This evening I catch myself feeling about 16. Oddly, at times of change, I tend to revert backwards somewhat – though not usually so far. Tomorrow’s my last day at Resolution. It’s also the last day before I go on the first holiday I’ve had in about six years (long weekends, festivals, and work trips absolutely do not count as holidays, for the record). When I get back I’ll be starting my new job (my soon-to-be boss Shaun, very kindly, didn’t offer the place to someone else when I told him I’d be delighted to accept the offer but would be away for the week of his proposed start date).
During that week I also have to pack an entire flat’s worth of stuff, because I’m moving out the following weekend. And back in with my parents for two months. While I love my parents dearly, this obviously isn’t ideal, and is a result of fairly major changes to my long-term plans which occurred earlier this year, which effectively left me with nowhere to live. Fliss wonderfully came to the rescue by suggesting we move in together (since, as I’ve discovered, I absolutely cannot afford to live on my own), but couldn’t move until September. We have a lovely flat lined up in a nice suburb of Leeds, which will be a delightful change having lived in the city centre for three years. But, of course, that is indeed in September. So my parents’ for two months it is.
Meanwhile, I find myself listening to a load of music I’ve not listened to in absolutely ages. As in, seven-years-ago ages. Stuff I used to listen to with my girlfriend at the time. And, crucially, I find myself writing all this down in a blog entry, which makes me inwardly cringe a little.
I mentioned yesterday that I recently discovered my old Livejournal, which this post would totally be suited to. Reading back through it was absolutely fascinating. It was like watching in on the life of a teenage stranger as he tries to work out exactly what he wants to do with himself when he grows up. I mentioned a few times over the two years of my life the blog chronicled that I definitely wanted to do something in writing. At the time I was mainly doing music reviews on a voluntary basis for a couple of websites, and I think I faintly expected I might end up doing something like that. But I also very obviously really wanted to write about computer games, yet almost daredn’t express that wish. One of the most remarkable things reading back through that Livejournal was evidence of something I don’t remember consciously doing: completely writing in other people’s voices. The most apparent was that of John Walker. This is something I still sort of catch myself doing now, because he has an exceptional way with words, but reading the stuff I wrote back then was really strikingly Walker-esque, only, quite clearly, not even in the same universe of quality.
I wonder if I ever really believed I would end up writing about games for money. Granted, it’s hardly the most crazy of ambitions. It’s not like I so clearly wanted to be an astronaut, or something equally impressive but far less clichéd a thing to mention when talking about ambitious things a young person might want to be. At the same time, though… I tend to think, for people who actually do want to be games journalists, it kinda is. So many people desperately want to do the job I’m now doing. Even though it pays poorly and involves a hundred billion times more work than most people who aren’t interested in the field assume. Right now, I feel both slightly baffled by, and immensely proud of myself for, my having managed to at least begin something that might become a career in games writing.
I’ve increasingly been following the One A Day blogs again. It makes me immensely frustrated with myself that I didn’t keep up with that, to the point where I’m really, really tempted to attempt to rejoin the KREW! again midway through the project, if they’ll have me. Deciding to do so immediately before going away for a week might not be the most sensible thing, but, y’know. I find it spectacular and genuinely inspiring that a bunch of people who’d perhaps at best heard of one another before the start of 2010 have now become what appears to be a fairly tight-knit frienship group. I totally want in on that.
One of my main reasons for having wanted to be involved in the first place, though, was a desire to document a period in my life in the utmost detail. I had a sneaking suspicion on the first of January this year that 2010 would be a year of change. The last year of my life has been unusually changeable, in fact. But looking back to that day and where I expected I’d be now… well, they’re two very different beasts. For example, I genuinely did believe that come June I’d be packing my bags to relocate to the other side of the country with someone who indeed now is on the other side of the country but, crucially, without me.
Change, though, as unsettling as it can be, does open new doors. It’s a cliché, but remarkably true. And while it’s a concept that tends to make me look backwards, I find it essential that I keep reminding myself to look forwards as well. Because, let’s face it, that’s the only direction in which we’re all heading.
Tomorrow is my last day at Resolution. Writing that sentence makes me simultaneously more sad, and more excited, than I’ve been in a tremendously long time.