Introspection on a Decade

Apparently I started University 10 years ago.
Oct. 2001 was an odd time to move away from the country to a large town – the world was changing and I was 18 and that peculiar mixture of cynical and idealistic best manifested by being a teenager free to live their life how they chose.

2 years ago I wrote:
[Tuesday, 14 July 2009 at 15:59]

Having an introspective moment.

What were you doing 10 years ago? What did it feel like? Do you remember? How much have you changed as a person since then?

10 years ago: 1999- the edge of the silly number change and some parties, a pre-twin towers world.

In ’99, I sat my GCSE’s and turned 16, spent my last summer as a semi-pro showjumper, started clubbing and going to pubs on my own, turned loneliness into self-destruction, fell in love, helped make a film, came out to my friends and bought the only CD single I own – though not in that order.

So what was it like? My memory of myself at that time is that I was an arrogant fuckwit, I refused to admit there was anything I couldn’t do on my own & yet I also remember that I didn’t believe I was capable of what I was doing. I remember the sense of optimism about the possibilities of the world and the things I wanted to try – a new sense of financial and personal freedom and the beginning of clearer self-definition. But I remember the absolute certainty that my friends thought I was stupid, lazy and superfluous, crying myself to sleep every night running up to my exams and thinking it was normal and pushing myself to exhaustion to be good enough. Its odd but I don’t remember feeling miserable, just useless, and also restless and determined to get on and get experience.

How have I changed?

….

I never got around to really answering my own question, but as I muse on my decade in this town I can begin to look at the things I have done and achieved and the people who have passed through my life in that time.

So:

Got a degree and a masters, and am working towards a PhD
Got a job that I haven’t been able to quit for 8years
Walked up Kilimanjaro, wandered across much of Scotland and learnt to climb (then knackered my shoulder so I can’t)
Moved 5 times and bought a house

9 Weddings: A Handfasting and civil-partnership of my own, witness for Dad & My Step-Mother, Best Man for D&J, Readings for L&A and Kitten & Mr.C and a guest at 3 more (cousins various). Also witnessed a decree absolute for a divorce.
3 Funerals: Shirley, my Aunt Maddie and Fenton, plus an extra 2 where I only went to the wake[Good to know I am still in the phase of my life where I have been to more weddings than funerals]
Tried 4 different medications and seen 3 different counsellors; helped 3 of my closest friends make the decision to get professional support and taken one person to a psych ward
Taken over 2.5 thousand pain pills!
Sat at my sister’s hospital bed as she struggled through a coma and watched her learn to speak again and finish her degree.

Mostly I have fallen in love and started to build a life…

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