The Day Before You Came

I’ve had two journal acceptances over the last seven days. The good work is beginning to kick in, such as it is, and there are some important lessons to be learned from how work is edited and what will and will not work as content. As a result, this is literally the first opportunity that has existed to sit down and write a blog. I am exhausted.

There will be no letup to this: I am in Zoom meetings for learning/content/assessment/progression until Christmas. There needs to be the means of decompressing mentally as well as physically. As a result, I am attempting to be more flexible than previously. There also needs to be specific, mentally-targetted rest periods factored in.

Therefore, tomorrow is a VERY long walk and photos.

White Knight

I should have been referred today for an Adult ASD diagnosis. The doctor has all the paperwork, I’ve provided a personal referral statement. As he refused to see me in person, I have no idea of his veracity at this point. We’ll see how it goes, but I have done all that could be done, and as a result am mentally exhausted.

Everything else has gone extraordinarily well this week, including having massive progress on the house.

Normal posting, such as it remains, will return again on Monday.

Respect

I’m pretty certain a food allergy wiped me out on Thursday night/Friday morning, so took a day off after 12 days of exercise on the trot having come to the conclusion that it’s really not viable to be that person without a notional change in approach. Regardless of this 10km happened yesterday and now there is a need to arrange myself, so that’s a regular, weekend thing, which means far better shoes as a priority.

It appears there’s still a weekend in the Lake District possible in September too, but honestly how well that goes will depend on the building site. Travelling for four hours and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed is great if there’s at least two days to adjust. Really, dunno if that’s a thing that will happen or whether Dad will go on his own because he just manages, and I don’t.

This week is my referral assessment. I need to go take my forms back to the Doctor, and see if my appointment is in person or telephone. As it’s timed, it could go either way.

And So It Goes

I’m going on holiday tomorrow: not anywhere away from here, but pretending not to work for two weeks. It will be a break, however, which is the more important point. Today, something happened that is worth remembering from a personal PoV. There’s a surprising amount of context that goes with it.

In my life, I’ve been the person a couple of people have turned to when they have lost a parent. It’s odd, because that depth of connection is something I have never experienced. The truth of this realization came up again this week in a different context: I love lots of people now, and that love is given freely, without fear of consequence. Only now does it properly register what it must mean when someone doesn’t love you back.

Helping people is really important to me, and it’s not often I’ll open myself up to that because there’s proper comprehension of what matters when you lose someone you really care about. I understand this not because of my own life, but thanks to the generosity of others. I can grieve too, could never before.

This was a learned skill, not one that is ingrained. I didn’t bond immediately with my son, but when it happened with my daughter, PND was the result, because finally I was genuinely afraid of not being capable of the love required to support both of them, and then my husband. So many things revolved around the transactional nature of those relationships.

Someone today told me that friendship for them is not transactional. I wasn’t built that way, need to see the ebb and flow of the emotional exchanges to understand what is going on, to comprehend their significance. For me, it is all about the obvious, because for so long there was never real importance placed on that tacit understanding so many people just experience as normal life. I don’t have this, and this is where a lot of personal interaction falls down.

I was also told I blame myself for a lot, which is the peculiar nature of my trauma experience, but crucially this is not the reason why I know some relationships I have been involved with would only ever end up as temporary and not permanent. What I want from relationships is often what other people are uncomfortable giving, because it really is all or nothing. I don’t have enough time left to do anything else.

Someone also told me this week that my biggest strength is my authenticity, and for the first time in a very long time I actually believe that. If this were 100 years ago, I’d be sitting here trying hard not to be overwhelmed by the portents. Fate has sent me some fucking huge signals in the last seven days. Things are changing for the better. Life is rearranging itself around me, and as that happens, there will be consequence to consider.

Sometimes, it isn’t just you that’s altering either, though if you’re a good person you’ll always check you didn’t fuck something up when you see something out of the ordinary. The people who know I’ll worry when stuff changes have learnt to let me know, to help me cope. They’ll help me understand them, especially when the signals are hard to decrypt.

In the end however, however hard you try, sometimes people grow apart.

Today

I am slowly adjusting back to what will be Normal, once all the chaos in my personal life comes to an end, which is probably happening some time in early October. For now, when I have stuff to write here it will, inevitably, be because none of the other places I’m currently operating in, suit my needs the way this place does.

A lot is changing, but if you follow me elsewhere, you’ll know that anyway. For now, I suppose I’m on something of a blog hiatus. It all starts again properly in September, and I’ll actually be taking holiday, such as it is. Needless to say, it is very much required and quite keenly anticipated.

Otherwise, things are okay.

Yesterday

It’s taken me just over a month to get to see a Doctor, who then asked me why I’d not come to see him sooner, at which I burst into tears and explained to him that his own fucking staff are the problem. They asked me if I’d like to fill in a complaint form, at which I replied there was no point, because if it took that long to get here, I’d probably be waiting a year for an apology. The NHS might be great, but it is really very broken. Some of it is bad management, but occasionally some of it is people.

I need to record some audio tonight, and to do that I need to have actual poetry to read. I will make a script.

Then, after that, it is time to address the backlog.

Regeneration

For the longest time, all I’ve ever really wanted to do is throw everything away and start again.

The practicalities of this have always eluded me, but now it’s become an actual reality, and as existence begins to warp its way around me and the new world forms, this is a better place for so many reasons. Of course, it’s still filled with terrible, hateful people who only care about themselves, but that has ALWAYS been the case and will continue to be so for the rest of my time alive. The difference now is they can no longer alter my trajectory.

