Tag Archives: adulting

That moment when you land back to Earth…

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I’ve been off the grid here for a while now, haven’t I? Mostly because there are only so many ways I can talk about what it’s like to drudge through a fairly boring day-today, with only the occasional spike in my anxiety to spice things up. But now… now I have Stuff to look ahead to. Pretty sure I mentioned here, what feels like centuries ago, that I was jousting with the pre-employment processes of British Airways. Well! I am delighted to report that I have officially exited that circle of Hell and my life is back on some semblance of track! So what have I been up to these past few months?

Not much really, until I got that blessed e-mail, informing me of my start date. THAT is when things got interesting! Suddenly I had a timeline and a list of things that needed to be completed. Things like finding a new place, filling out a few last pieces of paperwork, booking my medical appointment, sorting out my visa, packing… Oh gods, the packing! My new place is slightly closer to Heathrow, though each really a temporary solution until I get to flying full time and some other things get sorted out… Medical is all booked and I just need to fill out the paperwork I need to present and show up looking pretty and healthy. (Lot’s of fruits and veggies for me in the near future!) The US visa is the one that closest to being at 100% done, mostly because my appointment is next Monday. I’ve also had to hunt down a pair of court shoes and update my closet (my bank account is currently in deep mourning over that fact). The shoes should arrive at the store any day now and once I have them, they will replace my slippers inside the house. Because, let’s be honest. New shoes will hurt your feet the first few times you were them. In my case, it’s usually my heel that takes the brunt of that and I’ve hobbled back home on bleeding feet often enough to know that this is not something I want happening on the first day on the job. As for the wardrobe update….that was one of the few times I went shopping unwillingly. Left to my own devices I’d spend the majority of my life dressed either in PJs or the sort of clothes you’d find in a fantasy show (stakes and magical swords optional). In other words, my office-appropriate outfits could be counted in one hand. And I have anywhere between four and six weeks of training in which I’m expected to show up in office chic. You do the math dear reader.

Speaking of wardrobe updates, here’s a funny thing that happened the other day. I had ordered a few t-shirts online. When the parcel finally arrived (with an unexpected customs charge and wasn’t that fun…) I realised there were a few extra t-shirts on top of the stuff I had ordered. A few e-mails with the company later and here’s what I learnt. Another customer’s order was accidentally packed with mine. Now, under different circumstances I’d roll my eyes at this show of disorganisation. But! It just so happened that the person in question had ordered designs I was planning on getting myself whenever I had money to spare next. And I get to keep them. So no. I’m not complaining. In fact I may have done a mini happy dance on my bed when they told me I didn’t have to return the extras. 😀

What else, what else… I’m trying to motivate myself to exercise a bit more and touch up my German. Neither being activities I particularly enjoy so I haven’t exactly been successful so far. I tell myself to walking around counts for something and my scales seem to agree but unfortunately  that does very little for my flexibility. Looks like I’ll have to look up some yoga tutorials or cheat-sheets or something…. And I need to look into the whole luggage situation. I may have to buy a new cabin bag but given my finances currently looking like they are in their inglorious death-throws I’ll have to put that off for later. And pray there’ll be a huge sale when I get around to actually buying it. I kept getting the feeling that I’m going to school again and let me tell you it’s not just the excitement of learning something new, it’s not just the word “training” being thrown around like spare change, it’s not just meeting other people with the same brand of crazy as me. It’s the avalanche of expenses that come with it. I mean yeah, it’s exciting expenses. Made less exciting by the fact that I am not dragging my mother down the aisle of a store, throwing everything that catches my eye on the cart and not worrying about paying the bill in the end. #thingsImissfrommychildhood

….

My conscience informs me that that is what being an adult means. To which I reply:

Image result for i am an adult, but like an adult cat

(How cute is that cat?)

-ahem- Yeah….

Well this is at the stage where my rambles cease to be even slightly coherent, so I’m gonna sign out.

See y’all soon. Hopefully.

In which a voicemail is enough to ruin two days’worth of good vibes

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I HATE phone calls. I don’t just find them inconvenient or stressful (though both are true too), I loathe them. For better or worse phones calls almost never yield good news for me, and not just because I somehow always end up with a person with really thick accent on the other end of the line. Yes I am bilingual. No, that is of no help if I need to hear the voicemail you left me twice and still be uncertain about a key point of it. Also, who the dickens rattles off a phone number in lightning speed and does not even bother to repeat it more slowly. Oh, and douche coworker, I could hear you giggling over the line. You think your English is clearer, fucking. Man. The. Phones.  Anyway, it would seem that I need to compose a very long and very tense (read passive aggressive bordering to aggressive aggressive) e-mail to the lumps of carbon responsible or my high blood pressure these past few months and see if I can’t get this mess sorted finally. And this friends, is why all my good mood from the past few days (I’m nearly not sick anymore, yay!) plus the endorphins from my earlier swimming session went up in figurative flames.

