[lyg10] don’t you dare disturb me while i’m balancing my past;

September this year marks ten years since I made my first, tentative and over-sharey, foray into blogging. I hope you’ll forgive a little self-indulgence on my part, but I’d like to do something to celebrate a pretty significant milestone. I’ve hit upon the idea of publishing some selected takes from my archives – there’s a little bit of poetic license required here, as some of the proper cringeworthy teenage stuff is (thankfully) lost in the mists and pixels of cyberspace, but what I’ll publish every Friday from here until the end of the year is culled from the LiveJournal years, 2003-2006.

12th March 2004
An unspoken, uncivil war has been declared in Flat 9; two camps armed with doorslams and barbed comments, divided on lines based on who goes out with who at night and who doesn’t do their dishes. My room has become a veritable sanctuary of fairylights, rock music and the whirr of my laptop where the opposing parties retreat to complain and for tactical advice. They fight for a space to sit on my bed with biscuit packets, discarded clothing and Get Me A Murder A Day!

I feel more and more like a mother as I tell them I’m not taking sides and I love them all equally, nor am I going to pass on what the others have said about them. They all have their faults, and I agree with what everybody has to say (a policy that will surely come back to haunt me at a later date but I honestly couldn’t care less). It’s just that on the rare occasions I’m bothered by any of it I’ll tell the person concerned to cut it the fuck out, rather than letting them believe everything is fine for days before going into a massive sulk.

The dynamics here have traditionally been two groups of two and then me, either out having my own life or shut in my room. It hasn’t become unliveable yet but it’s getting there rapidly, just as my own partner in crime disappears home for a month. Although that’s probably for the best as, apart from what’s in my purse, I have no disposeable funds until next Thursday. I have a pre-paid cinema pass, four packets of pasta (anti-Atkins in the extreme from now on, I fear) and – with five major assignments due before my own Easter break – plenty to be getting on with.

My Easter break is, of course, not a real break at all – I have a work placement organised for some of it, and the rest I’ll spend catching up on everything I don’t have time for in termtime. After that there’ll be a month of classes and exams and overtime, since I’m planning to quit my part-time job to save complex negotiations for time off for my cousin’s wedding the last weekend in May. I’d have to quit pretty much as soon as I get back from England anyway, for then begins the complex process of shifting my life back where it started.

I’ve nearly finished with Edinburgh. As she’s away for the rest of March and myself for most of April I told Kaite on Monday night we only have a month left of our reign as Edinburgh’s cocktail-and-lipgloss fuelled fairy-winged princesses. “Fuck YOU,” she yelled into the wind, storming off to a few feet in front of me. “You can only refer to it if I let you,” she told me, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

I never thought I would settle into a routine here, but I have done. And I think that’s what I’m going to miss – not the city itself, although there will be aspects of it that will catch me off-guard. Not my horrible accommodation with the constant noise and moronic neighbours and stairwells crawling with filth, although I love my flatmates to death on their good days. I’ll be glad to see the back of the kamikaze buses, and hopefully the crushing, demoralising poverty.

I’m just not really one for change and taking risks – in theory yes, but in practice I’d prefer two paracetamol and a couple of extra hours in bed. I could name any number of Fairly Scary Things over the past year it took me forever to do.

My latest fear is that Glasgow won’t have me back… I don’t know if I can explain this properly, but when my sister was through here the other week she was talking about her plans to redecorate our bedroom at home and I remember this feeling of utter helplessness. It’s as if the world as I once knew it has moved on completely in my absence, and I’ll never be able to fit back in with the people who have grown accustomed to not having me around.

Perhaps new starts really aren’t the scary thing. Perhaps that’s when you try to go back, and find that it’s become impossible.



  1. November 13, 2009 / 4:03 pm

    It’s as if the world as I once knew it has moved on completely in my absence, and I’ll never be able to fit back in with the people who have grown accustomed to not having me around.

    Oh, god. ^THIS^

    • November 13, 2009 / 9:19 pm

      I’d have told myself then that you fit into a new world xx

  2. sarah sea
    November 13, 2009 / 4:50 pm

    Jesus Christ, Lis. I read this and it was ringing a vague bell in my head, then I got to the last paragraph, double-checked the date, and got a one-two sucker punch. I remember this SO WELL, and not actually sure I ever told you (or if I commented on the entry at the time).

    12th March 2004 was the day my childhood pet/best friend Alfie died. I was 250 miles away and could do nothing but get the bus to work in floods of tears, checking my watch every minute until the time my mum had booked the vet’s appointment to get him put to sleep, knowing that was happening and the whole family had got to say goodbye except me. I was the one whose bed he used to creep into every night, and we were practically joined at the hip from when I was 5 up until I left home, but he died without me there and I couldn’t bear it, I felt so far removed from my family and my life up here.

    So I got into work, and I did no work all day, not a jot. I took my phone off the hook, pretended I was crying cos of hayfever, and vacantly surfed the internet all day. I read my LJ friends page and saw this entry, and I didn’t feel so alone then, because even though you were unhappy too, you *got* how I was feeling, nailed it in words (which I’d been unable to articulate) and it felt like a big weight off my shoulders. That last paragraph got copied into my diary, I wanted to be able to read it over again to remind myself of how I felt, and forgive myself for it and make sense of it, rather than expressing it in not-so-good ways (like drinking a bottle of wine and picking a fight with my boyfriend, which was the kind of behaviour that frustration had been leading to!).

    That quote really helped me a lot, and I suspect I owe you a thank-you. I went back to that page in my diary time and time again, just to read it over. Your way with words wasn’t too shabby even back then 😉 x

    • November 13, 2009 / 10:28 pm

      I suspect I owe you a thank-you too, because I read this comment on the bus into town and I don’t know what it was, just the right combination of words and music and staring out of a window but I got a bit tearily grateful x

      • sarah sea
        November 13, 2009 / 11:02 pm

        Crying on buses is clearly the new black, then. Let’s start a trend 😉 x