dolorosa_12: (una)
Day 17. Who was the last person you kissed? (If you are still with them now, pick the person before them.) What would they say if they saw you now?

The last person I kissed was my boyfriend M (and that was too long ago!), so I guess that doesn't count for the purposes of this question. The person before that was my ex-boyfriend Alex, and if he saw me now, he'd probably say, 'hello, let's talk about music for the next five hours'.

That's right, I'm still friends with my ex (to the extent that I think of him as 'my friend' and not 'my ex', so those words feel weird to write), as I am with all but one of my exes. I stay in contact with them to various degrees, and it doesn't seem to cause any problems for anyone. To be honest, the way I see it is there was some common ground, whether that was interests or personalities or simply shared history that drew us together in the first place, and that doesn't go away when the relationship ends. That's the way I handle the end of relationships, and it works for me, although I recognise that it doesn't work for everyone, and there are often very good reasons why contact with your ex is the last thing you'd want (that's why I'm in contact with six of my exes but not the other one - yes, I have seven exes like Ramona Flowers, but none of them are evil). But anyway, that's how it is for me.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 16. What are you passionate about?
Ní hannsa. Education. I believe it is a basic human right on the level of access to clean water, adequate food, shelter, healthcare, safety and equality before the law. I don't mean merely formal education, although it makes me sad beyond measure when I hear about people receiving a sub-par formal education (under whatever school system). But there's also education to be had in all aspects of life, and in most cases, more knowledge is better than less. I am very grateful to have grown up in circumstances in which access to decent education was easy, and with parents who valued education and always encouraged our inquisitiveness and intellectual growth.

the other days )

I think it's clear that I won't finish this by the end of November, but I will still answer each question.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
I'm such a sucker for memes, especially music ones. These two were snagged from [ profile] msdillydally.

Pick your current favorite 5 singers/bands, before reading the questions below.
Massive Attack
The Knife
Florence+The Machine
The Naked and Famous

answers behind the cut )

iTunes meme follows.

answers behind the cut )
dolorosa_12: (una)
Day 15. What do you believe in? And not just God or atheism.
Seriously, if I could sum up what I believed in, I would just point people to this song. That says it all in words better than I can manage. However, I shall attempt it here.

I am an atheist. I think I have always been an atheist, although I went through a period when I was about 15-20 of desperately trying to give myself faith (mostly this consisted of studying various religions obsessively) because I thought I needed it. What I realised was that what I really needed was rituals and a sense of community, and that you can have them without the belief in God (which was always where I fell down in my quest for religion; I couldn't make myself believe).

Above all things, I believe in words and people. That is, I believe human consciousness is a wonderful, beautiful and terrifying thing, and that words are the most perfect expression of that consciousness. When I think about what a tiny accident it was that this universe exists, that this galaxy, this solar system, this planet, this combination of circumstances that produced conscious beings exist, I'm almost overwhelmed. I find our smallness, the slender thread of luck that caused us to exist and be conscious both beautiful and terrifying.

I believe that this life is all there is, and that it is essential to live it in the way that feels right to you. For me that means gulping down experiences, feeling the full range of human emotions, and thinking about everything so much it makes my head hurt. I want to look back on my life and know that I lived, I loved, and I was loved.

My beliefs are not a comfortable or comforting thing. I find my comfort in words, and the stories they tell me, and in people and the places they take me and the person they make me.

the other days )

I will attempt to catch up, but we'll see if I make it to Day 30 by the end of the month.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)

I write like
Cory Doctorow

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!

I like Cory Doctorow, so this is fine by me.
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Day 14. When you are stressed, what can you use as an outlet? Why do you think it helps you?
As usual, I missed a day. Yesterday was extremely busy. I had a meeting with my supervisor, which of course resulted in her telling me to read a thousand books and articles, and then we had the grad seminar, and then drinks, so no blogging.

