Ah December. The reminder that the years nearly over, Christmas is coming and all you feel like doing is downing a bottle of Bailey’s and watching Christmas movies in your pants. I thought I’d be feeling like that this year but, for the most part, I’m not.
When I was thinking about how I’m feeling, and how to phrase it, four words came to mind: up in the air. It’s a good way to describe how I’m feeling and how things are at the moment.
Or, more precisely, how things have been after September.
I graduated, went to Florida and Portugal, and had a brilliant summer to mark the end of three crazy years studying and the start of actual, real adult life. Except, once the excitement of spending time with friends and in exciting places wore off, different feelings set in.
Everyone talks about how great you feel after graduation and, even better, how many “doors” the thing you spent three years doing will open for you. That’s not reality. Sure, I did feel great after graduation. I loved being free of essays, projects and the stresses of uni. In amongst that, though, this horrible sense of dread settled in the pit of my stomach. I didn’t want to teach, and I wasn’t sold on doing a Masters, so what on Earth do I next?
Suddenly, that spiralled into regret. I kept asking myself, and anyone who’d listen, why on earth did I do an English degree? I felt hopeless when I compared myself to friends who studied subjects that pretty much guaranteed jobs at the end of them and even more hopeless when friends who didn’t study those subjects found themselves working.
I felt like everything was falling into place for them, not me.
Since then, I resigned myself. My “dream job” wouldn’t just come out of thin air, if it even exists. I want to go into writing or journalism of some form, but I’m unfortunately from the North so opportunities aren’t as great as people in the south get, but it’s a struggle. I’m not qualified and, just like every job on the planet, it seems experience counts more than anything.
So, I’ve been applying for plenty of jobs as I go. I haven’t been lucky, getting knocked back, not smashing interviews (even ones I assumed went well!) and really unsure what job is the job for me…even for a little bit. This has knocked my confidence a lot, but I’m glad I have a great support system in my family and friends.
Things are still up in the air. I’m emailing as many writing websites as I can, attempting to get stuck in to what I hoped I’d finish during NaNoWrimo and applying for jobs even though – I’m pretty sure – they’re drying up like a pack of raisins before my eyes.
Whilst these few months have been a bit messy, I’m letting myself enjoy things. I’m going out (you’ll see I’ve been to plenty of Christmas markets on my Instagram), getting stuck in to as much as I can in the house and job-wise, and just enjoying peoples company. These last few months have taught me that things in life can go up in the air at any time, it’s not a perfect straight line. There are dips and bumps and all kinds of shapes.