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Wakey Wakey 1: Nottingham's Oldest Teenager

6 September 16 words: Anna Wakey
"It's 5:30am and there's thumping bass coming from my front room. No, it's not student accommodation – it's my 53 year old father, Nottingham's oldest teenager"
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First let me paint you a picture. It’s 5:30am and there’s thumping bass coming from my front room. Slowly coming round from a very rare deep sleep, I go down to investigate the growing irritation in my household. No, it’s not student accommodation, it’s not some pissed-off flatmate – it’s my 53 year old father, Nottingham’s oldest teenager, who’s suddenly discovered a social life after my mother passed away three years ago.

So, ‘My name’s Anna and welcome to Jackass’ – emphasis on ass. I, however, have a lot more on my mind; I’m 23, married, and along with 2 million or so other graduates, am now looking for a job.

I could sit here and write ‘Hey! Look at me! I’ve worked in schools helping kids get involved with reading, I’ve volunteered in classes at secondary schools, I’ve edited a blog, and helped organise a reading flash mob!’ – But with the rising standard of students finishing their degree younger than me, maybe that won’t be enough. Like many of my peers out there, I love to work, relax and, in particular, read. I devour books but flat-out refuse to get a Kindle - much to the irritation of my father and husband as the three bookshelves I do have are starting to bow and overflow.

Hey, we all know it’s hard knowing where to start, right? So, I’m sat here typing with one hand while browsing the web with the other. As I start to look for a job, I’ve set up a Twitter account so that I can follow relevant people in my desired job sector – the publishing industry. I’m putting them in lists like ‘publishers’ and ‘local media’, bringing a bit of order to this medium, just as I do to the house. I’ve got around 200 followers so far – good ol’ father has 14.5 thousand by the way – it feels like half of them are downstairs now.

I’m wondering how the hell I write an article whilst also fretting about the big stack of ironing and whether the boys want steak or chicken for tea – and for that matter do I go Jamie or Nigella? Would I even know how to make proper stock considering I’m vegetarian?

I digress, however. Join me on a wonderful and fantastical journey through complaining, possible advice, and more moaning, as I lead you through the glorious world of being the only grown up in the house whilst trying to find a career after graduating. I may even write a book – ‘My father, the slightly more well-behaved and employed, Frank Gallagher’. But that just raises even more questions: in the daunting world of writing, would I be one of the roughly 300,000 writers (annually in the UK) published? How would I even start to get in contact with an editor? It never ends.

I, however, want to really go in to publishing. Currently I have a safe little part time job to tide me over until I can crack the nut that is the world of words, but – like many – the looming thought of the expanse that is post university life is ever daunting. I have downloaded every ‘handy helpful’ app that helps you search for jobs – only to find unpaid internships and secretarial jobs. I have spoken to friends and ended up blank.

Considering the writing idea, my dad is a huge pain in the arse but his antics (i.e. gallivanting around town, demanding restaurant grade food, texting me at all hours of the night, and – of course – awful dad jokes) may end up fleshing to a ‘Mother-can-you-not’-esque non-fiction compilation of essays (a book I definitely recommend by the way).

All in all – it’s bloody hard being young nowadays. Especially when you’re out of touch with what’s now ‘cool’ even though you’re 23. Judging by the bass downstairs, though, father has definitely kept up with the times.

Father's Twitter: @Wakefieldneil
My Twitter: @AnnaWakey

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