Revision season.

Hey!

It’s about 2 and a half weeks until my final exams. I’m stressed. obviously. But actually not as stressed as I have been previously. I think i’ve realized that I should try and put my health before anything like this. That doesn’t mean not give it your all and best shot, but when your body says it’s had enough, give it a break. Like, at the end of the day, they are just exams. You can resit them.

I’m guessing this may be a common scenario but I don’t know for other courses. Vet school is a hot steamy bed of perfectionists and high achievers who cannot face the idea that they are going to have some off days. Days where learning is not happening and concentration stayed in bed where you should have remained for longer. And what these people do when they’re struggling? They take a photo of their revision notes and post it on the internet. I have done this previously. So i know what it’s like. And because I have done it and seen my friends do it I have realized that people mostly do it when they’re feeling pretty crap.

Those times I posted “studying in a coffee shop”. “study in the sun” … mate, there was v little efficient studying going on. The coffee shop was probably too noisy and the sun was probably too bright. I think we do it when we are feeling guilty or stressed or anxious. There’s the guilty taking a night off people – “Finally having a break”. And those who like to let us know they’re working late into the night. As if it means that they care more about passing the exams the we do? And I wonder if part of it is that we want to give the illusion that we’re on top of everything and making those who aren’t either feel even worse?

Though maybe I’m being a bit harsh! I mean all sorts of posting.. including blogging (!!).. is some form of attention seeking!

I’m writing this blog because I’m having a pretty crap off day. For whatever reason I didn’t sleep well last night and I couldn’t get out of bed this morning. I am so tired. I have been at this desk at university for about 6hours now and I have been working. slowly. but most importantly i don’t feel like i have taken much of it in. And i don’t really know what I should be doing instead. So i’m writing this. A change, something a bit more creative.

My methods for revising are pretty primitive as I haven’t been able to successfully change them over the years. I simply write, re write and condense and re-write and condense some more. That takes hours and time and so yeah, i accept that this is just going to take up a lot of time. And I accept and understand that other people are hugely better at retaining information than I am and so they probably don’t need to spend as much time sitting at a desk. But for me it also means that If I have had a crap day of revision, at least i’ve written something down to go over another day. or maybe condensed something a bit more so that it shouldn’t take longer to try and go over next time. That’s a positive of it anyway….And also, i do think we take in more than we realise.

What I hate most about this time of the year: The stress. I’m finally getting a little better at dealing with exam stress. In my final year, it’s only taken 6 haha! Na. I’m doing okay. Before this year, I would cry myself to sleep several times a week if not every night. I would be up early and go to bed late. I would give up reading and exercise and all the fun stuff. I just couldn’t balance it.

This year, still crap at the balancing. – I haven’t done much exercise, though have been doing some yoga once or twice and maybe a run once or twice a week. And reading is hit and miss too. But I’m trying. I’ve been staying at Rosie’s. It’s pushing us as a couple at the moment but I do value going back to her place in the evening and being able to shut off the vet world and sleep.

We’re both under some pressure at the moment. I tend to get irritable and snappy with long term stress and lack of sleep. I definitely woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning. Very irritable. It’s horrible. I think we both understand what’s going on but I hate that this just seems part of university/exam life. That stress is a necessity. I find myself wondering if me feeling less stressed means I’m not working as hard or as well. Or maybe i think i know more than i do..?

But i’m not really there as a partner for Rosie. I’m not there to listen to her and ask about her day. I’m less often laughing with her and my mood is fluctuating so much that I can’t keep track of it let alone she can. I feel with Rosie that she becomes similar, more self centered in a way, worrying about things that she needs to do more, and being sucked into this kind of cycle. I know I’ve been more selfish recently too. I’ve realised that with pressure I tend to forgo a lot of things, lose the ‘baggage’ and concentrate on only the high priority things. Rosie on the overhand becomes more controlling, wanting to know and be in control of everything so we have clashed a little there too. She’s been quite snappy if I have been a bit lousy or forgetful and I get quite snappy over why she’s caring about something I consider to be insignificant.

We just all deal with stress in such different ways and this is probably this first time we have spent considerable time with each other in these kind of circumstances.

I know myself that it isn’t specifically Rosie. When I was living at home or at uni it would be the people that I lived with, spent most time with. At home, I found my mum overbearing and too much. In the worst stages of the revision stress I would hate myself and the idea of being praised or hugged made me resist and get annoyed at mum. Friends, I just found myself getting irritable and little things they did that I normally wouldn’t care about. I wouldn’t spend much time with them and them vice versa for fear of stress spreading i spose! You do find yourself absorbing other people’s emotions more.

