A Forgotten Story – 2AM

“It is 2AM and i am sitting on my bedside thinking of the good old days, Enid has come to this hospital. I think Stan perhaps no longer with us.

Albert and Stan used to love to have a drink together. They were boys again. Kathleen (Albert’s wife) did not approve. Beer was common, but it was good to see them enjoy themselves. Oh those were the days. Albert loved his little sister and was very kind to her and his mother. I must see if Enid is well enough for me to visit when i have a good day.

This home is deathly quiet, everyone is able to sleep but me but i love to think of the happy times. Albert would give my mother a G&T and she would laugh. Laugh. It makes me realise how we should recall and love those good days. Albert was very kind to me and my mother – he had a very good job and was able to do so. He enjoyed the good things in life – was able to do so.

How i would love to have those days back. To be young again and feel good. I would go to cinema twice a week and when i got my first car i was in heaven. Of course it was a second hand one but we were able to get to the coast in it. Mum would make sandwiches on a Sunday morning and off we would go. I think there was never a time as happy as that for mum. She had been brought up by her mother. Her father who she loved and her younger brother had both died of cancer and life had been very hard and sad for her and her mother. Work and not much fun!

I was happy i was able to give her an easier happy life for a few years”

Doris, 89.

Advertisements

A Forgotten Story – Birthdays & Purpose

Wednesday 25/10/2017

” I am sitting on a seat in the garden, the sun is shining and it is really warm. It is Pauline’s birthday today and they are having a bit of a tea party. Pauline is a nice lady. I get on well with her, at lunch i had the company of Jill and Nina. It is not what i have been used to – miserable people – but there are cheerful ones here, all i can say is not on the day when i shall be high above the clouds.

If only i was back at 59. I worked until i was 56 years old, looked after my mother and we had many years of happiness together. My enjoyment was making her happy and she loved me dearly! She worried as to what would happen to me when i am on my own. I miss her so much. One day who knows perhaps i will be with her again.

When i was able to get my first car i was able to take her to the coast. It was a happy time for us both. Perhaps collect fish and chips on the way back. We have enjoyed the simple things in life. I thank God i did something worthwhile in life – making someone happy.

We have just had a quiz this afternoon. Pauline’s daughter’s partner was there – a lovely cheerful man (he is always kind to me!). It is Pauline’s birthday today (she is 81), a nice lady who i can get on with.”

Doris, 89.

Soulmates… an idea?

Today I watched a very interesting TED talk called ‘have you met your soulmate?’ By Ashley Clift-Jennings. I found it interesting for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the idea of a soulmate at all. We are taught at a young age to believe in such a mystical thing as the one, as a soulmate, as the person you are destined to be with forever. What we are not taught is what that person is meant to look like, meant to act like, how we are meant to recognise this soulmate if we were to cross paths with them. We all buy into the happily ever after ending because our whole life we have been taught that our purpose is to find it. And clearly Ashley, like most of us buys into this idea, in fact she has bought into it enough that it has shaped her whole life! So the big question is whether I believe I have a soul mate, and whether I think I have met them yet. I truly believe if soulmates are a thing, then so is love at first sight and you would know pretty instantly that you were destined to be with that person. So as that’s never happened, I suppose I haven’t met my soulmate. Which is good, as I am currently single. But whether or not I believe in soulmates as a whole, I guess I am unsure. I would love for them to be real, for it to be an achievable thing that happened, but I don’t really think it is. I think in your life you have multiple loves, for multiple reasons and you can have more than one ‘the one’, and for some people finding their soulmate is a reality, for others it’s a dress and for some of us it’s bullshit.

The second reason I found the video so interesting was because her idea of what her soulmate looked like changed. The perfect image and tick boxes she had laid out changed as she changed and her partner changed, they adapted in a way that meant they continued to be soulmates. But, for so many, any change can mean the end of a relationship, the end of being soulmates because you are no longer fulfilling that need or expectation, no longer ticking that box or suddenly a new box is required and they have never been that person. If soulmates are a thing, then you must have more than one, because at different stages in your life different people will fit your criteria? So doesn’t that undermine the whole point of them?

I am aware it may seem like I am missing the point of the fact she is arguing for us to be more open to all people and not close ourselves off to what we think our soulmate should be. That we need to become a more inclusive, gender fluid, sexually liberated society, that doesn’t pick a gender to open our hearts to and explore the possibilities of soulmates with at a young age, as our soulmate could be anyone, of any gender or orientation. And I fully support that, I think it’s such a shame that we shun the ‘different’, as if anyone is the same and can be ‘normal’. I do believe we should be more open and accepting of people, especially in relation to gender and sexual orientation.

