Back In The Driving Seat

This piece was written for the December 2022 issue of Caitlyn Raymond’s fantastic Details Magazine, which is out now – you can find out more about it by clicking here!

Whether it’s for this magazine, my own blog or any other outlet, I always try to write about my own life from a ‘glass half-full’ perspective. And why wouldn’t I? After all, there’s enough misery in the world at the moment without me adding to it. Unfortunately, though, my sunny disposition on the page isn’t always reflected in real life, and that’s never more true than now, at the tail end of nine months of unemployment (so far). I sit, I dwell and I overthink, and it seems like there’s something different for me to mull over every single day – I never quite seem to be able to catch a break. It’s hard to admit that without moaning, but I’m just telling my truth.

Last week, that troubling thing was time itself – more specifically, the feeling that it was passing me by, and there was nothing I could do about it. I’d turned 25 and I was sitting there, in the thick of November, with seemingly very little to show for my year. That’s a hopeless situation, let me tell you, and when you’re down in the dumps like that it can be very easy just to wallow in self-pity. I definitely know what that’s like, because it’s usually when the comfort eating starts! So when it happens, what do I do about it? I take control, I make changes, but not necessarily the kind you might expect.

They aren’t major life alterations. There’s plenty of time for those, and in any case, it’s always much better to take baby steps – and I mean baby steps. I’ve realised I have to seize the initiative wherever I can, even if that means deciding to eat my dinner an hour after Mum and Dad have finished theirs, as I have done recently. It’s caused a little bit of debate, and I suspect they think there’s something driving me away from them, no matter how many times I try to convince them otherwise. But the simple fact is that they won’t dictate when I’m hungry: I will. They can’t complain if I spend too long in my room either, because if I have my solitude, I’m calm and content, and those moments are worth their weight in gold.

You may well think I’m immature, or I have a screw loose (now that I’ve written about my dinner routines, I’m wondering if I do too). But in a life that’s increasingly felt like it’s getting away from me, it allows me to climb into the driving seat and get back behind the wheel. That might only be for five or ten minutes at a time, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valuable. It provides a light in the darkness, it helps to guide me through uncertain times, and it makes the long-term unknown that little bit less daunting.

Mason

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