I’ve been pondering all the different lives we live, recently. I’m in my mid forties and so far I’ve done and been lots of things:
Student, of archaeology, history, GIS, sci-fi; IT professional doing GIS, which was pretty cutting edge at the time; IT teacher, to retired people mostly, or to the long term unemployed; Audio Visual technician – a trainee, really, helping my OH in our business. Then I became a mother and combined that with chicken breeding, selling eggs at farmers’ markets and teaching people about chickens, because AV tech is stonkingly incompatible with small children. For some reason people get twitchy with you climbing ladders whilst heavily pregnant or wearing a baby in a sling.
Through it all, I’ve written. My self identification has changed a lot over time in lots of ways, but I still pretty much see myself as an academic, which is weird because I only spent four years at university.
Last autumn, life circumstances changed sufficiently for me to have to downsize the chicken-thing pretty comprehensively and a whole load of time, relatively speaking, opened up for me. Rather than fill it with Other Stuff, I have finally, after all this time, made an effort to take proper time for writing. In my teens and twenties I wrote all the time; poetry, unfinished novels and stories. But in my thirties I got sucked in to other things and didn’t do so much. Coming back to writing and books and poems and literature again now feels like coming home. I am revisiting poets that feel like old friends and reading new things to research background for my stories and it’s an amazing feeling, like I’m coming back to life after being asleep for so long. I know what I’m writing isn’t ever going to pinned as Great Literature. Robert Graves would blanche. But it’s where I’m going for now and I’m enjoying it.
I blogged for years under my real name – Ally Lester is a pseudonym, although this is the real me, I’m not a catfish, I promise – but because my husband’s family found the blog and didn’t like it, I became very constrained in what I could write about and it just tailed off. I keep it mostly for disabled-child stuff now and it’s not updated very regularly. And then I suddenly occurred to me that although I set up this space as somewhere to talk about what I’m writing, I can also use it to just ramble.
So here I am.