2020: We’re all mad here.

Right. Lads. How are we.

To begin, I do truly feel that my writing sessions are back with the ultimate London bang, as I write this sat in a busy South West London cafe, whilst surrounded (genuinely, I sit here trapped) by yummy mummies helping their children whose names I can only imagine to be the likes of Pandora and Magnus, with their homework and discussing after-school swimming clubs and their impending half-term holibobs to San Sebastian. They are DYING for the break.

Well, this is my first written rambling of 2020 (trust me, there have been many vocal ramblings thus far), and I don’t doubt that there are many more to come. I don’t know how to feel about 2020 as of yet as it’s been a bit of a weird one, only FULL of existential life crises (or as I like to call it “turning 24“), and once again a bucket-load of uncertainty about what I am doing with my life.*

Right. So. Here we go.

My 2020 kicked off back home in Cork where I stayed for the Christmas period, which simultaneously felt like 458 years but also 9 minutes. Weird, isn’t it?

I have to say I did really enjoy my time at home; I ate (a lot), drank (a lot), spent (a lot) and cried (only once, surprisingly, and I was slightly intoxicated so it doesn’t really count), but I was ready to come back to London at the end of the three weeks and was even more ready to face 2020 head on and really make the most out of life here, both socially and professionally.

So, to give you a brief update of what 2020 in Londonland has brought me so far, it includes:

  • One DASTARDLY** horrific flu upon my return causing me to take to the leaba and feel sorry for myself that I wasn’t at home and didn’t have my mom to make me tea, but I had Sinead which is just as good really.
  • I was #blessed to have TWO separate weekends of visitors in the form of my friend Clodagh who literally landed in London about seven minutes after my plane touched down in Heathrow, and then two weeks later I had three more Cork(ish) visitors when Sophie, Rí and Caoimhe came to town. Both visits included a lot of musical theatre***, wine, vegan treats, trips to my beloved Brick Lane and breakfast at my new favourite haunt Where The Pancakes Are in Southwark, as now that I know where the pancakes are, I feel the need to go back and find them, again and again.
  • My best friend Brian got off the plane from the international tour of “Cats” and I was SO EXCITED to have him back, until he got “Starlight Express” and moved to Germany last Wednesday leaving me once again, but at least it means that I’ve one guaranteed holiday booked in 2020.
  • I. Saw. The Jonas Brothers. THE JONAS BROTHERS. It was a night for the history books as myself and Sinead booted down to the O2 Arena (which leaves Kildare Village absolutely shaking might I add) and finally got to see the loves of the lives of our teenage selves. Can confirm that all three have aged like fine wines and Sophie Turner should slightly watch her back as Joe singing “Gotta Find You” from “Camp Rock” ignited a flame in me that was willing to fight for him and to be honest, I think it’s very unfair for someone to be both Queen of the North and married to the hottest JoBro.

And most notably since my return to London:

I turned 24.

TWENTY. FOUR.

An age so traumatising that neither Taylor Swift nor Adele have acknowledged it in single or album form****. It’s very much an in-between age; the beginning of your mid-twenties. At this point, I feel like some weirdly stagey Carrie Bradshaw/Bridget Jones hybrid and that I should be narrating all of this aloud to myself as I type this.

I thought that 23 was bad, but 24 is truly next level and I am really feeling the pressure to get my life together, but this pressure is not coming from anyone but myself.

Being 24 and not having a solid job is quite hard, especially when you’re in a position where you feel like you’re the only person in your friend group without a “grown-up” job and a salary, and can’t commit to things like weekends away or the other boundlessly things that people with a concrete routine and income can do. It’s quite scary to be in a position where you have no real structure in your day to day life, never knowing when your next non-muggle job is going to come through so you just keep going with the flow and living that freelance creative/waitress dream.

However, over the last few weeks, I was going through an interview process for a full-time job within the arts. Now, I’m talking, the dream situation here; a full-time position within the industry, Monday-Friday, SALARY (something that was a foreign concept to me until now), and working with super cool people. Before the initial interview, I wasn’t too sure if it was a job that I really wanted, but after my first interview I felt like it was something that I could really enjoy and also be quite good at. This idealism was confirmed when I moved onto the next few stages in the interview process, and ended up doing a trial shift and getting to see what a day in the life would entail should I be offered this job. As suspected, I had a great time being a theatrical business woman for the day and was already planning on how I was going to be able to say goodbye to muggle life forever and live the London dream.

Turns out I was pulling a Fantine and dreamed a dream in time gone by because in the end, I did not get the job. In all honesty, this is a-ok. What’s not a-ok though is that I found out that I didn’t get this job as I sat on my bathroom floor scrubbing my grimy shower. It was a big “little Cosette” vibe.

I’m not going to lie, I was very disappointed. I had hyped myself for this new and exciting adventure and had already planned that I was going to regularly get my nails done, upgrade my phone contract and buy an air fryer***** and a food processor with my new salary. BUT, after lying on my bedroom floor for a bit while being soothed by the dulcet tones of Jessie Buckley and the “Wild Rose” soundtrack, I quickly got over myself and realised that this just wasn’t meant for me right now, and that’s perfectly fine.

Truthfully, I think I was less upset about the job itself, and moreso of losing the status of being back working full-time in the industry again. I came to this realisation a few hours after I got my rejection, en route to Lidl (it’s all very glamorous here in London but shopping in my local Lidl runs through my veins I guess), as I chose to listen to episode one of “How to Fail – with Elizabeth Day“.

Let me set the scene; picture me, sullen with uncertainty, my pink and red check coat in tow, three bags for life in my Longchamp, and the weight of rejection upon me, searching for a new podcast to listen to and I choose “How To Fail”. HOW. TO. FAIL. I mean, it’s all very dramatic isn’t it.

But ANYWAY, my point is that this first episode was led by our Lord and Saviour Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who naturally due to the podcast’s context spoke about rejection, and noted that she realised there were times when she may not have gotten a role, but she came to the conclusion that sometimes she was less upset about losing the role itself and more upset about the fact that she wasn’t working******, which at this very moment was a big mood à la Al.

So. Here I am at 24. Unsure of what I’m doing with my life. Not in a full-time job that I want to be in. Spending £30 a month on a gym membership that isn’t used as frequently as it should. But having an absolute hoolie.

It’s a bit of a skit really, but when I was about thirteen, I always thought that I would be married at this age, yet for some reason my phone has a malfunction and crashes anytime I try to redownload Tinder, so maybe it’s not my fault that I’m not wed, but Apple’s. That’s what I tell myself anyway.

43 days into 2020, and still with 323 days ahead of me. Here’s to this year, and making it as mad as ever.

Much love and respect to ya pals,

Al x

*Alexa, play Tom Jones’ “What’s New Pussycat?”

**I’m unsure why this is the adjective that sprung to my mind but it’s giving me big “Wacky Races” energy.

***All to be depicted in another post as it has been far too long since “Alex in Theatreland: Part One.”

****Apparently 22 and 25 are the titular worthy ages but my 22nd birthday was the most drunkenly dramatic night out to date so here’s to next year brother x

*****For those of you who may have watched my Instagram story (@alexbermy if you’re lookin x), you may have seen that my dad did in fact surprise me by ordering one to my local Argos and truthfully, it has made my week. Strong Roots sweet potato fries will never be the same again.

******This is paraphrasing, please don’t sue me for defamation PWB I am your biggest fan and have watched Fleabag approximately 17 times xx

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