I am feeling so much better.
And you why that is? It's because we've finally got a LIFE PLAN.
If you know me IRL you probably know that me and Alex have been talking about leaving Brighton for, literally, years. It's too expensive down here and we just don't feel that we'll be able to build the life that we want, in the long term. I think Alex is also pretty much 'done' with Brighton the place... I still have a lot of fondness for this wonderful city, but I'm ready for change too.
However, I've been searching for jobs in Manchester and Leeds, (and even widening the net to Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh) for a long time now, and not getting anywhere.
On my low days, I tell myself my lack of success is down to my utter failure to adult, my inherent unemployability, and maybe I'm not cut out for this design malarkey after all.
On good days, I know it's because I'm too fussy. I am good at what I do, but I really want to work for an agency, and no agency will hire me with only in-house experience (unless I had some kind of contact there or other way of proving myself to them).
So, the good news. I still love my current job. The only reason I want to leave is because we want to get out of Brighton. My friend Jess suggested I ask them whether I could work freelance, remotely... I assumed that the answer would be an absolute no... but actually, it was a 'maybe, yes'.
So, from late next January, me and Alex are going to be relocating to Hebden Bridge. I am going to be working three full days a week at my current job (remotely), and for the remaining two days a week (plus evenings, weekends, whatever I need to do!) I will be seeking design and illustration freelance — hopefully, picking up work within studios in Manchester or Leeds. Either with a view to continuing to freelance long term, or ultimately, finding a position within an agency/studio, having hopefully made new friends/contacts by actually living in/near the places I want to work.
So that's the news. I am SCARED/EXCITED/SCARED/EXCITED mostly EXCITED. January is far enough away that I've got plenty of time to mentally prepare. I'm really excited about freelancing/working from home (with accompanying fear that I will get no work and life will become one big hellish steaming stress pot), and I'm super excited about getting to know new places, and being closer to lots of friends I don't get to see so often (with accompanying sadness about leaving so many people behind in Brighton). (Move up North everyone, it's the future! Northern Powerhouse, etc!)
Anyway, without further ado, May. Optimistic May.
May has two bank holidays, which I always forget about. It's GREAT. First one was spent curling my hair, eating delicious greasy junk food, going to a garden centre/nursery (for the first time in my adult life), planting herbs, burning stuff, and making Alex and Justin watch Lemonade (they loved it more than I could even have hoped). So good.
The other great thing about bank holidays is that what feels like a Monday is actually a Tuesday. SWEET.
These two are my faves. Trying to persuade Justin to come up North with us so as not to break up the institution.
It's 'votin time! (Is anyone else freaking out about the referendum?! If we leave the EU can I leave the UK? Can Scotland become independent so we can go there? Or am I going to have to go to the Netherlands? Or Germany? But if we leave the EU then I won't even be able to?! Aaauuurggghhhhnooooo if you're undecided please vote stay in for me?!)
Summer summer summer time
Oh gosh that vegan taramasalata is SO GOOD. (If you're in Brighton it's called 'taramalg' and you can get it in the fridge in Infinity foods)
Lay on Alex's bed with light evening sunshine coming in through the window soaking up the new Radiohead. Haven't listened to it since TBH, but I enjoyed it at the time. (Alex wishes it to be noted that this picture is partly fictionalised because there's no way they'd allow me to rest my leg on their hair like that)
Been enjoying 'Suburbia' a lot, a hex-based urban planning themed boardgame.
If you enjoyed Eurovision, this next section is for you...
I do enjoy doing these Eurovision drawings although my ability to draw people is still sadly lacking...
I've had kind of a bad back for a couple of weeks. It's getting better now which is a relief, because I was freaking out for a while there.
Stayed at Stina's house for a few days to look after Lump the dog while she was away.
One of the best ways Alex defuses my hormonal grumps is by coming up with increasingly comical affectionate insults.
Have you tried the cocoa butter solid formula that comes in a tub? It's unbelievably good, I didn't realise it was possible to be this excited about a moisturiser. They're not even paying me to say that. (Hey Palmers, would you like to pay me in like cocoa butter?)
Had a fun Saturday in London, not-spending money in Spitalfields, eating giant pizza with uni friend Michael, and catching up with Daedelus with Kneebody as Kneedelus.
They were so good.
...and then a super busylovely Sunday, visiting Tom, Jo, Hazel, and new family addition Stanley... then a birthday roast for Fenn... then some entirely inappropriate dancing... And then more boardgames with Justin and Alex.
One thing that scares me about moving is that we won't be able to find home. This house is more 'home' to me than anywhere else I've ever lived, despite its many flaws. Alex keeps reminding me that if I can make this leaky, squeaky, filthy, mock-tudor-beamed monstrosity (sorry house) home, then I can probably make anywhere home. And anyway, it's the people, not the place that makes it. I hope so, anyway. (Two days after I drew this, rainwater started somehow leaking through the bathroom into the kitchen so maybe I will be glad to see the back of the place)
Went to see Chris Parkinson's (@oneoneoneone on Twitter) great poetry Fringe show. So much shouting. So many seals. So good. (Go see him if you get the chance)
Part of my coming to terms with leaving Brighton is trying to fall out of love with the place. One of my coping strategies is going to places I used to love and intentionally having an unfun time so I won't miss them. This may be ridiculous. Went for a walk along Lancing beach in high winds while hungry. Drew some sea kale. Decided I don't need to go back again. Success!
Onwards to June. Hopefully goodness awaits.