There is a saying on Jersey
“To stay sane you need to get off the rock”
The reckoning for how long you can stay on the island before you start to lose your marbles is 3 months. I did 5 months this time. 5 months. Why did I do longer than the recommended amount? The main reason is that it can be an expensive business getting off the island, especially when you are limited to school times and weekends. Secondly, I dislike leaving the island because then I have to come back. For me leaving the island reminds me just how much I feel like an outsider on this island.
Why Do I Feel Like An Outsider?
However, feeling like an outsider is completely normal. I would say that everyone at some point in their life has felt like an outsider. Jersey is my time to feel like an outsider. Perhaps this is because I am flailing at life in general. Life seems so open, yet so closed to me too. I have talked about my excitement on the one hand but also the realisation that for as long as I live on Jersey I am probably unemployable. But who cares? I would rather work for myself anyway. Who am I to argue with working from home, wearing PJs and This Morning on the television? Perhaps because working from home can be quite isolating. You can spend a whole day tapping away at the computer not seeing another soul. Working freelance sounds so lovely but actually it can be incredibly draining too. Having no routine can be liberating but also stifling. It means that there is no official off button, no time that you need to make sure you clock off. Before you met with friends and work colleagues for lunch and now you work through. Your email box is never empty, but depressingly most of it is filled with work offers that are highly unsuitable. For every job you secure, you have probably had at least 3 rejections.
It’s Not Jersey, It’s Me
Working from home means that you are in your own little bubble and mixing with others can be a bit of a rude awakening. Finding yourself blanked again on the school run, being run off the road by an idiot in a 4×4 and dealing with a surly checkout person are harder to deal with when you have had no other human interaction all day. So you find yourself burying even further into yourself, putting up a hard shell around yourself and doing everything you can to avoid being made to feel like an outsider. Until you realise that you have withdrawn so far that even making a simple trip to the shop fills you with anxiety.
Living on Jersey has seen me go from a confident(ish) and (mostly) outgoing person, to someone who is just a little bit anxious and feels like an outsider. However, that is completely okay. Yes, I feel like the most socially awkward person living on the rock but that’s who I am for now. At the moment I have so much going on that it is no wonder I am feeling like this. What I do need to get better at is putting myself out there and not caring about what others think. Life is rarely straightforward. Just as you feel like you are floating away without a care in the world, you find yourself being sucked under. That’s life and I for one intend to embrace it with all of my awkwardness.