Tag Archives: thoughts

This is a catharsis post. Rants ahoy

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Let me preface this by saying that I genuinely love my job. I love the travelling, the fast pace, the strange customers, even the weird cravings you get around hour nine of the flight. That being said, there certain parts of it that my anxiety-ridden self loathes like the Grinch loathes Christmas….
Specifically the increased automation of certain parts of the operation. Call me an old-soul but there are many times when the phrase “just press the button and let the machine do it” is not as reassuring as some people might think. I’m the kind of person who (had I be born a couple of decades earlier) would be fixing the TV with a mallet. Bottom line, I don’t trust machines. And machines don’t like me either. Files mysteriously disappearing and reappearing in random folders, gadgets sorting out because I looked them wrong, if it’s any type of computer it comes to my hands for the sole purpose of dying.  I’m not going to discuss here what electronic device is currently antagonising me but suffice to say I’m not at fault and this whole problem wouldn’t exist if I had interacted with a being made out of organic carbon instead of plastic and microchips.

But here’s the thing. I’m paranoid. I have backup plans for my backup plans because I know I get anxious when things spiral out of my control. But for all I wish I either had all the responsibility or none at all, I have to acknowledge (to others if not myself) that when I am running on two hours of sleep, caffeine fumes and the hope of a bed I cannot be expected to perform my best. It’s the reality of the job and I say that as someone who permanently ruined her sleep schedule when she was sixteen.

I suppose the first sacrificial victim of having a large company is personal contact. And by personal contact I don’t mean feedback forms (the subject of another rant eventually, but not now. One cause of sleeplessness at a time). Automation is all well and good but does not account for the human factor. And dear gods, this would be so much easier to rant about if I didn’t feel the need to keep it as vague as possible. I swear, the next job I happen upon (once the paperwork chasing that is disturbingly inherent in being cabin crew becomes to much for me) will have a lot less forms. Screw salary raises and benefits, I’m hardly likely to settle down anyway (that is not a dare PTB, I do want a family in the somewhat near future). I just want a job that pays my bills and doesn’t drive me to insomnia, drink and/or anxiety attacks. But I suppose that is too much to ask for all things considered.

Sometimes I wonder if my life would be easier if I could actually talk about my problems. For someone whose main strength during academia was writing, it can be remarkably hard at times to find the correct words. There are concepts I only know in one language (which might not be the language I’m using in the discourse I’m having). There are concepts I perceive in the relative safety of my mind as feelings and colours and shapes, with not corresponding words that I can find, especially in such a difficult conversation. And it is difficult. I’m aware enough of my self and my mental state to know that poking that particular hornets’ nest, while therapeutic and something I should probably do at some point, would not be pleasant for anyone involved. Too much compartmentalising and shoving things in the Narnia-sized broom closet that is my subconscious. And even as a child I preferred listening because a. human interactions are stressful and confusing, b. 95% of the people I meet/spend time with I would not care whether I saw again or not so why bother, c. my temper is too violent to risk igniting since hitting someone over the head with my leatherback Divina Comedia is sadly not socially acceptable. What this all boils down to is an underlying sentiment of “I’ve observed that references to this subject are met with frustration and/or indifference so trying to communication my perception of it, based on personal experience or not, will be likely not met favourably”. Or, more laconically, “you guys ain’t listening so why bother”? And yes, that includes trying to talk it through with someone and then them dismissing your perception/opinion/stance are non-valid because it doesn’t fitting with perception of the subject. Oh yeah. That happened. Repeatedly. From people I didn’t expect it from. Fun times. Not.