I have a lot of techniques for dealing with stress. My three best methods are to go running, to sit in a cafe and slowly drink a cup of coffee, or to talk to certain people (M and [ profile] thelxiepia are usually good for this) who I know will calm me down. If, for whatever reason, none of these options are possible, I try to do other things that are similar: cleaning or walking, which are physical activity in the same way that running is, cooking, which just makes me happy, or reading certain 'comfort books' (the Pagan Chronicles series is my go-to choice for this).

Making lists also helps, especially if I can cross things off them as I make them. Usually I get stressed or tense because I'm very busy, or I feel like my life is getting a bit chaotic, so anything that makes order out of chaos helps to make me feel better.

The one thing that doesn't work, which seems to work for a lot of people, is listening to music. I tend to feel all emotions extremely strongly, and music affects me really heavily. Adding it to the mix when I'm really stressed out tends to intensify my feelings and exacerbate the problem. I am incapable of listening to music neutrally. Every song has an association or a specific meaning to me, and so it's very hard to find music that doesn't evoke a painful or at least complicated emotion.
the other days )
dolorosa_12: (una)
Day 13. Where do you see your best friend in 10 years?
As I mentioned previously, I think the future is so unpredictable, and life is so messy that answering questions like this is almost impossible. That being said, if I had to pick a future for [ profile] thelxiepia, I'd hope for one very similar to this:

After three very enjoyable years doing undergrad at Bangor, [ profile] thelxiepia embarks on the next part of her journey: possibly an interesting job, possibly a Masters degree, probably somewhere in the media and communications field. Whatever the case, I hope that she ultimately ends up with a job that she finds entertaining and fulfilling, and that allows her to live where she wants to be living.

I hope that she'll still be a part of my life, especially as we've always had these epic plans for her to be a sort of awesome godmother to any children I might have, like the coolest of cool aunts.

Above all, I hope that she is happy, living life on her own terms, becoming the person she wants to be. That is a future I would want for anyone.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 12. If you could trade places with anyone for one week, who would it be and why?
Ooh, this is a really tough questions. Ten years ago, I would've reeled off the name of any one of a hundred fictional characters. But all the fictional characters I admire have such terrible, stressful, dangerous lives! And the real-life people, too.

Then I thought, maybe I could trade places with any one of the number of people I knew who was doing harm to those around them, and attempt to undo the damage they'd done, but a week isn't really enough time to do such a thing, and I think the prospect of actually living the life of one of those people would turn my stomach.

To be honest, the idea of a body-swap terrifies me, because who knows what the other person would be doing with my body while I was gone?


In other news, it's my amazing sister Mim's 23rd birthday today. I miss her so much. Facebook chat just isn't the same as being in the same place. But she's where she needs to be and I'm where I need to be, and that's how it is.

She's had a year of a lot of changes. She moved to Melbourne in February and is currently undertaking a Masters degree in media and communications at Monash University, as well as working full-time in a small film production company. I honestly don't know how she does it. If I were as busy as she is, I'd fall over from exhaustion.

So, happy birthday, Mim! I love you so much, and am so happy that you're my sister.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (una)
Day 11. Do you feel protective over someone?
Was there ever a question designed for me or what? The answer is an emphatic yes. I feel protective over a great number of people. My default mode seems to be 'mother'.

These people range from family members to close or long-term friends to less close friends. I seem to be the person that a lot of my friends come to when they have a problem, when they feel hurt or worried or scared. It's bit of a chicken-egg situation; I'm not sure if this came first or if my mothering personality did.

People bring me their problems for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes they have a plan of attack already, and just want to bounce their ideas off someone else before going ahead and solving whatever problem they're facing. Sometimes they're in a really bad place, bewildered and wanting advice. And sometimes all they want to do is talk or complain and have someone listen. I used to get into difficulties in earlier times because my immediate reaction when someone tells me about a problem is to start suggesting ways to help them. And sometimes they don't want that! I used to get really hurt when people would get angry at me in these situations ('but I'm trying to HELP you!'), before taking a step back and thinking. Then I realised that I used to do exactly the same thing with my mother. I would whine and complain to her about various things, and she'd suggest things I could do to fix them. And then I'd be all, 'but I just want to whine and get sympathy! Why are you giving me advice?'. So I'm clearly modelling my behaviour on hers.

