Don’t you think it’s time?

I’ve been rubbish at updating of late. Both this blog and the new one I’m working on. I’m probably going to continue to be rubbish for quite some time. What with my near weekly breakdowns and hours spent ruminating on the meaning of life and so forth life has been pretty busy.

But I think some good will be coming of it soon.

I’m going with the you have to hit bottom so you can start heading up theory and although I’m sure this isn’t bottom (and if it is, my god I lead a blessed life) I think it’s time to start working up. I think it’s time to stop being terrified and start working towards the thing I’ve secretly wanted for as long as I can remember. Even though it still seems an impossible thing and a potential waste of my life – I guess it’s time to see if it really is. Like anything, there’s a chance I’ll end up with nothing to show for my efforts, but if I succeed…I don’t even have the capability of imaging the kind of joy it will bring.

So my writing talents may be directed elsewhere for a while, but my fear ensures I shall fairly regularly have a moan about how pathetic I am so don’t get too upset there shall still be blog posts.

 

It’s just time to go sit on a few more trains.

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Be Safe

About 10 times a day a little voice in my head says ‘Kill yourself’.

I’m starting to think it has a point.

 

Woah. Hold on there! This could be taking a very bleak turn…It’s not quite as bad as it sounds. I think.

That is true though. For nearly as long as I can remember that voice has been there and it does say that quite often.

I used to think it was just a little mental illness warning sign. Then I reasoned it was a haunting premonition of my inevitable demise. Now I realise it’s just handy advice.

The echoing of this phrase usually follows a thought such as ‘how am I going to survive the week at work?’, ‘how am I going to make myself wake up in the morning?’, ‘how can a deal with day after day of such a miserable, tedious existance?’

The answer – ‘Kill yourself.’

And I do.

Everyday I kill a little bit of myself.

Because if I didn’t I wouldn’t make it out of bed. I wouldn’t get to the office. I wouldn’t be able to stand a single day of this tedium let alone a lifetime of it.

 

I was reading David Copperfield on the bus trip home yesterday (sobbing silently as all good commuters do) and I started thinking about what character I would be in a Dickens novel. Would I be the adventurous main character? Not in a million years. The helpful beneficiary? I don’t think so. Perhaps I’m the villian? No – no match there either. So, who am I? I’m that woman who dies for no particular reason. Who takes ill with nothing too serious and just doesn’t bother getting better. Who lets her misery and circumstances consume her until she literally kills herself with her dispair.

 

It’s become a bit of a joke that I never finish anything, that I can’t commit, and it is true. But it’s not that I can’t commit to the things people think I should finish, it’s that I can’t commit to escaping them. My true moments of strength weren’t when I knuckled down and got something done they were those brief moments when I felt I was strong enough to let go of the things that destroy me – when I glimpsed a life outside of schedules and expectations and repetition. That day I went to school and I signed out. The moment in which I bought a ticket to London. The time I quit my job. Those are the moments I’m proud of. Those are the moments in which I was being true to myself. Those were the moments I decided I didn’t want to kill myself. I wanted to live.

I didn’t leave school because I wasn’t bright enough, because the stress was too high, because I couldn’t handle it – I left because the schedule, the restrictions, sitting in the same place every day, seeing the same faces everyday, knowing none of it meant anything, knowing that everyday was another wasted day, was too much for me to handle. I thought I could make something better for myself…but what did I do? I went and got a job in which I had to do exactly the same thing. So what did I do? I upped and left (well, I got a bit rubbish and unreliable first). And where did I find myself…exactly the same place. Again and again and again.

I have the heart of Trillian but it’s teamed with the mind of Arthur Dent. I need something else. Something exciting. Something different. But I’m waiting for something to come along and make it happen for me. I’m constrained by logic and fear. There’s been days when I’ve been ready to hop on the first train that comes by and just leave it all behind. There’s been times when I’ve done just that (albeit in a more planned manner). But my mind kicks in with rules and restrictions and all I can create for myself is exactly the same thing. Change the scenery not the problem.

 

I fear one day I’ll stop having moments of bravery. I’ll stop trying to make it different. I’ll just keep killing myself until like so many victorian characters I fade away to nothing.

I don’t want to do that. I want to be the one to live. I want the adventures. I want the twists. I want to steal a spaceship and travel the galaxies. I want to stop using so many mixed metaphors. I want it all.

I used to think I was depressed now I know I’m just too alive.

But I’m also too scared to do anything about it.

Kids vs Career?

As my Mum pointed out to me earlier, I am now the same age, to the very day, as she was when she gave birth to her first child – my brother, Tom.

This revelation both intrigues and terrifies me.

