Sunday, February 14, 2010

Lost years - can I make up for them?

I guess it hasn't been a bad week. Since I last posted I've paid two visits to my counsellor, psychologist, call her what you will, and I'll be making another trek that way tomorrow. Without my car (no it hasn't yet magically appeared), getting up to Albany really is a trek. And a hassle. When you lose your car, your independence goes with it. I still haven't decided whether to get a new one before I go away.

In those last two meetings we spent some time discussing my teenage years. I found this subject a bit upsetting: in those so-called formative years I never really "formed" at all. Four months before my 13th birthday - yes I can pinpoint it accurately - every shred of self-confidence melted away. For the next half a decade I found myself almost completely alone. Peer groups, which play a major role in shaping teenagers, didn't exist for me. It wasn't until late 2001 that I finally developed an identity I was happy with, only for it to be snatched away months later when I left university.

I had a tough time of it on the tennis court last Monday. In the doubles (I played with Superman yet again) we were completely outclassed. Our opponents were an imposing force at the net and everything happened far too quickly for us. After barely half an hour we were behind 6-0, 5-0, staring down the barrel of a double doughnut. We put together a nice little cameo performance at the end to at least salvage two games, but really it was a complete mismatch. In the singles I surprised myself by taking the opening set 6-3. It was the best set of tennis I'd put together for a very long time and reminded me of when I could actually play this game. My opponent had the upper hand in most of the rallies but I was able to work my way into the point and eventually hit a winner myself. He was aggressive at the net but all my passing shots found their target. I couldn't have played any better, but it was still a close set, and it was no surprise when his extra class told in the final two sets which both finished 6-2. I wasn't disappointed with the loss; he was simply a better player.

I've moved my Italian class to a daytime slot and a slightly higher level. There always seems to be a skewed gender ratio at language classes but at last Tuesday's session I was the only bloke there. Not that I minded. It was a small class so we were all able to participate. I'm really happy with my progress in the seven months since I started.

It's been horribly muggy in Auckland this weekend. I only had to poke my nose outside the door and my T-shirt would be sticking to me. After this afternoon's tennis it was like a wet rag.

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