i think we’re overthinking it

I don’t know if I can even describe how important what El said to me this afternoon was. My face was hot and at times when I admitted to what I’ve been feeling the past two weeks tears were coming to my eyes, but her gaze was so level and kind I couldn’t look away. It’s hard to process and really analyse what she said and why she said it- the cynical part of me is like, she probably felt like you needed a pep talk seeing as you still get obviously scared at the podium; or alternatively it’s something she feels she has to do to build girls up, it’s hardly an uncommon problem that you have; but the other part of me is just, a dog jumping up and down wanting to be petted.

I dunno what this means for me now lol: I really do appreciate Elaine being straightforward and blunt, but if I get this pleased over compliments… It was SUCH a moodboost though. I do think that I see the moot differently now after having consulted both of them today. They have such differing perspectives and to some extent conflicting sometimes, but they were so clear about the moot being a kind of performance or dance that I’m even a little excited- right now anyway, I’ll be less so when I start re-working my outline in 2 minutes and realise how little I’m working with. but smiling like a motherfucker when someone’s pulling your case apart does something to screw your sense of humour up a little, I think. also, i’ve been talking a big game when judging other people’s rounds today but when i’m up there it’ll be a whole ‘nother story.

But honestly I do appreciate them so much. El is just so CARING, you can feel that she wants the best for you whatever she’s doing; and Elaine shows her care by matching whatever you put in, being there when you need help, unfailing. And whatever comes of this Saturday I think I’ve already gained what I came here to gain, in spades.

“Don’t live your life defending the smallest possible piece of land”- holy fucking shit, she sees right through me.


It was also really fun to just kick back and talk shit with other ilp people today. there were so many times i just died… gossiping… andrew and his cave… getting our elaine impression down…

“do you have any authority?”
“er I was gonna throw in Lotus at the end-”

“yy has two emotions: normal and louder”

“he likes to win on theoretical points so that he doesn’t need to proceed to the practical stuff… in a way it’s good practice la since he’s going to p*ter low”

“fresh air!!! … uh, fresh paint air”



a said today that he thought a classmate was ‘dodgy’; he kept getting the feeling off her that she was keeping arguments to herself, like she was afraid someone would steal a really good point. I don’t know if it’s just me- the isolation speaking again- but I feel like the problem is pretty endemic in our cohort. when I felt I was losing it the past two days and gave in and texted people to try and ask for help, no one really did. it’s not that I expect people to drop everything and come running, but- why aren’t we discussing the issues together? is that why we’re so behind this year, because people aren’t really sharing information and putting all the different pieces together? or maybe they just think I’m stupid and not worth discussing with…

I’m pretty sad about it. I feel like one of the best parts of ELSA was talking things over with Zoe and beating things out, not even being that productive but just feeling out the edges of a problem together. maybe it was because we weren’t close or friendly before coming into ilp together, but i really thought that maybe trial by fire would make it work.

bah. I have never been more of an inf(p) than at this moment. the deadline is in like 28 hours, I still don’t have arguments and i’m listening to carly’s b-side actively indulging the instinct to feel like shit.

stronger than my own doubt

I’ve been drinking tea for the past few nights in a bid to get just enough caffeine to see me through some work and let me crash at a semi-decent hour- the first ILP weekend, sugary coffee at 12 made me pretty productive but left me wide awake and vibrating a little at 5 when I was trying to get my mind quiet enough to nap a bit before moots. the leaf water isn’t going TOO great, but at the very least its hot water with a nice smell, so.

just came from a two hour hth with my brother; they always seem to happen at night when we’re the only two ones around. i’m constantly struck by how little people truly know of each other; it’s just so easy to reduce people to single attributes in your mind. you always remember people as how they are to you- the complexity of a human being is too much to hold in your mind at once, I think. it’s not even about what’s happening in his life currently but like his past experiences that i’m only just hearing of now: at one point talking about an old crush and how little he knew of relationships then he grinned and said, ‘I feel like dying,  this must be love’. I smiled, but my heart ached a little- my easygoing, laughing brother? struggling with emotions he felt he couldn’t show? we’re all so much more similar than we think.

so if there’s one mistake I always make regarding friendships is that I keep doing the same thing and hoping for different results when nothing’s changed. but I don’t know if this is what friendship is: keeping your hand out without expectation. I think maybe a conversation is past due.

god knows I’m proud of little this week, but I’m glad that I made time for people amidst all the panic and upset. I’m always going to struggle with whether that instinct is self-care or just procrastination- some kind of self-sabotage or manifestation of avoidance- but right now I’m glad I did.

broken my own heart again

The street’s alien like this, lights darting over the facade of buildings, darkness playing havoc with depth perception. right after taking this photo I put my foot into the SMU fountain. It’s crowded but an amiable, communal kind- people sitting on sidewalks, holding drinks, laughing- almost not wanting to be anywhere else. SAM was playing the same kind of tinkly hazy underwater dream music that buskers used to play on the millennium bridge in London, and I felt like I could have been in another country, how loose and comfortably unfamiliar I, it felt. But maybe I’m confusing internal dislocation with external. I tried to make a metaphor about projecting facades for my Instagram post but gave it up- bit obvious, even for me.

It was like three hours earlier, when we left the supermarket into the intimate heat of the afternoon, the unrelenting light, with eva cassidy was playing over the loudspeakers- will you stay with me/ will you be my love– and I just, I felt.

midterm boost

so I’m starting from a lower base than I thought- but what a stupid thing to be discouraged by. I have lovely coaches who want to help, if only I could lose this and receive what they’re trying to tell me. Elaine was so compassionate last night I felt like I was going to cry a few times, wanting to say what I’ve kept inside for so long.

the mileage/ of your solitude

today cyn texted to ask how yesterday went, and when I moved to type an answer tears sprang into my eyes. I’ve always compartmentalised what I said to people. I talk to Natassia about books; Darrelle about movies; my brother about American politics. Things we’ve talked about before, that I know they’re interested in. But that leaves so many gaps where things vitally important to me go unsaid. That’s why sometimes I like to meet people that I haven’t seen in a while, because for a little bit as you work to re-establish that conversational ground you can strike out on as many paths as you think of, some of which people you see every day might not think to ask.

But this is so much my own fault. I realised that when I received letters within a week of each other stressing that I could share whatever I wanted with the writers at any time. I’ve always kept my troubles to myself and choked on them in the quiet. I think I’m worried about what they might think of me. See how fearful and selfish and needy I am. How little I want to dwell in my own mind. How little I know of myself as a result.