In which Briony laments being an adult…

Growing up totally sucks.

In the post-Masters-completion haze of the last two weeks, I’ve been wandering around the house blinking blearily and jumping at small noises. It’s an amazing thing when your day doesn’t purely consist of working, sleeping, and writing about social media, literary hoaxes and the invented traditions of Australia Day. (They were separate essays. At least I think they were).

The good news is, I have nothing but free time now. The bad news is, I can’t relax. The day after I handed in my final assignment, I was sitting down doing absolutely nothing, and I started to panic. Surely there was something I was meant to be doing? Not being able to think of anything, I picked up the knitting I started before my Grandma died last year, and proceeded to go through two balls of wool in a week. I couldn’t just sit down and be, I had to be doing something. So I knitted, cleaned my room, and made delightful-smelling messes in the kitchen.

Once upon a time, if I had this amount of free time, I’d be in a corner somewhere reading. When I was younger, I would go to the State Library in Launceston, check out the maximum number of books, and blissfully ignore everyone around me for the whole weekend. And I have such good memories! I read Acqua Alta by Donna Leon while I dangled my feet in the waterfall at Supply River, near my parents house. I read Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone sitting in Mum’s baking hot car while she waited for the RACT man to come and start it up for her. I read the Capote biography sheltering out of the rain under a giant tree in the gardens of the castle at Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic. Now my reading is pretty much limited to my morning schlep to work, which I hate, because a) I hate stopping midway through a chapter, and b) I hate stopping unless I’m so tired I can’t even see the page anymore.  The problem now is that  everytime I pick up a book at home, a little voice in my head says ‘are you sure you have time to be doing that?’ and I put the book down guiltily.

Man I hate that voice. Over the years I’ve tried shutting it up with alcohol, but that hasn’t worked as well as I’d hoped. I much prefer the voice that says ‘Hell yes you should have another glass of wine!’, or ‘what do you mean you don’t want dessert?”, or ‘it’s far too cold to get out of bed, sleep in til noon’. That voice and I would be good friends/drinking buddies/co-accused

But anyway. Uni is done forever, and the most punishing and emotionally draining two and a half years of my life are over. This has conjured up a whole series of feelings that can only be expressed in GIF format.

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