If you want to keep in touch or read my new LJ, message me!
The Grass is Greener on the Other Side??
I had a housemate called Ella. She moved in about a month after i did, and then left last autumn to move to Manchester. And now she is back here and living in our house again. I'd always felt a little uncomfortable around Ella because i've always felt like she is kinda perfect, and i'm really not. She is someone who is very confident, communicates well, is very self-assured, is very career-minded and driven. She earns quite a bit so she drives a soft top and goes on beach holidays. She goes to the gym nearly every day after work and is very fit. And one time she was talking to one of our other housemates who was talking about how she'd quite like to train as a counsellor but was daunted by how in training you have to receive councelling yourself, and she was Ella were wondering if either of them had any ~issues~.
I find it weird that i feel inferior around Ella because i wouldn't want to be her, and i wouldn't want to have her life. But i guess her life is more how society expects a young successful woman to be, and therefore i have some kindof projected desire. I admit i am jealous of some things - i want to be physically fit, i want to live a life where the idea of having ~issues~ is an alien concept, i want to work full-time, i want to come across as confident and self-assured, and though i wouldn't want a soft top and beach holidays i would like more financial stability.
And, through all this where i've been thinking Ella's life is perfect and mine is not.... well, in the last few days my feelings have changed.
First it was when she heard i was moving to live with Simon and we were going to have our own little place. She looked kinda wistful, and said she was jealous that she didn't have someone she could settle down with and the possibility of making her own home. I was thrown - Ella, jealous of me?!?!! And then the next day i was cooking dinner when she got back from the gym (she goes every day) and i joked "so, still a gym addict then?!" and a look i couldn't identify passed across her face (think it was sadness) and she replied "yeah, pathetic isn't it? I should be coming home and relaxing after work". And i was just thrown again. I'd been caught up in the jealousy of how Ella could do a full day at work and then still have the energy to go to the gym (considering my energy levels have been so shit recently that i've been taking ridiculus measures to avoid walking up and down the stairs more than i need to) that it had not even occurred to me that maybe she was addicted to exercise, or exercise was filling some void in her life - namely, that she *does* have ~issues~.
So, that is obviously a sign for me that i do focus too much on the negatives in my own life and see things in a too black-and-white way.
North vs South
Since moving to Lincoln it's made me think a lot about England and its north/south divide. Before it was not something i'd ever really thought about. I'd heard about it, but maybe thought it was kinda historical - the North is where the factories and the poor people lived, and the South is where the richer people lived, but that had all changed now. It turns out the north/south divide is much more significant than i thought.
Lincoln is a weird one because it's not North or South, but Lincolnshire people perceive anything south of Birmingham as The South and being distinctly different to them, whilst not considering themselves to be Northern either. Geographically Lincolnshire is barely any further North that where my dad lives (which is considered South), and is nearly as north as Sheffield (which is generally considered North). It's strange. Maybe being north and south is all relative - like a person from Cornwall probably sees Bristol as The North!!
I have something of an identity crisis going on, and it relates to the north/south divide. Do i consider myself to be an adopted Lincolnite, and therefore a nearly-Northerner? Or am i Southern and always will be? Why does it even matter anyway? When i initially came here people could tell the second i spoke and sometimes from just looking at me that i was from The South (and Lincolnshire is weird - it's almost like it's so cut off from the rest of the country that they see others as 'invaders' or something, and a person of strong Lincolnshire heritage - like Simon whose family is one of the oldest in the county - is respected more). Since moving here i've adopted a new more-Northern accent and picked up some Lincolnshire lingo, and nowadays people ask if i was born here. And when i go back south Emmy is horrified by how i've "gone all Northern!" (she also struggled with Simon's accent for a while).
Mind you, i've always had a bit of an identity crisis in terms of where i'm from. For my whole life if someone asks me where i'm from i don't know what to answer - do you say where you were born, or do you choose one of the places you grew up in? I moved 3 times as a child and where i was born had no relation to where my family are from.
And in terms of me relating to being Northern or Southern, i don't know which identity i prefer. If i were to generalise about Northerners i'd say that they have two traits - 1) they're down-to-earth, 2) they're traditionalist. I like the down-to-earth bit - people are more straightforward and honest and live more fulfilled lives. But the traditionist bit - it jars with my liberal leanings and my love of the unconventional, exotic and new. Vegetarianism, caring about the rights of minorities, loving sushi, wanting to look in the Polish supermarkets, wearing an unusual outfit... they make you stand out here, and not neccessarily in a good way - "Southern fairy" i think is the term!
But maybe there is no answer - i'm not Northern or Southern, i am just me and should be comfortable with my elements of both. When i am South i crave the North, and when i am North i crave the South; it's an odd dichotomy.
Am having a nice day. We walked uphill to the Wetherspoons in the next town for xmas dinner which was pretty nice. And then walked all the way back down again, and didn't get back til a couple of hours ago. Before and after xmas lunch has been spent sitting around the living room by the fire opening gifts. I am feeling incredibly spoilt!