So tonight, I have decided to go to YO! Sushi. All by myself. It will be glorious.
I read an article some time ago about how eating alone was becoming a popular pastime for “milennials” like myself. Although I do enjoy eating, I always feel like it’s important to eat with someone else, rather than just enjoying a meal on my own.
This can be attributed a lot to my upbringing, as well as the common view that eating is more communal in the East. It’s an idea that’s also popular in Latin American cultures. It’s a perfectly sound view. Eating together bonds humans together like no other pastime, it’s how families stay close, how true friendship is built and how a lot of initial meetings and first dates start. An initial meeting with most people is done along with some ingestion of some sort of substance; be it coffee or a five-course meal.
However, sometimes the person you need to get to know and celebrate is yourself. Sometimes, when you’re too busy with other people, other things, future plans, scores of deadlines; essentially a smorgasbord of different challenges and possibilities; you forget to care for yourself. And by not caring for yourself, you forget to value your family, friends and life in general.
I’ve recently become so caught up with life that it’s affected my relationship with my family. My head is always clouded. I occasionally dread conversations with my parents; they always seem to involve future plans, my career, my health, my academics. These are standard things to talk about and need to be discussed. However, the fact that speaking about my life; which never used to annoy me, and annoys me so much now, tells me that something is wrong.
Externally, my life looks great. Yes, I’ve had the flu for two weeks, a fact I haven’t failed to tell everyone, but besides that it looks great. At least, externally. I’ve achieved a lot recently. I’m working with news outlets and providing coverage and great content, my Instagram feed is fab (this is huge okay), my friendships are solid, I’m generally healthy-ish and, the biggest achievement, of course, is that I have a job for after graduation.
It’s the last thing on that list that bugs me the most. Everyone thinks that because I have a grad job sorted, my life is sorted and I have no worries left. If anything, it’s made me more anxious about moving to London, figuring out a place to live, starting afresh, budgeting, meeting the demands of this highly stressful job, keeping in touch with family and friends and generally still being able to succeed. I need to somehow not lose myself in the process of all of this, and the thought of that happening stresses me out.
Please don’t get me wrong. I’m really looking forward to my next chapter, but it still scares me. I’m not trying to fanfare the view that “my life might be sorted but I still have struggles too.”
BUT what I would like to make clear is that pinning your success on the future is unhealthy. By taking my new job, I’ll be working towards what everyone and their parents want for their future. I got through my initial schooling, got experience on my CV, got through university and now have a nice job. Yay. All sorted.
Right? Well, I dunno.
Each new chapter of your life has it’s own challenges. My challenge now is not losing the carefree child that I sometimes am to my adult self. My challenge is being able to keep up with the demands of my new job, of actually living and working in a different city, of being financially independent, handing my house, keeping my relationships intact, the list goes on. And in order to do that, I’ve decided to rationalise going to get sushi by myself.
So, tonight’s dinner is gonna be epic. I have very little money in my bank account, but I’m going to get sashimi and salmon avocado hand rolls anyway.
Other than calming myself down, tonight’s dinner will signify my ability to make myself happy. I’m going to finally satisfy my sushi craving, because everybody else in my life doesn’t seem to empathise with my need for overpriced raw fish.
Moreover, I need to remember than pinning my happiness on other people, or always expecting to only have a good time when others around is not always the best thing for me. I’ve realised that at university, in an environment where people are always around, and back home with my family, where people are always around, I really enjoy my own mental space. From everything. From people, from essays, from revision, from writing articles, from planning life.
Also, slight disclaimer. I’ve been suffering from writer’s block and I think my focus on getting my grad job has been the reason why. My new job will have nothing to do with journalism, which for me is great because I’ll get to learn something entirely new. But I don’t want to lose my ability to write.
Thankfully, being in the politics common room, alone with the free coffee machine, has pushed me to write this out. I understand I haven’t documented the world’s biggest struggle, but I am working on getting back on track, which I feel like I haven’t been even though I look like I am.
So once I finish writing this and get some work done, I’m off to go eat sushi. Then I’ll do some laundry and hopefully, finally, “fix my life.”