By Helena Smith
Late the other night whilst staring at my idea twice killed, I started to reminisce back to this time last year. I was working the standard hours as a receptionist doing fairly mind-numbing work and I remember feeling tired, thinking “gosh I really need this Christmas break”. It made me giggle. Tired? I did not know the meaning of the word.
Though this might seem like the start of quite a morbid reflection about how exhausted I and the rest of my cohort feel, I am going to make sure it’s not.
Yes, I feel a little broken but I am convinced this is a good thing. I know now I’m ready to be rebuilt into something better. Particularly in these last few weeks despite feeling the most mentally drained I ever have, there have been very small signs that this is already happening.
For starters, writing this scab. I think back to the beginning of term and the dread that overcame me two days before even writing it. The time I would spend thinking about a topic and the things I wanted to say or reveal about myself. I now write them either the day before or on the same day and don’t bat an eyelid. I relish the opportunity to have a physical outlet for my thoughts.
A couple weeks into term, determined to seize any opportunity to learn I signed up for a two-part writing class with Caroline. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the first class (if I’m honest a lot more than I expected to) I remember deliberately keeping my head down in an effort not be chosen to read out what I had written. The reason for this was not just because I know my writing skills leave a lot to be desired, but that I was nervous again about what I had written would say about me.
Today we had the second class and it was only when I accidentally jumped the gun on starting the process of reading out what we had written did it hit me how comfortable I felt. How much more confident in expressing myself I am becoming.
And this is quite a prominent day to realise this. This morning Marc spoke of the importance to use the time we have over Christmas to really identify the work that sings our song. In knowing what we stand for, what we are about.
Though I know I still have a long way to go, and much much better work to create I know I am heading in the direction.
So, I would like to amend using the word exhausted to describe how I’m feeling, because to me that suggests a sense of hopelessness. I feel subdued, a little quieter than at the start, but so ready to find out more about myself to create work that sparks eternal folklore. Just after a little time spent consuming buckets of mulled wine and kilos of mince pies.