Time. I spend so much energy just chasing time, trying to gather it up in my arms, trying to cling on to it, to keep up with it. I waste so much of it, just trying to slow it down. The result is that it slips past so quickly, and I still can’t get past this and live in the moment. I am preoccupied with the fact that I am losing time, as much as I try to escape the notion. I think this is a symptom of my graduation appearing on the horizon. Three years suddenly seems so short.

It’s nice now and again to pause and gather my thoughts, to take the time to reflect on everything that’s been happening. So, that’s what I’m going to do here. This is a summary of my October, now that it is nearly at its end.

1. Dissertation. That word is one that strikes fear into the hearts of students everywhere. Surprisingly, I’m actually not feeling that scared anymore though. A week ago I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. The only thing I did have was an A4 piece of paper with a mind map of potential areas of interest which was pretty much limited to ‘I like the internet’, ‘I’m interested in publishing’ and ‘I am still a child at heart’ (I’m paraphrasing). I had a meeting with the convenor of my dissertation module last week though, and just a ten minute discussion helped make everything clear. I just needed someone to let me know that my ideas were okay; that I could make something of them. I went from feeling completely out of my depth, inadequate, and lost, to feeling like I can actually create a strong and interesting project, and that it’s okay to enjoy it! In fact, I am determined to enjoy it.

2. Careers. I spoke a little about this a few weeks ago. Since then I have taken a few baby steps towards getting to where I want to be. I applied for, and succeeded in getting a place on, a 12 week book publishing course being run at my university. It’s designed to cover everything from production, to proofreading, and right and sales. I’m hoping it will prove useful in helping me feel like I actually have the skills and knowledge I need to apply for the jobs I want when the time comes. I have also updated my CV, my LinkedIn, and have been continuing to work with Riptide Journal.

3. Isolation. I’m at that point in the term when I’m really ready to go home just for a weekend, and relax with family. Unfortunately, I am working part time to pay my way through my degree, so that just isn’t possible for me. I have new housemates this year, and it is a very different experience to living with my closest friends, as I did last year. They are all lovely, but there is not that same sense of ease when I am spending time with them. On top of that, everyone is a hundred times busier this year which makes social time hard to come by. I am feeling a little bit isolated as a result, and am struggling to ignore the feeling by keeping busy. Perhaps not the healthiest method of  dealing with my emotions, but the only method I have, for now. I will be seeing my family for a short visit on Sunday, so that should help and allow me to refocus to get through this term!

The nights are getting longer, the days shorter, but somehow the darkness is a comfort, like a warm blanket keeping me grounded. Winter is the season of quiet activity, of solitude, of stars. Part of me likes that.

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