I finally gained enough momentum to escape the gravity of my own darkness.

Slowly, things are improving. Every share, every interaction, each new conversation. They all add to the pile. I get to be better. The muscles get stronger, the fat diminishes. I’m more awake, even when mentally there’s nothing left in the tank. If you asked me a year ago if I could fast until midday every day, I’d have laughed at you and then thrown an empty teacup at the wall. Now, I drink a lot of water, and other people buy me emergency chocolate.

This is a good place to be right now, even with the terror of real life as accompaniment.

It’s been a touch week, but the escape cannot be stopped.

On my way now, everybody.

9 to 5

I am still here. There is an Open Mic tonight. It is almost time to sit and write some poetry for the first time in a week, although there is a good chance I may end up asleep with an iPad stuck to my face. I need to finish the submission for the 31st as well. Then there *might* be an opportunity to work on the Patreon project, but don’t hold your breath.

Everything else is fucking mental.

Beds are Burning

Gonna be a tough week, for lots of reasons, none of which have anything to do with football. However, I had an amazing weekend of recycling old work into new collections for different places and, let it be said, that this really is the best it’s been for some time. I could do with more than six hours sleep, and my vocabulary is creaking a bit, but there is still lots to do under the circumstances.

That’s about it, really.

The Test

Validation is a funny thing. It rarely happens when you want it, and even less so when you’re stuck in a hole requiring the energy to climb out. It’s also absolutely NOT the stuff you think it is. Not everybody wants to be loved and adored, you know. Many just want to be told that what happened to them was wrong, and that there’s a better way to live. When that happens, whole lives just become better, and you become determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Some you won’t ever avoid though, and only now, at this moment, do I really understand why.

When you assume the world is like you, nothing will ever function correctly, because of the disparity between your own perception and everybody else’s. Ironically, it’s taken a TV show to bring this home to me. It’s amazing how validating it is to have something presented to you on screen that becomes the perfect metaphor for that thing which ails you. In my case, that means I’m Tom Hiddleston, and this becomes a blog post about Loki.

Forget everything else about the show, and just take the protagonist’s dilemma alone: this Loki left his timeline when he shouldn’t. At the second that happened, a divergent branch of time was created, and the TVA turned up to make sure it didn’t and that Loki’s glorious purpose was fulfilled. He was born to die in the Sacred Timeline, and that’s it. Like all the other Loki who strayed off the path, all that mattered was his removal.

However, all those splinters of the same personality, all still Loki, continued to live past their removal. One never had the chance to live at all (in the case of Sylvie) whist presumably all the others got shunted out to the Void to be erased for good. What this gives us as viewers is a brilliant means by which we show Hiddleston’s version grow and understand that when he’s not selfish and thinking about himself, he opens himself up to becoming not only likeable, but noble. When his view of the world is so fundamentally altered for good, change becomes essential to survive.

Loki learns from the versions of himself: he brings peace to Sylvie in the moments before both think they will die, and their ‘relationship’ has a power that literally manifests as the most powerful Nexus event anyone in the TVA has ever seen. It’s not for nothing, I think that Richard E Grant’s Loki backstory involves him spending a long time in solitude either, that when he sees what Möbius intends to do now he’s learnt he’s been brainwashed as a Variant, it is enough to transform a bitter old Asgardian into a hero.

In its most didactic form, this show is telling us that bad people have good in them: Prime Loki says it himself to Möbius, before they head off to Pompeii to prove the theory of Sylvie hiding in apocalypses. He knows the difference between good and bad, he’s not a scared child… and as an adult, his reaction to the Loki bowling alley fight is priceless. All your personality splinters, vying for control, and all of them utter idiots. It’s no wonder there’s a fan theory circulating that this could be happening inside Loki’s brain the whole time.

Prime Loki knows what he is by Episode 5, what that actually means, and how he uses his powers for good and evil if he chooses. The whole TVA experience is the equivalent of an instruction manual on how to live life well in the Marvel Universe. It’s the moral code, laid down well and reinforced correctly. Nobody is irredeemable, but you have to want it, there needs to be work: when Prime Loki potentially gives his life, so Sylvie can have a shot at enchanting Alioth, it’s the validation of his journey. That’s the payoff. Here’s a new Loki, who’s accepted he can never return what he was.

That’s a very powerful storytelling element, and it’s an extremely clever means by which to build your Multiverse. All things are possible, past and present, old and new. It puts the ‘Original’ MCU down as a foundation that will work forever at holding up and increasingly diverse and colourful structure above it: as audience tastes change, so can it. In the end, this will annoy those who cannot think past the linear, that want their stories to matter more than anybody else’s, and if that’s not a metaphor for modern living, I don’t know what is.

You’re wondering what all this has to do with me, aren’t you? There’s a moment in Episode 5, as Prime Loki and Sylvie face up to Alioth: as they stand side by side, Loki moves. He places himself behind the variant who’s strongest, because that’s what you do. There’s a point where validation isn’t just about what you think it is, but it becomes something else. The validation you receive from other people is rarely recognized at the time, because you’re normally too busy fighting fires or just coping to grasp any actual significance.

Once in a while, something happens that justifies what you are: it’s that moment where judgement is proven to be sound. You make the right call, and here’s the proof: you didn’t enchant a monster or save the Universe. You just did you, to the best of your ability. This is the way, without feeling awkward or unhappy, and it is apparent, just for a moment, that there is a glorious purpose to be fulfilled. It is when humanity is recognized, then embraced.

Change begins with you, people. Never forget this.

Oh, and as a TL/DR and P.S. combined: