Things? They are pretty good actually! A solid eight out of ten. Possibly higher!
I’ve been very quiet on this blog for a while as I was doing the arduous and not-terribly-quick-but-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things-not-that-slow process of getting my post-degree life together. This was comprised of what in my head was a pretty simple formula:
Better Job + Moving Out = Massive feeling of contentment!
Everything feels simpler when you break it down into a formula. But in real life this formula included other, less simplistic stuff such as post-university malaise, massive dissatisfaction at my retail job, ongoing mental health nonsense and a crushing need for forward momentum. Just a real instinct that I had to do something to drastically improve my life and situation. Dream job or bust!
So if I haven’t already mentioned on this blog, I undertook a Masters in Creative Writing which even the a very optimistic person would say, is not quite the most vocational course in the world. Sounds good fun though!
It is. In some ways. But in other ways, for a rabid academic overachiever and perfectionist, University can end up being a cycle of stress, self-doubt and anger. Grades are one of the areas for me in which I have extremely black and white thinking. If it isn’t the highest grade band, it’s a failure (which I should point out, is a standard I only apply to myself – I am always very proud and encouraging of my friends, whichever grades they are getting).
Couple the full-time study with the full-time work I was doing and honestly, you get the perfect recipe for a low-level breakdown. I tried to do too much, tried to please too many people and really began to disregard my own physical health and state of mind. It happens, right?
Judging from the grades I’ve received back however, I think I can be optimistic about achieving a First from this degree. It may be neither here nor there though, as even with my ever-so nonvocational course I seem to have somehow landed a copywriting job – e.g. the very industry I was hoping to get into!
Well, maybe it wasn’t quite as accidental as I’m making it sound. My work situation at the time became so completely intolerable (retail workers – you know what I mean) that I began campaigning to get myself a Career-job and not just a Bring-home-a-paycheck-and-hate-waking-up-most-days-job. It took a lot of applications, a lot of not hearing back and a lot of straight-up rejection before I found the place for me. It was close by, although I had been prepared to move away, the people I work with from my boss to my colleagues are all wonderful people and key point: I am writing for a living. That impossibility? That thing they said wouldn’t happen doing a doss course like mine? Turns out it was an option after all.
So I had the job but unfortunately, this came with a 50-minute commute. EACH WAY.
I’m not about that life. No sir. I knew I could utilise what was amounting to almost 9 hours a week so much better than singing along to a Pop-punk Christmas Spotify playlist and sitting in traffic. So I moved into a share house, ten minutes away from work.
I think the only strangeness is that I’ve made myself the newbie of two different groups within the same month – my housemates and my workmates. In some ways that was very scary and stressful and put a lot of pressure on my non-social self. But really, once you get the introductions and unpacking and not daring to go into the kitchen out of the way, it feels like a fresh start.
I have a nicely-sized room and an en-suite with a comically small sink. I’m very pleased with it!
I guess I can say that everything’s coming up Lois, for the first time in a while. Or maybe things were just building up and even though it can feel like such a slow disheartening process, if you keep on slogging you can sometimes surprisingly find yourself where you wanted to be.
It feels really crap and cliché to say that it’s like climbing a mountain, but I haven’t arrived at my destination by any means. I have a long way to go and a lot of things I want to accomplish. I want to travel to Peru in the next couple of years, get proficient at Spanish and finish my novel. But sometimes it’s nice to look behind you and see how many miles you’ve walked. I think it’s okay to be proud of it, especially if the path’s been particularly tough of late.
This was a very rambling post. I think it always will be if I’m writing about my life because it often feels so big and baffling and complicated. I know how small I am in the grand scheme of things, but even my tiny wee world can feel enormous sometimes.
If you’ve read down this far, thank you so much. ‘How are things?’ can be such an impossible question, but this is my best attempt at a genuine, almost comprehensive answer. Things are very, very good.
P.S. I just need to give some credits for the artwork in my featured image. That’s a photo of a cork-board I made using an antique picture frame. The photos are of my rabbits Sandy and Soot (both sadly deceased but very, very cute), the black and white picture is a signed postcard from the actor Tommy Wiseau (an underrated genius) and the incredible mermaid and Sailor Moon artwork I received in an order from Sugarbones, an artist who creates badges, pins and other magical accessories! She’s amazing – definitely check her out.
The celestial Sailor Moon picture is a birthday card I was given, but I don’t have the artist’s details. If anybody knows who drew it or could link me to them, I’d be extremely grateful!