Hello (Goodbye)

Hello there… it’s certainly been a while.

It’s been almost a year since I posted on here, in that time my life has completely and utterly changed. I don’t want to go into details, it’s too personal to put in the internet and some people who I know in real life read here, I don’t want to hurt their feelings or cause more upset.

I thought a lot about coming back here, but in truth I’ve grown too much in the last eight or so months to recognise the girl who used to write this blog. That’s not a bad thing, I’m proud of myself and I like the person that I am now… I’m just older.

So, I got onto the third year of a degree course, I’m loving every second and eagerly planning my future as a performance artist and writer. I have so many exciting opportunities coming up just in 2016, from travelling to Australia to a two week stint at the Edinburgh Fringe.

If you want to follow my progress you’re more than welcome, just leave me a comment and I’ll link you through to my website which will have links to my other social media (basically instagram… I don’t think Twitter will ever win me over), and if not then thank you for following my journey.

It’s been a really rough (nearly) five years, but I’ve come out a strong, independent woman surrounded by wonderful people.

Thank you for all of your support.

Jenny… (Wren) x

Taking a Break

I’ve tried to start this post three times now, so I’m just going to roll on with it.

I think I’m going to take a break from here for a couple of weeks. This isn’t the end, I’m just overwhelmed with life right now and I need to have some time to concentrate on it.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty stressful for me, I want to spend them with R and not thinking about anything else. As well as that, I don’t really have anything to write about now, and I’d rather take a break than keep on churning out half-hearted content.

I WILL be back soon, I love this blog and I want it to keep going, but right now I’m in a slump and I need to take a break and refresh.

Thank you so much for reading and supporting me.

See you soon!

’til next time,

Wren x

Stress, Stress and Travelling

Well, it’s been an interesting couple of days! Thankfully I managed to shake off the bug that was making me feel so crap on Monday, but along the way I’ve managed to pick up an eye infection (?!) I swear I’m not just becoming a hypochondriac, my body seems to be throwing a tantrum at the moment. Ma’s opinion is that it’s ‘stress’, but then that’s her answer to most complaints.

The fact that R’s leaving next month hasn’t sunk in at all. I think it’ll hit home when the furniture goes… I’m not looking forward to it. The other night I got as close as I could to him when we were in bed and listened to his breathing for an hour or so. I’m absolutely terrified.

I lost my temper a bit at work the other day, I had to go and sit in the warehouse for a bit to try and calm down. It wasn’t anything major, I just found myself getting really angry at tiny things and I knew I needed to take some time out. And yeah, that was definitely stress.

Sensing a theme?

Tomorrow I have a free day, so I’m going to try to do some driving theory (I know, I’ve been at it for months now, but it’s so boring!) and make a lasagna. Cooking generally calms me down, so that should help ease my frazzled nerves. I think I might try a meditation as well.

Erm, what else?

Oh yeah, the big news: I booked my plane tickets!! I’m so happy, I did it last night and already it feels like there’s a massive weight off my shoulders. The tickets are there, I’ll have a great adventure and I’ll get to see R. It’s going to be so helpful to have that concrete date to work to. I’ve never flown alone before, or been on a flight longer that 4 hours, so this is going to be a steep learning curve. The excitement is cancelling out the nerves though!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/On_the_plane_to_Lisbon_(5580623458).jpg

From: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6e/On_the_plane_to_Lisbon_%285580623458%29.jpg

What do I have coming up on the blog? Well, I have more ‘Adventures in Dentistry’ posts planned, so if you liked the last one then stick around; I’m going to keep you updated on my adventures this summer and my planning/packing progress. As well as that, I’m going to do more posts on what I’ve been reading and some of my writing projects.

Hope you’re all well ,

’til next time,

Wren x

 

Election Aftermath

So, the election happened…

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/NHS.svg/2000px-NHS.svg.png

From: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/73/NHS.svg/2000px-NHS.svg.png

Personally, I was convinced that we’d end up with a hung Parliament again, so the result was a bit of a surprise to me! I didn’t vote Tory, so I’m not ecstatic with the outcome, but there’s nothing we can do about it now.

From what I’ve been able to find, the Conservatives haven’t said a lot about what they plan to do to tackle mental health problems. There’s some talk about improving waiting times and focussing on mental health in during pregnancy, which is all great. The test now is to wait and see whether things actually get better.

One thing that annoys me about the attitude of all of the political parties towards the NHS (and by association, mental health) is that they seem to think that it just needs more money thrown at it. The election turned into a pissing contest about who could pledge to spend more money on healthcare.

