Saturday, 14 March 2015

RECENTLY.


Oh, writer's block. What are familiar foe you are. It seems my previous attempts at dismantling your sources failed; miserably so, and thus, I am not going to string together enlightened promises and aggressive prose, but rather but spill out the excess of thoughts pressing against each side of my skull, in the mild hope that the any barricade to creative motivation will drain out amidst a pandemonium of lost of words.

Well, here goes.

*

Of late, the constant reel of my internal monologue has been louder than a written or spoken one. I have hibernated within my own company, and the illusion of time reality casts upon us all has roped me to its taunts. With each passing day, the rope of lost time is getting tighter around my throat, as my windpipe constricts with the fear of impending GCSE examinations and with regret at the departure of time spent no better than in a state of dull procrastination. I feel threatened by my lack of productivity yet I could compete in the art of procrastination. This procrastination has taken a multitude of forms: I have tidied my room, I have lain in bed and moped pitilessly, though the form least likely to lead to failure has been my increased motivation to read. I am reading more frequently than I have done in months, averaging three to four novels a week. Last week, I read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon; The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; Animal Farm by George Orwell and Atonement by Ian McEwan. This week, I finished Atonement, and I am now finishing The Fall by Albert Camus. Also this week, I plan on reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde or perhaps A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf.  

I'm procrastinating, a lot. Yes. But I am on-top of homework, though I am refraining from doing much else other than what will keep me out of a detention. I am not revising out of ambition or self-productivity. I make mental promises to create a revision timetable and start 'serious' revision every week. (As of yet, neither has materialised.) I go on study leave on May 8th and my first exam is May 12th. Days and weeks are blurring with dizzying speed as I stumble through the last of the content, insecure in my knowledge and unwilling to embrace the inevitable.

And so upon one shoulder the devil sits and an angel upon the other. The devil sneers that I will be fine, that I am keeping up, and therefore that I am fine. The angel tells me to strive for more, to deter from complacency and to work harder than necessary if I am to fulfil the pressures of others' expectations. 

Which leaves me torn violently between two mindsets. Is the act of educating myself to create a well-rounded person, through literature and film and music, a priority to the letters on a sheet of paper on a sticky day in August? In writing, in a far-removed context from reality, yes, yes of course it is! Isn't it ridiculous to believe otherwise? How on earth am I supposed to utilise grades if I am without the self-constructed mind-set to do so? The trouble is, in this context, it simply is not the case. The current societal environment is one in which grades=success. But grades are not fully reflective of capabilities. I know peers who are inanely clever, but when it comes to transcending this into examinations, they falter. The traditional methods of determining knowledge are not a 'one size, fit all'. We are society that has evolved to celebrate and accept diversity. In fact, we make a point of acknowledging and welcoming variations in identity. We are proud to do so. We thrive upon boating about statistics of multiculturalism and our achievements in pounding a path to equality. However, we are often forgetful of the fact that behind a generalised statistic is a collective of individuals. We need to celebrate individual diversity and begin to accept that different people are suited to different means. One clear area, being education. 

We are expected and pressured to conform into a mould that does not fit all. In doing so, rather than promoting equality, we often indirectly stimulate discrimination and prejudice. People jeer at others because they do not fit into a traditional mould themselves, whilst others thrive in this mould. It is all just rather contradicting.

This period of denial regarding the exams feels like a heavy, subconscious weight. it is a weight of knowledge and hopes and motivation; fears and failures and procrastination: an ever-present burden and blessing upon my shoulders. It motivates me forwards and it holds me back. My real enemy and my real ally is my mind. It is not writer's block, for that is a fabrication of my mind itself. To defeat my foes, my self-opposition, I must first become at one with my mind. I need to neutralise my thoughts and create a stable place of ease to hibernate into when necessary. 

In doing so these past two weeks, I have slept, eaten, read, spoken, worked, exercised and laughed. I have been in bed by 10pm each night, and read for at least twenty minutes. I have started to drink decaffeinated tea in the evenings and I have bypassed sugar in all hot drinks. I have read 5 books. I have tried to be a kind person no matter the situation. I have joined the creative writing club at school, and have also become a member of the schools 'Literacy Leader Team'. I have reminisced with friends and laughed as much as I can. I have exercised for the first time in months, going on a 2 hour bike ride at 9am on Sunday morning. I have been productive and kept up to date on all homework. I have woken each morning and mentally instructed myself to enjoy the day at hand. 

I have found a place of peace. I must now utilise it.

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