Ah, the end of term.  I am currently in my lovely warm student house, curled up in the front room with a cuppa and a blanket, with my suitcase packed and ready to go home tomorrow. As happy as I am to be going home, I have had a really good time this term.  Highlights of the term include:

044. Play a gigCOMPLETED!
I did it!  Who’dve thought it, eh?  I was really nervous, and my hands and legs were shaking so much that my hands kept slipping and I kept making mistakes. Still, I went up there and played.  I have some messy difficult feelings about that evening in my head – one the one hand, I’m disappointed in myself for not being more polished; on the other hand, I’m proud that I managed to go through with it, and go through it alone.  I went to the gig by myself in a taxi with my big unwieldy stage piano and stand, I set up and packed down by myself with the sound guy, I mingled and made conversation with strangers by myself, I performed by myself (for only the third time in my life), and I made my way home by myself.  That all sounds very basic and obvious, but I can’t tell you how much of a step forward this is for me.  I’d usually go with my partner, who’d more or less do everything for me – setting up, introducing me to people, etc… but I did it all by myself for the first time in my life. The organisers were supportive and complimented me on my performance, which I really appreciated.

Clementine Cannibal wrote an apt blog post a few days ago about performing live, and how women need to just get out there and fucking do it.  This blog post encouraged me to try to stay positive about this whole experience – yeah, maybe I wasn’t perfect, but at least I tried.

i know i can’t just hide away until i’m super good and then play in front of people. i need to play in front of people right now. i need to get used to it, so my nervousness doesn’t overtake me and i can concentrate on what i’m doing. it’s really really scary. it’s scary to try. it’s scary to suck. but it’s necessary and important to growth. music isn’t just for people who have had extensive training in it. music is for everyone. the only way to get good at playing is to play. the only way to get good at playing in front of people is to play in front of people.”

Studying a feminist philosophy module.
I wrote my essay on the norms of feminine appearance, which I’m going to use bits from for a new piece in my next zine! It was a fun module with some very interesting weekly reading material.

Seeing Melissa Auf der Maur live. (see this entry for more details on the evening!)

Writing my dissertation.
I’m writing about Christian feminism – specifically, whether it’s possible to be a Christian feminist without compromising one or the other to make them fit together.  For the last 2 years, I was terrified of doing a dissertation (as mentioned in my previous blog post).  Now that I’m in the midst of it all and keeping on top of everything, it feels good.

What my Friday nights look like.

Writing an essay on Pullman’s His Dark Materials.
I haven’t had the grade back yet, but I’m hoping I did quite well, because I really enjoyed writing this, even though it was 6,000 words long!  I also read the entire trilogy (all 1000+ pages of it) over the course of 4 days, which is incredible progress for someone who usually takes weeks and weeks to read a book!

I only fell over once!

The view from the Portland Building.

So far, this academic year has been my best year yet.  Not that it’s been perfect, of course, but it feels as if I’m gradually becoming more stable and independent, and more able to cope with the world.  My time is now. 🙂

tired Cath

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