The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 39

I feel as though time is ticking away, yet I do not know what will come of that time. Today I realised, that if someone else were in my position, I would undoubtably be telling them to go to America for the summer. I would be telling them they are crazy not to go. So why am I not telling myself that?

I wish I could tell you why. I think deep down, I am scared, scared of what I don’t know. It is ironic, but I am one of these people who hate not knowing what is going to happen, and crave routine, whilst enjoying the spontaneity and excitement that can bring. I think in truth, I am scared of missing out, though of what I do not know. I would rather regret things I have done in life, rather than those I have not, yet I seem scared to put my foot forward and say I’m going. I think because I have never felt like I have belonged anywhere, I worry that I may never belong anywhere, and may be forced to wander this earth searching for what cannot be found.

I have until April 1st, which is Tuesday, to decide whether or not to apply to do Work America for the summer. Maybe tomorrow clarification will appear. For now, I am dubious about my trip to London on Tuesday, and wonder whether I should cut it short. Maybe I’m craving the safety of home, wherever that may be.

Advertisements

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 40

Wow, Day 40 already.  I guess this means I should have a serious think about what I want to achieve by the time the clock hits, now backwards, to Day Zero.

When I started writing this challenge, back at the beginning of February, I’m not sure what  I really expected to achieve myself.  I knew I would have finished all my assignments, or rather, I hoped I would.  After suspending my studies a year and a half ago, at a time when I couldn’t foresee myself ever graduating, I have never taken that graduation ceremony for granted.  Even now with my dissertation handed in and only (she says) four essays to go, I won’t assume I will be stood with my gown and mortar board this September, although I’m determined that nothing will stand in my way.

I had also hoped I would have had at least an interview by now.  So far, I’ve only had thanks-but-no-thanks letters, which is better than nothing, but it also means I’m not filled with hope for getting a permanent job offer in the next 40 days.  While I’m perfectly willing to consider temp work, I don’t know what I will end up doing, and there’s always the chance something will get in the way of what I want to do.  I know so many people who have had to give up on their dreams, for one reason or another, and I guess I’m scared that could happen to me.  But anyway, let’s not ruin things before they’ve even started.  I’m thinking positive.

So I guess as long as I’ve finished my degree, maybe found a job, then what else is there at Day Zero?  For me, there will be relief.  That I made it to that point.  Day Zero will be a culmination of the last six or seven years, and most importantly, the fact that I can finally tell myself: I did it.

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 41

I guess it’s not really surprising, considering that today is Good Friday here in the UK, but today actually has been a good Friday for me.  I’ve applied for a job, found several others to apply for, and done some research into my Janet Evanovich assignment.  And that was on top of shopping and spending time with family.

One thing I did realise today, is that the deadline for BUNAC’s Work America Programme closes in four days.  Four days!!  I hadn’t realised the deadline was so soon.  This means that I now have around three days to decide whether to take up the opportunity of those nice people at the US Embassy offering me student work visa for the summer, for the last time.  It’s very tempting, and it’s probably the last opportunity I’ll have where someone hands me a US visa on a plate.  But the sensible part of me just wants to settle down with a job and somewhere to live; not to delay the start of my future life any longer.  I’m torn; I really don’t know what to do.  As well as me, there’s also my cat, The Bish, to a consider.  He’s currently residing in a local cattery, which I’d booked him into when I thought I was going to China.  As I’d decided to visit my mum, and have a week in London, I decided to leave him to have a little holiday.  Although I’m not sure he will be so happy about it when I pick him up in just over a week.  Anyway, I’m not sure if I could leave him as he’s getting older now.  But as I’ve always said, I wouldn’t want to be stopped from doing something like going abroad by a pet, but it is difficult.  He is part of me and has got me through some difficult times.  I’ve missed him while he’s been away this week.  While we still have Matt Damon, the guinea pig (I’m not sure I ever told you that story, but I’ll save it for another day), it’s just not the same as cuddling Bish.

So, if anyone has any suggestions for what I should do, in the next stage of my life, answers  on an e-postcard are always welcome.

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 42

Today, to all intents and purposes, I did my best to both apply for jobs and work on assignments.  But I guess it was one of those days where it wasn’t going to happen.

