Friday, 1 December 2017

Letters to Winter: 2017

Dear Winter,
It's 1 AM, and less than 24 hours until December. The dregs of November are leaving now, and I can hear you calling to me from the near future. I'm not normally this late at writing or working or anything that involves deadlines. I am meticulous and a planner and the Hermione Granger of thinking ahead. Yet here I am: forcing myself to write in the dead of night because for once, I've let my scheduling guard down. That's how things have been recently: some of the writings I had been working on until Autumn hit have come to a hiatus, but so many have commenced too, with extra calibre, because I finally, finally started university. Not only that but after all the anxiety and fear and... everything that was wracking my brain last time we spoke, I got to where I wanted to be. I did it.

On Tuesday afternoon I was sat with... for the sake of privacy let's say... "somebody", in my bedroom at University. We were sat watching a film and the light was gradually dimming, and I don't know where we'd come from to get to this point, but I just turned my head and went "Oh god, it's December on Friday." to which I gained an equally unenthused response from them. I think this is the first time in my life when I've truly felt the pressure of time when November is coming to a close, December is hitting, and with it you, Winter. How I've perceived time since starting my undergraduate degree has changed drastically. Most of the time it feels frozen, and I have to carve with a pickaxe into it in order to feel like I've achieved anything, even the food shopping. Sometimes, just... occasionally, it feels like time is melting. Those moments when it feels like time is melting are beautiful; when everything feels like it has fallen into place and you want the moment to pause but you know the blood of the clocks will simply run faster for the fact that you are enjoying yourself. This year has been manic... and I have done so much, but in terms of life changes, Autumn has been the greatest shock to the system.

Winter, you know I've been through the mill a bit. "A bit" is a wild underestimation, but Autumn has been the most tumultuous, unpredictable, and yet catastrophically thrilling time of my life. I worked so hard to get to this point, and this time last year, as I wrote, I was desperately craving an offer, nevermind even a place at my university. And yet a lot of the time, due to my mental state, I'm not happy. I've had days where a lobotomy would be welcomed, days where I want to just feel nothing, and I have had weeks where I haven't wanted to move... and that's... concerning, and I'm working on it. But nevertheless, it isn't half frustrating when you achieve a huge dream, a huge life goal, and then things aren't quite what they seem. Like I said, I'm working on it, but I need to focus right now on the incredible things that are going on. I have made friends, and I have something that is also, shall we say... more than that, too. I'm living independently but valuing the time I spend with my family at the weekends more than ever, and I'm having amazing new experiences. I got my dream, I got exactly what I wanted, and although things aren't perfect, some phenomenal things are occurring in my life right now that light it up more than words could possibly explain, I just need time to work some things out.

December is going to be huge. You, Winter, are going to be huge. By the time Spring arrives, I'll be 19, and soon enough 20. A year ago in my last letter, I said I was ready for adulthood. I still stand by that, but what I've learnt is that are we ever really ready? My goal was feeling that I had it all together: I got the job at MuggleNet permanently, I got into my dream university, I have met some incredible people and have my wonderful friends and family, but there are still and always will be cracks. There is no such thing as having it together, I realised a week ago when at the end of a truly horrific day, I lugged myself to the Morrisons at the end of the road, bought a pizza and ice cream, realising that I had nothing that I felt in the mood to cook, and sat feeling the most isolated I've felt since I got to university. I messaged my friends and one very wisely said "adulting isn't having it together. Nobody has got it together. Adulting is conquering one crisis at a time and trying to make the best out of what is going on." That is what I need to do, and that is what I'm aiming to do in your hours this time around, Winter. If I am low, I am low. If I'm happy, then that's a major success. I'm working on it. I will conquer this, it's just going to be a long and difficult journey.

I'm working on it. For now, I shall inhale the scent of Christmas and hope for a little snow.



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