It’s not necessarily about money, I know very little about the whole situation but I think they need to strip things back to basics, have a good look at how and where the money is currently going and have a little rethink. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t always have the intended result.

If you want a more concise, educated breakdown of the Conservatives promises about mental health, check this out, but for now I’m going to retreat back to my bed and shake off this bug…

’til next time,

Wren x

Please Vote!

Before I give a little Wren-round-up I wanted to take this opportunity to speak to any of my UK readers:

PLEASE VOTE TOMORROW!

If you’ve registered then there should be nothing stopping you- short of unforeseen catastrophe, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t vote. Do a little bit of Googling, find out who’s standing in your area and what their party represents… and then vote for the one you agree with! It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s five minutes of your day and I think it’s really important.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Polling_station_6_may_2010.jpg

From: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/be/Polling_station_6_may_2010.jpg

Even if you go in and deface your ballot paper, take this time to make yourself heard. Democracy is something that a lot of people don’t have, and never will. Please, don’t take your freedom for granted.

I’m not going to share my political views with you, I don’t mind what you think- even if you want to vote for UKIP, I don’t mind, Just cast your vote!

#

Elsewhere in my life:

I’m preparing to knuckle down and learn the Highway Code. The next few weeks are going to be unbearably boring, my target was to have my theory test done by the time R leaves, and I might just make it. At least I started taking practical driving lessons the other week and at my next one I’m going to ask my instructor if we can up it to two lessons a week. I have the time and the money, I’d rather get it done soon.

For the moment the play is on hold. It’s not cancelled though, which is actually a surprise. My director said that he’d contact us ‘later in the year’, I’m not sure how much ‘later’ it will be, so that might cause some issues. My life is going to get pretty hectic from mid-August onwards.

The exciting news is that I’m working on my travel plans for August. So at some point next week I’m going to depart with lots of money and really solidify this whole ‘going to another country’ thing. I’ve also told my boss that I’m taking a month off this summer- I’ve given him the dates and told him that I’m willing to take it totally unpaid, so everything’s ready to go!

Hope you’re all well, I’ll check in again soon.

’til next time,

Wren x

 

The Importance of Work

Things in my life are starting to pick up pace. R’s leaving date is coming closer and closer, it’s making me think a lot about life, relationships and careers.

I’m choosing not to go with R when he leaves. Instead I’m staying here to finish my degree.

DSCN0888

I don’t like being idle, I have to leave the house everyday or else I start to start to feel a little trapped. Sometimes it’s nice to curl up for a day but it gets old pretty fast. As much as I hate my job I’d go a little mad without it; I’m the kind of person who needs to work.

The more time I spend working a dead-end job, the more I become determined to get my degree to do something else with my life. I have lots of things that I want to try and I’m happy to keep my ideas for the future vague. Right now I don’t want to pigeon-hole myself into a career.

Life experience is invaluable and can’t be rushed. The years I’ve spent studying on my own have given me such valuable experience, they’ve taught me independence and personal responsibility.

I could go with R when he leaves, but I wouldn’t be me if I did that. I need something to pour my energy into, I like having my days filled and busy. This year has been enough of a taste of that for me and I don’t want it anymore. My course finished a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been going out of my mind with boredom ever since! I’m so antsy right now, I think I must be driving R completely over the edge.

(On the plus side I’ve done a lot of writing and ploughed through some seriously dry history books.)

Getting out of the house and having a job, even a crap one, helps my mental health so much. I can’t even put into words the state I’d be in if I wasn’t doing anything. My job may be rubbish and (at times) a little degrading, but it gives me a sense of work and accomplishment. I love going and earning my own money and having that complete independence.

Work is essential for my mental health. I think it’s good for anyone’s mental health. Most of the time (depending on your job) it forces you to socialise, sleep and eat at regular times and get out of the house. I’m sure this epiphany is supported by studies undertaken by people far more qualified than I am, but personally it’s only just become clear to me.

So, thank you unnamed-supermarket-chain, for allowing me to maintain my good mental health for the last two years (two years?! Seriously, this was meant to be a summer job…) please give me lots of time off to go travelling this summer?

’til next time,
Wren x

Teaching Paganism

Happy Beltane to those who celebrate it!

Today I’m going to slip back into the old routine and have a little chat about Paganism.

DSCN0707

Recently someone who I went to school with got in touch with me to ask about Paganism. We never really spoke to each other in school, so it was a bit of a shock when he popped up in my inbox. I’ll admit that I was a bit hostile at first as I associated him with the crowd who used to bully me and so suspected an ulterior motive.

Talking to him about Paganism made me think about a lot of things, it was an interesting experience but I also found it very frustrating!

