Sliding Doors is a film about a woman called Helen that lives in two parallel lives starting from a train journey. In one crucial moment Helen’s live is shaped by her missing a train and catching it. It is a film that makes me think back to a set of circumstances that affected my last term of the first year at Royal Holloway. I too had a set of circumstances whereby I could have missed a train and things would have been completely different.
In this life I am living the negative situation where my parallel live begins on the start of the Easter break. After my Welsh geology trip I returned back to campus and then back home where I made myself comfy. My exam timetable had been released and I decided to take three weeks off from studying and then return back to campus and start revising. From the revision I did I probably did not do enough in all the subjects and I turned down a method of examination using an amanuensis to scribe my answers verbally. That may explain why I didn’t get as many answers right as I could in my exams.
I reckon in a parallel life I have chosen to use that scribe and prompt method of examination, stayed on campus and revised on the first day with the halls all to myself, making only one day home visits for friends and social gatherings, and of course passing all my exams. Also I would probably have decided upon not volunteering for the EuroChamps to save on the next academic year.
Instead I ended up passing only half my modules, leaving halls with a head full of rage and resentment and having this resistance dispute with my tutors thinking they were unfairly judging me because of the way I answered my papers. I became so engorged with anger I couldn’t being myself to resit those exams or take time out to think and decide on a better course of action. Not to mention that I lost time by volunteering at EuroChamps with no time to revise or think clearly. I should have stopped and take a breath.
During this time off that I have been planning to resit my exams I have been revaluating my entire life and taking stock of it. I became chronically depressed, impoverished and struggling to cope with an unstructured life. Which brings me to my next objective: cutting out negativity and learning to let go.
Imagine your situation as a mountain that you are climbing to reach and your stuck somewhere up that mountain. Now look around at the things you are bringing with you up that mountain. Do you have in that bag a load of useful things that are helping you along the journey or are those things too heavy for you that they drag you down?
Let me give you a hypothetical list of things that I carry.
- An unhealthy obsession with past resentments and failures.
- Frustration and stagnation.
- A toxic environment at home that I am trying to avoid.
- Obsessively committing to a hobby that is either too expensive, time consuming or distracting. And sometimes I have too many hobbies that I have no time for all of them.
Now looking at these items you can see that they are a lot of weight in my bag that I am constantly carrying around with me. It’s not just in the form of physical objects but mental blocks as well. I am going to be taking resits of exams in May. As much as I dread taking them I am more worried about keeping my head clear. If I hold onto these negative things then I am likely to be unable to pass the exams because there is no room in my head.
I can’t change what mistakes I did back then but I can now take the time out to get the hard and heavy baggage out of my bag. I have only passed half my exams so lets count the other half as a sign that I am halfway up the mountain. What do I need to get out of the bag now. Well I have already given up volunteering at sports events, I am going to reduce time I spend consuming news on social media, I am also going to cut back on writing for politics sites and I am going to stick to writing positive and constructive blogging.
Then there is the need for personal space. Undergrads have 38 week stays at the accommodation through the school year. Well I am going to make mine last 50 weeks instead and make it a semi-permanent home away from family. I want nothing more than personal space to think and dream.
Onwards and upwards to that mountain top. I don’t have any room in my bag or too many paths that I can take in one go. My brain can’t even cope with that kind of thinking. For the first time in my life I have come to recognise what it feels like to have a sensory overload.