This is an insomnia post, a rather rambling post written to try to empty my mind of thoughts and to tire myself out. Apologies if it’s less focused that normal. I don’t feel in the least bit tired, but I have to be up reasonably early tomorrow to go to Oxford for The Doctor Who Society’s thirtieth anniversary. To be honest, I’m rather scared about going back to Oxford. I’ve only been to Oxford once since graduating and that ended with me feeling rather depressed about my time there, thinking of all the times I was lonely and suicidal in the city of dreaming spires and lost causes. And that’s just the city; I’m more nervous about seeing people I haven’t seen for over a decade (will they remember me? Will I seem like a failure?) and being in a room of people I don’t know. Plus, there will be one or two people there who are aware of my online persona, but who I have never met, so it’s scary to think of meeting them (I’ll be the guy in the skullcap). I worry about being a disappointment if we meet in person or discovering that they aren’t actually following me any more. But I have a fund of goodwill towards the Doc Soc (as we called it in my day; I think the current crop of undergrads call it Who Soc). A vastly disproportionate amount of the good times I had at Oxford (there were some) were spent there. I’m not sure I would go back for a JSoc (Jewish Society) event and I certainly don’t bother going back for college events.
It’s weird to think that my matriculation into Oxford was nearly eighteen years ago, half my lifetime. I hope I’ve changed and grown since then, at least in a positive way. It’s hard to tell. I know myself better, and I think I can deal with my emotional issues better. During my time at Oxford I was very depressed and almost certainly autistic, but I didn’t know how to cope with depression and I didn’t even think that I might be autistic. Now I do have the awareness to understand and cope with those things better, although there is still a lot of room for improvement. I do wish I had a clearer idea of where I’m going with my career and relationships, though. I think I really do want to try to build a career as a writer, but it’s hard to take the plunge and I don’t think it would help that I want to write about very varied topics (Doctor Who, Judaism, mental health, autism). As for relationships, I have a date with L. on Monday, but I’m trying not to think about it, as when I do I feel pessimistic. Blind dates are scary anyway and with this one we have the added complexity of knowing each other when we were younger and trying to look past that at where we are now.
Backtracking somewhat, the last two days of Pesach (Passover) were OK. No significant OCD, which was good, but I was quite depressed at times. I went to shul (synagogue) in the evenings and also Friday morning, but not Saturday morning. I wish I could get to shul more in the mornings, at least on Shabbat (the Sabbath) and Yom Yov (festivals), but I’m trying not to beat myself up for not going. Goodness knows what everyone else makes of my sporadic attendance. I suppose they think I’m not very frum (religious) or that I daven (pray) elsewhere. I know I shouldn’t care what other people think of me, but I do. Still, I got through a whole Pesach without a major OCD anxiety incident or an argument with my parents, so maybe things are looking up after all. Otherwise Yom Tov was the usual: davening, eating, sleeping, Torah study and reading a bit.
Yom Tov was overshadowed by scary events either side of it: the abduction and rape of a woman from my local area beforehand (she is Jewish, although not so far as I’m aware anyone I know or have a connection with although I may discover otherwise in the coming days – the Jewish community is small and interlinked) and then the shooting at a shul in California, which is scary and disturbing.
Well, I should probably have another go at sleeping, given that I need to be up in six and a half hours.