Sunday, April 25, 2010

looking for a reason to be somewhere

I graduated college just before I turned 24 (I had dropped out for a year and a half) and, after a month or so of lingering, I moved to London with a work visa I had secured from the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC).

I had a rather vague plan to continue to pursue some of the thinking I had done in my senior thesis. (Div III for those of you fortunate enough to orbit or even enter the Hampshire College universe). My work had been centered on media literacy education and, as I was happy to tell you in those days, England was light years ahead of the U.S. on the topic. Hampshire had given me a small grant — a Threshold grant — that was intended to support students to do just that — continue the work they had done in school.

But, really? I think I just wanted a plan, a reason to go somewhere and, ultimately, to be somewhere. And so I lied to my parents (who wouldn't have stood in the way if they knew the truth, but I lied to them compulsively anyway) and concocted a tale that involved already having a place to live when I got there.

I didn't, of course. I barely knew where I was going to lug my suitcase when I got off the plane. But I found an apartment — on Mordaunt Street in Brixton — and a job — near Liverpool Street Station — within a couple of weeks of being there and everything worked out just fine.

Why did I tell you that? Why did I think to post that this morning?

Because, this morning and for some time now, I have been desperately looking for that thing that was inside me that enabled me to do what I did. I wanted a reason to go somewhere, a reason to be somewhere and I found it.

I need to find it again.


EmilyAdele said...

Thank you for this post. It resonates with me today. I know I am wired to write, but I have made many choices in life to hinder that. And I make a lot of excuses why I can't right now. But, what I really need is to be more on purpose.

magical_m said...

Wow - you just described exactly how I'm feeling today... it's kind of comforting to know someone else feels the same.

Thank you.


Amanda said...

I think the reason to go somewhere is that you want to go somewhere. You've been increasingly restless and dissatisfied w/ where you are now.

Ways to get yourself to do what you need to do:

- Surround yourself with people who support this, and you
- Do things that make you feel like your best, most powerful self
- Make a schedule. Commit to it.
- Write about it (not just here but in a journal). Write down what scares you, what excites you, etc.

I'm excited to see what a happier Alison unleashes on the world.

Tiffany said...

I'm glad to see you back. Simple as that.

Dad said...

Your Dad, for one, couldn't be prouder of you. There are times that I wonder at your courage, your passion and your drive. I probably glow when I tell my friends and family about the successes of my daughters. You have earned the right to relax, and renew. As the earlier poster said I can hardly wait for what comes next.

Brit said...

I decided to follow your blog today, because although in your life you have taken some major steps to become sucessful, while I have been a college drop out and professioal dreamer for 4 years now, I find it ironic that you feel the same way that I do, even though I alwyas assumed that if I found a career, I wouldn't feel that way, or if I lived somewhere new and exciting. Now I can see its not about what you do, where you live, or who you are, it seems that its about the passion in your life that drives us. The ecitment of having our noses to the wind, and when you start to lose that, you begin to lose the very stuff that makes up YOU.

Jennifer said...

Dad, well said.

ABF, thanks for the post, so much to relate to in your post.

You know you have friends to fall back on if you need it.