But my question is: in the case of soulmates, do physical attribute come into it? And if they don’t, what’s the difference between them and your best friend?

Thankful

I am thankful for lots of things and these become even more apparent when something happens that shocks you, scares you and changes the very foundation of the life of someone you love.

Here are some of things I am thankful for:

  1. My health, I know its a cliche, but boy am I glad that I have no lasting medical issues, that I don’t struggle with mental illness, that I am not in any physical pain
  2. That I have opportunities, I am privileged enough to not be limited by a finical, personal or societal commitment or prejudice that limits my options.
  3. That I have found jobs that I love and have a passion for and the chance to work in the field that I adore and am good at. That I get to help people, watch them discover things and grow.
  4. That I have the most incredible friends and family who will always be there when I need them and who care for me. I know not everyone has the luck to be blessed with loving, committed and kind people to surround them
  5. That I have a home and a job, that I can support myself and look after the people I love.
  6. That I have had some of the greatest loves a person can ask for and that those experiences haven’t been tarnished or ruined, that I can still look back and have joy, that I have come out the other side and still have the memories and moments that will last a lifetime.
  7. That I am young. That I have a whole life ahead of me to discover, change and experience a world of things.
  8. That I was born into privilege, that I wasn’t a child who loses out because they were born into a country torn apart by war, that my innocence was protected, that I was valued and supported.
  9. That my baby sister wasn’t the person to walk into that horror scene, that she won’t be scarred for life by that experience, that recovery from the grief is still an option for her.
  10. That I am alive.

2 Weeks And 3 Days Later

So we are 2 and a half weeks on, and what have we learnt?

Not much i don’t think. Which is odd, because usually i can take a lot from even the smallest encounter, let alone something as life changing as having your partner of 3 years leave you. But i guess i am still in the shock phase, i am still in the hopeful, processing, slightly a mess phase. But then, i am also not that much of a mess?

I think what i have learnt is that you can’t break a heart twice. Your heart is never going to recover from that first break. No other set back or heartbreak will ever compare or compete. I love him, i do, but what i learnt from the first breakup is that i love myself more.

So i am not really crying, i am listening to empowering music and i am standing up for myself because i don’t need to be anyone’s bitch, i don’t need to be a doormat for anyone in my life. I am probably handling that terribly, but i also could not give less of a f***!

I am happy to buy myself flowers to fill my room, its not like he was doing it for me before. I am happy to tell my boss that its all bullshit, because it is, pay me more if you want me to do more work, or i am not going to do more work. I am happy to walk down the street with an exploded eye and still feel hot as shit because being attractive isn’t an external thing, it is a mindset and i feel hot and i will be damned if anyone else’s opinion matters. Who are they to tell me i am not attractive? Its not an objective thing.

And lastly, i am done feeling sorry for myself, i am done making excuses, i am done acting like a victim when i am a queen.

Because misery loves company

In attempt to stop myself from sending this letter. In an attempt to stop myself from hurting someone else so I don’t have to hurt alone. Here are the malicious, self deprecating words of a girl on the eve of a potential breakup:

Hello,

I know this is out of the blue, and inappropriate and probably of no help to either of us but hey ho, here I am in crisis and nobody was quite right to talk to about it, so it had to be you.

It’s happening again, another man is looking me in the face and loving me with resentment. I have gone full circle and ended up back here. A heart that never really got mended about to be broken again. What do I keep doing wrong? What is it about me that doesn’t work?

I know you won’t know the answer to those questions because the two in turmoil now aren’t us. They are me and him.

I don’t even know if I am about to be dumped but it feels awfully familiar. Only this time, I don’t know what I want. Last time I knew, I knew it was going to happen and I was praying with every fibre of my being that it wouldn’t and that I would never have to close that chapter of my life. And I guess I never did, even if the story ended. But this time, this time has been a cruel trick where I think I have grown and matured and been better and I haven’t. I still have venom in my blood, I still have a temper and rage and I am still a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

This time I don’t know if I want to fight for it, or whether I should let it run its course. I don’t know whether to manipulate it so I prolong the inevitable. Am I jumping the gun? And I being crazy? Have I blown the whole thing out of proportion?

Can I make it work? Yes. Do I want to make it work? I have literally no idea. Do I know what I want? For the first time in forever, I don’t. Do I hate him for making me relive this nightmare? Yes. Can I forgive it? I don’t know. Is there a path back? I don’t know. How much water is under the bridge, can I see the bridge anymore? Would I be able to touch the bridge now?

