• Jack Martindale

September: back to life, back to reality

Updated: Sep 15


For as long as I am fortunate enough to be part of this ever mesmerising, wondrous and infuriating life on planet earth, I’m not sure whether I’ll ever get over that automatic angst that approaches come August bank holiday: school’s coming back in after summer. A reversal of Alice Cooper.


This is even whilst I have painstakingly now lived to be more than double the age at which I was when I had surpassed my years of the compulsory education, provided by the north-London Borough of Barnet. It was in early September 2004 would have been the final time that I was legally obligated to enter into another year of any schooling as I sat my GCSEs in spring 2005.


That was on the one hand. On the other there was park drinking, relishing the rarity that we could actually get served in a pub and basking in the reality of this mission being achieved and drinking in fields when it couldn’t and often getting chased away and sometimes beaten-up and stressing about passing your exams and the police being called to house-parties, being sexually frustrated and going running for a club and being spotty and everything else.


It is scary to think that hypothetically speaking, obviously I’d fathered a child at this time, they’d be old enough to now learn to drive and at least reach the furthest stage in this that I ever mastered; with full confidence in my ability though! Fittingly, I was this age almost simultaneously to indie band from the other side of the pond – Greenday – releasing “Wake me up when September ends”, with parallels to just how suburban they also sounded being too easy to draw.


Always I felt that this was rather an unfair to tarnish upon the month that autumn begins [of course on the 1st meteorologically and the 22nd astrologically] with these negative connotations in itself. I mean, it is the favorite season of many people – my girlfriend Sarah included – for the natural beauty in the variation and colours that the changing of season’s leaves brings with it. In this though, I feel that the cyclical nature of life is represented and this inevitably brought with it a feeling of trepidation surrounding reestablishing yourself in adjusting to being back within a routine. As much as we may, however begrudgingly, welcome a sense of order, understanding and familiarity in what we are doing, the concept of being in something of a rut can also feel rather too close to home.


September’s always felt a though it’s a month that it is unfair to have any sort of real negative rep of. It’s still temperate enough in the south-east of England – in Year 9, I think that it was, that a group of mates decided to sleep under the open air in his garden to launch into the October half-term – and there was some comfort in getting reestablished within a system. It always feeling as though it was the longest ever month is an accolade that I shouldn’t dream of taking away from September and I always felt a sense of relief and accomplishment when we could move into the next month of the Gregorian calendar.

There is always something affirming to me about how we naturally feel this, what I could only ever amount to, and healthy sense of anxiety. As happy and trouble-free as I would have to describe my teenage years in glorious old hind-sight, I think that going to sleep with a feeling of not quite wanting to combat through the next day is a healthily mature adolescent emotion to regularly experience.


Still, despite however many qualifications and friends that you have, times you’re getting laid, money that you have in the bank etc. etc., I think that September shall always bring a healthy amount of reflection. For the people that are ever going to be better and worse off than me at every level of the spectrum, let’s just end on another music inspired sentiment as we go back to life, back to reality as British group Soul 2 Soul sung in 1989. With this, we can hopefully overcome any intimidation brought upon us and take home the fact that the more anybody projects that they know about life, the less confidence I can have that I’ll have any interest in their view about anything. With this, I hope that we can purge ourselves of the uncertainty that the shortening of days may bring and take the inspiration of entering a new season! Let’s all go through it as well as possible together.


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