It seemed a lot like he couldn’t grasp the attitude that I had towards my faith. He asked me how you could ‘qualify’ as a Druid, what benefits that qualification would give you, how long you had to study for. My answers of ‘it depends’, ‘none’ and ‘a lifetime’ seemed to fly straight over his head.

He asked me why I decided to become Pagan… I mean, how was I supposed to answer that?! I didn’t ‘decide’ to become Pagan. I’ve always had the beliefs that I have now, but when I was eleven I heard about Paganism and realised that it described my beliefs. From then on I referred to myself as a Pagan. I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to start believing in the Gods.

Yes, to some extent I decided to start actively practising my faith using ritual and meditation etc, but he didn’t seem to understand that when I explained it to him.

I tried very hard to be patient and understanding, he’ll go one way or the other with his quest for spiritual self-knowledge. He’ll either gradually understand what I’ve been trying to explain to him, or he won’t. I’m sure that I asked questions like he asked me I was first starting out. Some of the bigger concepts of faith come only with age and wisdom.

I don’t refer to myself as a ‘Druid’ because I don’t feel that I’ve earned that title. It’s a personal choice and maybe one day I’ll feel ready to use that term… but not now.

Faith, especially Paganism, is not about exams or titles. It’s about wisdom and life; I will never stop learning and growing, even when I’m an old woman I still want to be learning new things. My Pagan path doesn’t end when I pass some exam, or do a course. It goes on and on, even past my physical death.

I want to dedicate the rest of my life to learning about the Gods and my faith. Every day I grow older and wiser, life experience gives me intellectual and spiritual riches that can’t be rushed. In the modern world everything has a time limit, everything has to be obviously beneficial; we are shocked that the Druids used to take up to twenty years to train their pupils.

The way I see my faith is that I will never stop training or being a pupil… and I don’t want to. The moment I think I know everything is the moment I have nothing left to fight for.

I really enjoyed talking to someone about my faith, it made me see how much I’ve matured in the last nine years (yeah, it’s been nine years since I started calling myself a Pagan; isn’t that scary?) and how I can understand my faith on a deeper level than I could have ever imagined.

Time and life experience are invaluable; I gave the guy that I was talking to as much help as I could, but now it’s down to him to make mistakes and learn the hard lessons.

… And I’m definitely not in the running for the ‘teacher of the year’ award…

Blessings,

Wren x

In Which Things Go Wrong…

I’m having one of those days where I know what I’m going to write on Friday, Monday and probably next Wednesday… but I have no idea what to write today!

Are life updates acceptable?

Well, I’ve started taking driving lessons and am swatting up for my theory test- if anyone wants to share driving test stories then you’re more than welcome- so I’m at last starting to get that item ticked off my list of ‘things to accomplish in 2015’ and I feel a lot more positive about things.

Me and R are trying to plan out when we’ll get to see each other this summer- but that’s proving easier said than done. It’s going to depend a lot on his housing situation, something that might be pretty complicated.

Also, remember I was talking about the play I was in? Well on Tuesday our rehearsal got cancelled- something’s messed up with our paperwork and our rehearsal venue has pulled out. So now we have the threads of a play, no venue, no rehearsal space and no money. Welcome to acting.

There’s a really strong chance that we’re going to have to scrap the play, which would suck majorly but right now there’s not a lot of options left. Things keep going wrong and if we can’t even rehearse then there’s not much point in trying to continue. I’m trying to stay calm, not get upset and just leave it in the hands of the Gods. It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t go ahead and they know the best decision to make.

I’m feeling good because I’ve finished at work for the week and secured time off to go travelling this summer. I won’t get paid for the month I’m taking off to go across the ocean but I didn’t expect to; I’m just glad I can keep my job. (Not because I like or enjoy my job in any way, but because it’s easy and pays well and I really can’t be bothered to look for another one.)

In positive news, I’ve started messing about with a short story and am slowly sinking back into the writing routine. Right now I feel very free and inspired.

I’ll leave you with the news that this Friday will be a Pagan Friday (I know, it’s been a while) and the piece of music that’s been stuck in my head all week:

’til next time,

Wren x

Can I Ever Escape Self-Harm?

I got the urge again last week.

I haven’t felt that strange, burning itch to hurt myself in a long time. Last Monday night it came back, it lodged itself into my stomach and refused to let go.

Being the sensible and mature woman that I am I responded to this urge by crying my eyes out into my old teddy-bear. It was really frightening, I felt like I’d been thrown backwards five years into the skin of my insecure teenage self.

After picking over what happened with R the other night I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m struggling with control right now. I used to self harm for many different reasons; but one of the main ones was control. I was very depressed and I felt like my life was being controlled by people I hated, school was a miserable environment for me; but I couldn’t escape from it.