Surely my heart can’t possibly break, because it wasn’t really whole to start with? Is that why I feel like I can’t fight, is that why I am going to let this happen, is that why I am already crying myself to sleep, is that why I can’t bare to look at my bedroom because he is everywhere, because everything is stained by him, because I can’t imagine it without him.

I let it happen again. I let my life balance on the back of another man, and now he is tumbling and so my life crumbles. I thought I didn’t rely on it so much, I thought I had learned my lesson. But I can’t. It’s my safety net, it’s what let’s me do all my things, yeah this time I got to be a person not just somebodies girlfriend, but my person doesn’t have value unless she has support and love guaranteed by yet another dark haired, blue eyed, July born man.

Good job Jess. You really know how to pick them.

So I think this is rhetorical and thus completely pointless but there we go, sometimes you need to vent and who else could I possibly vent this to?

Lots of love,

Your nightmare ex.

New Years Resolutions 2017

So it’s been a whole year since I first made my New Years resolutions blog post. Last year I set myself 3 resolutions, and like the vast majority of us I carry them over to this year as I failed to achieve them last year.

1. Learn Spanish – the forever dream, that forever dies because I don’t have the faith in myself to maintain the motivation to spend real money on lessons.

2. Lose one stone – should have been relatively simple, I had a whole year. And yet, the pull of those cakes and biscuits are unwavering!

3. Stay motivated – this I would argue hasn’t failed me as much, I still feel pretty motivated, just tarnished my time pressures. So this year I am going to remove this off the list.. yay, somewhat of a success!

4. So to have 3 healthy goals I am going to set this years new resolution to read 10 books. I managed 8 last year I believe, so I think 10 is a good target. I spend so much time starting at screens I am surprised I don’t have glasses by this point! So to postpone the inevitable I want to go back to reading, as it really is one of my favourite pastimes.

So here is to 2018, may you be better than 2017, and trust me you have a hell of a lot of work to do to top that corker of a year!

A New Year Fast Approaching

So 2017 is drawing to a close and my god it feels like both a lifetime and a second.

I started the year in summery New Zealand, working far too many hours for some lovely, and some rather horrendous people. I draw the year to a close back in wintery london, working far too many hours in the most beautiful and wonderful home.

How the two worlds link I am not quite sure, because my little life on the other side of the world doesn’t feel linked to 2017, to my childhood bedroom and snow.

I slept in hostel rooms with 10 people, friends I hadn’t yet met, and now cherish. I made memories and challenged myself and leapt from a plane. I did unimaginable things and brave things and things I don’t remember because there were so many things. I drank, I danced, I laughed, I cried, I worked, I slept, I didn’t sleep, I baked, I cooked, I met new people, I made new friends, I met family, I made family.

And now I sit at home, nearing the end of this magnificent year, wondering how next year can even try to compete with the year I became me, the year I went crazy and sane all at the same time. I have hopes and wishes and dreams for the year to come, I have anxiety and stress for what it brings, I have love and passion for the people I will see.

Christmas is a knocking, so new year will have to wait. I have 35 stockings to deliver and Santa can’t be late.

Postgraduate Life

The world is your oyster! Your degree will open doors for you! You will be more employable!

The comments you get before you go university, the comments you get while at university, but soon the rhetoric changes… You get comments like ‘the job market is hard right now’, ‘you don’t have enough experience’ or the worst thing of all, absolutely no acknowledgement at all.

I never realised graduate unemployment was such a touchy subject, but apparently it is and nobody really wants to discuss it. Unemployment is the harsh reality of life, everyone goes through periods of unemployment, redundancy and compete hopelessness, and yet we are trying to convince people they should feel ashamed if they haven’t found a job right away. We pin all lifes achievements and all measures of success on whether or not you have a job in that exact moment. The fact you may have just completed a degree, or been employed less than a week ago seem entirely irrelevant if when asked you can’t immediately give a long boring explanation of what it is you do for a living.

The pressure to be employed, the pressure to be successful, the pressure to move out and move on are exceptional. Everything must move 100 miles per hour and if you can’t keep up, if you can’t secure a job straight away then you are failing. This ridiculous idea that having a degree earns us the right to walk into a job when there will be someone who has worked for 3 years doing hard graft in that field during the time its taken us to secure that piece of paper is unrealistic. We are given these unrealistic expectations, this superiority complex and when we get into the real world, when school abandons us and we realise we aren’t these special people with skills and qualifications. No. In fact we have to start at the bottom because we have no experience of what it means to be an adult, or work in an office or actually work in the field we have spent 3 years writing about.

