As you may have noticed, I’ve not written in a while. This is partly due to how busy I have been since I got home, and partly due to being unsure what to write. Though recently I’ve gone through a few revelations of different sorts, and I decided that was probably a good place to start…

The Fall of Whedon

I started writing about this a while ago, but it ended up being rather incoherent (and emotional), so I stopped to give it a bit more time to sink in. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I am referring to the article written by Kai Cole in mid august this year. Finding out someone you idolised for many years is not the person you built them up to be is pretty hard. I based life decisions on the influence of someone whose true character I did not really know. It was naive to put Whedon on a pedestal as I did, but I have learnt from that and come out the other side better for it. Reading articles other had written helped me wrap my head around it all. Articles by Kate Cousino and Karen Walsh both helped me realise that separating the art from the artist, although difficult, is probably best. Especially when it comes to TV shows and films, as one person is not responsible for all we see on screen, many people are, and it is unfair to all those who worked with him to discard their work for what he did.

So in the end, yes, I am disappointed. Greatly so. However, I won’t let that stop me from loving the things I have always loved. Dollhouse will always be my favourite TV show (probably) and I will still enjoy watching Serenity, annoyingly saying characters lines as they themselves do, because the work itself hasn’t changed, just our perception of the person who created it. I still can’t quite put into words how this revelation has effected me. In my logical mind I know it’s silly, to be so effected by something that really has nothing to do with me. Yet, I put my faith in someone, I used the morals they portrayed as a foundation for what I believed, and under the surface they turned out to be all quite disingenuous. The only thing I could do was let it go, and focus on and repeat to myself that ‘the art is not the artist’. As Whedon himself said, “All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn’t your pet — it’s your kid. It grows up and talks back to you.” I like to think that maybe his work talked back with a stronger moral message than the one he appears to have lived.

Nervousness

Everyone gets nervous, it’s natural. However, recently I’ve become much more aware of my nervousness. I find things tend to go down hill fast when I feel myself getting anxious, primarily talking with people. (Well, people I look up to, or would like to impress mostly…) I am a self-admitted rambler. If I get nervous, most likely I will try to ramble my way out of it. (Funnily enough it’s not the most effective of methods to try to get rid of nerves.) I am trying to force myself to pause more, let my brain catch up with my mouth as it were. Considering myself an ambivert, situations where I have to stand in front of a lot of people, take an oral exam (as I had to do last week), or any time where I get put on the spot, pulls out my introverted side quite quickly. Don’t get me wrong, I can and will do these things, but I find I can’t often help getting a tiny bit worked up when it comes to things like those I have mentioned. I have always been better at articulating myself with some time, a pen, and some paper, rather than words of the moment. I guess it mostly comes down to practice though. The more I do what makes me anxious, the less daunting it becomes. I don’t get as stressed or nervous anymore, as I did before going to China. My year abroad in that respect has helped me deal with handling stressful situations with more ease, but there is still space to improve. There always is…

My Final Year at University

This year is my fourth, and final year at university. I still can’t quite believe it. One more year of hard work, and that’s my undergraduate degree finished. I need to start thinking of what comes after (hopefully a Masters), but for now at least I’m focusing on the year ahead. I’ve taken on a lot this year, which is both exciting and stressful. I always feel like I am more focused and motivated when I have lots of things to do. If I know I have a lot on, I’m more likely to force myself to just get on with it. I think part of me enjoys being a tiny bit stressed out, which is probably just means I like being on my toes.

I keep setting goals for this year. There’s a lot I want to achieve, and I know it’ll take a lot of work, but I want to challenge myself. I am overly aware how quickly time passes. Maybe the amount of times my parents have said “it feels like I was a teenager only yesterday” has actually sunk in, as now I find myself thinking the same. Doing as much as I can, working hard, and focusing my energy on things that make me happy, have become more and more important. I don’t want to be one of those people who constantly mentions their year abroad (I mean it is a bit difficult not to, I did live there for eight months…), but I feel that it did change me help me grow. I feel I know myself better now, and have a better idea of what I want in life. This is a small revelation though rather than a big one. I have found changes in my character are always little and often, instead of big changes all at once. (Though I think this is probably the same for most people.) The past four years I have learnt a lot in so many ways. There is always more to learn, more to see, more to do… I hope I never stop learning, though there is not enough time in the world to learn and do all the things I would like to do. So going back to my goal-setting, I think I just want to do as much as I can, as well as I can, because I can’t realistically ask more of myself than that.

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
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