But like I say, this year is actually better! Haha! I’m treating myself a little more. Buying healthy (more expensive lol) food, buying tea when i’m out, having one or two nights off a week or at the weekend taking things a bit slower. I met my mum and her boyfriend for dinner on Sunday evening and actually it was so so nice. They were in a great mood and I really felt lifted afterwards.

I’m not really sure what my message here is. But just i suppose a reminder to myself and you that we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. if you know that you have spent the last 45mins on instagram. Fine, it’s done, now turning your phone off for 45mins and try and do some work. Or if you were on instagram to avoid the work, why? maybe you don’t fully understand the topic, try reading up on it a bit more, or asking someone else about it. I tend to leave the topics I least like until last but that can be the worst, because then you’re stuck with a pile of topics that you really don’t want to start.

Try making little progresses rather than massive unachievable goals. And remember that you are absolutely worthy and meant to be there. Give time for life as well as revision. Don’t put off things or get controlled by everything else that you need to do. Right lists of life-admin so that you aren’t worried you’re going to forget about them. Set aside an hour in the morning as your settling into study to send those emails etc.

Don’t believe or be suckered in to what you see online. No one is perfect and no one has mastered anything. Do what you have to do and try to not compare.

And importantly. Actually, try and enjoy it! Encourage yourself to enjoy what you’re learning. Enjoy having a good couple of hours of study done and then treat yourself to something afterwards, whether it’s a read, some exercise, a phone call, etc whatever! You’re worth it x

Onwards and upwards i suppose. I’ll see you on the other side x)

Rebecca x

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Love, Simon

Hey!

*contains spoilers*

Just been to see ‘Love, Simon’ at the cinema. I didn’t know the film existed until last night. Just another coming out story I thought!

Do hold onto your seat belts. Its a cringey film. But also a very good and very well portrayed coming out film. I definitely recommend it.

The main guy Simon, privileged guy with a perfect life etc. And he’s known for a while that he’s gay but too scared to come out.

I liked in this film that Simon was inspired to come out. If I hadn’t have met anyone special I don’t think I would have told anyone when I did. Because I suppose, I wasn’t sure? Or there wasn’t the motivation? What if it is just a phase. Why go through all the grief?

I also loved how the film made what Simon was going through a massive deal and we could to a degree appreciate the difficulty while also looking on the outside and understanding that actually…. things will probably be fine. A mixture of teenage angst but also actually this is difficult. I liked how they described Simon’s fear of change and being somehow a different person post coming out. And just how he was annoyed that he had to come out, how he wouldn’t have to if he was straight. There were some very good insights on the film. I’m impressed.

It was pretty classic cringe-y teenager film in that it had magically unrealistic love scenes. And Simon’s best friend turned out to fancy him. It all turned out totally fine in the end. obviously.

I had a bit of an incident earlier on. About a month ago. And I think I kinda thought I was done with coming out and hadn’t really done it in a long time.

I had just been offered a job at a vet practice I has really liked and the following weekend Rosie, my cousins and I went to visit the practice. To say I was slightly nervous would be an exaggeration. I hadn’t really slept that week because of the nerves of the vets finding out about Rosie. More the fact that I didn’t want them to know this about me before they know me otherwise. We all ended up at the vet’s house and I simply introduced them all by their names and not who they were. The vet’s wife was also around and in time Rosie and my cousins chatted to her. The vet took me to aside and we talked about things and he told me some bits!

I then drove down two weeks later for a meeting with some of the other vets. During the meeting the vet who I had visited at this house asked me to explain who the guest were. He thought my cousins were my parents. I could feel dread in my stomach and I felt pretty sick. I really wanted the job, i didn’t want this to affect it. But I wouldn’t lie about it, i couldn’t deny it, i’ll just avoid mentioning it. I explained that they were my cousins who I had been staying with. He said, right, and the other was their daughter?

I can’t remember quite what I said. something like, ‘Ah sorry, no, to put another spanner into the works, she is my partner.’

I couldn’t and still can’t believe how badly I came out. How nervous I felt. I suppose two older male vets who live in the countryside,, it’s just very far from the London tolerance I’m used to (in my mind). But he didn’t seem very surprised and I looked at the other guy who did look surprised but not bothered. They shrugged it off and asked me about Rosie.

I’m slightly kicking myself about it now. I hope they don’t think it’s a problem or a big deal in my life. I hope they don’t think it’s something that’s going to affect me in anyway from being a good vet.

