Tag Archives: time

#3 ~ Go For A Drive

I don’t drive. Rephrase, I can’t drive. I’m in my early 20s and I don’t even have a provisional. I’m that recalcitrant clubber who whips out their passport for ID – the same passport that does not fit in the clutch bag and therefore inhibits your once-in-a-blue-moon party hard nights because you know if you lose it, the levels of poverty you will sink to in order to replace it are just depressing.

I’ve been meaning to apply for a provisional for over a year now, it’s part of my ‘get your ‘ish together‘ To Do List, but in the meantime my legs and I have become best friends, and my feet are as trained as an SAS soldier hitting his PB for the fourth time in a row.

However, saying all that, today I got a lift from a friend after some dissertation fieldwork I was doing 2 hours out of town. I’d had to power-walk, bus and train it to my chosen destination, but on the way back the motorised cruise was a welcome break to my slightly blistered feet (because, note to self, it does NOT take 20minutes to walk from my house to the station).

I have found, that like most people after a certain age, in life, especially in a life where contact is easy, one has many, many acquaintances, and very few friends. Friendships take time, heck, even well meaning acquaintances take time and ‘intentionality’. You have to want to get to know somebody more than stalking their Facebook photos and briefly catching the side of their chin across a crowded room soaked with perspiration and alcohol fumes.

And time is something no-one wants to part with – because it’s precious. But it’s also necessary. It’s necessary in order to develop you into that person that survives and goes on surviving every test, every hurdle, every fork in the road that comes into view.

During my exam term last year, I sat with one of my best friends in our canteen for a revision break. Mourning the lack of food on our plates and the stinginess of the dinner ladies, our conversation undulated between dark humour to student wisdom. In and amongst this raucously sincere conversation my friend challenged me about friendships.

“You’re someone who does a lot of stuff. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to get to know you, but they probably think you don’t have time for them. So they never approach you and you never get to know them.”

[insert dramatic script writing, e.g.:] He looked at me from under his young eyebrows and said in a grave voice that belied his years

“You have one more year in this place [BEAT] make it count”.

I do do a lot of stuff. This year has barely begun and my diary has been highlighted in four different colours, whilst each designated day is covered with permanent black scrawl and lead pencil possibilities. No doubt it will look like a spiders web of ink by the end of next week and a fully illustrated manga volume by the end of the year.

Yet my heart twinges when I think there are people out there, people who might enrich my life, that I won’t meet because I appear too busy.

Sure i’m getting myself geared for battle, but every soldier gets a few days of R&R. So today, as I drove home during one of those rare moments when work, internet access and urgent phone calls were not even a possibility, I had a chance to chat, more or less uninhibited, about faith, and from faith to school work, to what a carburettor is, to how a car engine works. From compliments to aspirations to affirmation and then it lead to key chains and sprockets,guitar strings and microwave meals and jam sessions and – discourse.

I might not get such an opportunity again, but that drive, those few hours outside the bubble reminded me that there was something I was moving towards that was on the other side, and it was populated with, living, breathing, growing…people. And when you get a chance to talk to those people, you get a chance to grow.

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#2 ~ Get Your Ish Together

Getting your ish together is the foundation to passing finals (and not dying in the attempt). Your ish can be a variety of things, in the same way that it can come out in a variety of textures. For some people, their time management skills are as haphazard as diarrhoea, it’s all over the place. For others it’s commitment, they just can’t commit to the time needed to get it all out. Some people might be so full of themselves they’re just gassed wherever they go and coming down a few pegs will help them see and feel better, I don’t know what yours is (i’m only just working out my own), but whatever it is, getting it together means every other part of your daily existence runs just that bit more smoothly.

Earlier this summer my sister and I met up with a friend in Brixton. We were on our way to an LBoogie concert and figured we might as well go the whole hipster way and check out the gentrified ends of former ‘Riot Central’. The set time was 3pm with the standard contingency time of 30mins just in case ( because, obviously, we had already planned to be late). 3.30 came and we weren’t even on the train. My sister turned to me, and said quite simply

‘K, we need to get our s*** together. We are grown women, this is not ok.’

Having graduated earlier that summer and found a job, my sister had taken on the mantle of a YOPRO a.k.a young professional (about town), and that meant an overhaul of her already pretty nifty wardrobe and a sense of ‘responsibility’. I, still an undergraduate who spent her summer doing the pre-production work for her last theatrical venture was, quite gladly, a chaotic mess that didn’t even try to be artistic.

4pm came and we had only just got underground. Our ish was definitely not together. And the most disconcerting part about it was that, yes, one was partially embarrassed for being late, but at the same time – we had planned to be late, hence contingency time??! Our ish was so over the place we’d bought a pack of diapers, not just in case, but for when our time keeping spilled over the bathroom floor and soaked the carpet. And in the back of our minds that was…normal, to be expected.

But that is some messy ish, and I realised, if I want to BOSS this year, as in totally dominate and walk out of this university city with my head high up in the clouds because, I came, I saw and I conquered, then how I use my time needed to be a top priority.

