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Life, Death, And The In-Between

A photo of the gated entrance to Clare College in Cambridge

Do you like posts about daily life? I’m generally loathed to write some of my own because it feels rather self-indulgent. I think we can see why I failed at personal blogging. Nevertheless, and especially because of what I wrote last Friday, I thought I’d use today’s slot to give you a sort of update.

January started off really well with lots of motivation, and, in my case, half a website planned. Then life took a turn and there was a death in the family. It came as a shock and all planning went out of the window. The final decision of a final decision my mother made was reverted to a wondering and, once things were stable, resulted in us practically pushing her into that decision she’d spent so long considering.

My university application isn’t going well. I mentioned on Twitter sometime that my first choice was out, and in the last week I’ve been rejected by my second choice, too. However I am not particularly upset by this. Of course it’s never nice to be told you’re not good enough, but after having spent the last two years studying to get into university I’ve recently had a change of heart. Whilst I still would like to go, the plan B I’ve been working on in case of rejection has ironically become rather alluring; a big part of me is rather blasé about the university rejections because going to university would put an end to this plan B.

The smallest things in life, or in this case major happenings, can completely change who you are and what you thought you wanted to do, to the point that a rejection from Oxford (because I remember telling you all that’s why I had been studying so hard) becomes, in fact, a suggestion that your other plan is far better.

So at present I’m planning a new course of study, learning new computer-based things (I’ve always been a web person), planning a possibly exciting new course of life, and absolutely loving blogging. The biggest thing these last several months have taught me is how much I enjoy blogging, writing, and of course reading.

If this post sounds incredibly positive, don’t let it fool you. The tragedy mentioned has impacted everyone here a lot. But I’ve come to realise that every little good thing should be appreciated and that it’s important to be happy in what you have even if what you haven’t got consists of quite a bit and is constantly in mind.

Most importantly it has shown the value of support and how important being supportive and listening to others is. If it’s acceptable to end a post on life with a plea, this is it: be as supportive as you can to those who need your help, even if it’s incredibly difficult.


Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

January 25, 2013, 11:12 am

I always feel a bit weird writing personal posts too. Sorry to hear of your loss ((HUGS)) I hope that you manage to get on the course you want – computing is a fantastic pathway for those who love blogging. Good luck!


January 25, 2013, 12:37 pm

I’m sorry to hear about the loss in your family. That is never easy. :(

It’s good to hear you being positive and great to hear that you have a plan B. We should all have one (or two!) of those.

Thank you for the reminder about being a supportive friend. Everyone needs a friendly ear now and then.

Chin up friend :)


January 25, 2013, 1:56 pm

I used to try and write personal posts but wasn’t that comfortable with it, so tend to throw in snippets about my life alongside my book thoughts.
I too unsuccessfully got into university recently, but like you this has lead to opportunities and my own feelings leaning towards my plan B too.
I wish you luck with your fututre plans, and condolences for your loss.


January 25, 2013, 8:22 pm

I’m sorry for your loss – sudden losses like that can be like having your feet swept out from under you. It’s good that you have such a positive outlook about your options other than schooling. I hope things go well with your new pursuits!


January 25, 2013, 8:36 pm

So sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like it’s been an incredibly tough month for you.
I’ve had times when I’ve realized that my Plan B was really my Plan A and I had just failed to recognize it. I wish you the best of luck with your future plans!

Alex in Leeds

January 25, 2013, 8:43 pm

*hugs* I am terrible at writing personal posts too, I tend to be cryptical and then hover over the delete butto in case I said too much, so you have my sympathy both for the set backs and the post wibbling. Hope February is more easy on your soul.


January 26, 2013, 11:19 am

I hope you can find your way.

I believe that at university you have to learn things, of course, but you also have to grow up, and that can happens not only in the most popular university; just in the one you feel comfortable.
For example, in my hometown the degree of Veterinary science (I studied this, I’m a vet) is supposed to be the most difficult but the best of all the country, but I have to say it’s full of prepotent teachers whose main aim is to show you (the students) are nothing. So, that’s my experience; people who has studied in other university say they were happy there and I can’t say the same.

Otherwise, talking about personal matters in the blog is a think you have to feel comfortable with. It’s your decision :)


January 26, 2013, 6:05 pm

Sometimes life just gets so complicated. Sorry to hear January has been such a tough go for you.

Funny how Plan B can end up being Plan A and often later in hindsight you may be glad that Plan A didn’t happen.

I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.


January 26, 2013, 7:24 pm

So sorry about your loss! You must be going through a difficult time.

I think your post sounds hopeful and that’s good. If you start to prefer Plan B over Plan A, well, wonderful!

Best wishes!


January 27, 2013, 12:23 pm

Jackie: Thanks :) The course should be okay to get on, there are no requirements other than interest, which is always useful.

Jennifer: Good point, a plan C is an idea. I think it’s easy for us (anyone) to forget sometimes how much people need us, and remembering can stop bad things happening. Thank you :)

Jessica: I think your way works, you (the reader) gets a good idea of who you are and the books you prefer from what you add :) Sad to hear another in my position, but glad to hear that it’s worked for you, that’s quite a motivation! Thank you.

Alyce: That’s a good way to put it, because it’s hard to know what to do. Thanks :) For a while I was so focused on studies it did take a bit of time to see another way.

Anbolyn: It has, but I found that when I was able I got so much done, and it might be a well-used phrase, but I kind of hope this event will shake us all (the family) into action and remind us how important things are. You know, I love what you’ve said there, realising Plan B is Plan A. I hadn’t thought about it like that (especially as I know my family don’t really “get” my Plan B) but when you’re wanting it more, it surely is so. Thank you :)

Alex: This post was originally a lot more detailed, it’s sometimes difficult not to be cryptic and worry. Thanks :)

Isi: Thank you :) That’s very true, there are a lot of universities out there – and actually the ones I was looking at, when considered internationally, aren’t the best. Sad to hear about your university experience. I know what you mean about that sort of teacher, and it is sad when it happens because it can lessen love for learning. Good that you made it through, when teachers are bad its always nice to hear of people doing well. Yes, you do have to be comfortable if you post personal things, when it’s out there it’s out there.

Suzi: Thanks :) That’s what I’m hoping will happen. Going to university would be great, but it would put life somewhat on hold and I’m not getting any younger!

Judith: Thank you :) It’s difficult, and yet I find it’s important to get on with life, as much as you can at least, and make the most of it. I can’t help thinking that not doing so would make those who have gone before us unhappy (assuming they can see us). I was surprised actually, how hopeful I sounded here, but I did take it as a good thing. I’ve been quite neutral over Plan B for a while because I didn’t want to disappoint myself, but there comes a time when if things are looking good you have to accept them. Thanks :)


January 28, 2013, 2:03 am

I’m so sorry that things are rough for you right now. I send you internet hugs and hope you are able to carve out some space and time in which to be kind to yourself. Your family will be in my thoughts. Hugs hugs hugs.



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