On the train to visit my mum, I read The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction, as part of my project on Janet Evanovich’s series on female bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum.  When I got on the train, I sat at a table, where it looked like I was going to be the only one sat there.  I started to spread my stuff out a little bit.  Then a group of people got on, three men sat at my table, and their two lady friends at the table opposite.  From their conversation, they were going on holiday, and were in a very holiday-y mood.  Which was nice for them.  Not so nice for me, who was trying to work in the tiny space I had.  They were laughing and joking, which was fine, but it didn’t leave me wanting to look all swotty on the train.  Even after they got off at the first big stop, another mother and daughter got on and sat opposite me on the table, and I decided there wasn’t much point in doing anything in the half hour I had left until I had to change trains.

Tonight I decided to have a search online for some jobs, and I found one I like the look of.  It’s only part-time, but the money’s good, and could leave me with time do writing or another job of some sort.  I decided tomorrow would be a good time to do my application, since I’d had a glass of wine with dinner, and was just finishing a Tia Maria with lemonade., is enough.

I kind of feel like I don’t really know what to write in today’s blog.  Maybe I’m winding down for the Easter weekend, or maybe I just haven’t done anything particularly worthwhile today.  But it’s good not to be feeling down.  To be looking to the future, with positivity, is enough.

 

 

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 43

I’m reluctantly typing this blog post before bed.  It’s not that I don’t want to do the blog, it’s just that my head hurts from drinking too much mulled wine.  Yes, I know it’s not Christmas.  But it was leftover from Christmas, or rather two Christmases ago, and we found ourselves dusting it off and cracking it open to accompany our lasagne, once the bottle of rose wine I’d taken home from Wetherspoons last night had been finished.

I have also been drinking water and coffee, so I’m hoping tomorrow won’t be too bad, but I already have a headache, so the signs aren’t good.  As long as I don’t see my dinner again, today will have finished a good day.

After the hiatus of the last few days, I managed to get my arse back in gear, and both applied for jobs and did some reading for my next assignment.  I can tell you’re impressed.

The job was somewhat of a surprise, and came through on one of the daily listings I receive.  After being told the other day that I need some publishing experience, I’ve started to think about how I could use the experience I have to help me towards where I want to be.  I have twelve years’ experience within NHS administration, and a total of 16 years’ admin experience, so why not try and use that medical experience to my advantage?

The job I’ve seen is a writing job, although still based within the health service.  I’m hoping I might have more chance of being shortlisted for a job like this, with the experience I have.

As well as applying for jobs, I’m headed down to my nation’s great capital next week, in a bid to do some research into jobs, housing and get a general feel for the place.  I’ve put feelers out to my friends down there to see them, and who knows, maybe I’ll make some new ones.

It’s funny, after making the decision not to go to China, I’m actually looking forward to going to London and spending some time on my own.  I remember how much independence I had when I lived there before, as a shy 19 year-old; I went to the movies by myself, swimming by myself, random walks, sightseeing.  You get the picture.

Anyway, I’m waffling now and I just remembered that my head hurts, so I’d best get some sleep.

 

The Twelve Week Challenge: Day 44

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that it is now Day 44, and haven’t we already had a Day 44?   Well as I  mentioned briefly yesterday, I’ve decided that since I’m now half-way through The Twelve-Week Challenge, that I would start counting down, towards the end, or rather the beginning, of the next chapter in my life.

The excitement of having my dissertation handed in has left me not really knowing what to do with myself, although tomorrow I won’t really have that problem as long as I make a start on my next assignment.  As I’ve mentioned already, having my handed dissertation in, while being a huge weight off, is an anti-climax when I have another four assignments to do before I can say goodbye student life.

This morning I decided I ought to get back onto the job search side of things, and called a publishing recruitment agency in London.  While the woman on the phone was polite, she told me there really wasn’t anything they could do for me without any publishing experience.  So I should seek out some work experience, then consider coming back.

I’m not sure I expected them to say anything else really, because I know that publishing is a very competitive industry.  One of my worries, over the last two years while at uni, was getting some “relevant work experience” and while I have done some extracurricular activities such as my radio work, I haven’t actually done any publishing experience.  While I have applied for work experience with some of the larger companies, I’ve never heard back from them.