But linked into that awareness that I needed to be punctual (and therefore not miss lectures and run around all day like a maniac who then needed to purchase Mitcham ’cause normal deodorant was just not going to cover all that stressful sweating), was also presentation.

I’ve always been fond of the hobo look – it takes minimal effort. I also like the idea that people find my mind and my actions fascinating and not my body (there’s good value in this, but I also know i’m speaking from a small hole of insecurity too). But presentation is important. Last year, after one of my friends had graduated I went to meet her. She looked sharp. Black polo neck, big gold chain and earrings, dark bottoms and healed boots, she was suited, booted and graduated. When I asked her about the get up, she turned to me, and said gravely (but in a very animated fashion)

“This is war! We have work to do. I needed to face my final exam with my game face ON (she literally capitalised her speech). Do NOT get it twisted, rocking up in your PJ’s does not put you in the zone. I needed to dress like a Queen so I could dominate the exam like one. Nuff said’.

She had her ish together.

So yesterday, I went shopping. I was on time having made a checklist. I took the small money I’d been saving in the summer, looked at my empty cupboards with the lone secondary school jumper with its holey sleeves waving at me and was like

K – get your ish together. Get dressed for battle, because the war is coming.

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#360 ~ Form

There are those days, when you look around at the friends you have and think – you are not my portion in life. In the sense that, people tell you your best friends are to be cultivated at University, and I’m sure some of them will be, but they often forget about the incredible people who walked with you out of primary and caught you at the gates of secondary. I think of those friends often, think about the huge portion of my life I gave them…and I feel nostalgic that I can’t see them…but i’m excited to see how we’ll keep feeding those relationships, and how one day, when I leave Uni and the same thought flashes across my head at work, i’ll smile and remember, you’re all part of my life portion, ’cause I bought the plate, with the knife and fork, I sat down at the table, i checked the menu and then we began.to.talk. 

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#352 ~ Miscellaneous.3: Time Is a B****

(Written during my month absence – and probably when I was short on time)

Time is a bitch. It’s a saying i’ve convulsed at before, the harsh adjective jarring my thoughts and creasing my lips. But it is – with all the negative connotations that a female dog barks out. Because it is elusive, it slips through your fingers like elastic particles of air. You strive and stress and worry about something for several months, only for the culmination of all those hours to pass by in the flutter of an eyelash, the inhalation of a snatched breath, the drummed tap of chipped painted nails on a tea stained desk. Time isn’t concerned with the energy it has taken you to think, and scheme, and plan, and create. It just moves by – appearing to waddle slowly through a crowded high street, but really she’s sprinting, then crawling, then flying, and then she stops – but you’re suffering from so much motion sickness you don’t even notice – it’s the shades that move alongside you who do, and they mourn, for a time, before she carries them away too.

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#304 ~ One Hundred Words and a Photo: 24

picture24

I watched myself running into the wilderness, braids stiff in the sultry summer wind, darting into the shades of heavily laden branches. Lost, with a purpose. Soles slapping concrete like the hi-fives I always missed. I watched myself. Running off into the distance. I shouted, asked myself to wait, impatient, you impatient child. STOP

Deaf I watched my shadow running off into the distance. My lungs had to beat faster, as I disappeared like Peter.

My shadow was running back as I ran away, watching myself running off into the distance, braids flying stiffly in the sultry summer – time.

Copyright: Victoria. O

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#189 ~ Nostalgia Lane

It was a wander through nostalgia lane, complete with a cerebral, inbuilt tour guide which spoke from the memories of seven years, efficiently compiled, lovingly and humorously dispensed before your weakening eyes. The contours of the Converse shoes pressed against the elegant long toes which splayed themselves over the gum stained pavements of the Broadway, the crescent, the asphalt of the former education facility. The Tesco where freshly baked baguettes were daily bought with their complimentary side dish of humus had been refurbished. It looked more elegant, sleeker than the former black streaked outer-shell which suggested a car had raced over its exterior. The buses didn’t trundle past this time, but the memories; after school racing, P.E. kits scrunched in sweaty bundles into to cheap, corded back packs that cut grooves into young shoulders, arms flailing akimbo, that still hovered around the corners of your exterior vision.

It was a relaxed amble down the well trodden, relentlessly beaten path of nostalgia lane. Yet all the colours, even the smell of the air before the summer rain – they had all changed. Different shadows inhabited this reverie, different children with different stories which didn’t include you – they were the dominant forces; this time round you were just passing through.

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#174 ~ Into the Womb

Ensconced in the warm walls of a mother’s uterus, twins mould, shape, and conform their bodies into two halves of a whole. There is unity in their separation, which extends into a psycho-emotional relationship, transcending the physical divorce of birth, distance, space and time.

Re-united as fully grown adults, toping and tailing in a single bed, the peace, and security of that embryonic sac returns like the reassuring heart beat under the mother’s breast that thumps, thumps, thumps, reminding the twins they are safe, sound, alive.

They sleep like babies that night.

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