“Within the last year or so I feel like I am coming home to myself – shedding the layers that have built up over the years that have not served me. Bringing me back to things that have always been inside but hidden.”
This resonated with me so strongly! And got me thinking about my own feelings around this. In the last few months, I’ve felt truly alive in a way I really haven’t felt since I was a student. I LOVED being a student, and not just because of the copious amounts of beer and recreational drugs – honest. Looking back, I think I loved it for three main reasons:
- I was exploring ideas and being creative (I did a music degree).
- I was able to be myself – I wore what I wanted, made my own routine, and had wonderful friends who accepted me as I was.
- I was hanging out every day with said wonderful friends, who I am still close to 20 years on.
And then when I graduated, I believed it when the world told me that I simply wasn’t allowed to have this much fun all my life. I had to grow up, get a proper job, get a mortgage and be sensible. I had to dress a certain way and spend my days doing boring work, cos that’s just the way the world is. So I became an accountant and got a nice big house and car. Until last year when we made our big change …..
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a bloody great time in my post-student life as well. I met the love of my life and we have been happily married for nearly 15 years; I have the most wonderful girlfriends you could ask for, and I’ve been blessed with health and happiness. But I still feel that I was kind of drifting through those years in a haze, as if I was half asleep. A nice, happy half asleep, mostly – like when you’re snuggled up warm in your bed on a lazy weekend morning – but half asleep nonetheless.
And now …… since we moved to Glentrool, I am ticking all those boxes again of things that made me feel alive. And yes, there may also be copious amounts of beer involved. (But no recreational drugs – wouldn’t know where to get them these days!)
- I’m exploring ideas again and being creative every day – either in my crochet or my photography. I’m even making music again – singing and playing with our wee band. I hadn’t realised how much I missed being creative until I started doing it again.
- I’m able to be myself. I have no set routine to my days, and I can wear whatever I want, so I’ve binned my boring “accountant” clothes and started dressing like a student again. Sparkly hair bands! pink streaks in my hair! I just purchased this rather fabulous rainbow hoodie (in purple if you’re interested). I’m sure some people must think I’m going through some sort of mid life crisis, but I don’t even care, I’m having too much fun! After years of being dull in blacks and greys I want to wear a rainbow. Best of all, I have found a wonderful community of friends who accept me for who I am, weird clothes and all!
- I’m hanging out with close friends every day again. One thing I hadn’t expected when we moved here was to find such a lovely circle of friends. I think our village is a bit unique to be honest – it’s full of people like us who have moved here for similar reasons. It’s incredibly lovely to have like-minded friends right on our doorstep, and I feel part of a close knit community in a way that, again, I haven’t done since student days: there is always a close friend nearby to chat to and drink tea with. To the outside world we probably appear to be a village full of weirdo hippy types, but who cares – we are a happy bunch!
So here I am, wide awake and having the most fun I’ve had for 20 years. It really does feel I am waking up again after a long sleep. I both laugh and cry more frequently, and I’m more in touch with my emotions. I’m alive.