Stationary Direct

I handed in the work for my masters just before my birthday last month, as my derailed subway car skidded through the station with a deafening screeching, and sparks flew all around.

Then it was a case of waiting for the thing to come to a stop so I could disembark. Up to that point I’d thought the deadline was the destination, but I should have known a runaway train with that much momentum was going to overshoot the mark by some considerable margin. I think I’ve ground to a halt now but my body still has the sensation of moving, so I’m yet to clamber free.

I don’t know what comes next. My house is still a mess and I have no onward plans. I am back in the nebula, waiting for something to form. It’s hard not to wonder if this whole thing was just a £10,000 diversion. Okay, more like £14,000. I guess we’ll see in time.

White knuckles

I wrote this on the 27th April and then rode the subway car on into the abyss without a backward glance.

Lately, life has been feeling like riding on a rickety subway car, with no seats and no glass in the windows, along an old derelict tunnel. I’m sort of white knuckling the handrail as I’m shaken incessantly, really quite unsure whether the whole thing is about to crash into a barrier, fall through the floor or maybe just derail and skid along this subterranean passage for a while until it grinds to a slightly mangled, overheated halt. But on it trundles, at an impressive, somewhat alarming speed. Relentlessly. Constantly. Somehow still not there yet.

I don’t totally know why.

I’m in the last leg of my masters, and I’m certainly contending with the fact that I’ve allocated my time poorly up to this point and thus have given myself more of a slog to overcome than would be ideal. But I’ve lived through far more catastrophic levels of procrastination relatively unphased in the past.

Perhaps the pandemic has just frayed my nerves a little too much to cope with self-orchestrated academic crises.

Exposure

I am the type of person who physically recoils from the idea of you reading my diary. But I’m also the type of person who forgets to put her diary away and instead leaves it open on the table when visitors come round. I’m the type of person who walks along the street and blurts out what she’s thinking about to herself before she realises she’s not alone. I’m the type of person who may or may not leave sex toys on display when her grandparents come to visit and who won’t notice until at least the second time everyone has been exposed to them.

Privacy is not something I am good at.

The side-effect of revealing myself to the ‘wrong’ person I talked about the other day, whether real or imaginary, sent me into something of a tailspin at the time. Realising that I had unintentionally, yet intentionally, made parts of myself public made me feel excruciatingly exposed. I started becoming contracted and brittle, stuttering through my business endeavours, entirely conflicted about the right course of action, hypersensitive to every indication that people were seeing me. I was too self-conscious to commit to anything. I had chosen to reveal myself, but I hadn’t thought through what that might actually mean, and now that I was, I didn’t like it. I wanted the benefits of feeling courageous, but none of the other consequences.

Bit by bit, I shut it all down. I’ve talked about this before too.

I’ve been diligently trying these past few years to get acquainted with vulnerability, because I’m so very terrible at invulnerability. Vulnerability is a thousand times more healthy than invulnerability, I know, but I guarantee if I was better at not accidentally exposing myself that would be the choice I would make every time. If I could control all the variables, I would.

I am perfectly happy to expose myself on my own terms, in a very controlled, curated way. But not so much in a vulnerable way. I don’t want you to see me make a mistake. I don’t want you to see a side of me I didn’t specifically choose to show you. But I will, and you will. So I’ve been trying very hard to be okay with that. To be okay with all of myself, so that if you don’t like it, at least I still do.

It’s a fucking journey.

Much Horse

Today is my ex-horse’s birthday.

He’s still a horse. I think. He’s just not my horse anymore.

Although technically I wonder about that because he might still officially be on long-term loan, seeing as his new owner never paid me the agreed upon fee following the trial period. Pregnant, weak-spirited and with nowhere to keep a horse, I just let her have a free horse. But maybe she still thinks she’s just borrowing him five years later?

He’s 11 today. Prime of his life. I bet he’s magnificent.

I’ve been thinking about horses a lot lately. I actually dreamt about thinking about buying a horse last night, and I only just remembered. Horses have taken so much of my money over the years, and transformed it into joy and peace and liberation. The presence of a horse-shaped hole in my future bank account seems inevitable, but it’s not quite time just yet.

