I’ve done so much travelling this past week, I’ve been finding it easier to sleep on an airport bench or a train seat than in my own bed! But after 15 hour layovers in Zurich, a week in Istanbul and packing then unpacking only to re-pack; it’s nice to vent some of my discoveries…
I was going to do a post on my time in Istanbul – but I think that requires a time of reflection and realisation. So, I decided to share my thoughts on my observations on what should have been an average train journey to the Potteries…
I decided on a Sunday and without a car, that a train was my best bet at getting back to uni. As I thought; after running away from facing a new academic year without my mother in my life, it was time to make an appearance. more permanently. Let’s count the problems in that sentence:
1. I picked a Sunday in which to take a train from the lake district. Which is ridiculous because saying ‘they’re far and few between’ doesn’t cover it. Also meaning every train I got on had no seats (except the very last direct to Stoke) of most definitely no where to put my ridiculously large suitcase, resulting in me hogging every end of each train carriage!
2. I was making a permanent journey. Meaning my dad getting what we call ‘the big suitcase’ down. which fits me – comfortably – into it. To pack everything I brought up there – in a car and with help- five months ago. I felt like I should’ve had Mr.Universe guns after dragging it!
3. Yes, I’m not over my mothers death, obviously and I managed to pick a dissertation subject that links to the very moving speech I made at her funeral – so everytime I think of it: hello tears! – Though in my defence I picked the subject before she passed.
So weighed down with a 30+kg suitcase, my laptop, a huge backpack and my over-sized Zara, I commenced my journey. It would’ve been all fine an dandy if the taxi driver I’d booked helped me with my suitcase and at the end of September the weather had suited the season and I wasn’t dying in my new Ugg’s!
On the first tain (yes there was Four in total) I ended up sitting with a middle-aged couple and they were talkative.At the point they asked what I did I thought of something friend told me she does: Because she’ll never see the people she meets on the train ever again; when they ask questions she “strecthes” the truth. So I thought ‘why the feck not’ – So when they asked I told them I was studying law. On the next it was nursing. Both times they both went ‘wow’ or ‘that’s brilliant’. On the next I told them my actual degree: Drama, Performance and Theatre Arts, and got ‘aw that’s dead creative’ – not ‘wow’, not ‘that’s really clever’ but ‘that’s dead creative’ – For a moment I sat there thinking ‘whats wrong with my degree?’ then for once in my life the self-doubt disappeared and this was because of person number 4 I spoke to. I told him exactly what I was doing and basically my ambitions to ‘do it all’ – his reaction was shocking: He said he was in ‘awe’ – in awe of me?!
I couldn’t believe it. This guy, who interns in his dream job for F1 racing, said ‘That’s awesome and really intelligent. Most people do say your degree and want to be an actor, but you want to do so much, and it seems your on your way’ – I thought: yes, I am on my way!
My degree is something I’m not embarrassed to tell people about – no, they don’t react the same way as to a medical student – but that’s not a bad thing! My degree is creative, and it’s hard – I’d like to see a law or geography student write all their essay’s (as we get as much as other degree’s) and have to occasionally get really embarrassed on stage at having to be starkers or something – plus I could be a doctor one day, in fact I’d love to do a PHD one day – though don’t call me to save a life as I’d be on the floor next to them at the sight of blood!
But, this guy was in awe because of the courage to want to do more than what a degree can label you too! Frankly, I liked him instantly! He said “A medical student becomes a doctor. A law student becomes a Lawyer. You’re doing anything you want to, not just acting!” So he instantly became my train bestie with his serious ego boost he gave me….
I love train relationships; they’re temporary. My friend was right: I could’ve been anything or anyone. But when I was honest I actually had a miserable journey made fun! It actually turned out the guy had travelled from the same small town as me – crazy! But I love them for the awkward moments too: We got on to the last leg of the journey and he walked to the train with me. He then sat down first and you then have to make the awkward decision – do I sit with him or not? -Well I sat with my new friend and a temporary friendship was made!
That’s all it was and I could’ve been anyone or anything – but I was me, and I was proud of me – I felt a bit more secure in my life decisions hearing them being said out loud, with an outside perspective giving a positive reaction.
I made a lot of discoveries on this tedious train journey – and hopefully my last journey for a while:
1. My degree is awesome and I wouldn’t change it for the world as it’s helped me in in so many ways to help me achieve what I want to do.
2. My view of ‘honesty is the best policy’ tends to be better than pretending to be a law student – cause though you get the ‘wow’s’ it’s not you they’re wowing it’s the idea’s behind it! (No offence to ANYONE on the degree’s I’ve mentioned!)
3. I NEED to buy a new car- temporary train friendships are awesome – but they need to remain just that in my life: temporary!
So, four flights, four trains, and five car journey’s later, I’m back on course to ‘do it all’ – or at least to pass my degree… It’s going to be hard, and I’m going to want to run, as I did today, but I won’t – partially because I know I shouldn’t and partially because I don’t want to have a four hour and four train journey to just run away (not to mention a £50+ train ticket!)- Train friendship or none!
P.S. In my defense I could be a doctor or a lawyer – it just depends on which role I get in the next play 😉