I always wanted to work with people. I couldn’t say why exactly. But I was also interested in academic things. So I did a masters, and went into policy work for international organisations. Reading, research… But being stuck on a computer, in an office all day… I couldn’t deal with it, it’s not what I wanted to do. So I made a decision, early on I guess. Maybe it’s just me, but… It’s not that that kind of work doesn’t help people, I think it does. But I needed something more immediate, face to face. So I gave that up, and went into social work.
Mental health, it connects to everything. How people live with what they’re feeling, how they cope with trauma. That leads to addiction, family breakdown, a lot of things. The causes might be infinite, but there can be care and support. But they’ve decimated funding there, there’s not much beyond the basic safeguarding. And what about prevention, young people…? We’re just firefighting, dealing with crisis point only. The problem is worsening now, but it’s brushed under. I mean… but… It’s necessary. It’s not easy work, no! My placements were hard. But I want to do this.
When I was younger, I never planned that I’d have things a certain way. But not getting married, being child free, not getting a mortgage… That’s not changed, I don’t think. I’m in my late 20s, but I see some of my friends from school… Their families have helped them buy a property, but they look on that like it’s their right. I feel a deep chasm between them and me. It’s not like most people even get the choice. But they don’t see that.
Yes, maybe there’s something that changes inside us over our 20s. I don’t know whether it’s ‘existential’. It’s hard to get by. Wages, rent, the insecurity we’ve grown up with… I think that explains a lot of it too. People need each other more, but it’s harder to live with each other. So people take steps to what they think is the good life. Maybe that explains it.
I’m from London. It’s where I’ve wanted to live, but I can’t afford it at the moment. I’m applying for lots of things, but it’s tiring, I’m working a lot too. But it’s home, it’s where I want to be.