I have been putting off writing this post for days, if not weeks now. So, on this Friday night, as I was walking over London Bridge, weaving my way through the masses of suited people wearing trainers on their feet and serious expressions on their faces, I decided that today would be the day I write about it; about the last few weeks.
I sneaked in the Pret at the corner of the bridge, got a ridiculously overpriced banana and an orange juice, found an uncomfortable chair, and sat in front of my open iPad.
So here we are. About 4 months ago, I woke up from a phone call with bad news, went to work to receive another one of these phone calls, took a four day trip to Greece to attend two funerals, came back, quit my job, and got an internship in the field I am actually interested in.
From almost the first week of my 3 month internship, I knew that I made the right choice, and this was terrifying; I was so close to it, I was living it, an experience with an expiration date, a fairy tale with numbered pages. It’s not necessarily the specific job that I was so attached to, even though I love the company. It was the fact that I was doing what I actually liked. I was in a creative field, with normal working hours, and an endless supply of inspiration. I will write a separate post about the internship, as it is not the focus of this post, and I don’t want it to take over.
However, you need to understand that throughout these three months, I worked hard in most aspects of my life. I was freelancing to gain some financial support, interning, writing this blog, adjusting to a different kind of living, and constantly looking for a job that I could pick up on the end of my internship. The truth is, I spent most of my time trying to ignore this nagging feeling that the uncertainty for the future was generating; I think the feeling was a cross between anxiety and fear, and I pushed it as back as I could. I was convinced that by the time the three months were up, I would find something; as the days became weeks, and applications never got responses, I still kept smiling, and giving the thumbs up, saying that everything would be ok.
One day, I received an email from one of my dream jobs. Very long story short, I spent a month preparing for 2 interviews, putting my hopes up, grabbing a seat at the top of the mountain and watching my hopes crashing down when I got a no the day after my second interview. I brushed it off, said that it was ok, moved on, applied to other jobs, got interviews, and even got a great offer. Was I really ok? No.
When that job gave me a negative response, everything inside me came tumbling down, even though I put a brave face and kept going. It was almost as someone that just run a marathon, and at the end said, ‘why don’t we go for a lovely walk, maybe some shopping, and the a bit of dancing afterwards?’.
This was not just about the job. It was about everything; about trying so hard, for so long, and coming so close only to get a lovely packaged ‘no’. It was about hope, and the energy that it requires. It was about the last year, everything that has happened, all the things that changed, all the things that stayed the same.
So if I could not realise it, my body would. I was exhausted, my energy levels completely depleted; and so for once, I decided to listen -actually, I had no choice. I acknowledged how finishing my internship made me feel (I spent that evening eating a family-sized Ben & Jerry’s on the couch, watching re-runs of Murder She Wrote and crying when the killer confessed). I spent the rest of that week taking it easy, wearing long johns, drinking chamomile, and getting on a first name basis with the take-away guy. I stayed in the house, relaxed, started reading up on meditation, began eating healthier, joined a gym, and finally acknowledged how much losing that opportunity meant to me. When I did that, some perspective crept in.
Does this mean that everything is magically ok? Again, no. It means that this whole experience was a reminder that I need to take care of myself, not stress to bursting levels, and most importantly, do something good for my body and soul every day.
Last week, one of the companies I was freelancing for offered me a position, and after weighing it up with the other offer, I gladly accepted it. I start on Monday. That is all from me. I now have a banana to finish before going for a quick swim.