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.

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True Love Waits Forever: Care Home Hooligan -Part 7

Sometimes I am reminded that my job is one of the best jobs in the world. That I am privileged enough to have a part of someone’s life, their most intimate moments and thoughts. This week I had one of those moments.

I was speaking with a gentlemen about his life and specifically his wife and he shared with me the story of when he first realised he was in love with her. It brought me also to tears. So here is his story:

She had been away in Doncaster visiting her sister-in-law’s family and I was going to meet her at the station. So as I am waiting on platform one at kings cross station, her train pulls in. She steps out and she walks towards me smiling and radiant. And, in that moment, I realised I was madly in love with her and couldn’t bear to be apart from her ever again.

That. That is the kind of love I want. That is the kind of love that happens once in a lifetime, that makes you believe in soulmates, that restores your faith in humanity. That is the kind of love that makes movies, that makes hearts melt, that gives life meaning and purpose. That is the kind of love you only get to witness in my kind of job.

Care Home Hooligan – Part 6

So what did I learn at work today. Several things.

Firstly, that you lose people in this profession more frequently than we’d care to admit or like to think about, but it never gets easier. If you have a connection with that resident, losing them will always sting, just like the first one.

Secondly, that losing someone doesn’t have to be the end of their story. We recently lost a shining light in our home, a wonderfully caring, happy and strong woman. But, just because she has come to the end of her life, doesn’t mean it has to be the end of her story. Here is one nugget of her story continuing. A second is the hearing aid batteries she donated to the Home, she is letting a whole home of people hear and be engaged. A third is a collection of Tottenham Hotspur memorabilia, that to the uninterested football suffer like me has no value, but to the gentlemen upstairs who is an avid supporter is a heartwarming gift.

The third thing I learnt today at work, is that my job is definitely not for everyone. It has to be in your heart, in your nature. And, that if it isn’t you should not be working in this field of work, not only for your sanity, but for the well-being of everyone in that Home. An unhappy resident, quickly leads to an unhappy team and an even unhappier Home.

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.

Care Home Hooligan – Part 4

So my day was going great, Santa’s workshop was nice and calm, we made our lollipop stick trees and chatted, all plain sailing. We had a lovely church service thanks to the local father, then I went and did one to ones and got to know our new residents. Nobody was in a bad mood, everyone joined in and was laughing and chatting away all day, in terms of my residents and me it should have been a perfect Tuesday…. yet of course I have left feeling stressed out and unhappy.

Why you might ask? After such a lovely day do I feel so panicked? Well because it’s not just me and my residents, it’s relatives and staff and head office. My boss was under inspection which meant it had implications for me and my job was being analysed to check she was doing a good job. So I have that report to look forward to tomorrow. Our home manager was asking me for a map that I haven’t had time to do which we don’t need for 2 weeks yet. All the staff had lost their heads and were stressing out and at me. It was all a bit much. Which is such a shame because my actual job in isolation was such a win today.

Care Home Hooligan – Part 1

So as I have found myself back working in care, which is a not at all guilty pleasure of mine I thought I would share my tales of joy and woe as I rush around the corridors of my little Care Home.

Today was our monthly baby cafe, a weird sounding name for a perfectly innocent and adorable monthly mother and toddlers group held at our home so our residents can play with some kiddies and comment on their character. So today was our third, it was the brain child of me and my boss and has been a growing success, each month attracting new mums and babies and even coaxing out more of our residents which is fantastic! But the name was probably not our best decision as we have the running joke that the babies aren’t on the menu!

Of course it being Monday also meant that our weekly knit and knatter group met and managed to finish off the second of our baby blankets for an unexpectedly expecting mum to be. We also tossed around the idea of contacting a local women’s shelter to see if they have any need for baby blankets as we seem to be churning them out much better than our attempts at those for the homeless. That being said the knattering is an important part of the group and the process, it would hardly be fun if all we did was knit!

We also had a game of table tennis on our dining room table, of course just before dinner and after it had been all nicely set! Which didn’t please the carers too much, but hey ho, when the compulsion to play hits you, you just got to go with it! So my table tennis game is improving, although probably not quickly enough for our resident champ who complains that it is exhausting playing against such amateurs, and I can’t blame her, I spend most of the game on the floor searching for the lost ball!

