Own House and Career vs Shorthaus and Study.

February 18, 2009 at 8:59 pm (Tabitha) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it’s going to mean for me to be finishing my degree, getting married and moving into an apartment with Andrew on our own. Them’s some pretty big changes right there. Warning: this post is full of worry.

Finishing my degree and starting work as a Physio.

Pros: Awesome. I am so over study for the moment. The first couple of years of my degree almost killed me, but now that I’ve been learning the real practical Physio stuff and have had a taste of work on my placements, I feel like I never want to go back. I love helping people. Having something worthwhile to offer is pretty cool. It makes me feel great at the end of a work day, and helps me sleep well at night. I like the physical-ness of it as well. Sitting still (like, when studying, for example!) drives me INSANE. Being on my feet and working with my hands, however, gives me a sense of release and calm. I know that’s strange, but it’s just what it’s like being me. I’ve always been this way. So, yeah… getting away from the sitting still and rote-learning and into some practical, worthwhile work will be really great for me.

Also, MONEY. Sweet, sweet money. And free evenings and weekends! I hope I’ll be able to pick up some of my old hobbies again, like life drawing classes and acrobatics.

Cons: An inability to take time off when I need it for my mental or physical health scares the shit out of me. It comes down to this. When I was a kid, my Mum let me stay home from school whenever I wanted, with little to no explanation required. She was being kind, because she has had a life-long struggle with multiple health issues and one of the only good things about her own mother was how well she looked after Mum when she was sick. She also knew that I suffered from some long-term health problems and was being empathetic. However, like most kids would in this situation, I took way more sick days than I needed. I still do. And now, growing some fucking discipline is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as an adult. My lack of discipline is one of the lamest things about me. Point is, having only 4 weeks of per year, when I’m used to more than 4 months, is going to be a major adjustment!

Another thing that worries me about starting my career is that I’ll get sick of it really fast. Nothing seems to be able to hold my attention for very long. I am pretty much the most fickle person I know. That’s why I feel like I have to get really good marks now so that if I need a change or want to do further study later, I’m not trapped as a Physio. Being stuck=claustrophobia! FEAR.

So, I’ve developed all these ideas for what I’ll do when I get sick of Physio, even though I haven’t even started being one yet! The possibilities so far include Medicine, specifically surgery if possible (which would require a hell of a lot more sitting still and rote learning all over again, but would help me feel that I was continuing to progress), midwifery, paramedic, or an Arts degree (cos I’ve always felt that the breadth of my knowledge is so poor and that my degree has made me miss out on choosing my own subjects in areas of interest, just for the love of them).

Getting Married.

This, I’m cool with. There’re only pros! I love Andrew and want to always be with him, so that’s not a stressor… other than all the organising that needs to be done in order to make it actually happen!

Moving into our own place.

Pros: I can’t wait for this is so many ways. I’m dying to start my life alone with Andrew.  I’ll love to be able to walk around naked/improperly dressed and be louder at night when we’re up at all hours, to never worry what I look like when I leave our room for the bathroom or to get brekkie in the morning. To know that noone’s ever gonna just walk in unexpectedly.

I’m so excited about setting up the house with proper, grown up things which work and look the way I want them to. I have this fantasy of having a really anally organised kitchen and fridge. My sister has this great method of fridgenation that I have been salivating over for a few years now. She puts everything into plastic takeaway boxes before putting it into the fridge so that it stacks really easily, saves space and  cling wrap, is air-tight and you can always see what’s inside each of them at a glance.

OMG. Poor Andrew!

I like that I will be able to keep things in a way that I feel is good enough to have people over for impromptu coffee or drinks, or have friends/family over for dinner. I can’t wait to be able to do that without having to spend the entire day cleaning and tidying.

I suppose all of that arose from that I’ve been living in a rather messy, disorganised house for the past four years of my life. Ready for a tangent? I guess everyone has a different level of mess tolerance. I am in the minority in Shorthaus cos mess makes me really uncomfortable. The others are much more relaxed and don’t seem very bothered by the way the house is at the moment and wouldn’t feel embarrassed about anyone seeing it this way. For that reason, I just go with it and do what everyone else does, try to calm the fuck down about it and  let it be therapy for my OCD tendencies. I suppose my only other alternative is to do way more than my share of housework for my own sake, but I don’t want it enough to do that amount of work. Plus, I think I’d wind up bitter.

Here’s my cleanliness perspective: I draw the line at the point where things are no longer just messy, but dirty, smelly, unhygienic, attracting bugs and fostering mould. I can’t stand that shit. I hate not being able to walk around bear foot because things stick to my feet, and not being able to open the fridge without getting feral fridge-juice on me. But actually, more than that, I would prefer for things to be vaguely tidy and have their place so that surfaces and seats are clear for use and so that I know where to find a thing that I am looking for. Andrew and I had a series of minor squabbles about replacing my nail clippers where they belong, for example. It also really bothers me when the dishes haven’t been done for so long that I have no cups/plates/utensils/bench/stove to use.

