The stars and the sea.

There’s something intense about the beach at night.

I prefer the beach at night to during the day. When it’s totally empty, it’s just you and the sand and the waves and the moon. I was lucky enough to grow up very close to the sea, the beach was never something that was off-limits. I guess that’s why I find it such a relaxing place. I love beach bonfires and chilling with my friends on the sand or watching my dog play in the waves don’t get me wrong, but I love it when I’m there by myself, too. At night, it’s a good place to think or to figure things out. There are no distractions.

It gives me a feeling I can’t really explain. You’re totally alone, but at the same time you’re not. You know that somewhere in the world, someone else is looking up at the same moon you are, asking the same questions. You know that someone somewhere is swimming in the same sea that’s rolling up the shoreline metres away from you. You feel connected, but comfortably isolated at the same time.

To me at least, the beach is the perfect metaphor for life anyway. What is one grain of sand on a beach compared to the beach as a whole? It’s nothing. And that’s who we are – we’re that individual grain of sand that’s falling through our fingers as we play with it. We don’t matter, not really. We could disappear and it wouldn’t make a difference to the beach, or the world, as a whole. Our individual problems that we face, they’re huge to us. But they don’t matter in the long run. Soon enough, that grain of sand will be washed away by the waves, and nobody will ever know it’s gone missing. As the waves wash away my footprints that led me to sit on the beach at that moment, so too does time erase the past that led to the reason why.

It’s the perfect place to be if you’ve got issues. It makes you think about things, it puts your entire existence into perspective and it makes you realise that maybe things don’t matter as much as you think they do. It’s nice.

Midnight works.

It’s 00:25 here right now. My brother’s asleep. My mum’s asleep. Even the dog is asleep. And yet here I am, attempting to write my media coursework. People who aren’t students are often surprised when I reveal to them that I did this piece of work, or that essay, overnight. It continues to confuse me.

For me personally, this is the best time of day to work. How often is it that your family are asleep, it’s quieter than the Night Before Christmas, and you haven’t got that annoying little list of “things I must do before today is over” rolling around in your head? In my house at least, I’ve always got some kind of distraction during the day. My dog will come and see me, holding a toy and putting on his please-play-with-me eyes. My brother might come in and ask if I want to go on the PS3. Mum wants a chat, friends call or text, and twitter is at its busiest. Right now, at half past midnight, I have none of that. I can hear the faint rustling of the tree in my neighbour’s garden through my slightly open window, the noise of the rain on the glass, and all I have to worry about is what I’m trying to write. It’s almost… relaxing. Which is something coursework rarely becomes. There is of course the underlying pressure of the consequence of not getting this done by Monday, but at this time of night, when everything else is dead, any sense of what time it is or how long I have left kind of vanishes.

 

I’m not suggesting everything should be done at this time of night, especially if you’re not used to being awake late. I fully anticipate being awake until at least 2am to try to finish this, and that doesn’t work for a lot of people. But next time you’re stressing out over a mildly-urgent piece of work, leave it until everyone else is in bed, and get cracking. You might surprise yourself.

Where am I really going with this?

I guess that everybody has days where they re-evaluate the path they’ve found themselves on in life, and ask if it’s really where they want to be going.

I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Right now, I’m studying Law in my second year at University. The first year was hard, but I liked it. This year is quickly turning into a nightmare. I knew from about halfway through last year that I’m not going to even attempt a career in Law. There’s no way I can wake up every day and go into a job to do this kind of thing, despite how much potential there is to earn a lot of money. And nearly every day I find myself sitting in the middle of a pile of work thinking, this isn’t for me’. I know I can do it if I put the work in, this isn’t a case of being lazy. It’s a case of not wanting to spend the next two years doing something that I really don’t want to do.

The thing is, I have no back-up plan at this point. I want to get off this course so much, but I don’t have the confidence to do that without something to fall back on. I don’t want to end up working in bb’s for the rest of my life, or doing some other kind of similar mundane job. I think I’d be happy if I could find an internship somewhere in a field I would really like to work in. Maybe music, or television. Like everyone else, I’ve got dreams that I want to achieve someday. And being on this Law course isn’t going to take me anywhere near them.

I know that if I stick with this, I’m going to come out with a bad degree and no idea where to go next. But at the same time, I don’t know where I’d go or what I’d do now. Everyone around me, all of my friends, know exactly what they want to do with their lives. Most have plans of how to get there. Me? Who knows. I just wish someone could help me, knowing what I want to do and telling me how to get there. It’s difficult.

I don’t know what to do.

One thing I hate.

In a nutshell – people who do nothing but feel sorry for themselves.

We’ve all seen it. That guy who continually sighs in a conversation in an effort to get us to ask them “what’s wrong?” with our best sympathetic voice. The girl whose facebook status updates are nothing but “why does this stuff always happen to me.”

Sometimes – and I use that word loosely – there are genuine reasons for why someone feels sorry for themselves for an extended period of time. Acceptable examples of this could be, for example, when a relative has just died, when your twenty-five year long relationship has just ended, or when you have a terminal illness. Under these circumstances, I can fully accept and even feel sorry for the people who walk around staring at the ground with that mournful look in their eye.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I’m ill, or when something doesn’t work out for me, I will feel sorry for myself. This generally lasts until I look at the world and realise that actually, I’m damn lucky that what has happened is the worst of my worries. Oh no, my throat hurts when I talk – yeah, that’s a pain, but I’ve got food in the cupboard and clean water in the tap, which is more than a lot of people have. Crap, I didn’t get that job I wanted – that sucks, but at least I’m healthy and happy in life.

This blog entry is aimed at those people who don’t realise that. Or even those who do, but ignore it because they think their problems are worse. It’s aimed at the kind of people who you sit next to and want to scream “get over yourself, you ignorant bastard!” at. If you’re one of these people, then do me a favour: next time you’re crying into your pillow because your milk has gone over, or contemplating suicide because somebody unfollowed you on twitter, just take a second to look at the rest of the world and realise your life really isn’t as bad as you make it out to be.

Then do the rest of us a favour and stop trying to bring us down with you.

Rant over.