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“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

After a few days off, I feel like I could use a few more.

Isn’t that always the way?

Mentally I feel like I’m in a void. I’m not sure what I want. Sometimes I feel like the stresses of the everyday are too much. The pressures of work, social life, communal living, all of it. Sometimes I feel like they are just too much. Trying to juggle and hold down all of these different things just seems like too much of a mammoth task. A set of mammoth tasks.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently about who I am and what I want.

The odd thing is, I’m not sure anymore what my ‘thing’ is. Everyone seems to have a ‘thing’, a something they love to do which defines them outside of the constricting borders of work and general existence.

Tom and Jim have their board gaming.

Franciscus has theatre.

Nick has cooking and baking.

Karly has writing.

I’m not sure what mine is. I like so many different things, but not one which seems to wholly define me. I wish I did.

Painting.
Theatre.
Gaming.
Social Media (I mean, I do this for a job anyway).
Writing.
World history.

I like them all in their different ways. The problem is there isn’t the time to pursue all of them properly. I don’t mean that in a pretentious, millennial hipster sense, I mean it in the most practical way possible.

With all the time taken up in London by just getting from A to B, there is precious little time to pursue our own passions. Therefore, passions have to be chosen with caution.

How am I supposed to know who I am if I don’t even know what I like?

Then there are new skills and hobbies I want to pick up, like networking with other social media professionals and sewing, two things I want to do more of but can’t seem to find the time.

“They makes cages of all sizes and shapes, you know” says the quote from Mary Poppins. I don’t think I fully understood the full gravitas of that statement until I came to work in London itself. Not until recently, when I looked around at the people I know, looked around at myself, and saw all the cages we’d fashioned for ourself. Bound in by pressures imposed by managers, housemates, websites, the media, parents, friends. Here in London, most of us have stepped into a cage before our day has even barely started. It’s called the tube.

Do we accept the cages of our lives or do we try and break free?

Recently I’ve found that, increasingly, fantasy is my escape. The stories which swirl and are created in those genres are a place I can go to to block out all of it. All the pain and drudgery when it gets too much. When I think I’m going to burst from the stress of simply being and maintaining.

How long can one maintain such a puppet play? Sometimes I think it cannot be for much longer.

Surely by 27 I’m supposed to know in at least some small way who I am and what I want. And yet I still feel like a lost child. Lost in this city of concrete and chrome, determined to be here and yet flailing to get out. Fallen down a rabbit hole of my own making, into a Wonderland of steel and sorrow, full of fools tool and tyrants.

And yet some days I wish I might just wake up and find that they are all no more than a deck of cards in my imagination.

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