Life building

For the first time in my life, I have come out the other side of an educational institution or university degree and have nothing standing in the way of me and the rest of my life.

It’s a scary experience. As a fresh-faced 17-year-old, I went straight from school into university – and after that, as a not-so-fresh-faced 22-year-old, almost straight from my undergraduate degree into a professional masters. The year in between was spent applying for the masters and doing the relevant work experience, and just generally trying to feel like a human being and get over my ex (now once again boyfriend).

So this is the first time I’ve really been left bare to the world. No particular plan – just an apartment with an obscenely high rent, some savings, and a slight feeling of dread at the daunting prospect of having to – for the first time in my life – look for a job.

That will make me seem like a bit of a spoiled brat. I did, in fact, work part-time through school and university, but all I ever worked at was teaching Irish traditional music to various groups of people (mostly small, bratty children). It paid extremely well, and I was blessed to have this opportunity – I knew it at the time, and I know it now. But it meant that the first experience I ever had of trying to get a job was looking for my work experience during my gap year. And now, looking for a real, actual, honest-to-god, money-paying job – it kind of scares me.

So here I am putting together my first ever job application. My CV is finished, I think; I have a cover letter ready to go; and the application form is nearly filled out. Now it’s just a matter of proof-reading it, printing it all out, and bringing it to the organisation in person, because the deadline is in a couple of days and I just don’t trust our postal service.

I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of more this over the next couple of weeks and months. And to be honest, it’s not just scary, it’s exciting. Exhilarating. Sure, I’m not going to walk into my dream job anytime soon. I don’t even know yet what my dream job could be. But the thought of actually being a real adult with a real income, contributing in a real way to society – it’s exciting.

I’m just hoping that I’ll have time on the side to continue looking into academic research and all my creative endeavours. I think I didn’t give academia a proper go-around, and I’d like to take this year to get back into English literature and see if anything really grabs me. And maybe get back into writing more, painting, photography. But it’s time for me to get out into the real world and give myself something to write about. I’m looking forward to it.


7 thoughts on “Life building

  1. I got a hit of writer’s block this evening, so it was great to read your post. At 50 I’ve had two careers and find myself joining you at the back of the start line. It is exciting to get a job, to meet a bunch of new people, to have money in your pocket. But, if there is one word of advise I’d give to you as we wait for the starter’s pistol. “Follow your passion”. Find out, out of all your interests, what one would keep you burning the night oil, night after night. Be ruthless, discard all the others by a process of elimination, until you finally are left alone with the one solitary passion, that you would do day in, day out, for the rest of your life. Then, and only then, jump every fence, knock on every door, never give up, until you find a way to make a job, and an income, from your passion. Otherwise, a generation from now, you might find yourself back here giving this advise to a young, intelligent, talented soul. 🙂

    • That sounds like very good advice, thank you! It’s funny, I think I’ve been slowly starting to realise that myself very recently. My entire Masters was basically an exercise in *not* following any particular passion, but rather just trying to find an easy and non-scary way to get myself into a career I might not hate… and a few months into it I realised I had made a mistake. Best of luck to you on your new start! If you don’t mind me asking – have you identified that one passion yet?

      • My passion has always been to search for a deeper meaning to life. I’ve always struggled to reconcile the soul with the body, I think this is probably a hang up from my catholic upbringing. I would love to connect with the spiritual in a meaningful way, that embraces the body. I love the proverb of the four rooms, in that I think the best form of self development must encompass our mind, emotions, body, and spirit. I would like to find a way to do this, either by writing or teaching/coaching, or preferably both. However, having giving such high blown motivational advise, how I quite do this, has so far eluded me. 🙂

      • Yes, I wondered if it was to do with the four rooms. It’s an interesting idea, good luck with finding a way! I’m very interested in that side of things, too. I identify as an atheist, and I don’t really believe in souls as such, but I somehow manage to be “spiritual” all the same – I think I just have a mostly psychological and metaphorical approach to it. It’s one of the main things I’m addressing in my life right now – as you say, a “deeper meaning to life”, and for me it definitely embraces the physical and the body as a central part of it.

  2. Wow, it’s a really excited post. I think writing, painting & photography can get together as one. They’re all magical ways to express life, thoughts, and feelings. You’ve already done your great job : ))

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