The Ten Minute Pity Party
It's a nothing kind of post today, a spilling of thoughts in place of my usually carefully planned out pieces of writing.
Yesterday was just awful. I'm in the middle of finals, frantically trying to finish all the work that hangs over my head. Usually I am the most organised in this respect, indeed the end of finals is often a lonely time for me as I reflect over my submitted papers and watch my friends hurriedly type away. However due to the multiple nightmare logistics of making this summer happen I am falling behind. Still ahead of the game, but not ahead of my game. That in itself adds anxiety to my already anxious mind, and yesterday in between sobbing to my Mumma and having a panic attack (huge gratitude to Mumma and my friends for helping me out of that one), I just kind of lost it. I don't want to be here anymore, and the goings on of yesterday only served to remind me of that more.
But today is a new day. I have new logistics, and if they don't work out then they don't. At this point a lot of things are outside of my control and I can only do what I can do, the rest will happen whether I like it or not.
I have devised a new strategy, called the ten minute pity party. It doesn't have to actually be ten minutes - yesterday's was probably more like five hours. But I noticed how often my beloved and I freak out on each other, be it cry or complain, and then accept whatever happened. Somehow we devised a system in which we need to stop when we start repeating ourself, I think because we recognised that when you start obsessing over the same issue you only wind yourself up more.
You know I am a firm believer in feeling feelings. They are there, and they certainly don't go away if you pretend otherwise. But so often we work ourselves up more, thinking of the very problem itself. I myself have gorged on pity parties, but no more. It doesn't help anyone, and can be hard to be around. Now I allow myself a short one, and then move on.
Of course this doesn't always work, I'm not going to pretend that some issues can be dealt with so simply. But many can, and it's worth a try. Cry, rant, scream for as long as feels productive, and then stop. Distract yourself, do something that will make you happy, work on fixing the problem. Complaining won't fix it, but maybe there's something you can do that will.
I only have one week left here, and it makes me a little sad to say that I am relieved about that. I have learnt so much and gained a lot by being here, but it's time to leave. The thought of the familiarity of Europe fills me with a deep sense of longing, and I will breathe a sigh of happiness when I finally embrace my hometown once more. I am thoroughly ambivalent about Ghana, on the one hand I adore it and on the other I know that it is not for me. I am grateful for what it gave me, but I want no more.
And why I am telling you all this? Not to worry you certainly, although that is a risk I take with those who know me in real life (family, I am fine I promise, I will tell you all when I see you in person). I just find honesty on the internet to be refreshing. I know how idyllic the switching of countries can seem to be when your Instagram location changes wildly from post to post. But believe me when I say that sometimes the logistics of making that happen can cause you to actually sob with frustration.
So today is a new day, one in which I will continue typing away hopefully more coherent thoughts on Maya Angelou, intersectionality and disabilities, emotional abuse, and Ghanaian artists - like every other semester my papers are as diverse as the education I am currently getting. I will not let yesterday's frustrations follow me into day. The sun is out, and so is my smile. Even when things go wrong, I am still very lucky to have all that I do - the friends who came running in the rain to hug me, the people who replied to emails on the equivalent of their Friday evening when they could have ignored me, and the family that make me miss England so much. Today is one day closer to me seeing them, and I can't wait.