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On the bright side (and mum, if you’re reading this put the Holy Water down, we were mostly joking) this also the sort of situation on which friendships are built. Basically I was ranting to a friend about the whole mess, pretty much prefacing it with “fancy helping me curse someone?” There are few things quite as comforting as an answer of “who?” rather than “what?” or “why?” for this sort of question. I mean yeah, we are planning of talking the ears of everyone slightly relevant to the recruitment process as soon as we clear the pre-employment stage because frankly this whole song and dance started in August and I know for a fact that not nearly enough has happened to me in the past five years to justify a background check still going on. I’m not even kidding! If I wasn’t losing sleep over high school finals or uni, then I was at my parents’ pretty much catching up on sleep, sun and homemade meals. I don’t have a criminal record (obviously) so what in the name of Elizabeth Bennett’s mud-stained petticoat is taking them so frigging long?  Everything we’ve been able to find online suggests that it’s a company issue, that they are just that disorganised. But then again that raises another very serious question. If it’s widely known that they are that bad at their job then why would anyone hire them? Mr. Trickster is having a laugh on my behalf methinks, but I am too stubborn to just no do anything about it. Besides, if I learnt one think in public school is how to loudly complain about things happening that I don’t like.

And with that I shall be off. I have an angry e-mail to write and a story about an inept Russian prince being saved by his girlfriend to continue. Toodles!

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In which the old adage about glittering stuff and gold is back in fashion

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So I moved to Hounslow. Which of itself was an adventure that I would much rather not repeat. I’d talk about it here but the last few days have been really trying for the concave that is my head. I don’t think repeating everything that happened here will help much. Let’s talk about my new house instead (I don’t see myself giving it “home” status. It’s more of a somewhere-to-stay-until-I-start-being-paid-decently case.) The building itself is lovely and my new room spacious and with big windows (always a good thing). Unfortunately it came with some MAJOR turn-offs that I’ll have to grin and bear for a year. What are these griefs I face you ask? Well, for one the walls are pretty thin, which I’ve noticed seems to be the norm in England. Personally I detest them. They do next to nothing to keep the sound from other rooms out which means that working without headphones will be impossible, unless, by some happy coincidence, I’m home alone. Also, for the record, dear whoever is playing music in the living room right now, if you need to raise your voice to be heard over the song, then perhaps you should turn the volume down. Since we’re practically at Heathrow’s doorstep, you’d think soundproofing would be the first thing on the list…

The next thing is more of a personal preference thing. One of the first things you notice when entering my room is this lovely, inviting, double bed. If you are anything like me, your first instinct would be to throw yourself on the mattress and enjoy an impromptu cat nap. If you did this in this bed you’d end up with bruises. I’m not kidding! Let me make an honest-to-Chuck comparison: on one particular family holiday we ended up having more people than beds in the house, so us kids ended up in the living room with a carpet and a couple of folded blankets between us and the floor. That was more comfortable than what I currently have to sleep in. I’m not exaggerating at all. The mattress feels like lying on the floor. I know some people prefer to sleep on a firm surface (apparently it’s good for your back?) but there is a difference, I think, between firm and unyielding. And this bed is categorically on the latter part of the spectrum.

The kitchen! Oh how do I weep for that kitchen! I cook when I’m happy. I cook when I’m stressed. I cook when I’m angry. Basically, cooking is one of my coping mechanisms. One of the things I was most looking forward to while moving out of student accommodation was a functional kitchen. This is not the case. Partially that is because I haven’t had time to get used to it. But a very, very large part is due to the lack of space. Not only are the counters covered in stuff (that needs washing or -I suspect- has nowhere else to be) from what I understand each tenant is assigned one cupboard. To put this in perspective, I came here with two boxes worth of kitchen stuff, from crockery, to cutlery, to spices or foodstuff that was still good and I didn’t want to throw out. I’m used to limited storage space but this is ridiculous! Half my stuff is still in the cardboard boxes and it will need to remain there because I’ve filled the cupboard as much as I safely can. You want a constant source of stress? Try having to work from storage boxes. It will drive you crazy, I promise.

