The Great Indoors

Writing

As you down your vitamin D tablets like the sun-loving junkie that you are, perhaps with the other hand you could do something  a little bit more pleasurable (not like that), during these unprecedented times we find ourselves in.

Below, from the fluffy fun depths of my mind, I share with you just some of the activities I had originally planned to do in prison (once they find the body *wink wink)  but thought they could be put to use now, don’t you think?

Yoga

If you happen to have a random yoga mat stowed in your back bedroom since stealing it from a previous workplace, then indulge yourself in a bit of downward dog. If you don’t have the luxury of ‘permanently borrowing’ one then bite the bullet and bruise your hips against your cold wooden floor. Your hamstrings and peace of mind with thank you later even in your pelvic bones do not.

Benefits: increased flexibility, protection from injury (not guaranteed) and stress-relief

 

Spring Cleaning

Not one of my favourite activities I must admit but nonetheless essential these days, given that my present  hibernation antics have led to a state of being that would make a chronic hoarder look like a neat-freak, trust me.  A bit of useless dusting here, a spot of polishing there, all utterly pointless but do them anyway as you’ll ultimately feel much more proud of your dismal dismal cesspit, I can assure you.

 

Benefits: reduces allergies, fosters calmness and boosts your mood

 

Get Artsy

Get artsy not arsey by channeling that inner 8-year old who I’m sure you struggle to contain during your weekly exorcisms anyway. Crack open the colouring book and crayons and create a multi-million dollar masterpiece otherwise known as a unanimous mess that not even your blind mother would be proud of.  If you aren’t a fan of drawing then there’s always pottery, watercolours, glass-blowing and knitting available to tickle your pickle. Me, personally, I always resort to everyone’s old favourite – finger painting.

 

Benefits: your work gives others a laugh, inspires critical – thinking and improves coordination and motors skills

 

Movie Marathons 

Every film is like inception to me , I don’t have a clue what’s going on. But I’m sure in your case you love a bit of Jaws, Shawshank Redemption and Saving Private Ryan all rolled into one sitting. And for this very reason there is no better time to heat up the poppedy pop-corn than the present, am I right?

Benefits: encourages emotional release, problem solving and is actually a light workout

 

I hope you aren’t climbing your walls too much, in negative situations there can sometimes be a positive. Perhaps one of the above has encouraged you to see opportunity in a space you may not have seen it before.

 

Stay safe, stay inside. Hopefully this will all be over soon.

Being Called A C*nt By A Stranger

Writing

It’s not everyday that you can indulge in the luxury of having off-the-cuff profanities spat at you on a public street whilst on your daily commute home from work.

So given that exactly this unfolded this very evening makes me really want to count my lucky stars and thank God for all of the socially defunct individuals who scuttle through our streets, waiting to pounce unannounced on the unprepared passerby a.k.a. moi.

No matter who you are or where you are, rest assured, an ill-mannered, pale and stale son of a b*tch will force their way into your life if only for a moment to p*ss on your parade. What kind of world do we live in where you can’t even walk down a residential street without being told you’re a c*nt by a stranger? Cat calls are bad enough but to say something so vulgar such as the C-word is a total disrespect and disregard for me as a human being.

If the world p*sses you off, don’t take it out on me. Mental-illness gets a bypass, but if you are not mentally-ill and instead you are someone who quite bluntly gets a kick out of straight-up verbally insulting someone you know nothing about then  you’re someone we should feel sorry for. For your life must be in a seriously dire state for you to be so cruel.

As the hooded man in his late-thirties stared into my soul while simultaneously slating it as he spewed the expletive with such conviction, I felt a tremor of shock ripple through my body. I turned my head to ensure he wasn’t going to step up his verbal assault with a physical one.

I stopped momentarily, struck by confusion as to why someone who doesn’t know me felt so compelled to say such a thing. As I watched him fade into the darkness of the Winter evening, my thoughts of confusion followed and faded alongside him too. In exchange came one clear intrinsic thought – ‘why be an enemy to yourself when you have plenty of enemies in this world’, not to say that every stranger I encounter is an enemy but moreso it’s this idea that we are all so hard on ourselves. We can be our own worst enemies, we look at self-love as something which is either mushy or big-headed. But those who see it in these lights fail to understand the true meaning of love. Perhaps love means different things to different people, to me it is an unconditional kindness and care for someone/something. Absent of harm, and full of compassion. It’s funny how we can apply all of these to another human being yet can struggle so much to apply them to ourselves. I am notoriously hard on myself, and I’m sure there has been times in your life where you have been so too. When you reflect on the ‘stick over carrot’ model this, do you think it has led to better or worse outcomes? Better or worse moods?

Perhaps I really should be thankful for the stranger who called me the c-word. For he made me realise that self-love is more important than I may have believed previously. I’m not saying that we need to put our guards up to strangers and repeat affirmation after affirmation to ourselves in the bathroom mirror before blowing ourselves a big kiss each morning. But I do believe if we were to even pause for a moment each day and reflect on how we are feeling, how well we are looking after ourselves then really all of us would be in a better place. Maybe even the man who swore at me today, he needs some self-reflection! Some self-care.

I hope you aren’t too hard on yourself, and if you are then don’t be! Because someone may just call you a c*nt for being so!

 

neon signage

Photo by Ivan Bertolazzi on Pexels.com

Are You Poorer Than Me?

