I'll start with some mild positivity.
Looking back at my initial photos, I see now that the people who've been saying my face has improved weren't just being polite after all. That first picture of me with make up on looks like I firstly slathered a thin layer of honey on my face, rolled in variously sized breadcrumbs, then trowelled foundation on top of it. This is an alarmingly accurate description, as can be evidenced if you take the time to look back on my first few posts, although I personally wouldn't, because I'm too lazy to even link you to it. But the point is that with the lack of magic of 3D in photographs, my face just looks red, red, red and the surface texture is not being conveyed quite as--
Sorry, sorry. I have the Jay Leno Show on in the background and my God is it distracting. He's interviewing some girl who I've never before seen in my life and who seems to be trying remarkably hard to be funny with her answers. Ah, she's apparently called Snookie. Snookie? Who is this Snookie? Anyway, I am going to have to switch the TV off because that man's bizarrely shaped head is causing my thoughts to drift.
Ah, that's better. So blah blah blah my skin is still really red with scars, which reminds me of another thing, actually. I have seen a number of people on here commenting that their scars fade after the treatment. At first I was a picture of glee upon hearing about this, but I was soon sobered by the realisation that these people were all probably referring to red marks rather than indentations. Before I had a shower a few evenings ago, my reflection greeted me with shock (I was shocked too, not just my reflection) because my right cheek was quite simply littered with what I can only describe as *vomit* pock marks. I don't mean it was covered in vomit, you understand, but at least such an unfortunate situation would be repairable, unlike this horrible scarring. And that's when I realised that I am probably going to become "one of them". You know, the ones who carry their haunted acne past with them for the rest of their lives, like Satan's branding. Eugh. It quite honestly made me feel a little queasy, but then it rather interestingly looked a bit better the following evening. I think if I touch my skin a lot it gets worse. Still, looks like it definitely means dermabrasion for me, which is FANTASTIC when you have a freelance job and need time off to recover. Not to mention I may be a penniless student by then. Bleuggghhhh.
WARNING: FOLLOWING MATERIAL RELATES TO ACNE NOT EVEN IN THE SLIGHTEST. NOT EVEN A WHIFF. AVOID IF UPSET BY THIS OR MERELY UNINTERESTED.
Ah, yes, speaking of studentism. Studence. Studention. Ahem. Speaking of being a student, I fear I may have misled you by saying last time that the whole university thing was a "long story". I recognise upon reflection that when people use that phrase, it is usually to indicate that the story is interesting, whereas my story skims more along the frivolous side of proceedings as far as stories go. But alas, I shall attempt to regale you nonetheless...
So it is true that I have indeed applied to university here in the city that I live in. I have applied to two, in fact. You know, the whole basket and eggs routine. After finishing college (education up to the age of 18, for those unfamiliar with British patterned education) in fair England, I was actually planning on going to university. I applied and everything, but it was not to happen. My official line is that I decided not to go because I was unconvinced that a degree in pyschology would open the kind of doors that I wanted opened. Coupled with the enormous student loan I would carry around with me like a Christmas muffin top, I decided that it wasn't worth getting into so much debt for a degree I was not sure about, so I decided to wait until I was properly decided. This was just as well, because my grades didn't qualify me for any of the universities I applied to anyway, but I try not to focus on that when in conversation with people I do not know too well. I'm not sure why I applied to top universities only. I guess I didn't anticipate that young humans with external genitalia, vehicles and kind words would have a stronger appeal than text books and essay writing. I didn't try hard and still did well at secondary school, and I was foolish enough to think I could carry on doing that. Anyhow, it wasn't the end of the world (although I did believe it would be in 1999 - some years before that, I'd watched a program on Nostradamus, and his end-of-the-world prophecy scared the living shit out of me. When I expressed these feelings to my mother, rather than tell me it was a load of the garbage that it was, she bought me some Smarties and told me that if we all die, she'll "hold onto my little soul". Thanks, Mum. Imagine what it's like coming to terms with never reaching your 16th birthday. No wonder I went crazy with "extracurricular activities" after that*), and in fact I spent the next five years progressing with a career in financial services, which ended up earning me some useful qualifications and very decent income, but my God was it bloody awful.