But by far the biggest problem in this scenario (and the one from which quite a few others will stem, I just know) is that my landlord (live-in at that) speaks really bad English and on top of that he talks really fast. That means that out of every ten words that come out of his mouth  I’m lucky if I can make sense of four. Mercifully one of the other tenants can act as a translator (and I’m kinda hoping she comes home soon today because there’s some financial matters I need to discuss with him and that is not a subject I’m willing to talk about in a pray-we-understand-each-other level). I was hoping I’d have a chance to allow my anxiety to recede a bit now that I’m out of uni. Doesn’t look like it, judging by the knot that my stomach has turned to…

You’re probably wondering why I chose to move in in a house that is clearly problematic. The answer is simple: I was in a time-crunch and with an incredibly limited budget. I hoped I was making the best out of a bad situation. Maybe that will be the case in a few weeks. Then again, I can’t even ask that guy whether the post has come yet so I’m not holding out. Heh! Remember when we were kids and thought that having our own house would be as easy as acing a spelling test? And for the record, the next person above the age of 30 that tells me starting out in life is easy and I panic over nothing will be treated to the kind of tongue-lashing I’d give someone my age. Colourful language included. Telling me to keep calm with do nothing for my anxiety-induced headaches, the insomnia, the lack of appetite or the fact that I am officially at the stage where a ten minute discussion is enough to reduce me to the kind of exhaustion not even allnighters can achieve, And I would know…

In which I’ve had a weird day

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How weird? Well, it was a perfect balance between good and bad…and it’s still not over so who knows what the final verdict will be. I mean, I slept really bad. Like really bad; nightmares, jumping awake for no reason, trouble falling back to sleep, the whole nine yards. Which is nothing new for me. Whenever I’m out of a particularly stressful situation it takes my mind a week or three to re-adjust. It’s not helped by the fact that I’m now moving on from the stress that is the dissertation to the stress that is putting a roof over my head for the next year. House hunting itself, I do not mind so much. The phone calls that come with it though? Helloooooo mild anxiety attack! I’m not joking. Three months’ worth of intensive research and writing did not leave as mentally exhausted as an afternoon of phone calls. It could be that I rely on body language to quite a large extent in conversations with strangers, it could be the whole not-my-mother-tongue deal, could be that I always end up somehow having to deal with people with heavy accents (and the phone reception in my building leaves much to be desired). Let’s just say I did four phone calls yesterday, one after the other, and then spent a couple of hours trying to convince myself that gorging in chocolate would only change my dress size and not much else.

On the other hand, the weather today was lovely for the most part, which meant I could go for a long walk and actually enjoy it. There was a big sale in one of the stores and I got me a pair of shoes for 10 quid. Pumpkin Spice Latte is back! (Yes, that deserves a separate mention, this drink is freaking awesome!) And…. huh! I just realised I didn’t do as much today as I thought! Or perhaps it’s harder to talk about stuff you enjoy -or at least it is for me-. Ok, something else… Hm…I’ve only had to swallow down my anxiety twice today and was mostly successful? I don’t know, I still have a phone call to make so we’ll see about that. Oh! And I  need to prep my bag and outfit for the house viewings tomorrow! It might sound like I’m going on a field trip, but honestly, I  kind of am. It’s a nearly five hour coach ride (which will hopefully be shorter since we leave at what-the-hell o’clock in the morning so there shouldn’t be any traffic) and then a shorter train ride to the actual town. No, I won’t give specifics until I have concrete results. Call me superstitious but I fear I’d jinx it if I did.

Alright! Let’s try that call now. Hopefully they’ll pick up this time… 😛

“I’ll call you later.”

Sure man, whatever! I mean, I only offered to rent from you. Ya know? Offered to provide you with a bit more income?

I’m being mean. For all I know the  guy was in the middle of something serious. It’s just, ugh! I just want this to be over! Never mind historically weird ceremonies! The rites of passage to adulthood that late 20th century-early 21st century youngster have to go through are pretty much the reason we’ll all be suffering from an early onset of heart diseases in a couple of  decades. It won’t be pollution, bad eating habits or aliens. It’ll be too much stress early on.

This is the future folks! Gaze at it and invest in  a good frying pan to knock yourself out with when the time comes.

 

 

 

P.S. Halleluja! They called me back! Three house viewings confirmed tomorrow and I’ll still have some time to explore the town! What do yo think internet? Should I make a travel post about it?

In which I found the one thing scarier than interviews

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Filling out forms. Have you ever noticed how scary these things are? Passive aggressive language, legal jargon, pretty big consequences if you make a mistake, (in my case) tight submission deadlines….-shudder- It’s an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Of course all this not-so-internalised drama could be just me craving chips and being too busy to pop by the kitchen and heat some on the microwave… Or me being new to the whole “adult” scene (which is rather sad coming from a freshly-minted 23-year old…).

