September 22

Merit

Yesterday I received a notification to check StudentCentral to see my assessment results. I got an overall merit for my PGCert in Inclusive Arts Practice. I am happy and proud, but I haven’t been able to shake off my gloom. I wish I could time travel back to Brighton.

A good time

A good time

September 20

Tomato Girl

Yesterday I got ill. It had been building up for weeks. I don’t feel too disappointed about it because I know colleagues at work who have been feeling run down and one who got signed off. Yesterday I was taking time off in lieu and today is my scheduled day off.

I’ve got a mixture of the fungal stress rash I get, and I have an outbreak of acne which is pretty much due to the same thing. I also have a handful of nasty insect bites on the right side of my body that look irritated (they’ve turned into puffy clusters which sometimes happens when I have an allergic reaction).

After my afternoon nap I woke up with ulcers in my mouth. I feel itchy and swollen and just really low. I wanted to take today off college but I was aware with how behind I got over freshers, so I figured I’d just fight through it. But yesterday evening I decided to email in and say I was having the day off sick. I also asked my classmates to send me the homework and they told me that the course had been postponed for a fortnight.

The timing couldn’t have been better (for me). A proper rest without the feeling of guilt I always get when I let people down on a sick day.

Universe – you have my back ♥

September 18

Chill

It’s currently Chooseday Chill time at my workplace. So I thought I’d use this time to do some blogging as my CCSU colleagues buzz around me.

My blog has been a bit quiet, well I’ve been busy. This morning I was helping out a colleague with an event so I put my work Happy to Help t-shirt on. I clocked out approximately twenty minutes ago (though I am still naughtily checking emails) and switched my brain off. Jamie asked me if I was working now and I couldn’t think of the words so I blurted out I’m not here while waving my arms like I was dancing the twist. So that should give you an idea of my mind state.

I thought I’d do a catch-up post. I am enjoying being a counselling student (though I should use the term helper because I’m at level 2). I haven’t got involved with my student union yet but my manifesto is online in case I ever find out where/when monthly student meetings take place and how to get involved.

I have had two pieces of writing published within the same fortnight. The latest piece was written a month and a half ago so it has made me hopeful that other things I have written are just in a queue somewhere waiting for the right moment to go live. It’s a pretty exciting point in my writing life now because I have now lost track of things I have written so whenever I see/hear my articles it’s almost like a surprise! And, my latest article was edited so little I cannot see any changes. I always remember Sam Davies who was my department director when I worked in the Alumni team (and one of my biggest sources of support and inspiration) telling me about the first time her work was handed back to her without corrections, suggestions or edit. Now I can see what she means. It is such a significant moment – the moment when you think yes, I get it.

Part of my counselling course involves a reflective journal. And, I’m struggling with it! As someone who is a reflective writing advocate and practitioner, this seems absurd. But I guess it is just a symptom of work pressures. I am enjoying my course but the only time I feel engaged with it is during my classroom activities and the few hours I spend on my homework the day before (I don’t normally like doing homework the day before but that is just where my day off falls). I’m confident that by this time next week my weeks will be back to normal and I’ll be fully alert.

September 5

Crispy

Tomorrow I am enrolling and starting a counselling course in Canterbury College and I am super-excited. The course will be something I can utilise in my MRes application. I even went out to get a haircut today so I wouldn’t look too much like a clown on my student ID card.

I am a little bit nervous about the weekend. I am helping out with a registration day and I feel underprepared. I’m going into work tomorrow to follow up on some tasks that have been giving me nightmares. And I’ll pack some bags because I am very conscious that I have left this activity undone for too long.

One of my articles, that I thought had been binned, was published yesterday. Sometimes it really does feel like the universe has my back. It was edited more than usual – which might be the cause of the delay. It happened at the best time for me.

I’m also pretty stoked with a charity shop find I made today; a Donkey Kong Game & Watch. It’s pretty exciting because it was released five months after my birth. And I discovered M&Ms crispy chocolate spread. Yes. Awesome.

September 1

What a difference a year makes

A lot has changed in a year. I remember this photo from last September. I am in a very different place this year, I’m two stone heavier for a start – so I feel like I look like another person. I gave away my clear spectacles, my hair is now bleached and damaged. I have no positivity about the new academic year. The things I liked about me seem a universe away.

I had a bit of a meltdown last week. It was a culmination of the work I’ve been doing and the too many cooks experience in my tasks. I eventually let go of the built-up frustration, but it took a long time to get there. And my lymph nodes feel sore again like they did the last time I was struggling with things.

My MRes is at a standstill; I’m not sure I’ll get the money together in time for February. And I’ll be moving in a few months. I’m tired. I don’t want to move again. My last seven articles have not been published. I started writing a poetry book on my reflections of school and it feels more triggering than cathartic.

I went blackberry picking today. I had (good) flashbacks from nine years ago about the summer I moved back in with my Dad and spent my time on a nature reserve. I had an idea in my head to save up money and buy a flat. I was convinced it would be as cosy and quaint as Brambly Hedge.

It was the first time my head had been quiet for days.

October cannot come fast enough for my liking.