Drawing back to the story, at 24 I now feel that if university doesn't happen now, it never will. I feel like people judge me for not having completed higher education. The most embarrassing situation, which has reared its ugly head several times, is when a person straight up asks you what you went to school for (being British, I am still a bit uncomfortable saying this because I know we don't really refer to anything over the age of 16 as school). I would probably find some enjoyment in watching the person squirm and redden when they learn that I don't in fact have a degree, be it not for my utter shame. And that shame is because I just know that most of them are thinking that I must be stupid or lazy or unambitious, or even a delightful combination of the three. OK, so some of those maaay be true, but nevertheless, they're making assumptions that lead to me feeling inadequate. It's not their fault. Also, I know plenty of people who didn't go to university and are very intelligent and very successful, and equally people who did go to university but were never considered particularly bright, but my situation is about how I feel about myself. I think more so in Canada, too, employers disregard resumes showing no higher education for many job opportunities. I've been told on several occasions by people over here that if you really want to guarantee you'll get anywhere in a career, you have to at least do a Masters, because most people already have a degree. So what does that say about me? On paper, not much. I'll try not to bore you much longer, but the other reasons I've decided to apply this year are that I've reached a kind of dead end with the things I am happy doing careerwise and do actually need further education to be in the area I truly want to be in.
Bugger. I am so sorry, but HERE is my ACTUAL story: so I went to Pedro's Christmas party a few weeks ago and we got talking to the boyfriend of one of Pedro's female colleagues. I believe he is 30 or 31 years old and has been travelling back and forth between Scotland and Canada, for he is doing his PhD at St Andrews. In case you aren't familiar with St A's, it's a remarkably prestigious university and was also the choice of Prince William (I know a few others who went there, actually, and they're all hideously clever. Oh, not that I know Prince William. These other "normal" people I actually do know, though). Anyway, this PhD guy seemed very friendly and seemed to ooze charisma (though not quite in the sexually attractive sense) as he delivered anecdote after anecdote of his travels around the world as well as his teachings. Heavens, he knew at least seven times more about my Eastern European homeland than I do. I was just nodding along to the things he was saying like one of those dogs with its head on a spring. That fervent nodding indicated transparent, undeniable ignorance, but nevermind. I try not to let losing face bother me in these situations. Anyhow, we all chatted and before long he asked the dreaded question from Pedro and I: "So what did you guys study in school?". Yes, Pedro, I thought, keep talking about your marketing degree. Yes, mention your honours. Yes, it always makes the partner look better when they're with someone reasonably clever. But bugger me, could I avoid the question? No. So I delivered my standard line and then added that I'd just applied to uni to start next year, and I must say he was rather encouraging. At one point, however, I was talking about high school grade requirements for my course, expressing my concerns, at which point he asked what grades I got at A Level (grades at age 18). "You must have got A- in each subject at least?" he asked good naturedly (shit! Why isn't this a real word?!). I told him I got two Bs and a D (the D was for human biology, if that will gather any more sympathy). His next words I remember clear as day: "Oh, well, I don't mean to be a prick but there's no way you'll get into your first choice university." All right, so I know the first one applied to was a very good one, but I easily met the minimum requirements for British patterned education. I thought I at least stood a chance. But bursting and subsequently pissing on my bubble further, he told me that they set those requirements low so that they can't be accused of elitism. *Sigh*. Nevermind. I should still get into the other university, but it's a shame. Mind you, I was speaking to a 22 year old pilot over the weekend who said he applied to the same first choice university as me to do a different course and his requirements were much, much higher, plus he had to write an essay for the application process. Surely the elitism argument falls apart there? He also claims that the course I applied for has thousands of students in the first year, so they do really accept anyone, only to kick out those that didn't do well enough in the second year.
So I don't know what to believe, but one thing this experience has done is made me realise what huge worth I put on intellect. Regardless of whether I am or am not the generally agreed definition of intelligent, I still find myself secretly adoring those who are way up there in that department. I understand completely that, just like physical attributes, there's a lot, lot more to a person than their academic capability, and furthermore I've encountered people that do have these traits and yet lack in other areas that are important to me, such as common sense or ability to connect emotionally, or even humour, and I cannot imagine a functioning relationship with these types of people, but I still can't shake the envy. I was very shocked by what this PhD guy had to say, and quite frankly intimidated by the power of his intellect, but then I climbed into bed with Pedro (nothing kinky) and cuddled up to my lovely, intelligent hunk of a man and realised that what is inside him is not a person that will achieve a Nobel prize any time soon or cure male pattern baldness, but there is a man who makes me feel loved, who's honest about his feelings, who laughs, cries and loves openly and who is my best friend. And that's when I decided that I don't want to be with or be like a great professor (although it's still impressive), because Pedro and I feel like equals, and if that means I'm equal to him, well, I'm really rather pleased with that. Apart from the horrible feet, that is. Men's feet should definitely not be that odorous.
Whew. Sorry about that. That was a long 'un, but at least there was no false advertising from my previous post. Oh, by the way, I've applied to university to do psychology. No need to be told about the last six years of my life that I could have saved, thank you very much...
To reward you for your patience in reading this post, here's a Youtube video that I today enjoyed. Make sure you have your sound on:
* This is not to say I was a ho-bag.