Above is a photo I made during my final year of college. I borrowed a camera from the stores so I could try my hand at some medium sized navel-gazing. It had been a long time since I had shot in that format, and wound on that kind of film - which as you can see, I didn't get quite right. So I ended up with a couple of oddly (and one that turned out to be unusable) exposed rolls.
Looking at those rolls, and 35mm that I've shot since then, it's clear to me that I've been wandering without a purpose for quite a while.
But I didn't start writing this entry with the aim of discussing the possible listlessness of recent work. That's only happened because I decided to use this image as the header or introduction to this piece.
I've come to ... I've forgotten.
I've developed an interesting problem. Since finishing college I have lost my attention span. I spend hours flicking from one social media to the other, reloading and rescrolling through the same feeds. Ask me to read a real body of text, that isn't some horrible clickbait infested mess and I cannot concentrate. Two sentences in and my mind has stopped focusing on the text - instead I have music lyrics, book plots, random celebrity gossip, and trash shouting over my inner monologue reading voice.
I currently have four different journal drafts simply because I get half way through writing something and my mind moves on, not willing to work through that awkward sentence I need to phrase.
Having now admitted and assessed my problem, it is time to start working. Over the last few weeks of December, I am going to start re-writing my thesis "The Poetics and Politics of Imagery: National Geographic's misrepresentation of non-Western countries through Instagram." And! Actually, I would love to finish reading Edward Said's Orientalism. But the two of these go hand in hand.
And now for an image to break up my words. I've typed more than planned. Apologies if I have shown this image before - it is from the same roll as the photograph above.
I think it is time to finally get around to the title of this piece, "Life after college: the big decisions?". I graduated with a first class honours 24 days ago. This was as far as I had planned in my life. Up until now, it's been easy. I've followed the general path I've been planning since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. No one warned me how scary it would be reaching the end of it. Lots of parts of me want to run away to somewhere beautiful (New Zealand has been the fixation for about a year, but really anywhere far away qualifies) and kind of postpone or completely cancel this idea of making "big decisions".
"Are you going to do a Masters?"
"Where are you working now?"
"What's the life plan?"
"How's the boyfriend? You've been going out a long time now."
I have been asked these questions a lot. My unfocused mind mentioned above has also been using these questions to distract me from actually living, and so I feel like I've been bombarded with this since the summer. Change feels like it is definitely needed, but committing to something has become difficult.
Do these "big decisions" even exist, or is it just me asking myself these questions while I figure out what is actually supposed to happen? Eh. Life, aye?