Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It's been a week since I last posted and in that week I made the final seven videos of my NYR video project and...didn't do much else. I went home, yes, and I got ahead on all of my reading, yes, but there were huge amounts of time when I should have been writing or doing extra dissertation reading or something but instead I sort of collapsed into bed and hid from the cold. Not anymore! It may be 0 degrees outside but it is February and the beginning of 2012. What's that you say? 2012 began in January? Nonsense, how could a year begin with stress and exams? Much better for it to begin with Spring in the foreseeable future and deadlines racing towards me from every direction!

In my last post I noted that "I have to take extra care to be healthy and well and rested and able to jump into every job and do my absolute best" and to be honest with you, for a while it looked like this was not going to be possible. For a while it looked like it was going to be a year of duvets and tissues. I took care to ensure that the only energy I had surrounding me after my dad died was positive energy -- I couldn't deal with negative things or negative people and so in order to protect myself, I removed myself from that. Naïvely I thought that meant I would channel only positivity.

It's not so much that I expected to always be happy, or even to be happy at all, but I suppose I thought it would be much more transformative than it was. In reality, it sort of kept me from suffocating (and so was an important thing to do) and kept me going... but it didn't really nourish me because all I kept giving out was negativity. I kept giving myself negativity too, sort of brattish statements to myself like "I can't do anything" or "I have so much to do that it's all overwhelming and I'm incompetent" or "why do I even bother when I know I'm just going to be sad anyway" blah blah blah. I don't mean to trivialise it -- I was very sad and I am very sad but that doesn't need to be as debilitating as it has been. I'm not ready to fight against all of it, but I'll fight against some of it if it means a little peace of mind.

Blabbering on, as usual. Anyway the point is that it's 0 degrees outside tonight with seriously cold wind and instead of putting on a DVD or reading more of a book, I put on my running leggings and my three layers and hoody and trainers and thick socks (two pairs), grabbed some music, took two very deep puffs of my inhaler and ran for half an hour. This isn't one of those bullshit miracle tales, it hurt like hell. My asthma is bad anyway, let alone in the cold, but I'd taken care to cover my throat and chest in layer upon layer. Generally I've gone from doing pilates over three times a week to doing none at all except the occasional DIY session at home. I've let myself become unfit. Instead of tackling that properly, I've become afraid of confusing getting emotionally better and dealing with everything in a healthy way with becoming a better runner. It sounds like an odd thing to fear but I know a number of people who've gone down that route and it's just sad because in a very British way they're just suppressing everything and then showing it off as the solution to a much more complicated problem.

Even if this is happening, I suppose I'm at the very least aware of it, which must be some sort of plus. And it does clear my head. Anything to get me through the ninety-one days of dissertation and essay writing, really. What do you guys think? Is exercise or any sort of active hobby you have a way of dealing healthily with other problems in your life or just a welcome distraction from them?

Listening to: Last Words by The Real Tuesday Weld
Book I just finished: I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Chicago 21st: £224.00 [I cracked open the piggy bank to see my progress -- or, more accurately, opened it with a tin can opener since it wasn't a piggy so much as a tin. Anyway, we're sort of on the way. I'm estimating I'll need around £1,200. I also owe my mum money and I have an overdraft and I will need to rent a flat after graduating. Let's get going!]


  1. To me it seems like the fact that you're so self-aware and know yourself to such an extent is a good thing. Maybe running and exercise in general can be used as a way to suppress feelings, but you're aware of that possibility and there are, of course, wonderful health benefits so I don't see it as a terrible thing. Exercise does wonders to boost one's mood as well, which some might argue could be suppression, but to me it seems like a good thing. :) Anyway, those are just my ramblings.

    For what it's worth, I find your videos and writing really inspiring and I love watching and reading everything you put out!

