mystery with John's reappearance that takes 2 hours to come to any kind of fruition, but never really feels all that interesting anyway.

Surprisingly the most likable character is Geraldine James' steely Prime Minister, giving a persuasive and passionate defense of Conservative values in a modern world, which was possibly one of the best pieces of dialogue in the whole play. Aside from a comedic cleaner and her nervous yet endearing would-be boyfriend, who gets to regale the audience with some spooky facts about the number 13 in case we'd forgotten the title, most of the other characters felt unfinished, and served merely as superfluous, orbiting, stilted plot devices to facilitate dramatic revelations, which even then it largely failed to do.
The second half, while easier to follow thanks to the pruning of characters, felt far too much like a late night televised debate between a pompous, self important and ultimately disappointing 'Messiah' and an angry, borderline Islamaphobic atheist who happened to be dying of cancer, at which point I was surprised John didn't attempt a 'healing'.

In terms of set design, Tom Scutt's revolving black box center piece completely fails to capture any of modern London's atmosphere, and aside from a few slightly clever moments where the action was contained within the cube, it felt too bland a set. For a minimalist set to really work the action on the stage has to be compelling enough, the writing more absorbing, for the audience to really suspend disbelief and be transported by the actors. When the source material is as dull and insipid as 13 however, a minimalist set doesn't so much highlight the drama on stage but rather the lack of it.

Bartlett has attempted to write a play that interweaves government, politics and personal responsibility with human drama, but for all of its posturing and gesticulating, its angst-ridden riotous youth and social network revolution it is a play without any real direction or point.
There is a preachiness to 13 that I found tedious and frustrating, and I felt I was watching a play that wanted so badly to say something and to be so very profound, but never manages to decide whats its point is. Instead it settles for trying to tell us everything in an overly long plot riddled with monologues that feel like patronizing teachers, led by a sanctimonious and entirely unbelievable Welsh man, a character so irritating that even Trystan Gravelle's performance cannot save him.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011


I haven't written anything on this blog for a while. If you care, I apologise. If you don't, well, carry on.

In some ways I've felt like I've needed to blog here everyday for the last few months, but I feel like I haven't been able to. I still almost feel like I can't. Almost in a "not allowed to" kind of way. There are people who (theoretically anyway) read this blog, it's not set to private, so it's there, so sometimes recently I've felt that my usual avenue of expression and expulsion hasn't been open to me. The same goes for twitter to some degree.

I don't know.

Things have been up and down over the last few months. For a while I thought they were going to stay up, at least level out if not keep getting better. But that was a stupid hope. Cos things went tits up. Just for a change.
Again I don't really feel I can say much about it, for fear of criticism. Actua
lly, I don't think that's what I mean. I just mean that, stuff happened, and someone else is involved, and in theory they could read this. And it's not criticism, and I don't dear it. Because to be honest I'm allowed to say what I want, and it's not like any body really reads this. There's been something going round on Tumblr recently, a quote saying something about broadcasting your every thought on the Internet as a way to... you know what I can't even remember the quote. But I know it's true for me. Yes, I can know that something I can't remember, applies to me. I'm a genius. Anyway.
For all I know the only person that reads this is me, ever. If others do read it, then I'm grateful. But I've always maintained that this blog is, along with other creative outlets, a place and a way for me to get stuff out of my head, a weird kind of therapy. Sure I could just write it down somewhere private, but somehow the thought that someone could in theory read it, and maybe offer me advice, or care enough to talk to me, is more theraputic than if I just wrote it somewhere only I could see it. I'm deviating again.

The point is that for a while I thought I was onto a really good thing with someone. They know how I felt, and still feel. But things changed. I didn't think they would, at least not that quickly, but they did.
So I'm in a position now where I feel my usual ways of getting stuff off my chest isn't available for me, because the other person involved could get shitty. Part of me thinks if they do get shitty, it proves something. I don't know. I never really know anything apparently.

So yeah. The last week or so has been rough on my heart and my emotions. I was able to blog here about the situation with Lucie and how that turned out, but feel unable to do so this time around. Which is slightly frustrating. At times I've thought I need a pseudonym for my pseudonym. Silly.

But aside from all that stuff, which I'm still sorting through in my head, all the hurt, all the anger, the frustration, the confusion and, somehow still, the deepest caring for someone, that I will hopefully eventually get my head around, I'm.... Okay.
I can't think of any other word to describe my state right now than okay.
If you'd have asked me last week I would have said "awful". A few months before and I would have told you "I feel great. Amazing. There is someone in my life making me smile every fucking day, who I love, and I miss, and I want to see every day." or something to that effect.
I've started losing some weight, apparently not eating for 4 days when I felt really fucking down and angry worked a treat for that. Bright side.

