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The Journey and the Bubble

Imagine. The British countryside. The middle of nowhere.


You see a vastness of fields, the occasional old oak tree, more farm buildings than you may anticipate. And in the middle of it all, you see a hamlet. This is my hamlet, in fact our home is named after this hamlet and sits higher than any other house. My home is a castle to me, it holds everything about me and who I was up to the age of 18 when I started to leave.


Started to leave. Something which pained my parents more than I want to acknowledge. My family are one of tradition, I grew up making the food and looking the part of a young woman. I was loved, but as long as I stayed within this bubble. You cannot question this bubble, you do not have emotions inside this bubble, and you sure as hell follow bubble rules. These rules came with high standards, almost impossible standards; you achieved or you failed. Not so easy when you have an older brother.


An older brother. We fought like cat and dog. We were the typical siblings; both hated each other but would donate a kidney without hesitation. As much as it pains me to admit it, he really looked out for me. He learned from my father that this is the way, men are strong and women are weak. "You should look to be with someone who can keep you to the manner to which you are accustomed." Something my father told me, and my brother reiterated one day when we were mowing the lawn and I was telling him about the guy I fancied.


The guy I fancied. My whole life seems to be one consistently focusing on men; it appears to be within my psychology. Something I did not learn was that I was also important, I was allowed to want, allowed to exist, allowed to follow the route which I set for myself. Each time I have made a huge life decision I appear to have an excuse to get there as opposed to acknowledging that me wanting it was enough.


Wanting it was enough. I went to the same private school as my parents, it was too small, political, isolated. I'd had enough by the time I got to 16. I completed my GCSE's and went to do A-levels at the public college in the bigger town over where I learned how, not only was my home a bubble, so was the school I had been to. I unlearned so many things, I was under the illusion that people who did not have a private education were less intelligent, and lazy. A superiority complex came from the bubble I had received I grew up in, that people who had less money were less as people. People who cursed were lesser people. People who did not align to our bubble rules, were lesser people. I had a number of options ahead of me, I took a gap year and went to a university which excited me as opposed to opening the franchise my father was looking to buy for me. I longed to escape the bubbles, I longed to escape the grasp of control.


Grasp of control. I chose to pay for my own higher education, my father offered but I could not allow to be dragged back into the bubble. It was emotionally hard enough to leave the bubble, the guilt that came with it was frustrating. My father suggested I went to a local business university, he wanted to keep me close. But he wanted me to be close so that I could come home and make the tea. He didn't want me to leave. My mother didn't want me to leave. When I was packing for university I had no idea what I needed, I asked for her help and she said she didn't know either and wouldn't involve herself. She was upset that I was leaving.


I was leaving. The mantra of my life. I always feel like I'm leaving. Leaving home, leaving people, leaving projects. "I knew Shropshire was never going to be enough for you." My mother said to me when I was accepting a job in London. A job I would not have applied for without a man by my side. A job that would take me to Paris, Munich, New York, Los Angeles, and finally San Francisco.


San Francisco. A place I would not have applied to without a man by my side. A different man, of course. But a man nonetheless. The guilt of leaving lessened. I think my family had become accustomed to me not being there anymore. I no longer fit into this bubble. I couldn't fit into the bubble if I tried - I sure as hell have pissed off far too many people to be accepted back into that bubble.


So here I am. A single British woman in San Francisco outrunning the bubble. But what no one tells you is that a bubble comes with you, the internal bubble in your mind which you don't escape. You can take the girl out of the bubble, but taking the bubble out of the girl requires a lot of time and therapy. It's ironic describing this in such a way; so many people would describe me as 'bubbly', but that bubble burst quite magnificently because of this internal bubble.


This blog has certainly been all over the place - I am no writer by any stretch of the imagination, but my journey has been a tough one involving mental health, debt, family loses, guilt, and crushing health problems of family. Something to explore in posts to come.


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