I've been thinking a lot about first impressions, and what I want them to be of me. Whether I want it or not, university will be a fresh start, meaning a lot of new people who have no idea how to deal with me.
That's not to say that I need to be groomed and medicated every three hours like a prize dog, and I'm not somebody so psychological traumatised that only soothing words and green tea will keep me from turning. If that was the case, applying to go somewhere over two hundred miles away would be dumb by any standards. Still, realising that I'm leaving my friends behind reminds me that they've had five years to understand what I'm like. They know that sometimes I talk to myself, when actually I don't think the conversation's that one-sided, and that I drift between passion for life and a yearning for escapism every now and then.
In short, I'm beginning to think that first impressions of me will be that I'm a complete and utter loon.
So I've decided a few things that I'll do when I meet new people, and when I make introductions. For one, I'll leave the Pagan part for quiet sofa-talk with lashings of tea, digestives and late-night philosophical evaluation (who knows, right?) I've weirded enough people out by it, and though it saddens me, it took all my friends a while to get used to. I'll tell them about my writing, my aspirations to be published, and if they're interested enough (which good Goddess I hope they do) then I'll tell them about The Element Adventures. That's what opens me up to the idea of rooming, I might find another English undergrad who writes, or at least "gets it".
I'm also not going to tell them about Mother. I can't, at least not yet. It's not that I'm saddened by it, or ashamed, why would I be? It's just that after five years I've had a blissful lack of the look, and I can guarantee that telling everybody that my dad was a widowed father who worked for such long hours that I felt a stranger to him and times, I'll get the look.
And it's not even the anniversary of her death, or the special events that she's not there for that make me miss her. It has, and always will be, that look.