I have had it very lucky, mostly the fear has been from within my head rather than on anything I have experienced.

I watched a video a while back from a gay guy who said that he has learned to love coming out to people. I’m not there yet, I still find it usually leads to a moments awkward silence, even if the person really couldn’t care less. It is probably because it takes them by surprise.

I casually came out to one girl at a vets when she asked if I had got up to much with my boyfriend at the weekend. I said, oh it’s girlfriend (in a light hearted way) and she went to apologise but I just said, ah you weren’t to know. I just carried on saying what we had got up to to avoid the awkward silence where the other person is deciding what to say.

It’s a strange world. But I’m very lucky to live in a more tolerant part of it.

Rebecca x

Loneliness

Hey,

Rosie’s been away into Japan for three days so far. Sounds like she’s having a great time!

IMG-20180406-WA0032

I’m struggling a bit with the hour difference. Japan is 8hrs ahead of the UK. By 3pm in the UK she’s pretty much in bed and asleep. I’m used to our evening phone calls before bed. Knowing that she wont be there to reply to my messages and send me more of her photos until I’m up the following morning, it makes me feel quite isolated and lonely. There’s too much time and too much to try and catch up with! It has surprised me, I thought I would deal with it better. I’m going to blame it slightly on the exams coming up and say I’m just more anxious and worried than normal… ish.

I was quite a lonely kid growing up. Not bullied and not without friends at all but I always felt different to those Ii knew, how ever much I loved them. I never really found anyone that I really connected with or even just a decent amount in common with. When Rosie’s away I realise how I haven’t felt that kind of loneliness really since we met, over 2 years ago now. I remember going to sleep at night and that feeling of an empty heart and the feeling that no one around you really understands or ‘gets’ you. I remember it really upsetting me at times. And I remember that feeling all through growing up. And I think that’s why Rosie means so much to me, though it’s difficult to explain it.

It was little things when I was younger. I was naturally quite a nerdy kid but one totally desperate to fit in and I actually found myself among the ‘cool’ kids for the first couple of years in secondary school. But I remember feeling (but not understanding it at the time) pretty unsatisfied and unhappy hanging around with those people and feeling like a bit of a fraud just going along with what others wanted and not really saying anything. I played up a lot around that point too, was regularly in trouble for being a nuisance and a distraction in class. I think I wanted to be liked.

When I decided that I wanted to be a vet, It really tuned things around for me. I was motivated and I needed to make time for myself for my grades to be better. I found myself leaning and wanting to sit closer to the quieter students. They in time (begrudgingly) became my friends.

Then A-levels in a way were better. I had a nice bunch of friends who were motivated and opinionated and liked reading and being nerdy. I can remember enjoying spending time during the break and lunch with them. But we never had enough really in common  to spend any time out of school with them. Or it was always complicated for  some reason. There was an obstacle. But they were a nice bunch. I’ve lost a lot of contact with them since going to university. Mostly my fault.

University was a bit disappointing in many ways. It wasn’t how I expected it to be Thought there would be more like-minded people. Naively thought everyone would be in it for the same reason and everyone would be out to save the world and make amazing discoveries haha.  Not quite. But I have made a great bunch of friends that I’m likely to stay in touch with for the future.

There’s a bit of controversy about the Myers-Briggs personality test. For me, It explained a lot. Although i don’t understand the science behind it and it can be used in ridiculous ways it does help one come to terms with different personalities and why there are different reactions to the same situations. So i’m apparently an INFJ. They are supposedly one of the more extroverted introverts. And even that helps me understand why I’m not great around louder extroverted people for a long amount of time. Because although i’m happy to chat to them and have a good time I feel uncomfortable explaining that I’d now like my own space for a bit. An INFJ is a character that is just a bit of everything and so isn’t quite much of anything.

https://introvertdear.com/ This is a beautiful website for introverts.

loneliness BibleI was going to use this image as my featured image. I can remember myself thinking this to myself some nights in bed when I let my mind wander. But not in a religious way, more an exasperation.

I’m pretty certain loneliness played a part in the depression I felt as an older teenager. There were other factors certainly but I think it has the power to overwhelm you and really decapitate you when you don’t expect it. I wasn’t confident in myself, I was hesitant to say things and give my opinion. (I was also pretty shy) but even among-st friends. When you’re the only one rooting for yourself it gets tough and I definitely doubted myself more.

