Monday, 8 August 2016

The delicate art of getting a grip

When you've had a lot going on, when you've been off-balance, struggling with depression or other emotional issues, when you've had your focus firmly on one goal or one area of life, it can be hard to keep up with commitments.  I've neglected this blog for months; I've been focussed elsewhere, and I've been dealing with what we know these days as Stuff.

It's all pretty complicated and I'm not sure I'm up to giving a detailed account.  I met someone, got on really well with them, and thought I'd found a new friend.  When they hesitantly and awkwardly almost-asked-me-out a couple of months ago I'm ashamed to say missed the hints, and then I realised, and did my own asking (like a grown-up!).  But they couldn't manage the date I suggested, and then things went off the boil slightly as I was about to go away for a fortnight's holiday.  Just after I got back from my trip, this person had some private issues from their past come boiling up into the present, and within a couple of weeks had stopped speaking to me completely, and unfriended me on facebook.  And I have very little idea of why.

I am confused, hurt and angry; and I'm also not a little worried for my sometime-friend, who is acting out of character.  But since they won't speak to me and have ignored my email, I don't know what else I can do.  As the cliché has it, some people come into your life for a reason, and some just for a season.  Maybe this was one of those relationships. 

I hate not understanding what went wrong, and I hate the feeling that my trust may have been ill-placed.  I don't trust people quickly these days, but this friendship had won my trust, and now I wonder if I was completely mistaken.

Heavens, I don't think "yes, I'd go out with you on a date, I really like you!" quickly these days, either.

I'll still be here if they do decide to talk to me at some point.  Although the private issues I mentioned were unpleasantly messy and reflected less-than-well on them, my instinct is that my friend is not a monster, just a normal fucked-up human being with a mess they need to deal with.  I know that feeling.  So yes, I'll still be here.  But I won't pursue.  They're an adult, if they want me they can come and find me; they know where I can be found.

The really interesting thing about this relationship (to be thoroughly cynical and self-absorbed) has been the amount I've got out of it, and in such a short time, too.  This person could be pretty bracing company; outspoken, determined, challenging, even aggressive at times, and absolutely committed to walking their talk.  I had to shake myself out of a lot of familiar patterns, in order just to keep up.  It was bracing, but by damn, it did me good.

I've been in quite a rut, the last few months, and battling with my old invidious enemy, depression.  There were weeks when my fencing class was the one bright spell; a couple of hours of focus and excitement and energy, in a life of day after day of grey fear, procrastination and numbed emotions.
This relationship shook me out of that, and whatever else, I am intensely grateful and glad of this.  Yes, I've been hurt, and baffled, and pissed-off, by this sudden inexplicable break.  But I have been blessed in the friendship nonetheless.

So now, in the aftermath of having someone I thought was walking with me turn round and walk away without a word of explanation, I'm looking again at my life and trying to get a grip on things.  I hope I can maintain the momentum of being braced and energised and shaken up.

There's been no luck on the conventional job front, so I've now definitely gone back to working as an artists' model for the time being.  I'm not sure if I'll manage to make ends meet, but if I don't try it, I won't ever know.  I'm registered as self-employed and got a DBS certificate (what used to be known as CRB >sigh< yet another silly name change), and I've begun picking up some bookings.

I'm also feeling a bit more creative flow, at long last.  I've had another little push at trying to get sales and reviews for "The Charcoal Knots"; and I've finished a sequel, which needs to come back from my beta readers and hopefully will then be published.  I'm working on the extended version of "Running away with Pausanias" and that's going well.  I'm working on some art again, and have finally got round to setting up a facebook page for my art work; you can find that here if you're interested.  I've brushed-up my proof-reading symbols and started learning how to do indexing, and will be looking for any small freelance jobs of that sort, too. 

So, this is me right now; disappointed in love and friendship, but getting a grip and hoping to make a living as a freelancer.  Hoping that creativity and art can gain from the boost in my energy and the jolt in my life.  Still writing, still drawing, and of course still fencing.

Wish me luck.