I've applied to my uni's, picked Greenwich as my first choice and De Montfort as my second. Obviously there will always be a part of me that's disappointed that I won't make it to a 'better' uni now, but I have to keep reminding myself that that isn't my fault. Greenwich is lovely though. And I always knew I'd end up at a London university really, because I'm in love with London.
But obviously to get there I have to pass my A Levels.
I'm confident of at least a B in my Photography AS, if not an A. I got a B for my English coursework and an A in the first module of my A2 Politics. Basically for my two A2's (English & Politics) I need an A and a B. Politics will actually be easier to get an A in thanks to my AS results, I need to get 73% on this last module to get an A, whereas in English I'd have to get full marks for every question to get an A, so a B is more achievable there.
Revision is going... with difficulty.
I've basically got 2 weeks until both my exams on the 16th June. In theory that's plenty of time if I really apply myself and get my ass into fucking gear. Which is what I need to do.

After exams I need to concentrate on sorting out shit to take to uni, losing fuck loads of weight, and getting a job.
I'm also gonna sell loads of my gadgets and stuff for some extra funds for uni. But I will need a job. Eugh. If someone would like to pay me for sleeping I'd be all for it.

In typical me fashion I'm getting distracted by thoughts of selling gadgets etc now, when I need to be concentrating on revision.
I've been thinking of moving from the iPhone 4 to an HTC, and I've told myself I'm going to wait until after my exams to do that, but seem to be finding myself gravitating towards the HTC website time and time again. I need more self discipline.
Story of my life.

When I think about going to university, I do get a bit excited. But I think when I see myself there, in my minds eye it's a thin me I see. A marginally more attractive me. A happy me. A new me.
I've got the summer to find that version of this girl.
I'm excited but also somewhat terrified, in all honesty. I'm hoping that my housemates aren't a girls, because I genuinely don't think I could cope with all the bitching. I'd hope for an even guy/girl mix, best case scenario. And I seriously, really hope I don't end up sharing with a bunch of weirdos. For that matter, I'm more than happy to be the weirdo of our halls. Easily. Just please don't give me a flat load of cunts... I'm totally getting five utter weirdos now aren't I?

I think I've been feeling left behind again, as my old friends start coming home for the summer having finished their first year at uni. I've seen Hannah a couple of times now and each time it's felt really awkward, like we don't know how to be around each other anymore, and I don't understand why. I was with her and a friend she knows from friends, and they seemed to get on so much easier than her and I did. And she's supposed to be my best friend.

I guess I'm just maybe straining at the bit for a real, proper fresh start. This year at college was meant to be a fresh start in some respects, but that's difficult in the same city, in the same college, with some of the same faces.
I can't wait to get to London and find out more who I am. Get away from the past, the memories round every corner of friends who turned out to be cunts. Be a better me, maybe even the me I actually want to be. I can only get that if I get away from here and break away.

So. I'm excited and terrified about uni, nervous and stressing over exams, determined to but scared I'll fail to lose weight, and still hurting from other stuff.
That's my life right now.

Oh, and Doctor Who. That is also a big part of my life right now. Amazing.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Taking a break.

