Maybe this blog can be a constant irregular stream of catching up with itself, with every post promising to keep more of a schedule. Except for the first time, the reason I haven’t been writing is because, I’ve been writing, just elsewhere.
I am now six weeks into my degree in English Literature & Creative Writing. I left my full-time managerial retail job and embarked on something that quite frankly, I should have done a long time ago. I wanted to write about the two week holiday in Italy we had before I started school, and I wanted to write about my first day at school, then my first week, then this started slipping away from me.
These past couple of weeks I feel like I’ve been hitting my stride in terms of a schedule. I also have a part-time job now, so I know what a complete week feels like, and the anxiety I used to feel constantly attacked by when being a manager has started to subside. When you work as a retail manager, it feels like there is something you should constantly be doing, something you haven’t done. It’s a paralysis that prevents you from doing much else, because all your headspace is taken up by a responsibility that is in large part fictional.
Quite frankly, the moment I stepped out of my job, that business continued to run without me. Yet somehow, when you are in that bubble, the hamster wheel, you are made to feel that even taking a day off will be detrimental to “the business”. So I have been adjusting to not having phone calls or texts at 7am telling me that someone is not coming in to work, then freaking out about what that means. I have been adjusting to having free time where I am able to study and read without feeling exhausted. I am adjusting to coming home and not being scared of my mobile phone ringing at 11pm, with my boss telling me something very urgent which normally involves me having to work even harder, or a sleepless night.
No more cold sweats about not making unrealistic targets and that somehow being completely down to my abilities. No more juggling a million plates that are going to smash anyway. In part, the reason I wasn’t writing on here is because I felt I couldn’t be honest. Some people muscled their way into my social media profiles and set up an increasingly vigilant camp for anything that could be construed as actionable. It felt like Big Sister was constantly looking over my shoulder. Those people are now gone, and I feel I am living a more truthful life. That’s not to say I was itching to be a dick, I just didn’t want to talk about something on here only for someone at work who didn’t even care about me in a personal capacity comment on what they had read.
When I was about to start university, and for the next couple of weeks after, I was very aggressive in my organisation. So used to the ridiculous pace of life in retail management, where everything is always urgent, I was demanding, and frustrated by not knowing what I would be doing a month in advance. I have learned to dial that back a little, but I also keep a reserve of it, because being proactive and making good use of my time, I feel it is giving me an advantage.
I have so much to write about. Maybe I’ll write about Italy and my first few days. I also want to write about being thirty years old in a room full of eighteen year olds. I want to write about what I’m learning, the books I’m reading, the things I’m seeing, the stuff I’m writing, and how pleased I am to have made this decision. It’s like someone put my heart back into my chest, like the last brick has been placed into the wall. It’s challenging, but it feels like what I was meant to do all this time. Not that the long way hasn’t been fun or enlightening, I believe it’s led me to this feeling of gratitude.
Once again, here I am saying I’m going to write a lot. I hope it doesn’t take another two months to write another reason why I haven’t been writing.