It’s a funny stage of life, this inbetweenness. Calling myself an inbetweener makes me sound like a socially awkward boy with a shit car; and whilst one of these traits may be true, it’s not exactly what I’m getting at. It’s more a feeling; a feeling of being inbetween lives, inbetween jobs, inbetween everything so you’re never fully committed to anything, you never fully settle.
Being addicted to Bristol and everything associated with the beautiful place that it is; I couldn’t quite bring myself to give up on it and enter the harsh reality of busy London working life. I made this decision with an open mind and don’t regret it for one second. But what it has meant is that I have left at least half of myself behind; most of my closest friends in the world, my family, and my true home. During university Bristol was a home away from home, I entered both worlds equally and felt like I was surrounded by family in each. And whilst I still adore Bristol and the people here, that feeling hasn’t quite stuck around.
I have a tendency to say yes to absolutely everything; it’s something that comes naturally at this age I believe, known by some as the phenomenon of ‘fomo’. And whilst this has always meant I spread myself thin, with everything that comes with graduate life this has only increased. I go through months not spending a single weekend in Bristol, which means I’m basically living my life out of a suitcase. It’s like travelling, except it’s not, because this is my LIFE. Don’t get me wrong, I love variety and seeing new places, having new experiences and having them with amazing friends. And I know that this is exactly what your twenties are about – but every now and then I just crave some normality and continuity.
I don’t know about you but for me, constantly being on the go and driving here there and everywhere is knackering. I barely realise it at the time I’m so busy enjoying myself at various events across the UK, but boy do I realise it once I collapse on my Bristol bed and allow myself to actually settle for a moment. Take now for example. I’m currently still recovering from LAST weekend – yep, that’s right, it took me a whole week and a (very rare) weekend of lying around and not much else and I’m still not recovered. This is probably my immune system’s way of telling me to slow down and maybe accept a couple of weekends not planned around activities.
But I won’t do that. Sorry, immune system. As unsettling as this stage of life is, it is what it is, and I’m enjoying it. I want to make the most of my limited time in my beloved Bristol, hence I’m squeezing in every cultural and Bristolian venture I can. But I also don’t want to miss anything that goes on in London or anywhere else. Because you can’t get those moments back. A city can become your life, but at the end of the day if you can’t enjoy it with all the people you love, it’s not enough.
Yes, ideal world, I would teleport the lives of all my friends and family and make them live here in Bristol with me. But life doesn’t work like that. And I know in the near future I’ll be on my jolly way back to London to start the next stage of my life. And maybe that stage will be more settled and less inbetween. And maybe it won’t. But that’s okay, as long as I’m happy and spending as much time as possible with the special people that make those journeys and those sleepless weekends what they are – times and memories that I wouldn’t exchange for anything in the world.