So some of you my have noticed that I've been absent from twitter these last few days, compared to usual, and may have wondered why. I don't know, you might not have noticed or you might have noticed and not really cared, or been thankful that I've finally shut up rambling on about shit you don't really give a fuck about. Anyway. I have been quiet.
I'm not going to go into details because I'm not really sure myself what happened, if anything, but something sort of happened on Tuesday that kind of threw me and I basically had like, a mini breakdown? Sort of? I'm not really sure what happened, all I know is I freaked out and 5 minutes later I woke up. So, I figured I needed to take a break from some shit, and something had to give, so it was twitter and other online stuff. I'm feeling under pressure and so very stressed, and I'm tired of my body apparently not being able to cope with anything and getting ill in some way or another every five minutes. My immune system is completely fucked and come Wednesday I felt entirely wiped out. Lethargic, a bit numb, and slightly more broken than I've felt in a while. Things are getting to me. College work, friendships or lack thereof, family stuff, and my general inability to cope with anything. So for the last few days I've been basically in a vegetative state, just lying around staring at the ceilings and trying to focus on the mountain of college work I've got to do, to no avail. When it comes to writing my essay I've got a block on, again. Just for a change. I've tried pushing through it, working around it, sneaking up on it, slipping underneath it, jumping over it, nothing works. As with most things I write on here, I'm not really sure why the fuck I'm even telling you this. I'm pretty sure very few people read this and those that do usually don't have anything to say so it's basically me just talking to myself. Just for a change. But then thats sort of what I want. I'm ranting to the ether that plagues me in a way. I haven't been able to focus on sorting myself out for my interview next week either, and I don't know why. I need to sort out a portfolio and that's going to cost money and take time, neither of which I really have. And it turns out that as well as the portfolio and the sketchbooks as an example of my work, I have to have a written piece on "art history or visual theory" apparently, something that in AS Photography we haven't really covered, so I'm a bit stuck on that. I thought I could probably do something on the history of the camera in the evolution of documentary and street photography, as I sort of looked at that in the last project, but I'm not really sure if that'll be anything like what they want. But its the only idea I've got. But again I've got a block with that too. I just keep thinking to myself, for fucks sakes, this is only the second year of college, and not even technically a full second year as I'm taking less subjects, and I can't even cope with that, I might as well give up on the idea of university. If I can't cope on my own with plenty of support around me, how the fuck am I going to fare when its just me in my little dorm room miles from home with my idiot self as my only motivation?
I've felt close to cutting, I've felt like calling my old dealer and trying to get stoned, I've felt like drinking so much I throw up, I've felt like starving myself, I've felt like punching the walls, and I've done nothing. The ceilings of my house have had more attention from me than my future. I know full well that over the last few months most people would say I've been prioritising wrong... but at the time it really didn't feel like I was, and to be honest it still doesn't in a way. Like, there are things I still want to do but can't, don't feel I can. I realise not a lot of this will make sense to you all. I'm not sure it makes sense to me right now. I don't know. I take my tablets like a good girl, I get up and try my best to actually get on with my life, but this last week its felt like all I'm facing is a brick wall. I'm trying, I really am. I am so fucking tired of feeling sorry for myself, so god knows how fed up you lot must be of me. It really is a conscious decision to move on from everything, and it's a choice I have to make every day, and to be quite honest I'm starting to get tired of making that decision. Why should I carry on? I don't have anything to lose - but that statement speaks for both sides of the coin really. I'm physically tired and mentally tired, again.
I'm living in a cyclical state apparently. Up, down, round and round.
I'm my own worst enemy and I've tried to make peace with myself but I can't seem to.
So I've hit another wall and I'm all out of ideas, so I'm taking time and space. Time to stare at my ceiling and fret. I haven't been into college all week, partly because of the tonsillitis, and partly because I haven't been able to face it. I really think the holidays have been detrimental to my time at college. After the christmas break I felt like it was my first day all over again, I felt terrified and paranoid and so very awkward and panicky, and I know when I do eventually go back again it'll be the same. I had to go into town to post something today and had to fully psyche myself up to get out of the fucking car, and I was shaking like a fucking leaf the whole time walking around my own city center. That's not how its supposed to go. I'm 18 years old and half the time I feel like a fucking agoraphobic recluse unable to function in public. And that is not how it's supposed to go. I'm tired of people telling me its ok to STILL feel like this after "what happened" because its like, you know what, who the fuck cares? I'm actually tired of having an 'excuse' for everything I do. I wish what had happened hadn't happened, of course I fucking do, but not just because of the damage it did to me, and apparently still does. This past week I've been having nightmares and some of them have just been huge, long flashbacks and I wake up crying and hurting and about to scream but there's nothing I can do. I've got 'reasons' for everything I do but more and more they feel like lame fucking 'excuses' for me being a fucking unable, unmotivated, socially retarded, fractured moron. Yeah I've been angry these past few days, and not just at myself, but mainly at myself. I have a tendency to screw things up - I think I'm going to so I try and cover my tracks before I've even done anything and that turns out to be just as idiotic. I'm on a learning curve and it feels never ending. And now I've spent longer writing this than I've been able to spend on any of my coursework over the last week. What does that say about me? Probably what I already know - that I'm a fucking self absorbed cock up who cant see anything beyond her own immediate misery. But you know what, at the same time I can put all of this, every single fucking drop of self misery and anger and what have you, for the right person, or people if I know where to go and I don't even know where I'm going with this sentence because I've apparently just been thrown off whatever train of thought I was on because I looked at Spotify and I know I don't even remember what I was saying. My attention span really is shit too. I know I don't have the monopoly on feeling shit. I know that. I do. Honestly. Again, thought train - poof. I've got too much I need to do, not just college stuff, but sorting my life out, sorting out my money, throwing stuff away, selling stuff, buying stuff, recording stuff, sorting through boxes both physical and literal, and I feel like time is so not on my side.
