I was lying in bed at 2.22am last night and wondering to myself am I Normal?*
While normal is hard to define, I mean it in a certain context, which I will get to, but first some background to what made me wonder this odd and puzzling question.
I have been a student my entire life, School to sixth form, a gap year (which I did nothing with, which now fills me with regret) to uni, my HNC in event management, my masters and now my PhD. I will be 29 when I finish my foray in student life and I have to say, I often wonder if I am missing out on life.
As a student I tend to live in a student bubble. I have never had a proper job, which at 25 is quite shocking to admit and actually makes me pretty unemployable. Until September last year, my dad paid for everything, my rent, my bills and even gave me an allowance to live off, I am not like most girls my age. Who are settling into their careers and achieving life goals. Me and my bf won’t even be able to live together until I finish my PhD and even then, who knows where I will end up after that, it could be anywhere. I know that the day will come where i have to choose between my career and my relationship.
Also unlike girls my age, I do not go out and party every weekend, because I am busy, my life choice to pursue knowledge means I am always working and thinking of things for my thesis. My ‘job’ isn’t 9 til 5, it consumes most aspects of my life. I have no routine in my life, I have just come back from 8 weeks off, I will get a 3 month summer holidays, but by no means are these holidays, they are just time that I am not required to be on campus, but I am still expected to work.
I have always lived in student housing, normally never staying in a house for more than a year, no place feels like home. I am unable to make roots as this is not my home and it never will be, it is my temporary residence until I find my place in the world. I can’t even have a pet because I move around too much.
It is also quite an insular experience. I have made many friends over the years, who are now scattered across the country and world, my friends from my school days have all moved on with their lives and have pursued their own dreams, taking them away from once central hub, Reading, my home town. Having moved around a lot and done my undergraduate degree in Glasgow, my friends from there I barely see, and the friends I made in Bath, all left after a year as our masters course finished, my housemates will all move on in a years’ time, leaving me here, once again having to start the cycle of making friends.
So back to my original question, am I normal? To have chosen this life, of uncertainty and constant upheaval, I must be slight abnormal, the package in the harsh light of day isn’t all that appealing. It is actually a very selfish life I need, always taking, but offering very little in return, mostly because I have nothing to give. I am essentially stuck in the life of a 16 year old, in many ways my life is same as when I was at school, I am just older and supposedly wiser, but still confined by the boundaries of a school child, and for someone who is meant to be a young woman, I think that does make me far from normal.
*And since i couldn't sleep i decided to write this post. Which might just be me channeling my thoughts into something.