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

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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

 

Introverts and the QMH

An Article I have written for the university newspaper. QMH refers to the teaching hospital.

Believe it or not introverts hide among us at the RVC! And that is no bad thing.

We all know everyone is different; it’s been ingrained in us since primary school. How we learn and engage in particular, practically, visually, aurally, reflectively, sociably etc I could go on.

Introversion or extroversion is another broad spectrum that we all sit somewhere along and if rotations has taught me anything, it has shown me that we all deal with a long week in the QMH differently. But usually involving some form of alcohol.

I am an introvert but I’m not shy. Whereas I can talk to anyone, I don’t necessary feel the urge to. I’m happy not to talk and sometimes would prefer not to. Rotations are tiring regardless and I want nothing more than an hour to myself to recharge and refocus at the end of it. It’s not because I haven’t enjoyed myself. It’s that I have so many thoughts whirling through my head from the day’s escapades that I need a moment to breath and clear them. Then I’ll be fine again.

Extroverts, so the definition describes, are the opposite. They gain more energy being with people and so prefer to stay with people after a long and stressful day, they don’t necessarily need that break.

Most introverts hide well because they can be found in busy areas and cope totally fine in crowded and loud places on the condition that they know they’ll get a breather occasionally. Going to the bathroom for the second ‘wee’ in two hours is because those couple of minutes on the lav are beautiful. We focus our thoughts, think about what’s happened, decide who I want to chat to next, what will I eat and drink next, what time I’ll wake up in the morning etc it goes on.

Rotations have difficult but exciting. For the sneaky introverts out there I feel that we may have had it that much harder and I think that some small changes could make a big difference to the year without affecting extroverts or too much in general.

First of all, seminars in the morning: By three in the afternoon, after spending seven hours with lots of other people, being quizzed, running around trying to find the right people, the right patients, talking to stressed owners and trying to convince clinicians that I know what I’m talking about. The last thing I need is to then walk into a room to intensely discuss someone else’s case and what their next steps are going to be. I have too much of my own cases going on in my head to have any concentration or discussion left. Make the seminars in the morning. By the following morning I’ve had the previous evening to unwind, go through my own thoughts and sleep on them and plan for the morning. In the morning I’m yours and I’m happy to discuss a diarrheaing boxer for as long as is deemed necessary.

Second, create a quiet space in the QMH. This might be quite hard, I appreciate that. Everyone will agree with me that the student room is generally mental. Bags on seats, loud excitable students, computers buzzing, kettles going, microwaves pinging and phones ringing. There was one or two afternoons where I struggled and went to the library for an hour. It only takes for a stressful morning to need some time to recoup over lunch. I’m not suggesting a large room or a room with anything in particular in it. Maybe some desks, maybe some chairs, but an absolute must would be on the outside of the door, a sign that says “strictly quiet”. People could eat, people can be doing something on their phones but no talking. Or else, make it easier to go to somewhere quieter, like the library for 30 minutes. You may find that a room such as that will free up some of the toilets frequently inhabited by the secret introverts, as it is our only refuge in the QMH.

Third, quizzing and feedback: I particularly enjoyed tracking with the smaller groups and often one on one teaching. Personally, that suits me far better than big group teaching but that’s not the same for everyone so I wont suggest changing the current system. And without being totally negative, I do think over the year, I have become slightly more assertive. But too often I felt dread towards group sessions.

What was particularly difficult with the big group sessions is being pointed out to give an answer. There is no sure fire way of an introvert not giving you the answer you’re after than by pointing at their face a second after you have asked the question. Then to make it even better, only giving them five seconds to answer before moving to another person. You can make a bet that the minute the pointing finger gets directed elsewhere the answer comes straight to the mind of the introvert. But it’s too late.

It was disheartening after the first few rotation blocks to be told I need to be louder. I understood why yet I’m being told that my knowledge, communication and ability is fine, I just need to be louder. Why? It’s not me to be louder than other people. I’ll get what I want to say across and heard. Usually I’ll wait until other people have said what they want to. But my voice will be heard. And therefore I learned to ignore this comment, as I got more confident in my own ability.

Similarly I got warned with a cause for concern after the first week of a two-week rotation for not giving enough answers. Second week I was so on edge trying to force out answers and so aware that I was being watched and analyzed that I didn’t enjoy it and I don’t think I gained a huge amount.

