Victim of Changes

Warning, if you wanted a happy, nicey, jolly blog, scroll down, you may find one somewhere. This entry is about self-reflection and thought and will not be of interest to everyone…I mean anyone…you get my point

My dear old humanoids. Really, are there any left? I haven’t written one of these…what are they called again? Blogs? Yes, I haven’t written one in such a long time I’m surprised my audience hasn’t completely dried up.

There are a few reasons I’ve stopped blogging so much. Whereas back in the day there seemed to be an audience for it which could in some way be quantified through a comment, or views, or people getting in contact with me, that doesn’t seem to happen anymore. A fair bit of this has to be the fact that Facebook has taken over in a big way, it’s practically the only destination people use on the internet these days (I’m also still amazed at the complete idiots who use Google to get to Facebook. Really, the URL system means you don’t have to remember an IP address. Even crazier, the people who type in Google to get to Google. Really…) Facebook’s notes app is hardly one of its strongest points. It didn’t have the architecture of a blogging system bolted onto it like MySpace did for example. My original outlet, Live Spaces is still going and hasn’t changed one tiny bit in the seven odd years since I’ve used it. The other thing, of course, is that I have caught the Twitter bug. Been about a year and a half since I joined and I tweet what I usually used to blog about there. And you can block me there too!

So, what has actually happened Rhys?

I’m in University.

Yeah, so after an elongated route, I finally got accepted into Cardiff University about this time last year. I don’t know how I will look back on the experience at the moment, but I can’t help but think it won’t be positive. For the first semester, I was very enthusiastic about the course, not missing any lectures or tutorials, giving my 100% whenever I could. Then, after Christmas, the first semester exams rolled around. And then it became apparent that my old habits of completely fucking up exams would return. I did think that after not doing exams for a couple of years then getting back into them I would be able to get to grips with them a bit better, knowing what I’ve let myself in for. It hasn’t really worked, I think (with one noted exception which I won’t go into) I got the marks I deserved upon reflection in the first semester. In the second semester I still haven’t picked myself up from the abject failure of my first term results and I’m still carrying that over, especially mentally. A lot is riding on the exams I’ve done/am doing, (with one left at time of writing) and I’m positive that despite my best efforts this time (two exams went well, the rest have been horrific, which other people seem to have agreed with me on) I will end up failing once more. I’m worried. If I fail and force to go back and resit the first year again, and assuming I get through everything else the first time, I’ll leave University (and the education system) at the age of 25. I’ll be applying for a serious job that I want to be committed to when roughly a quarter of my life is already through. This may sound very negative, but I’m sure there are people who think this way.

As a result, I’ve questioned myself – frequently.

When it came to filling in options forms in Year 10, I had a decidedly easy sheet to fill compared to everybody else. I knew back then what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a Web Designer (nerds sniggering at the back sit down). Already had it planned out, do GCSEs, A-Levels, do Computer Science in Swansea, walk out at 21 and get a good job either freelancing or working for a large firm. The GCSEs were not a roadblock, my grades were good. If I need to elaborate my A-Level experience, read the previous blog entries and upon reflection my hatred and despair that I wasted two years of my own and other people’s time doing them. Then, there was college, which was a tremendous time. I was apprehensive about it, but academically they were probably my finest hour. The step-up from college to university level is a pretty big one. It’s like the step up to Metropolis Zone in Sonic 2. You think the rest of the game prepares you for it, but then it drops this stupidly hard level on you and you ask “wha happened?” Is it my own fault that I haven’t adapted to it? Yes, certainly. End of blog. Thank you, good night. University is what I expected to be, and a little bit more. And as I keep telling everybody, it’s the little bit more I’ve not come to grips with. There is this impression that University is a place where you go and do all kinds of fun stuff, get drunk, laid and have a general good time. I’m sure it happens. It just hasn’t happened to me and I’m not bothered about that. As I’m typing this, I’m realising that because I didn’t know what I wanted out of University and the fact that I was apprehensive about going in the first place – my game plan was to get a good degree then head from there. Now I’m just not sure. There’s that famous old quote from my Mum “Of all my kids, you’re the one with the most potential. You’re also the one who has wasted the most potential”. The case for the prosecution rests your honour.

I feel lost.

