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Flightiness

I’ve for a long time seen myself as a bit of a fickle person. Someone that can go from adoring to indifference within a short space of time. I’ve learnt not trust any of my infatuations. Being so intense, everything just burns up fast. It’s to be feared and expected.

Obviously, it’s not a trait I enjoyed having, it gives me much grief. When it isn’t books or actors, but real people, it’s a terrible trait to possess. I try my best to behave, hoping no one gets the wrong end of the stick. I have for a long time had a two-month-rule, after which an infatuation might be investigated instead of dismissed outright, but before that, I must just behave myself, goddamit. I’m not very good at this. Sometimes I feel like there’s little I was very good at except bad things.

So the other day I got thinking contrarily. Wait one millisecond here. You say you’re flighty. Right now your favourite actors might be these two, but give you a Charlton Heston movie and it’s not much different even if you’re out of the active adoration phase. Um. Hmm. Yes! I love Charlton Heston just as before. And it seems that most of the actors I once enjoyed watching on screen, I still enjoy: Marcello Mastroianni, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe. The only ones who have lost that extra something would be Leslie Howard and Lauerence Olivier. I’m not sure why, but it is so.

Music. I never thought I’d be loving Elton John’s music as long as I have. It’s given me so much pleasure and comfort. I remember the times different songs came into my life and the places, seasons or people they now take me back to. Some good, some bad. But always, always, I’ve been afraid it won’t last. I was afraid of it in September and told myself to quit listening to him until spring. I quite failed in this (I needed my top cream cake to get me through school) but it hasn’t changed the adoration. I’ve had some weeks of not listening to any music but these have been short spells. Right now I’m trying to find something else to listen to until spring again, because I really don’t want to lose it. I suppose it explains why I take five years to finish Jean-Christophe too. And other mysterious behaviour normal people don’t understand and would find eccentric.

It’s like my good moods. I’m so afraid of losing them that every day I have more of it, I’m astonished, but I have less control, so I can do nothing to make it stay longer. With books and things, I can a bit.

Coming back to flightiness. I’ve been a fan of a few other musicians besides Elton John, mostly in teens and very early adulthood. Morrissey was my last at the age of 19-22. Most of them I’m always happy to rediscover. It’s fun how one still knows all the lyrics by heart. They don’t quite hold the same power over me as they did in the old days, but some of it is still there. Right now I’m listening to one of my high school favourites, Oasis, and thinking Slide Away is so very good, now replaying it for the 10th time or thereabouts. Gone much?

And with people, it’s also often true. Some of it is usually still there. I have soft spots for most people that meant something to me and did not disillusion or disappoint me to the point of no repair. It isn’t flightiness, but rather having the feeling settle down more to normal human being levels. I can’t really say I grow indifferent, as I thought I did, it is only the extremes that go. Seems such an obvious thing really, but I hadn’t thought of it so before and was feeling quite judgemental about myself.

So it’s not so much what happens after that I should feel guilty about, but rather continue to try and govern my extremes to the best of my pathetic ability.

 

I spent the last days of the old year and the first days of the new overthinking and watching films. The films I saw were these:

Excellent

The Bounty

Howard’s End

Very good

Master and Commander

Good

Treasure Island (1990)

Berkley Square (1933)

No, still not liking it

Lawrence of Arabia

One of the worst films I’ve ever seen

Mysterious Island (1961)

******

I cannot summarise my thoughts so neatly. Generally speaking, I was thinking of my relation to the world and the people in it but obviously also the usual programme of my everyday dilemmas. I felt much more socially insecure, my identity was adrift and I didn’t really know what to take hold of. Sometimes I was unhappy.

How does a person deal with stigma? And what is one to do if the truth about yourself would inevitably lead to stigmatisation, ostracism, and in the best of cases, pity and charity friendships?

I’m by nature a confiding and open person, sometimes even inclined to overshare, so I do suffer a great deal under having to hide a lot of myself away. Sometimes so much that I want to give up people entirely. This mood passes but sometimes with consequences of having actually effected it.

Now that my social anxiety has improved and I feel prepared to slowly re-integrate myself into society, this topic has come to weigh on me somewhat. How do I tell people some of the more unusual facts of my life and myself? Nothing positive is going to come to me for it, only the earlier-mentioned stigmatisation or pity.

The first days of my great think I felt that it was inevitable that I cannot afford myself the luxury of sharing these things until I’m quite close to the person. I was quite shattered by how hard it’s going to be though. It’s a very disintegrating experience when you cannot be fully open and true to yourself.  There’s simply too much I need to keep stumm about too, and it wants to desperately get out.