I feel like I want to run away. Just get in my car, with a bag of clothes, some food, money, the Air, music, and go. I wont know where and I'll probably crash my car getting lost or going on the motorway for the first time alone and get ploughed into, but aside from that, I want to get away. I know I bang on about it but going to Australia was so fucking good for me, I came back feeling, yeah a hell of a lot like I wanted to go back, but also I knew that I couldn't so I felt more focussed and positive of the stuff ahead of me. And now I feel like I need to get away again, but I can't can I? Because I've got too much to do. Sometimes, to be totally honest, I feel like having a public breakdown/freakout and getting committed or something, because at least then I'd get a break and get to go away somewhere. But funnily enough I'd rather have a break away somewhere of my spontaneous choosing that stare at a different set of four white walls for a spell. But you get what I mean. I hope.
Anyway this has gone on longer than I intended.
So I've taken a break from twitter because I can't take a break from life. I've not replied to texts or emails or anything for two days. I know its all counter productive because it's just more stuff that stacks up and I have to deal with sooner or later, but in a weird way its been nice just ignoring everyone. I say everyone, I've had about a grand total of 8 texts/emails/forms of correspondence over the last two/three days and whilst in some ways I haven't actually enjoyed not saying anything I kind of haven't had anything to say. Believe that of me or not, having read this. It's contradictory too that its twitter I've taken a break from when twitter/general internet stuff has been my sort of sanctuary in the past. I've seen most people I follow go through a period of disillusionment with twitter over the last few months and I guess its my turn. Most of the stuff I say on there nowadays is fucking well boring as shit anyway, so I might as well not say it if no ones bothered about hearing it. You know those things on tumblr that have been going round like "when you start telling a story and realise no ones listening so you just sort of tail off to a mumble and stop talking?" or "when you ask a question and no one hears so you pretend you didn't say anything?" well thats pretty much me. Don't get me wrong, not just on twitter, and I'm not about to turn into one of those people that moans whenever no one replies to them and takes it personally, because I know you lot actually do have lives to lead so aren't just sitting by waiting for me to display my scintillating and sparkling wit in some stunning diatribe or whatever. But yeah sometimes I'm just sat twiddling my thumbs and it leads to the usual thinking of "hmm, I wonder what it'd be like to have a social life again, I can't remember." etc.
Aaaaaaanyway. I will actually try and round this up now. So yes, twitter break covered. I don't know when full service will be resumed, so to speak. I may be around more over the weekend and then resume radio silence in the week next week, or I might not be around over the weekend at all. I have things to focus on and I'm going to really have to try so fucking hard if I don't want to end up too closely resembling the fucking failure I was this time last year. That's going to be a challenge for me.
To a few people out there, I just want to say I'm sorry, again, and that... well... I guess I've said all I can to you without being a complete cunt so yeah. Just, sorry.
Anyway, having written more for my own 'pleasure' than I have for my education, and all to come to NO conclusion whatsoever, I'm off to... well... probably listen to more angry music whilst I fail again at giving up smoking and stare at a blank screen with the words "ENGLISH PATIENT/EDWIN MUIR ESSAY" at the top and probably have some more nightmare's tonight or something. I feel like I know where this is headed, and that that's the only way to snap myself out of it, but I don't want that to be the only way out again, so I'll have to push myself to breaking point again and then probably snap and end up there anyway so just call me Miss Entirely Counter Productive.
Have nice lives and what not.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Ema is flawed. If you want to help kids AND ensure the money is actually spent on educational maintenance, ie travel to college, textbooks, food etc, then scrap the system and implement my much clever system; use the money you'd normally give straight to student who then fritter it away on whatever, to subsidise bus fare even more to give kids free transport to college - if some of the £30 per week was to be spent on that anyway, it goes to the same place. Set up a college account at Waterstones or with Amazon, and the kids show proof of being at that college and a book list and they get their textbooks paid for that way. Work together with local businesses to provide HEALTHY meals for students - give them vouchers for meals in shops, the cost of which you subsidise.
It's pretty obvious that ema is hugely flawed.
Judging how much a kid gets based on their parents earning is ridiculous; for someone who's parents earn say £1000 over the means testing threshold, the system effectively assumes that all of that £1000 will be spent on that child's two years at college, regardless of other familial overheads and bills etc that the parents (whose income you test after all) have to pay for. Even though whose parents are further over the threshold have those things to think about! Having parents who earn above the means testing threshold does NOT assure that money goes to the child's education.
And extolling ema as an incentive to get kids to go to college? Rubbish. Give a kid £30 a week and tell him "you must spend this on books and paper etc, but we've got no way of checking whether that's what you're actually using it for, or if the tax payer's are giving you a night out, so have fun" and what do you expect to happen? There are plenty of people out there who see high school as a chore, and as soon as they hit 16 want to get out of the system, so why drag them back in with a hand out? So they can sit on classrooms, if they ever turn up, an distract those of us who want to work hard, who want that education? So they can be the 'problem' kids? Give them something more worthwhile to do! Don't give them 'something for nothing' to the detriment of others who actually want to remain in the education system.
I truly believe there is merit in a meritocratic system, and to be honest, the abolition of ema is a first step to that - it's harsh but it's true. Some people aren't built for college, and academia. But that's not to say they aren't 'worth as much' or 'less human' or any of this other foundational equality mirth - those not cut out for academia have other skills that society should by now have learnt how to utilise, for our sake and theirs.
I'm all for equality of opportunity, which is why I believe any ema-like system should not judge just on monetary grounds but on some degree of academic ability: every one has had the same opportunity at high school, so those that can show they actually want to continue with education should obviously have that chance.
So in essence, I agree with the scrappage of ema. It was an unfair system anyway, implemented poorly.
How did people manage to get through college before ema? Ask my brother and sister. Ask me. Or get a job. Thrift. Save and don't spend. Don't assume you 'deserve' a handout - life is hard and everyone has to to work at what they want. But as I say, removing ema should theoretically mean that the money previously used for it should be used in some other educationally beneficial manner, most importantly, for those most willing to learn and apply themselves.

