Please. Don’t. Mess. This. Up.

Well well well. 

We meet again. 

Don’t give me that look, it’s about time we had this chat.

No you’re not dead…yet. This isn’t your ghost talking to you from beyond the grave. 

And no, the mad monkey that lives inside your brain hasn’t escaped yet either. Blimey, what a nightmare that would be… 

Instead, this is a reflective pep talk, from me to me. We’re going to look back at key moments over the last few years – before, during and after that thing that shan’t be named, wreaked havoc.

Firstly, well done. You rarely give yourself a pat on the back, perhaps you should do it more often. We both know it’s been a tumultuous journey so far, many bumps in the road both personally and professionally.

Now, let’s rewind the clock back a few years. If the struggle getting to uni was difficult, adjusting to post uni life was another battle in itself. This is a strange time for you. The post-uni blues seem to last an eternity. It’s described to you by a counselor as similar to experiencing a bereavement, which even you feel is a ridiculous overstatement…  Nevertheless, after completing another internship soon after graduating, you’re a year into your first ‘proper’ job. There are two ways of looking at this. On the one hand, you should be grateful for beginning your career so quickly after graduating, barely spending any time funemployed. On the flip side, perhaps it would have been better to bide your time, be patient in your search for the right role, and to not be enticed by money.

It’s during this period that you realise that you’re not money motivated and things begin to unravel, leaving you feeling unsatisfied, unhappy and underwhelmed. You’ll live for the weekend. Life will pass you by for a while. The hangovers become far too frequent, you’re spiraling. Friends and family are concerned and question your decisions. This is important, because you are fortunate to have such a strong support network around you. Never take that for granted. 

You keep muddling through the fog when suddenly, the world is turned upside down by a certain virus. The fog thickens. You decide to leave home for the first time since Uni. Living with friends helps you through the dark days of the pandemic. 

You’ll spend a lot of time reflecting, regretting and reevaluating. That’s healthy. You’ll recognise that actually, things aren’t going to plan (not that you ever had a plan). Despite society being locked away, life will move faster than ever. You’re no spring chicken anymore. This is unsettling, and difficult for you to grasp. Increasingly, friends and family become settled in their careers, meet partners or are in long-term relationships and pleasantly progressing into adulthood. The important message to note here is to not compare yourself to anyone. You’re in your own lane, there’s no rule book to life.

Before you know it, you’re living back home again. More reflecting. Within a month of being at home, you’re unexpectedly offered a place at SCA. You quit your job and freefall back into education. Except, things are different now. SCA is not like anything you’ve ever experienced before. You quickly recognise that this is a career-defining moment. Life becomes exciting again. You’re learning, you’re motivated and you’re stimulated. You create work you’re proud of, you create work that you hate. But crucially, you’re evolving as a creative. And most importantly, you’re happy. The lesson here is that happiness is underrated and that we should never stop learning.

After a fun, but intense few months of school, the New Year arrives. You’ve always felt uneasy in January. You miserably fail Dry Jan (within 48 hours…), your sleeping pattern is already in tatters and you’ve neglected your business and freelance work. But that’s ok. Your focus is firmly on the next 6 months of the course. The learning here is that sacrifices need to be made. That means reducing the drinking (more of a damp Jan) and raving and developing a healthier relationship with sleep. So goodbye social life, and hello wholesome life.

Trumpet call over. 

Trust your gut, keep your nose to the grindstone and do it with a smile. 2022 is yours.

But remember, don’t fuck it up. There’s a lot riding on these next 6 months. 

Go well.

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