Friday, 30 January 2015

18

What a ride.

This year has changed my whole world. Basingstoke was once all I knew, and I was in bliss. I knew everything, everyone knew me and I sat in bed every night with no negative, swirling thoughts. My I knew my best friends, and they called me their best friends back. I was content.

I discovered the end of something. The end of my time in Gangshow. Something that swept me up
in open arms. Whilst I may have cried in the final performance of the first show, not this time. I have to move on. It's for others to enjoy now. But the world around me didn’t change, so it was OK.

I discovered passion. Music now has new meanings I understand.

I discovered pure, utter dread as I stormed out of my media class in tears, terrified I would never win, no matter how hard I may try in these evil exams. The world was stacked against me. This would be the end.

And then, one day, I woke up to an email: 'Congratulations, you have been accepted into Brighton University'. My spirits soared. I laid back and let my bed soak me up; the life that I wanted was guaranteed and my perfect life would continue. No worries.

My dad and his girlfriend drove me 2 hours down to Brighton; a hug and a goodbye.

My life, from that moment, would never be the same.

What makes it so surreal is that I never expected this at all. No book told me, no friend who had gone to university warned me. The experience hit me instantly, and a new feeling that I have never felt before presented itself in a terrifying fashion.

I was alone.

I sat in bed, feeling alone. No matter who I saw, I could never shake the feeling. I didn't belong in this town. No matter what I joined and how many people knew me, I didn't connect with anyone like a best friend would, not a group of friends to call my own, like back at home in simple, beautiful Basingstoke. My purpose in life had been shattered and nothing had taken its place. Who was Robert Bone anymore?


When I went home and had to leave again, I would look at my dad straight in the eye and give him encasing hugs, which we had never done before (he’s a handshake guy). I constantly told my Basingstoke friends in our group chats how much they meant to me, describing the various wacky things we were going to do when I saw them again. I was trying to cling onto the old, simple days. Even though I went back with a clearer mind in January, the loneliness still came from time to time. The feeling of the unknown and the scary.

I didn’t know how to spend my last day of being 18. I got on the bus and tried my arsenal of my most moving and inspirational tracks, but I couldn’t focus on the task ahead of me: to think about how I feel. Around midday, I went to the pier. The waves crashing slowly drifts any thoughts that come into your mind out again: perfect. I went to Zoltar, a wise man who I had seen before for guidance when I had a fishing in Brighton. His wisdom came blunt and true.

‘Be happy and live for today, for you will be dead a lot longer. Treat yourself.’

I followed his guidance. I bought the hugest value pack of chocolate and chips from the pier and sat on the pebble beach. I knew I’d end up here today, so I wore 3 layers (a usually huge no-no for Robert) but that didn’t stop my fingers and toes going numb. It did help with how I was feeling though. I wanted to write my feelings for this blog on the beach. But the coldness made me cuddle up, indulge in the food quickly until there was no more and stop me from expressing these scary opinions just for that little bit longer.

No more food.

I’m alone on the beach. I’m alone, again.

What is really odd for me, is that regardless of how I’m feeling, I will never miss anything. I can’t imagine for example if I didn’t like a module I wouldn’t go to it. I'd feel even worse if I haven’t checked my emails for a few days and realise that I’ve missed a amazing opportunity with the student newspaper. The fear of missing out is stronger than anything. I think I’m right in thinking nobody has worked harder than me to try and start presenting on radio at university, when our radio station currently doesn’t exist, but I’m in talks to present on two other stations. In fact, I have already gone to two meetings about other societies today and had to schedule in this blog post. My life doesn’t stop.

It’s so odd, I don’t know what I’m feeling! I applied for Brighton with no consideration of other universities: this was the place for me. I wanted to experience a cultured landscape, and the chance to meet new people with new opinions in a wonderful, welcoming place!

And you know what? That is what happened. I’ve gone on club crawls and befriended random people, new masculine straight men wanted to welcome me with open arms, so many restaurants, so many opportunities! I’ve always been jealous of my friends going to Royal Holloway but the more and more I get involved in the town, the more I know this is the place for me!

Those earlier paragraphs about loneliness? It’s still there. But now, only at this moment, I’ve realised something:

 Being alone doesn’t mean you're lonely.

I received birthday cards this week from my two best friends in the entire world back home. What makes it so lonely here is that you forget your life at home: you are on your own here, to make your own path. They were brimmed full of memories we had together, and reminders we’d be friends forever. This reminded me of the people I knew here: the LGBT club, the newspaper writers, my flat-mates. I moved from being lonely to having a group of new people who care about me with a whole new range of personalities. Yes, I may still be alone a lot, but I can handle it. I am independent, something I’ve never been before. I write my own path.

I was alone with the sea: just me, and the waves. Suddenly my friend Amy calls me, asking if I was actually at the beach after tweeting I would be here. She met me and we had a great evening together in town. I’m never lonely: somebody (or something) is always there. It just took me a long time to realise.

18 was the year Robert Bone was broken down. Everything that I knew changed. But I’m rebuilding into something I never realised I wanted to be, and I am definitely becoming a better person than what I wanted to be before. One day at a time. I am proud of what I’ve become. And now its time for others to have a go. Go to university. It’s magical. You'll change for the better.


Hello 19. What will I become?




Share:

No comments

Post a comment

© Robert James Bone | All rights reserved.
Blog Layout Created by pipdig