I’ve been meaning to post on here with a link to sign up to my newsletter – Resourceful, a newsletter about spending less, reducing stress and living with your means – for a year now. But today, I come with a different message entirely: don’t subscribe to Resourceful, because as of this Sunday, I’m no longer going to be writing it.
Hello! Long time no see. I’ve not written on here in an age. Since my last post, I’ve done all the things you do when you move to a new country that I can’t possibly sum it up here in a few hundred words. I’ve been trying though.
I’ve got three entirely different drafts of what this blog post could have looked like. The first draft was a mish-mash of collected journal entries I’ve written since January, a summary of random bits of stream-of-consciousness thinking that will make sense to no-one (and considering the time it took for me to edit… made no sense to me, either).
Aside: I’ve had the thought very recently that my journaling habit doesn’t have to be turned into award-winning blog content. I used to think my diaries – which I have kept since I was four years old – could be adapted into a young adult novel series where the protagonist one day discovers she’s a princess. Now I’m thinking my journals can simply be a way for me to unwind and avoid costly therapy (all while improving my writing as a by-product). That pressure being lifted means I’m once again writing in my diary regularly, like I used to, like the good old days.
I used to write on this blog whenever I wanted to write about anything, no matter how niche or unreadable the topic. About waitressing and Courtney Love and Electric Warrior. (I can’t believe I just linked back to posts from seven years ago, if – for some reason – you are a commissioning editor reading this, please, dear God, I was fifteen). It was fun. I loved hitting Publish, hoping that I would become as famous as Tavi Gevinson at the same time as wanting absolutely no-one to read it, because, OMG, embarrassing!
Anyway, that was then, this is now. I haven’t posted on this blog in 10 months because I feel much iffier these days about sharing the ins and outs of my private life on the very public internet. Perhaps it’s because some of the things that I’ve been through this year aren’t necessarily my stories to tell. It’s also a bit to do with content fatigue *cue tiny violin*. Every time I’ve felt the urge to post on here in the past year, I kept thinking no-one would want to read my thinkpiece on Saturday jobs, or Hole frontwomen or T.Rex albums (even though I used to be able to post that stuff without a care). That negative voice telling me ‘nobody will want to read this stuff anyway!’, then has a word with my self-esteem, which then tells me not to write *cut tiny violin*.
The second draft of this piece was one where I looked back on my first year of freelancing – a milestone I reached last week – and aimed to give the reader helpful pointers on what I’ve learned from self-employment. That didn’t feel right to me either.
I was entirely convinced that my freelancing shelf life would only last two or three months, but then, all of a sudden, it had been a year. And this year didn’t just bring change in my working days, but my whole life was turned on its head: I moved away away from everything I’d ever known that felt comfortable and familiar. It’s been maddeningly fun at times but quite isolating at others. I proved to myself that I can survive something I couldn’t have predicted; couldn’t have planned for. That’s what I set out to do, and it feels good to me now – to have gone head first into something unknown – but it’s been hard. I’ve learned that I deal with difficulty in an extremely high-functioning way when I have to, but then after a period of being hard as nails, I need to close the door on people, switch the internet off for 72 hours and not talk to anyone for a week (of course, I can’t always do that). That doesn’t exactly feel like I’m bossing it, but then again, life’s difficulties extend beyond the working week. Like I said, this isn’t all my story to tell, so I won’t go into it too much. If you’re going through a rough patch, talk to yourself as you would your best friend and give yourself space and time to accept how you feel, allowing your emotions to complete their cycle.
Here is one thing I did like from the second draft though (and I recommend you make sure you don’t skip the underrated Artpop era).
“Sometimes [when you’re feeling particularly blue] it is OK to block out entire mornings to watch Lady Gaga music videos in chronological order, if that is what’s going to make you feel spurred on about being on this doomed little planet. Find your non-bullshit way to feel like yourself, and do it often.”
The third draft of what-might-have-been-this-post was one where I tried to justify why I moved here, unpacking everything that’s happened in the past five years. That was the real cathartic one to write and it felt like the most publishable at the time (I sat in a food hall for four hours drafting it), but the content was all so intensely personal that I don’t want to post it anywhere. Sometimes the stuff you need to write doesn’t need to be read.
So this is the fourth draft, a Google Doc with the title ‘actually post this one girl!’ So I will oblige. To revert back to where we started, the reason I think it’s time to put an end to the newsletter, after a year of sending it out (very sporadically), is because… I am starting university in two weeks! I’m going to be doing a BA in History at the University of Groningen… at the ripe old age of 23, I’m ready to start moaning about revising again (just kidding).
After thinking for a long time about whether leaving London would be a bad career move (verdict: probably yes; result: did it anyway), I’ve thought long and hard about whether going to uni at this slightly-later time will throw me off the hustling-in-London-to-get-paid-£19k career path and concluded that… nobody cares! Literally not even anybody. So that’s a relief! Also, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.
Here’s the thing, I don’t want to worry about fortnightly Sunday newsletters that I have to leave parties early to publish, or anything work-related that will hold me back from enjoying the experience for what it is. Although saying that, I have been thinking that a history-related podcast would be cool… God damn it, when you’re a natural-born content creator who came of age online, you just can’t help but create content! So, watch this space…
From an money point of view – this one’s for the Resourceful fans – I’m stoked that I’ll get to continue my v. flexible, freelance work to bankroll me through my degree (hopefully without needing to take out a loan, thanks the Netherlands’ actually affordable university education). So yeah, in a way, this is an apology (to myself) for not writing much on here this year, and a commitment to continuing the not-writing-on-here if I want to, while I focus on a new chapter of my life.
See you the other side of graduation, suckers!