Figured Out

In the past few days I think I’ve realised what the difference is between how I feel about my life here and how I feel about it in Hull. The first is somewhat obvious: while here, my life is essentially on hold, at least until I leave University. In some respects, this is actually good for me: I feel more youthful here. I don’t have to go out and do monotonous adult things like paying the bills, watching the finances, washing clothes, shopping for food, etc. I might go along and help, but I don’t actually have to do the thinking. It’s very childlike. But obviously it’s not very realistic.

I also get the bonus here in that I am able to do things that have more obvious implications of helping others. Here I have two brothers, a sister and a nephew who I can talk to, and exchange strange and weird youthful banter with, including my sister’s latest obsession about which people have “bean heads”. It’s all pretty amusing and interesting, and somehow, again, it just makes me feel a little younger. Here I provide entertainment, advice and just someone else to talk to for a growing family unit. The reverse is true for me. I can see the impact I have on other people’s lives here. That’s pretty cool.

None of these are true for me in Hull. My friends are all independent people with their own minds who annoy me from time to time. I’m sure I annoy them to. They’re good friends, and without the friendship it would make University life a lot harder. But I don’t feel the same effect on each other as I have here at home. Plus, in Hull, I have to do all those boring adult things for myself: shopping, finances, organising the house. It all feels like it’s being done for me, me, me. When I’m at Uni, I actually think of myself as a pretty selfish person, yet I know deep down I’m not. Here, I have a community in which I can be something else beyond a human resource, which I feel demonstrates that.

I do miss that “community” when I’m away. And for sure, it is probably one of the reasons why I am being more attracted to teaching as a career.

Either way, who knows where all this is leading. I still would like to do something more worthwhile in Hull. Maybe I’ll take another look at that volunteering thing again next year. That would help relieve me of the selfishness I feel.

“Real Life” begins again on Sunday.

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