Sometimes you need to take yourself out of a situation to view it entirely. Detaching yourself and looking upon it with fresh eyes is how I think I can get myself through it, or at least help me understand it.
Sitting in a Costa Coffee in Reading is helping me to see some things in a new light. I spotted a sign for it outside the Waterstones in the Oracle shopping centre and ducked inside, scared to venture outside of the main part of the town as I'd never been here before, and didn't want to get lost. I was hoping for a cute cafe in which I could snuggle on a sofa and order a cappucino, but no hope. I'm meant to be waiting for my Dad to come and pick me up - I'm only halfway home after a spur of the moment decision to leave Wales and take a break back at home. It's a very noisy and busy coffee shop; I have an impromptu mother's meeting taking place behind me, where a very pretty and slim tanned woman sat down not too long ago with her two squabbling children, spotting her friend across the not-so-careful arrangement of tables, and motioned for her to join the coffee party. They're now discussing birthday parties.
I feel hopelessly detached from this home-life talk, and am feeling more like a student than ever. At university I sometimes forget children exist, wound up in my bubble of teens, 20-something year olds and the odd mature student. Reading is a university town, but I can't spot anyone pulsing student vibes quite the same as I feel I am. Dressed fairly nicely - for me, anyway, I've actually made an effort past the usual jeans combo - I am still sporting my SURC gilet. It's times like these when I can't wait to grow up properly and surpass the stages of graduation, finding a job, finding a flat... I want to be in control of my future already. I am incredibly excited for the days when I'm not dependent on Student Finance and the perilous worries of overdrafts.
I often wonder what I'll be doing in five, maybe ten, years' time. Will I be just another contribution to the forever increasing percentage of unemployed youths? I don't want to be just a number. Or a fraction of number, even. I want to make something of myself. I want to be self-sufficient with the means to survive comfortably. I'm not aiming for the stars; I could never imagine myself in a slick office suit, sitting at an impeccably tidy desk, with my pens arranged in size order to my right. Not that every high-powered person has a case of OCD. I'm going to be one of those scatty women who are always trying their hardest to keep their shoes shiny and their clothes free from wrinkles. I'll have a desk area, if not my own office (high hopes!), and it'll be littered with cuttings from newspaper articles and magazines that I have found interesting. My stack of Margaret Atwood novels will be to my side, and a couple of books featuring Plath's poetry, maybe a potted plant or two trailing the desk.
In other words, I'm setting myself up for a Bridget Jones-esque life.
Distracting yourself is one way of taking yourself out of a situation. As you can see, I'm pretty good at that. But in all seriousness, being away from Swansea for a couple of hours has already made me feel a bit more revived. Kind of ready to head back? Almost, not quite.
I'm one of those people that has to be constantly on-the-go. If I'm not doing something, or seeing someone, I feel lazy. Apparently, it's important to have a little 'me' time. What are you meant to do with yourself? How do you cope for a couple of hours on your own?
That's HOW you cope though, I've realised. I wrote this on my jotter and then my Dad called so I had to round up my belongings and leave, placing my huge coffee cup (they're more like bowls, aren't they?) on the counter, and running back to the station. Having a time-out isn't being lazy, it's being normal. It's called recovering. I'm finally feeling less ill, and I feel like I have a bit more energy than before, because I was totally drained and having to rely on energy drinks to keep me half-awake. Or once, mistakenly, Lucozade. But that brings back a lot of memories, and I don't want to get started on that one yet.
Sit back, have a cup of tea, get out a good novel or switch on the telly. Make sure you're providing yourself with a little bit of 'R&R,' as my friend referred to it the other day. Rest and relaxation is definitely key!
Big love, xo
P.S. I'm baking Hallowe'en treats before I head back to Swansea. I'm so excited! Praying that I don't fall asleep in the mixing bowl though, my tiredness isn't completely sorted...