The writing blog of James Christopher Sheppard. I am a 26 year old gay male from London, UK. Here I present my experiences, poems, thoughts and opinions...

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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Filling the Void

               Maybe it’s being a ‘mature’ student. Perhaps it’s being single for a long time. Whatever ‘it’ is, it’s causing a kind of hollow void to penetrate my psyche daily. I am so over being a student in terms of lifestyle. Coming to University was mainly a geographical choice, I was just very fortunate that the Creative Writing course turned out to be a brilliantly taught and fulfilling experience. A lot of my choices come down to luck due to my lack of knowledge of what is actually available. Anyway, the thing about Kingston is, that it has a reputation, or more it’s students do, for partying hard.

               In September 2007 I arrived in K Town and quickly became associated with the LGBT society where I met several guys that would in time become my close circle of friends; for that year at least. For the first time in my life I was surrounded by people that wanted to drink and take drugs at least five days a week. I got sucked into it and my first year, as a result, was a right off. It turns out it was a blessing in disguise as I was originally studying Sociology- until I realised I don’t like people very much. The point is, I spent my first year drinking, sniffing, smoking and losing sight of what I was at Uni to do. I spent my second and third year rebuilding my social circle and my goals. I still partied, but I dropped the drugs. With time I quit the smoking and embarked on keeping fit at the gym and cycling and now I am at a point where I feel focused on my degree and life after. It was early on in my second year of Creative Writing course that Uni work itself became more of a hobby than a chore and now I don’t feel like I have achieved anything if I day goes by without writing or reading something, whether it is assigned or not.

               This is what I need in my life- a creative outlet to devote myself too. I need my future job to mean everything to me. I love my friends and don’t intend to become a friendless workaholic, but I want to love my work. What makes me anxious is my lack of knowledge of what is actually out there and within my reach. I have attended a few ‘What happens next?!’ events and all anyone is telling me is ‘Do a Masters’!! While it is definitely of interest to me to educate myself further and become better at what I do, I think the financial possibility of me being in a position to even consider it is very slim. Plus I am craving returning to full time work now. My self purpose is beginning to wane and I am in serious need of a new project.

               The snow finally hit Kingston today. I have spent at least five minutes of each hour gazing out of the window and analyzing how much more is building up on the ground. It doesn’t matter how much the snow has disrupted my plans in the past, I still get ridiculously excited every time it falls. Last year it looked like I wouldn’t see my Mum at Christmas because the snow was so severe between London and Hull, where she lives, that she feared it was too dangerous to drive down. Thankfully she did make it. Maybe I would feel differently about the snow now had she have not made it down?

               Due to damaging the cartilage behind my kneecap, I have been catching up with some movies I’ve been meaning to watch as I rest as it heals. So far I have watched ‘The Notebook’, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’, ‘Toy Story 3’ and ‘Going the Distance’. I must say, ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ was a massive disappointment. ‘Going the Distance’ was also a let down, and while ‘Toy Story 3’ was good, it didn’t live up to the hype I had seen sprawled across my friend’s facebook statuses over the past few months. ‘The Notebook’ was a good movie. It succeeded in making me bawl like a heartbroken teen which I think was the desired effect, so at least that is something. I just wish I had all the Harry Potter movies on DVD! I could happily sit and watch them all at the moment. Anyway, watching these movies, I was distracting myself through being so aware that I was sat ready to be swallowed by what I was watching. It just didn’t happen, without the exception of maybe ‘The Notebook’. This frustration manifested into my realisation that I am yearning for more. I’m no longer content with entertaining myself with commercial media. The right to escape and relax doesn’t feel like it should be mine, because I am so far from achieving what I need to achieve. Here we go then!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

A brief history- Who I am.

Where and how to begin is often the hardest part. I suppose I should introduce myself; My name is James Christopher Sheppard and I am an aspiring writer. I entered the world in 1984, born to Lisa and Kevin Sheppard and was raised in a small English village on the Surrey/West Sussex border called Dormansland. It really was not as quaint as it sounds. Despite being from the richest county in country, we lived in a council house in an estate called New Farthingdale. It wasn't bad, so long as the horrendous disrespectful youths weren't on the street. That's why I always preferred the winter; generally after 5pm they would be indoors in the warm, so while the streets may have been paved with ice and the light was eclipsed from the quiet country paths, I felt the safest I would feel all year.

You've probably already guessed that I was target number one for being bullied when I was younger. I was fat, camp and totally uncool. I was obsessed with Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey and felt no shame in covering my school books in Kylie and Mariah orientated doodles. I had literally no dress sense or sense of style until I was 16. I was gay. Still am, in case you were wondering. Looking back, it's evident that I was withdrawing myself further and further away from a world I found horribly depressing and into my own little bubble of camp icons, writing poetry and lyrics, devoting any money I had into buying more and more CD's and spending most of my spare time compiling lists of my favourite songs and albums and subsequently creating mix tapes to listen to on my walkman which was my most cherished companion. Bottom line, I was a total loner. Still am to a certain degree. The reason I chose to upload a picture of my six year old self is because I am doing this for him. I wish I could go back to certain moments of my life and tell myself 'It will all be OK.', 'It get's better.', 'Hold on!', 'Don't despair', 'Stop wasting your time.' and 'Get your hair cut. Now.'.

Following an explosive coming out, which I am sure to will divulge at some point, I dropped out of college, fell in what I thought was love, got my heart broken, went to Australia for several months, then really fell in love, then had my heart smashed, then worked for a few years before moving to Kingston with the intention of becoming more educated and therefore fulfilled. Now I am pondering what is next. 

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