A new Day at Midnight

It is taking a fair bit of time to adjust to my new routine. A lot has been altered, if truth be told: it is not just writing and creation. Exercise has been given a different focus. That’s been a bit of a game changer. Oh yeah, and after what’s probably been almost a decade, I have short hair again.

It was something that mattered for a long time, being that person. Now, however, it is not who I am any more. Accepting this is an important step forward, embracing it even more so. Only by reinvention can we challenge and redefine ourselves.

Only by doing the things that frighten us is there a chance to redeem the issues that have held us back.

Fast As You Can

Today has had a lot happen in it. By far the most important part of that is that instead of being distracted by social media, other things have taken place. Instead of being dragged into things I cannot change or alter, I used time to write poetry instead.

Five poems have been sketched to first draft in time that previously did not exist. I would have been mindlessly browsing or being sucked into arguments that, at this moment, do not require my input. Instead, from the tyranny of always being present, I have produced something that makes me happy.

Not all problems are as easily solved, and this is why this time is doubly important. The time I have reclaimed has been used wisely today. Tomorrow may be different. However what is increasingly apparent is that these are problems I can solve alone. This is the key for my next step of professional progress.

You can always be more than you believe is possible.

Broken Wings

Yeah, I was right. Boxing is a game changer. Talking to different people is a game changer, as is giving yourself to your peers with no desire for reward. Some real truths were vocalized for the first time this morning too, which were previously very much not touched for very good reason. Knowing what you are is all well and good, but actually coping with that is something very different indeed. All of this will now undoubtedly result in a significant mental change in the Bagging Area.

Therefore, going forward, we will ensure that things are done is as much of a timely fashion as is possible. Some days, I will be late, and there will be less apologizing at the time. Sometimes, shit just happens and that’s that. There will however be absolutely no apologies for anyone or anything who thinks it’s okay to either belittle or do harm to the progress I have made. I see you, and it’s not happening. I do not need your support if it is laced with caveats or benefits you before me.

We are either in this equally or you can fuck right off.

Last Train to Trancentral

Last few days have been a bit of a rollercoaster. I’ve stopped watching the TV show responsible for filling my brain to capacity, and there will be more on Severance as the week goes on. For now, I’m almost back up to date, have a new project on the go and am ready to go start kicking the arse of a training programme that needs to get me ready to do a 30-mile bike ride and a 10 km run within a week of each other. We’ll get there. For now, however, it’s time to concentrate on adjusting to a bit more hard work everywhere…

Downtown Lights

Tomorrow, I read a poem in a Book Launch for the first time. It’s not just me, there’s nearly 30 other people involved in this, and my single poem is, as are all the others, about being neurodivergent. I’m still no further forward with a diagnosis with my Doctor, and it has been almost a year now. However, when I realize it took my daughter three years to get even seen for NHS treatment on waiting lists pre-COVID? I’m not sure when you start complaining, if indeed you can at all.

Anyway, it’s a busy week, and I am slowly beginning to readjust to a new way of working. The physical changes to a body that’s now accepting both intermittent fasting and more exercise, that there’s strength in places where it never really existed and that I feel more physically confident than I have for some time are all good, positive steps. Other things are still lamentably awful, though. You can’t have everything. The trick really is not to moan about it all too much, or you become stereotypically British.

I booked myself an open mic on Thursday with some new people in Coventry. It’s always good to see how other people do it. It’s not long now to June and having to do it in an actual physical space with real people, and that’s already looking a bit scary. We’ll cope, because we have to, as that’s the next logical iteration of the project. It is a project too. Some people might not like what I do, but that’s never my problem, and always their loss. Let’s keep moving forward.

Keep on Moving

We are in ‘evolve or perish’ mode right now, which requires an almost daily reinvention of the game plan. I’m also four weeks out from a 30-mile bike ride on closed roads and nowhere near the capacity to complete it. Therefore, we need some training and a bit of practice, plus some better snacking options than currently exist in the house. Balancing all this is the notion that doing the same as everyone else is a waste of my time.

Therefore, today, it is time to start building some new empires. They won’t be huge, and might take a fair bit of time to establish, but the concepts are solid. I am also doing a new, Tuesday cycling class for a few weeks to try and make it look like I am making an actual effort with the cardio. It’s with an instructor who covered my normal Thursday class last week and ended up killing me. I was very pleased at this turn of events, so it is time to see how things operate in her natural habitat :D

There’s been a lot of struggles over the last year to get my wok/writing balance right. I think we might be getting there now. Certainly the changes to my body would suggest that progress is happening. The next step is to try and normalize the sleep pattern, lay off the biscuits and really make some inroads into finding some kind of style that does not involve living in exercise gear, however comfortable that might end up being…

Manic Monday

Day One Proper of my Big Advocacy Gig went off largely without a hitch. I am really having to work rather hard now to concentrate on writing sentences, however, which probably means that a cheeky nap is in my future. The amount of anxiety generated by trying to be someone who looks both focussed and organized is equal to ten times the normal expended energy output. It is a tough ask, even now, to play the part of someone who’s not panicking internally all the fucking time.

However, it is having an effect. People are listening, and conversations are being started, but as this is only Week One of Twelve, I probably need to do something about better management of my feelings. Also, really, will need more sleep than I’m currently managing. I’m not sure why that is either, but it isn’t about the amount of work I’m doing, that is certain. Once this week’s stress over making video wears off, we’ll be in a better place.

I have one out of seven done, and if a nap is secured later, we’ll make that three before the end of the day. The video is all finished and planned, just have to record audio and do the construction work. You’ll see them in a week, which is Mental Health Awareness Week. I hope I can make every one a part of a cohesive, narrative journey.

The End (Redux)

As the World turns, change is inevitable. For me, that means an advocacy gig this morning that’s taken probably over half a decade to properly align. For nearly three years of that, Dean’s been finding pebbles to post on Twitter. I couldn’t tell you exactly *when* I started using them as prompts for poetry, but it’s been a while now. It’s hard to understate just how significant this has been in my evolution as a poet.

Like any skill or ability, poetry requires practice. It’s demanding and exacting, but simultaneously asks for freedom that is often impossible to properly encapsulate. A restraint of six lines was imposed, every day, until this morning when the moment demanded it wasn’t enough. I needed to say Thank You and this seemed like the best way. I will miss this part of the day terribly.

As a result, we will substitute Dean’s early morning wakeup with blogging. It’s not the same, but will ensure that the good work he helped me begin will be maintained. Even when the familiar leaves us, we must endure and move on. Dean’s legacy for me will now last a lifetime, and I can never really find the right way to thank him, except in verse. When a poetry book is finally published… he’ll find himself in my Acknowledgements. That’s a cast-iron guarantee.

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.

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.