A couple of weeks ago I had two final interviews in London for grad jobs and last week I found out I didn’t make the cut on either. Admittedly, I didn’t make my life easy by applying to two of the best ad agencies in the world. However, I did make it to the last stage of both and so I need to celebrate that success.
On the way home I rang my friend and I was feeling a bit low. I didn’t think it had gone that well and when I hung up the phone I could feel myself wanting to cry. A young guy was sat next to me and he said ‘I’m sorry to interrupt but I just wanted to check if you were ok. You look really upset’. I said that I was ok and he went on to tell me that working is really hard and it is tough out there and he understands (Not that he was listening to my conversation or anything….!). He then went on to say that he wanted to give me a gift to make me feel better. He had a Polaroid camera and he said I had a beautiful smile and that he wanted to take a picture of me smiling so I could look at it and remember, “everything would be ok”.
It was very sweet and I was touched by his kindness. In fact, he definitely made my day and the picture is up in my room so I have a constant reminder that “everything will be ok”.
And he was right. Although I got declined for both of the jobs, I believe everything happens for a reason. Now, I have decided to take a year out and enjoy my summer after graduation. After a fun summer I am going to get a job for 6 months and save up some money. Then, in January, my best friend and I are going to travel the world! Plus, I am confident in my ability in what I want to do and I know that I can reapply next year and hopefully be successful.
I have always wanted to travel and I always feared that when I grew up my biggest regret would be the fact I hadn’t seen the world. However, I am so confortable with routine, always aim high and so scared to break the norm that I applied to jobs and was all ready to follow the standard A levels to Uni to Grad scheme route.
I believe that not getting these jobs is perhaps the best thing that could have happened to me this year. If I got the jobs, I would be starting work in September. Instead, I am now facing a 7 month trip discovering the world.
It has taught me that like I need to face my fears when it comes to food, I also need to start embracing fear in other areas of my life. Not starting work straight away and moving back in with my parents (sorry mum & dad) is a scary thought for me. It makes me feel like I have somehow failed at something. But instead of letting that fear stop me, I am going to embrace it.
Life is about more than getting the best grades and getting the best job and earning the most money. Sure, those things are great, but I’m never going to be lying on my death bed and wishing I had got a better grade at uni or worked more hours. I will however look back and wished I had enjoyed my twenties, had fun, experienced freedom and embraced everything life has to offer.
My year off is going to be a year to grow up and a year of freedom. One thing I have learnt recently is that my anorexia has definitely stunted my emotional development. I was numb for so long from proper emotions that I didn’t properly “grow up” and develop like some of my peers. Plus, being ill put me back into the role of a child. I turned 21 and went into a clinic. I wasn’t able to look after myself, and yet I was meant to be an ‘adult’. While everyone else was out partying and travelling last summer, I was learning how to eat cheesecake and pasta. While everyone else was having relationships with boys, I was in an abusive relationship with Ed. I needed professional support in order to perform, what for most people, is the simplest of tasks.
So, I am going to see my year off as a year of personal development. A year of freedom. And a year of fun. I will be independent, grow up, learn more about myself and have a bloody good time doing it!
So, to the guy on the train from Paddington to Bath, you were right… “Everything will be ok”.