And although I miss Rosie a little bit now, I know I mostly just wish I was there with her. I don’t feel lonely in the same way. Because in meeting Rosie It told me that actually I’m not an odd one out I had just been unfortunate to not meet people on my wavelength. It’s given me confidence that I don’t think I can quite appreciate. But to know there is someone out there that will likely back you in what you do and be a subtle cheerleader as you go along has changed me in so many ways. And I don’t think Rosie has seen the change in me, because I think it happened pretty much as soon as I met her.

I look back now and I think it must have been a matter of time before I did come across a group of people/ or one person that I got along with. I find it so weird to think I might not have met Rosie though. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t. If one of us hadn’t of swiped right 😉 And I’m sure I’ll meet others that I click with at some point. I’m also lucky I fell in love with Rosie too. Shooting two birds with one stone and all that. haha.

Loneliness is a horrible horrible situation to be in. It should never be taken lightly. And equally it’s so common too! I know when I went away to Scotland, Rosie really struggled for the first couple of weeks and I totally understand it now. I was so distracted by the vet practice I didn’t give her the normal kind of attention and time. It’s similar now. But I’m reminding myself it’s only because the internet connection is pretty crappy and she’s having a good time. You’d think you’d get used to be apart! Though being apart is okay, it’s the separating that’s the hardest bit.

I really feel and want to support the charities that help older people who have lost their loved ones and are lonely. And for those that are lonely, apart from getting yourself out there and giving yourself every opportunity to find people you can connect with i can’t think of much else to suggest! I also think, it’s very very easy to take for granted those you do have around you. They probably aren’t perfect and may do your nut in some of the time but if they have your interests in their interests that’s a good start! Xx

My plants! They’re starting to grow!

The lettuce and the Marigolds have ‘hatched’ from their little seeds and are great! Yay, nawww. I’m feeling very proud and excited xD

Rebecca x

New life!

I realized today that I’m actually going to be in one place enough to help mum grow some plants this year. Have spent Easter Sunday repotting, planting and walking the dog.. with nibbles of chocolate in between.

I love planting from seeds. And watching them grow. I love the whole process. When I was younger I used to measure the growth of seedlings and take photos and write a blog about it! I’m not sure I’ll go quite into that depth but I’m excited for the first little seedlings to arrive. When I think about it I feel almost powerful choosing to control life. Choosing which seeds I’m picking to use and the one seed that I dropped onto the floor! Sorry! It does make it all the more worthwhile when they grow and flower or you can harvest them later on in the year. It’s easy to get carried away! It would be amazing to be self sufficient one day. But one step at a time!

Mum and I decided we wouldn’t buy new seeds this year and only use what we already have. Turns out we have loads…

We wanted to grow lots of tomatoes this year and we already have five different packets! so we planted 4 different types of tomatoes. Also, marigolds, leeks, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, beetroot, Parsley, Basil and Rocket! We’ll see!

On our walk with Drey another dog owner with a sprightly young labrador who was eager to meet Drey, said, the old dog doesn’t’ want to play with you. I was hurt! Ugh! Call my dog old! haha. He may have a grey face and sleep most of the day but he’s still not old 😉 he has lots of life in him yet.

Rebecca x

Developments.

Hey!

It’s late o’clock and I’m up and writing because I have been reading other blogs about India and I’m very excited. My flights are all booked for summer, accommodation sorted and the rest is in progress! I have been offered a great job and I feel like things are just getting started!

I can’t say I have been up to much. Exam season is starting and so even now I feel guilty writing this rather than studying. Meh, you gotta live!

I feel like my wanderlust has returned. It’s been in hiding for the past while because of all the terrible things happening in the world.

I discovered a number of Indian travel writers and have been reading about their journeys in India and elsewhere. It was interesting reading about experiences in the UK and great to get a more local opinion on areas in India.

http://www.shalusharma.com/10-books-to-read-before-travelling-to-india/

https://www.inditales.com/street-food-in-jaipur/

https://the-shooting-star.com/travels/india/

https://lakshmisharath.com/

http://www.arnabmaity.com/

I have an exam in about a week and a half. It’s a practical exam and there isn’t a huge amount I can do between now and then. So I’m working on mostly theory. However having had so much time on my feet in veterinary practices it’s v hard getting back into just book work and then also taking it all in. But we’re getting there.

After that, my written exams are in June. I have some extra lectures in between the two exams too.