Therefore, I suggest devising other ways such as spot tests, mock papers and one on one conversations. I know these are all more time consuming than a half hour session of who can shout out words the loudest and fastest but I think it would be a bit more of a rounded approach. Success seems to come from being loudest too often. Yet it just proves who the loudest is.

I often wonder if it is as hard for an extrovert to not say something when they want to as it is for an introvert to say something when they don’t want to?

Just a reminder that there are introverts out there and it’s not a bad thing to not be loud, we make up for it in our ability to listen, understand and reflect.

From,

a proud introvert.

Hope in the Dark

I’ve been reading ‘Hope in the Dark’ by Rebecca Solnit. I picked it up at the Hay Festival earlier on in the year. I kind of kept going to read it but then finding something else to read instead. I by chance watched Josie Long on IPlayer and she recommended the book, so then I had to read it.

I have started trying to form an Amnesty International society at my university. This book has been invaluable in getting me to think more about what it takes, thinking about what I’m actually doing and having realistic expectations.

The book was originally published in 2005 so a decent amount has changed and progressed since but it’s eerie how in a way it hasn’t at all and how well the book still applies… Different people, same situations etc.

There is a large focus on American politics. Bush and Blair and the time of the Iraq war beginning. This was slightly before my time (as in I was about 9 so not really aware of the world) so it was difficult to get as involved with the book as I hoped I would. But Solnit writes really well and I get the points that she was making. I found it difficult to fully gauge some of the significance of what was written.

Solnit has since added a number of Forewords to her newer additions which are great introductions.

So very broadly, the book for me, mostly told me about what activism is, what has been successful and what it means to be successful or to have success or to not succeed. There were some really key thought provoking chapters in the book. Sometimes seemed screamingly obvious but not something you’d necessarily think about too deeply.

A quote in the book from Paul Goodman

“Suppose you had the revolution you are talking about and dreaming about…  … How would you live, you personally, in that society? Start living that way now!”

Solnit looks into the emotions associated with activism and tragic events. Comparing despair and hope.

“Despair demands less of us, it’s more predictable and in a sad way safer. Authentic hope requires clarity – seeing the troubles in this world – and imagination, seeing what might lie beyond these situations that are perhaps not inevitable and immutable”

She looks at the different types of activists and news bringers. Those that do well in defeat and ‘doom’. This is linked to the psychology that activism is more bolstering identity that achieving results. ‘demonstrating one’s own virtue rather than the realisation of results’.  I think I can think of a number of people who would be pessimistic, assume to worst and not try to make it work and then take in the glory when it turns out that they’re right. (which was more likely to be the outcome anyway)

I found it very true that “tales of decline and fall have an authority that hopeful ones don’t”

But activism itself can generate hope because it already constitutes an alternative and turns away from the corruption at center to face the wild possibilities and the heroes at the edges or at your side.

The revolution that counts is the one that takes place in the imagination, many kinds of change issue forth thereafter, some gradual, some dramatic and conflict ridden – which is to say that revolution doesn’t necessarily look like revolution.

Being able to see the world differently to what is put in front of you can be the biggest step in a revolution. Solnit uses a fantastic analogy of a theatre. Civilians being the audience and the actors on stage being presidents, prime ministers etc Big wigs. We don’t see what’s going on back stage or anywhere else in the theatre. But sometimes we do, sometimes we can see through the actors and when enough of us have, that’s revolutionary and that’s what the bigwigs are scared of.

What I really enjoyed about this book is that sense that even if you don’t see success or you don’t feel like you’ve made a difference, actually you probably have. In a small way you may have supported a movement, spread a movement to more people and in that way starting to stimulate a change or progression.

“It’s always too soon to go home. Most of the great victories continue to unfold, unfinished in the sense that they are not yet fully realised but also in the sense that they continue to spread influence.”

This is Earth, it will never be Heaven

Perfectionists don’t make very good activists essentially. When anything less than total victory is failure, progression is not going to be able to be appreciated. There will always be cruelty, violence, destruction but we can reduced it. ‘There’s an inability to to recognise a situation in which you are traveling but haven’t arrived to the destination. The world is always being made and is never finished.’

Victory is not some absolute state far away but the achieving of it. It wasn’t the moon landings but the flight etc

“The way you win people over to your side is try to present the information from some perspective they’re familiar with”   Velasquez

A better world, yes; a perfect world, never.

Rebecca x