The End and Beginning

How often do you get the opportunity to get from A to B via ZYX? How often have you been told that the journey is more important than the destination? How often is the longest journey one that takes place in your head? My entire trip away will be a journey of sorts because I don’t – yet – have anything planned.

Planning isn’t really one of my strong points and as a result, everything in my head is in a jumble. By setting things down on paper here, I hope to make sense of my mental post-it notes and their total disarray. The feeling of chaos has been exacerbated by the completion of my structure-giving MA. Now I don’t have that to hold on to, I feel strangely directionless.

Surely a sense of freedom after the stress of writing on demand should be welcome? But clearly not, I’ve struggled to come up with anything slightly sparky this week. If I lack direction and structure, the result is a surprisingly imaginational rigidity. By trying to take control myself and do what is perceived to be the right thing, or go about things the right way in a vague pretence at being an adult, my thinking goes annoyingly stale.

Why is it my imagination only flies within the constraints of an academic essay? Why is the lively spark of a poem initiated by the stern rhythmic metre of a first line? Why does my chaotically creative insight only appear when I am tied by deadlines, pressure and plans? Which I know I’m terrible at starting.

Seriously, this is enough to drive anyone to martinis and chunky chips.

So I was given a verbal shake yesterday when I was reminded that the journey to the island of my dreams was a way of providing mental focus. Although driving is clearly the sensible way of getting belongings to a new home, it gives us the freedom to explore as we head south.

It is this freedom which is making my head scream and post-it notes whirl. Therefore I’ve taken the security blanket of some books, a paper map, and started to draft some places which we need to take in on the way. My head has already diverged and I have a practical list and a dreamy floating unreality list.

So situation normal and my head is already feeling better.

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Learning the language

I’m scared. Into the second month of a plan-making-reality and another imaginary hurdle presents itself. 

The fear of failure is a constant, repetitive, malign and abusive relationship. Most people seem to recover from the feelings they had when they were fifteen years old. But like some spiteful Lileth, that anxious former self still stalks me. 

With absolutely no need. I have proven I can do anything, cope with whatever stupid situations into which I stroll unthinkingly. Perhaps that’s part of my problem. Whenever I spontaneously contrive to make the moment now, it’s fine and I am forced to deal with matters. 

When I deliberately plan it all ends in thought tatters. Because the cruel little madam within fills me with so much doubt. 

I’m here at the tailend of a masters degree. I’d love to say it has been hard work, but aside from the annual leave sacrifice, the sheer number of hours spent writing, it has been an enjoyably lazy effort. I’ve walked through the knowledge, sniffing a rose of thought and idly producing a half arsed bouquet of ideas. All of which will lead nowhere because my singular lack of ambition. 

I must be the most well qualified idle person there is. It’s quite frightening. By hiding in degrees and essays, it’s easy to avoid pretty much everything. 

So to contemplate doing a language to help me acclimatise to my country of future writing, is requiring me to pause and confront my laziness. A language is bloody hard to learn and no easy art historical blather will cover the fact I haven’t done my homework. 

I’m pausing before commiting to a language course because I’m scared that my plan will fail. If I fail in the learning of the language, I’m scared that  my plan will fail. Let’s face it. I’m scared that this plan still fail.