My flatmates have been great; I’ve got along with most of them superbly since moving in back in September. However, they have always been more involved with their own things – getting involved with working (as a result of needing to pay the fees) or societies or doing other things, usually at weekends (they also managed to throw me a surprise 21st birthday party for which I am eternally grateful for). I’m still in Tesco working Saturdays, so I don’t work in the week. As a result, at least one night a week, it’s just me there. Without being unkind to Computer Scientists, we’re not the social types. (As I’m writing this, I’m thinking of comebacks and ways to say “Rhys, you’re a fucking idiot”, so if you can’t think of any, you’re obviously crazy) I feel lost because the people I used to speak to regularly have moved on I guess and I don’t see or speak to anymore. Granted, people are busy, have moved away, have other halves to keep occupied, working etc. But I’ve lost count of the nights where I have sat in my room and thought “this is incredibly sad”. This is my own doing; of course, I’ve never been the greatest or quickest texter or adept on the telephone. I’ve always insisted to people that whatever their problems, I will always be able to try and help them out as best as I can. Your shoulder to lean on, cry on, whatever. I just now think I’m that crap a person or friend that the people who I trusted, whose company I enjoyed seem to have gone. If I am, then I can’t change the past, continue to laugh at my predicament if you so wish. I just didn’t think it would happen this way. Hence the blog title (which continues the theme of entries being named after song/album titles – killer track by Judas Priest provides this entry’s title).

I still can’t feel part of my bottom jaw.

This is a side-effect of the operation I had 18-months or so ago. I was always told a risk was that I’d lose part of my feeling if I had it done. It does mean that I get a few awkward looks when there’s some sauce on my chin and I don’t wipe it off, but that’s because as far as I know, there isn’t anything there. I don’t regret having the operation at all. I feel more comfortable about it now, especially since my braces have gone.

I have actually lost weight.

Most surprisingly and after a long-time trying, I’ve finally managed to find a way to lose a few pounds. At my “peak” I was 18 stone 6lbs, which is not something I am proud of. That was around mid-March. Now I weigh about 17 stone 1lb, which is on the way to at least getting a pair of jeans I don’t need to go searching through piles of “big man” stacks to find. I started going to the gym about a year ago and I actually found it a good experience and it was rewarding. I was still going swimming weekly as well, so I was getting in some kind of exercise. Then University changed that. Timetables being timetables as well as finding a gym that’s reasonable to join and doesn’t have people doing particularly judgemental about the clientele just wasn’t on the list of priorities. The simplest thing I did was change my diet around. I used to snack. A lot. Chocolate was my vice of choice. Now, I don’t eat the stuff as much. I’ve cut down my meals and I just don’t think about food. Granted, I’m gonna have to change a few other things around to lose a bit more weight, but that will happen over the summer and I have a bit more time to do it (mainly head back to the gym and swim a little bit more too).

I have a couple of things to look forward to.

As soon as I leave my last exam, I’ll be heading on a plane to Benidorm for my brother’s stag weekend. My first visit to Spain and the first stag weekend I’ve been on. I’ve only ever done long-haul flights in my life (shortest flying time I’ve ever had was 6 hours to Dubai from Heathrow, so throw in travel time too and it’s a fair old journey – I’m flying to Benidorm from Cardiff). In a phrase: oh dear. His wedding is at the tail end of June and I was asked by my brother and his fiancée a week ago (after they had more than a few drinks) to do a speech, but I think I’ll give it a miss because I just know it will be terrible – I haven’t got any really good stories that I’d like to tell and I’d want it to be a little bit funny. I can’t do funny. Even if I really try. So it will just be awful. That’s really it. I’ll still be working over the summer of course, but the opportunity to go out and spend my wages will be limited.

This has been a mish-mash of an entry. But, I just wanted to put my feelings out there. Much of what I have written here is open to people’s own interpretation and I’m sure that a lot of it will get either you (or I) confused. I just needed an outlet to put this out there. I’m sure I will regret it. I think I just needed someone to listen or read what it is I’m worried about. My life could always be far far worse, I won’t lose sight of that, but I’m worried for where I’m headed. I think that’s what this is all about.

I may come back and tie up any loose ends but that will depend on how things go. Until the next time…if there is one…sounding off.

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Rhys

Let me introduce myself. I'm a social disease.