Blog post: Ashleigh Williams


Me, Myself, and my ability to claw my way through life, 2020

Overdue admin? Don’t know her.


24 August 2020

Throughout lockdown, I’ve found myself simultaneously in an arts and productivity crisis, but thriving and continually creating. I know that sentence doesn’t make sense. That's the point. Seeing as my practice is regarding personal experience, diversity of workforce and so on - I thought I’d share my thoughts on why I've found myself on top of my workload for one of the first times ever. Okay, a lie. I'm always on top.

Overdue admin? Don’t know her.

There’s quite a few variables that factor into exactly why it is I have to do a task the second it’s set. Why I have to hand in my dissertation a month early, why I have to eat the crisps the second I crave them and why I can’t stand unfinished business. I’ll condense for time purposes below (and efficiency. See, I’m great at admin).

I don’t have the brain space for ongoing tasks.

There’s like, five conversations minimum going on inside my head at one time. Sometimes it’s five different types of elevator music, but that’s still five things. My mind constantly jumps through fragments of conversation consisting of fear, anxiety, extreme happiness, extreme sadness and loneliness. Like, “I’m too scared to go to the shop - uh I feel anxious from just the thought - OMG THERES CRISPS IN THE CUPBOARD! - wait there’s no salt and vinegar left - my ex used to bring me salt and vinegar crisps.” That’s all five. You see, it’s easier to just do said task before I have a sensory overload from the overlapping thoughts.

I don’t know when and if my situation will change.

When your monthly prescription looks like a shopping list, your mental and physical health could be deemed somewhat precarious. Precarious in the sense that, anytime, any place, any day, anywhere, you could drop dead. Or at least it feels like you could. Or perhaps your deteriorating mental health due to the levels of austerity we are currently living will send you off the edge. Maybe not a literal edge, but maybe. With stability being turned short term, in that nothing stays the same in my world for more than a week, the easiest way for me to complete tasks without having to readjust my whole mindset every time I pick it up is to do it ASAP. Sometimes that means working from 9am till midnight for a week, just so you can have that two week burnout you will end up so desperately needing.

I'm just impatient.

I’m not sure if it's autism or BPD or just a bad personality trait. But I need things immediately. I need that instant gratification, I need that feeling of release. Whether that be prematurely picking a spot on my face until blood dribbles down my chin, or filling out an open call application the days it’s announced. I need it. Admin feels like an accessible accomplishment to me. Hear me out - I can do it at home, in my own surroundings, in my own time, at my own pace. I can also take breaks to twerk to Nicki - it’s a win win.

Ashleigh Williams, Me, Myself, and my ability to claw my way through life, 2020

Ashleigh Williams: BNC2020 Artist Page