Young, over-educated and winging it

Young, over-educated and winging it

Welcome to the newest addition of the Appleby Ink Blogs.

When life hands you lemons, squeeze lemon juice into the eyes of your enemies'

Performative workaholism may not be a healthy coping strategy, but what is the alternative? If there is a God, in 2020, many people would call him the greatest troll of al time by making memes of his creations. 

That whisper of a thought we all come to regret: it can’t possibly get any worse. What we believed to be rock bottom was merely one of many stops on the bus route to eternal damnation. As we circle the drain to party with the sewer rats, it can be difficult to identify any silver lining on the storm clouds looming ahead… 

The New Year started with unfamiliar optimism, now recognised as the false sense of security it really was. I’d relocated miles away from my family, friends and hometown to embark on a new relationship, responsibilities and career path. I had faith and trust that things would be okay, for the first time in a long time. 

It was the happiest three months of my life; as if someone waved a magic wand and undid the decade of struggle I had faced previously. I had savings, prospects, but most of all, hope. 

Now, I shall be ending the year entirely differently to how it began. The unfamiliar optimism has been smothered, replaced by the experienced scepticism which had waited, lurking, for the moment this fantasy fell apart to remind me of the harsh reality of life. Risks lead to consequences. If you’re willing to gamble with your livelihood, be prepared to lose everything. 

During COVID-19 lockdown I suffered from extreme isolation in these new circumstances; only able to communicate to one human being face to face. I lost my Uncle Phillip to cancer and was unable to attend the funeral due to social distancing restrictions. My mental health began to deteriorate as the symptoms of BPD worsened alongside the symptoms of the fibromyalgia. 

It seems I shall lose my home, my belongings, my pets, my new relationships, the future I’d hoped for, along with the sense of security, happiness and openness brought with them. 

To be left entirely alone, financially challenged, in a country I don’t know, without any support system and nothing but my temporary job to rely on, scares the daylight out of me.  

10 Steps to Ruining Your Life in Less Than a Year

1. Move away from everything you know

2. Spend all your money shaping a new life

3. Tie yourself to a dream career

4. Put your whole heart into it

5. Look after everyone but yourself

6. Miss important deadlines

7. Neglect your mental health until relapse

8. Lose the person you love

9. Face homelessness

10. Give up trying

I can guarantee you if you follow each of the steps above, you will ruin your life in less than a year. 

All of these steps I have taken myself aside from the last one. Never give up trying. Even when the situation appears hopeless and your mind feels it has regressed, always strive for more. 

If I were to give in to the dark despair these grim circumstances present me with, how would I wake each morning able to open my eyes without tears? How could I teach those children going through just as tumultuous times as myself to soldier on?  

This big, wide world was not designed with equity at the core. Whether life is far means nothing to those living at the mercy of chaos. Chance dictates any systematic patterns that could be harnessed to better understand it.  

To become a key worker in these unprecedented times is a bold move to make. Bravery is wobbly. It isn’t doing things because you feel no fear. It is doing things in spite of the fear. 

Now, even with the potential life-changing scenarios I am facing, I will not give up. Not on the future I want, the career path I value, this new town I call home, or the people I care about. 

Without a guarantor or savings, I could become one of 5,000 Britons sleeping rough by living in my car, washing in petrol station bathrooms, kipping in car parks, until the charity-funded teacher training begins in September. If a young, over-educated lass like me can make it six months in Edinburgh with no address or money at 18 years old, I reckon I can smash it at 24. The problem is, I shouldn’t have to. 

“They will hate you if you are beautiful. They will hate you if you are successful. They will hate you if you are right. They will hate you if you are popular. They will hate you when you get attention. They will hate you when people in their life like you. They will hate you if you worship a different version of their God. They will hate you if you are spiritual. They will hate you if you have courage. They will hate you if you have an opinion. They will hate you when people support you. They will hate you when they see you happy. Heck, they will hate you while they post prayers and religious quotes on Pinterest and Facebook. They just hate. However, remember this: They hate you because you represent something they feel they don’t have. It really isn’t about you. It is about the hatred they have for themselves. So smile today because there is something you are doing right that has a lot of people thinking about you.”
― Shannon L. Alder
Author

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