2016 Review

I made goals a year ago. And then reviewed them on my birthday. There may be a sense of deja vu starting to set in. Spoiler alert: I did not yet become a cyclist, or a journalist. I still can’t knit or play the violin. I have started playing the the penny whistle though. I’m sure the neighbours love it.

So, let’s start with some positives. 2016 was a good year in a lot of ways. I started, and stuck at therapy. DBT seems to be helping. I love the people I share a group with, and the camaraderie we have in learning to live in our lives, and make lives we want to live in. It can be all kinds of hard work and sometimes you find out things about yourself you’d rather not face, but better that than the previous mess. Still a bit of a mess, but… maybe, slowly, I’m getting there. It’s an upward spiral, maybe. A labyrinth, possibly. But despite the wrong turns and confusion (and the odd Minotaur hiding in a dark corner), there does seem to be some kind of change. And a change is as good as a rest, right? I don’t feel so constantly crazy. Though I’m definitely not “cured”, whatever that would mean.

I still help out with Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity, in the warehouse. Just last night, 40+ people were there, making a heroic and successful effort to load a shipping container full of clothing and other needed supplies for Syria. I don’t feel like this is something to boast about though, more something that I’m honoured to be a part of, even in a small way.

Oh, and I did run that half marathon, and do that abseil for sponsorship money. I also ran a stall at the Padley Festive Fair? which collectively raised over £400 for the Padley Group charity, which works with some of the most vulnerable people in Derby.

I am still living in Derbyshire, and have somewhat made peace with that. So much beautiful countryside, and some really good people doing brilliant social activism and creative works. I’ve been travelling more lately though, mostly within England seeing friends, but to Italy as well for Christmas.

I got a poetry book published, and done something that I never really thought would happen: I’ve developed a certain amount of confidence performing live. I’ve actually got on stage and enjoyed it, rather than just feeling overwhelming dread the whole time. (Although the dread is still there.) This spoken word/reading out loud/actually speaking my words to real live people thing is beautiful. Sharing energy, communicating, that’s powerful. Thank you to City-Zen and Word Wise especially, for hosting such powerful and amazing nights.

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A craptastically blurry pic, but the only one I’ve got of me onstage slaying and that.

I’ve loved and lost and suffered and learned. I’m grateful for the good times. And there were so many good times. Hopefully I’ll learn the right lessons, from the bad times. Twice this year I’ve left a man. Now I’m single and need to be. Not for rancour and isolation. I just need to turn into a real person, before I can be good for someone else. I need to learn my own edges before I blur them into someone else’s reflection.

Friends are love. I’m sorry for neglecting you and missing you and the trials of living scattered across counties, countries, continents.

Thank you all for the good times. We’ve had some adventures.

I’m grateful for my family. I’m back living with my parents. I’m amazed they’ll still have me. I lose count of how many times I’ve come crashing back down to here, to rebuild in this nest. There have been many gatherings and events and meetings, not least the wonderful wedding festival of my cousin. Just, love to the whole enormous crew who I am not going to list and name because we are a sizeable tribe and you don’t want to be here al day.

This year has left me feeling depleted. I’ve known for a while I was running out of energy, burning the candle at both ends, failing to nourish and replenish and all that. There have been some truly horrible times where I didn’t know how I could possibly survive. But, I did. There have been people lost. Real people we knew, not celebrities. Although their families must be suffering the same grief as any, and damn I did love Leonard Cohen. But it’s not at all the same. I’m not going to do a list of loss and trauma and fear. But it’s always there in this life, ocean always wearing away at the sand, chaos always waiting to spin us off into the void. It’s dark out there.

In a wider context, this has been a frightening year. We watched with grief and rage as Syrian children drowned, as Donald Trump was elected, as racist attacks and hate crimes rose as fear and rage seemed to convulse a world spinning wildly between the end of one era and the beginning of the next. What the fuck is going to happen? Who knows? 2016 has been a year where running away to live in the woods has seemed like a more attreactive option than before.

Running on mania, running on fumes, then running out of fumes, running on gritted teeth and coffee and alcohol. Eventually everything crashes. So I go into 2017 with less energy than before, feeling old and foolish, but with optimism that I’ll be able to come back from this.

Nature has nourished me deeply, has been a refuge and saviour and source of deep joy. This is what I plan to delve into more deeply, to return to and explore this year and all the years.

Much love. May 2017 open for you like a flower, and may you learn what you need to, before you are forced to.

As for 2016, I rate it 3/7. 4/7 if it hadn’t killed Carrie Fisher just at the end, just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse.

 

 

2016 Review

Advent

I know my last post was a pretty full on blast of negativity and rage. I’m not sorry, but I don’t want you to think that I’m just a walking miasma of psychopathology and self pity.

So: Christmas! I usually ignore it aside from the drinking part. The forcest jollity makes me ill and the consumerism is unfathomable. I can’t really remember the last time I made an effort further than handmade cards. Not knocking the cards though, they were made with love and just enough design nous to cover for my appalling lack of actual papercraft skills. People liked the cards.