Unfortunately, I cannot imagine any argument that might convince me it is for the better. People don’t work this way. Society doesn’t. What I wrote will follow is going to follow and will bring much unhappiness to me. I considered seeing a specialist regarding this topic because they might know better how to re-integrate people with unusual and socially unacceptable life stories into society. I wanted very much for there to exist a way.

So much that at one point it stopped mattering. And then and there I decided I will put myself through that. I simply can’t handle the masquarade, not even to protect myself.

I do need advice on how to cope with what is going to follow though. All that eye rolling, rejection, incomprehension, confusion, hurtful remarks caused by any of the mentioned. The detached and scientific side of myself considers it an intriguing social experiment to be able to live through. Sadly, there is little to no hope that my hypersensitivity won’t make it a misery.

But I don’t know. At this stage I still feel optimistic that I can handle it, my Romanticism probably also helps: do your worst but it’ll reflect worse on you than me and I will be the noble outcast. That sort of stupid thinking. I cannot stress enough that my tendency to Romantic excess is really helpful in getting through bad spots :).

New years resolutions

  • Less important: be a little less of an Enneagram Type Four as far as writerly persona/voice goes: I admire people who have a quiet and gentle everyday style of writing, while mine is flourish-this-flourish-that and excesses of eccentricity and whackiness. Be less of a contrarian, too. How could I forget this.
  • Moderately important: be more gentle with self and not pour bucketloads of stress upon myself by thinking I’m well and capable and can handle it.
  • Most important: be more assertive where I’ve previously disastrously (truly!) lacked.

I read somewhere that writing down your plans is bad for people with problems of discipline and procrastination because it gives them a feeling of having already done something towards it. It’s a kind of pressure release that shouldn’t happen too early. The result is that it becomes even less likely that they will actually do it. Since I’m such a person, I won’t write down my other hopes and plans, unless they are such that I could put them off too, like the driving school business.

  • But this seems safe and not so related to discipline and procrastination: I’d really like to experience sea again and go on a longer cruise.

 

Brazen

I was a very good follower of my flawed heroes and figured drink is the suitable remedy for anxiety tonight. I don’t know why I did it, because it was very minor anxiety, my mood was good and I knew it’d pass by morning. I felt violently fed up with it. What business has anxiety to be here? I’m well! Get lost, get away. Such a pest and nuisance. Like a mosquito at night, will so crush you and stamp you out!

I felt quite strong though, even when driving it out with a weak person’s means, I felt strong. And now I feel very pleased with myself. It was quite empowering to destroy it.

On the other hand, the depressant effect later on does not seem so desireable. I already caught myself thinking that I’m too confident and optimistic. What really lies between the better future I envision and being back to square zero? Very little. My own self and good fortune. And I cannot rely on either. Everything’s so fragile.

 

This troublesome thing

I want to write a hate post on my hypersensitivity. Here goes: I’ve been quite happy in December. I’ve recovered very well and fully from my depression of three months. The stress I’ve had is quite vanished too. Not having any stress to deal with or any active unpleasantness, I have felt very confident and capable, a slightly changed person. Sometimes I don’t sleep so well, because I’m too glowing or unwilling to let an hour of the present good state go. I am a little stupid too. I’ve felt full of spring and ready to take on new difficulties. Example: I wanted to start a new school, with the first one not fully finished yet and fresh memories of how I hate school intact: driving school. The thought of being able to drive around in summer and discover beautiful natural spots was quite powerfully alluring. I planned to do it in as little time as I possibly could too, to minimize the misery months. I felt quite restless but I forced myself not to do it just yet and rest until March/April. So far all was excellent and future looked bright ahead.

But today I get an anxiety attack. In a mental health state like this, it felt like a right slap in the face. There is me feeling so capable and confident as I haven’t felt in forever, and then my nervous system acts up! Whatever I do, however good things get, my biology will always betray me. And there’s not a thing I could do about it. How can I live like this?

To live, just to live at all and have some kind of an enjoyable life, I need to have an iron will to pull myself through it, to transcend biology. People have pointed out to me lately that most of my role models are males and my taste in films is “male”. Fiddle dee dee to that of course, but it’s quite simple really. Male heroes are my crutches. Jean Valjean, sea captains, gladiators and Wild West fortune hunters. They help me keep up the will and the fight. And they are suitably imperfect. With fictional females, I always feel that they are far to good for me, I could never be this good, or that they are far too degenerate and low in idealism to admire. But mostly I’ve turned towards what I needed more. I needed to balance my hyperfemininity and to become an even better fighter.

