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Personal Writing

Big Things/Sad Things

My cousin died a number of weeks ago. My colleague died a few weeks later.

My cousin once removed was born. She is tiny and a burst of light. My career both in research and in creative pursuits has been full of excitment and wonder.

There is a range of bittersweetness in these months; the birth of bright things and the loss of those who share my blood and who were in my daily life. That death and grief and joy can ride alongside each other, entwined, seems quiet cruel.

It feels strange now to revel in great things, like there is a betrayal there in taking moments away from sorrow. Other times I think to myself “This is what it is about – living in the knowledge that we must push to accomplish what we enjoy because we don’t know what time we have”. I don’t have shame so much as a quiet confusion about how I can place my emotions and how I can share my pride.

I published a piece about disability I have sat on for a while and I am glad to get out there. I started a new job as a Research Manager that I enjoy to my core, getting to delve into social issues impacting my neighbourhood in collaboration with people from the community I live in. I presented on my experiences as a late diagnosed Autistic adult to professionals from the East London NHS Foundation Trust as part of Autism Awareness week. I was commissioned to produce digital art work for the RAMM Museum and the University of Exeter as part of their collaborative project, Out and About: Queering the Museum. I have some new poetry being published soon in Untitled: Voices Issue 3 as well.

Artist introduction for my ‘Out and About: Queering the Museum’ commission.

Nuances in life are hard to articulate sometimes. That we can have painful and terrible moments existing alongside some of the best is surely known to be real and yet it is still so hard to acknowledge to ourselves that it is okay to be confused. Even with time I haven’t yet grappled with it fully and perhaps never will resolve this tension.

So I sit and I wait for life to resume in a way where I feel I can thrive without hesitation.