“You don’t want to hurt me, but see how deep the bullet lies.”

Ladybower Reservoir
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The opening sentence is always the hardest part of an entry to write. I can think to myself I want to write and I can know what I want to write about, but its hard to sit down and actually start. I find that with everything- essays that need writing, problem sheets that need doing. It’s always the starting of it that is the hardest.

Well, it’s already November. Two months until exam season, and when did that happen exactly? University is plodding along as ever. Half my modules are going OK, I just need to keep at it and make sure to practice questions a lot before the exams, but the other half are not good at all. Power Systems I like, but do not understand in the slightest. Electrical machines I know is necessary for my career path, but I do not understand in the slightest. Fields, waves and antennas I hate, and find boring, and do not understand in the slightest. I still have time for fields and power systems to hopefully sink in enough that I could scrape through the exam, but I have a coursework due in less than two weeks for Electrical Machines that I haven’t even started yet. I literally cannot do it. At all. The lecturer is good, the notes are good, the problem sheet is linked to the coursework and has thorough, clear solutions. But I just cannot understand it. At all. It’s worrying. Apart from that, my group project is also, well still, stressing me out. I am clashing with my group. Before every meeting I tell myself to hold back. There is a difference between sharing your opinion, and being an obnoxious twat. I’m leaning dangerously towards the latter but I am so frustrated and I find myself unable to keep myself from letting it show. They are just so disorganized, and so laid back about this project. And its like guys, seriously. This is the majority of our marks for this year. Can you please take this seriously? I’m being too harsh, I know, its probably that our learning styles are clashing, but that doesn’t make any the less frustrating. We had a meeting today we were supposed to be going through our project proposal presentation for tomorrow and no one had made any cue cards or even knew what they were saying and it just felt like such a waste of time. I’m really worried about how the presentation will go tomorrow, even though I have a feeling my group are going to surprise me (I am hopeful of that, I guess it could be said) I don’t really get on with any of these people either. I find myself rambling, saying things I shouldn’t, because I feel so nervous around them. Desperately over compensating for the fact I don’t know how to act around them, or what I am really doing. I was so lucky to have such nice groups last year, that I suppose its only right I end up with a difficult group who make me feel uncomfortable and frustrated this year. Apart from that, I am still being far too lazy with my Japanese, and I have another extra curricular module that I haven’t even started work on. Meanwhile I keep wasting time reading fic and browsing the web, because I am tired and frustrated and faced with all these things I don’t know how to do my first instinct is to bury my head in the sand and pretend that it does not exist, that it is not November, that time is not slipping, sliding out of my hands, unable to grasp onto it.

