Why I'm Facing My Fear and Staying Put

When I started middle school, I decided I wanted to learn an instrument. 

A real instrument. 

I was nine, and playing Amazing Grace on the recorder just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore.

Which is how I found myself, just a couple of months later, sweating as I heaved my school bag, PE Kit, a cello and a trombone into my classroom every Wednesday morning.

I played both instruments for a total of two years, then decided I wanted to move onto bigger and better things. 

I play piano by ear, so when my family relocated to Dorset, I asked my parents if I could, instead, have piano lessons. We bought a piano. 

Then, I asked if I could get saxophone lessons. I was bought a saxophone. Piano, admittedly, I still play. Saxophone lasted approximately 18 months – if that.

The phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’, doesn’t come close to my constant, incessant searching for the next best thing I could prove myself at.

Despite newspaper headlines, it isn’t a trait that was developed due to my status as a millennial, it’s always for me, been about proving myself to my peers. Making a name for myself around school as the one who plays music, the one who sings, the one who plays the piano.

For the most part, it’s harmless. It took me to Italy, as I wanted to prove I could get away from my small Dorset town. 

It led me to Royal Holloway, after applying to ten universities for two different courses. At university, I threw myself into every aspect of uni life. 

Throughout my time there, I was Director of Marketing for a society, Head of Marketing for the radio station, co-hosted a radio show, played for the football team, played for the social netball league, worked two jobs… and studied for my degree.

Then, I got a London PR job. But instead, that need to prove myself, took me to Australia. Not because I didn’t want to go to Australia, I really, did. But instead of waiting to be prepared, I loved knowing people around me admired my choice to leave my 9-5 and buy a one-way ticket.  

And throughout my adult life, the biggest way for me to prove myself, has always been to leave my small, Dorset town, which is why I’ve always done everything in my power to ensure that didn’t happen.

So imagine my surprise when my fully formed, adult brain, decided I was going to stay at home for a year, and save money.

After 23 years of looking for the next best thing, I’m currently coming to terms with being content in what I have, what I’m doing, where I am.

After so long of trying to get out, I’ve decided to use this year to better myself. 

To go to the gym, to have a stable job, to see the friends I have and the friends I love. 

I’ve taken on a 9-5 so I can save money on top of my freelance writing. I have a real, hardback diary instead of an iCalendar. 

I have spreadsheets on my incomings and outgoings, I’ve pulled out of my job offer for a summer in France.

I’ve booked weekend trips to look forward to, and then, I’ll come home, where I’m living with my parents. (Even though I’m turning 24 this year and 15-year-old me thought I’d be engaged by now).

For the first time in my whole life, I’m using the resources I have at hand to become more stable, instead of running away and leaving a hot mess in my wake.

Ironically, the stability this next year holds is far more terrifying to me, than booking a one-way ticket to a foreign country.

Love, Alice x

1 comment

  1. This was a great post to read. I am going through something rather similar. I am 24 and I am living with my parents to save money. This is because my parents never let me worry about getting a job throughout my time at university - and not at any time before that. I am currently a mess, but I just read what you've written and I appreciate every word. I wish you all the very best this year - well done for recognising the issue and dealing with it. I am sure there are better things to come for you! Good Luck!!