Letters

Even after all these years, you can still make me smile. Damn you, you can still make me question whether I’m doing the right thing; whether I’m on the path I’m supposed to be on. I still remember sniffing your letters, trying to catch a whiff of you, but there was only the writing. And holding them cautiously, terrified I would sully them with my animal pawprints.

I still remember the swirls and loops of your spidery writing. Pages and pages of you writing to me, responding to me writing to you.

I kept them all, you know. They live in a shoebox. The most precious things live in shoeboxes.

 

Can I play with anger, madness, and everything in between?

Whenever you tell someone about your shit day (brought to you care of The Universe, with the aid of Assholes TM), people are bound to tell you it will get better. What’s more, if this happens regularly, they might suggest you “cut this toxic person out of your life”. This sounds all well and good, but what if you’re the “toxic” one in the first place?

I am aware I have a pile of anger management, self-esteem, blame-other-people, quit-everything-all-the-time issues, but then, I am the only one who can work through them. Even if someone paid a psychotherapist to sit there and wax lyrical at me, it would only make a difference if I engaged in the practices this person suggested.

I probably am not the first person to say anger – especially the quiet, repressed kind – becomes a living thing in itself, taking over your life in the most subtle ways. It bubbles under the surface, like water in a kettle, until it explodes (if you want to continue the analogy, that’s when the water boils and you can see bubbles all over the place).

I guess it is the proverbial ‘chip on the shoulder’. That’s not to say people who are angry all the time (like the Hulk), are victims to their anger – that would take away personal responsibility, and the idea of agency. On a bigger scale, that would also mean that “crimes of passion” would never be faced in the judicial system, cause they wouldn’t “be responsible as they are victims of anger”. I’m pretty sure that came up recently in a court case in America somewhere… I remember the gist of the slogan of the anti-transphobia campaign that went with it, because it was something about men claiming they could attack trans*women on the grounds that they felt threatened or angry because of them or something (my memory is shite, so feel free to correct me on this). Which is kinda bullshit in terms of a ‘valid’ argument.

Anyway, this post isn’t about me talking transgender rights and stuff. Not really in the mood for that.

It’s just me venting about how angry I am at life. Wonderful, no? I guess that’s why it’s fitting that Bernard Black is my Halloween character this year. I don’t even know why or how I end up so worked up. I mean… it’s usually the smallest things, and then they blow up out of proportion. Ten minutes later, I have to apologise because someone seems to think I’ve offended them on their Facebook status, when in fact I thought I was being funny (and for those of you who think it was a crass joke about sex/vaginas/etc… it wasn’t, I am talkin wordplay here). It’s quite entertaining to see people contradict themselves – hell, I contradict myself incredibly often!

Some days, I am just happy to be the asshole who rages at the world and snaps at any opportunity to destroy things. Just because I can. Some days, I fall into it out of habit (yeah, I know right?), and, as I end up talking to someone who is already in a bad mood, I react. Some days, I become the source of a conspiracy to end all happiness, which is quite funny, actually. I mean… I’m quite an angry individual in my head, but thinking I am out to challenge you when I am not, that’s just laughable. Maybe I should though… can you see it? A sort of misery Russian roulette? Or maybe it would work better with bingo!

“Number 8. You’re up, ye fuckin’ twat!” (that’s Weegie speak for ‘you idiot’, although I wouldn’t recommend you use it casually)

That would be hilarious. Well, maybe for me. Although, to be fair, I probably shouldn’t be evil to my friends. But then, isn’t it the place of friends to challenge and add to/ improve your world view? If you have a friend who’s homophobic, do you just let them rant about ‘the gays’ or do you tell them it’s not right and that they need to get up to speed, cause we’re in the 21st century?

Similarly, if you have a friend who can’t stand being contradicted about – or even get comments on – anything they say in the public forum that is social media, do you point that out or not? Or is that too petty? Or do you just do what I do and lie in wait for their next status? I jest! I don’t encourage trolling or cyberbullying of any kind. Of course, on a social media level, you have the option of unfriending whoever is causing you grief (which doesn’t seem to solve the problem… really).

