Saturday, 5 September 2015

Back on the treadmill.

Yesterday, I finally forced myself to go back to the gym, after what must've been a few months off, while I was stressing over the end of uni, deadlines and wandering into the real world. 

Nobody told me thag I would be at a disadvantage if I had a degree. Not one person. Admittedly the job hunt wasn't as pro-active as it should've been to begin with, but now it's in full swing. At the age of almost 22, I am unemployed with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. I want to break into that discipline, but living in the north east of England, it seems relatively impossible. I can see people trying to conceal their eyes rolling into the back of their heads as I announce 'I want to write.' Frankly, if I had a £1 for every time someone had said to me, 'so are you just going to teach?' I wouldn't even need a job. Credit goes out to those who see that as a life they want, but I'm not one of those people. I lack the patience, the desire or the determination to teach. My passion lies with writing. Picking up a pen, or in this case, my iPhone, to blog. It's soothing writing down my thoughts, even if I'm editing them all as I do so. 

I've been pretty down about the job hunt, as well as some other things lately, but yesterday I powered through. I set my alarm, got up, had breakfast, put my gym attire on, grabbed my keys, a water bottle and some headphones, and I was off. Although I struggled through the hour I was there, I felt better for forcing myself to get out of bed and exercise. It was a step forward. It was something pro-active, and until then, I don't think I'd considered it so. Whether I used to like to hear it or not, my P.E. teacher used to tell me that, 'exercise relieves all your stress, Eleanor' and yet, despite her prevailing, I hated it. I walked into my physical education lessons, entering via the changing room back doors, and while all the other girls were chatting away, I didn't say much. 

I passionately hated PE. 'I can't do it,' was my favourite excuse. In case you hadn't noticed, I have a strong, stubborn negativity about me at times. Even at the height, I was a 16 year old who was very self conscious, and didn't believe she was sporty whatsoever. I'm still not. I still have that attitude. I will probably never run a marathon. I will never be on a sports team. But I figured out early on, that was because I didn't want to be, rather than any capabilities I did or didn't lack.

My point being, the exercise that once scared me half to death, actually does make me feel better. It's a stress reliever definitely, for me anyway. When discussing this with my boyfriend via text the other day, I just happened to drop in a relevant Legally Blonde quote, and he had no idea what I was saying, having never seen such a brilliant film. I'll leave you with the quote, that is seriously relevant, very daft and almost always puts a smile on people's faces. Even after what can be described as a really shit few weeks, or even months, I know that getting back on the treadmill makes things fade away for a bit. 

'Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just DON'T.'
-Elle Woods, Legally Blonde.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

I actually did it!

Well, I've been busy.

As of 15th July 2015, I became a fully fledged graduate. I now have a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing. I got the 2:1 I was dying for, and although I was my usual stress self, the day went incredibly well. Putting on my gown, I glowed with pride. I somehow managed to bag EIGHT guest tickets for my ceremony, allowing all of my special people to see me graduate, which meant the world to me. My parents, my grandparents, my sister, my auntie, and not forgetting my wonderful boyfriend Lukas, without whom all of this would be just a pipedream. I don't know if any of them cried that day, looking up at me on stage, as I shook the chancellor's hand, smiled into the camera and walked off stage again, this time, WITH A DEGREE! But I felt myself buzz as I sat back in my seat, alongside my friend Laura. We looked at each other, and laughed: 'WE DIDN'T FALL!'

I probably could've cried, I just felt so overwhelmed. Admittedly, I did have a *few* diva moments throughout the day, when my gown irritated me, when my stomach rumbled and my head cried out for coffee. But luckily, I was met with helping hands, 16 to be precise. I can't even put it into words how much it meant to me that all my family got to see me awarded the degree I've been moaning on about for the past three years.