I was offered a job at the first placement I did in this block of placements. I really enjoyed my time there and I sent my CV to one of the partners of the practice indicating my interest. I really advocate this kind of putting yourself forward. I wouldn’t have dreamt of such a thing not too long ago. But you can put yourself forward without being or coming across arrogant. A couple of weeks later once there was time for a discussion between partners I was offered the job! I was and am so excited.

I have since not signed anything as everything is being rewritten. It is now not exactly the job I thought it was going to be. I started off thinking I would be working with both large and pet animals. Taking this job means I’ll just be doing small (pretty much). I have done a lot of soul searching and I’m still trying to be as open as possible. But I think I have a gut feeling what the best thing for me is.

So we will see. But it’s v exciting.

If i take the job it’s a set in a beautiful part of Scotland. And for all the greatness of England, Scotland just does some things so much better and I love the idea of living there for some time.

India! I am booked for a month at a spay and neuter clinic in Jaipur and then Rosie is going to join me for a tourist spectacular 12 days around the golden triangle. It was a pretty difficult decision in the sense that I like to do things other than the just straight touristy stuff but I think for our first trip to India this makes most sense. And I’ll get to live amongst the locals in Jaipur for a month anyway! I never really appreciated how vast India is. One naively assumes that the golden triangle must give a good taste of India, when actually it doesn’t touch the surface. It’s exciting, but i definitely have the sense of want to see more and do everything. But of course, just means we’ll have to go back.

 

Yours excitedly,

Rebecca x

 

 

Sunday Morning

I’ll work on the doodles.. .

Sunday morning light through your window,

lying on your bed in a position to receive all of

it’s attention,

Lazy, sunny Sunday morning,

my favourite,

and you top and tailing,

with your tea hugged by your hands,

Sure I could hear birds singing,

the sun drew me out,

another park stroll? I nearly asked,

or a coffee like the Europeans?

But i didn’t ask, I didn’t want to share you,

not just yet,

and I closed my eyes and the sun on my face,

and I was happy,

confident successful, strong, determined and loved.

 

Rebecca x

 

Hiding the real you

I have been on vet placements for the last three weeks. I haven’t mentioned my partner to anyone in that time apart from the female bisexual couple I’m staying with at the moment.

It just isn’t really worth it. Telling people. Well that’s what I’ve been saying to myself.

In conversations about people’s partners which does come up over lunch, tea break or during surgery, I hold my tongue from getting involved, for them to assume I suppose that I’m single and have nothing to contribute.

I don’t want the understanding look, the pity, the sympathy. I want the non-chalent look, the same I’d get if it was a normal bloke who is normal. But you can’t blame a person for it. It’s just not totally normal enough yet. Something slightly abnormal – like saying your vegan, saying you’re religious. Something against the norm still gets the odd look. Except you can choose to be vegan and so that becomes more understood with the fads and popularity phases it sees. And religion has always been known to everyone even if not personally religious.

And it isn’t the fact often that it’s that I haven’t told anyone but that I stopped myself from letting it slip out when I was about to. If the topic never comes up then it’s never mentioned. I’m not strolling in saying ‘btw I’m gay’. Makes a thing a bigger thing than it is. Makes it something worth thinking about, which isn’t what I want.

I stopped it from slipping out because I feel like telling people could cause them to react or treating me differently. To overthink it and think I’ll be less capable, more emotional, less accepted, suddenly a different person to the one that they are getting to know.. something like that.

One place that I’d love to work, I didn’t mention Rosie at all. Specifically held off mentioning her when if she’d have been a bloke I’d have mentioned him. Just in passing. And it does hurt. I do feel like I’m lying, to myself and to others and to Rosie and it doesn’t feel good. But something tells me that it’s for the best.

I went home at the weekend to see a friend who is over from Australia at the moment. I saw Rosie and and family too all the while getting drunk, eating lots of great food and going to a comedy and one of Rosie’s after parties.

In London there is no issue with walking down Soho (the gay scene) and walking into a bar. It’s like walking into any bar. In Dumfries there was a coffee shop/ youth centre/ club place called The Stove and there was an LGBT section. I was very aware of looking at it, being seen to look at it. In London I would feel almost proud and have no issue to look at something similar.

The contrast between the two places made me realise I was hiding myself. And it isn’t the end of the world, at all, but shouldn’t be something that happens. I feel like I’ve lost the nack of ‘coming out’ and it feels harder again.

I’ve had it lucky and I think younger people coming out are more likely to have it easier. There are still so many LGBT people that have an awful time of it. Being so cold at the moment i’m in constant reminded of the homeless people out on the streets in this weather. If you see someone, buy them a coffee, buy them some hot food!

Rebecca x