I don’t know why I’ve decided to write this after having my brain fried by anatomy, but I have so much to share that I’m afraid that I’ll lose a dimension of clarity if I wait any longer. Week 1 has begun at Cambridge, here the new week starts on Thursdays fun fact, week 0- freshers week- is over.
Being completely honest, despite the impact of COVID significantly reducing the in person freshers events and ease of socialising with a large amount of people, I’ve found that my freshers was the best case scenario. If you’ve been on my journey with me during lockdown, you’ll have witnessed the beginning of my process of becoming more in tune with myself and what I am comfortable with. I can safely say that having a small but tightly knit social circle is my ideal situation. Strangely the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have made me feel more comfortable in this regard. I’ve been able to retain my slow paced, quiet method of socialisation without feeling ‘abnormal’ or ‘reclusive’. I’ve had some beautiful conversations, felt the growth of the buds of sisterhood amongst the company of strangers all in the beautiful grounds of my college. Sometimes I just sit in my room and think… shit… this is my life.
It isn’t all perfect. I would contest life, in its very nature, requires a constant sense of longing or regret whether you can place their roots or not. Responsabilities don’t evaporate in the alternate universe that constitutes this university town. However having my own space to breathe, control where I go, what I eat and who I interact with, has endowed me with a sense of freedom which I want to bottle up and store in my shelf of profound emotional experiences.
I’ve also learnt alot about people through living with them, and having a far expanded freedom to socialise than I did at home. Toeing boundaries and making mistakes, have gone hand in hand with witnessing and partaking in exchanges of souls. After 6 months in what was effectively a flavour of social isolation, coming back to the real world has made me realise how much I love human beings and all their differences, flaws and eccentricities.
In my first week here I have been significantly challenged, not academically as of yet, rather on a social level. Previously I used to feel I had to put on a sort of social mask, be a bit more bubbly than I actually felt, try and relate to people, essentially be someone I’m not. Now, I feel that I’ve begun to grown into myself and that my quietness and sensitivity is an asset and not symptomatic of my nature as a ‘prude’ or ‘shy’ person. It doesn’t bother me now when I sit back and enjoy the show. I open up to those I love, the relationships I feel in ‘the marrow of my bones’. I feel intensely or passively, this is my current conclusion.
Sisterhood. What a beautiful thing. Community and radical care. I’m learning to become a healer,isn’t that wonderful, and I hope that I pick up skills and experiences that will place me in the best position to do so.
Lectures have been going for the past two days. So far I like the flexibility, I have come close to perfecting the art of nap taking, but granted I’m saying this at the moment where the workload is probably quite negligible. However going forward, I want to continue to frame my learning in the most positive light possible. I’m going to be continually carving my way through immense workloads and it will inevitably become quite rough, however having a sense of flow I hope will help me in this endeavour. Anyway I’ll keep you posted on that front.
I have a funny story, which actually turned out to mark a turning point in my way of thinking. I ended up missing my first appointment with my director of studies. On the surface this is quite a bad thing to have happened, but rationalising it I had done everything I could have and chance had caused it. Before this year I would have freaked out, beating myself up for my carelessness. However I surprised even myself with a new found nonchalance. She’s just a human being, it doesn’t have any bearing on my learning. Venerating hierachies unquestioningly is not something I stand for. So I emailed her and she gave me a stern reply, but we had a conversation afterwards and she was lovely. Actually, she was rather inspiring. We spoke about assumption making and its dangers- something that I’ve been concious of during freshers and have certainly fallen into the trap of.
I find it so liberating to think of life as a dynamic process, where you fail and succeed in tandem. It really is but a series of moments, moments whose nectar you need to drink up in order to truly live and feel ‘alive’.