On a slight tangent, I was having a discussion earlier about diversity and PC culture and whether or not it is meaningful or limiting at this point. I hardly belong to a marginalised group so I felt it would be hypocritical to preach from a proverbial soapbox on the subject. But personally, I feel it’s about removing stigma and misconception. It’s just both can be so deeply embedded that that they are considered normal. But here’s the thing. I would very much like to wear shorts or miniskirts when I go out. So why is it that the same people who with one breath encourage me to do so because I’m apparently at the proper age for it, warm me off doing it with the next breath because “it’s not safe” or so that I can avoid catcalls. And for the matter I have nothing against a guy complimenting me on the street (in fact I am very flattered, but for the love of all you hold holy, leave it at that). What I am against is guys honking at me or whistling from the cars or ogling on the street like they got dropped off to the 21st century from the Victorian times by a very inconsiderable time-traveller. It’s not flattering, it’s not sincere and it is certainly doing nothing to cool off the hotter heads of the feminism vs sexism debate (and I include reverse sexism on that too, it’s just I’ve never had a woman make to make some of the comments I’ve heard from men). Or I would like not to have to think and hesitate about going to the doctor to verify something I suspect because having it in my medical history might affect my chances of employment, or because my symptoms are not “loud” enough to be considered legitimate. For the record I would very much like to be able to make a phone call without having to prepare myself for it in advance or have a conversation with a coworker and not obsessively dissect it afterwards for everything I may have done wrong because have I mentioned how hard it is to talk to someone when you suck at reading body language? And no, I very much do not believe in the idea that best intentions are communicated somehow.

I’m gonna cut this off rather abruptly but it’s getting late and I am famished. At least my head feels a little emtier right now so hopefully I’ll be able to sleep properly (and promptly) tonight.

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 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….

Things that university taught me

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I finally truly hit that uni is almost over. And I say almost because I still have my thesis to obsess about, so expect a lot more gushing/groaning on that department. Thinking back however, there’s a few things I’d like to share that I think will stay with me for a long time:

  1. Most of the stuff you learnt after year 6 is irrelevant. Unless you do Creative Writing. In which case everything is relevant.
  2. Movie/TV references are the currency.
  3. There is no such thing as optional reading.
  4. Laundry doesn’t get lost. It multiplies in your absence.
  5. Walking distances are proportional to your bank account.
  6. The faster you learn to cook, the faster you become popular.
  7. Hand-written notes rule!
  8. Opinions don’t matter. Everyone will do their thing regardless.
  9. Online shopping (window or not) can be addictive.
  10. The walls are always less soundproof than you think.
  11. You will feel decades older than the first years. And you will find yourself quoting your grandmother.
  12. Supernatural has gifs for everything.
  13. Scented candles always help.
  14. Any day is pancake day (and any time for the matter).
  15. Having fancy-dress costumes is more important than having practical clothes.
  16. You will run out of pain killers the day before you need them.
  17. Illnesses can be postponed through sheer will-power.
  18. Embrace the geek.
  19. Learn to saw. Tights are expensive when you buy them every second week.
  20. Weather and temperature have no relation to outfit choices.
  21. It is perfectly acceptable to go to the supermarket in your pyjamas.
  22. You will develop as seventh sense tuned to find the nearest chocolate. Also an eighth one for coffee.
  23. Fairy lights are an essential decoration.
  24. So are skull-shaped candle holders. (I have diverse interests…sue me!)
  25. Carrying around a creepily questionable book and openly reading it in public will -hopefully- repel any unwanted social interactions.
  26. Morpheus is the most important god ever worshipped.
  27. Your music tastes will inevitably shift to things your teenage self would cringe at.
  28. Disney is still awesome!
  29. There’s never enough money.
  30. There’s never enough time.

There’s more, but if I kept going we’d be here till Kingdom Come. One day, many years from now, when I’ll be a mostly-functional adult, I will write the full thing. Then print it out and use it to wallpaper my house. Just because I can. I did mention that I’ll be mostly functional, didn’t I? 😉

Tea with Molly Bloom

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One of the greatest lies anyone will ever tell you is that following your dreams is the way to go. I don’t mean you shouldn’t. In fact you should, and if you actually make it to your personal pot of gold at the end of your rainbow more the power to you! The problem is that when someone tells you to follow your dream, they usually mean what they think is your dream. It’s not even because they think they know better (ok, there’s always the occasional asshole that thinks so and will not hesitate to tell you). Most of the time they genially have you’re best interest at hand. They truly, wish for you to be as happy and safe and secure as possible. So you pluck up the courage and confess what your secret labour of love is. And with a snap of your fingers, the light of encouragement fades a little, their smile becomes a little forced.