God I sound like a Tory :P

And another thing: the British public really piss me off.
You vote for someone that isn't Labour because you blame them for every problem under the sun, voting for 'change', then you moan like a banshee when anything actually is changed!
Most of the people up in arms about all the reforms being made are those that don't understand them.
I do not for one moment proclaim to be an expert on any such reforms, which is why I'm keeping my mouth shut. I have initial opinions based on the little knowledge I do have, but I'm not going to push that down anyone's throat til I actually have all the facts and know more what I'm talking about.
Sure, if after consideration and possession of the facts I don't like it, then I'll say so, as everyone is so very entitled to do. But what bothers me most about a lot of the British public (vast generalisation I know) is how fickle and ignorant they are.
"We don't understand this, so we'll disagree and shout about it."
You wanted change? You got it. At least find out what that change is before you go running around with your juvenile name calling and partisan bullshit.
One thing the British do well is turn on what we have created.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Years 'Resolutions"

So I am in essence in agreement with the many people who say that if there's something in your life, or something about yourself that you want to change, why should you wait until some 'special' year preordained by society for such a move?
But at the same time, I don't see the harm. New Years is just another day, yes, but at the same time for many people its more than that. It is a new start. A line in the sand under all the rubbish that may have happened in the previous 365/6 days. A chance to turn over a new leaf.
Yes of course, if there are big things that need changing then that should be true on any day of the year, but its a marker, a big loud shouty marker saying "Look, you've been saying you want to do X, change Y, become more Z for god knows how long now? Just do it you utter bozo. Use me! I'm a day that gets lit on fire so it's not as though you can miss me! Start from now, go on!" and I don't see the harm in that.
I know that for myself, New Years is a strange time of year. When I was younger I would spend it with my parents one year, and then the next year they'd spend it with friends and I'd stay round my nans house, so obviously as nan is no longer with us, the night has a lot of memories in that sense.
And obviously, it carries a lot of other unpleasant memories for me. Although actually, to be quite honest its New Years day rather than eve thats more of a struggle. I say is, it's only been two years, and last year I spent the period in a cottage in Cornwall with my parents so I escaped from the city that would have been too much and so it didn't really touch me. My parents and I went out into the snow at about 2340 with a glass of wine each and went and stood so we could see the fireworks and look out over the countryside and the sea, and just had a quiet moment, because it was a big moment for all three of us really. It really did feel palpable that time, that shift from one year to the next. I felt momentarily like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders, the weight of 2009 pressing down on me had become too much, too many memories. Obviously I know memories never go away, I've been living with them ever since, but you know what I mean. That that change of the year from 09-10 felt more real in a way.
And then there was the 10-11 change just now obviously. Yes, a big part of me 6 months ago would have said that I'd hope to be out celebrating with people for 2011, to feel ready for that, but most of me knows that was just wishful thinking. I still freak out in crowds a little, and more so at night. I'm better than I was a year ago, but it still shits me because I always used to love the night time and still do, but I'm not 'scared of the dark' now, but I'm definitely more wary and edgy in the dark than I used to be. I used to go for walks at night just for the hell of it, but now if I have to walk anywhere at night my eyes are darting everywhere and my skin prickles at every shift in the wind, and every noise is louder in my ears. But like I say, I was ever worse a while back. Now I can cope at night. But crowds are another thing.
So the fact I wasn't up to going out this year, ignoring the fact I have no friends to have gone anywhere with :'D I suppose I shouldn't let get me down. Better to wait til I'm ready and have people around me I trust than rush out and freak out right?
Anyway, I digress. Standard.
My point is that I know some people get angry about the whole fuss made over New years, and on the whole I do too, but the difference is I understand what it can mean to people and how people make it a big deal for their own reasons, and if they don't hurt anyone else whats the harm.
So this year, I have sort of made some New Years Resolutions. Yes, they are things I've wanted to change for a while, some are ones that have been 'in progress' for a while, but why not take the opportunity to give myself a kick up the backside? Sometime being in a herd of sheep can be a good thing; you've always got the farmer to get you moving right?

So, my new years resolutions, if anyones bothered. Actually, sod that, even if you're not at least by writing them here someone else will have seen them so I'm not just going to have myself to answer to.

Do well in my A Levels. Says it all. I want to get out of Exeter now, too many memories in this place. I'll be scared of uni, and I'll struggle so hard come exams, but I want to do as well as I possibly can.

Be more organised. Obviously related to the latter, but just in general too.

Improve my timekeeping. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows how atrocious I am at being on time for anything, so I need to work on that :')

Keep writing more. Simples. Been neglecting it again and that makes me sad. I think its because I've been getting exasperated more at the inability to express myself fully, but I dont want writers block again so I need to power through.

Start up my creative outlets again. I want to pick up my guitar again and get writing songs again. I'd gotten to the point where I was so nearly ready to perform, but then my confidence was stolen. Sometimes I dont think I've got the worst singing voice in the world, but so far if I'm singing in my room and I hear the front door open I clam up, my stage fright for singing is that bad. I also want to get back into art again. Sketching, painting, drawing, whatever, I want to get it going again. I've just ordered some new ProMarkers and another Moleskine to get doing some stuff there, so hopefully I can crack the back of that.