The best ones though are the ones who complain how much technology has destroyed us, corrupted our relationship with ourselves and other people, but somehow they do this through social media, and other digital platforms. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take a break from sitting behind your laptop and actually go and talk to people, but if you hate technology that much, you’re clearly using the wrong medium to communicate this. Treat it like a communication tool, but there’s no need to be a hypocrite while doing so. And…while it’s obvious to see the degeneration in language at times, for other people the Web has opened up portals of communication – people who are shy, who suffer from loads of dysphoria (not just gender-related, but things like not having the right body image, or being depressed), social anxieties, or other things.

Anyway, I don’t know what this ramble was about. It was about anger, and trying to hone in on how to deal with it, but seems to have ended up being a ramble about things that make me angry, that have instigated a response without necessarily slapping people silly – in person or online.

Cause let’s face it… we’re all idiots and assholes at some point in our lives. Whether we’re aware of it though, is a different matter altogether. And don’t give me some bullshit about choosing ‘good’ over ‘evil’.

Also, for those of you who were hoping for a more literary or in-depth approach to anger, I’m workin on it, alright? I just need a few more of these epic-length blog posts to get me back into the writing game. SO BE PATIENT.

Disgruntled and disheartened twenty something, awake in Glasgow

This piece of writing is grossly, outrageously overdue. I’m stuck due to a technicality, so I might as well give you some chat. Fell asleep for three hours, then woke up and couldn’t sleep, couldn’t stop the feverishly fast thoughts, so I got up to do something. Roaming the internet at this time brings back memories of university, when I would stay up till 1am, then sleep till 6 and start all over again. Of course, I did go through that period of chatting to a close friend of mine till 5 am, and getting yelled at by my dad for not sleeping properly. It was the summer holidays, for fuck’s sake. Or was that my gap year?

My one grand stay-out-all-night was during the summer of 2012 or something, and it involved me, my car and a seductive co-passenger. Thinking back on it, we basically had no place to go but the car after a certain time and then just sat chatting and flinging flirty remarks back and forth. I was thinking about having sex in the car; might as well have done it, right? Just to tick that box? But no, I was too busy feeling it wasn’t right, or that it wouldn’t be comfortable, or that we’d be seen. Who gives a fuck? Anyway, I got yelled at for not coming home early enough, which is obscene when you consider that I’d already done the walk of shame quite a few times, just not back to my parents’ house. At the time I was driving too, and it didn’t make sense not to do that, since the car basically meant I was independent and ‘free’ to do what I liked. Admittedly, I can see how it could cause worry and frustration, but my phone was on all night, so all it would’ve taken was a phone call.

Anyway, those days are long gone. At 25, I find little reason to wake up earlier than 9 or 10 a.m., unless I have to take the pets to the vet or have some such vital appointment. In any case, the menu of the day involves self-deprecation, and self-loathing, which has moved into my life since my lack of proper work, the kind I would throw myself into. It ain’t that bad, though; I have two cats to worry about – one is currently coming and going between the living room and the kitchen, as he seems to assume I’m going to feed him (cause we just both woke up at 5 am).