So these days I try better to ascertain what a certain person actually wants when he or she comes to me with problems. If they want suggestions, all well and good. And if they just want to talk, I'll listen.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Day 10. Did you have a good day or a bad day? Where do you think that defining line was?
Note: I'm answering this for yesterday, as I would've posted this then, had our internet not died.

Yesterday was a very good day. My German class sailed by very quickly. I didn't look at my watch once, and suddenly it was 12.30. It might've helped that we spent at least half an hour playing Tabu!

I had sent off some work from my thesis to my supervisor on Wednesday, so I didn't have any PhD work to do, so I got my homework done fairly quickly, and mostly understood it (aside from one thing, which I spent way too long trying to get M to explain to me via Facebook chat).

I had a quiet evening at home, chatting with M on Facebook and internetting before going to bed.

With me, there are no defining lines. I am all about extremes. I either have a day so wonderful that I'm dancing around the kitchen, or I have such a terrible day that I'm crawling into bed at 3pm and staring at the ceiling for five hours. And a bad day can come straight after a good one. My mood swings are that severe and abrupt.

Although sometimes the bad days seem to happen for no reason other than some sort of chemical reaction, there is a pattern that I've recognised. Basically, if I feel like I've wasted my time, I am disgusted with myself and consider the day to have been bad. So, to take yesterday as an example, if I hadn't understood my German homework, or left it until the morning before class, if I'd had PhD work to do but ignored it, if I'd tried to talk to M but the internet connection had prevented it, I would consider myself to have wasted my time. And I wouldn't have been happy about it.

Of course, the fact that I'm going to Cambridge on Saturday is doing wonders to improve my mood.
the other days )
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
...and the truth is that I'd probably do it again.

Day 9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Okay, so in ten years, it will be 2021, not 2020, but in case you haven't noticed, I've been using song lyrics for all the titles here, and these, from '2020' by The Herd perfectly sum up my attitude towards questions such as these.

The answer is, in ten years, I have no idea where I'll be. I know where I'd like to be (working as an academic or librarian, hopefully still with M, hopefully still in Britain or Ireland, hopefully with a couple of children, hopefully happy with my life), but my life up to this point has so successfully confounded my expectations that I know how twisty and turny and unexpected everything can be. For example, ten years ago, when I was sixteen, I had a Life Plan. This is how I expected my life to unfold:

16-18: Be in a relationship with Serious Highschool Boyfriend.
18: Have heart broken by Serious Highschool Boyfriend, resulting in trust issues and a reluctance to form relationships.
18-22: Go to university and study Arts (humanities), with honours in English literature.
19: Meet Serious University Boyfriend, whose sheer awesomeness would cure all my trust issues.
22: Begin working as a journalist at an Australian newspaper.
23: Get married to Serious University Boyfriend.
25: Have first child.

This, instead, is what happened:

16-20: Have Epic, Unrequited Crush on Unattainable Guy. Have several short-term relationships in an attempt to extricate self from said Unrequited Crush.
18-22: Go to university and study Arts, with honours in English literature.
18-present: Work as a book-reviewer for an Australian newspaper.
22-23: Have a miserable time working as a sub-editor for an Australian newspaper. Another relationship that never got off the ground.
23-24: MPhil in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. Disastrous short-term relationship which ended in such unspeakable horror that I was in counselling for a year about it.
24-present: PhD in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. Short-term relationship with a friend of mine that ended due to problems that were too great for either of us to fix.
25-present: Relationship with the rather wonderful M.
26: Currently studying on exchange at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

So yeah, my Life Plan was naïve, and the product of the books I read as a teenager, but what strikes me most about it is how neat it is. And how messy is what really happened in comparison. Aside from studying Arts with honours in English literature, nothing on either list matches! And the Life Plan is so linear, with each step flowing on from the one preceding, whereas my real life was full of stops and starts and u-turns.

