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0.5 Days of Summer

26 Aug
Gaudi's Parc Guell

Gaudi’s Parc Guell

I started this summer with the intention of filling my spare time with things like reading for fun and updating this blog. This hasn’t gone to plan, and not because I’ve been procrastinating from procrastination, but because I became employed.

On my first day out of Uni, a mere week after my last post, I had an interview, got the job, and began training the next week. Although definitely very fortunate and exceptionally lucky, this employment hadn’t exactly featured in my summer plans of catching my breath after three years of rather intensive study… I wasn’t ready to enter the real world; to no longer laugh in the face of council tax bills, to go to a shop without flashing the NUS card or to have, and to openly justify, both day pajamas and night pajamas.

So, after an all too brief trip to Barcelona (the beautiful city above) and a very speedy Graduation ceremony (in which I didn’t fall over), both of which fit in the space between interview and first day, I started working full-time in the big smoke. It was quite the transition and extremely overwhelming. I know the shock was at first attached the novelty, but since those first few days I’m not sure it’s quite left me. The resonant shock, however, is also probably due to the fact that little over a month later I’m sitting in a strange house that’s monopolising most of my meager salary. I am living with strangers and appear to have moved into a joke house: you touch it, it falls off wall.

So it’s a case of ‘get with the program’ and a trial by fire in both work, life and living. I commuted for a month. Never again. Until you’ve been stuck for hours by various things on the rails, running out of polite conversation with the person you’re sat next to, you may not appreciate this sentiment. I did, however, morph into the stereotype quite rapidly…its amazing how quickly commuter life embraces you. Before you know it your watching recorded programs on a tablet like the best of them, reading the Metro religiously and getting irritated by those people doing normal, everyday journeys who are, most definitely, in the way. These few weeks did come with one major revelation: what I lack in being perfect armpit height I definitely make up in being able to work my way around people and onto a train. It turns out no-one questions the short girl who just appears in front of them, especially when paired with the nonchalant look I’ve been cultivating. It’s an art form.

I’ve always believed change to be a good thing, but it turns out what I really meant was change in moderation, which kind of negates the idea of change altogether really. I feel like I keep falling into new things – I’m not stepping into them, and I’m not being thrown into them…it is more of a stumble, a clumsy drift into the next step rather than any sort of calculated movement.

And so begins the next step, or the next stumble. I’m going to spend the next few weeks, or possibly months, working out if the job is for me, whether the corporate world is anything like the movies and finding my feet in the big city.

 

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Opportunity’s Fool

24 Jun

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of good times and goodbyes, the frantic last minute attempt to do everything, see everyone, to experience the things that had been put off until “next time” over the last three years. That “next time” has become now, as putting it off ’till later becomes never.

I made it to the Lake District, to the beautiful Grasmere, as a post-dissertation treat and to see a good friend who had moved there. Here life was picturesque and perfect for her, I was overjoyed to find that she had forged a happy life there, and am determined to go back to that very lovely part of the country. Below are a selection of photos I took from the visit and of a walk up to Easedarn Tarn.Image

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Not only is University ending for me, but I’m moving 300 miles south. Something I’m even more apprehensive about is that this move is back to the parental nest, a place I inherently love, yet have let go of. To move back is potentially more daunting than the move to University, yet for a very different reason. Studying thrusts so many opportunities into your path, and staying at an institution away from home is a safe expanse to try out this thing called ‘growing up’. However, bringing all this back to rules and rooms I’ve outgrown is asking for trouble. And now experiences aren’t going to be offered on a plate. They’re going to have to be sought and bought, and they’re going to have to play second fiddle to the search for a career and my place in the working world. So what’s next? A holiday to Barcelona, a summer job, potentially(/hopefully) a few interviews and then a very open few months. By the end of 2014 I anticipate I will begin my ‘career’ and I’m hoping to have found my feet, at least to some extent.

Finally, this is a picture I took at my Graduation Ball, the sun setting on an exciting, varied University life. It definitely feels like an end of an era, but I’ve had a really good run here and I’ll miss it terribly.

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Something’s Changed

20 Jan

I have been very fortunate in my life that by the age of 21 years, I have never lost a significant member of my family. Of course there have been pets, and not to disregard them, but yesterday my Grandad passed away at the age of 75.

I’m not sure what is the correct way to deal with this, and being 300 miles from home and amidst a busy University term doesn’t exactly lend itself to making the situation easier. We were close, closer when I was younger and when I saw him everyday. It was quick, a shock and unexpected for all. I’m emotionally struggling and clearly need time to breathe, release and accept the situation. I can’t help feeling like the outside world is reflecting my emotions.

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18/01/13 – taken by myself.

The world that was is now shrouded underneath impenetrable ice and heavy snow. I know it is the world that will be again; the trees and plants still live underneath, they just can’t be as they were right now. Sometimes the harsh reality knocks them down, sometimes it wipes them out, but almost always they merely hibernate and come back fighting in the spring. Until the sun is warmer they won’t be completely free of the elements weighing them down and, like them, I know I am a hibernation away from returning to the life I knew, although it will be one which will have altered significantly. In literature they call this connection between emotions and the weather ‘pathetic fallacy’ and in literature we are taught to make these connections, so perhaps I’m going a little mad or perhaps I need some time away from the books. Perhaps, instead, I should embrace this connection and when the snow melts and the ground thaws, I should take that as my cue to continue with the life I know he had hoped I would lead.

