Happy New Year?

30 minutes before the heralding of the New Year (in Scotland, at least), and I still can’t make up my mind.

What was I thinking?

I have been heavily confused since the early hours of this morning by this – seeing as our troupe had a New Year’s Eve celebration yesterday, due to unforeseen scheduling clashes.

With my unlimited free time on this day, I have tried to reason with myself. There was one girl I wanted to spend New Year’s Eve with, and in her inebriated state (too many shots), she kissed me yesterday. I suppose that is why I followed her around all night. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?

However, about 4 days ago, I asked her best friend out on a date. What’s more, it is apparently very obvious that the bestie and I get along quite well… perhaps too well.

Now, in theory, I could claim to be single, and just not care who I sleep with or what I do, but I’ve come to realise that’s not my style. I am single, indeed, and quite free to do what I want, but I am allowed to set my own constraints to stop myself from being an asshole.

Anyhow, this new year seems to be starting off with plenty of confusion, but also determination. I am determined to be better (as at the beginning of every year, I suppose), and determined I will know what to do soon. For now, it seems as though I have nothing to do but wait and see how it will play out.

2012

Here we are, sitting on the brink of another year. I think it would take a very long time for me to review the entire year, however, I can point out a few highlights.

Change of direction
September 2012 saw me heading to Strathclyde University for a masters in Digital Journalism. After a flop (for want of a better word) in my first degree, I thought it quite amazing that such a prestigious university would take me on. What’s more, Kingston University – another great one, or so I’m told – was reluctant to let me head to Scotland. With emails sent back and forth at a hectic pace, I was asked if I am absolutely sure I don’t want to go there.

New life, old friends
Having arrived in Glasgow, within one day of being here, I was reunited with ‘boss’ and friend, Gareth K Vile (http://vilearts.blogspot.co.uk/) , who has been a really powerful influence on my way of thinking about theatre, journalism, criticism, philosophy, and the world in general.

This is not only because he actually has good ideas, and knows how to teach what some would call ‘critical thinking’, but also because working with him on the insane schedule of a biweekly publishing of the Shimmy Skinny in the summer of 2011 was one of the greatest experiences of my life. The Edinburgh Festival of that year was an educational one for me. Working in a tiny box of an office with ‘the boss’ (also known as big G) from the early hours of the morning to well past midnight, reviewing three or four shows a day, editing or subediting other people’s work, forced me to learn things very quickly, and taught me that I could write something that was reasonably ‘good’ in a very limited timeframe. It was then and there that I knew I had to pursue a career in writing of some sort; I loved writing before, but I’d never seen myself put it to any kind of use, beyond it being my hobby.

Anyhow, aside from bringing me back for work on The Skinny, Big G let me help out with his radio station – The Vile Hour – which taught me invaluable skills about audio editing and production. These came in handy a few weeks later when we were being taught the very basics in the field at university. What’s more, I met plenty of people from the theatre and art-making scene in Glasgow.

Surprising myself
While in Glasgow, I have been trying ‘new life experiences’. Obviously that sounds very dodgy and hippyish (or otherwise a good way to mask an attempt to use drugs), but I’m not talking about drugs here. Because I just needed to vent out pent-up frustration and tension into something artistic that wasn’t writing, I somehow hunted down a theatre group that needed an actor and singer to fill in for a last-minute drop-out. Within a week, I learnt the few lines he had, and the songs (they were pretty easy), and made some amazing new friends! I didn’t think I had it in me to do that; I was so terrified of letting everybody down, that I actually worked at it. What’s more, I spent time with them over the holidays, went to the cinema with them, and had an amazing birthday because of them. Had I been asked a few weeks ago if that was possible, well… I would’ve probably said no.

We meet again…

Well, well, well.

We meet again, dear nervousness.

There is no doubt in my mind there is much fun to be had.

I asked her out, and she said ‘yes’. Grand!

And yet, this confusing delight pales, sickens, and fades at the thought of not knowing what or how to do things.

Respect is key, I know this.

“Respect is the ultimate currency,” somebody famous once said.

I am back to square one. Back in the game, in a way.

What’s more, I’ve been out of it for a while; never really it ‘played’ it quite like this before.

If it ever was a game. Can it be a game if the damages amount to a broken heart on either side of the looking glass?

I am getting ahead of myself. I haven’t even suggested a place and time yet! Then again, I’m not familiar with ‘standard procedure’. Thus far, it appears I am meant to be taking initiative, especially since it was my idea to ask her out.

Think, brain, think!

And yet, all I can do is sit here and stare at the phone, as if she will sense the brain power I am putting into this and contact me first.

No, that is not how it works, Eric.

I will talk to her tomorrow – we will need to make arrangements for Saturday anyhow. Now I must stop obsessing, worrying, thinking, and just get to bed.