And yes, some people might look at my life over the past ten years and see mistakes, but all I see is my life, joy and pain and all. They may be mistakes, but they're my mistakes, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

And I really have no idea what my life will look like in ten years.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 8. Write about the first moment that comes to your head when you read the words “childhood memory”.
My earliest childhood memory is kind of nondescript. I was standing in the little front garden of our house in Sydney, where we lived when I was two, waiting for my mum to come out of the house (and presumably take me into the car). The sun was shining. The door slammed. That is the entire memory. I was two years old.

From the age of three onwards, I can remember things much more vividly, and in great detail. Off the top of my head, my favourite childhood memories are:

The feeling of everything suddenly clicking when I learnt to read. I've said before that it was like a thunderclap in my head. It was an amazing feeling.

Various family holidays down the South Coast at Broulee. We went every summer for the week before Christmas, which always included my birthday. Looking back, what I loved about it was the regularity and predictability of it. I, a child raised without religion, never craved religious belief, but was hungry for routines and rituals, and I replaced those of religious ceremonies with yearly, more secular pilgrimages: mornings spent swimming for hours in the smaller bay, exploring the rockpools, and watching the tide slowly go out; going home and being fed piles of toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches and fresh mangoes; being read folk stories by my mother in the heat of the early afternoon; the annual walk around the almost-island, where, inevitably, my sister would complain and have to be carried; the birthday celebrations which always involved a handful of 5-cent red frogs and chocolate frogs from the convenience store; making up plays with the other kids (our production of The Little Mermaid, with nine-year-old (male) D as Ursula, dressed in a sarong with a nightdress over his head, was seriously awesome); the walk out to the anchor on the last night of the trip, armed with a one-off ice-cream each (our families rarely allowed us to eat any kind of junk food or sweets, so an ice-cream was a huge deal).

For the same reason, family Christmases, which were always an entirely secular affair, but yet always had predictable rhythms of rituals. Last year was our first Christmas not spent at our grandparents' old house, and I felt its absence keenly.

The day I finally learnt how to do a backflip. Pretty much every training session at gym, actually. I intensely miss the feeling of being completely in tune with my body, of being aware of its abilities and limitations, of my own physics. I've never found a sport I've enjoyed as much.

Then again I can intensely remember the day I realised the people I called my 'friends' in primary school were not, in fact, my friends at all. Not all childhood memories are positive. Those I'm collecting here are the most vivid, those with the most intensity of emotion.

Similarly, the first day of Year Four, when my 'friend' told me, when I produced the doll that I'd brought to school every day for the past two years for our games, that 'we are nine now, and nine is too old to be playing with dolls', and I couldn't understand why we had suddenly grown up when I felt no different to how I'd been at eight years old. I still played with dolls until I was 13 or 14 though.

I remember the day my sister was born. The night before, my mother and I had spent the evening making cupcakes, fairy bread, chocolate crackles and all the other staples of an Australian birthday party, in preparation for the family party we'd be having (in my family, we celebrated the November and December births en masse in mid-November). The next day, Mum went into labour and we ended up eating all the food in the hospital. When we did have the party, several weeks later, my sister slept through the entire thing. This reflects her personality greatly.

I remember what it felt like to read so many books that it's impossible to name them here. It was as if someone had looked into my brain and taken my words and articulated them in ways I was not yet able to do myself. For years (even now, to a certain extent), I felt that if I just offered up particular stories, people would see me, get me, understand everthing that I was about. I remember what it felt like to finally meet people who felt the same way, but that was not a memory of childhood.

I remember feeling loved, and I remember feeling unwanted, and I remember feeling secure and I remember feeling betrayed, and I remember that I felt things with an urgent intensity, as if every day, every emotion was essential to my life and identity, and while I still think I feel things more intensely than some adults, it is still less than when I was a child or teenager. And sometimes I miss that, but mostly I think it must've been exhausting.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 7. Think of the last person you hugged. What would you do if they vanished completely?
The last person I hugged was one of the people from my German language course as we were saying goodbye after a sushi party on Saturday night. I can't remember who I hugged last, but my answer to the question in today's post would be the same, regardless of which classmate it was.

