25.5.15

Words that have been out and about, on people's lips


From Tumblr

So I left school two weeks ago. I keep on expecting some big emotional reaction but it never comes. Probably because I haven't really left school yet, but am in the weird limbo that is study leave. I'm still going in for exams and the odd revision session but I'm not really a student anymore and I have done all the tradition last day stuff. However at about 3:34pm on Thursday 18th July 2015 once I leave the sports hall following the grimest day of German and Physics that really will officially be it. Then I'm sure my body will crumble and I'll start the long process of rebuilding myself into something that resembles an adult.

I plan to start my gap year by not getting out of bed until comfortably after midday. Then I will do myself a cooked breakfast before taking a shower to wash the remaining evidence of sixth form off me, before walking down to a field near my house, where I shall spend as much time as it pleases me lying under a tree looking up at the branches to sky beyond.

I have done a lot of walking lately. Even the odd bit of running, which is pretty horrible but does allow me to work off some pent up aggression that has built up towards Billy Collins for being such a boring and uninteresting poet, and towards Edexcel for making me study him. I've walked roughly the same route most Sundays for the last three years but over the last few days I have been less formulaic, allowing myself to explore the little paths made by teenagers on Friday evenings that take me to clearings that I am not quite brave enough to sit and read for hours in.

My gap year is not there for me to find myself. If I have learnt anything from physics over the last two years it is that I am a but a wavelength smeared across the universe, made of matter that will happily turn into nothing but energy in the blink of eye. But when that makes me feel too insignificant I remember that most of the particles that are in me are interacting with every single charged particle in the universe, and that those particles are in turn interacting with me.

That, and to always put units and to watch your significant figures.

But before I can start all that I need to I get revision and exams out of the way. I'm not dwelling too much on quite how much I have to do and how little time I have to do it because it will only stress me. Thinking about the probabilities of what I need and want to get this year will only make me feel inadequate and insecure so I'm just going to pretend I am what everyone thinks I am. But maybe I should think about all that stuff more if it means I will actually spend as much time as I need on integration by parts and vectors, rather than just drinking copious amounts of coffee, reading translations of Rimaud's Illuminations and watching Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. 

Mother and I went to the Royal Opera House to watch the Royal Ballet's production of Woolf Works, a new ballet inspired by the writings and suicide of Virginia Woolf. It was the most intense and moving piece of art I have seen in a long time. Attempting to describe it makes it sound a little crap as it involved a surprising amount of lasers and synths. But watching it was like reading her works, with their overwhelming intensity and the beautiful way in which her language moves and forces the plot to become secondary. The moment it finished and Alessandra Ferri was left to dissolve on stage I was hit with a sadness so overwhelming I headed straight to loos to cry.

Sorry it was so wordy and sounds a little forced but I writing this was way more therapeutic that I expected. Also Cecily's doing good. Not that I know that for sure because she hasn't been on the internet for the last two weeks and I'm seriously suffering from lack of contact with her (I hope that when she reads that she feels suitably guilty). However I believe her exams have finished.

Gwendolen

26.4.15

January/February/March/April Disposables

This camera took forever to fill up.

The Alan Turing memorial looking creepy

I needed to fill it up

There's a crab there somewhere

This one looks like some distant planet

Manchester doesn't photograph so well



I had nothing to worry about but grass stains on my dress


PS Cecily is still alive I promise

20.4.15

Nothing ever started with a kiss

As I returned to school for the (last ever) first day of term, I'm finally starting the last stretch towards something that might actually resemble adulthood.

My Easter holiday was lovely. Other than the cold that started on the last day of term two and half weeks ago, and thanks to my Dad reinfecting me, I still have. My parents and I went away to a little holiday cottage somewhere on the border between Devon and Cornwall (we're still not sure which side we were actually on). Something about the physical separation from home gave me the chance to temper some emotions that I would rather not be having. For the first time in forever I was able to interrogate some of my insecurities rationally, rather than confronting them through a cloud of emotion. This resulted in some refreshingly logical thoughts, and although I'm nowhere near over feeling as romantically inadequate and innately unattractive as I do, it has meant I'm more a peace them and can accept, for example, that it's counter productive to feel guilty that those are my insecurities, because yes, it may be tied up in patriarchal bullshit, but my feelings still matter and there's no point making myself feel worse. How long this will last will remain to be seen, but for the moment I want to hang on to the feeling of lying out on the grass under the sun, with nothing to worry about but avoiding getting grass stains on my dress.

Last night I read the diary I wrote between Friday 15th April 2011 and Saturday 14th April 2012 cover to cover. Although I have dipped in from it from time to time, watching myself develop over a year was an odd experience. In all honesty, the subject matter hasn't changed that much, despite how much my life has changed from where it was when I was fourteen, but it's good to see them in their beginnings. Mainly because it turns up angsty beauties like this that can only be written by an over dramatic fourteen year old:

Sunday 10th July 2011 - "I think I may be forgetting someone now... Oh yeah! Me. But doesn't everyone. I think I am liked and popular with my friends, but I don't think the boys I know would give a shit if my face was bitten off by a dog. Not that it would make much of a difference."

