This began as an article for Throwaway Literature about long haul coach travel. As I was writing it, I began to think about going to Corsica in a couple of weeks, and how my life is going to really begin when I get back, and I’ll have to start scheduling my (hopefully various) jobs, planning my eZine updates, working towards interning in a publishing house and saving up for Peru.
Once I get back from Corsica, I won’t be going anywhere else (Except maybe Avignon at the end of November) for a while, so I’ll finally be leading a stable, settled existence.
In the past couple of months, there’ve been a lot of changes for me. My classes stopped at the end of May, I moved into my friend’s house at the start of June, then broke up with my ex at the end of June. Moved into my current house at the start of July, and started working seriously on my dissertation. Went to Amsterdam in August, and handed my dissertation in.
I kept thinking that after ‘insert event here’, I would start the next section of life and it would be more settled. I’ll have a fixed income so I can budget, I’ll have a schedule so I can plan my days. I can finally get around to my pile of books and teach myself Photoshop. I can write and update my blogs regularly, and start looking for ways to market them and use them to get freelance work.
I’ve never had a particularly settled life though, and this is partly a blessing, partly a curse. I’ve lived in at least ten houses, five before the age of 16. My parents got divorced when I was 12, which shook me up a bit. My family are really big on travelling, as well. When I was younger we’d go to France or the Canary Islands every year (woe is me, yeah, I know) and then as we got older and when my Mother remarried, we started to go more interesting places, such as Iceland, Tunisia, Gozo, Florida.
I’m used to change and travel, but in those days, I had school to go back to, and there was a definite structure to my life. Lessons, breaktime, lessons, lunch, lessons, hometime, holidays, lessons. Something I could get to grips with and rail against. Now, more than ever, I have very little structure to my days. I have one part-time job with irregular shifts, these blogs for which I set my own deadlines, and some vague ideas of applying/begging for freelance journalistic work, or proofreading, copy-editing (anything! please!).
This is partly freeing – I can up and off at short notice – but I feel as though I’m constantly in a state of transition, going through a change, waiting for the next one, waiting for things to settle into place before I start…what? Living like clockwork?
Currently I’m waiting for my laptop and Spanish cds to come in the post, so I can email Creative Corners and learn Spanish. I’m waiting for a couple of places to get back to me about jobs and I’m already waiting to be back from Corsica so I can schedule my jobs and organise my life.
That last one is no fun.
Without an academic timetable (to skive and procrastinate from) I’m worried that I’ll waste this year away and achieve nothing, so I keep thinking ‘next, next, next.’
Everytime I realise I need to relax and stop worrying about what I need to do in the future, I make a list of everything I need to do, so that I can put it out of my head and just refer to the list. This generally results in me making hundreds and hundreds of lists about things to worry about in the future!
I don’t think that when I get back from Corsica life will be any different to how it is now. I’ll start planning my next little adventure, either Avignon in November, or DisneyLand Paris in December. I’ll probably still be looking for another job. I’ll probably still be wondering if Stephen and I will be together when he gets back, and when that might be (if ever). So many things will still, will always, be up in the air and out of my control, no matter how many lists I make.
The flipside of this is, what am I yearning for? I don’t want a 9-5 office, typing beneath fluroescent lights, kind of job. And as the recent economy has proven, they’re no more stable than starting your own business on the internet. (In fact, less so, since you’re at the whim of a money-driven CEO who might fire you to turn a quicker profit).
I like my life of random travel and the slight unknown, I just wish sometimes I knew where I was…
“I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.” – Kerouac