Monday 3 September 2018

New Beginnings: A Little Life Update

I'm writing this post while sitting on my new couch (old couch with new throw over-top) in my new flat (as of July) with a week to go until I start my postgrad degree. The weather is gloomy-but-warm, much like when I took these photos, I've watched three episodes of Parenthood with my flatmate and best friend, I've finished my responsibilities for the day, and so as said friend leaves for work I've decided to pick up my laptop and type away. I feel like my life has changed dramatically this summer, but not in an overwhelming, panicky way. As someone who has never existed without academia, I always feel like September is the start of a new year, not January. Yes, I reflect around New Year's Eve, but the time when my life actually changes the most is right now.
So what's the big thing? I graduated from university. I've written a post on the lessons I learned at uni, and another on what it's like studying a Creative Writing degree, but I don't feel as if I've noted down how it feels to be a graduate. In a way, it doesn't feel like I'll accept it until I finish the year-long postgrad I'm about to start, but what it has done is make me realise that I'm not alone in feeling lost, and that everyone moves at their own pace. I know people who have secured 'proper' jobs straight away, those who are biding their time in the part-time jobs they already had, and those who really have no clue what they are doing. I helped out at my uni's open day last week and it made me so excited to go back. I just love learning about books, guys. I've fended off quite a few 'So WHY are you doing a Masters?' questions since leaving university, and the simplest answer is that I just wanted to, and I'm beginning to accept that that's the only reason I need.

I did get a job, though. It's nothing fancy, a part-time retail role, but it's in a store I already like, and with the loveliest people. I've gone into jobs before where I felt like I was thrown in and expected to learn everything within the first hour of being there, but here I feel like I can ask the 'stupid' questions and not be laughed at, and I'm hoping it's the sign of a great experience. Well, as great as retail can be. I've mentioned before how I struggle with jobs - not that I'm a disastrous employee, I'm a more capable person than I let on (sometimes) but that internally I'm panicking the whole time about doing things wrong, even when I'm doing well. But right now I'm feeling very positive, and I'm actually quite keen to push through the training period, despite some beginner's nerves.
Like I said up-top, I moved again this year. I hate moving with a passion, but I love how settled I feel in this place. I've never lived with someone who I was friends with before the fact, and it's so refreshing having someone always around to chat to, and be comfortable enough that sitting in silence or even in separate rooms doesn't feel like a big deal. We've done quite a bit of decorating in our living room, turning it into this really cosy area that also has really cool personal touches. I think it's key to have the communal areas of a flat feel like an amalgamation of shared personalities, and this one definitely does. The flat itself isn't in my favourite area of the city, but I'm beginning to see its merits and it's close to that new job I got, so really I can't complain too much. Home is what you make of it, and I'm giving it a good go. (Note to mum if you're reading: it's still my second home.)

I had to let go of a lot of things this summer. Let go of an undergraduate me, let go of a flat literally two minutes from uni, let go of friends who are moving away (not forever, of course), let go of an abundance of free time. Some people, though, they might have been forever goodbyes. It's always sad letting go of people who mean so much to you, but sometimes the signs are there, whether it's a disappointing message reply or the fact they didn't tell you they were in town. Things don't last forever, and that's something I'm constantly trying to remind myself. I don't like change! Or I do, but only when it benefits me. I think I'm just trying to wrap my head around the fact that all these new beginnings I'm experiencing are positive, and that holding onto the past isn't always helpful.

It's a bit of a jumble, this post, but I think it reflects my state of mind right now. I'm a strange combination of comfortable and uncomfortable. I've set all these things up, and I'm preparing to leap into tackling them all. It's like I'm on one of those vertical roller coasters, teetering on the ledge, about to race downwards towards all of these things. Let's see where this year goes.
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