The eighth (8th) unpost

I’m back, after a bit of a hiatus. I know it’s just another unpost, but February 2019 was my first whole calendar month without a single post since I began my blog. Yikes! (Isn’t ‘eighth’ a weirdly spelt word, by the way?)

My last (un)post was the first written on my new laptop, and this is the first I’ve written using WordPress’s mobile version of the Gutenberg blocks editor (which should make it easier for me to write posts a little more regularly, now that I can switch platforms mid-post again). Enough geekery, though! I suspect only a tiny fraction of my readers are interested in such things – possibly even less than a whole person.

Amazingly, some people actually seem to like reading my unposts. (For the benefit of any new readers – possibly most of you, since many of you will have given up on me and moved on! – my unposts are more or less stream-of-consciousness, text-only, undivided blog posts that I don’t bother to categorise or tag.) It does make me wonder why I sometimes devote so much time to my ‘proper’ posts when unposts are relatively quick and easy to write. But at least they help me organise my own thoughts a bit better – as a side-effect of trying to organise them for my largely imagined readership.

Even stream-of-consciousness writing can be difficult when your actual stream of consciousness is more like a river delta. I’d need a lot more hands than I actually have if I wanted to record all the thoughts that are going through my head and trying to compete for my attention at the moment. There’s no obvious single thing that’s occupying my mind (as is sometimes the case), and background noises (talking, air conditioning, chair scraping, eating etc.) are all clamouring for head space. Not all unposts are quick and easy to write, it seems.

I just saw a notice pop up on my screen saying that someone I support on Patreon has posted some new video clips. That’s pretty routine for them. Some people are so productive that it makes me feel hopelessly inadequate. The most productive thing I’m doing these days is preparing for and tutoring three undergraduate linguistics classes a week. I fit in one or two ‘extra-curricular’ activities on top of that, but no more than most people working a 35-hour week would manage easily. At the moment, I have no idea how I’m going to return to my PhD in a few months, even if it is part time, let alone earn enough money to support myself while I’m doing that.

Of course, as my counsellor pointed out to me, I’m going through quite a lot at the moment (which probably also accounts for the recurrence of stress-related physical conditions like eczema and IBS). So I should be a bit more lenient to myself, and perhaps hope that things will get better in time. Easier said than done.

A week on Friday I will get the keys to my new flat. Then I will take delivery of a new bed and move all the boxed stuff that’s been waiting in limbo in our current flat. I’ll unpack the boxes and find new homes for things. Then my new, single life will begin. It’s an exciting and terrifying prospect.

Let me take a short break to get some lunch. Back shortly.

I just went and bought a sandwich. Trying to write somewhere else. Does this university have a deliberate policy of putting seating areas in places with noisy equipment (here, a couple of refrigerated vending machines)? I’m not sure which is worse, that or the noises being made by the few other people here. Loud conversation. Rustling of a crisp packet. Occasional creaking of a door. Beeping of a nearby lift. All of these are draining my energy – and I’m probably also being hampered by having to resist speaking out loud while I’m typing this.

I was having a webchat with my broadband provider the other day, from my living room at home, and my ex was in the bedroom at the time. She told me afterwards that I’d been talking for half an hour. I was completely oblivious to the fact. I am aware that my mouth is moving as I tap out these words, but I hope at least I’m not audible!

That webchat was part of my attempt to resolve the issue I’d had with transferring my broadband account to my ex, since I’m moving out. The transfer had been completed in a half-hearted fashion; a webchat, a text conversation and two long phone calls (aargh!) didn’t get things sorted. A further phone call today – by my ex – may have resolved the issue, though I’m not entirely convinced.

There are so many little (and big) things to sort out in disentangling a nearly 23-year relationship. Some are easy, but some seem to have been made inordinately difficult. What we’re doing isn’t that unusual.

Oh, and it didn’t help that I was repeatedly and aggressively misgendered and distrusted during the second phone call I made. Having enjoyed a long spell free from this particular type of microaggression, I have recently been brought back down to earth with a string of misgenderings, some undoubtedly accidental but cutting no less deep.

It’s not even as though I can ground myself among people who respect my identity: my ex and my son still don’t address me by my chosen name or use the correct pronouns for me (they usually avoid using any). It’s really hard to maintain a sense of self when others around you, especially those closest to you, reject your reality.

I’m going to move back to where I was before. It’s far too noisy here.

The person on reception in my building at the university chatted to me as I left. She is lovely and always cheers me up. I grabbed a coffee and a muffin on my way back to the chaplaincy centre, where I started this unpost. It’s busier than it was earlier, so I had to sit quite near the noisy vents, but the fans have gone silent for a bit. Just the babble of conversation to cope with for now. Just.

I spoke too soon. Just before I started typing again (I zoned out for a bit, I think), the fan came back on.

I know I don’t (yet) have a diagnosis of autism, ADHD or anything else, and sometimes I feel as though I’m clutching at straws in a desperate attempt to explain why I find some things so difficult. Regardless of that, though, I think I’m particularly sensitive to loud noises (and find other sounds overwhelming) when I’m under stress. I should probably do something about that. Ear-defenders maybe. But where do you get some that don’t look ridiculous, aren’t intended for children, will cut out sufficient noise and are comfortable to wear? (Most headphones aren’t comfortable to wear for more than a few minutes, in my experience.)

That will do for now. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll soon be able to write one of the blog posts which have been waiting in the wings for a while, and perhaps even a chapter or two more of my novelesque thing. (Every time I see birds – and there seem to be a lot about just now – I’m reminded of it. Very meta.)

2 responses to “The eighth (8th) unpost”

  1. Just saw this, which suggests my feedreader works slowly. If it’s any consolation (I don’t suppose it is) you sound more productive than me, because preparing and leading three tutor groups sounds quite impressive!

  2. Enjoyed your blog piece enormously.