Rant concluded. My apologies! Back to the post we go.

Cons: I’ll really miss living in Shorthaus! It’s really great living with a bunch of fun, easy-going, interesting, like-minded friends who enjoy eachothers’ company. There’s almost always someone to talk to late at night, to vent to, and kid around with. It’s really cool to be able to spontaneously have a board game or a drinking night or go out together somewhere cool. Sharing good TV shows, movies, music, computer games, clothes shopping, and Christmases has been so nice. It’s an awesome environment for big house parties with decorations and costumes and music. Communal, cooking, chores and rent-paying means less work and less expense for a house in a great location. We have a laid back, helpful landlord who likes us and will come over to fix things at a minute’s notice. He lets us have a cat, and he even let it go one time when Andrew accidentally dinged his Ferrari.

The other problem is the unavoidable fact that my partner is, and will always be a very busy person. That is something that I really love, the enthusiasm and drive about him. But it means that he’s not around a lot of the time and it leaves me a little worried that when we move out of Shorthaus and start living together alone, that I might be bored and lonely. I realise that I have a bunch of hobbies and that my friends will only be a phone call away, but it still seems like I’d be in an empty home a lot of the time, and that makes me sad.

I suppose the aforementioned issue of terrifying permanence comes into it as well. It gives me that stifling feeling of that it might be the end of the line, like there’s nowhere to progress from living alone as a couple. I know that that’s just not true, considering that we could  aim to one day save up for a deposit on a place of our own, or we could just move to a different rental place or we could have children etc… but, the mortgage and the child options sound even more heftily permanent (although they do admittedly involve a lot of change and progress), and the moving to a different rental place just sounds like more of the same state of being, really. It just feels like  it’s really early in my life to become so stationary and sameish forever.

In a nut shell, I’m really excited about this new, grown up stage of my life that’s fast approaching, and am looking forward to it loads. But because I am The Tab, I am also really apprehensive and anxious. Welcome to my current brane crazies!



  1. Heather said,

    Oh, Tab. Your crazies sound totally reasonable to me! I’m feeling pretty apprehensive about moving into my own place – I really like the idea of being able to do things just my way and be unobserved sometimes, but I am scared of crippling loneliness.

    I’m trying to focus on the exciting things, though. For my horribly late post this week I’ve been writing about how I want my place to be, and all the lovely things I want to fill it with.

  2. chromefist said,

    I know, ’cause you’re young, right? You should be doing crazy young-person things like those people on TV – backpacking in Peru, and partying every night in fashionable clubs, and working on oil derricks or a research station in Vladivostok for a summer (winter there), and pursuing your freelance photography in your squat while completing a PhD and having a series of messy but exhilarating romantic entanglements with free spirits who-you’ll-always-love-on-some-level and jerks who-you-nonetheless-learn-a-valuable-lesson-from.

    Societal expectations that sound like fun are much more difficult social programming to throw off than the boring bits; and every so often they’ll sneak up on you with a sinking feeling that maybe you missed some stuff that you’ll never get another chance to do.

    But I think everyone gets that. Probably. There’s not enough time to do everything, and a lot of the things worth doing take a while to settle into. You can enter the realm of the love-cave without getting too sedate, I think. More sex, drugs and rock and/or roll (now played late at night with no repercussions!) would probably help.

    And if it gets too claustrophobic, remember that it’s not linear – you can do more studenting and/or sharehousing later on.

  3. naboolio said,

    I like it how you guys understand and say the comforting things.

  4. Danoot said,

    All these things sound pretty understandable to me, too.
    I kind of accidentally ended up living alone, which was weird, but is pretty great!
    I now have to struggle with the fact that my tidying discipline has gone to hell and it’s all up to me, but I’m working on it… my house is currently not fit for visiting (I mean, probably it is, but it bothers me a lot) which doesn’t help with being social and doing stuff.

    But, on the plus side, it’s awesome, and also if you leave it clean, it stays clean! Magic.

    I have similar problems with ‘oh god this is what I do now and forever’ which may (just may) be why I have been at uni for 10 years and am planning a couple more years at least. Fear of lack of options, also routines make me uncomfortable. Blah.

    Anyways, I’m sure things will be awesome. Plus, your own fridge and kitchen is pretty much the best thing in the whole wide world. No-one can tell you off for making, I dunno, a cheese and grissini sculpture and putting it in the fridge while you wait for the baked brie. om nom nom…

    now I am distracted and want a baked brie and some grissini. goddamn!

  5. juliadactyl said,

    Hey, lady, right now I am having all the fun in the world with my newly clean house. People can come over! There is space to entertain! I don’t have to wear pants if I don’t want!

    It is basically so awesome. You have to actively make time to see people, but once you work that into your routine it’s pretty easy.

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