I’m a writer by nature. A collection of Lisa Frank diaries on my bookshelf back home prove that the urge to document began at a young age, and the degree in English literature proved that I was better at communicating academically than I am in person, over text and even by blog. But I like blogging. And journaling. And even though words escape me and my sentences aren’t as profound as they are in my beloved undergraduate dissertation (I’m abandoning basic rules of punctuation today for stream of consciousness flow), I’ve loved expressing my love of writing through my love of travel and makeup and my struggles with bad skin on this blog for four years now.
Four years ago I was a baby, but I felt like such an adult. I could legally drink. I was forcing my friend to go to London with me for a semester. I still wasn’t considered a junior by credit (my uni was something else). I still thought styling my hair was worth time and energy and I thought I finally figured out my style. I mean, I’m not saying I’m Leandra Medine these days, but I definitely have some sense of my style at the moment, even if it is that I wear the same black mock turtleneck jumper five days in a row and alternate between two pairs of black bottoms. It’s a choice I make and stand behind and probs feel supported by because I’ve paired it with a kickass red-orange lip. In November I voted for my hero because it was important to me when back then I didn’t care about Obama v. Romney. But now I miss Obama and how good we had it. And how proud I was of my country. And I’m still proud of Hillary. I’m different, as could be assumed, because I’ve lived in London three separate times now. I have one university degree under my belt and the second one is over halfway mine. I can recall tweets I sent at 21 that make me cringe now, but I accept that I’m a human and I’m constantly changing and growing and I’m proud of realising this about myself and that it’s all a part of finding myself. Note: this isn’t a cry for help or a pity post, this is a form of expression that sleep-deprived and emotional me warranted worthy of a domain and some (mostly) grainy images from my camera roll.
Idk what inspired this post, but one second I was pinning images of Emma Watson’s short hair and the next I was opening up my WordPress app. Maybe it’s my last-ditch attempt at justifying more time in bed at 11:30 pm instead of tending to my yoga mat and online barre classes (or idk, actual sleep?). Maybe it’s because as I was pinning, all I could think about was how stressed out I was and how everything just keeps building up. All the anxiety is bubbling over. Like, will my housing situation be okay for the next six months? Can I afford it? Speaking of affording things, why do unpaid internships exist? And am I a brat for thinking I, at 25 and basically with a master’s degree, deserve to be paid for an internship? Not even an entry-level job? Okay, but isn’t an internship technically an entry-level job??? Also, those student loans. The damn student loans never leave me alone and I haven’t even had to start paying them off yet. I actually welled up at a tweet from Bernie Sanders a few minutes ago that said: Every American, regardless of income, must have the right to a higher education. Seems so simple! But it’s not. It’s more complicated than that and I feel guilty for spending money, but I feel guilty for not taking advantage of the fact that I’m in London and have very little tying me down and holding me back. Except the student loans and the lack of an annual salary. With benefits.
Then there’s the master’s anxiety. I’m not going to sit here and say that this has been a difficult program because relatively, I know it hasn’t been. I’ve had a total of six graded assignments each of the two terms. I complete an internship and compile a portfolio at the end of the summer and then I turn in a dissertation? Project? Still unsure. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and that’s unsettling so close to the end of term. Regardless, it’s not the most amount of work I’ve had to do in a calendar year, but it feels different. I feel tired. All the time. I’m mentally and physically exhausted. I don’t know where my emotions are going from one minute to the next. I want to perform really well and get straight A’s, but I also keep waiting until the final hours to work on my papers and presentations because I know I can get away with it? Because maybe I don’t actually care that much?
It’s a strange, uncertain and transitional time in my life right now. I’m turning 25 in a couple weeks and I’m very proud of so many things I’ve done, but I feel like I can do so much more. I want to run a marathon, but first I need to run. I want to hold crow pose for more than half a second, but first I need to roll out my mat on a regular basis. I want to get a master’s, but first I need to hit the books. I want to learn how to cook, but first I need to try. I want to travel, but first I need to make money. I want to have a real, adult job, but first I need to figure out what I want to do. Because yes, even with two degrees, I still can’t decide what I want to do.
As I type this, I am uncertain of hitting publish because I don’t want anyone who reads it (not like I’m expecting anyone to read it, really) to worry. I’m okay. In a lot of ways I’m doing very well, but I have been holding things in and turning away from a lot and I can’t ignore that. So maybe these restless nights spent watching one Alexa Chung interview after another and the persistent pain in my back are my mind and body’s ways of telling me to take more control and to take care of myself? Yeah, curling up in bed and watching YouTube is nice, but stretching my limbs is probably nicer.
It’s about balance, isn’t it? But it’s also about figuring things out and I don’t know if I’m doing that correctly? I know we’re all struggling. We’re all dealing with so many things and yeah, it probably doesn’t help that I’m surrounded by so many wonderful, amazing human beings from my program who are also really uncertain about where they’ll be come May 4 and then where they’ll be once the summer ends. And then when our visas expire in January or when Brexit gets finalised. It’s an exciting time, but it’s a scary time and we’re trying to get our acts together with limited time. But we’re being adults about it. We know we have to be practical and are conscious of our money and our skills and the reality of what could happen, but we’re also dreaming and hoping and praying that we can stay in London and afford to live in London and get the best jobs and hang out regularly and not commute from zone 6 and okay yes, I want to afford the luxury of a nice brunch every weekend.
And so this is what’s happening to this 25 year old. Is this that quarter-life crisis I knew was coming? Or am I just sick and tired of living among early 20-somethings studying abroad and YOLOing every night of the week, much to the dismay of my haphazard sleep schedule? It’s probably 50% dealing with that and 50% me making my bladder suffer because I don’t want to run into anyone every time I have to pee. Or shower. I could run into my entire building because my bathroom is the main bathroom in the main hallway and do you know how much anxiety that brings me??? I’m practically 30 and I have shared showers?? I own shower shoes, my friends. No wonder I’m a mess. But I’ve got less than two weeks until the semester ends and I’ve been applying to some solid potential internships, so things aren’t so bleak. Except the showers. Those could be a bit cleaner.