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  • "Then all at once it gets hard to take
    It gets hard to fake what I won't be
    Cause one of these days I'll be born and raised
    And it's such a waste to grow up lonely"

    I wandered across the beach today, my grey coat buttoned, my earphones in, and spent over an hour just walking, thinking, smiling and frowning.

    It was July and here I was in Swansea, in Wales, a place I had never been before, alone, and working with children who couldn’t speak my language. I had spent the first two days here tired, overcome with emotion and a little lost. It had been tough and I had been weak.

    It was day four and my day off. I had jumped on a bus in an attempt to escape the cabin fever that is living out of one room, and ventured into town. After flitting about for a while, I found myself overlooking the sea, and the thick shadowed clouds that floated above it.

    My first year at University was over, and summer had begun. The sun was still determined to hide but the feeling that the easy part was over had settled in quickly. Second and Third year would be different, harder, better, more focussed, productive but maybe smoother. I won’t know until then, like everything.

    Last October seemed a lifetime away. I had ended a two year relationship, suffered the backlash of her and her two twin brothers, and found more than a friend in a housemate. I had gone from being a determined writer to being a novice actor, and I had spent way too much money, buried under in an overdraft the size of a decent second-hand car. I found a new confidence, realised what was truly important, and found that lifetime friendships, the real ones, could not be broken by distance.

    I smiled at that.

    It had been both tough and simple. I had found in University what I both wanted and needed, and even if I would spend my summer working myself into a slumber to make back the money and ensure next year be the same, it would be worth it. It had to be.

    Suddenly, rain struck. It was pathetic, merely mist, but it supplied a cool bathing of my face and I smiled some more. Things were okay.

    But of course, ‘okay’ is not ‘great’. Through all this reflection, I realised that there was something, a knot in my stomach. I frowned. Was it the bitter ending of a loose friendship with my ex? No, I don’t think so. I stand by my decisions, what I did, and maybe one day I’ll pluck up the courage to tell that story.

    Maybe it was that I had determined my fate by living with my girlfriend next year? Nope. Our friendship, ability to make each other laugh, talk things out and share the right moments determines our fate, not where we live.
    Nevertheless, I couldn’t put my finger on it.

    I looked properly and noticed how far out the sea was. Apparently Swansea has one of the strangest tides in the world or something. I even noticed a lighthouse a lot further down the coast.

    Maybe the knot was knotted by another knot, a knot that had and always would bind me for feeling bad about my life. When you’ve experienced those who have nothing, you might also feel that knot.

    Or it could be because I didn’t have a dream anymore. Writing was there, always at the back of my mind, but maybe that was something for much further down the line. Right now, I didn’t quite know.

    But it was Summer.

    In less than two weeks, I would be back at home, playing with my little brother, drinking with my old friends, missing my new ones and working my arse off to crawl back into a positive bank balance.

    I changed the song on my phone, and John Mayer spilled into my ears with the wise words that introduced today’s story. I smiled again, listened for a while, and then began to make my way back to the bus station.

    "Cause one of these days I'll be born and raised
    And it's such a waste to grow up lonely"

    It sure is.
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