My mother knocks. The door opens. Bright light blasts into my consciousness; I cannot see. I leap out of bed to reduce the longing to return and the cold hits me like a slap. As you can probably tell, I am not a morning person – I never have been. I have learnt to hate them over the years. We have never had heating on until Mid-November because my parents insist that they can’t afford to heat the whole house. This makes mornings a nightmare!
Once I’m up, I can just about manage. I dress and eat breakfast to music. Music is a significant thing for me. My parents used to be in a band together and my mother is still trying to get a record-deal. She always likes to think of herself as a young and trendy mum. She is really into the house and garage music scene, but me…I’m a different story. Everyone in my family has opposite views on music. My mother and one of my little sisters, Heidi, like pop and garage music. My father, my youngest sister, and I like rock and Heavy Metal. This causes terrible arguments over what to listen to in the car or whilst eating dinner. However, the one band that we all agree on is Nirvana. I am a massive fan of Nirvana and have flags and posters of them all over my room. This is why I listen to Nirvana in the mornings – because nobody minds.
By the time I get to school, I am (almost) fully awake. I have to walk to the station and get the train to school so I arrive at school feeling like I’ve been up for ages. Once I get my brain in gear it doesn’t slow down. I constantly think – about everything! I occasionally come out with a random comment, completely off the subject because I’ve been thinking about it while everyone else is speaking. People have therefore got the impression that I’m slightly mindless because I never know what people are talking about.
Although I don’t like to admit it, I am fascinated by Philosophy. It takes up much of my precious thinking time. How can anyone not be fascinated by everything around them? Everyone takes so much for granted – like life. What is it? What is reality? Even simple things like how do I know that the table in front of me exists – how can I prove it? All this fascinates me. When I am an adult, I want to work with people’s minds. I would like to be a phyciatrist or a therapist. I don’t believe that anyone is born evil or with a mental disorder. If they are, I believe that their condition can be resolved. Everyone is capable of leading a perfectly normal life if they have a fully functional brain. Maybe I could help a lot of people solve their problems and make life more enjoyable for them.
As I sit in my lessons, I try to comprehend everything I’m told. I think the best method of revision is not to have colourful post-its on every page. I refuse to use anything like that because no matter how exciting you try to make a boring subject – it will still be boring. Instead I go through the year trying to understand what I am taught as I am taught it. If you read through the textbook before the exam and try to understand everything it says, it is a lot better than frantically trying to memorise a list of words and numbers.
Lunchtime approaches and I anticipate the bell. Lessons can be enjoyable but I’m starving. Lunchtime symbolises a period of time where I have no excuse but to socialise. That is one of the few things in life I find really hard because I lack self-confidence. People find it strange that I always have a tissue with me. My parents think it is like a comfort blanket for me. I think so too.
My life at the moment is torn between work and play; it is really hard to juggle both. In order to keep your friends, (if friends they are) you have to seem as if you don’t care about work – even if you do. In lessons when they try to disrupt you, you can’t tell them to be quiet because that will show that you are really interested. Instead, you have to grit your teeth and pretend you are listening to both teacher and friend. I’ve found that if you nod occasionally to your friend, they will get bored after a while.
Actually during the lunch break there is another crisis. How can you ever know what to talk about? I am fine when I’m in a one to one – but in a group, like at lunch, I panic! However, I can often be an extrovert. I survive in crowds by encouraging them to laugh at me. If I intend for them to laugh at me, it can’t humiliate me but if I try to get people to laugh with me, I could be confronted with an uncomfortable silence. I enjoy making people laugh now and I have acquired an image with some people as being almost like a comedian or a clown. I enjoy this image and it boosts my self-confidence. I don’t mind being laughed at if I am hoping that my thoughts will be funny to someone. Some people laugh at me because I feel so strongly about things that don’t matter to many others. I find now, in secondary school, people don’t often laugh cruelly and make fun of you. I don’t have to worry as much about what people think of me. I like that.
I am usually in a good mood when I start the afternoon of lessons. That is, if my confidence hasn’t failed me during lunch and I ended up sitting alone. The afternoon lessons usually shoot by and it’s three-thirty before I know it. I pack my bag to go home with eagerness and set off for the station. Usually, all the way home we get caught up in one debate or another. Once, we started discussing the theory of relativity and what it was. That debate didn’t finish until nine o’clock that night because one of us had to look it up in Britannica. I am usually the loudest member of these debates because I have an opinion on almost everything.
When I get home and I’ve finished my homework, I usually start reading. I have always enjoyed reading and have now become quite fast at it. This is not only a chance for me to relax, but also a chance for me to get lost in a different world where I shrink into insignificance. I love to read fantasy books where there are exciting adventures. ‘Lord of the Rings’ by J.R.R. Tolkein is probably my favourite. There are four adventures all rolled into one and a completely new world is created where even the people are different. Without reading and music, I could never switch off. They give me new things to think about. I am a very emotional person and I let myself become totally involved in any task at hand. When I read a book, I am really there. When I listen to music, I can do whatever I like. My life becomes unimportant and I can forget about my problems and concentrate on other things.
I get ready to sleep, and wonder what my life will become. My one ambition is to go to Africa or Brazil, and help disadvantaged families there get themselves out of the well of poverty. Why does it really matter if a good friend of mine decides that she doesn’t care about me any more? Who cares about my self-confidence levels? I just hope that I can make a positive difference in the world somewhere. I know I will someday, nothing else matters. I can’t just sit and pray for people because I am an atheist. At last, I drift off into mindless slumber, in my safe and insulated world of duvet.