I would be sad, and I would probably cry, but I would get over it fairly quickly. I've known these people for just over a month, and while I really like several of them and enjoy their company and consider them friends, I don't consider them close friends and my life would close up over their absence in a reasonably short period of time. I hope that doesn't sound cold-hearted.

The last person I e-hugged was [ profile] thelxiepia, and I would be a wreck if she vanished. An absolute mess. A world without [ profile] thelxiepia isn't a world in which I'd be happy to live.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (una)
Day 6. Talk about a recent experience that has affected you greatly and how.

As some of you may recall, my grandmother recently discovered that she had cancer. I'm pleased to report that she's doing as well as can be under the circumstances. The cancer was in her liver, and luckily the doctors considered her healthy and strong enough to go through with an extremely serious operation to remove the cancerous part of her liver. She had her operation just under two weeks ago and came out of it fine. In fact, she's recovered so quickly that she'll probably be able to come home from hospital quite soon, when we'd expected her to stay there until at least the end of November. The doctor also thinks he removed all of the cancer.

Obviously with cancer nothing is certain, but so far what's been happening has been the best possible outcome for all concerned.

I adore my grandparents. (Only my mum's parents are still living; my other grandparents died in the early 90s.) I respect them greatly for overcoming the difficult circumstances into which they were born and doing everything they could to make a better life for their children and grandchildren (while recognising that the 1950s was a time of great social mobility in Australia). I love them for their seemingly endless capacity to love, for their obvious pride in their descendents, for their life well-lived. To say I was devestated by the news of Marnie's cancer would be an understatement.

And while ours is an affectionate family, very comfortable in displaying love towards one another, Marnie's illness made me resolved to continue in this regard. I write often to my mother and sister, but I've started making a point of telling them I love them in every email. I've made more of an effort to stay in regular contact with my aunts, and told them I love them too. While those I love have always been aware of the fact, since Marnie's cancer, I've been completely open and honest about how I feel about everyone I love. (This may explain why my LJ seems to have turned into a sort of blissed-out love-fest of late.)

Life is precious, and love is precious, and I am incredibly grateful to the people who love me, and whom I love.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 5. Pick a song that projects the same mood as your day or week and explain.

'Please Ask For Help' by Telekinesis completely sums up my week. 'I'm not going to knock you down, but I'm not going to help you up' essentially paraphrases how I've been feeling for the past few days: maudlin, unintentionally self-sabotaging, and able to see how to get out of this state of mind but not being able to do it. I'm frustrated with myself, and ready to go back to Cambridge, which, thanksfully, I'm doing in exactly a week.

As far as today goes, though, I'm feeling a bit lyric-less and contemplative. I'm about to head over to the apartment of one of my friends from my German class, where our whole class is having a sushi party, and it's hard to be in a bad mood when there's sushi on the horizon. In any case, while it's not fun to feel unhappy, I'm kind of okay with feeling the full range of human emotions, as I've explained before. I tend to get analytical about my feelings, focusing on them and trying to work out why I'm feeling unhappy at a particular moment, but I don't try to push the unhappiness away or hurry it up. Thus, today's song is 'Kaleidoscope' by Tiësto feat. Jónsi. I can't explain why this song reflects my mood, except to say that it always evokes the image of standing on a bridge, on the shore, on the cliffs of Selidor - some liminal space - and wondering.

The song I've been playing all week, especially over the last 24 hours (50 times!), is 'Girls Like You' by The Naked and Famous, but I don't think it's hugely reflective of my life, aside from the line 'run, whirlwind run', which is totally how I feel all the time. I'm even known as 'Typhoon Ronni' within my family due to my sudden melodramatic flarings of emotion, and the fact that I seem to walk into the house trailing drama behind me...

the other days )

ETA: You NEED to go and check out the Stratford-on-Hellmouth Tumblr. It's got Whedonverse macros with appropriate Shakespeare quotes pasted over them. My favourite is this one.
dolorosa_12: (Default)
Day 4. What do you think it means to be in love?
This is difficult. I know I'm in love, but it's hard to distill the distinct aspects of that feeling into coherent words. I'll try. A caveat: this is how love feels to me. To other people it might feel very different.

