July 24

Healing

My sister sent me a care package. Flow, chocolate and Lush bath oils.

I hadn’t heard of Flow before, but it’s a very pretty magazine and I’m enjoying reading it in bed. I’ve picked up a touch of agoraphobia but that tends to happen in the weeks after a big move. Technically, it’s more than a touch but I don’t want to be an alarmist. I can feel it moving on so I’m not too worried about it anymore.

My lymph nodes are still swollen but not as tender.

I submitted an opinion piece to a political blog I like, but now I’m feeling embarrassed and foolish. I hope it doesn’t get published. I would retract it but my mid-year resolution was to be more fearless. Oh well. If my worst fears manifest, I can use this experience as an example of why I should listen to my body more often.

Sleeping is difficult. Late morning to afternoon is the only time I feel cool and exhausted enough to have a decent nap. Night time is restless thoughts. And odd behaviour, like applying to do a science GCSE.

As of today, my mother has been alive for seven decades. She’s twice my age. It feels significant. She adopted me thirty-five years and one month ago. Numbers are in my head a lot.

July 17

Lumps

I am visiting Brighton for a long weekend, and to see a GP. It was a struggle to get here but I figured it would be worth it because I’d get some antibiotics and these lumps would go away. As usual, nothing happens as I expected. It turns out that the lumps are not related to my headaches or dizziness, but are likely to be the result of a skin or dental condition.

Also, we have no idea what the dizziness and headaches are caused by. It could be hypertension as a side effect of my medication. Or it could be anxiety and stress wearing me down.

After leaving the GP surgery I decided to go and see my favourite University of Brighton places. I noticed the MA Show finished on Saturday, but I hoped to catch the MAIAP pieces that hadn’t been taken down yet.

It was emotional seeing the work, campus, students and staff again. It reminded me that, even though I cannot afford to live here anymore, Brighton is a home of sorts for me. I am excited at the prospect of finishing my PGCert and I would love to have my work in an exhibition one day. I’m a bit worried about whether the job I find will be flexible enough to allow me to return to Brighton occasionally to complete my course. But right now my priority is getting that job! Flexibility is an afterthought.

Afterwards I went to St Peter’s House Library to sit at my favourite computer (Number 1, of course) and cool down by the window. St Peter’s House Library is such a significant place for me. It was a place I used to go when my bedsit in Kemptown was just too damp and depressing, it was a place I went when I wanted to browse the art history titles in the years before I applied to be a University of Brighton student and it is a place I go when I want to be surrounded by supportive folk.

What next?

Well, I don’t know how long I’ll stay in Brighton. But the college I let down last week is interested me in applying for more roles again. Particularly, the role I didn’t quite apply for last time. So, that’s something to look forward to. I’ll have to be honest though, I think I’ll go back to temping before the summer is through.