Monday, 19 September 2011

The Mirror Crack'd

Today I’ve gone from blubbing over the Lakeland Christmas catalogue to giggling hysterically as I mooched into the kitchen singing ‘Where Is My Cheese’ to the tune of the Pixie’s ‘Where is My Mind’. Is that what Bipolar Disorder is? Or, as I’m more inclined to believe, I’ve just spent too long studying depression in class, reading the casenotes of the depressed at work, socialising with depressed people, and what I’m experiencing is just actually a moodswing? I have the utmost admiration for all those therapists and social worker types who manage not to take their work home with them, turn their analytic techniques on themselves, resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Today also marks one year since I moved to Brighton. I left behind my University years (three of them), dead-end jobs in retail/admin (about seven of them), my collection of Canterbury Cathedral postcards (86 of them) and a horde of friends (two of them). I’m joking of course; I never collected the postcards.

My accomplishments so far have been finding work (lots of it, including stuff I’ve wanted to do my whole life, with brilliant people who care about my abilities rather than what I look like) and making many acquaintances (although it will take me a while to establish a friendship circle like the one I possessed in Canterbury and perhaps I never will). I’ve been to gigs, pubs, plays, stand-up comedy, a zombie march, plays, cinemas, markets, the Great Wall of Vagina, car and bike shows. I marched in the Pride Parade. I've travelled across the country and been on the telly. I’ve sat in green hazes of smoke in bedsits, I’ve sipped champagne in one of the finest hotels. I’ve done lots of silly dancing. Although there is no other kind with me really.

And now.

Now I have to move again. The pictures I’ve put up will have to come down, the flatpacks will be re-flattened, dainty knickknacks will be squashed indignantly into boxes ‘borrowed’ from work once more. Books that I still haven’t got around to reading will be sealed away again. I swear Paradise Lost has lived in about eight different homes now without even having had its spine broken. Ebay, Music Magpie and charity shops will all be revisited. My landlady has promised my room to her daughter, you see, now 13. Which is fair enough.

I am trying to look at this positively, to see it as a new chapter in the Brighton adventure. Trying. It’s difficult sometimes when I look at others of a similar age around me (although getting rid of Facebook has helped prevent this), moving in together, getting pets, getting married, having children, choosing nice pieces of furniture without having to make do with what was left over in the rooms by previous tenants, buying big loaves of bread instead of the halves (“SINGLE PEOPLES’ BREAD!” I’m tempted to shriek when I pluck it off the shelf).

I do realise I’m not exactly being thrown out of a caravan and being threatened with all my electricity and water being cut off before anyone points that out. And fortunately my current work involves reading through Housing Applications for Brighton and Hove City Council, so I have constant reminders of how lucky I really am. It’s about being grateful for what you have, not continually comparing your life to the Smug Marrieds.

Where am I going with all this? I need a (g?)room. I’m a good housemate. I’ll keep out of your way, do my share of cleaning and always pay my share of bills on time. Any future singing to dairy products or screaming at Hovis will take place in my head alongside all the other voices competing in there. Unless you want to join in, of course.