Writing

I’m so sick of being poor. Yes I may have a roof over my head and food in my fridge but when you can’t decorate your rooms or make meals beyond tins of soup and sweetcorn then what’s the point? I might aswell be living in The Amazon, atleast then I’ll avoid the council tax and eyewateringly long queues at the supermarket checkout. 

 

Yes I may be whinging about a first world problem but I believe this is a key reason for my upheaval in the first place. If I did infact live in a tribe in a forest then I wouldn’t know what I’m missing necessarily. How can I miss the sight of some dope dealer sporting the latest balenciaga’s, or the gluttonous geezer buying the ‘extra special’ range in Sainsbury’s when I wouldn’t have the foggiest what either two of these concepts were? You can’t miss what you’ve never witnessed I guess. I would be comfortable and content with my relationships and my tribal lifestyle. 

 

Perhaps that’s just it, in the society I live in, less emphasis is placed on the value of social relationships, instead these are sidelined for the stars of this farcical pantomime I call life – materialism and capitalism. The terrible twins. They are the children you grimace at and purposely attempt to swap at birth, only to find them crawling and clambering their way into your back pocket as you exit the hospital. 

 

My experience living in London has made me reevaluate my perspectives on numerous things, none moreso that the value I myself place on money. Putting it short and sweetly, I now understand why some people may force themselves to do things others may deem shameful. For example, we can all hold our heads high, point our noses in the air, as we scoff at the single mum shaking what God (or her surgeon)  gave her in a strip club. But you put yourself in her 6 inch stilettos for merely a second and maybe then you would begin to empathise and understand that she may have a young mouth to feed on her own. Why? Because the dad walked out as soon as he found out she was pregnant. And let’s face it city ‘living wages’ need to be rephrased as city ‘suffocating wages’. Unless you are in the finance sector or as old as time itself then I’m afraid for the rest of us, youth and inexperience comes as a pretty big financial burden. 

 

I ask myself – why did I move to this city? A question which is becoming worryingly frequent. I’m from a small town in the middle of Northern Ireland, the rent I pay in London could have me living in two places twice the size back in a rural setting, so why am I here? 

 

The old line of ‘there’s loads more opportunities’ is becoming undone, fraying and feeling further from reality. Yes, there may technically be more ‘opportunities’ but let’s face it, no one’s going to throw me a wad of £50’s to take up the opportunity to soak up a West End show, or meetings with top CEOs. Unless ofcourse I turn to sugarbabying, which is a completely different can of worms I wish not open in this moment. 

 

Today, I’m feeling sorry for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who wards away threatening voices in their mind’s eye, tempting them to smash open their piggy bank into a million little pieces, only to find not much more than a hundred little pennies in the remnants of Mr piggy’s once round stomach. Financial hardship makes itself known to all of us at some stage in our lives, I have no doubt, but I say it has outstayed its welcome. So my question now is, how do I kick them out?

Rid them from my minimalist overpriced matchbox flat, where the walls lay bare out of fear that I may maim it’s clinical appearance with so much as a smudge of a marker, or stain from a sticker. Landlords in cities like London make Sherlock Holmes look like a babbling unobservant buffoon when it comes to hunting down the most miniscule of marks on a tenants leaving day, wouldn’t you agree?

 

And with this thought lingering I wonder whether I should indeed make myself scarce of it’s confinements, escaping the financial restrictions once and for all and bid this city goodbye. 

Rejection – Don’t Fear It (Too Much)

Writing

“Rejection” 

 

A word soaked in stigma, in negative connotations, but do we have to be so damning to a term which in some respects, paradoxically takes ownership for so many of our successes?

 

It’s a stinging word, bringing with it an overcast of self-doubt and worthlessness. As Steve Harvey said  – “success is about being comfortable with being uncomfortable”, it’s undeniable how discomforting and belittling rejection can be to us. But is it true, can we really have success without first facing rejection? Can we really appreciate the sweetness that is success if we haven’t yet experienced the sourest of rejections?

Overall, is being turned down in the moment really as bad as we think, or is it the kickstarter to our successes to come? 

First, let’s take a look at some of history’s most memorable dismissals:

  • Walt Disney was fired from the newspaper ‘Kansas City Star’ for lacking ‘imagination’.
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired as an evening news reporter in her early days, for being unable to resist forming an emotional attachment to her stories she reported on.
  • Megastar singer Lady Gaga, once she was finally signed onto a major record label, was dropped only three months after being signed. 
  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Not that I’m going to be the next Michael Jordan anytime soon, but I myself have been all too familiar with that stomach dropping feeling of rejection .Particularly when it comes to jobhunting. If  I started counting up the number of job applications I’ve received an automated ‘no’ email from to this date, they’d have to create a concept greater than infinity for me, I can’t lie to you. 

From work to love and everything inbetween, it seems rejection is friendly company to this thing we call ‘life’.

So if it can greet us in varying forms can it also show itself as a range of intensities?

Does a decline sting us more when linked to something we are heavily invested in? If your crush at school declines your advances, is this a tougher pill to swallow than if the village idiot did so?

If you’ve studied and worked your ass off for 3 years to get a promotion on route to your dream role, will a redlight on the careerpath derail you moreso than a rejection email for a role you’ve never even heard of?

Ofcourse it would, I think the bottomline is that none of us can hand on heart say that rejection has a nice ring to it, infact we at times go as far to say that we go out of our ways to avoid it as much as possible. But perhaps that is the real downfall of it all. By trying to reject rejection are we really infact doing ourselves more harm than good?

To try and understand this, let’s take a look at the reasons why us humans dislike rejection:

  • Physical and emotional pathways of the brain – studies have shown that the same areas of the brain are activated when we experience physical pain as when we feel rejection. So heartbreak really is a thing!
  • Blame the ancestors – as social creatures you can imagine that from a survival perspective, being ostracised from a clan has a high chance of meaning a struggle to survive and potentially even death.  Evolutionary psychologists have theorised that the human brain developed an early warning system to alert us when we were at risk of being outcasted. Perhaps this explains why I always bribe people with chocolate or smother them with chloroform if given any sudden inclination of their attempt to exile me.
  • Rejection swells aggression and anger – a report stated that  rejection was a greater risk for adolescent violence than drugs, poverty, or gang membership. Exclusion is a major factor being considered for rising knife crime in London at the moment. If people don’t feel accepted then they rebel. 

But with these negative impacts in mind, can there really be any supporting evidence for saying that rejection isn’t solely a bad thing?

  • Rejection could lead to greater levels of creativity – a Johns Hopkins university study alluded to the idea that although as humans we yearn for a sense of togetherness, a sense of belonging, it appears that some of us yearn for this less than others, and some more than others. Hence those who take a more independent path may actually find rejection from a certain social group a source of validation that they are not like others, this unconventional personality type could lead to greater creativity. Now, I’m not saying that we should all become loners and be ok with it, and in the process of doing so  we’ll become the next Picasso, all I’m saying is…..read the study!
  • Rejection gives you a chance to reset, refocus and have less regrets – The American Psychological Association shares that individuals who hold onto unresolved regrets exhibit more depressive symptoms than those who let it go. In my own experience the feeling of rejection is honestly easier to take than ‘if only I had done this…..’. 

Personally, I see rejection as a temporary sting that’s accompanied by alot of learning if you are open to the lesson in each experience.

If you can take rejection then it means you can take risks, if you can take risks then it means you will  increase your chances of being rejected more times. But guess what, it also means you will increase your chances of learning something from that ‘no’ and so increase your chances of getting that ‘yes’. The more chances you take the more likely you are to hit the jackpot. Think of the lottery! 

I feel like we hold more power to the act of rejection than we should. Life doesn’t fall apart on the bad luck of a lottery ticket, we don’t decide to declothe in the moment, crawl into a little ball and rock ourselves back and forth in our living rooms (that kind of activity is saved exclusively for Saturday nights), importantly we may even try and win the lottery a fortnight after again. And in this process of being rejected you have learnt an important quality of your character – your perseverance.

We ‘assume’ that the world around us will come crashing down if and when we are rejected. And for this reason a lot of us aren’t functioning at our highest potential. We aren’t taking the risks we have the opportunity to take and so we aren’t living to our full potential. As important as our primitive brains have been in our struggle for survival, in this day and age, the mind can sometimes be the matter. Don’t let rejection stop you from reaching your full potential. 

 

So to you I say – when are you going to be rejected next?

Poem: Rejection

Writing

Stinging like the barb of a hornet,

Heckles on my neck, shocked, stand upright.

I’m in disbelief.

 

Stormy skies swirl above me,

My mind, clouded with an overcast of doubt.

Why didn’t they just pick me?

 

I thought I was good enough,

But what good is water if absent in a drought?

 

Is this pain permanent or temporary?

Do I have what it takes to succeed?

Or is it time to remove my mask?

 

Rejection  – such a daunting thing,

Making a mouse of a man in any task. 

 

But can it make a man out of me?

Poem: Stress

Writing

An advantage or a hindrance?

The Goldilocks analogy, 

Too much – and you can’t handle it.

Too little – and you’re indifferent.

 

Your blood, now laced with cortisol,

Your mind is always racing,

Synapses twitch like rabbits nostrils,

Your patience is fast erasing.

 

What can you do to make it stop?

You internally ask yourself?

Yet there is nothing you can do,

No saviour, resolve or help

 

For stress is not the real enemy here,

Moreso the mind it occupies. 

Change your perspective of how stress appears.

Then perhaps you’ll have alot to realise.

And So It BEGINS

Writing

They say as one door abruptly closes another is but slightly ajar, waiting for you to unwelcomingly force your way through it. 

 

Atleast this is how it feels when it comes to the jobhunt for me. 

 

Coined the ‘portfolio generation’, I ask myself, is there really anything wrong with having more jobs than I’ve had hot meals? The sane amongst us may think yes, but who really aims to be prudent with their short time on this planet anyway?

 

Off I go again, diving into the deep dark murky depths of the unknown. More sweaty handshakes and shaky throats await me in the not too distant future. That is ofcourse if I even manage to muster up the might to make an application. And even then if luck would have it, I be summoned for a session of scrutiny before the inevitable ‘no, you’re sh*te’ is sugarcoated in the all too familiar automated rejection email. 

 

With the thrill of opening my monthly jobseeker’s allowance packet ripe in my mind, I thought there’s no better way to keep the humiliation going than with a few common blunders that others have experienced on their quest to sell their soul to the rat race:

 

Resume/CV Mishaps

 

  • Candidate stated the ability to persuade people sexually using her words.
  • Candidate wrote résumé as a play – Act 1, Act 2, etc.
  • Candidate wrote “2001 summer Voluntary work for taking care of the elderly and vegetable people”
  • Candidate wrote “I’m intrested to here more about that. I’m working today in a furniture factory as a drawer”
  • Candidate included family medical history.
  • Skills: “I have integrity so I will not steal office supplies and take them home.”

Source job mob

 

Job Interview Mistakes

1)Interviewer: What’s your greatest weakness?

Candidate: Women. That’s kind of why I’m looking for a new job. I had an affair         with my boss’s wife.

2) Interviewer: What makes you think you’re right for a job? (McDonalds – burger flipper). 

Candidate: Well, I’m great with animals.

3) “I had a video interview for a very large company. The computer would ask a question and record your answer to send to management.

You had 30 seconds, no more no less, to answer the question.

For one question, I ran out of things to talk about so I decided to stand really still and not blink for 15 seconds to make it look like the video froze…

4) While I thought I wrote “I can hardly contain my excitement about the possibility of working with your organisation,” auto-correct changed “excitement” to “excrement.”

Source Coburg

 

*I hope you haven’t made too many blunders on your career quest!

I’m Done….

Writing

If sweating out of every orifice in your entire being is your cup of tea then you should’ve joined me in my gallivanting across the city of London with what could’ve only been described as the weight of a life-sized 10 year old on my back in the form of a gym bag and a suitcase-come bodybag with actual human weight included! Yes stunting my growth wasn’t just a choice I made in the 30 degree heat over the weekend, it was an experience which almost had me in a vegetative state by midday. Having your skeleton permanently positioned into the shape of the letter ‘C’ I’m sure has its advantages but why did this past weekend have to be my moment of awakening to this?

 

If I can momentarily pause from speaking in cryptic code (I’ve been watching alot of Sherlock Holmes these passed to days, thanks to my bed-ridden state), and indulge you in as to why I have found myself in such a mess. The reason behind my misfortune was thanks to ‘moving homes’. I move more than nomads. 4 times in 2 years, is that alot? I get bored easily.

 

If you’ve been following any of my perils this past month you will have found yourself on my bandwagon with a one stop tour of poppycock, peasantry and pettiness just as August comes to  close. From living on £30 over two weeks here in the UK’s capital, to despising the whole world and its dog on public transport, you can really tell that I want you to come to this city and have as fulfilling a time as I.

 

So just before I roll out of bed to crawl to the pissy pot in the corner of my darkened cluttered room I thought I’d keep you updated on my ‘goings ons’. 

 

Hope your life isn’t as shite as mine. 

 

 

City life

Writing

Like mice,

Trapped in the rat race.

A maze made for manipulation.

Man against man, race against race. 

 

A breath.

Of fresh air at dawn.

As futile as asking the sun to,

Rise at dusk and set in the morn.

 

Private,

A word less chosen.

Only by those of land un-citied.

Cities keep the term unspoken.

Week 1 – The Menu of A Moron

Writing

So if you’ve been anticipating this update based on the post  I made a few days ago, let’s just take a moment to celebrate that week 1 is almost up, on a scale of 1 – 10 (full to the gills) – (about to turn cannibal) my hunger level is a solid 9.987. If you’ve ever been in this position you’ll know it’s at this stage where you realise things have taken a sudden turn for the worst. When you’re sitting at your desk at work and your stomach is squealing like a pig about to be brought to slaughter. When fellow workmates start looking like personified everyday food items and when you start Googling ‘ways to fill yourself up with air alone?’ And ‘how to copy that Jesus fellow and make that picnic with the fish, bread and wine?’ . 

 

Yes hallucinations and hunger-driven questions are just the tip of my iceberg of misery as I scraped together the pennies to see me through this fortnight. You’ve heard about my public transport shenanigans to save costs. Now let me open your eyes and your mouth to the world of  eating sh*te (trust me, what I made this week I’ve no doubt tastes worse than eating real sh*te (not like I’d no first hand or anything but…..let’s just move on))!

 

If you want recipes which are bordering on inhumane then keep reading:

 

Day one was as filling as it got, with out of date eggs and bread (the cheap white kind that embodies cardboard when toasted) for breakfast.

 

Lunchtime made for a real treat with a baked potato that was indecisive as to whether it wanted to be poisonous or not, it had that green like hue which makes a person with half a brain cell lob it as far from their being as possible so to not ingest it as I did. I cut off the sprouting parts and slathered it in a slab of butter. That really elevated the dish, I must say. 

 

Dinnertime was the other greenish potato, because one a day of those things just isn’t enough.

 

Days 2 and 3 pretty much mirrored each other, unwilling to stomach another expired egg I instead chose to try and choke myself to death on a nibble of some Ryvita biscuits. Absolute deathtraps they are. Coupled with some trail mix, and this combo made for a coughing fit at 9.30am in the office for two consecutive mornings much to the enjoyment of my coworkers.

 

Lunch – I resorted to boiled rice, sweet chilli sauce and a generous scattering of onions for a treat. This  became dinner also as I struggled to east more than a measly few mouthfuls at 1pm that day.

 

Day 4 I figured I can’t take another wholegrain husk, I’ll have to for the first time this week stick my hand very deeply into my pocket for a few coins to spare on cereal. And in doing so made the whole breakfast experience somewhat more pleasant for the remainder of the week. 

 

That was ofcourse the plan if I didn’t feel like I was the host to an unwanted tapeworm. I fearfully theorise that this parasitic pest has perversely made  itself comfortable within the lining of my little intestine. Because the level of hunger I feel some days knows no bounds. Surely it’s a tapeworm, or else I’ve ate my twin in the womb who’s now doing jumping jacks in my duodenum.

 

So with cereal not quite pacifying my aggressive enfamishment, and being now £1.25 down I had to resort to desperate measures. Yes, for lunch it was time to bring out the pasta no sauce recipe. A real one for any bargain hunter out there, simply boil some spaghetti that you find in the back left of your kitchen cupboard under the tin of beans. Boil that, in some salt water, and sprinkle with pepper to serve. You’ll be crying yourself to sleep for weeks after a bowl of this trust me. Lunchtimes for day 4 was truly one of the highlights.

 

Dinner for Day 4 – my saving grace, beans on cardboard  toast.

 

Day 5 –  run of the mill cereal first thing in the morning.

 

Lunch was whatever was in the kid’s lunchbox sitting in the seat infront of me on the bus to work. Kidding, lunch was soup that looked like the declogging of a dishwasher. It was begging for another go in the blender I’ll say that much. 

 

Dinner – Nothing, I went to sleep early to try and preserve energy. 

 

After this week’s ‘meals’, if you can call them that, I truly fear for what lies ahead in week 2. Pray for me.

 

I thought I’d be feeling like this by the end of the week:

4AkiO

When actually je suis:

Just throw me in the damn spaghetti water Peter, willl you!!

voldi

The 24th of August couldn’t come any slower!!!!

I Hate Public Transport With A Passion

Writing

If you’ve happened to be following my journey on the misery train so far, you’ll know that my belief firmly holds – trying to live in London for two weeks on £30 will make climbing Mt. Everest look like a walk in the park in comparison.

 

My hands are already physically shaking as I type due to my inner yearning for anything sucrose, glucose or dextrose based before I become comatosed by the end of this post.

 

So before I’m induced into a diabetic coma, I just thought I’d update you on day 3 as I don’t know if they’ll still let me write from my prison cell once I’m taken in for stealing a loaf of wholemeal from my local Saino’s. Either that or I’ll be lying under a park bench looking like the voldemort baby I presented to you in the other post. So with that being said, I better pull my fingerS out and start typing just that little bit faster.

 

Ayway, where was I? Oh, yes, I was about to break into a song and dance about how much I deteste everything and anything to do with public transport. Speciifally the red buses here in London, as I’m too poor to use the tube I’m forced to sit reluctantly on the slow-coach bus. With the simple learning lesson being ‘money really can buy you happiness’. If the last 3 days have shown me anything, it’s shown me that my level of hatred is a bottomless pit. Yes, just when I thought I couldn’t despise something anymore, I come to the stark realisation that my hatred has a basement.

 

Let me tell you for why:

 

 

1) Buses are magnets for the people you cross the street (3 times) to avoid

 

Just when I thought the tube had the biggest share of the wannabee murders, rapists and tax evaders, the red buses of the city of London quash this idea in a heartbeat. Honestly I  would quite willingly hang off of the roof of the double decker by my hair than sit next to another person simultaneously, grinding their teeth and frothing at the mouth from their morning dose of listerine all while indulging in a sing-along of the old favourite ‘Kumbayah My Lord’ whilst rocking back and forth hugging their knees to their chest. (And there’s me thinking men can’t multitask).

 

2) The Loudly Obnoxious & The Obnoxiously Loud Phone Callers

I don’t care what you’re having for tea, that your boyfriend dumped you for your sister, that your gerbil croaked it (ok maybe this one). I don’t care, and neither does any of the other psycho passengers on  the bus. So why then do you feel the need to tell us all about your boring life at the top of your wheezy lungs? And while you’re doing that at the front of the bus we have your second cousin in the back trying to shout above your shouting on the phone, yelling to us all ‘thank Jesus that I’m a good person, no one else matters only me’. Seriously the amount of people I hear gloating and boasting about their delusioned sense of self is truly sickening. I thought this country had a problem with depression not self obsession?! Perhaps the 2 really are linked. I don’t care if you think you’re God’s gift, you certainly aren’t mine so clear off!

 

3) Petty Thieves

Why should I work my ass off all day in a 9 to 5 for some thug to hop on the bus without swiping his oyster, contactless or donating a kidney at the very least? Point being, time and time again I see these thieves jumping on the bus not paying, instead heading straight up to the top deck and not being stopped or questioned by the bus driver once? Seriously why should I pay for them to have a seat on the bus? They aren’t paying my rent, bills or travel, so why should I cough up on theirs? If I still have the moral decency to pay when I have literally nothing left at this stage, why can they not pay the fare when they are almost certainly not in as dire a place as I at this moment in time?

 

Ok,  I need to stop now, I’m getting heart palpitations. Let the story continue another night.

Poetry: Success

Writing

The sweet scent of success,

If only it lingered just that little bit longer.

If only it tasted just that little bit stronger.

 

Is success a waiting game,

Or a game of chase?

Should I give it my all,

Or should I accept my fate?

 

Success.

The word on the tips of all of our tongues.

Yet what it actually means,

Is anyone’s guess,

So has yours ended or begun?

I Finally Did It!

Writing

If you’ve been following my quarrels and qualms in my quest to find a new humble abode here, then it may come as a surprise to both you and I that I have done the impossible and actually managed to find a place to live come September this year!

 

But before I bathe in blissful sunlight with a sigh of relief, let me remind you of the moment when I was wallowing in petty self-pity. It was the moment an estate agent tried to do me wrong! Nothing new there, you might say! It was several days ago, I had viewed a property that I’d quite liked the look of, I put in an offer literally the same day. Having heard absolutely nothing for the next two I then decided to ring up the letting agents, to which the blandest voice on the other side of the phone whispered ‘it’s been taken. But if you want you can put in an offer to the landlord.’’Ok, um …what offer did the other bidders put in’. I asked, to which he replied ‘I can’t tell you that information, just that it was higher than yours’. Well no shit Sherlock! I placed an offer higher than my original price out of pure desperation, then I hung up the phone and began sobbing in the toilets at work. Ok so maybe not sobbing but I definitely paced back and forth like a lunatic who badly needed to use the toilet but couldn’t decide which empty cubicle to use. After 5 minutes of pensive pondering I then flushed one of the loo’s randomly (and washed my hands ofcourse), and this was when I had my eureka moment. The estate agent was lying! He just said there’s been a higher offer so that I would push mine up in order for him to make  higher commission!!! 

 

This thought stuck in my mind like minty gum to the underside of a school desk, Mr Bland has tried to steal my money I internalised! I later got an email from him saying that the place was taken, that there was nothing more I could do, my offer wasn’t high enough and that was that! Not taking no for an answer, I proceeded to send him emails as a paper trail, asking for proof of the offer, one thing he did say was that this ‘higher’ offer was made on Friday, I viewed the property on Saturday so why would you show others around a property which has had an offer on it way above the original asking price? Anyway, his answers via email were more than lacklustre so I decided to take the detective measures into my own hands. Goodbye Natasha, hello Charlie! Charlie my other self, makes the odd appearance when I’m doing a bit of undercover work i.e. like when I’m sending emails to dodgy estate agents asking them if a property is still on the market! Charlie was able to get a ‘yes’ from Mr. Bland, yet Natasha somehow got a ‘no’. Conclusion – someone’s been lying! Finding this out made me even more angry but then it hit me, would I really want to have dealings with a lettings agency who lies to people like this just to line their own pockets? The short answer is ‘no’. And with that I gave up on that place I liked the look of and about a week later found, in my opinion, a place twice as good as it, for just that little bit more money. I guess the saying ‘you get what you pay for’ really does ring home in this instance.

 

Speaking of money,  because I was so desperate to get the place, I put down a holding deposit immediately to take it off the market, and now I’m broke af. 

 

Yes, I have a home, and now a new challenge arises! Survive 2 weeks in London on £30 in total! I’m not even joking this is all I have left until payday on the 24th of July. I just picture myself ending up like Voldemort baby in Harry Potter by the end of this week,nevermind the end of next. Either way, it will most certainly be the end of me! I will definitely let you know how this goes!

 

Le Moi:

4AkiO

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. 

B*tch Stole My Work

Writing

“It’s fine though, I changed the font so it’s mine now”. 

 

What would be worse, pitching article ideas  to a magazine company only to have them reject you and for you later to find out that they’ve posted pieces online which obviously spawned from your very original idea? 

Or having the magazine agree to commission you, you spend weeks perfecting the piece, only to find that once it is published your name is nowhere to be seen, yet instead it says something along the lines of ‘written by author of ‘X’ magazine team’?Your name is not listed, just the term author, or worse the commissioning editor’s name as the author. This has happened to me. 

To me both are appalling but the second is saddeningly worse. To not credit the creator of the work be it writing, artwork or any other medium is not just morally wrong it is illegal. 

 

It’s saddening to think that there are people out there who would quite happily take my articles and not credit me on them. 

This kind of thing makes me not want to pitch my ideas to people. Has this ever happened to you, how do you or how  would you deal with it?

 

Because once you realise they’ve not credited you correctly you then have to sum up whether you want to confront them on this or just accept the unfairness. If they are a large magazine company do you really want to bring this conversation to the doorstep, will this block you from writing for them again? But then again as it stands without your name on the article it looks like you never have written for them  anyway, so you might aswell fight your corner I guess. 

 

Apologies for the rant, I think I’m just sick of the above happening to me. And wondered if I’m not alone with this?

Mood Swings

Writing

I now totally get where the saying ‘you’ve got up on the wrong side of bed this morning’ comes from, by doing just that this morning. Waking up today made me feel like climbing up Mt Everest would’ve been easier. No sooner had I stood up that I had realised both of my hamstrings were pulled. Did I do some heavy lifting the day before? Some midnight yoga I can’t remember? No, no I realised what it was. It was cleaning.

 

This is why cleaning and I don’t go well together. Brushing the wooden floors of my flat (as I seldom do) left me a pulled hamstring in each leg, how sad is that? From which concludes two things, 1) I don’t use my hamstrings enough – I’m unfit 2) I don’t tidy enough.

 

Anyhow dragging my hamstring-pulled body to work, I thought the worst of today’s troubles are surely behind me. Yet, as hindsight would tell me, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. 

 

Sitting at my desk in the office, I could just about open my eyes, which weren’t too dissimilar to that of a weeping pregnant turtle giving birth on a golden coastline. So jarring was the sight of the computer screen, that I immediately adjusted the brightness to basically pitch black on my monitor. In my logic I’d much rather squint to see the words than have my retinas bleached to high heavens.

 

Finally,  I wake up, and just in time for the world’s most annoying typist to start hammering the keyboard like she’s playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole’, the worst thing is that she’s not even typing emails or any general document to do with work. She’s whatsapping her boyfriend of 5 years! The shame! Loud typers are definitely one of my pet peeves, after of course that annoying little noise some people make after yawning, and open mouth chewing!

 

Fearing I was about to have an assault case on my hands, I scarpered off to the bathroom to try and compose myself, visually playing through different scenarios in my head until I reached the one which was least likely to convey my psychopathic tendencies. So screaming in her face and throwing her keyboard out of the window had to be subdued for the time being, much to my dismay, I can assure you. 

 

I return to my desk with a new plan devised, in the hope it would pacify me as she continued with her goal of turning her fingers to stubs from typing so f*cking frantically. Maybe a bit of Reggaeton music, asmr and the odd Ted Talk will drown her out I mull over in my mind. 

 

10 minutes in to ‘why sleep is your superpower’  and I hear this hacking noise, moments later whooping then gulping. Is someone strangling the keyboard thumper? No, (unfortunately) not, it’s just the guy sitting directly behind me deciding to imitate the neighbours cat churning up hairballs like there’s no tomorrow. I think it’s a nervous thing with this guy, yeah, I can tell you he definitely gets on my nerves at this stage. If you need to clear your throat do it in one almighty lung clear, don’t dabble with the idea and draw the cough out over several mini mucusy soundbites. If you do choose the latter option then please hacking don’t make a habit of it. I swear this guy coughs more than he breathes. Perhaps that’s why he’s coughing so bloody much!

 

I realise I’m going on a mini rant, it’s just been one of those days. Everyone’s really nice at work, honest. It’s just me who has the problem really. If the above doesn’t make that obvious already. 

 

Anyway I turned the volume up to deafening levels on my headphones and it did the trick, temporary deafness and tinnitus are the prices I’m willing to pay to make Miss tantrum typist  and Mr cough up a lung mute for a mere moment.

 

Lunchtime arrives and I decide to remove my headphones, the sounds of the office are replaced by the all too near whiffs of sardines and soup. I leave the office, ready to have a mental breakdown, heading to the shop I spend 10 minutes sniffing all of the hand creams hoping to eradicate the stench of fish from my memory. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has the right to eat whatever they want for lunch, fish is good for you anyway. But with my blood pressure already sky-rocketing you can see that today wasn’t my day to sail the seven seas if you get my drift? 

 

I buy a noodle salad thing and wolf it down in a heartbeat, wanting to stretch out my pulled hamstrings I take a walk along the river, sitting momentarily to winch at the pain and wallow in self pity, I’m approached by your local nutjob who starts rambling in my ear about how this place is his favourite place in the whole wide world. It’s not like I’m afraid of people, but I know my stranger danger and this guy looked dodgy. Trying to keep my poker face, and nodding along to his ramblings I decided to make a break for it and started limping back to the office after cutting him off abruptly. I continued to turn my head around as I hobbled away just in case he took offense to me departing from him rather swiftly. 

I wasn’t feeling up for a punch in the left kidney from a stranger today so I made haste getaway back to my desk. 

 

The rest of the day was spent reading emails, pretending to know what I’m doing and watching videos of puppies training to be guide dogs. Well, at least I ended the working day on a high!

 

Can’t wait for the sweet sweet sounds of sweaty digits on computer keyboards tomorrow!

Why Are We So Ungrateful?

Writing

If you can read this right now then you have the ability to see. Sight is one of the most valuable senses us humans can posses yet paradoxically it is one we take most for granted. Too busy complaining about our bosses thinking they’re better than us or stressing that we aren’t earning as much as our partners, we lose focus. Instead of moaning about somebody else to make yourself feel better can you not spend a second seeing the good you already possess? For your ability to speak, for your ability to cook, the list goes on. I write this post to share my thoughts on this point, this focus on ungratefulness has crept up on me several times. One example of which was just several days ago when I was walking to work in the morning, on route I passed a beautifully dressed young lady, she was wearing a maroon headband made of silk, a ruffled lemon blouse and bottle green cigarette trousers and she was using a white cane because she was blind.

 

As I passed her my negative thoughts of how bored I am living in the same flat to how annoying a colleague is at work suddenly meant nothing Instead I was stunned with the realisation that I had no reason to complain, because what I was complaining about was so petty. I had more important things to be thankful for thank things I had to complain about. I was going to work to use my skills, I had the ability to walk where other people may not be able to do this , I had the ability to see where others may not have the ability to do this. I must stress that this post is not me trying to compare myself to someone else and state that because they don’t have something and I do that I should feel good about that or better about myself. But instead I aim to highlight that we all have qualities in our lives which we overlook all too frequently, for example while we’re too busy chasing the next pay cheque we forget that we’re fortunate enough to have our health. Or whilst we complain that strangers are rude to us on our commutes we forget that we have a loving family at home. While we judge something critically in the shop window we forget that we have the ability to see the expressions of joy on others around us. To stop for a moment and be thankful of the most underrated elements of your life will surely enrich it?

 

I truly believe that the real answer to being happy is being grateful. To further support this opinion of mine, I need to look just at last week. As much as I enjoyed the Isle of Wight Festival , I must say camping was tough. Let’s be honest lying in a damp cloth cocoon in a bumpy field is a fast track way to insomnia I’ve no doubt about it.  But in some ways, anytime I go camping I’m thankful afterwards. And this time was no different, for on my return to London I couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face as I jumped into my bed after a shower with actual hot water! A week prior to the festival and I treated a warm bed and a hot shower as expected, fast forward a week and I saw it as a luxury. My point being to feel good about things and about yourself perhaps it takes a moment to realise. Perhaps it takes a week camping for you to appreciate home comforts, atleast it did for me.

 

A tip I do sometimes actually, especially if I’ve had a bad day is list 5 things I’m grateful for that night before going to bed. It may not solve all of your problems but it certainly helps remove the storm cloud from above your head so you can sleep And who knows, maybe if you do it frequently enough you may be a happier person in the long run. I think so.

Poem: Rejection

Writing

Rejection

Rejection is like an unwelcome face.

All too familiar, you close the door on it.

Should rejection be ignored or embraced?

It depends on what way you look at it.

 

Rejection from a lover

The heat of their body touching yours is fading.

Now all but a distant memory.

The taste of their mouth on yours – erasing.

You yearn for the return of this reality.

.

Failure

Will it make you stronger or weaker?

Do you see it as a knock on the esteem?

Is it a chance to become better?

Or do you say farewell to your dreams?

 

Rejecting yourself

Just as you can have too much of a good thing.

You can have too much of a bad.

If rejection comes round to often?

Understandably – where do you stand?

 

Male Suicide

Writing

‘Death of A Salesman’ by Arthur Miller

The Young Vic’s adaptation of the 1949 play was simply faultless. So well executed was the storyline that I went home overcome by an aura of melancholy, unshakeable even by watching the funniest of comedies on Netflix.

If you are unfamiliar with the play, it happens to be one of Miller’s most telling and rawest of pieces. Focusing on a working class family, in particular, the patriarchal dynamic of that of an American salesman’s.

From loss of finances to a loss of respect from his two adult sons, the man becomes broken, his internal antagony is played out publicly to the audience. From his affairs to combat his loneliness despite sharing his home with a loving wife, to his power struggles in asking his boss for a raise. All too similar is the narrative of this fictional character’s life to that of so many individuals today. This relatability made for an engaging reenactment of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

With the final moments of the performance crescendoing to catastrophic events leading to the fatality of the father, I asked myself the question – ‘how many men in this audience’ relate to his actions?

This led me to think back to another event I had attended at the Young Vic merely a few months prior. The event focussed on masculinity.

The event was an open Q +A style discussion among an audience on the topic of masculinity. The evening was incredibly insightful, with one question in particular demanding my attention:

“Does society’s limitations on men to open up and visibly share their emotions explain the suicide rates among men?”

In the UK, men are three times as likely to take their own lives than women. This ratio is similar internationally also. The BBC reported that women are more likely than men to attempt suicide, yet it is men who use more violent methods to commit suicide meaning there is a higher chance of completion before intervention.

These statistics should not go ignored. With a society becoming more and more tolerable and understanding of topics which decades ago would have been shunned and looked down upon such as: race, religion and sexual identity. There is still an elephant in the room, which the world just seems to ignore – the stereotype of masculinity.

The outdated inaccurate views that being masculine directly equates to being macho, to hiding your emotions, that crying is a sign of weakness, that men have to be the breadwinners.

Personally as a woman I do feel like the pressures that women face are much more ‘common knowledge’ because as women is seems to be that you’re allowed to ‘talk ‘ about them more openly, and listened to more readily. But for men this is unfairly not the case even still today. Some cultures may be more progressive and ‘open’  than others but I still feel that overall, the role men feel they need to fill has a substantial impact on their mental health.

Noting some of the comments people at the event on masculinity gave below as I feel they are both honest and genuinely food for thought, raising points which I believe all of us should take onboard:

  • A man (18 – 24) – What Role Does Society Want Me To Play?

“I believe suicide rates are increasing among men because of the ‘disenfranchisement’ of the traditional male. Society nowadays wants you to be more ‘open-minded’ yet still be the ‘provider’ for the family. Men are getting more mixed signals from society today than it did before, now there is more pressure.

  • A woman (18 – 24) – Male Suicide  Female Suicide Comparison

“Women  may attempt more suicides, yet it is men who do so in a more violent manner (slitting wrists, use of firearms) and have higher rates of completion than women.”

  • A man (25 – 35) – Violence

“Violence was used as a way to vent out those emotions society wouldn’t allow me to.”

  • A Woman (25 – 35) in response to the man (25 – 35)

“Isn’t violence a tool to someone committing suicide rather than a way to vent emotions?”

With mental health starting to be gain the attention it needs, shouldn’t an extension of this mean we have a duty of care to address the potential factors leading to the mental health of all genders and sexual identities? And not to simply take a generalised approach to mental health?

Whether you are reading this from within the UK or from outside of the UK, ff you feel like you need support for your mental well-being contact your local health service. It is not a sign of weakness, being proactive is a sign of strength.

Some UK based organisation that I know of:

The Samaritans Call 116 123

Mind  call 020 8519 2122

NHS Mental Health Services