Does it bother anyone else that someone else has your name?
I've been putting off writing this and I don't know why. It's not as if my days have been hectic, lately. September has crept in and it gets darker here earlier than it would in Northern Ireland and it's bothering me more than I'd like to admit.
I was born in August. A couple of days late - I don't know whether that means I'm more of a Leo, really, or I'm so much of a Virgo I held on to make sure of it. I like when life comes with readily-prescribed labels. I am a Virgo. That's why I spend so much time inside my head. My birthstone is Peridot, the tears of a volcanic goddess. My name means shining, white, pure.
In early August I had to write countless cover letters and tailored CVs. This involves labelling myself, scraping at the surface of all my work experience and giving it meaning. Needless to say, this was an exhausting and often disheartening experience. On the day of my birthday, it was wonderful to escape to Belgium and spend a few days in Bruges with my family-in-law. We went on a private tour of essential World War 1 sites in the area, and I tried to find more of that pre-packaged life meaning. I know that some people go through life not particularly bothered about their parents' backgrounds, nevermind trawling through family trees, but I am not one of those people. I am fascinated by how many of the women in my family came from Donegal, and I feel that rugged coastline ebb and flow through my veins. I am endlessly curious about my paternal great-grandfather who served in a war then returned home, started a family and didn't talk about it ever again. My great-grandfather did not spend any time in Belgium, as far as I know, but I got a sense of how small a world war can be: look at this 8km circle of land that thousands of men suffered in for three years. Why? Why indeed.
I've fast forwarded over Summer In The City. I felt comfortable there this year, partly because I brought along a friend who doesn't make videos and that felt refreshing, and also because living in this country means I didn't feel pressured to talk to everyone I know and individually hug them goodbye because who knows when I'll see them again. It's still a weird weekend, though. Last year, I got some horrible news in late August that I spent the SITC weekend anticipating. I was working at a tedious call centre on either side of the weekend. I don't talk about it often, but the contrast between working in a crappy job and panicking about money every waking second to spending hours taking selfies and signing things can verge very close to unbearable. And that's nobody's fault, it's just the nature of YouTube, and how it feels to have a channel of a smallish mediumish size.
It was nice to be social in August, though I have had fleeting moments of homesickness. A highlight was a secret gig my other half played in central London, he managed to create such a buzz of energy in such a short space of time and I will never not be impressed.
Thankfully, I managed to tear through a number of books last month, and my momentum is continuing into this week. I made a video about some of the books here. At the cinema, I saw Jason Bourne and Lights Out. We got through House of Cards on Netflix, which was engrossing and a nice reward for spending hours trawling through job listings. Also, Stranger Things! Duh. It felt so good and almost adolescent to just get so much pleasure out of brilliant storytelling.
SHALL WE END ON SOME GOOD NEWS? September 1st brought me employment. I have a full time job and I hope I love it and I hope I buy a little succulent plant to take care of at my desk and I hope my coffee problem doesn't worsen. I'll keep you posted.
Yours, in possession of a graduate job and still holding out for a good fortune and a wife,