I don’t care how challenging it is, I’m more intent on getting to grips with this than I’ve ever been in my life. I used to be captivated by features, but I think I’m going beyond skin deep features now- there’s a beauty in using sketches to search for form that’s less stressful and more enjoyable than what I’ve been doing so far.
I’ve also encountered a new bully in my life… who unfortunately is an authority figure. My new line on this situation is to try to distance myself emotionally and personally from people like that, whilst also making full use of whatever advantages their presence in my life brings. It’s a fine line to walk, but I’ve always had an iron-clad sense of defiance when it comes to people who don’t respect other people, no matter how powerful they may be or how easy it might be to be in their good books if I just played along.
One of my earliest and worst memories of school is when I was nine and watching a tiny, nervous new classmate of mine getting shouted at by our class teacher. The new boy had been punched in the stomach, he was already getting picked on for his size, and the teacher noticed him crying. Instead of being tactful about it and making sure he was OK, she chose to humiliate him in front of the whole class, calling him weak and wimpy and idiotic. It was his first day at school. I remember trying to stick up for this kid and helping him find his hearing aids when the other boys wrenched them off and threw them, only to be sneered at by the same boys and the same teacher. Later the girls in my class used a taekwondo lesson as an excuse to gang up on me and beat me up. I still remember their ringleader’s smug little face- and to this day the memory of it makes me feel bitter. Children can be astonishingly cruel. And all because I read too many books, and one boy was physically disadvantaged.
It was this that made my parents move me to a better, much more expensive private school when I was ten. That wasn’t perfect either but it was so much better. At that age you can get mums involved if things get too dark, but now, at twenty five, dealing with bullies is a very personal thing. I know I’m an adult now, but every time I come across a bully I feel like a kid all over again, sullenly mutinous and defiant to the last. When I was younger this defiance meant shutting down and refusing to work with/ for the person in question, earning me bottom marks and sour relationships and telling offs. Now, however, I reckon a new kind of defiance needs to be put in action- the refusal to be deterred in whatever I’m trying to do no matter how belligerent some people are.