Firstly, love isn't selfish. That is obsession, not love.

Love makes me feel filled with compassion for everyone in the world. It was as if the state of being in love increased my capacity to feel love, and it's now as if I'm overflowing with empathy and the desire to nurture everyone I've ever met (I try to tone this down).

Love is empowering. It makes me feel braver, stronger, wiser, kinder and more beautiful. It makes me feel as if I am more myself than I have ever been.

Love doesn't mean that I am always blissed out and happy, or that nothing bad will ever happen, or that the bad things won't affect me. Love does not protect you from harm or pain or bad luck.

Love is both a comfort and an adventure. I feel safe, and yet I feel like I'm embarking on a journey every day.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (bridge to the stars)
Day 3. Where have you been spending your time lately? Three/Five/Ten years ago would you have expected to be there?

Inevitably, I missed a day. So you all have the joy of getting two posts within a few minutes of one another.

I have been spending a lot of time on the internet recently. (I am ignoring the fact that I, for all intents and purposes, don't have internet at home and thus am spending a lot LESS time on the internet than usual. In general, on average, I am spending a lot of time on the internet.)

Three years ago I would not have been the slightest bit surprised. Five or ten years ago I would've been shocked and disgusted at myself.

I was born in the 80s, and am thus a 90s child who grew up without the internet, and then all of a sudden it was there. (It was obviously more gradual than that, but because I literally had not heard of the internet until the first year of high school, and then suddenly everyone was talking about it, and using it with increasing frequency, I had that perception.) I was massively technophobic (I blame this partly on incompetent technology classes at school and partly on my own nature, which is resistant to change), and, without ever spending more than, at most, an hour a week online (mostly checking emails; remember this was pre-Google and pre-Wikipedia), I formed an extremely negative opinion of what the internet was like.

'It's so dehumanising!' I cried dramatically. 'It gives people a false sense of connection when in reality they're becoming more and more distant and disconnected from one another!'

And then 2007 happened.

I had the sense, somewhere amid all the unhappiness that was fogging up my mind, to remember some forum that I'd joined way back in 2003 after idly Googling 'His Dark Materials fansite'. And wow am I grateful I did! From day one the sraffies welcomed me with open arms. Pretty soon, I was breaking every internet rule I'd ever been told by scaremongerers: I told people my name. I told people where I lived. I posted photos of myself. I met people (my first srafcon was with a then 15-year-old [ profile] lucubratae, and it was basically a four-hour-long geekfest. With awesome food and tea) in real life. I poured my heart out to these people, and they actually listened.

And when I was in a better state of mind, I did exactly the same for them.

Over the years, I've got to know the sraffies better and better. Since moving to the UK, I've met more and more of them in real life (20 at the last count), and I even was in a relationship with one of them for a little while, but I refuse to accept that the 'real life' meetings somehow make the friendships more legitimate, that our online interactions are somehow suspect and not real friendship.

I've celebrated university offers and graduations, births and marriages, the beginnings of relationships and new jobs with them. I've cried with them over deaths, bad luck and bad choices. I've laughed the hardest I've ever laughed in my life with them. We've helped one another with our school and uni work, edited job applications for one another, fixed technological problems for one another. I've watched TV with them, listened to music with them, read books with them, talked about everything from philosophical musings on how language arises to mock battles between vampire and werewolf armies. We have our own language and modes of speech.

We have held each other when we screamed, and danced with each other in sheer joy. They saw me at my worst and stuck around. If that's not real friendship, I don't know what is. Tell me again why my internet friendships aren't valid, and I'll show you the millions of words that [ profile] thelxiepia have poured out to one another over the past four years. I love her as much as I love my own sisters.