So all in all it was another wonderful day filled with our usual activities and fun. I do prefer days with regimented activities, makes my life a lot easier!

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 ❤

Home

So I have been home for almost 2 weeks now, and after months of pining to be back, I can’t wait to go again! 

The inevitable dread of starting back at work, at having to live at home with my parents again, of having to balance my social life and do all the other adult things is already wearing down on me! 

The only benefit: the fact it’s summer. The hot weather and promise of a holiday in a couple of days is the only thing dragging me through the harsh reality of being back from my travels.

Holiday blues are real, and they are punishing. 

Where have i been?

So the last week has been one of the most stressful, full on and hellish weeks ever. So i quit my horrible job at the bakery 3 weeks ago but my last day was last Thursday. The relief to be done with them was overwhelming…but very short-lived.

Firstly; i didn’t get paid on the usual fortnightly date as they said they would pay it with my final pay packet. – Not immediately a problem, a bit annoying as i was out of pocket from travel costs, rent etc for the 3 weeks since our last pay came in. However had i known the shit storm to come i would have put up a much bigger fight about this.

Secondly; I only had to give a weeks notice, i ended up working 3 weeks as favour to them as i didn’t want to leave them without staff and struggling. – WHAT A MISTAKE THAT WAS. I went out of my way for them and they basically took the piss by making me work over time for those few weeks and treating me with their usual shit.

Thirdly; So after staying longer, working over time and training my replacement, none of which were contractual obligations, all of which i did because i am a good person, they go and royally screw me over. They take a deduction of $550 from my last paycheck. This was made worse by the fact it was made post tax, so of the $1400 they owed me, $300 went to the tax man, $550 went back into their pocket and a measly $620 made it into my account meaning my 76 hours of work came out to be worth just over $8 an hour, a lot lower than the $15 minimum wage and a hell of a lot lower than the $17 an hour they are usually worth.

This forced me to go and see a lawyer to see what could be done about the massive deduction and at that point the withholding of my pay. The lawyer unhelpfully told me that i did have a case but it would be a long and dirty fight. Considering that i am leaving the country in 35 days that wasn’t really an option for me, which my previous employers knew and took advantage of.

So i finished the week feeling deflated, taken advantage of and stupid for ever agreeing to work for those people and with very little options.

I made the decision not to pursue a law suit or hate campaign towards them… for the simple reason THEY ARE NOT WORTH IT. They are not a worth a single second more of my time, and after this post i will have blocked the numbers and started moving forward with my life having learned a big lesson and grown up a hell of a lot more than i realised i need to.

Stained

“You’re still all over me like a wine-stained dress i can’t wear anymore”.

We have all had that one ex that was your everything, your all encompassing world and who broke your heart and left you lost and alone in a world you didn’t know, with a person that you didn’t even know existed without him.

Clean by Taylor Swift i think gives an interesting and relatable approach to what it feels like coming out the other end of that relationship. And i could do a thousands posts on him, and that relationship and the aftermath of it, but for now i don’t feel like this is the place to share that.

But i want to discuss one line in the song that has stuck with me. The idea that you continue to wear that person and that they still have a place and hold in your life. And me for one completely believe that to be true. They are your past, they defined you for a long time, and they helped to form you into the person you are today and truly without them you wouldn’t be you, even to this day. Which is not the most comforting reality for the majority of us, who like to cut them out of our lives and show how we have ‘moved on’. But i don’t think it necessarily has to be a bad thing, i think we should be proud to wear that stained dress, because that’s the newly tie-dyed better version of yourself that may no longer be in its purest form, but has the colour of life and learning and shows how far you have come.

So i don’t want to be clean. I want, just like in the immortal words of rocky horror and Christina Aguilera to get dirty.

I want to get stained by the people who have changed me, who have impacted my life for the better, or even for the worst, because where i stand today is only as a result of me and how i have overcome the hurdles they created. But a life without hurdles to climb would leave me lazy, lonely and boring… Which are not the words you would use to describe someone in a wine stained dress.