Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Ties That Bind

Found here. I'm sorry, I can't find the original source.
I didn't get the job.

But genuinely, this is OK- not long after the interview, I realised that as cool as the job would have been, and as incredible an experience the interview was, I applied for the job based not on what I would be doing, but on where the job was and the organisation it was for. I don't think I applied because I wanted the job itself- which means that actually, I'm quite pleased to not have got it. 
(For obvious reasons I'm not going to tell you all where the job was)

My boss also guessed that I'd gone to London for an interview (maybe he reads this blog? Oh. If so, HELLO J. Let me know, please?!)- which led to a slightly awkward but also very interesting conversation. He acknowledged that he understood why I'd gone, and was pleased for me, and also said "But it's true, I've often wondered what keeps you down here [in the South West] you know. I mean, you have your family, of course- but you could go anywhere."

And it really made me think. I genuinely have no idea what's tying me to here. And I could go anywhere. So why aren't I? What keeps me here? What brings us all back to where we originate?

Well, we all know I'm scared. I think we all are- as always, the "lack of logical next step" brings us back to, or keeps us in, the familiar in many cases. It's an incredibly brave soul who moves somewhere completely unknown- be that alone, or with a partner. Lauren, Meg, Nicole and Megan leave me with my jaw on the floor. I have just the hugest amount of admiration for the bravery these women possess, moving halfway across the world. And while some of them have since returned to the familiar, others haven't. It's something I wish I was brave enough to do- but I'm still not certain that I am. 

I don't want to stay here forever. We all know that my money-is-no-object dream to go to patisserie school in Paris, live there for a while pretending to be Rachel Khoo, and return to set up a bakery/ tea room which also hosts a running club and book club. I want to go, and spread my wings, and really live. Sometimes, the weight of the memories here threatens to crush me. Sometimes, I hate the idea of going to Town and running into the people I went to school with. Sometimes, I wish I was absolutely anywhere but here.

But for now, the draw of the familiar is too strong. Any excuse- even if it does mean an eighty five mile round trip commute every day. Soon enough, something will force me out- Mama CupandSaucer could move, or I could get a job in London, or Cardiff, or New York, or Tokyo, or Paris, or some other force could pull me away. And I'm excited for that day, I really am. 

Then yesterday, the same manager suggested I apply for an internal vacancy. So maybe he does want me to stay.


  1. Ahh bad news/good news about the job all at the same time. It's true though, you can go anywhere. I've only just realised that myself having worked in London for the last 3+ years. I'm trying to transfer to America as we speak :). Good luck either way x

  2. I know what you mean about the lack of logical next step! Without the end of an academic year to indicate it's time to change and move on I'm finding it pretty daunting to make that decision for myself, and also what the change should be! I hope your Parisian tea shop dream comes true some day, it sounds amazing and I would love to go to a tea shop that had a book club!

    Love Lauren x

  3. Alice I absolutely loved this post. So eloqently written and hit a chord with me. I think that for now, as long as you are truly happy then you should enjoy what you have and what you're doing, but I think the fact that you have addressed the notion of getting 'too comfortable' and resisting change, means you are a little more open to other opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities and always be on the look out - there's no harm in that is there? And then I think when something comes up that really, really like the sound of, make an effort to go for it. Or start drawing up rough plans on how you'll get to Paris :) xx

  4. Alice - It's so funny that I should read this post right after having a really similar conversation with a friend about this topic.
    I grew up in a small seaside town and hated it and just couldn't wait to get away to college, then uni and it never crossed my mind to return there.
    Yet I've recently spent quite a bit of time staying with my parents and I am seeing the place in a whole new light and can see why so many of my friends either stayed or are thinking about moving back there...there is something so comforting about the familiar.
    however, wonderful things can happen when you move out of your comfort zone too and I think you'll know when the time is right for that!
    Ok...I'm rambling now!
    Han xxx


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