By Sara Halliday
Drive your own car
I went to see the first part of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child last night, and one thing a certain character said stuck with me (no spoilers). They said in the run up to their going away to Hogwarts, they had been convinced that something terrible would befall the school such that they wouldn’t be able to go. I think that I’ve felt this way about the SCA. I’ve always carried a sense of anxiety that something will go wrong before I get to my end goal, and it’s only recently that I’ve found that my life is (to the most part) within my control.
The day I found out the SCA existed I sat down with my boyfriend and said that I had found something I wanted to do. It was a serious chat; fifteen grand and a year off work is a lot to drop on someone into casual conversation. Thankfully he could see the merits in just going for it and seeing where it took me. At this point I was working a job I didn’t much like, spending time with people whose goals were very different to my own. What I hadn’t quite clocked was the fact that I was the master of my own destiny, the driver of my own car. I was dissatisfied with my life, but I had the power to change it. I submitted my application.
Until this point I’ve been fairly single minded with the goal of making it to September 12th, the first day of the rest of my life. I haven’t really stopped to think about what it will be like at the SCA or what I will learn. To my credit, this hasn’t given me much time to get nervous or anxious about it, but it has meant that I haven’t spent much time reflecting.
I’ve got 4 days before I start. 4 days to reflect back on what I’ve learned over the summer, over my passion project, my reading, and my general state of being. 4 days to step back from what I’ve done and really think about it.
People don’t realise the complexity of their own individual paths. I had this realisation while absentmindedly watching an Apple TV screensaver of a winding network of roads. From above, we see that the paths are complex and intertwining, but from the driver’s seat all we see is the road ahead. I think that this is true of our work, and more broadly of our lives. We can be so focussed on one goal that we don’t realise the broader impact of our actions. Sometimes we need to step away, and take a birds-eye look at ourselves to realise the twisting turns of our decisions.
I’m a bit of a ‘just get on with it’ type, but I often forget to learn from past mistakes. Being at the SCA will force me to step back from my work and reflect upon it often, taking into account feedback. I remember reading a SCAB from last year’s intake talking about killing children (cutting ideas and ads they had worked hard on) in order to make better work. I think I’ll find this hard. We’ll see.