After that, I did a search online for other, less specialised recruitment agencies, and got all over-excited about a PA job in Dubai.  Halfway through re-shaping my CV, I had to ask myself, do I really want a PA’s job?  While I love the idea of working in Dubai (23.5 degrees north of the equator!), when I think back to when I actually was a PA and…well…I hated it.  I realise I am not so good at organising somebody else, I’d much rather have a job where I can manage my own time and my workload.  If there’s one thing I learnt from working in London last time, it was that you shouldn’t do a job you hate.

I’m not talking about the job you do day-in, day-out, like the one I had in the NHS for so many years.  I’m talking about the job that really makes you so terribly unhappy, either because you hate the work, hate the company (or both), or because you know in your heart that actually you’re not so good at the job, and thus feel like a failure.  Having been, in my time, a hotel receptionist, a paralegal, a medical secretary and a customer service assistant (although I was told by the temp agency it was a data entry clerk), I realise that there’s no point in doing a job you don’t like, and I vowed never to do these jobs again.

The last time I worked in London was in 1997-8.  I didn’t even have a mobile phone, let alone the internet.  I remember one of my colleagues at the hotel where I worked was the first to get a phone; I used to ring my parents from the payphone across the street.  I had a nice collection of BT Phonecards at one point.  I worked in the hotel for nine months, before finally securing a job as a Paralegal for one of the big City law firms.  I’d been for endless job interviews, and finally got offered two jobs.  I chose the one working for the company with the big posh offices, although that was pointless since my office ended up being in the old part of the building anyway.  As a paralegal, I used to prepare documents, and take them to banks for signatures.  I don’t mean your average High Street branch, I mean real, investment banks.  I was basically a glorified delivery person.  And I hated it.

While my job was pants, I also rented a room from a woman in Brick Lane.  At first she was chatty but after a while she seemed to take to avoiding me.  It left me feeling really awkward, and I remember going to my room and crying after a horrible day at work and not feeling any happier once I arrived at home.

After spending a year living in London, which was the deadline I had given myself, I held my hands up in defeat, and made plans to come home.  My job was on a three-month probation, so it really wasn’t a problem for me to leave.  I had signed a six-month rental agreement at the flat too, but my landlord had no problem with me moving out after only four months.

I will never forget the conversation I had with the woman from HR.  She was asking me why I was leaving and I, of course, got upset and told her that I hated the job.  She asked me what I liked doing, and I told her that I enjoyed typing.  While in London, I’d gotten my Computer Keyboard Skills qualification from Pitman (the first, and last time, I ever got a distinction) and typing was the one thing I could do well, although as a Paralegal, I didn’t have too much typing to do.  She told me that I should have said, that they could have moved me to the typing pool.  But by that point, I’d made the decision to come home, and didn’t want to disappoint my parents by telling them I wasn’t coming back after all.  So I came home.  I did a few temp jobs before getting a permanent job with the NHS, where I worked for twelve and a half years.  I bought a house, got married, lost the house, got divorced (well, almost).  But I have always regretted leaving London.  I didn’t admit that for a long time, because it was as though I wasn’t grateful for what I’d found since I came back.  But really, I should never have come back.

My friend said to me today that I need to prepare for going to London this time, that I don’t want to have to come back if it doesn’t work out.  I agree that I need to prepare, but I won’t be coming back.  Except for visiting friends and family.  I don’t belong here, I have never belonged here.  If things don’t work out in London, then I shall head elsewhere (preferably somewhere closer to the Equator), but I won’t be coming back to Lincoln.  That much I know.

 

The Twelve-Week Challenge: Day 45

I’m going to make this blog short and sweet, since I only just wrote Day 44 from yesterday. I can feel sleep approaching and I’m going to enjoy going to bed without the stress of the last few days.

One thing I have been thinking about is to start counting down on The Twelve-Week Challenge, rather than up.  In hindsight, I should have done this from the start but hey ho. Since today is halfway to 90 days, which is roughly twelve weeks, from tomorrow, try not to get too excited, but you will be seeing the numbers going backwards.  Mind you, I’ve found on this challenge I’ve struggled to count upwards, so don’t hold your breath…

Previous Older Entries