But alas, today. It was a trivial anxiety episode that’s mostly faded. I got it because I was trying to buy a concert ticket to Finland. I’ve never been there and I haven’t been to a big concert in a decade, so there’s some fair enough justifications. On the other hand, I’ve been through these emotions months ago. It was a formality and I was feeling so capable. But then my biology ruins the blissful hope that I could actually recover and live an easier, happier life. No, it’s forever going to be a gigantic battle to have any kind of positive life experience. If I failed now, now in this state of equilibrium, what hope is there in less blissful states?

Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate.

The hope is that my speedy recovery is illusory. While I may feel very calm and good, months of depression and a preceding month of high stress would have left their mark. While I may feel all good, nervous system underneath it isn’t yet and overreacts. I tend to not be cautious enough either. And it’s not just this phase, there’s years of it. My last little hope really is: what would happen if I got a full year of calm and joyfulness?

Otherwise though, I’m stuck with my hypersensitivity and the various vulnerabilities that come with it. I’m not even convinced daring and bravery makes one stronger. I feel I just get weaker by forcing myself  through things I’m terrified of, but I don’t really see an alternative either if I want to live and do things I want to do. It’s always going to be a feat of will.

Slowly

I’ve been reading this for the past hour:

Sweet irony and absolute fit in one.

It’s one of the earliest books I bought myself, but never read fully through, which I’m sure its author, as an advocate of slow-pace anything, would approve of. It so happens I wrote an essay about idleness for university and did this at my grandparents’ on the last few good and hopeful summer days my grandmother had. I had fibbed a little to stay with them, saying I couldn’t write this at home because of the racket. But in truth, I’m used to the average rackets, and really wanted to hold on to what I felt was getting inevitably lost.

It’s ironic to be reading it because I ought to be really busy right now. It’s an absolute fit because I couldn’t be further. I’ve lived this book and worse.

It started on Monday when I still had an excuse. I was seduced by the sweetness of daydreaming when I ought to have started to research for my thesis. After the hectic weekend and the perfectionist’s panic episode that got quite bad at one point, a few hours of daydreaming seemed well-earned. It wouldn’t stop though. A few hours became a day, two days and five. I had no resistance to the peace of it. It felt like nature had given me an antidote to stress and my body was producing its own anaesthetic.

I quite stopped caring about the thesis and failing it the second time. It wasn’t going to be my failure or fault. It simply wasn’t fair play that others get three months and I got three weeks. I thought so much, so very much, wrote a lot of texts in my head too, and daydreamed a little for intermissions, but I never thought of the thesis. It was like being in a lazy cocoon. At the back of my mind, I knew it was stolen, and every day I was making things more difficult for myself.

Today I wondered if this is what burnout is like? Do you just walk out out of the blue? You totally lose touch and stop caring?

I’ve casually followed some course-related discussions on the forum and felt quite inferior and out of place. These people are interested in this topic! They read extra materials! They have all these clever opinions. And then there’s me recommending others that you don’t need to read through the thick English-language textbook, but can pass the course with just reading the slides. Like Delboy at the theatre asking if anybody fancies a crisp.

The entire time I’ve been studying psychology, I have struggled with this attitude problem. I know too well what my interests are and what I’m never going to need, parts of the brain, for example. And my mind filters out the latter and does not want to waste time on courses like this. But this attitude feels immature. Specialization is good but I’m not at that stage. So I feel like a schoolkid among all those people with more mature attitudes who manage to take an interest in a wider variety of topics.

I just like to think really. To think and understand. I don’t care about where the parietal lobe is.

This semester I like my psychometry course very much. Whatever I do with the rest (two), this I want to do. Its a very rewarding experience in its immediacy too. I recently learnt what a Z-score is and how to calculate it and felt like I understand a new piece of what seemed like elite code. And it’s always a “wow, I see, I see” kind of experience for me, no matter how small the new piece acquired. There’s something so calming in working with numbers too. I think I’d enjoy doing that for a hobby in old age. When others go to a knitting circle meeting, I’d go to a statistics and trignometry group, with lovely nerdy bespectacled Miss Marples. If such things existed, of course. Amateur mathematics.

I suppose I will try to do something next week. It will soon be over at least regardless of the result. This cheers me up a little. Come October, I’m freeeee.

Panic

I had a very small, completely insignificant, an insult to the real thing, panic attack earlier today.

It’s not going to be interesting what I write, but I have to write it in the hopes I can get it out of the system even a little.

I found out on 4 September that I can write my research paper in autumn after all. I hadn’t a topic. I hadn’t a supervisor. The deadline is 30 September.

