The summer of 2004

25 03 2010

This started as something else, and has turned into my submission for this week’s writing workshop. Not only has it done me the power of good and reminded me of how lucky I am I have managed to incorporate THREE prompts, when I started out just wanting to tell you about a job I did once upon a time. I hope you enjoy:

When I was 25 I was made redundant, but I quickly found a job with a new company. I was at the end of a relationship that lasted 2 years but should have lasted 2 months. One evening I was out with friends in the pub and I had the sudden urge that it was time to move home. I called my mum and she told me that my brother was moving out of the studio flat she owned so I had somewhere to live. It felt right. A month later my worldly possessions were in my car and I was back in Cornwall, almost exactly 4 years to the day that I had moved to Brighton in the first place.

I woke up the next morning at my mum’s and I checked my stars in the paper as I was enjoying a nice breakfast. It said that today was the day to sit back and let things happen. I knew I needed a job but thought I would leave it one day, just relax and see what happened. My stepdad came home at lunchtime and offered me a job. As a skip watcher.

Quite frankly, the next three months were some of the best of my life. I lived in a studio flat by myself. In the day I would drive to a new village, sit in my car and watch a skip! I would have to make sure that people did not put certain items in the skip (like TV’s, batteries, paint). I would help people put their rubbish in the skip, I would chat to people, I was outside all summer. I had a deckchair in the back of my car. I wore old clothes and a cap. It used to be busy for the first couple of hours then I would be there until it was full. I read so many books, it was wonderful. I scribbled in my journal. I listened to music. After years and years of being in an office I felt free. I drank tea from a thermos flask. If it rained I got wet but I felt so alive. I was thinner and healthy. I decided I needed an evening bar job and got the first one I applied for. I worked nights and weekends there, my days were long. I worked 60 hour weeks. I was tired but happy. I was making enough money to get by though which was great. I was home with old friends. I saw my mum all the time.

Then September came and reality set in. I couldn’t earn enough money to support myself unless I worked two jobs. It was okay short term but wasn’t going to work long term. I made the decision to look into moving back to Brighton. I called my old boss and the very same day someone that she had employed had not turned up to start the job so my old position was free. She offered me the position, all I needed to do was have a meeting with HR. A friend’s brother was away and agreed to rent me a room short term. Then within a week of returning one of the new people in my old 3 bedroom houseshare not only handed her notice in but said that she had no plans to stay there during her notice so I could move straight in. I walked back into my old job, my old house (although a different room!), my old life as if I never left.

I had been jaded, unsure if the direction my life had taken was the one for me. I had moved to Brighton with a boyfriend in the first place and stayed when we split up. At the start of that summer I did not know who I was anymore, what I wanted, where I wanted to be. I had needed a break from real life. I am a control freak, and I have to know what is going to happen and when. I need a plan, and I don’t like it when life deviates from that plan. But for those three short months I let go. I trusted my instinct and let life take me along for the ride. And what a perfect, wonderful ride it was. I was someone else for a while, and in the process realised that I had been exactly where I was meant to be and I got to go back. As if I never left. What an amazing, crazy, wonderful thing that was.

I cannot imagine what I would have missed if I had not come back. It was meant to be. I found the man of my dreams who was working in the very same office as me. Our romance is a fairytale and I now have a family here. I am so glad that I let everything go for just a little while.

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