I’ve been going through health things lately. (This could veer towards TMI, so skip this paragraph if you want.) I suffer from heavy, painful periods and resulting anaemia and I got sick of it around the beginning of this year. I subsequently went on the pill and it turned me moody and made me fat, so I went off it and went on some other non hormonal pills, which didn’t work. So I am now facing going back on the pill and I just don’t want to. I am really not sure what to do – I want less heavy periods, but at the end of the day I’m facing going on the pill (mood swings, fatness, having to remember to take them) or getting the mirena coil (painful, painful, painful). Being a woman sucks. In other news I had a very awkward doctors appointment on Wednesday where, amongst other things, I was all “I have aneamia!” and he was all “No, no you really do not” and I just stared at him, shocked, because, and I accidentally said this out loud “But I feel like I do, so what’s going on?” He did not answer my question and I am still confused. I’ve been anaemic, or low iron but not quite anaemic for about 5 years now. I always imagined when my iron levels returned to healthy, normal levels that I would feel it. That I’d know. That I’d automatically be less tired, that I would no longer get out of breath just walking up a flight of stairs, that my periods would sort themselves out. I would know. But I am not anaemic and I still feel the same as ever. I am exhausted, all the time, I get out of breath, so easily. Which, after an unfortunate amount of time spent pondering this leads me to have to make some uncomfortable conclusions – I must be clearly doing something right if my iron levels are up without the aid of iron pills, but I must not be taking as good care of myself as I delude myself into. Lets admit to some things, right now. I do not sleep well. I wake up at funny hours multiple times during the night, I have bad, disturbing dreams that I struggle to wake up from. My diet could use some work. I have been on a mission to be less fussy, trying new vegetables, learning to love chickpeas and kidney beans and quinoa and cous cous but I still eat too many sugary snacks, I still binge eat terribly. I need to stop this. I am probably very unfit. I walk every day to uni and back, and I have been going hillwalking semi regularly, but that is only recently. I spent last year and the summer reasonably lazily, and I’ve never been particularly active, so I should probably accept that that is why I get so out of breath when I attempt activeness- my body just isn’t used to it right? That’s all I could come up with. Unless its all in my head, and that’s the most uncomfortable of all. Do I make myself ill for…what reasons would I do that? Attention? I don’t think I am that sort of person, but maybe I don’t know myself as well as I think, or there are things I don’t actually want to admit to myself. I find this all such a pain in the end. I don’t feel right, and now I feel crazy. Thinking about it all just makes me want to reach for the cookies because really, no matter what I do, it never seems to work (well, clearly the no dairy, more veg and less rice, more quinoa is working sorta, so there is that!) I just hate this and I really don’t know what to make of it all. I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that I have normal, healthy iron levels. That everything is OK. It doesn’t feel like it. Also: I still do have the very real issue of my fucked up menstrual cycle to deal with. ugh.

And yes, did I mention the hillwalking? I went out with the society again and I took an easier walk and it was wonderful. We went from the Ladybower Reservoir up to the Derwent Edge and along there. Absolutely gorgeous and paced nice and slow so I could cope much better than the first time. I then spent two weeks not going, until this weekend where I went out despite the storm. We went out around the Kinder Scout area. There were strong winds, like a hand pushing you, and needle-like rain. Yes, I finally understood those cliché descriptions. It was terrifying walking up hills with reasonably exposed edges when the wind was pushing into you, a physical force, threatening to push you right down (I admit I stumbled several times as the wind caught me just so) And then the rain, oh the constant rain. I was so wet. Everything I was wearing was soaked through to my innermost layer. All my belongs in my bag were soaked. My pants and shoes turned brand new colors as the dirty water seeped into them. It was cold, windy, wet and downright miserable and I am going back again this weekend. Because the scenery was beautiful, the air was fresh, albeit maybe a bit too fresh last week, and although I don’t always enjoy the process, I do enjoy the overall getting out of the house and doing something. Just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, not sinking into a peat bog, not slipping on a wet rock or down a muddy hill, not being pushed over by the wind, it drives everything else out. It’s a good break. And there’s less pressure than in sports- there’s no rules, no fancy dress code (just be warm, don’t wear jeans and wear walking boots. easy!), no judgements. It’s still awkward, and embarrassing, because I am unfit (not anaemic, oh no, I have to face up to it now- the breathlessness, the pain in my chest, the nausea that overcomes me when I exert myself it all from a lifetime of inactivity, most likely) and I lag behind sometimes, and it’s awkward and embarrassing socially because I tend to say the first thing that enters my mind, and its never witty, because I space out and miss what people are asking me. But the big advantage of the bad weather is no one wants to talk, we traipse along, single file, in silence, trudging through the bad weather, wet and cold together. It’s quite nice. I don’t know how long the weather is going to hold out – but I’m going to try get out there until the ice settles in.

I do wish I could afford a fleece, some waterproof pants, a waterproof bag though. Alas, I could only afford to buy a hat for this upcoming weekend. Please, please let it be less wet and less windy. Not wet and a little windy would be ideal.

(No pictures from this weekend, due to horrible weather making it impossible, so have a handful from the walk before- around the Ladybower reservoir.)