To write home about

Friday, 27 February 2015

It has long been a dream of mine to shake off the cobwebs, pack up my life into neat and uniform cardboard boxes, and move to someplace completely and bewilderingly new. When I say 'it has long been a dream', I am in no way exaggerating. While I am in no sense old, I am ageing – as we all are – every single day, and let me tell you something for nothing. Verging on the top-end of your twentysomethings and feeling like you barely have anything credible or incredible to write home about, is a paralysingly terrifying thought indeed.

Can I make a slight interjection here? A tangent, if you will. I've recently become rather passionate about the saying 'age is just a number'. In fact, I would go as far to say that I am a complete slave to it. It gets me through the stony looks and rigid perceptions of people and their opinions. If you were to ask me how old I personally felt, I would probably say around 24. Twenty-two on a strong and spirited day; the same age that my boyfriend will be an less than a week's time. I've always felt younger than I am; I feel the same today as I did back at 19, fresh and constantly battling with ID brigades everywhere. It never helped that I've always had quite the baby face, but when you get older you begin to cherish that fact. Whenever I drop the 27 bomb, it's always met with bulging eyes and jaws open so wide, you can fit any Byronburger inside. Twice. Nobody ever expects that I am nearing my thirties. And do you know what? I am over the moon. Whether it's down to my chubby rounded cheeks, my insane energy, my attitude to life or whatever, I feel like I've done my job in convincing the world that yes, age is only a number. That being said, despite not totally feeling my age, I am completely aware of it in a scientific sense. The older you get means, potentially, the less your body is biologically able to do. Whatever, let's not get into that too deep today. But it's a dull thought laying dormant in my mind, 5% of the time.

(A second tangent I can lead myself astray on is exactly what do I make of creative writing? Or, more appropriately, my complete abandonment of creative writing over the past several years. Writing about myself and daily life and thoughts – simply writing for the hell of it – was once second nature to me. Verbs and vowels, alliterations and adjectives, pronouns and plethoras of delicious prose once flowed from me before I even had time to make sense of what I was writing, although I never felt like I had to. I honestly felt like I breathed writing and while my imagination never really stood the test of time of inventing a story entirely from scratch, I believed that someday I could make a pretty sturdy creative journalist. Now there is a thought I haven't imagined for a considerable amount of time – in the months and years since I truly believed that blogging my little heart out could perhaps earn me the key to this coveted career world, the online world has changed dramatically. Everything is instant and required here and now, right now. We now live in an era of Snapchat, Tindr and Pinterest. If it's picture-heavy, it's all the rage. Heck, you can even have a career on YouTube these days, if you so wish and work hard for it (or rather: if you have the funds for a Macbook and an expensive camera and look desirable enough). Coming back to words, absolutely everybody is a writer these days – or at least believes they can be. Thousands of blogs pop up on the daily, some updated once and never again, some forcefully pushed like a workhorse to falsely earn funds and freebies. Others, are consistently updated for years, with brimming sentences that you know somebody's heart and soul goes into; that you just know with every delicate hour breeds a thousand creative opportunities, and the talented soul manages to filter it into one single delightful post – and it makes total sense. A little corner of the internet to be resonated with, a corridor of relation and similarity and 'oh my god he/she/they get it too'. And yet it seems that we're entering the age of, if you ain't got the mug and you ain't got the moolah, you don't matter.)

A swift return to the original subject and I'll get to the point, finally. I am moving, and not just any old moving. None of this up-and-go thirty minutes down the road to so-called pastures new, or an up(or slightly down)grade of a room in the same old town – I am escaping the comforting clutches of the south-east. I was bred and brought up in the east end of London and I feel priviledged to have been born into such a huge, opportunistic city with so much culture and diversity to sink your teeth into. This goes hand-in-hand with me saying that, so as not to shock everybody quite so much, I am not choosing to flee Big City Life just yet.

But I am going north.

Manchester is where I'll be from mid-May onwards. It's a decision that I have sat on for more than a little while and one I came to gradually, thinking about not only my present but my future too. For the record, it is something that I am 110% definitely not doing solely for the purpose of being closer to my other, younger but not-quite-better half, although it has eased the decision somewhat. No more costly and time-consuming four hour drives in the dead of the night, or expensive train tickets, or cramped coach journeys; although each and every one of those have been worth it. One of my major gamechangers in decision-making was actually, the very unchallenging cost of living up there in the north. Put basically: despite the reality of probably making slightly (and only slightly) less money than I currently am, I'll be able to slice my rent virtually in half and deplete my travel costs almost fully. Ah, the joys of 24-hour £1 buses and heavily populated and celebrated cycleways! There's always the small matter of making plentiful returns to the south for parental and friendly visits, but that's nothing a little forward planning and gentle perusing of the Megabus website couldn't handle. Plus, lest we forget the modern world wonder that is Skype – hell, that's pretty much the reason I've been able to sustain a long-term long-distance relationship in the first place! If I can make that happen, I can make anything happen.

If we'd have sat down over a steaming mug of frothy coffee a year ago and you, whoever you are, would have told me that in a year's time I would be on the verge of moving to Manchester, I might just have believed you. I may have snorted and giggled for a little while, but I could have come to terms with that pretty easily. If you'd have told me that I would have met and fell in love with an amazing human and that he would be part of the reason for the move, I would have believed you slightly less. If you'd have told me, between milky sips, even more than 'lurve' that saving money would be my key moving motivator, I would think you were talespinning. You know, like a tentative tickle just to gauge a reaction, just to see what else you can reveal. And honestly, if you'd have finished with, “Kate, you'll write about it – and it will flow out of your fingertips and brain like a river.” If that had been your final reveal? I'd genuinely have spat my coffee all over the proverbial table in complete and utter shock.

Writing. It's good to be back again.

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