Let me take you back in time. Well, not that long ago, actually.
Two weeks ago, me and my fiancée went to see the almighty Arcade Fire at Earls Court in London. Without going into too much detail, I am confident in saying that it was one of the best gigs I have ever seen. There were three moments that I really remember vividly from that gig:
- I wore make up. Again.
- Me and my fiancée with our arms aloft to the wordless, yet iconic, chorus of Wake Up as if it was the last thing we’d ever see in our lives. But then again, so many other people did as well, so that’s particularly unique.
- No Cars Go.
I want to focus on that last one. For a while, No Cars Go has been one of my favourite Arcade Fire songs. I have made several joking remarks about Reflektor being the best song ever (I mean, seriously, have you not heard it? How good is the chorus? The acid house bleeps? DAVID BOWIE?!) but the one that will always hit me in the feels is No Cars Go. For a very long time I wasn’t sure why that was. It is, musically, a remarkably overwhelming, sweeping tour-de-force of a tune. You can’t help but get wrapped up in the emotions of it. Ultimately though, it boils down to this:
Between the click of the light and the start of the dream
Songs don’t have one set meaning. I think that is something we can all agree on, hopefully. Everyone comes away from each song with their own interpretation. For me, I think I now figured out what that song, and that line in particular, means to me.
In a few years time, the plan for me and my fiancée is that we move to Finland. We both have our reasons for this that I won’t go into here. They are good reasons though, if ones that really signify that we’re firmly catapulting towards maturity, whether it’s something we like or not.
Recently, the realiation that I won’t be living in the UK for the rest of my life has hit me very hard. Primarily because for the last eight years I have (not purposefully, I must add, because that would be weird) built a wonderful core group of friends who have bizarrely decided to accept me for who I am (autistic, silly, worried) and have wanted to keep in contact with me over the past few years. I didn’t meet them through secondary school or uni. I met them through other means – almost exclusively online. It’s the thought of leaving those people, who have always been extremely generous to me and my fiancée and are fun to be around, that makes me feel anxious.
Anxiety is not a new sensation to me. As an autistic person, it’s probably not too surprising that I happen to be very anxious in my adulthood. (The National Autistic Society website has more on this subject.) However, the idea of change is daunting. As it would be for ANYONE. Whilst the reasons for moving are ones that I absolutely stand by, the thought of leaving people who have helped me to become the person I am today is heartbreaking.
So how do I try to overcome the anxiety? That’s where that line comes in: “Between the click of the light and the start of the dream.” Right now, I live in a very long in limbo period. Knowing what our plans are, we don’t have to do anything for a while (well, getting married is the exception to the rule) but I now know how much time I have before flying the next. The aim, for the next few years, is to see as many of my favourite people as much as I can. It’s the only way I can beat this overriding anxiety that I know will otherwise eat me up. Hopefully, I’ll make new friends in Finland, but I want to have as much stupid fun as possible with the friends that have helped me become the person I am today first.
Last Tuesday (17th June), I had a friend come over from Belgium for the day, just to see me. I realise that that sentence makes it sound like I’m bigging myself up, but stick with me. If someone had told me that that would happen ten years ago, I would have laughed in their face. It was an awesome day and I’m forever grateful that that person decided that my company was worth persevering a Megabus through the night. If they can do that, then surely I can try and persevere through my own Megabus journeys and lengthy train commutes?
Being faced with change is daunting and terrifying and the easy thing to do is to crawl up and worry about the possible bad things that could happen. I will never get away from the mindset about worrying about things (even if I’m worrying about nothing, ultimately) but I can also just accept this and go for broke. I’m going to try and make these final three years or so awesome.
I guess that’s the takeaway from this ramshackular blog post: for all the terrible things that we all have to deal with, we might as well try to push through the pain and enjoy life for as long as it lasts before we’re no longer able to.