So much has happened since I last wrote here. I keep opening blank documents and starting to write updates, tell stories, and then I trail off. I’m not sure how to start, or whether I even should. But I’d like to starting writing here regularly, and that means that I need to give at least a brief update. This is me trying to fill in the gaps.
I’m still working at the University of St Andrews, my alma mater and the town which still feels like home. I now head up the digital communications team, which is probably my dream job: I get paid to write things on the internet about one of my favourite places in the world. (In all honesty, I don’t get that many chances to write content these days – but that’s what having an awesome team is for, right?) Work is good.
Earlier this year I moved out of McIntosh Hall, the place which had been both ‘home’ and ‘work’ for me for three years. I loved everything about wardening. I learnt so much about how to work with and empathise with other people, and being an assistant warden was a huge part of my identity. Whilst I’m not begging for a return to the late-night duty phone calls, or the early morning fire alarm drills, I do miss being surrounded by a community of people. The last few months of wardening were so hard because of tensions in the team – the head warden at McIntosh changed, and it changed the dynamics entirely – and I am still somewhat gutted that I didn’t get to see out the end of the academic year.
The positive that came out of leaving McIntosh was that I was able to move in with two of my closest friends. They’re a couple who are getting married next year, and I’m going to be maid of honour at their wedding. I spend my evenings hanging out in their beautiful house in Anstruther, which is a little town on the Fife coast, cooking dinner (some things never change!) and walking the dog along the beaches. (Yes! I have a dog-by-proxy now! He’s a Norwegian Elkhound named Gunnar and is the funniest floof of a character – I adore him.)
And as well as getting a dog-by-proxy, I’ve also been gifted a part-time flat in Edinburgh from by my wonderful flatmates. Late last year, they bought a little flat nestled between Holyrood Palace and Arthur’s Seat in the city… Since then, I’ve been gifted a set of keys, and I find myself spending more weekends than not in the capital. Having moved out of Edinburgh some three years ago, it’s been energising to realise that I never actually stopped loving the city, that I have a good scattering of friends, that there are a raft of great places to eat and drink and play in the city. You can probably expect a few reviews and roundups of my favourite places in Edinburgh coming up in the future.
Last year, three of my good friends from St Andrews moved away from the area, and for a while, it unbalanced me. One of the best things about moving back to St A was finding a friendship group who were interesting and present and full of adventures. The problem, I have found, with befriendling academics is that they have to move to where the jobs are offered… However, this has also taught me a good lesson about what’s important to me – and putting some of my hard-earned cash into travel to go and visit friends who have migrated across the globe is money well-spent. (I’ve just returned from a trip to London to see friends, and I have plans to visit both Munich and Oxford later this summer…)
My family are well. Little brother moved into his own place just a few short months after his discharge from hospital after his brain surgery. My mumma and stepdad have been together for over ten years now. My older cousin now has two babies (you can still call a three-year old a baby, right?) and has started a business as a newborn photographer. My other cousins are also doing well, and whilst I don’t see them all too often, they persist in making me proud to know them. I recently spent the day with my grandparents on my mum’s side, who continue to spoil me with their love and attention.
I haven’t had anyone that I’ve been in an ‘official’ relationship in the last few years, or at least since I wrote this – but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had love affairs of varying lengths and intensities. I still swing between sometimes being attracted to both men and women and believing quite strongly that I’m happier in myself when I’m dating a girl. I still define myself as a five on the kinsey scale – predominately homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual. I have, however, established that regardless of the gender of my partner, I need them to put me first.
(Polyamory isn’t my jam, apparently.) I have no problem with being single, so long as I’m happy.
The last year has been the start of me saving quite earnestly for a house deposit. When I first moved to St Andrews, I decided that saving wasn’t as high on my priority list as travelling was, and so in the last few years I’ve been to Australia, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, New York, Florida, Seattle, Vancouver and Denver. The itchy feet have mostly now left me, and I’m starting to seriously look for flats I can afford. It’s currently looking like my budget will take me closer to Edinburgh than to St Andrews, but we’ll see.
Coming up this year I have two weddings (on top of one in March and one in April), a trip to Munich, an aunt and uncle visiting from New Zealand and wedding planning with my engaged flatmates. Work has a huge deadline in March next year, which keeps me entirely focused on the 9-5 five days a week. Life is good. I’m happy and busy and have so much to look forward to. But I’ve also missed this space, where I can pour my heart out to the great expanse of the internet. So this is my attempt to full in the gaps, so I can start blogging more regularly again.Carley