I can not fathom having a child at this age – I am not emotionally, mentally or financially in a place where I could support another life. It makes me wonder if other people are or if it really is just a matter of making yourself ready because it’s happening (that 9 month gestation period really is a godsend). It also makes me wonder if there is something to this theory that people are putting off having families until later in life – it certainly seems to ring true with most people I know.

Growing up my Mum wasn’t an exceptionally young parent and from surveying my peer’s parentals I deduced that early 20’s was a perfectly respectable, if not the only, age to have children. In fact, if you were to tell my primary school self that at the age of 23 I’d have no intention, or even desire, to start a family of my own I’m adamant I’d be scandalised.

I’ve always considered those my age who are getting married and having children to be the exceptions. The final few years of highschool, and even several after, pregnancies were causing outrage. Although I’d never condemn anyone for their decisions (after all they are their decisions, not mine) I couldn’t help but have a little part of me think ‘well, there goes their life’ when another one was spotted, hand on stomach, perusing the baby section, and I admit I scoffed whenever a Facebook relationship status made that dreaded shift to ‘engaged’. It’s now over 5 years since highschool and I’m still reacting this way, but the numbers are starting to work against me and perhaps it’s now me and my barren-wombed, non loved up comrades who are the exceptions.

It’s probably nearing cliche territory now to speculate that women are choosing careers ahead of family but with my address book full of Bridget Jones aficionados and feminists with heads full of dreams and possibilities it appears to be true. As far as I can tell there’s no way to have both career and family, so we’re making choices and a divide is forming. Sure, you can be one of those entrepreneurial mothers who manages to balance homelife and worklife, or one of those absent mothers who succeed in their career but neglect their motherly duties, but one way or another it seems like too big a sacrifice to me. It’s too big a risk and there’s far too much to be achieved before I can give my body, my time and let’s face it, my life, to another. I have a lot of respect for those who do and make it work for them – but I couldn’t do it. No, I probably could…but I won’t.

So is it selfishness that’s keeping us from spawning? Is it all this pressure society apparently puts on us to achieve? Is it the result of feminism and our desire to be show men we are equals? Or perhaps it’s merely wisdom in an already overpopulated world…

I’d like to think my Mum doesn’t regret having us and the majority of people my age who are pregnant/have children seem very happy. There is a part of me that worries that one day I’ll regret my decision to put pretty much everything else in life ahead of having a family and that perhaps when the desire hits me it’ll be too late. But, what can you do? It seems I’m part of a generation convinced of two opposing ideologies; we can have it all –  a career, a family, kids, there’s time for everything, yet at the same time our mortality, our aging process, the finite nature of existence, all the missed opportunities, seem to be constantly thrown in our face.

I seem to have two versions of myself and as I approach my 23rd birthday one version is crying bitter tears of commiseration at all I’ve failed to achieve, all that should have been done by the time I was well and truly an adult, whilst another version watches on, smiling at all that’s yet to come, and full of hope at all that can yet be done.

I know the first version of myself is angry that I don’t have any family prospects and that at an age when I once thought children would be if not on the cards at least a talking point they don’t even enter my future plans. The other version says there’s time and things will happen when they happen. If they happen.

It’s easy to put it down to a generational thing but I have a rather skewed vision here. Most the people my Mum’s age I know are parents – because they’re my friend’s parents. There may be just as many women who chose not to have children, or to have them later in life, but I’ve had no cause to meet them.

I’ve chosen not to have children but I think it’s time for me to stop being shocked by those who have.  x

Career plan – gotta take some hits.

I’m staying in my current job. I’m not sure if this was a moment of wisdom or weakness – it definitely wasn’t what I was expecting when I went to work on Friday morning – but I think it was a good choice.

5 weeks ago I handed in my notice for the 20th of January, under the impression that at the end of my notice period I could stay on longer (until I found another job) on a shorter notice period; however, something obviously got lost in translation and a few days ago I received a number of phone calls inquiring about the receptionist position advertised. Cue mini freak out.

But I decided it wasn’t an issue. Sure, that meant I had just over a week to find a new position. Sure, apparently we’re in the midst of a recession. Sure, we received over 400 applications for my role – often from similarly skilled people who had been unable to find work for the last year. Sure, I was still working full time hampering my search and sure, I couldn’t afford to be unemployed for any period of time. But I’m special, right? I like to think so. Besides, there’s so many avenues out there for job hunting one of them was sure to prove fruitful eventually as long as I was committed.

However, I hadn’t been actively applying for positions up until this point as I was really taking my time to consider exactly what I wanted to do. I was proper nerding it up as well – I’ve been participating in various discussions on the Guardian Careers forums (This one on social networks was of particular interest and might be worth a look for some of you – http://careers.guardian.co.uk/careers-blog/social-media-surgery?commentpage=all), I’ve been reading books about working in TV, and it’s quite possible I’ve worked out a 5 year plan.

