The awkward turtle

Celebrating the failings of a successful person


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Annual review: 6 months of blogging

These last 6 months I have catapulted myself into the blogasphere, well at least I attempted to. I began with my blog Limitless and after 3 months of sporadic postings and a general lack of theme I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t working for me; ultimately I knew I was not mature enough for the ideas that inspired the Limitless concept and thus it would never satisfy my expectations. I had notions of writing about meaningful shit and sociopolitics of the world around me that reflected discussions with friends and feelings that direct my way of life. Instead I choked. I choked on everything I was seeing and I couldn’t yet give them the right words. I felt overwhelmed by the expanse of information on the internet and other bloggers who were able to write what I wished to.

What the first 3 months did help me do however was hone in on my pattern of dark satirical humour in my writing style and I began to take inspiration from all those fails that kept bombarding me as I swam in a pool of embarrassing situations. Hence the birth of the awkward turtle tales. Now, admittedly I still post erratically and irregularly but I now have a theme, one that does not represent such pressure as my original concept and lets me have fun with writing. Hey, isn’t that why I’m here in the first place?

I may post at a slow pace but I’m proud I’ve kept at it, and I do hear slow and steady wins the race…I am an awkward turtle after all.

Slow and steady & some fighting talk

Slow and steady & some fighting talk


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Midnight Mass with Matt Corby

This morning I awoke for work refusing to open my eyes because the cold in bones told me all there would be to see was frost invading the world outside. As I looked in the mirror, furious dark rings framed the eyes starring  back at me, I was determined to be grumpy. I was tired, I looked a mess, and there was ice outside. Peering at my discontent I remembered that I have undertaken a vow of gratitude, so I rethought: I was tired because I got in late, I got in late because I went to an amazing gig, it was icy because it is winter (somethings you simply cannot change).
Did I mention the amazing gig?

Two days ago I never Australian knew singer/song-writer Matt Corby existed, luckily my Aussie friend did and asked if I wanted to come along to a gig. I replied with the affirmative, my only question being, what type of music was it? Folk. OK, I could get down with that. After a series of disatruous events in the run-up to the show – a peak hour London Underground commute, station fires, lost tickets (on both our parts), and a scarf that came with an aphyxiation hazard – we arrived, shivering and weary, outside the beautiful Hackney Round Chapel. Inside rows of chairs flocked around the pulpit that was a stage. Although I had not expected to be sitting down my feet were grateful and we shamelessly grabbed seats on the second row. Whilst the seating arrangements made for a more introverted audience – we were told as much by the support act Bear’s Den front man who was genuinely hillarious – it also set the mood for an intimate live performance. Bear’s Den came to an end, the set changed, and the main man appeared accompanied only by a guitar to open the set. Having only had one EP’s worth of education on the Matt Corby experience I was still happily nibbling on my chocolate and distractedly trying to point out the set features to my friend. I soon realised that she and the entire audience were transfixed by the man on stage and he was yet to strum a string. It wasn’t until the first note of Big Eyes escaped his mouth that I heard what everyone was waiting for. I stopped crunching my chocolate and simply melted into the music; my eyes closed and my ears hooked. His voice was so melodic and his range contrasted from the gruffness of soul and blues in Soul A’fire, to angelic softness in his signature EP Brother.  

Matt Corby, acoustic soul, Round ChapelWhat was most enjoyable about watching the performance was the clear comradery between the band members, and that each one was distinctive and fascinating to watch;  I fell in love with Bree Tranter, the ethereal keyboard player and was utterly mesmerized by drummer Chris Maas.The finale, My False, had us all up on our feet as the band rocked out and literally let their hair down. You could not doubt the passion they felt for their music. My only wish was that there was more. On my way out I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more to come, yet my feet continued shuffling me back outside to the cold Hackney streets.

I went to the chapel of Matt Corby and came out a believer.


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Dear Reader

Jane Austen“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
Jane Austen, Pride And Prejudice

Dear Reader,

I’m in love with a friend. I have been for almost 2 years. He doesn’t know, I didn’t know myself until recently. The worse thing that could possibly happen now would be him finding out. He must never know. How could I then claim to be his friend? How could I stay composed and retain my dignity in future meetings if every time he would always know it was an act, that my insides were really writhing at his every glance, my veins pulsating with excitement, and my head dizzying from oxygen deprivation as I forget to breathe. There are multiple occasions I can recall with the clarity of sight that love is infamous for imbuing the world with, whereby a brief locking of the eyes can be twisted and mutated into a plethora of meanings, each one more colourful than its predecessor (He took a special interest in what I ordered at the restaurant. He took pains to chastise me for a frivolous comment made). Yet the episodes that torment me more are the ones which tell me unequivocally that he does not love as he is loved (He ‘forgot’ to tell me the revised arrangements for a night out. He rarely instigates a meeting even though he expresses appropriate levels of excitement when it is mentioned. He is perfect).

What I am most scared of is not that he will not love me – and believe me this is a profound fear – but that this is not really love. I am scared that I have been whipped into a frenzy intoxicated by the pheromones of infatuation. What does it feel like? Those palpitations in my chest furiously competing with the ever angrier butterflies in my stomach anxious to be released, is that what love is? Nobody can tell me, all they say is you just know.

My voyage of emotions has taken me from complete indifference at the point of our first meeting, to romantic obsession. It was a serendipitous encounter and I am a fool for serendipity; he was being shown around my house by the landlord, I was fresh out of the shower and preparing for a night out. At first glance I mistook him for another friend, at second I reckoned I was in the presence of Mr Darcy. The pseudonym of Jane Austen’s most famous character relates equally to his resemblance aesthetically and allegorically too; he appeared in my doorway in a white shirt open at the top on account of the summer heat, his hair dark and his skin fair. As I appraised him in what I hoped was a cool manner, I felt unworthy in his eyes. I despised him from that moment because I couldn’t change the me I imagined he saw. Some time later I discovered the unbearable truth: he was not as I had hoped, a pompous, entitled villain, a shameless womanizer, an obnoxious twat, he was a good man: unassuming, generous and modest. How dare he. It took a tactical and conscious decision on my part to rescue myself from the crippling feeling of unworth by removing myself from a candidate position. I refused to allow him to make an option out of me because I was convinced of the inevitability of rejection. I thought I was freeing myself, not imagining I would have to face the truth of my feelings eventually. I had so thoroughly conned myself into a friend category to the extent that I tried to set him up with my closest friend: in my mind she was everything I was not and thus he would love her. The only result has been that liking him is yet another thing my friend and I have in common.

Standing at the precipice of my adult life I realise I no longer wish to cower where fear dwells. Rejection, unworth, acceptance, beauty, ego; these words skip around my head poking fun at me. I look to past situations and my hand instinctively raises to shield my heart. I don’t want to be made to look a fool. I am no Elizabeth Bennet, I’m not even a Bridget Jones but I am in love. It may not last forever but shouldn’t it at least be given a chance to start?