life begins at …..

So, at the start of this week I promised to post something everyday. Then, less than 24 hours later, I get a phone call offering me a full time job – something I had given up hope on after a good 100 job applications had gone unsuccessful. Looks like its going to be a weekly post from now on.

But anyway, the next day I was up at 7am, home at 7pm and asleep by 10pm. Life had truly begun. Then I got thinking, when does this so called good life start. There’s so many sayings going around, I’m no longer sure where the good parts are meant to be.

This is a little story I’ve been writing on the bus each day.

Hannah had begun her first ever fulltime job. It was hard, it was long hours and there was actually a lot more to transcribing than she thought. Chinese code language ran through her head all day and all night and every time she heard background noise when she was writing she very nearly coded it, even when she was on her blog. <BGpoa> ~~<2Ty>

Her first day hadn’t got off to a good start. Hannah had been 20 minutes early and her boss had been 20 minutes late. She had argued with her boyfriend before leaving for work as he didn’t understand. He had been in full time work since he was 16. The transition from student to adult was hard. Hannah was not happy. Hannah was only 21.

As a child Hannah had always been bitter and very aware that these were her best years and yet she was spending 5 days a week in school. Hannah wasn’t popular at school. In fact, Hannah had been bullied because she was smart.

When Hannah got home from work she was tired and miserable at the thought of going back to work early the next day, she had less than 12 hours before it all started again. That evening, whilst they were cooking dinner, Hannah accidently dropped her phone in the sink, along with the washing up. Hannah and her boyfriend argued again and fell asleep, back to back.

On Hannah’s second day she had caught a cold. She was aware she was sniffing a lot but was too afraid to go to the toilet as some doors in the office lock automatically behind you. Hannah didn’t have an electronic door card yet and didn’t want to risk being locked anywhere in the office’s four stories.

The training Hannah was going through was rigorous. She wasted her lunch hour reading Moll Flanders and wishing that she could actually be a Gentlewoman one day. By 6pm Hannah was ready to go home. That night her friends in the year below her, who were still living the student life invited her for a night out on the town. Biggest night of the year, they said. Hannah told them no. That night her friends had fun. But Hannah had fallen asleep by 9pm watching Our Zoo on BBC iPlayer.

The next morning a friend called her on her commute. Hannah sat on the bus listening to her friend talk of the dramas of the night before. She spoke of tears, vomit and adultery. Hannah told her friend that university is the best years of your life, enjoy it. But Hannah wasn’t convinced, she had never been convinced. There are only so many kebabs and hangovers a girl can take.

That day at work Hannah found out she passed her initial training tasks. It was her third day on the job. Hannah ate a tuna sandwich for lunch, read some more Moll Flanders and tried not to blow anymore snot bubbles when she dozed off.

When Hannah got on the bus that evening she overheard a woman on the phone. She was wishing her sister Happy Birthday. Laughing, nay cackling, she told her sister not to worry. Life begins at 40. You just wait.

Hannah couldn’t tell if the woman was being sarcastic, she looked way past 40 and was still riding the bus commute home into the least good areas in the city. Hannah looked out the window and smiled. The sun was setting and the whole of the city was glowing a warm orange. Hannah had forgotten how much she enjoyed the school bus journey home all those years ago. How pretty the views were and how it made up for the nastiness at school. She remembered the spring bus journeys and seeing the first baby lambs and she remembered the Christmas bus journeys with all the twinkling lights. She looked forward to those days to come.

Hannah had realised that life begins when you work hard for something. Life began when she was going to school because she was working for the weekends. She worked for those evenings when she could see her family and play. Hannah had loved nothing more than going to Church with her mum on a Sunday and coming home and chopping vegetables. But Hannah’s Life had stopped when she went to university because she had all the time in the world and nothing to work for. Hannah had got a degree, she even got a first and was proud. But her money was eaten up on an expensive student house, with 3 messy roommates. Hannah’s life had been a party and she didn’t appreciate the time she had.

Hannah got off the bus and could smell Autumn. It reminded her of her first week back at school after the 6 week Summer holiday. Hannah’s boyfriend was standing at the bus stop. He had some shopping for their dinner and tissues for her sore nose. That night whilst they were sitting in the garden talking, something they promised they would do every night from then on, Hannah realised she didn’t mind work anymore. Hannah could see what she was working for. She understood that life only began when you had worked out who you wanted to spend it with.


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