Saturday, July 27, 2013

Emma Morley may be my literary twin

"We should get some sleep."
"What for? Nothing tomorrow. No deadlines, no work..."
"Just the whole of our lives, stretching ahead of us," she said sleepily, taking in the wonderful warm, stale smell of him and at the same time feeling a ripple of anxiety pass across her shoulders: independent adult life. She didn't feel like an adult. She was in no way prepared. It was as if a fire alarm had gone off in the middle of the night and she was standing on the street with her clothes bundled up in her arms. If she wasn't learning, what was she doing? How would she fill the days? She had no idea.
- One Day, David Nicholls

Sometimes you read the right book at the right point of your life, and you feel less alone. I haven't finished it yet, but One Day struck me as that book for me right now. I see bits and pieces of myself in Emma Morley. It makes me anxious, and at one point I felt like crying because what if this is what my future looks like? 

My graduation is in 13 days, and while I plan on going on to get another degree and thus my independent adult life is still a bit further away than that, I'm scared. I'm 22 with no glittering award or publication to my name and an almost-great-but-not-quite-there results. My friends are scattered all around the globe and in 13 days, even more of them would be too far away. Some days I'm struck with this panic that one day I would just fade away, and no one would have more to say than 'she was a good girl'.

What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer.. 

My imaginings of the future haven't changed too drastically at the core. In primary school, I thought I'd live with Thania and she'd be making music while I write novels for a living. In high school, I still thought I'd be writing novels, but I'd be running a private practice as a psychologist too. Now, I still write and dream of doing it for a living, I still want to be a psychologist, but I'm missing the starry-eyed optimism I used to infuse this picture with.

Still, I do try remind myself that I'm only halfway through the third chapter of One Day, and I'm only 22. I'm rooting for Emma to find some confidence and achieve the life she wants and deserves, and I'm going to keep breathing through the panics and make myself do the same.

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