*Note: I sometimes feel that when I praise the sraffies, it comes across as being a bit critical of my real-life friends who were around me at the time. I know a lot of them would have helped if they had known there was a problem, but I tried to hide what was going on (all the while getting more and more resentful that they WEREN'T NOTICING MY PAIN, OH MY GOD (because depression is logical like that)). It's impossible to help someone if she won't let you, so what I'm saying shouldn't be read as a condemnation of my real-life friends, who are all extremely compassionate and empathetic people.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (flight of the conchords)
Day 2. Who are you? In comparison to who you used to be? What made you change?
I am a person with a fragmentary identity, a different person depending on the people around me.

I am where I come from: the daughter of Keri and Jim, the sister of Mim, Kitty and Nell, the granddaughter of Eileen and Fred and Peter and Friedl, a Phillips woman, a Canberran, a Sydneysider.

I am the identities I claim: an ASNaC, a sraffie, an Obernetter, a Usydgrouper, a nerd, a geek, an internet person, a student, a book-reviewer, a library worker, a woman who worked in patisseries. A reader.

I am the emotions I feel: all of them.

I am the relationships I have: girlfriend of M, friend of too many people to name, secure knowing that I love and am loved.

I am my beliefs and ideologies: a feminist, a social-democrat, an atheist.

I am my words and deeds: the acceptance thereof.

I write about exile having never felt more included, more connected in my life.

I believe I am always changing, so there was no one point where I can say, 'There, there I turned a corner and everything changed', except that I used to be a much more unhappy and disappointed person, much less secure in myself. And it was Cambridge, Cambridge and the internet - specifically the sraffies of The Republic of Heaven - that changed me. After these two places, I was myself again. They gave me strength and confidence and love and by some miracle got me out of the six-year-long depression into which I had fallen, and I am forever grateful.

ETA: I got to thinking about why it is that Cambridge and the 'Pub changed me, and I realised it was because that in both those places, for the first time in over two decades, I had to be myself and build myself from the beginning, without any external references. I was coming into both those situations unknown. And that was both liberating and empowering.

the other days )
dolorosa_12: (travis)
[ profile] elizabethtastic's been doing this meme for the past couple of weeks, and I was waiting for November to roll around so that I had a neat 30-day month in which to follow suit. So, without further ado, I bring you Day 1 of the 'Deep Thoughts 30-Day Meme'.

Day 1. What happened today? If it was the last day of your life, how satisfied would you be with your final hours?

Today was a public holiday, so I had no class. I began the day with an early run in the mist and cold, which was wonderful, as we've just put the clocks back and it's finally light in the early hours of the morning again. I'll put up with longer hours of darkness in the evening as long as I can run in daylight in the morning.

Then I discovered a new bar/cafe that has free wifi (yep, still no router at home) and went there for several hours (basically until my battery died) going over the translations from the thesis chapter I'm revising. Then home, and lunch and a bit of German homework and reading of Harry Potter in German (I did five pages in about 15 minutes! I'm getting better).

After that I did yoga in my room for half an hour. I was going to do it for an hour, but I didn't realise that aerobic exercise aside, I'm really out of shape, and so I did less than I intended. But I still felt great afterwards.

Then I cooked roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and Spanish onion for dinner while chatting to [ profile] thelxiepia and reading forums where the users snark fundamentalist cults. After eating, I got infuriated with the wifi at home and returned to the cafe/bar, which is where I am now. I'm in #btts for the first time in a month, and I'm glad I did so.

In answer to the second part of the question, yes, although it's not simply because I had an enjoyable and productive day. It's because I have a personal philosophy of embracing and owning all my emotions, and accepting that I'll have good days and bad, and that the bad days are as important to me as the good. It's not so much 'live each day as if it will be your last', but 'live a life that encompasses the whole range of human emotions and experience'. So if I'd spent today sitting glazed-eyed in front of the computer, eating chocolate while wearing my pyjamas, I'd still consider myself satisfied with my final hours.

the other days )

Edited to correct a spelling error in the copy-pasted meme questions.


dolorosa_12: (Default)
rushes into my heart and my skull

July 2017

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