Monday 30 September 2013

Deafinitely Girly's new adventure

Today is the start of the crossover week between my old life and my new life.

I'm still going to work – for 5 more days – but I'm leaving early to get back to my new life.

This morning I woke at 4am. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and eventually got up.

Leaving for work at 6.30am means I am here far too early. Even by crossover week standards.

As I travelled in on the bus this morning, I could feel myself gulping down a rising panic. It was there in the pit of my stomach. But it climbed up to my chest, into my throat and appeared in my eyes as fresh, hot tears.

This panic, as I look at the blue sky, speckled with clouds and promising a warm September day is completely unstoppable today.

This realisation that I've made the leap. I'm giving up the job I loved for 10 years, to write. To see where writing takes me.

I've wanted to write since the age of 5. Since I plagiarised Topsy & Tim and The Munch Bunch. Ever since I could read, I've wanted to write. And, the idea of being able to give more time to Deafinitely Girly seems like the most exciting thing in the world.

So why am I afraid?

I'm afraid that maybe I'll be rubbish at writing. And I'm also afraid I'll feel alone. Which is silly really as I'm rather good at being alone.


I guess in the last 2 years, in my amazing company, I've spent every day seeing friends. It's a bit like being at school. But without the bullies and the double maths.

And it's the fact it's like leaving school that I am trying to remind myself of as I feel the hot, fat tears gathering in my eyes and ruining the make-up I did at 5am this morning.

You see, in the summer after my GCSEs I went deafer than I'd ever been before. I didn't notice so much as I wasn't in an environment where listening was that important. I was having holidays. I was having fun.

Going back to school for A Levels, I noticed that I couldn't hear anything. I was falling asleep halfway through my 90 minute lessons. And doing four A Levels, meant I had a lot of lessons.

So it was decided, halfway through the September term, that I would do three A Levels in 2 years and one A Level in one. A third year of 6th form. Which actually was quite a good thing as I was a year ahead at school after a mix up in kindergarten so it meant I would be going to university at 18, not 17.

The summer after my A Levels, I was in denial about going back to school. About all my favourite people not being there. Being at uni or on gap years. But that first day back, it hit me like a big rising wall of panic.

It was horrific. I panicked when I woke up, I panicked as I drove to school and then I panicked as I walked into the 6th form common room knowing full well the fun of the last year was gone.

I remember thinking the panic was never going to go away. That I would never feel like this was the right thing again.

But it went away gradually, day by day as I found my feet, realised that not seeing my friends every day didn't make them any less of my friends. And I made new friends, too. What's more, a third year of A Levels got me the grades I wanted to go to the uni I wanted. To set me on the amazing path that has been non-stop work and play to this moment.

Today when I felt this rising panic, I had a moment of wondering if I had made a terrible mistake.

Choosing to leave my amazing friends at work. Leave the job I stayed at school an extra year for all those years ago.

But I have to believe that I've made the right decision. And when I feel the rising panic, remember that it's only a temporary feeling. A reaction to change. A reaction to fear of the unknown.

Because it is the unknown. It's days stretching out in front of me where I have to form my own structure. Face my fears. And find new words. Every day.

There will be lots of tears this week, I think. There will be moments where this rising panic probably threatens to cut off my air supply. And when I walk out my office on Friday for the last time, I think I'll probably bawl my eyes out.

But it's OK. I'm ready for it.

And this time next week, I'll be sat at my desk, cup of tea brewing laptop open and I'll be Deafinitely Girly, writer. Freelance. Available for cake baking. Available for dates. Available for columns. Available for general writing miscellany…

It's going to be good right?

It has to be.

DeafGirly: How I feel about being deaf at work

It's been a whole year since I posted a blog on here. Life's been happening. And I guess I am no longer 'deaf in the city and ha...