June used to be spent waiting, waiting. And though I remember doing absolutely nothing during childhood summers, and actually really enjoying going to school, the feeling of winding down and spending entire days watching movies with your newly-chilled teacher remains so nearby. And then June became a month of 'study leave', a time where I perfected the art of coffee breaks and played The Beatles' 'Don't Let Me Down' on repeat. During my last year of high school, my final exam was on May 22nd, and I flew to the USA on May 25th. I got away. One of my favourite places on the internet, Rookie, has an apt theme of 'Getaway' for this month. Editor Tavi Gevinson published her ever-inspiring monthly editor's letter today, and she talks about all sorts of inspiring things, mainly getting rid of suppressive people in your life.
I continue my getaway tradition this year, heading to SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand later this week.
Except, this year, summer is not a temporary break from education but it's the beginning of SOMETHING ELSE. I can feel my heart rate start to quicken so I'm going to reflect on May.
A month of votes. I voted for the first time in the place I live now in the General Election, and two weeks later waited anxiously as my dear neighbour Ireland voted in a Marriage Referendum. Waiting for results is something that perhaps doesn't end when you finish university.
I spent a huge majority of this month in a library, or hunched over a desk searching for a sentence, a page, something that I didn't bother to note down eight months ago. I felt exasperated at how the education system works, but blessed that I've always ended up on the 'right' side of it. I finished my dissertation and dedicated it to the thoughtful, original and creative. I aspire to be all of those things.
I took final study breaks to Brighton and Belfast's Heroes of Youth Awards. And at both, thought about how inspiring it is to be surrounded by inspiring people. People who exude kindness. People who are good at their jobs.
And my final class EVER rolled around and I tried to absorb every sight, smell and sentence, but as I was warned, it ended quietly and humbly, each person scuttling back to their respective corners of study. I have learned so much. But May has reminded me that I will never be content with having one thing. And maybe all my previous getaways were conversational ammo so that when I can't talk about what books I'm studying, I can talk about the places I've been. In May, I decided I still have so much (maybe too much) faith in the internet, and that I'll invest here for as long as you'll have me. I resolved to upload weekly videos. I fixed this blog and joined new communities because of it. I launched a Patreon because I believe creating is valuable, somehow.
I think the next few months will be difficult at times, and the temptation to getaway will always be there but the opportunity mightn't always be so available. I feel strangely nervous about this trip - I've never travelled so far for so long, and there's the little voice in my head that knows how much money I could earn if I knuckled down to a 9-5 job for the summer. Ew.
I usually like to wrap these up with some sort of conclusion, but I am all concluded out, friends. Writing and packaging a piece of writing in the exact way that the person reading it wants gets really draining. So let's just leave this one a little up in the air. June. The month of my mother, the strongest person I know.
Currently listening to awful, terrible country music that I won't even name. I saw Mad Max and Age of Adaline in May, both were bloody brilliant. Perfect for £3, 2 hour getaways.
Recent: 'This Is Where I'm At | May'