“Soooooo… now what?”
That’s a question I’ve found myself pondering a lot recently. It’s been one hell of a ride trying to complete university and now it’s done I get to do… whatever I want? It’s a little hard to wrap my head around.
My original plan was to scurry off to Mexico as fast as my skinny legs would carry me, but now I have more time to think and relax and just be, I’ve decided I want to take a little more time before making any wildly life-altering decisions. Mexico and a masters are still possibilities for me, but I’m not in any rush to get there. For the first time in a very long time, I’m actually really happy where I am; in Manchester, surrounded by good friends in a great city. It takes me no time at all to visit the gang down in London and of course another trip to Mexico or Germany is never really far away. Plus I have two baby nephews toddling around who I’d like to get to know a bit better before I go gallivanting off again.
Look HOW CUTE Ted is.
It’s funny, because towards the end of your degree every Tom, Dick and Harry is asking you what you’re going to do after graduation and you reel of some pre-planned answer that sounds fancy, sophisticated and like you’ve got your shit together. While you’re studying for your finals you don’t really have time to really sit with these plans or spend time considering whether you might actually prefer another path, and it’s not until you finish that you can breathe and go “OK, what do I actually want to do?”. I never thought I’d say this, but what I really want is a regular 9-5, to earn some money and spend the weekends with the people I love doing stuff that I enjoy. Even writing that down feels surreal but it’s true. I hardly even recognise myself. Is this what getting older feels like?
Luckily, it turns out that no one really has their shit together, or so I’m told by my friends who have been working for a couple of years now. Thank god for that. Also, taking 17x longer to graduate than everyone else has its perks, it turns out, as your mates can give you all the up-to-date advice on their job successes and woes, which is greatly helping on my job hunt of “errr please hire me I speak lots of languages :)”.
So I’m job hunting and house hunting and just for a laugh, I’m heading off to China in a couple of weeks on a scholarship I won through university. Don’t ask me why I’m going to China, because I really don’t know. I applied during a time when I was angry at a man and was very much in the head space of “fuck it” (channelling the negative into the positive or something along those lines) and then I actually GOT IN. It’s exciting and terrifying because I have never been to Asia and literally know nothing about that part of the world, but hey, I’ve graduated, why not do something completely out of my comfort zone? I was also researching LGBT safety in China and found this article which hardly filled me with hope but may be useful to any other queers out there looking to travel that way: https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/04/17/its-still-just-about-ok-to-be-gay-in-china/
All in all, life is pretty good right now. I have a first class degree, a job that I love and incredible friends. Yes I’m poor, confused about what to do with my life and yet to find a new house to live in, but for some reason, I’m not all that worried. Things are looking up and I’m excited for whatever comes next.