We meet again, nervousness.

Well, well, well.

Back to basics

Well, Christmas has come and gone, and I haven’t written in days. I suppose on the inside I have been struggling between journalism, criticism, and creative writing.

When I started a blog, I had many stimuli and many frustrations to vent about everyday life; things I thought everyone would be able to relate to. Yet, starting to write as a journalist and as a critic (or well… a critic under construction), I lost a sense of what I wanted. Why would anyone want to read my ramblings about anything? That’s when I slipped into creative writing on the blog; just to keep it interesting. But then, every piece felt disjointed and disconnected from one day to the next.

So now I am back to square one. After more than 2 weeks of dormancy, I am just going to try to write. Something. Anything. Anything at all. No edits until after it is written, no planning out a story. It seems I have forgotten how to write because I was preoccupied with other things; I will have to just let it flow and see what happens. What better time to do this at than over the holidays?

My confession

I’ve been busy these past few days. Over the course of 4 days I managed to go from “I need to keep myself busy” to “I have no time”. I joined the Steampunk society, went to a fetish night, and found myself filling in a part in a musical.

Yesterday, I met the musical theatre cast. They were quite amazing. Very helpful, kind, and willing to show me everything. We had fun, and everything came fairly easily, although I wouldn’t say I’m talented; they made it very easy for me to fit in.

New acquaintances, new activities… I can see what the film ‘Yes man’ was about. Opening eyes to possibilities, opens up your world.

Nonetheless, I realised yesterday that no amount of new acquaintances, or exciting, and fun activity (such as rehearsing for a musical) will fill the void that you created. Well, you didn’t create it, but meeting you highlighted the fact there was a void to be filled. A void nobody else seems to fill. Nobody makes me that nervous, and nobody makes me so ridiculously happy.

I am such a fool for you.

Maybe one day you’ll hear my confession. Maybe not.

View from the bridge

There she stood, green eyes gazing out at the vastness that was the river. Flowing waves of ebony hair streamed down to her shoulders, contrasting heavily with her ermine-white skin. The breeze ruffled her hair gently.

The black water seemed tranquil; a perfect mirror for the city, reflecting every contour, every light. Silence reigned between them, absorbing the sounds of the city.

“Isn’t she beautiful?” she asked.

“She is,” came the reply accompanied by a nod. A turn of a head, and dark brown eyes fixed on her features.

They both leaned against the grey stone, looking out across the water. There was no need to say, do, or think anything. With no clouds to hide them, the stars bared their twinkling teeth at the Earth.

Invincible

So happy I feel practically invincible.

In spite of the pressing nature of my assignments, I’m ecstatic about yesterday, and I feel like I’m on the verge of something wonderful. It’s like realising the beauty of the world is perched right under my very nose, and I can capture it in slow motion.

I feel so good, it should be illegal; and it’s not even like anything major has happened. It was as simple as rain; something in my brain clicked while we were having breakfast, and laughing, and chatting.

I am the luckiest guy on the planet.

What’s more, it started snowing tonight!

Fortune knocks at least once on every man’s door.

Fortune knocks at least once on every man’s door.
Be sure to answer.

That’s what the fortune cookie reads.

I don’t really believe in fate, but I’m not prepared to ascribe certain things to ‘coincidence’ either. Is there such a thing as coincidence? I remember debating this with a friend of mine; we came to the conclusion that coincidences were events that happened but did not result in a ‘favourable’ outcome. A coincidence is considered to be an event that is random, but somehow linked to something else through pure chance. What I seem to remember of our discussions was that events that we attribute a “meant to be” factor to, are not coincidences.

You want a situation as a case study?

An example of a coincidence could be me having a premonition (or whatever you wish to call it) about holding someone’s hand and then meeting this wonderful woman, and holding her hand for five minutes later on in the day. Or some might say it “was meant to be”, seeing as the entire universe converged into a physical expression of my ‘premonition’. Or perhaps I am full of crap, and these things just ‘happened’.

Admittedly, I don’t really know how this relates to the fortune cookie, and its ‘prophecy’. I suppose from the moment you decide to take a quote or a motto or a statement about life seriously, you allow it to re-organise your thoughts and experiences.

In my case, I felt the switch from ‘this is adequate, I’m doing fine’ to ‘I need to do this, seeing as it is my chance to squeeze the marrow out of the bones of life’. This then led me to think that while carpe diem is a great ideology, it cannot be forced into everything. I feel there is an invisible line somewhere that dictates you can’t do that all the time, because at some point you would be forcing yourself to do that, and you wouldn’t be ‘you’ anymore.

Either way, you can push things along to some extent (without pushing your luck). So push it to the limit.

I could be wrong. But let’s drink to carpe diem anyhow, and forget about the ranting and raving.