I’m really grateful to have done all this as for the first time in my life I feel focused. Instead of some vague ‘I want to work in X field…I guess’, I know what field I want to work in, I know what role I want and I’m learning how to achieve this.

How does this revelation lead to me staying in my current position? Well, quite simply, part of learning about what I wanted to do is learning that it’s going to be tough. There’ s a lot of competition and most of it is more experienced competition that has been more focused than me for longer. I’m sick of hopping from pointless job to pointless job and I realised if i were to leave my current position in a weeks time I would not be going to a job I really wanted – I’d get another filler job to pay my way whilst I worked on what I wanted. Instead, it’s time to make the best of what I have whilst I finish my degree and work on getting some experience and more knowledge under my belt so when I do change jobs next in can be THE change.

I wasn’t quite convinced that this revelation would make me happy in my current role and I’m keen to work on any skills that will be transferable and put me in good stead for when I do try and make the move to TV production; after a tense day of negotiation (in which I did not cry once! Younger me would be amazed – as would my first boss) I am now going to be a part of marketing meetings at work, have been given permission to create an online presence for the company on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and am looking at creating either a blog or newsletter to keep clients informed and try and attract some new business. Oh, and I got a cheeky raise thrown in for good measure. Result!

In return I had to guarantee I’d hang around until October. Bit of I strange month to choose, but it’s when I finish my degree and being so close to completion it’s probably for the best if I opt for a bit of stability and just get the mother flipper done! So, 10 more months in an industry I don’t really care about, in a role that up until now has bored me to death but with any luck it’ll be getting a bit more interesting and I’ll be able to keep myself motivated enough to make some real non-job career progress in the mean time!

 

Along that line, I’ll be starting a new blog soon. It’ll be a place where I review various comedy shows I attend as well as TV series, podcasts, books and pretty much anything else funny. It’s still a few weeks off launching but be sure to keep an…ear? eye? Whatever you like really, out for it!

x

Can you really have it all?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I want to get out of my life/time in England and I’ve come to the conclusion that I want…too much.

Even as I write this a little part of me is screaming that I’m a quitter and an unambitious swine (my internal monologue is way harsh) and although I agree with it there’s also a part of me arguing that if I spread myself too thinly I won’t make any significant achievements in any part of my life. They both make good points.

The job hunt, impending start of the uni year and the realisation that I’m already a quarter of the way through my work visa is causing me to panic ever so slightly. What did I want from this trip? Well, honestly, I wanted to become English – to be embraced by its people (and immigration department), they were meant to see that this pale skin and dry sense of humour couldn’t flourish in the harsh Australian environment and make me an honorary citizen…not necessarily queen, I would have settled for a sort of demi-god figure… I wanted to finally start the life I’ve always had a notion that I should be living but, let’s face it, that’s not going to happen. So, where does that leave me? I want to make the most out of my limited time here. I want to see as much of the country as I can. I want to be able to save a bit of money so I can travel Europe when I’m done. But I also want to take full advantage of the career opportunities here… that’s where it gets tricky.

Trying to find a job relevant to my degree/chosen career path is time consuming and seemingly futile. Even if I do somehow beat out the copious amount of competition to get an entry level position any progress I’ll have made is lost once I return to Australia. I fear all the days spent job hunting and studying will be the ones I regret when I head back not having seen and experienced all I wanted to. As I write this I am on a train to York. Rushing past my window is scenery and landscapes completely foreign to me and yet here I am staring at my notebook – that in itself speaks volumes.

But perhaps letting the fear of failure (or acceptance of failure) stop me from trying is what will haunt me. I keep telling myself it’s very competitive and that others have more experience to console myself over what seems like constant failure but it’s only been a few months of looking, probably only a few weeks in earnest, and I’m giving up?

I’m unsure if I’m being scared or realistic. The two are often so similar.

Do I attempt to job hunt, gain work experience and study all at once to the detriments of my travels? Or do I focus on the experience? Realise this is limited and take all I can from it? Perhaps I should be working on building my skills in more of a personal rather than a professional sense – that is, concentrating on my writing and comedy. I’m sure there has to be some sort of happy medium but balance has never been my strong point.

Of course, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I can have it all. Maybe I can stay in England and have a career. Maybe it’s just my doubt stopping me – but what if I end up leaving with nothing? Do I risk it all or settle for adequate? I know earlier I favoured the former but will I really thank myself for trying if I leave the experience I’ve been planning for years with nothing?

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