 

Because you told them your dream and it’s not something easy, or –what’s that other expression career advisors like to throw around? – marketable, or even the kind of thing that you talk about at family reunions and can easily attach the word “successful” to. So you begin to compromise, because you care about them and the last thing you want is to make them worry. Alright, you say, it’s a bit out there, and of course I will look for something that pays the bills first but, you know, as a hobby? On the side? And if it ends up being the main thing I do, then great! But I’m not going to be heart-broken if it doesn’t work out. Except you will be. And you will become bitter and sad. Because while you work that in-between job you’ll realise that when you get home tired, and there’s nothing prepared to eat and you still need to do the laundry, there’s no time or energy left to do what you like. Of course some people find both these so elusive things. Me? I know myself well enough to know that once inertia has settled it won’t matter how much I love that hobby. The very idea of moving from whatever flat surface I’m lying in will be too much to consider. And no, the advice “force yourself to do it and eventually the mood will come” is about as stupid as advising someone with a broken leg to work on their marathon time.

 

Or you will choose to fly in the face of adverse winds, do the improbable degree, dare to apply to jobs that tickle your interest. And with every non-answer or negative answer to your applications you’ll get more disappointed, more convinced at your uselessness. Don’t get me wrong, dear reader. While this may apply to you, it is also (mostly) a letter to myself. So where was I? Oh, yes, my sparkling, glitter-sprinkled future. Or rather how easily “I’ll chase my dream job, I don’t care what it takes” became “I just need someone to trust me enough to give me a job so that I don’t have to look at the end of my degree as the start of a free-fall without a parachute”. Less than four years to reach that conclusion and I’m not even twenty-five. And it’s harder when people believe in your dreams (or their idea of them) more than you do. How do you explain that you care more about a steady source of income, even if it doesn’t relate to what your degree says it’s about?

 

How do you make the older generations understand that even a cinema ticket or a night out for drinks have become so loaded with guilt (because you’ll see what’s left in your current account and it’s always so much less than you thought it’d be and never mind that you have a savings account these are savings they’re for emergency you shouldn’t touch them and you thought you had finally figured out budgeting but you didn’t because no one has shown you how ever and suddenly the idea of living off crackers milk and apples sounds appealing) that you cannot even consider it seriously? How do you explain the sensation of never being good enough, even though you try as much as your mind will let you, because when you have it already weighting on you that in the end it won’t really matter because someone more qualified will always be there to make you look worse? How do you explain the tears that aren’t really triggered by anything in particular, at least nothing apparently serious, but you’ve been holding it for so long that even something as little as a broken light is enough to have you curled up with your pillow and sobbing like someone just died?

 

How do you communicate the crippling fear that hits you every time the phone rings and you have to speak to someone or, even worse, when you need to be the one to make the call? How do you translate the constant feeling that people around you just tolerate your presence, that even when they seek you out they don’t much care about what you need to say? How do you get over the feeling that those feelings are confirmed because you tell them something and then two days later they text you like what you said didn’t even register? (Apparently “I’ll be sleeping at the library this week, I have work to do” has the response –before the week is over- “Come over tonight, we’ll have fun” No, actually we won’t. I’ll be tired and just want to get home but I haven’t yet found out the proper way of explaining that just because we seem to be having fun together I actually want the company. Because most of the time I don’t.) How do you illustrate the internalised panic attack you have at any given professional, semi-professional, or potentially-professional scenario because all this is running through your head and you don’t know what is expected of you because you cannot understand the rules of the game but just this once you want to play because you hope that if you won even once (no matter how small the victory) then maybe next time it’d be easier?

 

How do you give up something as small as living in a place you know you’d be happy in because it’s small and therefore jobs there are even harder to find? For how long can you stop yourself from screaming at them, telling them that you don’t want to be this messed up, you don’t want the voices or the fears or the nightmares or the feeling of being a failure but you can’t help it? Not when you cannot remember the last time anything that comes with the word “finances” attached to it came without any stress or frustration. Not when everyone went out and did things while you stayed inside and watched movies because you were tired of how loud everything out there had become. Not when you feel too young for everything expected of you and at the same time too old for it all.

