Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Diary,

It's getting late, Andrew Neill's 'it's getting late gag' late.

I'm at work still. I'm aiming to go to the Tate Modern today. I wanted to tell you about the meaning it has for me.

cut to 2006

It's 2006. I'm writing in some hushed semi fictional whisper to intimate the poignance of the moment. I am at Dr. Mar****'s ****** class. We are on a course trip on Modernism, the Avant Garde and pop art. We go to the Tate Modern and then the Tate Britain. If I'm honest I forgot much of the Tate Britain. I was feeling very depressed. We went to London from Bristol, and back to London on the same day. It was the first time I went to London without seeing my family. This was heavily upsetting for me and I never told them that I came to London. I knew their response: Why didn't you come visit? They had jobs at the time and it was only a short day trip. What could I have done?

Nobody talked to me on the bus. I didn't really have friends on the course, hell I hardly had friends at university who gave a shit if I disappeared for months on end who would point it out. Everything was really heavy. Iwas worried about the future. My anxiety was so heavy that I could not even think about the future. It was an empty void that felt worse than death. Every morning during that year I would wake up with a panic attack. My only relief was to wretch myself until I was ready to face the day.

It is just over 10 years later and I still find it -- difficult to remember. Difficult that I am the same person. Difficult in realising how upset I was and how much I was suffering. I sometimes imagine if I'd talk to myself back then, could I have changed the outcome? I may be wiser then, but I was stubborn then. Future me would attempt to wisen stubborn me. Stubborn me wouldn't listen, buried and indoctrinated by the depression and anxiety narratives. I wouldn't try to tell my past self to do anything different.

There was a moment at the Tate Modern which I re-lived over and over in my mind. I was really cold, I had these cheap mountain climbing shoes that were slowly breaking apart. But my anxiety meant that I was too afraid to try anything new and thinking of getting new shoes created a wave of anxiety: where would I get it from? How much would it be? How long would it last? What if they didn't last long enough? What if they cost too much and don't last long enough? What if they don't stay dry? All of these kinds of thoughts even just the thought of the thoughts made me anxious. So I just stayed with those ugly shoes. I had a very specific set of clothes back then (sound familiar?) but those clothes were borne out of many different anxiety rituals. To keep them would cause less anxiety than to change them.

It was a cold day if I recall. I was lonely. I was in the supposed city I belonged to but I could not feel at home if I didn't see my brother or my sister or my parents. I was alone in a distinct way. I was an individual.

I had moments like these, realising that I was an independent individual, independent from what school I went to, who my friends were and what university or course I did. These things made me anxious, these things made me feel I did not have an identity outside of what I belonged to. I felt so distant and separate from the things I used to belong to.

I realise now that these were birthing pains of a sort. The anxiety was a birthing of my individuality and who I would become. I'm not saying this birthing process is the same for everyone, fuck, its probably not the same for anyone else.

Only with my hindsight now do I realise the power of that event. I'm sitting on the cold balcony, wind going up my legs. Those trousers and shoes not suitable for being in London in the wind. I was alone with nobody to talk to, all the other people who went on the  trip had mates they were lunching with, texting and things to do and people to talk to.

I was on my own. In London, my home. I was on my own, in London, without my family. I was on my own, in London without my friends who also were from London. I was on my own, without an identity or a sense of self. I was on my own, discovering a sense of self and who I am. I was on my own, understanding the birth of Romanticism, the Avant Garde and the many movements in art - the 'great man' of Art, pop art and the death of the Aura. Adorno's culture industry and his weird thoughts about Naziism. I was alone in London. Without my family, friends, without the things I felt I belonged to. I was on my own in London with my thoughts.

That was how it was going to be. I am alone, with my thoughts. I am my thoughts. With my thoughts, I am.

That moment on the balcony was a moment of self realisation. At the time it was an intensely lonely and painful set of confusing thoughts and realisations, loneliness, sadness, emptiness. But then, the thoughts were there. The ideas.

I'm going to the Tate Modern tonight. I'll be revisiting myself who I left on that balcony and I will show him who I am now.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dear Diary,

Florence + The Machine feels so passe.

On the other hand I'm listening to a lot of Dream Theater from the 90s and 2000s. Most of my music interests centre around what I listened to before I was 25.

I'm finding it harder to connect to music of these days.