It’s like the reveal of Superman as Clark Kent, but instead I take the glasses off.

3 Sep

So my brother tells me that if I’m striving to be a writer or working within media in this modern age then I must have a successful blog. I’m not so sure on the successful part, but this blog has been running for a while so perhaps that counts for something. The existence of this exact blog isn’t really known to him – I really do appreciate my anonymity in this regard, in both my internet and ‘real’ lives. But, perhaps it should be? I own a twitter page, a facebook page and although surely I do tailor what I write with the knowledge it is to be read by someone who knows me, I like to think I don’t hide myself within those words. I hope I don’t at least. Here, without anybody having the slightest idea who I am at least everything I say is barrier-less of this sort of self-censor-ism.

So, again, perhaps I should make the move to increase the me in this blog. I’m not suggesting that this isn’t already so self-centred that it makes that idea sound really, really ridiculous. But if you’re following what I’m getting at then I hope you understand what I am rambling about.

In my excuses to my brother and his comment I stated that I didn’t have enough to say. He laughed about that idea claiming I ‘have an opinion on everything’ and I choose to take that as a compliment. So I’m going to try and make this more of a regular thing. Like a public diary/journal, of sorts.  And I’ll work on making it more public and we’ll start right now.

So, for a third time, my name is Rachel and I’m a 20-year-old student. I like reading books that perhaps are a little ‘below’ my degree of English Literature and that don’t even try to masquerade as a classic. I watch way too much TV and most of which is a little bit ‘trash’ and to top that off I like watching films with a lot of action in, but cheesy rom-coms fit the bill also, to be honest I enjoy most films so this comment is a little redundant. I love to see new places and explore a little, flying also excites me massively but that’s also part of my upbringing (and a story for another day). I dislike judging people, eating mayonnaise and goats. I wasn’t what you’d have called an early bloomer in my teens. I’m not exactly what they would have called a bloomer at all to be honest, but I’m pretty much over that. I was obsessed with editing Youtube videos for 3 or so years, a fact that many don’t really know as I was embarrassed about this nerdy-ness. I wish I would’ve got over that lack in self-confidence well before as I should’ve been and should be proud of my little hobby and its 1,500,000 views.

Overall I’m your average human being and pretending to be otherwise is redundant. I have views, opinions, likes and dislikes and I guess I think that I’m unique, but then, aren’t we all. Not especially unique, just not shaped from the cookie-cutter either.

 

One of Four

29 Feb

Happy 29th February. Why did February become the lucky month? Or the unlucky month, a few days short of all the others. It’s not really fair.

I’ve Come To The Conclusion That;

4 Apr

Life is a period where you use your own lifetime to meet others’.

Sometimes you touch someone else’s life and other times they touch upon yours.

The most important thing is that after moments where two lives collide, things never stay the same ever again.

We change.

And, in the end, we realise that the money, the cars and the worries didn’t matter one bit; that the only thing that did were the people.

If You Had One Day To Live?

28 Feb

Today, I present to you;

The Mayfly.

For immature Mayflies, or nymphs, the first stage of life begins underwater, where they remain for approximately a year before embarking on their ‘teenage’ stage. For some species of Mayfly, this fleeting stage of development and change lasts mere minutes before the Mayfly enters its third, most important and final stage of life; Adulthood. The length of this Adult life varies between species, but lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours (that is if they aren’t eaten first). Then, it’s game over- the Mayfly expires. During its short Adult life, the Mayfly does not feed, rather mating and laying eggs in order to continue the existence of the unique insects. Considering the lifespan of these extraordinary insects, its somewhat amazing that they are very numerous, existing everywhere but Antartica, the Artic and a few Oceanic islands.

So how does it feel to be the Mayfly? You wait a year for one single day of power, of freedom from the world you can’t escape. I find them fascinating. Time seems to move so fast and we all know it isn’t limitless. We are mortal. But there is a feeling that it could go on forever. The vast majority of us spend our days working, often in places we don’t like and doing things we don’t necessarily want to do and all in order to enjoy the few hours in the day that are ours and to spend precious moments of peace when we are frail and elderly.

In many ways we are like the Mayfly. Our childhood, at the time, seems to last forever and we long for the day we can spread our wings. Our teenage years seem shorter, more easy to recollect perhaps, but even so they pass in a blur. A fleeting moment of potential and promise, and ultimately change. It is our adult life that brings us to consider our past stages and many of us, I daresay all of us, long for moments from that time, to be once again powerless and vulnerable and ignorant of both. It is our adult stage where we must fulfill our role and potential and then, finally, end. Does the Mayfly acknowledge that this day is both his first and last? Does it matter? I feel sometimes we are lost in the questioning of it all, in the preparing, the planning and the waiting, that we lose the point. There is little need to discover the meaning of life if you do not acknowledge that you are alive. It is the single most powerful thing you can be. The Mayfly does not have the time to question and feel regret (even if modern science tells us he is not capable of this anyway), he just has time to live and to breed. I wonder if they know that their end is imminent, so imminent that they can touch it. Very few of us live each day in its entirety, instead planning and talking in weeks, months and years. How long have you been planning your journey/with your partner/in your job/living in your House? Four Years? Call it 1461 days. If we actually just lived one day, and I mean really lived it to the full, perhaps it’d seem longer.

One day to live life. But what a day that could be.