Setting targets is not for me anymore. I do not do it. Except I do do it. Everything I do that does not involve lying down is a challenge and thus a target for me. I might not vocalise it, but they are, and I am usually filled with a sense of achievement when I am done. That’s my life now. Somethings, are bigger than others.
Right now, it’s seismic.
Last year, when I was new to all of this, I had to forgo something that I love. I had to forgo many things, but this specific thing made me cry and required much reassurance from my friends, who told me that not doing it, did not make me any less of a human being. It was more than that, not doing it, did not make me feel any less of a film fan.
“It’s only for a year”, they said. Myeloma is not only a year is it. My volume goes on.
Right there and then, cloaked in disappoint, I set myself a target. The target said that unlike October 2012, when I spent 12 days, just like the 128 days around it on PADIMAC, I would spend 12 days in October 2013 travelling around London seeing as many new films as my body would allow, whilst in a state of pure enjoyment. It was a target of targets and in my mind, by the time 2013 came round, my life would be back to my normal.
My year did not work out the way I envisaged or hoped. We all know that. The reality of my target, thus is quite different from the one I envisaged or hoped all those months ago. Instead of spending 12 days watching films because I am better, I am planning to spend 12 days watching films with My Myeloma. I am tired of it stealing things from me. I want to continue this annual ritual and if the only way I can do that is by accommodating My Myeloma, than so be it.
Perhaps my challenge and ongoing target is to accept that everything in my life now has to be adapted. I have to make concessions, even when it comes to the motion picture.
To achieve my carefully selected 17 films between today and next Sunday, is a military operation. Booking the tickets alone was a military operation my bedroom was essentially the venue for a COBRA meeting. There is a survival kit in my handbag. There are pre cooked meals at home. I will purchase a travel card because I only just remembered that I needed to do that. My social calendar is closed to anything else. All to protect me from the big Fatigue. There is more, more concessions, but I do not need to bore everybody with every detail and scenario I have considered, in the hope that my over zealous preparation means I can get to the 20 October without hating myeloma more than I do at the moment. It’s a thriller.
I have no shame in admitting just how important this is to me, and what I see in this as a milestone. One the one hand, I am looking to the end, fretting, willing and wanting myself to get to the end, having relished every moment in the dark like I have done in previous years. On the other hand, there is something about stepping up to the challenge today, despite this volume not being over, that makes my emotive score play in my head with my own personal montage, designed to get my tears flowing. This is about me.
And so, I guess all there is left to say is the BFI London Film Festival 2013 is now open.
I’m not going to lie, I’m underdressed for the red carpet. Oh and I am beyond mother effing excited.