 

Not when the few times you manage to open up to anyone and explain why you are angry and don’t want company you feel even more horrible afterwards because everyone has their own problems to deal with and who are you to hoist upon them your own or because you’ve done everything short of screaming “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and they offer company. The whole “no means no” concept is not a joke and does not only apply to the dating scenario. There’s precious few people whose presence I can tolerate for any length of time and a friendly smile does not immediately mean that I want to be around you. Just because what is inside my head is dark and horrible and most of the time yields a particularly sharp scythe doesn’t mean that I will instantly act like a bitch. I am Slytherin enough to understand that social interactions (not hanging out, that’s different) have their uses. And damn my madness even with all this (or maybe because of it) I want to help other people feel happy. If stitching a smile on my face and swearing everything is peachy is the way to do it, well lies have been said for worse reasons. Besides, the line “I’m never ok” sounds overdramatic when spoken aloud, don’t you think?

So…April came a’knocking

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And he found me in a peculiar fugue, dear friend. It would seem that my mood slingshots from hyper-happy to furious to stressed beyond measure (which is accompanied by the urge to burst into tears). In between there are bouts of serenity, usually when I’m curled up in a quiet corner, reading something, or while at a coffee shop, people-watching. I used to despise early 20th century literature for the proclivity of its characters to wax poetic over the futility of existence, yet never actually doing anything to shake things up. Now I fear that this is what my outer existence has become. (My mindscape is as busy, loud and chaotic as ever. And thank gods for that!)

It could be spring blues. Or it could be further confirmation that 2016 is out to screw us over. Whichever school of thought I find myself inclining towards each day (like I said: chaotic mind) I think I’ll aim for more of those peaceful moments. I know that the next couple of years will result in more stress than what is definitely healthy for anyone. So let’s see: maybe if I actually try to find these short retreats I will eventually not feel guilty for taking a break. Maybe even not feel like I’ve wasted my day if I roll out of bed after eight.

Will I still be infuriated by the words “Don’t worry/panic about it”? No doubt. Will I still daydream of trips that I have neither the money nor the time for? For certain. Will I still find any social interaction with people I’m not familiar and comfortable with (and that is a short, short, short list) tedious at best, terrifying at worst? Why are you even asking? But maybe, just maybe, at the end of the day I will also be able to go to bed at night and not feel like I accomplished nothing. Maybe (if I’m very lucky) I’ll be able to look at a person and read their thoughts from their expression, not my projected fears and insecurities. I dream small because I have found that mountain-high dreams only result in crushing disappointment.

After all I could care less about being great. I just want to be happy.

#JustShowerThoughts

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Or late-night-insomnia thoughts really… You know, all those strange philosophical realisations that come to you at the most inopportune of moments. Here’s a selection of my most recent wut!moments, in hopes that if I type them I’ll stop thinking about them…

  • Why do all my great writing ideas come when I have nothing (or no time) to write them on?
  • Why do candidate posters for any sort of election make me less inclined to vote? Aren’t they meant to fire me up?
  • Why does Disney think that lime green in the colour of evil? No, seriously!

DR_FACILIER maleficent Scar ursula

  • How come I feel less cold when I go out on a sweater and flip-flops than when I’m all bundled up properly?
  • Why is basic maintenance so hard to do in student accommodation?
  • Is being Uchiha Madara like being the Dread Pirate Roberts, only with more explosions?
  • Why is “evil head turn” a thing? And why does nobody ever lampshade it?
  • Why does the Library catalogue computer show different results from the Library catalogue we have access through Moodle? (English student problems…)
  • Why are T&Cs written in such a small font?
  • I can’t be the only one morbidly afraid of answering phones, can I?
  • Is there some sort of (paying) job that mostly involves looking at beautiful landscapes and writing poetic descriptions about them?
  • If I am constantly sleep-deprived, why do I feel guilty when I wake up after eight in the morning?