Panic

So I think I had an actual panic attack last night.

I know that’s a terrible greeting after having ignored this blog for months and months but I need to get some thoughts down and this is the only place I can think to do it. Bear with me folks.

Now I am fairly certain that I’ve not previously had an experience like what I had last night. What started as just some eye-rolling at my Mother telling me (not for the first time) to give some thought to possible careers as I got in my car to drive home after a four day holiday to Centre Parcs, spiraled down over the evening into increasingly louder thoughts of incompetence and uselessness and “what the fuck am I even doing with my life?” until it all came to a rather scary culmination of me sobbing and hyperventilating as I rocked on my bathroom floor. By some freak chance I managed to calm myself down eventually by running my hands through my hair repeatedly. This was a bit of a surprise to me as I hadn’t realised just how soothing I found it – clearly my hair-twirling all these years has been a self-soothing mechanism for when I’m feeling stressed or antsy.

Before I went up to bed yesterday I had been pottering about on my laptop (4 day separation made for a lot of catch-up time) and saw on Facebook a video that had been posted by my ex-boyfriend of him filming in Jamaica for the travel agency that he now works for. Out of some weird curiosity I watched this video and then got probably more angry than I had reason to be – I was finding so many things about him so fucking annoying, like his voice, his mannerisms, his unnecessary vehemence that his “man-bag” was not a handbag (seriously why emphasise that of all things?). I then started thinking about other things which really angered me about him  – like the fact that in the 3 years we were together he had never considered reading the Harry Potter books even though he knew I adored them and he fucking owned 4 of them yet hadn’t read them because he thought they seemed boring. But only a few months after we split I remembered seeing on FB that he’d read the 5th book and I was inordinately pissed off by that. Who does that? But that is kind of besides the point.

This anger was not entirely aimed at the Ex but in part at myself. I am so frustrated sometimes at how little progress I’ve made in some aspects of my life since I was 18 or 19. I am one of the only people out of the friendship group I was in during Sixth Form who doesn’t have a degree, I don’t really have a clear plan for my professional future – fuck I don’t dare admit to anyone in my real life what I’d really like to do is fulfill the ambition of my seven-year-old self and become an author. Technically I am already a writer but that still doesn’t make me an author – that will require me to actually get published and that’s the scary bit to which I’d need to really commit myself. I felt like such a failure for being almost 25 and still not having settled on a career path or got a full-time permanent job which could become a career.

I can’t deny that I am really fucking lucky right now to be in a relationship with a fantastic guy who is so supportive it’s unreal. Soon I’ll have been with Le Boyf for longer than I was with the Ex although it does already feel like years longer. I moved in with Le Boyf after less than six months and we bought a house the following year. I’ve been living with him longer than anyone other than my family which is kinda crazy when you think about it. But I am not contributing financially to this situation – yes I pitched in on the deposit for the house but I’m not on the deeds or mortgage. Currently the only income I have is from the few days of work I do for my mother each month to cover the finance admin work for her company along with my sister. I am more than capable of doing that job and it would save my mother a whole load of hassle in having to search for someone and train them if I just said I would do it permanently. But it’s the kind of tedious office job that would bore the fucking life out of me if I had to do it everyday for more than a few months. I don’t want to be an accountant like my parents, I just don’t want to do it and no amount of financial incentive will motivate me to actually care and try to do a job I’m not interested in.

So right now I feel like a fucking sponge, living off my boyfriend’s wage and goodwill. While he has said that he would be happy for me to try and write full-time – at least to get my novel to a point where I could start querying agents with it – I know that he wouldn’t be completely happy for me to carry on like that for the next 2-5 years. While he can support both of us with just his wage I know full well that he’d appreciate it if I actually had something to contribute to maintaining our situation beyond my sporadic efforts at chores (that has been a real issue with me during the last few months). I don’t do enough and we both know it. I am hideously selfish and oblivious to things that need doing around the house far too often and Le Boyf won’t say anything until it builds up to the point he’s so irritated by it that he stops talking for half a day and then I actually twig to what a piece of shit I’ve been.

My fears that Le Boyf will eventually just get so fed up of my flaky home habits that he’ll just give up on me fed into my anger and frustration at myself for still not having a clue about what I want to do with my life outside of my relationship, my bitterness that everyone I went to school with seems to have their shit together and have actual goals and plans for their future, my dread that every day that I’m not looking for a job or thinking about looking for one is another day that I’m disappointing my mother and letting down everyone who is supporting me, my terror that even if I do finish writing my book and actually edit it that no one other than Jess and Le Boyf will want to read it and my childish dream of becoming an author is just a pointless impossibility. All of that was blaring in my head as I tried not to wake up Le Boyf with my crying last night.

I feel so out of control of my life right now. And it scares me shitless. I am not happy in myself at the moment and I don’t really know what to do about it.

This post has been rather a mess of a lot of emotions and personal craziness so if you have made it this far, thank you. I’m now going to go take a shower and do some colouring to calm myself down a bit.

Hopefully the next time I post here it won’t be about me having another meltdown.

Ray

Ray en Francais – J’ai peur

I’m not writing this whole post in French you can relax.

It takes me three times as long to write in French and since most of the people who currently read this blog are from my OU writing module it’s not very fair to just dump an entire post that’s unreadable to most people.

If you don’t know what the post title means; J’ai peur = I’m scared. Currently I’m finding my French module a lot more intimidating than my writing one. I kinda know what I’m doing with writing, at least in the sense that I can put words down in a row and they manage to make sense and be marginally interesting to at least me. The worries I have about writing at the moment are more related to not knowing what I’ll do with the words once I have them and whether other people will like them.

French however, is a whole different kettle of fish. I’m not saying I’m shit at french – on the contrary, to anyone who has only studied to GCSE level I may seem like I’m fluent. To my Yr 7 & 8 students when I was a TA in French lessons I was basically a native. But when it comes to the degree level modules that I’m doing suddenly my ability to speak with a pretty convincing accent is just not enough to get me through. When my marks are relying on my ability to teach myself grammar points and make an effort to learn vocabulary around a topic and then use both these skills together, everything is a lot scarier.

I’ve been avoiding picking up my French textbooks for the last two weeks or so and now the module has officially started I really need to shuck off this fear otherwise I’m going to be left scrambling to complete my TMA at the start of November having not done most of the activities for this topic. I am going to have ample time to do everything in my textbooks for both French and my Writing module so I gotta make the most of it.

To this end I wanted to just make a concrete list of what is scaring me right now about this French Module. I’m sure that if I show this to my boyfriend later he’s going to frown at me and tell me I’m being ridiculous (I probably am) but it doesn’t mean that I don’t think these things.

Fears for L211

1. I won’t understand the course materials

2. I won’t be able to think of the words I need/want to use

3. I don’t have the level of grammar knowledge I should have by now

4. I won’t be able to keep up with the activities each week.

5. My TMAs won’t be complex or accurate enough for this level

6. The other students will be will better than me.

7. I will fail.

So there you go. Those are the worries that are currently making my attempts to do French seem all silly and pointless. Now I need to tear up this list before it just infects my brain with its toxic negativity.

Do tell me I’m being an idiot.

Ray