I won't sit here and lie and say those three years were easy. In fact, at times, I could've thrown down my books and packed it all in. I am sitting cross-legged on my bed, drinking coffee and reminiscing, calmly and happily, but that wasn't always the way. I was never very sure about going to Uni in the first place. I was shy. I didn't jump at the chance of making new friends, and being thrown into new situations. I worked my arse off for my A-levels, because basically, everyone at my school was encouraged to go to Uni, if you could get in. So I did. I sort of came around to the idea by the time I was in Year 13, while crippled under resit forms, I just decided I had to grin and bare it.

I got in. I was accepted into Uni and it all unfolded from there. Second week in, I was terrified. Thrown into my first real seminar, made to voice my opinions on novels I hadn't quite managed to finish, never mind form said opinion, but I bluffed my way through. I made friends, I gained confidence, I wrote an essay, I referenced correctly, I met new tutors, I began to adapt. I chose a Creative Writing course as my double honours alongside Literature, as I really loved writing. Little did I know, that would be my strength. I struggled in my lit essays. I didn't get the marks I was expected. The workload got on top of me. When my CW tutor sat us down and said we had 60 minutes to write a poem, I actually had a meltdown. Sorry, I'm rambling.

Basically, what I'm saying is, I may have a degree. I'm surrounded by those congratulating me and telling me how proud they are of me. I feel the pride too, but I also know, I struggled. I didn't sail through Uni with a book in one hand and a pint of lager in the other. The past three years of my life have been eventful to say the least... I went on three holidays, lost my confidence, began writing a blog, read a hell of a lot, drank so much I was physically sick, cried so much my head hurt, lost friends and gained others, established a love/hate relationship with Sambuca, celebrated, grieved, partied, gained a boyfriend, joined the gym, put on weight, grown my hair and got my confidence back. And now it's done. I can take a breather.

I haven't got a clue what I'm going to do with my life. But I have a degree, so I'm not panicking too much.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Catching my breath

Monday has come round, met with a combination of relief and despair. After the last few days, it feels like it's bound to disappoint. Maybe I'm being cynical, but more so, realistic. 

Thursday was our usual evening, spent at the pub quiz, where we usually avert our gaze from those teams who wrongly assume that because we are the youngest competitors, we must cheat our way into the league. To our shock this week, after going for what must be months, we won. Most of the teams clapped and cheered for us, Agatha Quiztee, the winners at last, if only for one week. Some stared resentfully in our direction as we celebrated with raised glasses and big grins. 

Friday began, and it was hell. Waiting frantically for results of my final degree grade was torture. Results were supposed to be released 12pm, on the dot. Little did we know, that meant everyone. Every single individual graduating from Northumbria university in 2015 got their final degree classification posted online on the same day. Later, obviously, this proved that the planning had failed dramatically, as five and a half hours later, I was one of the first to receive my classification, with others left to wait for an email instead that would arrive by 7pm. However, I couldn't complain. Three years of intensely hard work, tears, anger, stress, headaches and laughter, I got a 2.1 classification for English Literature and Creative Writing. All I could've hoped for. I was ecstatic. 

And what a way to end a weekend, than a Saturday spent in York, shopping, eating and drinking cocktails with my boyfriend. I feel like I'm just taking it all in now. With just over two weeks until I graduate, and no real career path in sight. I'm trying to be optimistic, trying to enjoy the lead up, trying to catch my breath and take it all in. 

Monday, 1 June 2015


As the rain clatters violently at the windows, my smile never falters once. And it's all down to you. My favourite human, my best friend and my boyfriend. We've known each other for just over two years now, been friends on-and-off for about 20 months, and in a relationship for what is almost a year and a half (next week.) Maybe I'm still in shock, in awe of you, and us. You're the first and last person I think of every day, and the reason I get out of bed in the morning. I'm forever thankful you never gave up on me all those months ago, and even more so you've stuck by me now. We've argued and momentarily wanted to kill each other, but on the whole, you make me happier than I ever imagined was possible. You bring out the best in me, and I in you, I hope. There's not a part of you I couldn't trace from memory, as it feels like your outline is imprinted onto my retinas. You're the warm fuzzy feeling when it's cold out and I'm not feeling well, the grin that lights up my face even when I'm low, and the aching muscles in my stomach, and the tears running down my face from fits of laughter. You're honestly the best thing to ever happen to me. 18 months and counting, Lukas. Feels like we've known each other forever, and yet this is only the beginning. 

