Hello my friends.
I would just like to update you all with where I am at in terms of my gap year. Basically the first thing I needed to do was get a job. I needed to have some money rolling in in order to fund fun things that I wanted to do. Therefore I handed out CVs and got offered a job at a little independent cafe in my town centre. I was super excited, I’d always loved this little cafe and my interview went well. (I wore my lucky job getting dungarees. I always get offered jobs when I wear them.)
Turns out it was shite. The people there were very arsey and just not very nice in terms of helping you out. I’d worked in a pub and a cafe before so I knew the basics for working in this kind of industry yet they were just arsey. I’d get such bitchy comments about standing around when literally I’d done everything possible! The cafe would be tidy, the tables cleaned, sugar bowls filled to the brim and customers happy and so I’d pause for a second and step back and look at what I’ve accomplished and this girl had a go at me about standing around! For cleaning tables and earning a lil bit of dosh the bitchiness was just too much. If it was my dream job, I am sure I would have been able to just grit my teeth and bear it but because I was literally just taking food out and cleaning tables and getting such shit I decided to look for a more permanent and grown up kind of job because to be honest, I was over waitressing.
Finding something new…
So next thing you know, it’s a sunny afternoon and I go for a drive with my mum stop off at local places around where I live and drop off my CV and have a chat with some people. I dropped my CV off at a groomers, primary school and nursery. (By the way, kids and animals are sort of the areas I would like to find a career in other than writing, :)) I walked into the nursery and thought no way was this going to be for me because it seemed so much different to a primary school, which I had previous work experience in. I was considering becoming a primary school teacher after A Levels and had secured a place at University as well, but I backed out because I wasn’t sure. Anyways I ended up getting a phone call from the Nursery and got asked to go back in for a lil chat and ended up with my first shift the following Monday. It’s now my third week of working there and it’s been a journey. Let’s put it that way.
Firstly, I suppose it’s my first proper full-time job so immediately I felt old. I was like shit, this is the real world. The place is lovely, it’s a really nice nursery and the children are wonderful. It just took a second to adapt to such drastically younger children because I was immediately thrown into the baby room. I have no experience with babies by the way. I think I’ve picked my baby cousin up about once. So no baby experience whatsoever. Turns out it’s pretty easy to pick up. I really enjoy being with the babies actually, which surprised me a lot.
In terms of life and forever…
I don’t think it’s the job that I want to do forever and I’m not sure about pursuing a qualification or apprenticeship but it’s a great job for me right now. In terms of the world and feeling good, I feel great because I feel like I’m giving back and providing for the children and doing something really worthwhile with my time rather than cleaning tables. It really is a good job for me right now because it’s providing a one way ticket to adulthood to get myself to grow up a lil bit which I think I need. I am yet to be paid as we get paid at the end of each month so I think that will help when I feel like I’m getting something back that I can save up in order to put towards travelling, once I decide what I want to do and where I wanna go. So overall I would recommend to anyone on a sort of gap year sort of getting your shite together year!
There is this idea that in order to travel you go and become a waitress or bar tender and start saving up like in the movies but in reality I think its stupid. Go and find a job you can really enjoy and not spend the whole shift wishing you were at home. I have not experienced that yet in two weeks at nursery yet I experienced it at the cafe within the second shift. So find something you can actually enjoy while also keeping in mind your goal of what you are saving up for.
Things I have learnt, just odd thoughts about humans and shite…
- Appreciate everything and get fucking excited! As adults we all don’t get excited and really happy about anything anymore. We are all so boring. These little children go mental when you mention something as simple as the paddling pool! And they get hella excited about it, and do you know what? So they should! Paddling pools are fucking fun and they have every right to be excited and I think we as adults and teens, we really need to appreciate everything around us and get excited about it. You having an ice cream? Get excited about that fucking ice cream. That is definitely some exciting shit.
- Also contact. Cuddles are underrated. This is a big thing I’ve learnt. I personally, I’m not a cuddly or touchy feely person. I just don’t naturally touch people or make contact really, just doesn’t come naturally to me. And I think the power of human touch is really underrated in terms of just having that contact with someone, whether it be a quick cuddle or a long snuggle! Because in terms of babies I have realised that sometimes they simply need a cuddle just for the sake of feeling you close to them and feeling safe, as well as for reassurance or to console them. So yes, I feel that since childhood and going through my teens hugs and cuddles with your family and friends just diminishes. Like why can’t we all casually hold hands, we don’t need to be in romantic relationships in order to feel connected with those around us! So go right now and find someone to hug.
- Body confidence. What a weird thing. We are all born with it yet lose it in the transition from childhood to adulthood in that terrible period of puberty. It sounds stupid that babies are pillars of body confidence but man they are. It’s just the fact that they are completely unaware of themselves, there bodies are simply there to do wonderful things like help them move and navigate the world. Which doesn’t change, in adulthood our bodies are still there to keep us exploring life. They are incredibly natural and wonderful miracles that we should cherish. It simply highlights how toxic that transition to adulthood is as our body confidence and self-love is squashed. It also shines a light on the shite the media chat about body images, fuck that shit! Body images mean nothing as long as we are happy and healthy and caring for our bodies.
- Just the simple fact that these are young children and they are completely dependent on me has really hit me in the face. But it always does when working with children because it really puts into perspective all the things we take for granted, like being able to feed yourself and knowing whether this is something we should or shouldn’t be doing.
- Motherhood is completely romanticised. Everyone needs to get over themselves. It’s taken two weeks for my extreme idea of mothers to simply be destroyed. I used to think it was some big secret being a mum. It’s not, society just sells bullshit. It’s just looking after kids. I don’t know why I thought there was something more to it, but it’s literally providing love and care for children which is exactly my job as a nursery assistant. It’s a fantastic job for a reality check though about children because everybody has this idea of what having kids will be like and it’s nothing fucking like it. Go work in a nursery for a week and it will definitely make having children seem less magical and more normal and part of life.
To conclude find a yourself a job which you can learn from. Not just a skill or the basics of how to do the job like how to look after children. Actually find one that helps you question shit around you.
Because the weird thing is I’ve found out that I completely disagree with nurseries. I don’t think its right that such young children should be separated from their parents or care givers. I think a nursery should be something else entirely, like a hub for new parents in order to find information and classes on parenting and social groups to get involved in but not a place to keep your kids while parents are at work to earn money to spend on keeping their kids there.
Just roll with it. And remember that a job isn’t forever, you can change it. You aren’t stuck.
Love Eliza xxx