So Birthdays, they’re fun aren’t they?
Well not if when you were a kid it was the last weekend of the summer and everyone was on holiday (or worse you were stuck on holiday) so you didn’t really get a Birthday party? Then when you grow up and you haven’t got any friends to invite to a Birthday?
Oh and you’re a year older and that list of things you need to do is getting longer.
Well as I hate New Years Eve therefore refuse the customary reflection and resolution that brings I’m using my Birthday as a marker.
First let me say I had a great Birthday this year, I spent the weekend with my Mum in Stratford Upon Avon immersed in Shakespeare and seeing some excellent theatre (reviews coming soon).
For my birthday I had some amazing gifts that indulged my geek persuasions!
And I also spent the day with some lovely people (and was taken on a crazy boat ride)
So on reflection let me start with the negative (I’m aiming to end on a positive)
Career: finally taking baby steps forward but while other people are 5, even 10 years into their career I’m one year in and making painful progress. Then there’s the suffocating fear that another wrong decision has been made, that all those other things I wanted to do will never happen. The questions, should I stuck at other things longer? Should I go back to them? Will I ever do this or that?
I admit that much of my career anxiety is writing related, although the PhD is a dream, my other dream no not even dream, aim I’ve had in life is writing. All I ever wanted to do since I firstly picked up a book and later saw a play. While the logical part of my brain tells me a PhD in English is not exactly a step away from that area the evil dark part still curses every waking moment spent not creating new work, or working towards doing something anything, writing related.
Living at home. I don’t have a drive to own my own home, frankly I couldn’t care less, however living at home at the age of 27 having left originally at 18 is not exactly progress. I love my Mum dearly, we’re great friends, we go lots of places together we share the same interests (well I’ve inflicted my interests on her to the point she’s become interested) But I’m 27 and I want, no I need my own space. Unfortunately this is something we do inherently disagree on, yes I have my own space at home, yes I come and go as I please, but it’s not the same.
Now that which could be considered negative but isn’t: Money, I’m not well off-I earn less than half of what most of my (non-PhD student) friends do (on a good day) but although frustrating when they want to do expensive things I can’t, it doesn’t make me unhappy. I get stressed about money, all the time worrying I can’t pay my fees or get through the year, but not unhappy. I only have to think of the office jobs that paid three times what I earn now and I’m so happy to have very little monetary reward for the freedom to do something I love. Cliché but true.
And now, the big one. Pay attention some of you, this may be a surprise, you may need it spelled out in words of one syllable it’s a tricky one. I’m single. This doesn’t, repeat doesn’t make me unhappy. I am 27 years old and single and this is fine, it’s more than fine, it’s what I want. Finding a mate has never been a driving force in my life- while other people see potential husbands/wives/shags around every corner mostly it doesn’t enter my field of vision. I’m not un-romantic, though perhaps a little asexual, I believe love is a wonderful thing I love to see two people get together who make each other happy. I just choose to focus my energy elsewhere. And while I’m banging out the clichés I consider myself married to my work.
Finally, to end on that promised positive note, the thing I am most happy with as I re-assess my life: My friends. All of you (if any of you read this) I don’t know that you know how happy you make me. I’ll be honest, because that’s what this blog is supposed to be for, this is the first time in far far too long to remember, perhaps if I’m really honest, ever, that I feel like I have real friends. It’s taken a long time to build up the little group of people I know I can rely on for support or silliness depending on the circumstance, some I’ve known a little while some a very short while, from all kinds of different places (literally geographically, and how/why I know you) but all of you are the reason I feel, overall if not happy then content, as another year passes me by.