Fuck I'm becoming that guy.
Highlights of today:

  1. Going to the gym, doing a class, and going to the gym again, That counts as three, plus I did my walking target. I've increased it to 10500 steps a day
  2. I got a really nice calendar from a Media planning organisation. I feel really corporate that I love something like that. If they gave me a pen or a cup I'd totally love that shit. Who have I become?
  3. I got a really sweet letter to the 'Cartoon editor' (that's me) from a little girl who said she hates Trump. That basically sums up our readership and our editorial. 
  4. My beard looks nice
  5. I didn't have a panic attack

Lowlights of today

  1. Lost more money on a bet. I'm not liking the direction of how my recent betting decisions have gotten lately.
  2. I think a nice woman asked me out. Not sure if its a date or mature adults socialising who have hint of sexual interest. All the same she is flaking and cancelling, uncancelling then cancelling.
  3. Work is taking over a lot of my life, and I forget that there is a world outside that newspaper and politics.
Just earlier I was looking for tactical gear - civilian looking fleeces and tops. I'm trying to find some way to define myself through clothing. Also my uniqlo hoody tore and that upset me.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Insomnia thoughts

Can't sleep. Not sure whether laying in bed or sitting up would help.

I'm sitting up now.

Thought I'd check emails, go through 400 emails from the past week.

Ebay ebay ebay, job agencies, stuff about trump outrage --- ooh, linkedin.

I see some people on the list. People from work. Olivia from manager's desk used to be head girl? Damn she's young. Her degree is in some subject that sounds utterly vacuous. I bet she will go far in life in spite of her degree. It's odd how my mate went to Brunel and now its called something else.

I look at some other people. A maths graduate from nottingham, she works as a deliveroo something or other.

Gosh the world of work seems so complicated after being a year away from precarity. Life changes in such short time.

It makes me feel a bit low looking at these people with whom I've had professional contact with. What would they say if they saw my linkedin?

Dissertation on Kant and Spinoza? What is a spinoza?

Interests in C++, Python and Javascript, pet projects in pentesting.

Plays piano? Thats the one thing most people find interesting.

Not my knowledge about the pentecosiomedimni (or being able to pronounce it with ease)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hello Blog,

Today I heard something that surprisingly resonated with me. I sometimes listen to conservative catholic media on youtube (don't ask why I don't know honestly) and one person said in a discussion about evangelisation, that God is in our lives in the silence. That really hit me, that hit me so hard that I am inclined to believe it.

We spend so much of our time away from silence, with people, activities, things, our goals. It's in the silences that we get to think and reflect. My lecturer once said that it is in the shower or toilet that we are most on our own. Of course that was in 2006 when toilet texting was only really beginning to turn into something else.

I don't write enough in this blog. I feel like I've lost myself in not doing so.

We really should talk more, and by that, you host all my words and I talk to you. That's how our relationship works. I've been talking to you ever since I was just turning 20 and that is a really long time for most adults to have a relationship.

I'm getting closer to my work colleagues. I held myself back from saying work friends but...they are friends. We spend so much time together it should be considered as such.

Today I didn't go to the gym. I intended to go, but I decided to stay in bed and rest some more. I'm giving myself a bit less stick about things. I also worked on my scrapbook, which I am preparing for someone's upcoming birthday.

I've had panic attacks in the distant past. They were events that shocked me so much that I feel them as ripples today. My body and mind have changed. I suppose everyone changes in life.

I have a friend who feels we have changed too much. I knew him since secondary school. What does he expect? Does he think we can go out drinking and being stupid forever? I have to go to work on a newspaper at a role I absolutely love and feel fortunate for, and I feel that I can put some things away. There are other things I wish I could move forward from but there are boundaries - financial, status, opportunity. But I want to work my way through these issues and not bury my head in the sand, or in his case, sambuca and whiskeys (that's not a thing by the way).