Unintended

At the culmination of a convoluted train of impulses, I searched my own name in Google images. One photo of me shows up, but what really made my day was that next to that photo is a Polestar 2, a Toyota C-HR and Edward Cullen standing next to a C30.

Unintended consequences. I wonder where Noel Edmunds wandered off to.

I am often falling prey to unintended consequences.

Once Upon A Time, I was deep in the thrall of my numinous experiences, catalysed by He Who Does Not Want To Know Me. I fucking love giving people organically occurring pseudonyms, but that might be a bit much. After hitting the floor over it, a day or two away from declaring myself psychotic, I had accidentally come across some ‘information’ about ‘twin flames’ – essentially a kind of soulmates-on-steroids situation. The experience described by so called twin flame experts was bizarrely, disturbingly, exactly what I was experiencing. Stunned by the resonance, I bought in. But I kept butting up against the fact that it very much appeared my experience was not reciprocated by He. The twin flame experts had explanations for why this appeared true, but was in fact not at all true. As much as I wanted to believe that, it was too easy, and too fantastical.

He Who Does Not Want To Know Me was distinctly silent, and so, like a pesky mosquito, I landed on his shoulder time and time again saying I’m still here, are you going to swat me? Because silence wasn’t enough – I needed rejection. Eventually, cordial, beautiful, transcendent rejection came. Thank you.

Two years passed. A lot happened; I met someone, got pregnant, we moved in together and had a baby. I reached a sort of distant equilibrium with He Who Does Not Want To Know Me, and we shared a few messages over that time. I had stayed on the periphery of the twin flame community, fascinated by this collective, deluded, delicate, beautifully human phenomenon that I was undeniably part of. I was convinced there were deep things to gain from the experience that I and all these other people were having, and that there was profound meaning being forsaken in favour of a focus on The Other Person. And I, myself, was still rather more focused on The Other Person than I cared to admit.

I decided to start a YouTube channel about it. The grand mission? To change the rhetoric around ‘twin flames’ to something more useful than soulmates-on-steroids. To challenge the idea that just because this intense thing happened, it had to mean something romantic. And also to challenge the idea that if it didn’t turn out to be romantic, that must mean the experience wasn’t real or meaningful. To take the focus away from The Other Person and place it where I thought it belonged: On The Self.

At this point, I’d pretty much gone full woo and was also a practising Tarot reader and Reiki practitioner. I was completing a business course in the hope that I could make a living from it, and it was recommended that I brand everything in my own name, so as not to limit myself to any one arena in the future. So I changed my YouTube channel to my name too. It felt a bit weird, but was actually a good business move as I started attracting clients who were going through similar mystical journeys, and I found a niche.

What it also meant, though, was that, should anyone – anyone at all – Google me, these videos would show up on the first page.

Now, I don’t know if these two things are related, but the next time I sent He a message, he didn’t reply. Someone in his vague location, however, did view a bunch of my videos all at once. And, I can’t speak for everyone, but if, out of context (or maybe even in context), I saw someone I’d never met talking about me and twin flames in the same breath, I might not be inclined to reply to their message.

Unintended consequences? Did I accidentally terrify an innocent man? I have long hoped it was just coincidental that I never heard from him again, and the fact he didn’t outright block me or report me or tell me to stay the fuck away from him in a panicked font was a sign that he was oblivious. I told myself he wasn’t interested enough to Google me anyway. Still, I wonder – was this the moment he changed from being He Who Does Not Have A Strong Opinion About Knowing Me, to He Who Does Not Want To Know Me?

Either way, that moment really brought my attention to all the unintended consequences I had failed to forsee in my life. What seemed an obvious risk in hindsight had not even occurred to me. What else was not occurring to me? I began becoming more aware of my digital footprint, and how other people may perceive the slivers of me that I revealed to them. How little my intention actually corresponded to the results of my actions in some situations. How impossible it was to judge the consequences of a choice. How impossible it was to ever know every far reaching, obscure, bizarre consequence of a choice.

I’m not very good at forseeing all possible outcomes; even when I expend inordinate energy on trying to do so. I’m often caught out by the side-effect.

How do you go about anticipating a side-effect? Is it even a healthy endeavour to try? Maybe I should consult a pharmacologist.