[lyg10] whether it’s me that does the leaving, or the love that flies away;
September this year marks ten years since I made my first, tentative and over-sharey, foray into blogging. I hope you’ll forgive a little self-indulgence on my part, but I’d like to do something to celebrate a pretty significant milestone. I’ve hit upon the idea of publishing some selected takes from my archives – there’s a little bit of poetic license required here, as some of the proper cringeworthy teenage stuff is (thankfully) lost in the mists and pixels of cyberspace, but what I’ll publish every Friday from here until the end of the year is culled from the LiveJournal years, 2003-2006.
In early August, I was getting ready to move to Edinburgh and begin my postgraduate degree. What follows is one of many introspective diary entries around that time – pretty funny when you consider how that particular adventure turned out.
5th August 2003
I’m waiting on the supermarket to call and see if they will give me a job. It seems pretty hopeful. Perhaps when my boss called them she told them all of the true things that are nice and none of the true things that are not so. And why wouldn’t she, the woman who grabbed and hugged me in the work toilets on Friday afternoon, telling me she took one look at the kiosk that morning and said to herself she’s back? A talent for selling cigarettes is a key transferable skill dontchaknow, especially now they’re talking about those patronising and graphic pictorial health warnings. A customer last week told me, “”Have you no consideration for this store? Do you know how much money they’re going to lose with you gone?”"
Going for a transfer with the company I’ve worked for since I was seventeen (back when I started off on £2.67 an hour) wasn’t my idea, but it would have been one of my better ones. I daresay I could have found another job fairly quickly, but I’d be starting somewhere new from scratch. Perhaps the hours wouldn’t suit. And in all likelihood I probably would have ended up here. It’s the same store (easy work that I’m good at, decent pay, customers to talk to), and it’s three streets away from my student flat. What more would I need?
I like the feeling that I’m getting things moving – immerse yourself in the news a letter received while I was on holiday suggested, and I comply by reading broadsheets in the work canteen (to the faint disbelief of all and sundry) and crushing on Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel Four News. Perhaps I’ll have an east coast job by Friday. Next week I go shopping for dishes and Barbie bedcovers.
As ever, action (and the odd migraine when I feel like taking a break) to hide the fact that I am fucking terrified.
I don’t want to move to another city; so much so I’m trying to block out the good vibes I got about the course and the place and the indifferent vibes I got about the similar course on this side of the country. All I’m remembering, until I hit myself and try to clear my brain, is a little girl who cries when she sees “”Glasgow”" on departure boards in foreign airports and who pressed her nose against an aeroplane window trying to see her house from the sky.
Yes, last week.
I’m ridiculously in love with this city – mine by adoption, four years of university and a fifteen-minute train ride. I love knowing where everything is, yet still discovering new things in conversation and almost by accident, like the cathedral or the amazing little shops at Kings Court. I love laughing at the gawths sweltering in their hoodies in the middle of July outside the Art Gallery, despite or perhaps because I know if such things had been socially acceptable when I was fourteen I would have been a likely candidate. I love getting chatted up by drunks on the train. I love that we get all the best gigs (yay, Bright Eyes tonight!) I love that everywhere I look is somewhere or something to remind me of when I was happiest.
It’s not like I’ve never had to say goodbye before, but it’s different when it’s me doing the leaving. On the one hand it’s an adventure on my own that I probably need, but on the other there will be so many things that I will miss. Sarah having her baby. Talking about pretty boys til the wee small hours with my sister. Phonecalls that either end in “do you want me to come over” or running into the other party in the street. My brother getting home at ten o’clock at night and announcing that the two of us are going to the pub or the cinema, I’ve got five minutes to get off the computer and pretty myself up. Friday morning coffee dates. The girls at work, who make me laugh and drive me mad and after a week or so won’t miss me at all.
Ten months from now though, I bet I won’t want to come home.