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19 April 2011 @ 09:34 am
 
Once when I was little, I woke up and truly had to pee - like, I'm-going-to-burst-get-me-out-of-this-bed requirement. It was pitch black in my room and in the corridor and outside my window, or at least it seemed that way to me; I couldn't see my hand in front of me. I realised I could find my way out of my bedroom if I followed the walls, so I got out of bed and inched my way along, all pressed up against the them. It reminded me of another fear I had once had, when I had been in a cart in the grocery store loo and it had started falling over near the wall, requiring me to latch on to the flat surface and pull myself/the cart back up. My breath came heavily and soon I realised I really should have hit the doorway and the corner stairs by then, near where the light switch would be. Only I hadn't. I started crying out, feeling stupid and ashamed for being lost in my very own room. Eventually one of my parents came to the rescue. I had rolled out of bed on the wrong side right from the start; it was a terrible day to get up on the wrong side of the bed.

I'm not sure why that stands out as one of the moments I most feared in my young life - possibly because I realised I could still feel lost and terrified within the familiar.

Exams feel a lot like that memory. Especially in that they remind me of old fears as well, the ones that come back to haunt especially hard when something else has presented the opportunity for enhanced fear.

Part of me understands that this time is Real Peace, because even given the Unknowns of exams (have I revised enough? what exams will pop up? will I blank out?), it's at least within the broader realm of what I know and what has been comfortable: university, education, schooling systems, breaks, studying.

I know it's understandable and acceptable for me to be terrified - final exams (and especially final year final exams) are terrifying. But I can't help feeling that I've just risen from the wrong side of my bed and am fumbling around in the darkness of my own room, frightened senseless by the foreign terrain a comfortable setting can become with a little darkness and confusion.

That and I usually have to pee.

I think the funniest part about it, for me, is that it never made me afraid of the dark; darkness is still one of my favourite things. This may be the only thing resembling 'kudos' you're going to get for a while, academia, so take it while it's luke-warm and implied.

It's 9.15am and I've been awake all night, which somehow always makes the sunlight more beautiful to me. Every moment of this break still feels heavy with meaning, even if nothing's changing; I guess my mind is just getting ready to change, because after these exams it's going to be a bit of a whirlwind. I remember when I was at Rowe Camp after my hip replacement, most moments felt like this. How does one explain moments that feel heavier even when nothing is happening?

Then, I suppose that's the weight to it there. Even when nothing is happening, this is my last School Break, at least for this line of schooling I've been in since I was 3 - always looking forward to the next break: summer, winter/Christmas/Solstice, February, April, summer again... Last one. Seems even when I'm revising or fretting about revising, some part of my brain is recognising this, reverentially...

(But I'm not allowed to fret much because I took a card and wrote "exams" with an angry message on the back and I keep it in a zipped bag whenever I'm not revising, so I'm not allowed to think about "the e word" because it's in the bag. And I keep a card that says "anxiety" in the bag all the time, so I'm not allowed to panic because it's in the bag, even - or especially - when I'm revising.)


Kiwi

"It was the rainbow gave thee birth, and left thee all her lovely hues."
[W. H. Davies]
 
 
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Chevy Eliot: RAWR!tattooedsappho on April 19th, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC)
you're one of the awesomest people i know. just fyi.
gerristgerrist on April 20th, 2011 04:05 am (UTC)
Amazingly well written. You write heavy stuff and make me laugh in the middle with a repeat line that's all alone in its own paragraph, "That and I usually have to pee."

You've got style Kiwi. And humor.

xo Mom