The beginning of year two in Londonland.

*The Friends theme tune plays in the distance because let me tell you pals, noone told me life was gonna be this way *clap clap clap clap**

Right. Lads. How are we.

I do realise that it has been an exceptionally long time since I’ve expressed my utter ramblings and examples of instability in the big smoke in written form, but between holidays, work and petits mental breakdowns, it has been a veeeeery full-on few weeks here down the rabbit hole.

As year one ends, year two has kicked off in full force and I have spent the majority of the time stressed to the gills, or as my friend Cormac would say “I’m past the stage of being up the walls, I’m on the ceiling.”

Year two began with my crashing of my family’s holiday to Spain where I attempted to unwind for a solid 8 days, but ultimately just ended up with unnecessary sunburn and spent my evenings working on my laptop and watching Love Island, much to my parents’ disdain*.

My inability to fully unwind and relax was nothing new as I constantly feel like there’s something that I should be doing and find it ridiculously difficult to switch off, but this is something that I’ve become accustomed to as I always seem to put myself into a busy state whether it’s socially or professionally, but there are times where you just need to be met with zero responsibility but for some reason this is not something that I can get on board with.

The day after I came back from my holiday, I was straight into rehearsals for a show that I was working on with my friend Molly and I was absolutely buzzing for the following reasons:

  1. I love theatre.
  2. Molly is an absolute queen and a half and one of the most supportive sista friends I’m lucky enough to have.
  3. This piece was conceived and created by Moll and it was beyond insanely great and I am sOoOo grateful to have been involved.

Througout the rehearsal period and run, I spent my days off from my muggle job at rehearsals, and my evenings doing laptoppy bits** and I had the best time, like, it was beyond cool to be involved with a new project from the get-go and especially to do it with your pal and other ridiculously talented creatives in the industry, yano?

I will be forever grateful to Molly for asking me to come on board and am so excited to see where it goes because there is no way that this could be the end for a piece as powerful as this.

*boom mic drop*

My only stress from this experience came from the fact that I loved the work that I was doing on it so much, that it made me realise how much more time I wanted to spend working on it, as opposed to spending my time steaming oat milk for babychinos which would then be served to the vegan toddlers of West London.

The come-down upon finishing work on a project that you got such a buzz and sense of accomplishment from is a force to be reckoned with, and even further heightened when you have to return to your muggle job. It was very much a case of “yes I know that I don’t necessarily want to be here but I also do not know where it is exactly that I want to be.” To know that you don’t want to be in the day job that you’re currently in but still not knowing the exact road you want to take can be extremely overwhelming and is something which really hit me hard once the run had finished and I was back to solely working full-time and that just had me feeling all over the gaff.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do love my job and have an absolute skit with our regular customers who like to engage with the token chatty Irish gal on the daily, but when you currently don’t have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the near future or lack a constant creative outlet on the side it can be a real downer and is something which really got to me and I hit a very low point again.

It’s a very transitional time for me right now, between trying to decide what to do about a job and also trying to find a new house, I feel like I’m in a pressure cooker and that time is ticking on and I have zero idea as to what is happening in regards to my near-future.

I eventually realised that looking for a real-life job while also looking for a house was not the best thing to do, and even more-so the possible result of starting a new job while moving into a new place isn’t the brightest idea. To have willingly put myself in a position where I would be uprooting everything that is currently stable and having to settle into two new environments simultaneously is something which I don’t think I would be necessarily able to handle at this time.

I am a very stressed gul.

Like, I’ve only ever lived out of home in Cork once, and found it super easy to secure a gaff***, same with Boston and same with finding my first apartment here, but having to move house in London has transformed me into a human stressball and is in a completely different league. For the first time ever, I don’t have the security of my family home to keep me going until I find a place, along with the knowledge that I don’t have to book flights to my newfound destination until I’m fully secure with a place to live.

Right now, I’ve got assigned move-out dates, preferred move-in dates, have swapped online browsing on Zara and Pull&Bear for RightMove and Zoopla and spend the odd day off arranging viewings only to learn afterwards that an offer had been put down in the time that I had spent viewing the house. If I read the word “deposit” one more time I may actually projectile vomit.

Usually I deal fairly well with multitasking and organisation; during final year 2.0 I decided to go back and do both silver and gold grades for my LAMDA exams, assistant direct a full-scale musical with 70 kids, work full-time and do assignements and study and yet somehow found it to be the best recipe for success as I was able to focus on different things and delegate my stress and energies. This is not the case right now, as it seems that for a little while, my body entered complete shut down mode for some reason and I found everything to be far too overwhelming and ended up spending the majority of my time crying and drinking tea.

It’s just a very stressful time both physically and financially, with pressure coming from angles that you don’t even see for a while and then when you finally realise that they’re there you can’t unsee them and the rough patch becomes coarser.

I suspect that my dad has dreaded anytime my name has lit up on his phone in the last few weeks, as it has more than likely been me on what seems to be a constant loop of PMS, filled with my seemingly chirpy tones one minute which are then soon to be cut off by absolute hysteria for the following duration of what results in being a 90 minute phonecall.****

I realise that I tend to make myself sound incredibly unstable at times (I am) as I always seem to be crying, but I feel like I constantly reiterate the point in most posts that I have always intended to make these shared ramblings as real as possible and shed light on the idea that life away from home, especially whilst living in one of the most vast and vibrant cities in the world, is not all sunshine and rainbows, or boozy brunches and West End shows. It can be fairly shite every now and then, especially at times like this where you’re leading into the next chapter when you learned to be so comfortable in the first.

Although my mind hasn’t been in the better of it, I do feel like I’ve started to feel brighter in the last few days and have decided to just take things as they come, rather than spending all of my time worrying and pre-empting that everything is going to fall to bits.

Despite the fact that year two appears at times to have kicked off with somewhat of a jaggedly rocky start, I’m still here and still very excited to see what happens in the next few months.

That being said, I would still really appreciate your thoughts/ prayers/ well wishes/ sacrificial voodoo rituals to guide me on my way to prosperity.

Much love and respect to ya pals,

Al x

*This disdain ended on night two – my dad is now very much a Maura advocate.

** There is no way that this is an official term but for some reason is the only way I describe working on my laptop.

*** This sentence was far too Cork for anyone and I do apologise.

**** Ross Gellar voice: “I’m fine.”

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