Lost notes

When you find notes in your bag that you’ve been carrying around for months and forgot all about.

When they bring back all the emotions you felt while writing them. Anger. Sadness. Loss. Fear.

When a new emotion turns up when you reread them. Pity. How strange that we can feel pity for our past selves. We know the outcome of what happens from that conversation. We know the outcome that comes from those questions. We know that pain and we know the relief as well, and yet we pity the poor us who didn’t know back then.

“What do you want?

What went wrong?

How long have you been feeling like this?

Why can’t I come with you?

Will this happen again?

What does this mean”

The hope and trust and love in those words, reflected by the worry, fear and pain. And yet the overwhelming emotion is pity.

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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?

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.

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.

Care Home Hooligan – Part 5

Meet the two ladies locked in a battle of wits and cunning over the attention of a smiley but incapable companion

Okay like any good work environment there is always some rivalry for attention and for friendship status with the most popular person.

In a care home apparently it’s no different! We are currently dealing with a fight between two ladies over a third lady. For the sake of confidentiality I am going to change the names. So let’s call them Saskia, Mia and Greta.

So here is the story thus far:

Mia and Greta have been relatively close friends since they both moved in around the same time. Mia can be a little stand off-ish but generally speaking is quite a capable and interesting woman. Greta on the other hand is a very smiley, outgoing and friendly soul. The friendship between Mia and Greta was going well, they spent many an afternoon chatting and eating their meals together. But unbeknownst to them, trouble was on the horizon, in the form of a new resident, Saskia. Saskia is a charming woman, quite conversational and capable with a wonderful sense of humour and need to be busy.

Immediately the challenges begin. Mia and Saskia are in a feud for the attention and companionship of Greta. Mia sneaks in first to get a seat on the sofa with her, Saskia spends some quality time with her over a game of scrabble. It’s a dead heat. Then the rumours begin, Mia has been telling Greta not to like Saskia, Saskia has been accusing Mia of bullying. All while Greta is completely unaware because she can’t remember one minute to the next!

The fight would be all well and good if it weren’t for the fact that the two women who are feuding would actually be much better friends together than with Greta because they both have the capacity to maintain a conversation! Greta although smiley and positive, is very limited to agreeing and giggling in a conversation rather than actually contributing any points, opinions or topics. Both the feuding ladies are fighting for attention in order to break the boredom, and yet they are fighting over someone who is the equivalent of a mirror after taking a good dose of morphine.

So I Put My Tree Up In November

So this may be controversial, but hey, Christmas is a season not a day….

I am a big believer that everyday you should try and find the good and try and find the happiness. For me the Christmas season is nothing but joy and happiness! Primary example being, endless chocolate and sweets and minimal guilt about eating them all because it’s Christmas.

So much to my boyfriend and parents dismay I put up my tree on the 20th of November and have been enjoying its glistening lights ever since! This post is a month overdue but I have been a little busy preparing a whole care home for Christmas.

This is the artificial tree I bought as I didn’t own one, and I’ll be honest it’s quite beautiful and a bargain! It cost me £20 from B&Q

As you can tell standard artificial tree design to put it up, two big poles to slot together and a tree topper, followed by individual metal tree branches to slot in and puff up.

This is my beautiful tree up and then with my lights that I bought last year in New Zealand. I had to get an adapter for them and I’ll be honest they are being a bit of a nightmare because they keep popping out the socket adapter! However, they are magical and long and will probably last me a lifetime.

Then it was time to start decorating! Everyone knows a tree needs a bit of red! I bought pretty much all my decorations from wilkos because I needed a starter kit. So these berries were £1 and have brought the tree to life.

The Santa and J and K on the tree are obviously not from the set. The Santa was £3 from sainsburys and the J and K were gifts from my aunty while we were in New Zealand.

So there you go, there is my November through to January Christmas tree! ❤️

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 3

So we have had a mad two days with 2 birthdays and the start of our festive build up with Santa’s workshop!

We got to see the spectacular play of one of our residents at table tennis, where she yet again wiped the floor with everyone, including her own family! She was glad she got a bit of a challenge in comparison to my not even novice standard!

We have enjoyed far far too much cake or all kinds! The beauty of a Care Home is birthday cakes!

We started our Christmas campaign in the form of Santa’s workshop, where each week leading up to Christmas we undertake a different Christmas craft. This week was pinecone decorations for our woodland themed tree. We dazzled them in paint and glitter and will string them up so they can at some glitz to our lounge.

Christmas is my favourite time of year! So dressing up as an elf and making Christmas decorations while being snug in the cafe blaring out Christmas songs is definitely my idea of a dream day at work!