Friday, January 13, 2017

items of clothing in the charity bag

  • beige cords, date of purchase: unknown
  • Levis 501's date of purchase: between 2007-2008. I kept these for so long without wearing them because they represented all of my hopes and aspirations of who I used to be back then, also they have a powerful memory and almost a scent (an intangible sense of aura linked to Marie). I need space for my current and future clothes. Also, its the right time to get rid of those emotions, to clear my feelings that I'm holding on to that do not serve me anymore. I was a grad student back then, those jeans are a dark ish blue but are worn in and look too close to stonewash as is comfortable. I'm sorry to see these go. 
  • Waistcoat, wooly from C&A. Date of purchase: NA, a family hand me down, maybe it's my brother's, maybe it's my dad's? Back in 2015 this item of clothing was greatly comforting during my terrible panics
  • Dark jeans - look too small for me. Date of purchase: Don't even recognise these as mine? Going in the bag
  • Cedarwood state (primark) brand body warmer. Looks cool, have worn it to badminton a few times. I won't be wearing it to badminton anymore. In the bag
  • Three geometric print shirts. Back in 2013-2014 I was really into geometric print. I am not into it as much anymore. These shirts feel obsolete and a lagging memory of when I first started working at The Sentinel as a casual/freelancer. I am now a contract staff and that shirt reminds me of poorer days and less certainty.
  • Hooded sports top - this came from my cousin a few years ago. Only wore it like 3 times as a courtesy to my mum. In the bag. 
  • Hooded summer jacket - this is actually quite a nice jacket, military look, lots of pockets. I wore this during the summer and to the gym a lot. I think I got this in 2014 or 2015? I remember wearing this when I was working on ad bookings. 
  • Neon green vest (2014?) got it for badminton - it makes me feel fat. even if I'm losing weight or not - it makes me feel inseucire. also I experimented with colour, it doesn't do it for me.
  • Pink vest (2013-14?) - birthday/xmas present. Doesn't do it for me. I did try to wear it. Also makes me feel fat
  • Short shorts - red decail (2013?) - not short enough, don't like red decal
  • Uniqlo jumper - too much colour fade :(

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Today was my Break the Routine day. The day inbetween my previous birthday and my next birthday.

It is supposed to be (given the name) a day in which I do something entierly different.

Today I woke up late, didn't rush myself. I went to get a full english at a cafe. It was disappointing and mediocre. I had unforgiving standards for a full English.

After that I went to the gym. I got my new earbuds today. The samsung gearx or something. It has all the things I want in a headset.

I am testing it right now.
The ultimate test is: Ashes to the Stars by Tarot.

Jump into madness awaiting at the seams
of all reality and mind.
Through the wound torn in space and time.
I blink, centuries unwind.

Hear the voice of the suns,
Their wind at your face,
The rage of their storm.

Spread my ashes to the stars.
Join the raw chaos at heart.
Spread my ashes to the stars.
Fall forever in the dark.

Neurons backfire in the onrush of data.
Endless orgasm supreme.
Joining of flesh with fiber and steel.
Lovers, the ghost and machine.

Hear the voice of the suns,
Their wind at your face,
The rage of their storm.
Spread my ashes to the stars.

Join the raw chaos at heart.
Spread my ashes to the stars.
Fall forever in the dark.

Moving astral in the veins of acid
across the silvery skin
Feeding on miracles, clutching like a spider
the ends of space from within.

Screamswept blackness, that is my head,
dreams all that there will be.
Breeding myself back from the dead
for all this eternity.

Hear the voice of the suns,
Their wind at your face,
The rage of their storm.

Spread my ashes to the stars.
Join the raw chaos at heart.
Spread my ashes to the stars.
Fall forever in the dark.
Every stanza has intense meaning for me. I feel like, as the years go on. This track has become me, I have become the lyrics, I have embodied the cryptic darkness and rage and power it represents. I love the screams of Marco Hietala's higher range, Zachary's solo section and most importantly, most importantly, the power of Marco's bass, the consistent, cutting, blunt yet broad knock you out beats.

I am testing my earbuds and the ultimate test is if they can play Ashes to the Stars with the perfect mix that fits how I listen to it. The intense all encompassing sound all emcompassing like a black hole (although there is sound in a vacuum).

Go back to 2006.In that hospital. My one possession was the Creative mp3 player, oh how beautiful it was. It had a blue backlight and more memory than I could ever hope for. It was second hand and uncompromisingly thick and metallic and could carry all my music. It only had one colour - Black, wifi only existed just about for consumers and bluetooth was not in common usage. It worked with a wired headset (remember those?) and it was everything I ever desired. Oh how things have changed and yet how I seek that intense listening experience.

The bass doesn't quite go where I want. Also I need to keep my face still or the vibrations don't go through

Also today. My friend who had a heart attack came with me to the gym. we were all so happy for him and everyone's spirit was up because of it.It was a truly beautiful day for me especially with my constant worry about him.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Dear Diary,

I can tell you about how busy my week has been, I can tell you about how unique it has been to be so active over December over these past few days. I've been tired and there has been a lot of planning involved with trying to keep on top of everything.

Instead I want to try and get out of my own head for a moment.

All the people I come into contact with have their own personal stories and experience. Their backgrounds and feelings that I don't always consider, or even know about.

I don't remember this as often.