Monday, March 16, 2009

16th March
I know things aren't right when it's hard to get out the front door.
It becomes difficult to collect the stuff I need - the letters I was going to post, my purse, my keys... to remember to bring down the rubbish bags I was going to take to the bin...
I kept having to go up and down the stairs, and I was getting short of breath...
As I walked up the hill, a bit painfully because my back was sore and aching, I was trying to figure out why this was happening.
I spent the morning assembling receipts and stuff for a couple of travel claims - a journey to Hull to see YERMA, a journey to Leeds to give a talk at a seminar on translating for the theatre - and there was a bill to pay. I needed to find my cheque book. And the YERMA proofs to post back to the publisher, and a thank you card to a dear friend.
And then there was the mailing for "Leave to Remain", and the contacting of the press, and setting up a meeting of the "Queen Jesus" artistic team, and it's hard all this stuff, self promotion - and a nagging anxiety at the back of my mind about a couple of interviews I've been asked to do about "An Apple a Day".
And then a possibly hugely positive and significant upheaval late this year that I can't even talk about...
All this, I think, has to do with self esteem, with trying to learn to value myself, and it's all tangled up with my feelings about my birthday, which is coming up on Sunday, and the immense difficulty I have even imagining what a truly happy birthday might be like.
I just have this nagging feeling of being such a disappointment. At my birth, which was so hard and so painful and so dangerous for my mum, and she so badly wanting a girl. And though she was such a marvellous loving person, I still have this nagging sense of a real pang of disappointment in her first contact with me.
And is that at the heart of this lack of ability I somehow have to see my birthday as a cause for celebration?
How deep do these memories go?
How profound this kind of imprinting?
This we can never know.
All that I can do is walk slowly up the steep hill, and go to the post office, post the letters, go to my meeting, see if I can think up a good idea for a short opera or two - because that was what the meeting was about... stay alive to the beauty of the late afternoon.
Cook a good meal, try to enjoy my own company.
Do what must be done: and then sleep. As happy as I can.
And be thankful.

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