What a year. What a life. What a world.
I feel the need to tidy away 2011, make room for 2012 but attempts to do so seem doomed to failure as a sense of hopelessness in front of 'fate' overwhelms me each time I try. The irony of course being that I don't believe in fate.
I've been trying to form in my mind the things I want for 2012 in the belief that determination is 90% of the route to realisation. 'Space' is right up at the top - I simply can't live in my parents house, if I want to be alone I have to sit in my bedroom. If I want to cook I have to squeeze in the kitchen in between them being in there and endure endless questions. I really value silence and solitude and time to myself and for the last year and a bit that has been completely absent. The main block on that road is not knowing where I want that space to be and whether I should rush for the short term pay off (very tempting) or play a longer game for savings and a place in September. Much of this is dependent on the current PhD application I have.
The PhD is second on the list; I am struggling to motivate myself to complete the application which has been further frustrated by my laptop killing itself this week so any work must be done in an environment I don't enjoy working in - namely on the family PC in the spare room. I am pushing myself to have the application in by today (which is difficult as yet again I can't get a second referee and have been told in fairly unequivocal terms by my first referee that this is the last reference he will write for me, which whilst fair given it is now 4 years since I started my MA, royally fucks me over for any future plans) and the funding application in by the end of next week. I am basically shooting in the dark though as have nowhere to turn to ask for assistance in writing the application and online guides only tell you how - not if what you've written is any good. I had a dream where the person I have asked to supervise me told me my application was a pile of shite and there was noway I would get a place. Thanks for that one subconscious.
Third and finally on the 2012 wish list is a relationship. This one really complicates the first wish the most - where I choose to live and perhaps buy a house, is going to impact on my potential love life. There do not seem to be any women my age in the area. There are older women (significantly older, I have no problem with 8 years or so difference) and there are teenagers who are just leaving for university or at university. There are no mid-late twenty somethings who have ended up somewhere they never intended to be and would quite like to meet someone and build a life. Buying a house in this area feels like condemning myself to singledom for the foreseeable future and I don't want to make a potential positive of owning my own home into a life sentence to loneliness. Unlike the above two where there are numerous routes and options available to me this 'wish' is the one which seems to pose the most insurmountable obstacle to my own happiness.
I feel more conflicted and lost now than I ever have before and that in and of itself is quite distressing. I'm at an age now where I thought I would have things straightened out and I'm angry at both myself and the world for not delivering on that - I feel I've let myself down. It struck me yesterday, as I walked past my University college graduation photo in the hall, that 2012 will be 6 years since I first graduated and whilst I would not claim for a moment those 6 years have been wasted - I travelled round the world and I lived in a great city and I got a good Masters degree - I still find it hard to understand how 6 years could have passed without me getting a clearer idea of not only where I was going but where I am now. Indeed, in that 6 years I've lost some of the things I thought were a sure thing - like the certainty of marriage and not returning to live with my parents.
I recognise of course that we live in difficult times; the economy is poor and both jobs and funding for educational opportunities are scarce. I am lucky enough to be in a stable, secure job with strong prospects; I regret that I cannot *feel* the meaning of that though, I simply acknowledge it to be true. I came across a Nietzsche quote last night which, whilst I do not know the context of the writing it was taken from, certainly seems to express the reason I cannot settle at this time for 'adequate'; Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?
How true that is - something I feel all the more keenly since the death of my colleague in November.
Life is a thousand times too short to live without fulfilment and joy.