It's almost sad to read about the friendship I had with people at my old school who don't even reply to my occasional facebook messages.

One of the books I read last week was "The Opposite of Loneliness" by Marina Keegan, a collection of short stories and essays. She was a huge over achiever: graduated magna cum laude from Yale, had a musical being produced at the New York International Fringe and had a job lined up the New Yorker. But a few days after graduation she died in a car crash. I was apprehensive that her death would romanticize the collection, and it was on my mind all the time while I was reading, which isn't helped by the structure of the anthology that is clearly there to play on that idea. But the collection truly is remarkable, even if the short stories often rotate around the same themes and images (much like my diaries) considering she was 22 years old and never planned to have these published in the form that they are in. I've become kind of obsessed.




5.4.15

The waves broke on the shore

"To be loved by Susan would be to be impaled by a bird's sharp beak, to be nailed to a barnyard door. Yet there are moments when I could wish to be speared by a beak, to be nailed to a barnyard door, positively, once and for all" - from Virginia Woolf's 'The Waves'

From my tumblr

Reading Fleur's post on how she is not ready to leave school has made me realise that for me the opposite is true. I'm over the school system. From now on it's just revising and doing past papers, which when done in a classroom just drags on forever, and inevitably ends with just having rather non-consequential conversation with whoever I sit near and then feeling guilty at the lack of progress I have achieved. I'm over having to leave to my house at 7:15 each morning, because it seems like the moment I get back in the evening I have to go back to school. The routine is mindless and I want to be free of it. I'm over being aware that it's going to end soon, but it not being the end yet.

 I sometimes forget that I went to a different school from years 7-11. The last year and half has been so much more happy and tangibly significant.

Easter Holiday reading list: Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf // The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald //  The Waves -  Virginia Woolf // Dracula - Bram Stoker // The Opposite of Loneliness - Marina Keegan


20.2.15

Dancing in the centre of a noun

Hey Readers,

 Here are some photos I took whilst on an a 10am walk a couple of days ago


 Rather a lot has happened since I last did a written post (which I believe was on New Year's Eve) due to the terrible neglect this poor old blog has had to suffer. I turned 18 that was happily insignificant but simultaneously most enjoyable. It was wonderful when Cecily and a friend from our old school were rapid firing questions to me on the train home as the final minutes of 17 ticked into the first of 18 to establish who I was at that moment in my life.


I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking
'Goodbye to Berlin' by Christopher Isherwood


Breathing Ritual by Globelamp


 I have an offer from my first choice of University, which is exciting, confusing and scary. There was a offer-holder's open day at my college last weekend and I have fallen in love with it. Now I am slightly regretting applying for a gap year, but at least if I don't get the grades I need I will have a whole year to mature, reflect and hopefully come to the realisation that I'm in the lucky position of being middle-class/well-educated/white/living in the West and therefore probably whatever happens my life will be ok, and I can work to make it fabulous.

 The people there were also pretty rad. There was a biologist and medic who spent a five minute conversation ignoring and interrupting me which wasn't so great, but then I found some of the girls I had met at interview as well as other English/related subjects people and we all got on so well so quickly it was a bit scary. I can't help but feeling that any friendships I make at University will not be as beautiful as the ones I have now. In a few years I'll look back at this and pity myself for lack of knowledge of the wonders that await me I'm sure. But what if I don't look back and think that?


Dann fand ich nicht die richtige Gelegenheit, die richtige Stunde, das richtige Wort. Schließlich war es zu spät
Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink


 Eight weeks or so remain of school. I keep on telling myself I will write more journal entries just recording school days or take pictures on my disposables of everyday school moments, but I never do


Gwendolen

31.12.14

Reflections on 2014

To my dearest darling reader,

 So another year draws to a close and we begin the old drill of looking back on the memories of this trip around the sun.

A selection of my favourite disposables from this year
 Rereading last year's equivalent post I find myself confronted with the fact that despite so much happening and changing in 2014, my feelings about how the year has gone has changed little from how I felt 2013 went. 2014 has been wonderful, but mainly because 17 has been wonderful (although, yes, it does bring a second puberty).

This year marks my last year where legally I am not an adult, and the future seems beautiful fluid and uncertain. But next year I shall (hopefully) get a place at University and leave school and do all those other things that I will do but as of yet I do not know what they are, which will all contribute to the overall direction of my life. And that's ok.

2014 was the year that I:
  • Reacquired a fringe
  • Applied to University
  • Fell in love with German literature (after I had applied to University rather annoyingly)
  • Did most of the (limited number of) teenagery stuff that has happened to me
  • Gained some truly wonderful friends
  • Came out as bisexual/Was attracted to a girl for the first time, despite knowing I could be since year 5/Had a breakthrough when I found out about grey-sexuality
  • Co-founded a Feminist Society in a boys' school
  • Didn't post enough on here 
  • Was told my flower crowns were 'well random' by Carol Ann Duffy
As of yet I don't have any resolutions (but I did do generally well with last year's ones) however if any pop up over the next day or so I shall let you all know

Have a wonderful year sweetpeas!

Gwendolen

Procrastinate...

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