I managed to get myself a supervisor this week, which is more than I managed in spring. I was really glad and thankful, but I find it unethical to land with this insane deadline on my supervisor. I don’t want to force him to work exclusively with me during the next three weeks. I can afford to work more intensively, but I just can’t expect the same of others. So I’ve decided to go it alone as much as I can. I want to turn up for our first meeting with some kind of a draft already. I don’t see any other way. It’s possibly next week. And I’m so completely lost and have no idea how I can do this.

If people were considerate and sane at university, the normal procedure would be to go to your supervisor and discuss your idea. I’m at this stage. I have a topic: episodic and semantic memory in personality testing. I have a couple of hypotheses. I’ve read a few of the most important articles. My supervisor would help to narrow me down and tell me what can and can’t be done and what might be worth investigating in this topic. Then I’d research it and allow it to settle. Make some minor shifts in focus perhaps. Then I’d draw up the project. But with this idiotic three week deadline, I’m deprived of all that. I have to go straight from an idea to a draft without any support or exchange of suggestions.

No, writing this doesn’t help. It just makes me feel worse. Let’s try about the good things.

I failed that course in spring when they had a normal deadline of three months. I couldn’t find a supervisor, but I also didn’t really want to, so was almost relieved no one replied or wanted me. That’s probably why I’m so chivalrous right now when someone actually wanted to work with me.

And this topic is much closer to my real interests than anything I considered in spring. So it was right that it worked out this way. I feel good on that front. And somehow I will make it for this deadline, I know this, but it’s gonna be full of crises like today’s. I especially don’t know how I’m going to manage to lift myself from a know-a-little to a know-a-lot in the 2-3 days I have before the meeting. Hence the panic. That might even be the hardest thing.

 

Things liked in June

  • Fresh freedom
  • David Walliams
  • Dancing!
  • Making nature TikToks
  • Walks out late to the seaside
  • Warmth
  • Beach
  • An obscure Wild West novel
  • Idleness
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Dylan Thomas
  • Orville Peck “Roses are Falling” and “Queen of the Rodeo”
  • ABBA “Dancing Queen”
  • The Animals “House of the Rising Sun”
  • Getting to take off my shoes outside
  • Pop music
  • X Factor and Got Talent auditions
  • Laughing
  • Defining self as writer
  • Having a lot of time
  • Absence of anxiety
  • Having emotional energy for people again

Mood

To write.  To create strings of words never created before. Like this.

It’s been a while. I’ve been busy with my studies and though I’ve sometimes thought of putting down a few general impressions about the whole experience, I haven’t got around to doing it. I might get to it some day. There are things that I’d like to record.

I have been feeling uncommonly content – and dare I say – happy the last two weeks. It’s not something I experienced often. Happy moments, yes, occasionally, but such moods rarely last longer than 3 days. This now lasts, and lasts.  I’m grateful for that space to breathe and for the opportunity to taste what it is like to live as a happy person. The world, and especially people, are a little different through such glasses.

It started like my happy moods often do – with very high spirits, something I tongue-in-cheekly call a hypomania episode. I listen to music a lot in such moods, usually pop, often not very good things, objectively speaking, but their catchy simplicity pleases me. I laugh a lot. Sometimes I daydream wildly, go out at unsuitable hours, smile to myself when walking on the street, and become much more sociable. I try my best not to overwhelm anyone and be tactless. I was also slightly infatuated with David Walliams due to watching excessive amounts of things with him, but this has now passed.

Speaking of passing, the normal procedure is that my cheerfulness fairly soon drops down to the meh mood. And then the depressive slump is just around the corner too. This time around, however, the very high spirits just mellowed into calm contentedness.

And this is already something I’m not used to and almost never have experienced. Not this long. Every day surprises me. The confidence, the calm and the things I can do in this mood. I sleep normally. There was a time I thought I’d never be able to sleep long again. Yesterday I ate a full bowl of oatmeal porridge. Today I feel very prosocial. I like many people and feel a kind of humility I haven’t for a long time. Nothing much seems to disturb my serenity. The world’s madness just makes me shrug. I feel simultaneously I’m turning more towards the world and away from it. Timeless things draw me. People and their ways. Trees and nature.

The only downside is the head aches I’ve been having for two days now.

January

Things I enjoyed in January 2020

  • Father Ted
  • Harry Potter
  • Doing a successful presentation
  • Getting good grades
  • My new point system
  • Finishing a handicraft project
  • Walking home from an exam and throwing my study materials in a trash bin by the hillside
  • Not getting ill

 

People I found relatable / Enjoyed copying

  • Hermione Granger
  • Father Jack