I’m fully feeling the anticipation of the nine weeks of TEFL work I’m doing in July (despite having started anxiety medication). Changing schools after the first six weeks, I’m hoping I’ll be less phased about going straight into a new school without a break. I feel more confident in some ways, but I can’t stand being observed and haven’t taught in this way for so long for years now! I’m doing a lot of teaching Macbeth at the moment, which is all good, but it’s also for 8 hours a week, so for the sake of my mental health, I’m giving myself a break from that before I plunge into teaching for 20 hours a week (this is all plus my regular 7-8 hours of usual tuition). So, I’m thinking about how I can balance things to make my summer as stress-free as possible. I’m thinking as much reading in the sun as possible! That’s my happy place, and where I fortunately spent part of my birthday – along with the Louise Bourgeois exhibition, eating pan-Asian food, and dancing at The Shard’s silent disco.
I’m slowly getting on top of things, but I feel sad that I’ve not been able to dedicate time to creative work. I feel inspired by so many things – I’ve seen loads of bands, including Dry Cleaning supporting Yeah Yeah Yeahs, who do spoken word over drums and guitars, which I love, and I’ve loved watching Jake Rooke’s Big Boys on Channel 4. Another peer, Bisha Ali, has also got Ms Marvel on Disney! I’m hoping I’ll be able to find balance and prioritise creativity in September… when I’m also going to be starting my MA to become an Art Therapist. Anyway, I’m hoping at least that I’ll be able to save well to pay my first year in instalments, but if I have more donations, I’ll also be able to create more… which is also a part of what the MA is about, becoming a therapist, whilst continuing your art practice.
Well, I’ve decided to just do an update on what I’ve been up to, along with a few recommendations.
The first is Thorpe Park. I bought a bounce-back voucher and went for the second time this summer. I travelled with a couple of my close friends, yet I was physically shaking when I greeted everyone else. Not because of the rides, but because of the presence of a girl who I do not like, a girl who has wronged me in the past and, more importantly, ignored my offering of an olive branch a couple of years ago. I got used to my life without having to worry about her, and now, she has returned to cause me more misery. Now, with my wonderful friends, plus the excitement of all the rides, I managed to have a good time! So, if a theme park can still be fun in the face of all this drama, then it must be pretty damn good!
Best Ride: between Saw and Stealth
Worst Ride: between Rumba Rapids and Colossus
Anyway, that evening I met up with my Gran who is moving to live in France with her boyfriend. We had a meal at an Italian restaurant in Barbican, before seeing “Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine”. After seeing the film, I wanted to watch it again and so I know I HAVE to get the DVD! It was so inspirational and beautiful, and I think I’d love to have it to watch whenever I feel low. Louise is such an amazing person, I love her work and this film made me want to find out more about her, as it is filled with mystery and is extremely interesting. She is shown as a pillar of strength, striking and funny, with a mass of quotable comments. It is easily the best film I’ve seen all year and, having recently died at age 98, it is a fitting tribute to her life as an artist… and although she doesn’t define herself as one… a feminist role model.
After seeing my family on Saturday for a last goodbye for my Gran with my family, and taking some things each that she wanted to give away to us, I have been relaxing the rest of the time, and trying to not get too emotional about going back to Norwich – I always get a bit weird with change. My room is now exploding with books, and I have hung an abstract painting my dad did of me as a baby, which is possibly slightly less egocentric than having my own paintings on every wall. I watched a film called ‘U Be Dead’ which was a drama based on a true story and was quite entertaining.
I read in the garden most of the day. I think it’s the first time all summer I’ve had a day doing that. I’ve been thinking about sexuality recently and found a quote that intrigued me in a book I’m reading for university, “Granta: Music”. It was in a piece called “Brandy” by Philip Hensher:
‘I sat in the kitchen of a sympathetic girl called Miriam and told her that I was a homosexual, and faked an anguish I didn’t really feel. Several times, too, I hopefully said, late at night to a handsome boy, when we were alone, what everyone like me says and never really believes, that of course, everyone is basically bisexual, until one of them crossed the room and kissed me, and after that I never said anything so foolish ever again.’
It was strange because I had said recently to a friend that I believed sexuality was not a black and white subject matter. I thought, and still do think, that it is not a case of homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual. Rather, I do think that everyone is bisexual to some degree. I see sexuality as a spectrum and everyone falls somewhere on the continuous line from A to B. I don’t personally feel I could label myself bisexual, as I am unsure whether I would be willing to engage in the same level of relationship with the same-sex as I do with the opposite sex. This kind of connected with something I read in a children’s book by Sherman Alexie about not just belonging to Spokane Indian tribe but there being many ways of defining yourself. So, in that sense, sexuality is just one of many ways in which we define ourselves; it’s all the little things that make us who we are. Although, saying that, I’m remembering in psychology we learnt that we are not just the “sum of our parts” so this train of thought could be carried on a lot further. But, I won’t. I think I’ve written enough for one day.