Tag Archives: failure

Attack of the Can’ts.

30 Nov

“A condition of the College’s permission [to return to study at Oxford] is that you seek out counselling or a similar strategy to address your confidence difficulties.”

Sounds like something I’ll be really bad at.

HAHA IT IS A JOKE but also a real thing that my tutor has said in a letter to me hey everyone this is my first post of 2013 happy 2013 everyone!

I was due to be back in Oxford way back in January but I am still not back in Oxford so then it was supposed to be next January but it’s looking like it won’t be next January either because I am incapable of success. At first I thought that meant that I couldn’t go back ever, but my tutor sent me a letter saying that I can go back later as long as I stop whining about how terrible I am at everything or something I might be paraphrasing it’s hard to remember there were so many words.

Someone I met at a comedy club who’s trying to help me get a proper job said that I should start updating my blog again because it’s “basically [my] CV” so I’ve decided to start my first post of the year by signposting my fragile mind and also this post about why I’m unemployable.

Speaking of reasons you should never give me a job, on Tuesday my friend said I was a sociopath (can’t really empathise with that perspective AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA LAUGH THROUGH THE TEARS) and it reminded me of this conversation with a stranger on a bus:

Them: “Have you seen the film Seven Psychopaths?”
Me: “No. What’s that?”
Them: “One of the characters has a hat like yours.”
Me: “What character?”
Them: “The psychopath.”

DSC_0047

Speaking of reasons you should never travel with me on a bus, a few hours ago I was on a bus and stuff started falling out of a sleeping man’s bag onto the floor and I was worried he’d not realise and leave without it so I got up and put it back in and stood his bag up so nothing else would fall out and he woke up and saw me with my hands on his bag and was really angry and I apologised so profusely even I’m convinced I was trying to mug him why am I like this?

Speaking of shoehorning totally incongruous things I’ve already posted on facebook and twitter into my blog because I’ve forgotten how to write, my sister took me to West Midlands Safari Park for my birthday two months ago here are some things what I saw!

A flamboyant donkey

A flamboyant donkey

An angry flamingo.

An angry flamingo.

Aslan's mum.

Aslan’s mum.

A woolly mammoth.

A woolly mammoth.

Some naughty ducks in their prison uniforms.

Some naughty ducks in their prison uniforms.

A market.

A market.

A unicorn.

A unicorn.

A narwhal.

A narwhal.

Bye I have to go now and attempt to stem this inexhaustible tide of job offers that’s just started rolling in.

WE’RE ON A BREAK.

12 May

I just watched my dog throw up by my feet and then eat his own vomit and it was about 30 seconds into that that I thought, “I really need to update my blog.”

HAPPY SATURDAY EVERYBODY!

I’ve had a lot of texts and emails and tweets and whatever those face-to-face meatspace interactions are called asking me to blog again. It’s been over 4 months since I last wrote here. 4 months is a long time. A lot can happen in 4 months.

Very little has happened in 4 months.

Things should have happened in the past 4 months. But the vast majority of my time has been occupied by an overwhelming lack of thing. I left Oxford. I should have been leaving Oxford a few weeks from now anyway, but I left in January. For a while. For a year. I’m on a year out. I guess that’s a thing, actually. That’s a pretty big thing. But the direct result of that thing has been a gargantuan thing-dearth.

I am bad at making decisions. Taking a year out was a particularly bad decision. Taking a year out might have been my worst decision to date, apart from that thing in 2006 with the goat and the Vaseline and the plunger. Both left me overwhelmed with guilt and shame and covered in ruminant faeces.

I think maybe it’s misleading to call it a decision. I had to take a year out because I was irreparably behind with work. I was irreparably behind with work because, as I wrote before, I am a small, weak and emotionally fragile child that failed to cope with the basic concept of human mortality. People that I liked got sick and died and metaphorically sprawled their rancid corpses all over my lecture notes, and I didn’t tell anyone until it was too late to salvage them.

I’m pretty embarrassed. I haven’t even been back to Oxford to visit my friends yet because I’m pretty embarrassed. Most people manage to finish their degree without any significant difficulty. I sometimes used to tell people that I shouldn’t be at Oxford – that I only got in because I got lucky on a few exams and because the admissions office probably needed a not-quite-white kid from a single-parent, welfare-dependent family to make up their stats – and they’d say that I was being silly, or that it was false modesty. And now I’ve proved myself right and I don’t feel as happy about proving myself right as I usually feel about proving myself right. Being right is generally nice, but not when its cost is the vast disappointment of everyone who thought you were wrong.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a big deal. But in the me-sized scheme of things, this is a fucking huge deal. I’ve left all of my friends. Leaving my friends was quite high up on my Massive List of Reasons to Not Take a Year Out – right next to near-certain unemployment and having to live more than 5 minutes away from a kebab van. In a few weeks most of the people that I spent more than 2 years living and studying alongside – the people with whom I made the dubious transition from adolescence to pretend-adulthood – will have sat their final exams and left Oxford for good. I knew that not being in the same city as them would be isolating, but once I’d left I perpetuated that by curling up into a tiny ball of shame and failure and hiding in Burton-on-Trent. I didn’t know what to tell my friends and I was worried about how they’d react, but I think that I was so scared of being ostracised that I ostracised myself.

It’s difficult. Or, I’m finding it difficult. But it’s only as difficult as a year out from the University of Oxford can be. And I think that when the most difficult thing that you have to deal with is taking some time out from your glorified boarding school, you’re probably okay. You probably shouldn’t complain too much. I’ll be all right, I reckon. I just need to get my shit together.

%d bloggers like this: