The Arrival…..

Writing

From the Coronavirus to Storm Ciara, it feels like judgement day has well and truly arrived. I helped an old lady cross the road last week, so for that alone I’m sure Jesus will bless me with the golden ticket straight up the squeaky escalator to Heaven and by doing so ensure that the fiery gates of Hell are for sure in my far far distant past.

For everyday of this week my Google newsfeed had bombarded me with biased negative reportings. None moreso than this contagious virus which is sending the whole world into a pandemic panic.

With images like this flooding the feed you can’t help but feel a hot flush of sheer terror radiate through your body:

Capture

Courtesy of Mirror.co.uk

Look at this! The only one without a suit transporting Brits to a quarantine centre in the UK is the driver! Why?

 Because I quote – wearing the suits would ‘pose a greater risk than the risk of contracting the virus itself’ says the Government officials. So in other words – if you put that hazmat suit on you’ll not be able to hold that steering wheel correctly due to the suits restrictive nature and may drive us all off a cliff as a result. So instead of taking us all out, just catch the virus like the rest of us and there may be a  chance that some of us may pull through. It’s all a game of probability really, isn’t it?

So, the coach isn’t looking like the cosiest set up if I’m thinking of heading to the coast anyday this week, and neither is a plane as it seems that Storm Ciara makes landing back from your business trip look like the fastest way to a heart attack. Take a watch of this:

Courtesy of Rehaan Omar

I guess if London really does become like ‘28 weeks later’, or ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ then I’m getting my ass on a kayak and paddling my noodle body to Easter Island. 

I think I’ll be browsing some positive news from now on, maybe ignorance is bliss! Perhaps this – Good News Network

I Thought I Was Going Blind

Writing

Sitting at my desk in the office yesterday morning, everything was just peachy (or so I thought). Despite my eyelids occasionally closing over due to boredom, for the rare moments I decided to forcefully will them open, I could see as clear as day.

 

But for some reason or other I decided to wink at my morning array of spreadsheets and in doing so came to the stark realisation that my vision in my left eye was completely blurry.

 

 My vision through my right eye only was fine, through both eyes combined  it was fine, yet when solely using my left eye to look at the screen I was met with a blurred mess. It was as if someone had just poked my cornea with a vaseline blobbed finger and then proceeded to hold my head over a spoiled scrabble board. 

 

Feeling like I was about to give the game up on my sight I started panicking. Quietly. With the blurriness becoming progressively stronger I speedily sent my manager an email emphasising that my vision was weakening and that I needed to go to the opticians straight away. So sprinting into the store in an unshakeable panic I begged for an immediate eye test. My fear was less about my actual eye health to be honest and more about the condition of my brain. The earliest eye test to my dismay was to be a one hour wait. 

 

Advised to head to A&E if it got worse, I  instead chose to wait it out. Waiting out the time felt like a lifetime. Back to the opticians an hour later and I’m getting air shot into my eye and asked if I could read outloud a love letter that had been etched onto the back of a postage stamp. 

 

What were the results? 

 

Following an array of tests, I was put out of my misery as the optometrist declared that my eyes and corresponding vessels were all healthy. 

 

So what was causing the blurriness? And why was it only in one eye? 

 

The glasses. 😦

 

The bloody things which were meant to better my eyesight ironically played a crucial part in its deterioration. 

 

It’s because of the following explanation that I urge you to ensure that you get your eyes tested frequently and make sure your prescription is the most accurate  and updated one tailored for your sight. 

 

It starts with the fact that no two eyes are ever going to be the same strength, and for me my right eye is stronger than my left. So in theory I would need different lens strengths in my glasses, with each lens being specifically made for each eye. What happened in this situation was that this was not the case. Instead, the lens magnification which best suited my stronger right eye was placed into both the left and right eye section of the glasses. As a result my left eye was being put under constant strain every time I wore my glasses, to the point where the muscles were overworking so much it resulted in what felt like a remaining partial blindness in the left eye. 

 

Examples to describe giving the wrong glasses may be along the lines of:

 

-Giving chocolate to a dog. It poisons them. 

-Pouring salt on a slug. It does them no favours

-Giving someone a chocolate teapot. It’s useless. 

 

The bottom line is the glasses were not helping my eyes, they were hindering them, hence not fulfilling their purpose!

 

So Now I’m met with the choice of either not wearing glasses at all while I’m doing computer work or paying between £39 – £69 per pair (I have two pairs with these incorrectly fitted lenses). Do you think they should pay for the lens change? Or should I?

 

**This frightful momentary state of panic made me appreciate how complex we are as humans. It made me realise how important it is to look after yourself. We are human beings, made up of such complex biology. It’s astonishing how every cell in our bodies serves a purpose. And how easy it is for part of this harmony to be abruptly thrown out of sync.

 

Take care of yourself!

Poem – A Little Thing Called ‘Fear’

Writing

Fear,

The lovechild of stress and caution.

An unwelcome neighbour,

Making itself at home in your delusion.

It’s intentions  – unclear.

 

It picks it’s moments,

Most uncalled for.

Like lying in your bed and hearing the front door become ajar.

Or hearing your name whispered very softly from afar.

 

Fear,

It’s a teaseful breed.

Unlike lust and greed, for it, we have no need.

Or do we?

How Do I Get Over My Fear Of Public Speaking?!

Writing

If you’re only a few months into a job and your bosses bring you into a room and ask you if you’d like to do a presentation, do you honestly think you could say ‘no’ in that moment?

 

This was my exact predicament and now I’ve landed myself right in it. I’ve a presentation to do infront of 18 year olds who are potentially considering doing law at university/college and I’m having kittens about it! ‘Oh but they’re young therefore less intimidating’ you may think, I’m not that much older than them, I’m 24! Plus teenagers can be incredibly judgmental, so they’re gonna notice the bean stain on my shirt and my one grey hair before I’ve even finished my first sentence of the presentation no doubt. 

 

If I haven’t mentioned it before, I work for a TV  broadcasting company and with this comes alot of ‘compliance’ work to ensure songwriters and artists get their fair share of royalties for the music played on the broadcasted shows. Yes, I don’t blame you if you’re yawning by now, I really am too, but this stuff is important at the end of the day, it ensures the longevity of the music business for although you’ll always have people who will make music for the sheer passion of it, you do have those who need to make a living from it which is fair enough. So I think it’s a good thing to ensure copyright is enforced on people’s creative property to prevent theft and to give the creator credit.

 

Anyway enough of me going off on a tangent, how am I gonna present this info! If I can’t even keep your attention for very long how am I expected to keep teenagers?! Did I mention that I have to do it 3 times, back to back, 30 mins each! That’s it, I’m pulling a sicky! 😦

 

Just from the taster of music copyright above you can see that it’s quite a complicated topic to talk about, and lucky for me my knowledge barely skims the surface, so I’m pretty much f*cked it’s safe to say! One thing that does happen to me if I’m put on the spot and if I’m nervous is I go blank and of course if this info is hard to digest to begin with it looks like it’s gonna be a mime act from me next Thursday!

 

Oh wish me luck! I’m off to binge eat then write one whole sentence of the powerpoint presentation before watching netflix. 

Ghost Stories – Continued

Writing

So I’ve made it, with a sustained pulse so fast it almost flatlined and enough buckets of sweat to fill the oceans twiceover, it’s safe to say ‘Ghost Stories’ did it’s job of being terrifically terrifying last night at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith, London.

 

Not to give the plot away too much, but it basically follows the narrator on a journey through 3 individual ghost encounters, executing a jumpscare once every couple of minutes it felt like. It got me thinking, what causes us to ‘jump’ when we’re scared, surely the little skip in your seat wouldn’t serve you much of a purpose, or would it?

 

What Is A ‘Jumpscare’

 

A  technique bringing about an abrupt change in audio or image in order to frighten the audience.

 

What Happens When We Are Scared By A Jumpscare:

 

The sudden change of stimulus causes a series of chemical reactions in the brain to facilitate the ‘fight or flight’ mode. Specifically a part of the brain called the ‘hypothalamus’ activates two systems in the body which prep you for that survival instinct on whether to run for the hills or fight it out. These are the 1)sympathetic nervous system and 2) the adrenal cortical system.These systems work to transfer stress hormones throughout the body to cause the symptoms we know of including an increased heart rate, tense muscles and dilated pupils. Increased heart rate = more blood can flow to the muscles energising them to run or fight and to the brain for quickfire decision making in the face of danger. Muscles tense energized by glucose and adrenaline. Dilated pupils allow as much light in as possible so the perceived threat can be seen clearly.

 

So now that you know a little about what happens inside of you when you’re scared, will any of the below trigger the physiological effects above in you?

 

 

Courtesy of Bros Top 11 (not my material)

 

Did it work on you? If not, would you pay money with the intention of getting scared out of your mind like I did?

 

Developing & Losing Fears

Writing

I never use to be afraid of flying but as I prepare to fly home to Northern Ireland for Christmas, suddenly the meat sweats start materializing all over my body and I gulp that little bit harder.

To me, it’s just something about being trapped in a tiny little tube 30,000ft up in the clouds with nowhere to go but physically downwards which gets me all clammy all over. But the weird thing is I never use to be this way.

They say alot of fears are formed through triggers, bad experiences in the past which you now associate with the thing you fear now. I think back in my memory bank to a possible time when I lost my faith in aviation, flashbacks ranging from mucky microwave meals onflight to screaming babies ring a bell but surely neither of these would result in me clamping onto the Easyjet seat for dear life.

My brow furrows some more as I go further back in time, I’ve got it. It was the time of the storm. Heading back to university in Bristol, UK,  on a miserable January evening, it was dark, windy, kind of like that scene out of one of the  final destination movies. No sooner were we up in the air than did the plane decide to embody all things rollercoaster, or shall I say fighter pilot. One second the metal tube was shaking like a frostbitten child the next it was plummeting like an Olympic diver. I thought it was the end.

Women were screaming, babies were crying, I swear one old man had a heart attack. Let’s just say you know sh*t hits the fan when the trolley dolly falls into the empty seat beside you while knocking over the hot coffee on the cart in the process. She sprinted to her seat so fast after that, she would’ve made Usain Bolt look like a tortoise, believe me.

The plane continued to wreak havoc on its inhabitants for what felt like a lifetime but must’ve only been the WHOLE damn journey, totalling 50 mins! I almost had to seek counselling after the event.

So there you have it, I’ve developed a fear, like allergies, they can be developed, and like allergies they can be lost. So I’ll make it a goal to lose the fear and become fond of flying once again.

What’s your biggest fear?

 

 

Are We Trapped As A Society To Work For Money And Not Passion?

Writing

Are we trapped as a society to work for money and not passion? For status and not enjoyment?

“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius.

But this is exactly my point, do we really have a choice?

My short answer, in my opinion, is yes we do. But I didn’t always think this way, and here’s why.

Childhood

Life as a child is so short and so blissful. Children are full of innocence and curiosity for the world surrounding them. I remember days when making sure I ate all of my lunch and coloured in the full picture of a tiger were my biggest concerns. Fast forward 10 years and I’m 15, choosing my subjects for my first set of career decision making exams, which in the UK are called – GCSE’s.

It was at this stage that I realised that freedom was slipping out of my grasp, with my career’s teacher pining in my ear about how unemployable I’ll be without choosing a Science careerpath and with an older brother naturally adept for Bunsen burner lighting and nitrogen peroxide creating I figured I had to follow suit.

If you would’ve asked me what I truly wanted to be at 15, I may have had no clue. But would that have been necessarily wrong? I think back fondly and daydream about choosing to be a dancer or linguist but it makes me a little annoyed so I don’t do it often. I don’t mean to sound bitter towards an institutionalised system, I can’t blame them wholeheartedly for the decisions I made afterall. But there is something that has to be said for the influence of a teacher at these crucial stages of a child’s career choices. I remember a friend of mine, despite wanting to then be a doctor deciding not to choose biology because the teacher she had was incredibly rude to her. So already at a tender age, the schooling system has us in a choke-hold for what it means to be successful and for what it means to be socially squeezed out of a careerpath you may at one stage desired so greatly.

As I moved through the education system my subject were filtered evermoreso until I reached the point of finishing my grammar school at age 17 with 3 science subjects. At this stage it can be argued that regardless of the subjects I now had, I could go and be that dancer if I wanted to, sure, I could. But the linguist? My point being , I already chosen my fate. Out of passion, NO. But instead, out of fear. I’m not trying to put down science – I will always have an interest in it but just not as a full time career. Nor am I wholeheartedly putting blame on anyone else for my career choices, although I feel as a child, growing up, you are highly influenced by the adults around you. Adults of which, in my case, made me fear the idea of not being employed without a ‘respectable degree’.

I feel there is no better example where it is the stick over the carrot than in career choices for alot of us. “Oh it’s fine, it’s not what I love but it pays the bills.” We try to convince ourselves in the precious time left outside of the 9-5pm haul that we can make up for lost time by enjoying this period to the max. With the money we earn. This is where I wonder is money the carrot or the stick? More money  more enjoyment or more money = more pressure?

I truly feel if money didn’t exist and we all pursued a career we were truly passionate about then productivity and performance levels would surpass the imaginable.

Is money the motivator in your career choices? Do you believe career choices for the majority are driven by fear (unemployment, status, quality of life) over passion?