Recently I’ve been feeling very out of control, my life is changing and horrible things are happening that I have no control over. I think that’s why the old urge came back again, there was nothing else that I could do and my mind immediately offered up SI as a solution.

Another thing that I’ve been having problems with is intimacy. I haven’t had great sexual experiences, in fact, they’re so ‘not great’ that I can’t actually bring myself to talk about them on here. Maybe one day I will- but right now it still feels too raw.

When I get stressed and feel like I’m not in control the last thing I want is someone touching me, I’m happy to give touch and love- but I just want my own space and my own body to remain my own.

At the moment I’m trying to stay calm, rationalise what’s happening in my brain and work around it. The whole thing is a little frustrating and scary- I feel like I’m broken sometimes, that I can’t get over my knee-jerk reaction of panicking.

Self harm isn’t the problem, it’s a mechanism to cope with the problem. I don’t self harm anymore, but that doesn’t mean that I’m fine- it means that my control issues just get expressed in a different way. I think that different way is avoiding intimacy and sex.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to do to fix this problem; to be honest, realising it and talking to R about it has already helped a lot, so I think I’m just going to try and be mindful of what’s going on in my head. Also, I’m essentially trying to write a blog post about sex without giving too many details of my sex life… sorry if I’m just coming across as frustratingly vague.

Sometimes I feel disconnected from the Wren who couldn’t get out of bed and cut herself in the school toilets between lessons; then things like this happen and I realise that we’re the same person. It feels like a strange mixture of fear and nostalgia- I don’t know which one worries me more.

’til next time,

Wren x

Updates on Acting

I know that some of my recent posts have been leaning towards personal, and away from anything intellectual; such as religion, feminism or mental health. Right now Mentalist Monday is the only thing I’m consciously trying to keep going. The next couple of months are going to be crazy, so I’m trying to take the pressure off myself; as well as that, they’re going to be very emotional and I started this blog to vent.

Essentially, I don’t know what I’m writing here; I’m just trying to give you a heads up that there will be posts three times a week, Monday will still have a mental health theme, but the other two will just be focussed on whatever I’m thinking about- I hope you’re okay with that?

I recently wrote about the acting project I’ve gotten involved in. Originally it was a production of ‘Coriolanus’ for a theatre company who had been booked to perform at the RSC. Well, the RSC booking fell through (welcome to the performing arts industry…) and we had half the cast disappear.

DSCN0604

We were kind of left in a bit of a depressing situation, however, we were all having such a good time that we didn’t see why the fun had to end. We found another script, it was originally written by a friend of the director so we can mess about with it and we don’t have to deal with royalties, and we’re planning to tour it about this summer.

If any of you are in the UK and love theatre then watch this space! Fuck anonymity, if you want to see it I’ll tell you where and how.

I’ll admit it, I had low expectation for the script- but it turned out to be pretty amazing and very funny, so I’m now incredibly pumped up about the whole experience. Plus I’ve gone from a minor part in Coriolanus to a main part in this (and a bloody good main part too) so I’m over the moon.

Next week our director’s going to be away, and despite only knowing me for a couple of weeks he’s put me in charge of rehearsals. In the next week I have to edit down the script, cast two members of the company, decide on the staging and block the entire play.

To put this into perspective, this guy has known everyone else in the company for about a month longer than me; we’re only even had one conversation just between the two of us, and he’s put me in charge of the project and given me ultimate power for a week.

When I went to the Stage School of Hell last year I had my confidence completely broken down. I left there and couldn’t even think about acting for almost a year. When I first did a monologue in front of my now director I was terrified- but it went fine.

Slowly I’m working through what happened during my year at the SSoH. I’m trying to ease myself back into performing and remind myself why I loved it. Everything good about it was killed whilst I was at that place and I feel so sad about it.

I’ve done a decent amount of directing, it’s something that I greatly enjoy. Sadly, the attitude at the SSoH was that of ‘if you’re not the best at this, you’re not allowed to do it’ and one of the people in my group worked as a teacher- so she was obviously always in charge of organising and directing and no-one else got a look in. That attitude made me feel so useless and crap.

Now I feel like I’m completely back in my element. Someone who doesn’t even know me that well has deduced that I have my head screwed on right and can be trusted. I feel empowered and really happy in myself; I’ve spent this afternoon breaking down the script into bullet points (it’s a looooong script) so that we can easily go through it, change plot points and edit in our next rehearsal. Currently I have my tea on the go and then I’m planning to jot out some ideas for staging.

It’s been a strange and crazy week, but right now I feel really content.

’til next time,

Wren x