There have been no updates for about three days, I don’t seem to answer personal e-mails, I forget text messages that people have sent me. Work has been busy, despite getting in early to make a dent in the paperwork so it is cleared before the new me takes over, there seems to be no end to it. Weather’s heating up, my patience wearing thin.
I got home and was still so revved up that I put a load of washing in and nervously walked around the flat ( to the annoyance of my sister no doubt) and I only just acknowledged this feeling as something strangely familiar: stress. I haven’t felt stressed for ages. I like to think I am able to balance a lot things, multi-task is my middle name and I pre-plan events so carefully there no need for Plan B, yet this is wholly to benefit myself: the only time I feel stressed is when I feel out of control.
I’ll admit: I am a control-freak and a perfectionist but at least I am good at both.
So what about leaving a job without having anything lined up then you say? I guess that by making that decision I stayed in control of my life. It was my first decision to finally stop drifting.
A few years ago I was stressed out about frittering my life away, worried about what to do with myself. To block it, I decided to go with the flow for a while: voluntarily being to be out of control. All because my plan had run out. At 17 I had to make a 5 year plan what to do after graduation and everything came true. At 21 I had to do this again and nothing happened.
It took me nearly four years to figure out why.
Let’s start with the latter plan: what I wrote down at 21 was something I thought other people wanted to hear. It was part of the final essay of my post-grad, I was terrified of having to enter the big bad world and get a job ( and even more terrified of not getting at least a 60% on my research – yes, that is right: so. naive.) I think I warbled on about starting a theatre group, building bridges between high-culture and low-culture and saving the world through political theatre. The fact is: I didn’t really want it, otherwise I would have pursued it. I had no idea what I wanted to do.
When I was 17 my plan was short and sweet: finish A-levels, move to UK do 3 year under-grad English/Theatre, move to London, do post-grad at a drama school. Boom. No more becoming a doctor or studying Art-History. That was it. Creating theatre. Simple. Rock-solid self-believe edging on arrogance.
One can argue it is easier when you hop from one academic institution to the other. Still I got rejected for my under-grad on my age and I bombarded them with e-mails until they relented and invited me for an interview. My second year is shadowed with a tiny case of melt-down after too many things builded up and I did still have to audition for my second course which didn’t look at academic results perse. There were opportunities when it could have gone wrong but it didn’t because I kept both eyes on the ball.
Then came the floating years and they were there for a reason: experiencing them have made me a little milder, a little more humble, a little nicer.
Next week my last week at work starts because I chose it to be so, therefor the stress of this (and no doubt next) week will be the price to pay for getting back on the horse. Just not such a high one this time!