Lose weight. I know its one that SO many people make year after year, and that I've said it before, but there you have it. My lifelong struggle with weight will fucking well end this year. I nearly ended it once, in year 11 I lost like, 4 stone in 6 months I think? and was at my thinnest and happiest. Then the depression train hit, which apparently in my case comprises of a bed, a sofa, and every other carriage is a free all you can eat buffet :') and I fucking ballooned. Seriously. I don't want to say how heavy I was at my biggest ie not that long ago (6 months ish?), maybe when I've lost more I will, but right now I still feel like I'm too close to that weight to admit it. Even though I know I'm not; thanks to the dieting in the first half of last year I am actually still roughly 4 stone lighter than my heaviest, not the same as I was in year 11 and lost 4 stone - way more than that - but still, having lost that 4 stone I am now roughly at what I was in year 11 I think. I'm speaking roughly here because I haven't got the figures in front of me.
But yes. I am sick and tired of being this fat. I'm 18 ffs and I hate everything I see in the mirror, and it isn't healthy. And I mean that in every respect. So I will get rid of it. Lets just say that every time I've dieted my ideal ideal weight has always been 10-12 stone, with 10 being like my ideal image in my head and 12 being probably more realistic, ish. So this year I am determined to at least, firstly, get back down to what I managed in year 11 which if I'm brutally honest was just one last push away from the ideal goal, and then hopefully get down to it. No, not hopefully. I will.
I've tried so many diets so many times, and I know that essentially it is easy; eat less and do more. But unfortunately I am a big food lover and apparently have the metabolism of a fucking elephant, or a sloth, or something with a really slow metabolism, so I've always been a bigger kid. But I hate it. So I will change it.

Find more confidence. Be happy. Smile more. Obviously all of what I want isn't going to come simply, or easily, or magically, and as I said yesterday I know this road to recovery or whatever you want to call it is by no means easy or short, but this year I want to make real strides along it. Going back to college was a big step. Meeting twitter people at the tweet up was a big step. I made some baby steps this year, and some bigger ones, when I think back I guess overall I should be proud of how far I've come this last year. I've gone from being more or less a total recluse, to having some mild semblance of a life. As hard as it is to believe sometimes, I'm not all bad. I have good intentions and a good heart. I don't like hurting people and I like making people laugh. I want to have parts of that girl I was back, when I found more confidence after losing that weight, and I will. I'll get those parts back, and I'll make the overall package even better. I can be what I want to be, cant I? Yes. I have to believe that I can. And hey, if worst comes to worst and I really struggle at losing the weight and what have you, then i will seriously consider using that money for plastic surgery :'D (she says like she hasn't seriously thought about it already).

If I'm honest, all of this that I want to change about myself, it isn't just for me. Sure, becoming who I want to be will make me happier, but thats only part of it. There are people in my life now, and people I hope to have in my life more in the future, that I want to be better for. Better in every sense - you know the whole "no one will love you until you can love yourself" thing? Well I guess its not entirely true because people love different things, but the element that I get from it is this; you can't let anyone love you, and really believe they love you, unless you even like yourself and believe you're worth it. That's the boat I'm in I guess, and I want to jump ship. I want to get on a bigger boat, with room for two of us and not just me in my neurosis, because really, there's more than enough room in my heart because I just love everyone, friends, family, whatever. At the minute it seems the only person I don't have room for in there, is myself, and I guess that has to change.
I have a lot to give, and I want to feel able to give it without constantly thinking about myself and how scared I am, and without freaking out and over analysing etc.
So my reasons for wanting to change, to better myself, are not entirely selfish because a happier me benefits other people right?

Anyway, its gone 1am now and I was supposed to be getting an early night tonight. Good one.
As usual I still have so much I want to say, but I'll just end up talking round in circles and blathering on about nothing and everything as I get gradually tireder, so I'll leave it there.

This is a new year, though the months and days have the same names and nothing changes there, I will.

Happy new year you beautiful people.

Thinking ahead and out.

Note; as per usual, this started as one thing and then sorta... developed a life of its own? I know I haven't written anything on here for a while, but that might change this year, who knows! Anyway, yeah, this is more or less a stream of consciousness.

I'm the kind of person who thinks so far ahead. Too far ahead maybe.

I want to be in a relationship with someone by the time I go back to Australia, and I want them to come with me. While I was there, I'd go off on little walks on my own every now and again, at dusk or at dawn, or even in the middle of the day, and I'd find these little spots and be like… "wow. I want to share this with someone." The path down the spine of Palm Beach/Summer Bay approaching dusk, when the light swam and glittered through the leaves of the trees and danced on the colder sand in the shadows, that led to a little sandy clearing on the edge of Barranjoey Head, nestling into the cliff and sloping down towards the gorgeous stretch of Palm Beach, where I could see one couple silhouetted in the distance walking along holding hands. Uluru at sunset, naturally. That little boat house by the river in Perth, that I drove or walked past nearly every day; I want to walk down the little jetty and sit in there, dangling our feet in the water while we have a picnic, then when the sun gets high you can fall asleep on me in the corner or we'll cross the road and doze under the huge trees, draped across roots as thick as my legs. Busselton - the winding streets and the parks, and the jetty, jeez that jetty at sunset. And all these other little places just dotted along the Great Ocean Road that so obviously could be romantic, and would have been… if I wasn't with my parents :') like Apollo Bay, to wake up and just open the door right onto that beach. And oh god, how could I forget Monkey Mia? The views, the beach, the sea, and the dolphins. (Everything there just seemed so… full, and happy. Naturally I'm sitting here getting mega nostalgic for Australia now and totally wanting to be back there, and not just for the romantic bits!)