  2. I agree with Christina. You seem very clued up on how you feel and how you would see yourself eventually coping - so much so that I think physical exercise could only be a good thing at this point. I'm well aware that you're probably reading this and thinking that you are, in truth, completely lost - and I know I'm a total outsider and don't know you from Eve, but I see something almost measured in you in terms of coping with your grief, and so I don't think you'd let things get confused. Do you follow at all? I'm not sure I do... ;)

    Anyway, I just want to say - because I cannot imagine what you're feeling and I could never say the right thing anyway - just that you're really bloody brilliant. <3

  3. I really don't exercise enough to know, but I think in general if your body feels less like out-of-shape crap, that can only be a good thing. As long as you don't overdo it. Or expect everything else to improve right away.

    February kind of seems like the beginning of my new year, too. The new semester just started, and my schedule and everything has completely changed, so I'm kind of trying to work that out. And also exercise, because, even more than needing a distraction/whatever, I'm just tired of feeling weak and cold and gross. We'll see how that goes.

    Also, I adore I Capture the Castle! I think it's because I first read it when I was much younger, but that is one book that really feels like it's all mine. And I just love it.

  4. I love to work out and try to stay active, but it hasn't been coming easily since the new term started. I used to walk at least a few miles a day in the summer time and early fall, but now, nowhere near. I haven't even worked out in about 2 weeks! School seems to always get in the way huh? No matter how important it may be. Even if you can't do heavier work out activities I think it's still super important to at least take a nice little stroll. I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things as well, you go girl!
    Also! I leave for Chicago at the end of the month by train, I live in the states, and I can't wait. Haven't been since I was 10! It is a lot less hectic than NYC. I hope you reach your goals and keep working hard towards your trip and everything else in your life.
    - Taylor

  5. you seem like an unusually positive person to me! and the end of this post is pretty positive.


  6. Rosi,

    So, you're going to think I'm crazy (don't worry, you won't be alone), but I'm one of those people who consistently gets up before the sun is up to exercise about 6 times a week, and honestly, I'm SO MUCH better for it. It jump starts my day, makes me choose healthier, I'm the sort of person who holds all my tension quite physically, so getting to run it off is wonderful. I ran in high school, but I think it is even more important now, because not only does it keep me physically fit, but I'm more mentally stimulated too. Yes, most college students (including my poor roommate, bless her for putting up with me), don't get up until five minutes before class, but I genuinely believe incorporating exercise (of any kind, really) benefits you hugely. So please keep up with it! I'm sure you'll find it helps you in some way! (Also, as a side note, I'm really glad you are writing a blog. I love your youtube videos, but I think you do a great job of expressing yourself through writing as well)

  7. I use running both to clear my head and make sure I get some exercise and not spend all day on my butt (I'm writing my dissertation at the moment too). I also feel like it generally gives me a bit more positivity that I don't feel lazy and completely unfit. But I must say that the minus 7 degrees we have here at the moment - that's kinda getting to me. I used to run 4-5 days a week and, and at the moment it's more like once or twice a week.
    On the sadness note, I had kind of the same experience. I think I've finally realized that I have some say in how much I let the sadness hold me back. (Also sadness from my dad's sudden death last summer)
    Just protecting myself from everything and everybody won't fix the sadness. I need to "make" the happiness too. (That sounded less weird in my head)
    It's important that I choose to do things that make me feel better (better, not just feel nothing!!) and prioritize those things, because they really are immensely important. I kind of see at as moving instead of just standing still. I mean, standing still might feel safer in the moment, but it won't get me anywhere. Moving takes more energy and determination and so on, but it will get me away from this sad place. (A clever writer would probably have used your example as the metaphor - staying inside, away from the cold, vs. going out there for a run - but I only thought of that just now...)
    But yeah, moving/running. I think it's good for me in many ways. Basically, I feel better because of it. As my mom always tells me: 'It's not about forgetting, it's about moving forward, and doing it at your own pace.'
    Anyways, sorry for the looong ramble here. This post just kinda struck home with me.
    I really like the way you write!!