I started my Masters officially on Monday. I'm studying Psychoanalysis and Creative Writing, and Creativity and Utopia this term. But I'm also learning that it's all about balance. I know that intellectually but when it comes to practice, it might as well be a brand new concept. I went to the last night of Freshers, and more then liberally lubricated with free wine from the English department, I managed to have a good time. A great time even. But on the Monday, after class, I went to the library and began self-flagellating for perhaps compensating too much for the loneliness of my undergraduate years. I had been introducing myself to everyone, laughing a bit too loudly in my opinion, being a bit too forward, again in my paranoid opinion. I am not a social butterfly in the least, but I felt I had to make an effort.
But I couldn't help wondering if I can keep it up, anticipating the day the energy might drain from me, with the newness of the year no longer fuelling me. I couldn't help imagining the day I would feel inferior again, and crawl back into my shell.
So in the library, head still full of Freud, I analysed my thoughts and actions:
'Analysing my every move to find out exactly where I'm inadequate. The end result, I'm guessing, is a withdrawal into myself. Thanatos. Death-drive. The destruction of connections. Is my desire to connect, my libido, finally stronger? Is that why I can fight the temptation to flee, to get on the train and go home, instead of going to this poetry thing tonight?'
I bit the bullet and went to the poetry reading at a pub in Brighton. I saw a couple of classmates there, had a couple of drinks, the second of which was bought for me, made small talk, discussed the poetry and what we were reading, and then left and caught the train home.
I didn't die. Nobody died. I may have nodded and um'd and ahh'd a little bit too much but not enough to make me a social pariah. I did it! I went out and wasn't completely consumed with fear and anxiety! *clink clink* Maybe I'll actually have a life this year!