Nothing like some lockdown blues to keep me away from my writing. I feel like I have said this many times, but here we go again – it has been a while.
In many ways a lot has happened, but at the same time, has it, has it really? Week after week of lounging around my house, pestering my housemates while they work from home – it just wasn’t really fun to write about. I was also getting bored of that being the content on my blog. Yet here we are, talking about it again. I guess I can justify it with the return to the work, the change of pace – the simple fact there is some form of routine back in my life, whether I actually like it or not.
Despite its at times disjointed structure, being back at work isn’t all bad. For one thing I’m working more than my contracted hours, so hello again money, I have missed you. But also that first week back blooming well threw me through a loop. My first day off I felt practically hungover, my body just wasn’t used to it. A month later and I am just about okay with it again – if only having to get back on track with a healthy eating pattern. We’ll figure it all out eventually though eh? The main struggle now is getting through this Eat Out To Help Out madness as a small team that can barely be stretched, but that being said, it’s a mighty team full of support so there’s something ever so pleasing about that.
I think the main reason I didn’t know what to write about was there being just so much on my mind that it was difficult to focus on what was really happening. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out career goals, taking on more responsibilities to further my “writing experience”. Turns out, figuring out what you want in life doesn’t have to be about the job you have. As soon as I realised that, it was like a breath of fresh air. Some people gun for a career and that’s great, but I have finally accepted that I’m not on that path right now. I would happily work in a little shop somewhere as long as I could pay the bills and live somewhere I feel totally happy in. Which leads me on to the only set goal I have in life right now. To move to Brighton.
It has been nearly eight years since I moved to Southampton for university, in which time it has become a second home to me. Still, I can’t help but feel it’s time to move on. Someone recently said to me that Southampton and my hometown, Margate were similar in a way and you know what, I totally see it. I think it’s the harshness of brutalist buildings in contrast of the thriving communities that reside in both. It’s just a shame that Southampton doesn’t really have a beach, but even if I’m not so in love with this city, it has been a pretty good place to be. I’ve learnt a lot about myself – in truth I’ve really become myself here. I hesitate to say ‘found myself’ because coming from Margate will always play a big part in who I am, but I’m glad I had some time away to develop in who I am today. Even if at times I feel that she could do with some major improvement – we can’t all be perfect now can we?
Why Brighton then? Well for one, it is likely most peoples’ dream location at some point in their life. The beach, the vibrancy, and for me the suitability for a vegetarian lifestyle as well as the music scene. It wasn’t necessarily just going to be Brighton though. Manchester and Bristol have also been in consideration, but when it comes down to it, Brighton is just logistically better. More or less smack bang in the middle of my two homes, Southampton and Margate, so I’m able to keep in touch with people with both places, as well as good connections to London. Did I mention the beach? Sure it’s pebbles rather than sand but I can so make my peace with that. Cost of living however, that might take some time.
Of course one of the most desirable places to live has to be one of the most expensive places outside of London. Classic. Still, I’m a stubborn little cookie who isn’t going to let that get in the way of her dreams. As it stands, my only measurable goal in life is to live in Brighton. It might not even be forever, but it just has to happen. While I’ve been telling myself that I would be happy working a retail job while living comfortably by the stony sea shore, I have to be a little more realistic than that. Sure it could happen, but is it going to be sustainable in terms of setting up there. Perhaps I need a commutable London office job that pays well enough for me to see this goal through. Or something to that effect.
I guess instead of figuring out what I need to do in order to get the job I want, I’m having to figure out what job I need for the life I want. It’s a shift in what I’m used to but not too crazy really. The retail job may in fact be all I need, I don’t know, but somehow I’m thinking I would feel much more comfortable being already settled in a job, with a good idea of income before making the move. You can tell I’m growing up eh? Of course there is that big part of me that just thinks ‘fuck it, what’s the worst that can happen?’ We’ll see, huh?
While rental costs are daunting, I’m no stranger to living in a house share so there’s always that. There’s also the knowing someone else also set on moving there – sharing a two bed flat sounds much more appealing than going all in on my own, right? Of course there are things that can go wrong in any scenario but that’s just the risk of life. Sometimes the little worries and ‘what ifs’ are just that. Little. Not big picture like, I don’t know, the only real goal I have set for myself right now.
Touching base on writing again, I have spent the last few years writing for independent blogs as well as my own, and while that was fun, I need my focus to be on my own. It’s a mix of falling out of love but feeling begrudgingly obliged to one and then dealing with accountability for another. No sites have done anything outright that make me not want to write for them, purely my own goals and relationship with writing dictating what is best for me. It’s taste, it’s time, it’s a lil bit of everything. If I’m putting in the work I – okay a little selfishly – want it to be for my own gain. Which by the way, is not an issue, but I guess you just need to own that. Not get forced into putting in more work because you felt bad that someone called you out for just wanting to get more for yourself. I mean, of course I blooming well want that.
So here I am owning it, not going through emails about bands I don’t care about and only getting the odd few people to write about them. Just using my time to pick what I want to write about and promote it the way I want. I’m here to stress that I still support all indie blogs out there -I’ve been a part of some amazing things through working with them, but sometimes you just don’t feel that connection any more and that is okay. I may still contribute to other sites out there, but for once, I’m putting myself first, unashamedly – and it feels really fucking great.
Let’s end this on a high note. I’m hoping to get more music pieces on this blog and have a few more books to write about too, as well as my own rambling thoughts of course. I hope you’re all doing okay. More writing to come soon.