Regardless! Remember how I used to moan and gripe about my dissertation? I’d like to humbly apologise for that. Compare to my day today, the dissertation is more than relaxing, it’s soothing! And I am at the re-drafting stage! Also affectionately called the bizarro stage where I need to be my own hardest critic if I’m to get any editing done BUT I also need to be my number one fan in order to not convince myself that my baby isn’t going anywhere. Still! With this fine gentleman as my main topic it’s so worth it!

Alright, hold your horses, I’m not just doing Marvel Comics, I do have a degree in Viking (and other stuff) studies to prove my competence on. But modern adaptations play an important role to the overall result.

I’ve also discovered that I can make some damn fine connections and arguments between midnight and 4, dosed up on coffee and chewing dried prunes. If your stomach just rolled a little at the prospect, good! Your lifestyle is probably much healthier than mine. I don’t get it. I’m not a night owl, not by choice. There was this one very memorable instance when I was awake for close to 48 hours, but it was a special case. Maybe my mind goes to sleep and I write whatever my subconscious fancies? It would certainly explain some of my more bizarre grammar choices. Apparently I don’t like the definite article when I’m sleepy. Go figure.

Anyway, I am seriously getting hungry for those cheeps now, so I’ll leave y’all to your own devices.

Peace out-

In which I made an ill-adviced bet

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With none other than myself at that! What new madness did I talk myself into this time you ask? Nothing much. Just writing my entire thesis in a week. All 14,000 words of it. Yes, yes, how silly of me! The line to slap some sense into me is to the left. 

I do have some rational reasons behind it though. For one I needed something to distract me from another source of stress that was, at the time, hovering over me like a stormcloud. Nothing distracts quite like speed reading the Best of Karl Jung. For another, I need short term deadlines if I’m to get anything done. The ones my supervisor gave me are way lenient! Also that means I have the entirety to August to redraft and make my writing all pretty-like. 🙂

As I’m sure you can imagine this has resulted in late nights and hard-to-get-out-of-bed mornings. Still worth it. As of right now I’m two and a half chapters away from a complete first draft (and a conclusion but who wants to think about that!)

So there you have it. Hopefully I will be much closer to the finish line next time I ramble here, but until then,

Peace out!

In which I debate house and home

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Synonyms are such a bizarre thing, wouldn’t you say? “House”…”Home”… They’re usually used interchangeably even though their connotation is rather different. I say this as a person whose first language uses the same word for both concepts (and then some). I do find myself leaning towards “home” in preference though. “House” feels so impersonal, a word that should be used to describe a building instead of the (hopefully) warm and fuzzy feeling that is “home”. Yes, I think “home” is a feeling, a state of being if you will, instead of a particular place. It’s being safe and comfortable and familiar with all the quirks that come with it.

For me home is Athens (some parts of it more than others), Paros, Norwich, heck! at a stretch I’d add Nottingham. Goodness knows I’ve grown at least used to this confused whirlwind of a city. But home for me is also fire crackling, swimming surrounded by waves, getting lost in a library, walking in the countryside or a very select playlist on my mp3 (no, you don’t get to learn what songs). I’ve travelled, not nearly as much as I wish, and there have been places that felt welcoming, like almost-homes or potential homes, and places I couldn’t wait to get out of. As much trouble as I have reading (real) people, places and atmospheres are open books. Don’t know why. Must be the story-teller in me. If a place has potential for stories to be told in the years to come, you can bet your glossy pages I’ll want to be there!

What has onset my latest bout of philosophical rambling, you ask? My ever-un-pleasant, ever-stressful job hunting. Word to the un-wise: your chances to get that dream job you’re sighing longingly over are probably higher if you stay positive about it, no matter how farfetched. And what better way to do that than to indulge in some daydreaming of walking around the place you’d be living in (if you’re like me and likely to move), find your dream house (never mind your paycheck, this is a daydream after all!)? I didn’t even realise it at first, but one of the most recurring questions running through my head while I was going through Zoopla ads (after “How far from the rail station is it?” and “How do they get away with charging this much for a hole in the wall?”) was “Could I make a home out of this house?”

There’s a question that’s loaded, terrifying and exhilarating at the same time! Especially in the few cases when, while going through apartment pictures, I found myself mentally assigning places for my stuff or imagining what kind of posters I would put on which walls… I mean, I have no concept how far out of my budget I’d be in the places I was looking (probably less than I fear). I suppose that’s the nice thing about dreams. Unless you’re desperate to make them your reality, you are allowed to be as grandiose as you wish…

 

 

 

But what does it say for me, that my idea of grandiose is a successful job interview, an decent apartment with a kitchen I can cook in (and bake, and have a fridge all on my own) and not having to worry about money by the end of the month or whenever bills show up? Welcome to the 21st century, I suppose….