But this year, I’m trying to do a bit better. Not by spending a load of money on corporate crap to gift to my loved ones (so sorry if you were after anything electric), but with trying some more craft stuff. 

This was my Facebook update today.

Done therapy and 75% of Xmas shopping.  Now I deserve this £1.49 lunch. Christmas fuckin spirit OK?

Posted by Pippa Nayer on Wednesday, 2 December 2015

This does not signal that I’ve joined the sad dash towards the zombie hordes of Black Cyber whaetevethefuckday Buy Many Things league.

I did buy things, some new, some charity shop. Mostly, ingredients. And of course some random fun girly shit for my laydies, who appreciate that the pantomiming of femininity can be hilarious vodka hi-jinx, highly therapeutic, and serious fucking business. Darlings though, my Xmas present to you is a true get-together. A drunken Princess’tea-party conference and a celebration of our 3 girl love.

*And because I don’t (and do… know who reads this, Girl Love is not a metaphor for lesbian sex.We are not a lesbian threesome.

As to the remainder of my Xmas supplies and crafting plans, this is now a tightly controlled secret. Christmas Morning gotta hold some surprises.

***

They could be shit surprises. If you still get nothing, or some Poundshop chocolates, I still fuckin tried. My only hope, now is that my lack of craft skills and knowledge will be overcome by my essentially innovative nature, Google, and Youtube tutorials.

I got only a couple of weeks to get this right, but I can do it. So family, friends, whoever is ‘lucky’ enough to get a weird handcrafted gift this year: It means I really fucking love you and I really fucking tried.

***

I know, for countless years into the past, my whole beautiful family have put endless efforts into bringing the family together (a logisitcal feat of no mean skill) and celebrating Christmas. And I’ve always been kind of an ass about it. Just sorta sitting on the periphery, getting as quietly drunk as possible, accepting presents as rightful tribute. (I promise, right here right now, I will post of some the amazing jewelry I previously received, so at least the world can share a look.) So yeah, I am making an effort this Christmas to retire the sulky ‘too good/alienated/sad for this’ persona. It was acceptable as a teen, barely, but now it’s time to step up, at least a little bit, and appreciate the real love of family and friends that is celebrated at this dark time of year.

 

You may not see me for a while. I may drown in glitter or burn my hand off trying to make candles. But by the end of it, I’m gonna try to do ‘love and good cheer’ or whatever you call it. Reaching out to those people who have always been there for me, and trying, however unskillfully, to show my love.

If all else fails, I make excellent mulled wine.

Advent

What a Weekend

So this weekend was a mad adventure of concordance and coincidence, facilitated greatly by Hels being lovely and loved; whenever I go out with her, we always find friends. Two nights of partying and sleep deprivation, and we also ended up spending a day at Breaking Convention, the psychedelics conference in the insanely regimented surroundings of Greenwich University. Many neat grass squares and white stone columns.

Greenwich University in the Royal Naval College buildings, baroque style with neat lawns outside.
I can’t even imagine going to uni in a place that looks like this. They let students in here?!

We were taken there to help out a beautiful old lady who dresses like a shaman and sure as hell knows how to draw people in and create powerful rituals. Honouring the life/death aspects of the sacred feminine, running around screaming ‘CUNT’, and people really wanted to join in, there wasn’t enough room for them all at once to touch the life-size female form, they were really getting into that cunt. Seems like there is a great hunger for that kind of thing, at least amongst the seekers and scientists of that day.

The actual very important point of this post maybe:

I met this guy! David Graham Scott, who is actually a Scot, and a film maker whose work I know from years on Youtube. Though he has been shown in more selective places like the BBC. He’s a really really nice guy.

Here is his first documentary, which was one of the catalysts to bringing ibogaine into more mainstream awareness. David was a heroin and methadone addict, but he got clean with this plant and ritual. It’s been over ten years now, and he’s not gone back, he’s making his art and spreading the word, trying to help and inform other people. Ibogaine has been reported to help end addictions to opiates, cocaine, alcohol, and even nicotine, as well as offering insight and recovery into past traumas in a way that can offer a pathway through PTSD and depression. It’s not a magic cure though…

Warning: this documentary is intense.

Seeing someone who’s come so far, from way worse shit than I ever had to deal with, is inspiring. I think this is the first time I ever met someone internet famous/a creator of work I admire, and he was so friendly and caring and genuine that it’s like I actually feel like a better, happier person. Maybe because I disproved my evil internal voice, which says that no one would possibly ever want to meet me, and especially not someone well known who has useful things to do and more interesting people to talk to.

I don’t know if it’s just the antidepressant effect of sleep deprivation, or the effect of spending time with two real close friends and meeting many more new friends as well, but I feel good, still 3 days later, though it’s starting to fade now I’ve fully caught up on sleep. Maybe I just sleep too much…

What a Weekend