I have so much to say, but I’m at a loss for words. I think it’s that floodgate moment when if someone asked if I am OK all the things that are not OK will come out. I want to talk but I also don’t. It’s my last two/three (I’m losing track of time) weeks in my current role. I have a really great team who could probably give me good advice or at least words of comfort right now. However, I sit with my back to the centre of the room unable to get out of my headspace. Sometimes I stop for a few minutes of chatter. When I do I realise how much I am going to miss my team and it feels too sad so I go back into my little bubble.
I don’t want to leave Canterbury but I’m struggling to function. I think I just need some time off to think about how to move forward. What does forward look like?
I’ve been working on vision boards and I’ve discovered the main thing I want is flexibility; the freedom to work from home if my mental health is not good, or to work from other places if an emergency calls me out of the county, or to work at the evening if my bedsit is too cold that getting up is painful and I have to stay with a friend until the worst of the chill is over, or to work afternoons because my first bus has abusive people on it and I’m scared of seeing them and I’ve started walking a mile to avoid them and it’s exhausting, or to work longer weeks when I suddenly have an idea for process improvement that is driving my enthusiasm at top speed and I can not stop.
How can I ask for flexibility doing entry-level administration? My skills are not good enough that I can ask for concessions. But I want to work and I want a level of autonomy.
I need time for a springboard into wellness. But how can I ask for that? I’ve decided going back to temping is a good option, but that comes without security or many development opportunities. I feel constantly on square one – which is where the problem lies. If I step off it, it’s my only way back in. I’m tired.
Today I put on a brave face but felt 🆖
Lately my priority has been working on my portfolio. I’m making a lot of collages, but it feels very automatic and not much like art practice. This worries me. I could submit my portfolio now, but I want to experiment with other media first. However, there seems to be no continuity to this method. I feel like I look like I’m ringing it in. I’m not. I spent two hours trying to teach myself how to use Photoshop today. The resulting collage – a mixture of a scan of a paper collage and features from Photoshop looked disappointing. Like it had been done in five minutes. I used the cloning tool and the stamp tool because they make it feel like a digital collage. But it doesn’t feel like my work because Photoshop made it. I realise the silliness of feeling like this because all of my collages are a mixture of craft paper, magazine/book cuttings and tape – created by other folk. I’m struggling with the idea of realness.
It’s something I feel the need to explore.
Canterbury has lost some of it’s sheen, for reasons I feel uncomfortable writing about here. Just a load of microaggressions chipping away at me. I don’t actually feel bad or sad – just tired. And that’s what’s making me feel odd. I do care but I feel like I don’t care. It’s probably a side effect of medication but I feel like I could be disappointing people. I, myself, feel content. I’ve began to feel lots of joy about the freelance writing I’m doing – every article is more fun and easier to get to grips with than the last. This bubble of pride helps me feel bouyant during trying times. Maybe the real worry is that I’ve zoned out of the real world a bit too much and I’m loving every minute of it.
Feel is the most used word in my blog.
I had another seminar last week where my group discussed what we need to do to complete our module. I feel confident I have done half of the assessment already. The other half is putting a portfolio together. I haven’t been creative at all this year until this morning. I’ve set myself a weekly challenge to do two or more collages or zine pages. I’m happy with the second piece I did today.
How am I feeling?
Reflective. Protective. Ambitious. Uncertain.
In four months I will no longer be a student. Being a Brighton student has been a large part of my identity for the past few years. So large, that when I relocated to Kent last year, it helped ease the geographic seperation. Part of me will be relieved that I won’t have outstanding projects sneaking into my thoughts at unexpected intervals.
However, the rest of me will miss the challenge. I will also miss the opportunities that come alongside university life.
I have to admit that I’ve been having flashbacks of anticipatory grief. Which feels weird, especially as there are sadder to things to be upset about.
A piece I had written last month got published. It’s not great but I saw improvement in my writing. A couple who read it sent me a present from a wishlist I have… some massage stones and oil.
I also met up with a colleague from my new workplace. We spoke about potential creative writing projects. So it looks like I’ll be filling future gaps in my time with other things.
I’m still on that steep learning curve in my new job role. I’m expecting to be here for quite a while yet.