Sunday, 30 January 2011

Big questions and the Big Smoke

Sometimes life seems like one long struggle and this has been one of those weeks. I've been going through a period where I feel dissatisfied with everything, and as though I'm somehow failing at making a success of my life. 
This time that feeling has been focused on my career and I've found myself wondering if I'm going in the right direction and, if I'm not, what I can do to change that. 
Inevitably when I start thinking this way I begin wondering if I should be moving to London. Although I was brought up there I have no particular desire to live in the capital - unlike many of my friends who flocked there as soon as they grauated, I headed in the opposite direction.
But in the past few weeks I've been keeping my eye on media jobs - not so much for myself as for my boyfriend who is looking to move to Bristol. And the vast majority of relevant vacancies are in London. 
That there are more jobs in London than Bristol (or elsewhere in the country for that matter) doesn't come as a surprise of course. But reading the jobs pages is a depressing reminder of why many people feel that, if they really want to "make it", they have to move to the Big Smoke. 
Which got me thinking about what I need in order to feel that I've "made it", and what success even is. In the mood I've been in in the past week those were very difficult questions to be asking myself, and ones that I will have to leave for another blog post to attempt exploring.
What I do know is that I want to live in Bristol, but I also want to live with my boyfriend,  so we need to be somewhere he can work too. And, although I have a good job at the moment, at some point I will want to move on. So I was wondering if we were being idealistic about trying to have it all - the lifestyle and the careers. 
And then I picked up a copy of Bristol Property Live. I know it sounds like an unlikely place to find inspiration,and that wasn't why I started reading it (I wasn't reading it as a potential house-buyer either, sadly.) But a feature on Mike Bennett, Bristol's place-making director, caught my eye. 
As the article observed, it's a rubbish job title. But Bennett's role is to promote Bristol as an exciting, vibrant place to come and live and work. 
As part of the initiative he and his team have come up with 50 ideas to invigorate the city. 
Sure, many of them will never see the light of day, but just reading the list of suggestions, such as a Slow Sunday anti-rat race movement, or summer music sessions, made me feel excited about living here again. 
It reminded me that Bristol is alive with creativity and innovation, which is what makes it so desirable as a place to live and work. OK, the sheer volume of jobs in London may mean it's often the safest, most obvious place to pursue a career. But who wants to be safe and obvious?
It may be that little bit harder to find the ideal job here but I've decided to take that as a challenge, and to see it as a an opportunity, in the spirit of Bristol, to create something even better than those London folk can imagine.


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