It's like I look into a version of my future, more like a wish, a dream or whatever, and I can see so clearly how I want things to be with 'my girl', but everything else is blurry. My face is blurry, and my body is barely there; obviously this is reflective of my desire to look different, to lose weight and transform my body but my lack of confidence at my ability to ever do so. Age is indeterminate, neither of us are any age at all, it could be tomorrow I'm seeing, or 5 years away from now; maybe because I've never actually been in a relationship, only 'nearly' ones or whatever, and because I've never had anyone in my life as more than a friend really, because of all this I am so ready to be in a relationship - all of this probably affects this 'dream' in so far as I could happily do all this stuff now (in theory) but know its not likely to happen for years aka ever.

And you never have a face. Now this is fairly obvious, because I can't possibly know who you are. Every now and again when I literally do dream anything like this ie actually at night, if I've been thinking about any one person in particular their face will usually be there, but only sort of, like a half face that I can kind of recognise but isn't entirely who its supposed to be. But you've all had dreams, you know how I mean with people's faces and stuff. But by and large, you're there, but not physically there. Well, you cant be really can you, because you don't exist there. But you know what I mean.

In those dreams, and whenever I think about things like that, or whenever I'm somewhere and I think "I don't want to see this place again unless I have someone to share this with", or whenever I see couples in town and wish I could just twine my fingers with someones, you just don't have a face. I can see you, I can look right at you though. I can look right into your eyes that aren't there and drown in them. I can run my fingers over the lips that are never there and smile and the softness. I can kiss the nose that isn't there, everything. Its strange.

I don't know. Im 18 years old, overweight, unfit, socially struggling (although no longer practically a recluse like last year), and lonely. I'm so bored of my own company. And in the nicest way possible, I'm really bored of my family's company too. They literally still are the only people I see. Obviously its been different these last few months as I've physically been in college and so see people in the day, but I come straight home after college all the time. I don't socialise. Over this Christmas holiday I've seen Hannah once as she's back from Uni for Christmas, and that was when her and her parents came round for christmas nibbles and what not. I may have plenty of people to talk to on twitter, but I don't have any other physical people in my life. I knew it'd take time once I went back to college for the social side of things to happen, and overall its gone well, in that I half expected at this point to still be a nervous wreck if I had to so much look at anyone in college, but some days I feel almost like I used to again, like I'm emerging from my feet thick shell. But its still a little galling that I don't have any 'friends' as such. I find myself comparing it to when I started college the first time and getting sad, but I know thats stupid because its completely different. Then it was the first year of college, AS, and so we spent like the first 3 days of college just having like tutor group induction so by the end of the first week we'd all gone for lunch and what have you together already, plus I already knew a few girls in my tutor group. Also it was a drama tutor group, and somehow they're always a bit more immediately social and what have you. So yeah, the only physical human beings I see most days are my family, and even thats gonna change soon when my sister goes back to Australia :(

It really is the holidays that do it to be honest. Like I say, the last few months I haven't thought of any of this so much because in the day I am seeing other people, but being off of college and having no one to see feels way too much like how I spent the majority of last academic year, so its throwing my off kilter I guess.

I just feel ready for life again in the most basic sense. Ready to have friends again, ready to smile, ready to laugh, ready to do nothing but with someone, ready to talk, ready to live, and ready for love. But then obviously, at the same time I'm still so not ready, and running scared. But then I think; who's really ever 'ready' for life? No one chooses to be born, and once you're alive you don't exactly have much of a say in it do you? Who's ever really 'ready' for anything life throws at them? Yes, of course I have an 'excuse' etc in that I've been through the mill these last two years, been through more than most people my age blah blah, but still. Every time I say I'm scared of something or annoyed at myself and my life, someone always says that; "you've been through this blah blah" and its like, while it may be true, it doesn't help. Its like… I don't know… its like if you've broken your arm and its in a cast and a sling, and you're trying to reach something and you cant so you get really frustrated because it feels like you're not you, and someone asks whats up, you tell them, and then they say "well you have got a broken arm." "Oh really? I hadn't noticed. Tell me, how does telling me that help me reach that jar of biscuits at all? Exactly." You see what I'm saying? While some days I feel so sorry for myself about everything and want to scream to the world "Pity me! Love me! Buy me things!" etc (which is utterly ridiculous and only lasts a second or two, but you know what I mean), for the most part its just so frustrating that I still feel so held back. I know that I'm the only one holding me back now, that its my insecurities and paranoias and stuff that is all thats stopping me from doing the things I want to do, being the person I want to me… but like the broken arm, knowing that doesn't change anything, not really.

