Jackie's Virtual Playground

Life Changes

First of all, I warn you this is likely to be a long post. Hey, I haven’t posted here in a while, this one makes up for that! Also, it’s very late, so apologies for any grammatical errors and / or waffling.

At 3am this morning, I made a life changing decision. I’ve had a rough couple of years with one thing and another, and I’ve been drifting instead of living. That’s slowly begun to change in the last couple of months and I’m gaining back some of the confidence that’s been knocked out of me. Believe me when I say that that’s actually quite a big thing for me. I’m coming out of years of depression, really, finally and properly coming out of it, not just ‘in remission’ as it were. And I’m coming out kicking and screaming!

Oh yes, the lifechanging decision. I should probably tell you what that decision was. I’ve decided that, during what is now my 35th year on this planet, I’m going to go back to uni to study creative writing. It’s something I have a huge passion for and have dabbled with on and off since childhood. Various things have prevented me from walking that path, which I won’t go into right now (otherwise you’d still be reading this next week!), but it’s time for change. To coin a phrase, ‘I feel it in my bones’.

With 16 years of the most important job I will ever do behind me (motherhood), it’s time to pursue something for myself. I’m incredibly proud of my daughter, who has turned out to be this wonderful bright, caring, studious, focused and good looking young woman (I honestly couldn’t ask for more in a daughter). I want her to be able to say she’s proud of me too. Of course she’s not the only reason I’m doing this, but she’s certainly a big part of my inspiration. As is my husband, who has supported me through every twist and turn of our 13 years together.

Speaking of inspiration, I have to give special mention here to Father Luke. This is a guy who has an obvious passion for writing, and is a sheer pleasure to read. He’s an inspiration not only because of the quality of his writing (and it really is high quality in my opinion) but because of his sheer determination.

Dear Father Luke, if you happen to be reading this, your passion and commitment to your writing is exemplary. Though I’ve been out of touch for a while now, I’ve seen you write through ups and downs, through homelessness, through heartbreak (or at least what appeared to be heartbreak) and all the other shit that life has dealt you, and still you’ve come out of whatever situation with your passion intact. That, my friend, is quite a sight to behold, and the mark of a true craftsman. I learnt today that you are studying to be a teacher of writing. I have no doubt you will succeed, and that your future students will be incredibly lucky to have you as their mentor. You are one of the best poets I’ve ever read, and a massive inspiration to me!

Back to my reasons for wanting to do this. I guess there are lots, but the main reasons are:

  • To realise a lifelong ambition.
  • To gain back some self respect and confidence.
  • To feel as though I’m somebody my daughter and husband can be proud of, as I in turn am proud of them.
  • To make my mark, no matter how small.
  • To try and make myself a better human being. None of us should ever stop trying to do that.
  • To have some goddamn fun! I love the act of writing!

And so here I am, an email drafted ready to be sent to the creative writing programme director (I’d better not send it at 4am, that wouldn’t make a good first impression) and the application form downloaded to my desktop. I’ll fill that out as soon as I hear back from the director.

I feel like the rest of my life is about to begin. I am both terrified and incredibly excited.


  1. Jezlyn says:

    Sounds wonderful! I wish you the best of luck and lots of fun in this new phase of your life. :)

  2. Dave says:

    What a great idea Jackie – do you think you’ll be able to get in for this September?
    It’ll be a great life-experience for your daughter if you use this as an opportunity for her to look after you :-)


  3. Jackie says:

    Thanks both. :)

    Dave – hoping I’ll get in this September yeah, should find out soon I hope if there are places left. It’s a part time course (don’t think there’s an option to do it full time) one night a week at Hull uni, so more than manageable I think. :)

  4. Hanna says:

    I wish you good luck with everything. :D I hope you’ll get in.

  5. Father Luke says:

    I’ve had stalkers. It’s nice to have a fan.
    And now a peer.

    Be seeing you at Mary.

    – –
    Father Luke

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