Old London Town (Part 1)

I’m doing a daily prompt! The prompt for this one is: Adrift

As soon as I saw this prompt, I knew I would have to write a bit about my time in London. It was a very strange time in my life. I had come out my undergraduate degree with a plan. It was a plan that looked a bit like this:

Richard’s Amazing Plan for His Life which will Absolutely Work Out:

  • Complete degree in Computer Games Technology
  • Complete Post-Graduate Certificate of Education and become a qualified teacher
  • Teach for about 5 years
  • Stop teaching (Maybe take a holiday? I’ve earned it.)
  • Start up education gaming business
  • Build games to be used in the classroom
  • Become world famous for changing education as we know it.
  • Retire super rich.
  • Buy a boat-plane. Not one of those planes that can land on the sea, but a boat which can fly like a plane. I’m sure they’ll be invented by then.

(For the full effect, try to imagine it scribbled down on a piece of paper in terrible handwriting.)

Point two is where it all collapsed in on itself, as I never made it to the end of my teacher training, but that is a story for another day.

But without the plan, I suddenly found myself adrift (<- hey look, it’s the prompt word!) in life.  I lost all purpose, every conversation with my parents was an argument about money and jobs, so I fled to London. As far away from everyone as I could get.

I was crashing at my then-girlfriend’s place. She was very kind (as were her housemates) and didn’t bother me about having to pay rent and silly things like that. I could hide from the world and focus on my writing.

Oh yeah. I was going to become a writer!

(spoiler alert: it didn’t end well)

The next few months were spent in a string of unpaid internships with the ‘promise of a job’. During this time I had my work stolen, my trust abused and every day reaffirmed my own idea that I was useless. I don’t know what it’s like to have depression, but I sure felt like I could empathise with the people who suffered from it at that point. Everything was dark.

My relationships with everyone started to crumble.

I started wandering the streets. I couldn’t cope with staying in the flat I didn’t pay for. I felt like everyone was judging me. Up and down I would walk, trying to find inspiration, trying to tell myself that I could do it, but nothing would shift the dark cloud that had settled around me.

My stories became all about death and loneliness and heartbreak. I didn’t really make the connection between how I felt and what I wrote, not until much later.

Once, in an act of charity, I bought a CD for £5 with money I didn’t really have from a guy on the street who was trying to promote his new band. I could see that he was stuck where I was, trying to make something of himself, to shout out to the world that he was important too. We had a really nice talk about how tough it was to get noticed in London and I left that interaction smiling, knowing I wasn’t alone in my pit of loneliness.

The CD later turned out to be a blank disc.

Aaand time for a breather. Sorry, I got a bit lost there in my own story. It was such a emotionally battering time in my life that it is too easy to sink back into the despair of the moment when I think about it.

I think I’m going to have to make this a two-parter because it’s going on a bit!

To be continued…

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