I don't know. I think far too much, I know that. You know that! I cant switch off ever and I hate it. I overthink, overanalyse, overwatch, overreadinto, whatever you name it i do it. I know I'm the only one that can do anything about any of the things that get me down, and I know everything is still a gradual process, and I know its still, in the grand scheme of things in this 'recovery' process (which I apparently am still in) that its still early days. I've seen cases of other people who have had similar experiences to me taking tens of years to 'recover', if they do, if they don't become a shadow of their former self and never really get back to 'normal'. But sometimes a shadow isn't a bad thing, its just a new thing. Sometimes a shadow can fit where we cant. So I guess what I'm saying is that while I accept theres no way I'll ever get back to the me I was before all this, I don't have to see that as a bad thing. Even though I'm now in this limbo state where I feel like I don't know who I am, what I am, when where and why I am, I have to remind myself that its ok to feel that, daily. I can see the last two years as wasted, ruined, soiled and marred, (which I always will in part) or I can see them as transition. Transition into this new me, whoever the hell she is! The transition is still going on, and maybe it will for another good few years, and maybe one day I'll wake up and realise 'I'm there' - happy. Maybe one day I'll wake up beside someone, and realise I've been happy for months, I've found the me I was always looking for inside myself, and I finally like myself. And love the one beside me.

Or maybe I'll wake up and push one of many cats off the end of my bed and begin yet another day as a lonely cat lady. Only time will tell. Time that I am so bored of waiting on, but what can you do? Push on, power through, soldier on, breathe in, breathe out, rinse, lather and repeat.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Lonely little feathers.

I've got a lot of love to give. I'm loyal, I'm caring, I can be sweet and cute (apparently) and I'll never hurt you if I can help it. But I got no one to give it to.
I'm so fucking fed up of being on my own.
It was good to see Hannah for today, as she's down from uni for tar barrels, but all it did was remind me again, if I needed reminding, that I'm on my own.
They've all moved on, living their lives, made new friends already, kept in touch with the old ones, and nothing to worry about. And me?
I've gotta start over, only it's for the first time. Every time I've progressed through school, I've had those guys with me, and any new friends I've made were when I had self confidence.
Now I'm in a position where people know each other already, cos they've had a year of college together, and I'm just the fat weirdo who's still here for some reason.
I'm really struggling to make friends, let alone anything else.
The last week, things have seemed a bit better though. Don't get me wrong, I get along well with a fair few people in my lectures, but it's just that there's a fair bit of difference between getting on with people in a lesson and being friends.
My sister keeps saying to just ask one of them/some of them if they want to grab some lunch, but it's not as simple as that. Like I say, in most classes, people have got at least one person they know, so they leave with them, and I'm like ehhhhh I'll be quiet then.
As I've said, I'm finding it hard enough to make friends, let alone anything else. But I'm going out of my fucking mind. No I'm not talking sexually, though sure that'd be nice, but just company. But more than friendship. Someone to just sit and watch tv with, curled up and legs tangled. Someone to sit with in Bostons and read, don't have to talk, just sit and read a magazine or a book. Or someone to talk to about shit all that anyone else cares about or understands.
Of course, all of this, when I type it, makes me think of L. Natch. But I think I know I'm just idealising those memories and picking the best ones. There's nothing wrong with remembering the good things in life, but I've got to remember why my friendship with her ended and why things turned out the way they did.
I don't really know what the point of this was.
You've all had enough of me bemoaning my loneliness by now I expect, but it's there. It's not as simple as just getting out there and meeting people. I've got such little self confidence after everything over the last few years, that talking to people is a struggle. I feel ridiculously awkward; I don't know how to start conversations, and once I do almost everything I say I'm thinking "what the fuck was that?!!?" or I can't keep the conversation going or I put my foot in it or make a twat of myself or something. With all the college work, something I'm not used to, as much as I'd like the money I can't deal with a job as well, so that's another way of meeting people (how I met L, tumteetum) gone out of the window.
And as for just going out of an evening for a drink? On my own?! Are you CRAZY?!!! I don't really want to look like a loner on my own thanks. Gay bars? Ok, so by some freak happening Exeter has two of them (ikr!!?!) but I can't really bring myself to go there. I know it sounds odd, but a lot of lesbians really do my fucking head in! The whole overly butch thing, and the whole 'oh we've all slept with each other lar dee dar' doesn't really appeal. Plus, there's only so many lesbians in Exeter; we may have two gay bars but there's only so many of us to go around! So I'd just feel ridiculously awkward. And it's not like I've got anyone to go with, cos I have no friends... *talks round in a circle*
So yeah. I'm lonely.
For friends, people to hang out with you know? Someone to text! Someone to talk to on the phone! All of this stuff normal people my age get to do would be nice thanks.
And yeah, for a girl. Even though part of me will always struggle to understand how anyone could ever like me, (even as a friend; I don't get it, you're all mad) I'm also a bit like 'wait no, I'm nice!' I care. I can be sweet and cute. I like to make you smile. I like to make you laugh. Fuck that, I love to make you smile and laugh because I love to see you smile, and laugh. Y'know?
So yeah, I'm a mess, and physically basically repulsive, but I still reckon when it comes to girlfriend material, I could be a catch! Sure, I'll freak out over all the physical stuff, but that's another issue to be fair.
So, if anyone out there wants to be friends with me, and then eventually maybe more, and is willing to look past the exterior (theres a lot of it) and the crazy (a lot of that too) then feel free to appear in my life. At this stage, I feel that as awesome as you online friends are (read; very), I need some human contact.
And I need someone to give this love to, before it turns into more of the self loathing that I've got enough of in me, and my heart starts to fester.
And with that lovely imagine, I bid you adieu, and maybe hello.