We need to manage our expectations of what postgraduate life looks like, because its not the series of open doors we have been promised. Its competitive, and we are the underdogs because we don’t have the years of commercial experience, but what we do have is proof of being educated and the ability to learn, and we have to milk that for all it’s worth. We need to stop sending kids off to university with the promise of employment, we need to sell them education with the realistic understanding that when they have completed it they can join the job market at the bottom and use that education to progress quicker up it. We need to tell them that it may take months and months of searching, of being ignored, of failed interviews and countless applications before the first sniff of a job is on the cards, and that we need to save some money up for this period while at university. That we need to be building those CVs and gaining that commercial experience while completing our degrees, that university is a crash course in life and life means working, not just in the library but in the office and the cafe.

So yes, this is a rant about my unrealistic expectations from when i left university and what i have learned 2 years on. That life is hard. That i am still unemployed. That my degree is not worth as much as the 3 years of work experience i got alongside it, but that it does push that glass ceiling a little higher and make my climb up the ladder quicker than my counterparts without the degree.

 

 

Side note:

I got offered a job today, and yet here i am writing this rant because i am debating whether a passion and love for a job is enough of a reason to take a huge pay cut, and i blame my unrealistic expectations for making a dream job less appealing because it doesn’t fulfill my salary expectations.

Reflections On My Travels

So this is a long overdue post! I promised it a while ago and as per usual life got in the way and i lost motivation and time. So here it finally is, less of a story of my travels as much as it was planned to be, and more of a reflection on the last year of my life.

So lets flash back to the summer of 2016 when i quit my perfectly reasonable job in IT and decided to travel to the other side of the world, to what i expected would be the sunny, chilled and beautiful New Zealand. In reflection, only really one of those was the case and it certainly wasn’t the weather! I packed up my little life in London, dragged my boyfriend straight from finishing his masters degree and we took the grueling 24 hour trip to paradise.

We had a 2 day stop over in Hong Kong and met some incredible people who would stay with us throughout our trip. Hong Kong beautifully broke up the flights and was a lovely start to the adventure of a lifetime. I wish we had the money and sense to have done a similar stop over on the way home because 31 hours straight travel was ridiculous. Not impossible, obviously, but definitely not something i will be signing myself up for any time soon.

When we arrived in New Zealand, we were faced with a few things we hadn’t really considered. First and forever the most shocking was that it wasn’t always sunny and hot in New Zealand, in fact the weather is basically England on a much more extreme scale. We arrived in Auckland on a gloomy overcast day, to check into a dorm room in a hostel just off the main street. It didn’t occur to us that we would be in a dorm, or that obviously that’s what happens when  you stay in a hostel. So that was a travel shock, the reality of having to share every inch of space and time with strangers. We quickly moved to private rooms in hostels after leaving Auckland, to minimize the awkwardness for us and for everyone else.

So our travels really began when we boarded that bright green tour bus that would be our home away from home. We traveled north to the brighter bay of islands, where we got to see dolphins and sit on the beach and really experience those minutes of holiday and travel. Including the diabolical alcoholism and mischievous activities in the early hours, which made great conversation on the bus the next morning. We made our down the north island to wellington. We sand surfed, caved, luged, spent a night in a Maori village, sat in a natural hot pool on the beach and of course basically drank ourselves out of pocket.

We arrived in Wellington to pouring rain, and yet it felt like we had come home. We spent the night in a hostel before spending two weeks with a distant relative of mine, who became like our mum and took care of us when we needed someone. That will be one of the things i treasure, building that relationship and having that love of family even when you are as far away as you can get from home. Wellington is where we set up our lives, made friends, got jobs, moved into a little flat, really lived like the kiwis do. And it was one of the best experiences of my life. That little flat will forever remain in my heart, as will the people and those gorgeous streets and views as you walk through Wellington and along the harbor. There are some bad memories of there, but they are by far outshone by the joy and beauty of the city and of my time there.

So after several months, it was time to pack my bag and go solo for my adventure down south. So i said goodbye to my jobs, to my friends, to my boyfriend and boarded a ferry to the south island. It was, without a doubt the most amazing and important thing i have ever done. The amount i grew within myself is impossible to describe, the relationships and bonds you can create with people in such a short time is life changing. You will be pushed to truly do what you want, to be responsible for only you and to deal with the consequence of what you do and want. You will push yourself into doing things you would never have imagined you would do, like skydive or learn to surf or crawl into bed with people who you barely know but love.

So New Zealand, you were stunning, absolutely the most beautiful place i have ever been and think will ever go, photos of you don’t look real and i cannot describe your immense totally consuming beauty. You were a challenge for my heart and my head, but most of all my liver. You were completely and utterly the best decision of my life and i cannot thank you and everyone who made you what you were for me enough ❤