I’ve managed to survive an entire week of work!

It feels like everything has happened so quickly: within a month of flying over to England to job hunt, hearing about a potential job, applying, being interviewed, then offered a job, I’ve been working as a real live landscape architect for over a week! The speed of this is only rather offset by the fact that it has taken me over a quarter of a century to reach this point! Though then it is probably equally understandable why this past week and month have felt like a total blurred whirlwind!

Although I am only on a temporary contract, and it’s a slightly odd situation as I am just filling in til the person they want to employ can start, I am so grateful that I was in the right place at the right time to be able to take up this opportunity.

I’d been imagining the inevitability of work and life for me as an upside down parabolic curve: When I was younger, getting older meant starting work was evermore inevitable. At the age of 18 that’s what you do, right? – leave home, go out into the world of work, set up a new home and begin your life. Although going to university achieved the first bit: leave home, it initially pushed away the inevitability of work, and further still when I didn’t know what I wanted to do or had the skills to do, so started a post-grad course. On the back of a bad reaction to stress in 6th form, again during undergrad and rather more than just stress during post-grad, I began to really question whether I could ever cope with combining looking after myself healthily and do something else at the same time. Getting older and still not working made it seem like the inevitableness was turning slowly, then faster and faster towards inevitably never doing anything.

As for the third and fourth bits of the inevitableness: set up a new home, begin your life. Ha! The worry of work has taken care of those things not really happening. I feel like that’s the saddest thing to admit, because of course working should just be one portion of life. But for now I’m trying to ignore that, as I’m already doing a pretty good job of making myself feel like a crap person. I wish I could multitask, but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt about myself in the last few years, it’s that I really can’t cope when I get ahead of myself, and one thing to do is to take things gently, step by step, clearly, simply, logically.

Which is why I’m grateful for this job. Hopefully it shows my life isn’t a crashing parabolic curve after all, and will give me the confidence to apply for a full time, permanent job so that soon I can tick the box on going out into the world of work. Now I can look forward to the next step of putting my energy into setting up a new home. Well, not to get ahead of myself, I’ll do that once I actually have a permanent job in a permanent location where I can start to feel settled and not be living on a sofa! (I’ll also continue to ignore that life isn’t meant to happen in nice step by step stages…)