The metaphorical ‘first day of school’ signifies any nervously anticipated new start. Be that the commencement of a new job or stage of education, moving out or into home, a first date; the first step into the world away from the worn out favourite jumper of your comfort zone.
My eighteenth year presented many first days of school. I removed my baggy H&M basics black hoody, and on was forced a skin tight, emotion revealing, breath restricting but breast enhancing, neon yellow lycra jumpsuit. My anxiety sky rocketed at the thought of the change which being eighteen would bring about. It turned out, that change in number changed nothing but the number (and my alcohol intake).
In the latter part of my eighteenth year, lost love pushed me into an unfamiliar new world which I believed would envelope me in loneliness. Conversely, solitude helped me affirm that I am capable and can function alone. The disruptions I was yet to face were meant to be done encompassed in the warmth of his old cotton t-shirts, not in the bare vulnerable nakedness of being single. In spite of that, I successfully faced every challenge without the soft white tees. I found happiness within myself, and light within friendships I never imagined could have blossomed from such darkness.
Leaving college meant starting a full time job. Waitressing may not be the most terrifying of careers, but structure had been dissipated and finances became a new stress. I felt adulthood creeping under my comfort jumper, pulling off the pale school shirts and wrapping me in a fearful dark coloured apron implicit of responsibility and tiring working hours. This first led to many other, more happy firsts: the money for the first trips away from home; the first work parties and staff discounts; the first taste of independence.
I also moved out for the first time. I didn’t just move house, or even town, I moved country. Alone. Though it is a temporary state of Swiss life, I left behind the tight knit warmth of my hometown and parents to stretch my arms into the excitement of the mountains, the ski jacket of freedom. Though it was terrifying to leave, I found new safety and clarity in the fresh air, snow and alpine views.
My nineteenth year arrived recently- a time for new beginnings, challenges, freedoms and excitements. But again, this augmentation of age really altered nothing. Today is my first day of school regarding writing for FeminHism. I am scared of where my words will take me, but I know there is an adventure to be had. I here determine to face the next disturbance to the trajectory of comfort with confidence and belief in the future.
The changes of the past year felt like they could be full stops. Yet, they were not semi-colons in the sentence of life, they weren’t even commas- they are the breaths between the words. The story which these words create can become truncated by anxious anticipation for the first day of school. However, anxiety is not a setback which forces you to restart your speech. Insert a comma to take time to breathe and view the tale from the extern.
Then run full force, and live the change.
I’m Bea. Like the insect, the letter, the verb. Any jokes have already been made.