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Saturday, 25 February 2012

Memory lane

I was organising my blogs last night, the equivalent of a blog spring clean if you will, and found this. It was really nice to read it again, and refresh my memory. Made me a bit wistful, a bit sad, and a bit proud of how far I've come:

I have a lot of things to blog about today. So brace yourselves.

1. Tomorrow is results day. (I think - there's been some dissention - it might be the 16th instead) I finally find out what the last four years have amounted to in academic stakes. It's touch and go - either a low first or a high 2:1. People keep telling me that either way it's a fantastic grade, especially when you consider I'm not your average student. The truth is though, I want that first. Last year it was totally do-able, I got firsts in all my units except one, if I remember correctly. But this year I got a bit lazy, a lot distracted, and stopped pushing myself quite so hard.
I could cut myself some slack. And look at my children and tell myself that I had a lot on this year. But actually that would be complete rubbish. If I had sorted myself out, and worked harder, I wouldn't be feeling quite so anxious now. I only have myself to blame, and there are no excuses. If I do get a 2:1, I will forever think I could have done better.
Or will I? I know I don't care as much about my GCSE grades now as I did then, nor my A-level results. I am prouder of my A-level results: Going back to education was a huge deal for me, and I'm proud of how much harder I worked at evening classes than I did at sixth form. It reminded me that I can do it, that I am relatively bright, and pretty academic.
So this degree... Parts of it were hard. But not as hard as I'd anticipated a degree being, to be fair. Only on a few occasions did I get confused by abstract thinking. I have learnt a lot - especially about politics. And I love the fact that I now understand the British political system and can talk about current affairs with some confidence. My writing is different - neater, sharper and cleaner (although I still love my commas and exclamation marks) and I know how to find sources, case studies and experts.
My degree's given me a job I can do from home - I won't get rich at it, but I enjoy it (most of the time) and feel like one day I will feel like a real freelance journo as opposed to someone playing at it.
- Slight aside - I sent off some more freelance work today, and wonder if I will ever send work away and not feel a bit sick about whether I've got it right or not?
My degree has given me some really great friends - people who I hope I will stay in touch with forever. It's also introduced me to some people who, if I ever see on an interview panel, will make me run screaming from the building.
It has changed me. It's nearly cost me my marriage (although the degree is not solely to blame for that one - we need to spend more time remembering who we are, aside from Mum and Dad, PC and Journo). It's made me review my choices, my expectations and my standards. It's made me feel middle class (horrifying) and a bit clever.
So, I guess whether it's a 2:1 or a first is a bit irrelevant really in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully in five years, I won't care.

On another topic entirely, here I am in full on Stay At Home Mum mode. So far, I can say I haven't settled into it too well. I've forgotten how to play, how much cleaning to do and I'm thinking I should make a star chart at some point. I miss the routine of uni - knowing where I was going to be, having a framework to build the week around. At the moment it's too easy to spend all day watching TV cos it keeps everybody quiet and entertained. (Although right now it's Deal or No Deal, GOD the people on this wind me up...)

Freelancing seems to be the worst of both worlds - I'm stressing about deadlines and having to conduct phone interviews while using my foot to gesture for silence to the kids. Plus trying to remember when husband is working a night shift or a late or a day... It feels pressured. I'm not proud to say that I'm fantasising about an office job just to get me out of the house on a regular basis, some adult conversation.

I'm pretty sure I was good at this two or three years ago. I was never going to win Mum of the Year, but I wasn't so tense, so aware of my mistakes. I relaxed into it. Days didn't feel wasted. I know that sounds shocking, but that is how I see it. I'm not working towards something for the first time in a long time, and I'm struggling with the change of pace.

I feel like I'm waiting, holding my breath and just hanging on... until IJ starts school. Until Alex starts playschool. Until we move. Or until I find a job.

Or maybe just until results day.

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