I do not believe in fate. I do not believe in a divine plan, or an ordered world but only in constructive chaos – a possible path formed by making every mistake and adjusting, making small leaps forward into the unknown. Chaos can be stressful. When your mind is a marionette doll and your brain is pulling the strings within your body every single direction it is only natural that you might feel overwhelming stress. And yet strangely this hasn’t happened during the plethora of transitions that I have met upon graduation
I know stress. In spring I felt paralysed by the stress and struggle of finishing my final year as a student. Attempting to leave a struggling student newspaper in order (I didn’t), attempting to put together a dissertation that I was proud of (It was alright!), attempting to budget and pay the bills when the money just wasn’t there (multiple bail outs, opps.). However as I moved from the protected and focused world of academia into the wide and chaotic world of work, it has been like a sudden injection of adrenaline experiences in a golden summer of change. I’ve found a possible direction through leaping into the unknown.
Working and waiting in my beloved but slow-paced Portishead, I felt somewhat stagnant and without direction. Whether it was the sedimentation build up in the Portishead Lakegrounds, or Tory inaction over building a railway link. So, moving to Brussels has felt somewhat like an unexpected deus ex machina. The city is buzzing, and walking over 16,000 steps per day on average so am I. It has been an amazing experience to work with so many inspiring and driven people during Britain’s own transitioning relationship with the European Union. For years and years I have fought for the right to live, love, and work abroad as citizens of Europe and now as our generation face these rights and our identity being cut away from us, I have had the opportunity to drink the last of the summer wine in the beating heart of the Europe.
Brussels is rich in public art, inventive busking, and has brought together more cultures and peoples than your fingers, toes, eyes, and ears can fathom. I enjoy walking around the city, day or night, silently observing the city that I must admit I had never really wanted to visit before getting a job in. I felt like I had sacrificed so much in my personal life, and was upset at the prospect of losing friends made at York, and having no work-private life balance when in Brussels. However I’m trying my best not to be a wallflower, and actively trying my best to find my own adventures and forge new friendships during my time here… and at some point I need to sign up for French classes because I feel a small notch of embarrassment with my inability to parse the most basic of french (plus it’s bloody inconvenient when you’re trying to order a haircut restrained by a language barrier).
I most enjoy being able to wake up, buy an orange juice and almond croissant from the boulangerie on my walk to work and be able to sit down on my desk just of Place du Luxembourg and have an espresso to start of my day.
I do not believe in fate, and I do not believe that Britains exit from the European Union is a set deal, nor an ultimatum on our friendship and trade with our closest neighbours. Whilst I live here, I resist our country’s growing isolationism, and every friendship I form I hope builds a more positive opinion of Britain within this Union. In constructive chaos I have found some sort of direction in which I move towards each day, whilst the way forward is a blur – I’m quite enjoying the pastries and beer on the path directly ahead.