Sunday, 31 May 2015

I'm lost.

All the days seem to have merged into one huge mess and I honestly can't remember the last time I woke up happily, with a smile on my face and a lack of exhaustion sitting on my shoulders. I'm worn down, and to be honest, a little bit lost.

I've finished my degree, celebrated both my sister's and boyfriend's birthdays within a week of each other, ate my own body weight in food and then amidst all that, everything came crashing down. My family received news we were dreading. There were, and have since been, countless tears shed, flowers sent and hugs shared. We all dressed in black and sat in the church and tried to sing hymns without spluttering through them. And then, in expected style, celebrated the life of a man who touched so many lives, and so many people. On almost-empty stomachs, we glugged pints and necked vodkas, bought rounds of gin and then later on, the sambuca started. More tears. Talk of happier times. As is said, United we stand, divided we fall. 

And united we were that day. 

Hand-in-hand, side by side, arm in arm. To hold out a tissue, a drink, or even just a hug. We mourned together, sang together, cried together, smiled, laughed and got drunk together. We reminisced, we held out hope, made promises, made plans, and then, collapsed into a heap of hangovers and reality hit.

This, was now nearly two weeks ago. That in itself seems unbelievable. And since then, I can't even seem to work out anything useful I've achieved. I've broken 3 acrylic nails done, and had one repaired, went to the gym and lost my gym card, collected an assignment from uni and was disappointed with the marks, lazily and half-heartedly browsed the net for jobs, and then, just gave in. 

My head still feels like it could explode any time. I have no grand plan now I'm finished uni, no career in the pipeline, no employers fighting over me. I'm stuck, I'm bored, I'm in denial and mostly, I'm lost. For the first time in my life, I feel like I have no solid friendship group. I haven't got uni, work, school, sixth form or proximity linking up and uniting my friends and I. I'm alone when it comes to being an adult, and honestly, I've never been more terrified.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Distraction tactics.

Today, for the first time in what seems like forever, I picked up my laptop, opened Blogger and found myself needing to write. Inspired may not be the word I would choose. Instead, I had the urge to write through my mixed-up emotions in my head. The reason I actually started blogging in the first place. For ages now, it's felt like I've neglected my writing, and more specifically my love for writing. My relationship with words has been rocky, tumultuous, strained. I've had too much work to do for uni, too much stress and weight on my shoulders, and after days of my head being filled with workloads and textbook theory, I grew resentful of the words I had to write, rather than the ones I enjoyed, and chose to use.

This isn't to say that I haven't written anything in a while. I always write. I write myself notes at 2 in the morning when I wake up with cold feet and a restless feeling in my chest. I type out thoughts and musings on my phone in the 'Notes' bit, just to get my emotions down, rather than being solely in my head. I send my boyfriend, and a few of my friends, huge, convoluted paragraphs of my thought processes, writing ideas, and just general ramblings.

Today, I feel the need to write things down. There's a lot going on that my head can't quite fathom, so writing and mumbling into the vast sphere of the internet appears to be my chosen coping mechanism. Let's just hope this all works. Let's just hope this all works out.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Blind hope.

You're laughing and joking and making plans, for the weekend, and the summer, and the future, and then suddenly life throws another curveball and everyone just stands there, looking at it, like, 'SHIT.' 

I am lying in bed, cocooned in my quilt, and I can't shift the attitude that life just isn't fair. Certain individuals seem to be handed the worst of hands, and it doesn't seem right, or okay, or fair at all. With crossed fingers and toes, tense chests and heavy hearts, we hope things turn out okay. There is no other option, nothing else we can bare to entertain. This is the only outcome we can fathom, so no pressure, SCRATCH THAT, all the pressure in the world is on your shoulders, because after all, even Duffy Moon can do it.