Much to my embarrassment, the jobs I go for, I don’t feel like I would get anyway, since I have no relevant experience. And even then, they aren’t the kind anyone would kill for, unless they need the money enough. Of course, there are worse things in the world than a transgender white boi with qualifications and no job, but this is my life, day in, day out. Oh yeah, and if you’re wondering about jobseekers, they refused to give me benefits right after Christmas, possibly because that’s around the time I told them about my (now former) part-time job that earnt me £30 a month. Thank fuck for being able to register as freelance; otherwise, I’d be even more depressed. Did I say depressed? I meant demotivated. While the first stage is ‘admitting you have a problem’, I’d say my problem is my lack of patience with the ways of the world, and the idea that “something will come along” that suits my skillset and (non-existent) ambitions. I guess when I bring up the latter, most people would say I am depressed, since I basically feel like going nowhere. I wouldn’t say that of myself, partly cause I don’t like the way people treat you when you say you feel down or demotivated (as in “oh, it’ll be fine”, “you’re just in a rough patch”), and so on. It’s incredible how our remedy for this lack of motivation or feeling of incompetence in the 21st century is to basically tell people to keep doing what they are doing (I mean… applying for jobs and the like) until something ‘comes along’. Sounds so passive – like you wait there for it to turn up, but it won’t. And even when the “perfect job” does come along, how do you get it, after having drilled holes in your confidence so long, it’s like you’ve gone through a cheese grater? Yes, obviously, you try – applying for something you really want is the first step, right? But then, even if you do apply, you still have to compete with the ‘fresh’ batch of unemployed people, that might include people who have done things right, and taken that unpaid internship to show they can do the work, as well as that bar job that pays their rent till they find the ‘something better’.

Aye, it’s shite being unemployed, but being told you don’t have enough experience (for a job that says you don’t really need it, or that it’s “not essential, but preferable”) – unless you’ve just literally left school – is just regurgitated bullshit that knocks you down when you’re down. More like, it smashes your teeth in and breaks your ribs while you’re down there. And maybe a leg. (Of course I’m a violent person…I’M FUCKING ANGRY).

It’s not all depressing and miserable though. I have been filling my days with the most bizarre hobbies and activities. I’ve taken on acting as a ‘new’ career path, which isn’t really much better than my old one, since 85% of actors are unemployed at any one time (according to a radio drama teacher at the Conservatoire). I’m kind of hoping that’s going to help me vent off some feelings, regardless of what they are, and maybe even work through the sludge of shit I have piled upon myself. Fortunately, the tutors there are very nice – sometimes it feels like they are too nice, almost patronising, but hey, they are teaching courses for beginners and that’s when you need to be least criticized, cause you’re on that steep learning curve.

I think overall, my biggest fear is quitting. That’s why I had to sit and write this, to get the crap outta my system. I’m really good at quitting stuff for no obvious reason – usually just because. I quit dancing ages ago, cause my parents were complaining I was wasting my time (and then they complained I wasn’t even dancing anymore). I quit working out, which is bad, cause I’ve gained 10 kg in a year. I quit my writing gig, I even quit writing for the sake of writing! Need to reboot the systems, methinks.

There’s that one serious moment in Channing Tatum film “Step Up”, when his ‘incredibly talented’ character has given up on dancing at at the amazingly high-profile academy because the girl he’s with doesn’t trust him, and doesn’t really ‘need’ him any more (of course, this is right before he goes to confess he wants to be with her, etc, which only seems to ever happen in Hollywood films). Anyway, during this short scene, he’s sitting watching the television with his friends, and one of them tells him “you quit before you start”, and then proceeds to list things Tatum’s character has stopped doing. For years, I’ve felt ashamed to admit that’s a line I can identify with. My parents, hypocritical as they can be at times, used to tell me this all the time. Of course, that’s not exactly conducive to someone’s self-esteem, telling them they’ll quit something sooner rather than later or that it’s just a phase. Very often, I am a quitter, even if I do ‘try’. Usually, I will sabotage something just by looking at it. But then, there are times that I totally throw myself into things.

Anyway, where’s this long-winded rant going? I am a quitter. I have to quit being a quitter. I don’t know if I feel better that this is on the internet, or that I’ve put it down, but I should sleep. I seem to remember writing a letter to myself once, in case I forgot how amazing it felt to be alive (yeah, I’m THAT wild…). Of course, I then lost this letter… ok, no more pre-sleep pondering. I NEED SLEEP. Hopefully, I’ll care less about it when I wake up.

See you later, Internet. I leave you with one of my favourite videos of all time.