early tuesday morning i decided to, from them on, wake up early in the morning and switch my internet off.
i deleted most of the apps off my phone except for my email app. i cleaned up my email app so that i would only receive messages of high importance (considering results day is around the corner). i switched off the internet on my laptops too (rendering my chrome book completely useless-ish).
it’s been a fun couple of days. if i want to contact my friends and relatives i’ll have to call them or message them or, with my international friend, get a calling card to get her address and then send a shit ton of letters. in this sense it’s been peaceful. i’m not naturally a social butterfly and i don’t intend to be. i find conversing with lots of people an easy way to generate fake connections and ‘pretend’ as cringe-worthy as that sounds.
by far though the best part about this is that i no longer have a to do list calendar thing to determine how i want to spend my time. i can chase what i want or not. i’m not planning and i don’t care what you say not doing so doesn’t mean that i’m planning to fail.
tuesday i spent out on regents canal with my siblings. in the afternoon i made some deep-fried pastry and hated it, but fortunately my family liked them and the poor neighbours couldnt say no.
i also finished reading the subtle art of not giving a f*ck by mark manson. great stuff. really really great stuff – ill get back to you on it once i read it again this time taking a LOT of notes.
but while we’re on the topic of manson’s book, and with results day tomorrow, i’ll tell you a story from that book:
so there’s this guy. he got kicked out of his band once they got signed with somebody and in order to get revenge on them he worked damn hard on his craft so that one day they’ll weep and regret the day they kicked him out.
he went on to sell 25 million records. but in an interview in his later life he said that he still felt like a failure. because the band he chose to compare himself to as the metric with which he would interpret success/failure was metallica, and they sold over 180 million records.
there’s something to be taken here, manson said, about what values we choose to have and how we choose to measure our successes and failures. and my metric has always been academic success. because it made people respect me. it made my parents have something to show off with. it made me think i was special and that i was uniquely intelligent and that i was the cream of the crop. it made my parents (and to an extent myself) think that their shitty lives were unlike the shitty lives of the people they knew because those dumb fucks didn’t have a daughter who was one day going to change the entire system.
with this my parents remind me of jay gatsby’s father who, after seeing the excessive wealth his son possessed, reckoned that his son, hadn’t he died so early, could have been somebody great.
and manson acknowledged that changing metrics and bad values would be uncomfortable and incredibly painful. it has been and i’m sure it will continue to be. but his words reassure me: life is all about suffering and it’s what we choose to suffer for and how we choose to suffer that brings meaning to our lives.
i don’t want to suffer for academic success or to rock the world somehow. i’m changing my metric. i don’t know what to, but i’m reassured too that life is all about not knowing and doing things anyway.
tomorrow will inform me about what i’m doing in september. other than that it won’t have much influence on my life.
because i’ve been spending my life a lot differently. and i’m a lot more at peace with who i am and what i want to work for now.
on tuesday i took my siblings out alongside regents canal. we walked for quite a bit actually. the boat houses alongside the canal were awesome. we saw sunflowers, we saw and played inside a pretty much empty park, and we ignored the funny looks and smiled at those who smiled at us.
after some walking we diverged from the canal and caught sight of a wild turtle. my brother exclaimed once we had found a way out of the canal region and onto the main road that it was so weird how on the main road there’s police sirens screaming at us but not even five minutes away there’s a turtle peacefully sunbathing.
we found out that we had walked all the way to hoxton station where there’s this brilliant park with hammock swings and a giant snake sculpture we sat and ate our tesco meal deals on. my siblings sat on top of the head of the snake while i sat nearer to the ground.
that outing was filled with a lot of sun and laughter. and i think that it’s incredible how we can be this happy together. how they can make me so warm even if it doesn’t always last.
today i didn’t wake up early. i woke up at lunch time and left the house with my siblings to visit spitalfields market. we ate an (overpriced) halal naan chicken wrap and nutella naan on a bench in a serene park right next to the market.
that outing too was filled with rowdy giggles and furious arguments that had eyebrows furrowed but lips pressed together to stop the smirks and grins from blossoming.
i decided that i liked walking best as a form of exercise. getting out of the house is excellent for mental and physical health and as an act of defiance in ‘acid attack london’.
once we came home i got some ingredients for cake and baked the evening away. the cake was for mum who had picked it out yesterday from my pile of tesco recipes (as pictured above, which i spent tuesday morning from twelve am to three am cutting out). it hurt that she didn’t want it. and it hurt that the cake, while fun to make, didn’t turn out how i expected it to and in fact pretty much stank in presentation terms.
i loved to do lists because i envisioned a life where i’d be busy all the time, chasing my dreams, a real hustler. i didn’t choose that dream and these past few years and the failures i’ve experienced have taught me that i don’t really want that. what i want is to go to bed both exhausted and satisfied. and it’s only now that i’m choosing what i want to do and how i want to do it and what fucks to give, that i can say that ill be going to bed exhausted and satisfied.
i think the most painful thing tomorrow will be seeing my friends and teachers. it’s hard to shake off the metric of having people approve of me.