Dazed, Fazed, Hazed

So yesterday was apparently the Most Depressing Day of the Year (yay! They finally named a day after me!).  That day that is far enough into January for Christmas to be forgotten about; but not far enough into the new year for summer holidays to be a reality. Nobody has any money and payday is still the best part of two weeks away (if you’re like me).  

Anyway, I’m not joking when I say they named a day after me.  Sometimes I really do feel like the Most Depressed Person in the World. 

But not yesterday.   Yesterday I felt…good.  I felt positive.  I wasn’t fazed by the whole “Most Depressing Day of the Year” thing.  In fact, it was more like the most depressing day of the year.  I knew it was there, but it wasn’t screaming at me the way it is usually would have done.  And I wasn’t indulging in it the way I would normally have taken great delight to.

But that feeling did not last.  It got me through to about 5pm, which was a most valiant effort on my insides to keep this horror at bay.  But then the MDDY penetrated my armour, and I started to feel its attack.

One of my bosses called me out on something I may or may not have done wrong at work.  Despite investigations, I haven’t found out whether it’s my fault or not yet, but it’s looking likely. So I took the blame.  That made me feel pants, and those old feelings of how shit I am at my job reared their ugly heads.

As I headed home, I started looking for jobs, not feeling inspired by anything I saw, and in the back of my mind all I could hear was you haven’t been shortlisted for anything in three months, so what’s the point.  There was no question mark, it was a statement of fact, like that current ad on the tube which should really have a question mark at the end, but they obviously feel so confident in themselves they don’t need question marks.  If only I was like that.

So then I got home, saw I only had 23p of electricity on the meter, and nipped to the Co-op, or the Co-oper-ative as my beloved Nana used to call it. But as I stood in the queue with a marked-down Piri-Piri pizza, I realised I had left my purse at home.  Uuuugggggghhhhhh.  

So back home, grabbed my purse and back to the Co-op.  On the plus side I did get a “fresh” chicken roast – two chicken fillets, cocktail sausages, some stuffing and gravy – for 99p.

So home I went, putting the chicken meal in the freezer and the pizza in the fridge for the following night, when I will get home late from book club. 

I cooked spaghetti bolognese, making the sauce from scratch out of my Usborne First Cookbook, the one I’ve had since I was little.  The one with illustrations of little people showing you how to make the recipe (which never has more than about four ingredients), just in case you’re too little to read the instructions.  

The spag bol was a success in my opinion, though that may have been more to do with the Malbec I added, not as per Usborne, but as per the Beeb website that I’d checked while in Sainsbury’s buying my ingredients. The Zinfandel I was drinking might have helped too. 

By the time I’d cooked, eaten and washed up, it was gone half nine and the last thing I wanted to do was apply for jobs I didn’t have a hope in hell getting.  So I read for a while, in a bid to get my mind to stop whirring, and cease the downward spiral I felt myself on.  

Then I read about the passing of one of my favourite musicians, Glenn Frey, one of the founding members of the Eagles.  And the tears came.  

I did not cry for Rickman – I was too busy laughing at all the wonderful one-liners he gave us in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (“I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon, Locksley!” being my personal favourite). Nor did I cry for Bowie, and all I can hear him say is “Well, laugh” before he continues laughing along with the goblins.  But for Glenn, a man I had seen perform three times with the Eagles, I cried. And could not stop. 

At almost 1am, I went to sleep, waking this morning, still feeling unsettled.  It is no longer the Most Depressing Day of the Year, but I still feel the after-effects.  Maybe I am just particularly hormone right now. If so, that will pass.  As all things come to pass.

RIP Glenn Frey (1948-2016)

Tequila Sunrise – The Eagles (1973)


The Why Am I Here Cafè…

The other day a friend lent me a copy of his book, The Why Are You Here Cafè, by John Strelecky. On the front cover, under the title, reads, “A new way of finding meaning in your life and your work.”

Generally I only buy self-help books. I don’t actually read them. But this one wasn’t so big, and with nothing else to do but search for places to live, I made a start. All in all the book took me about an hour or so to read, over two days.

Not wanting to make any spoilers for anyone who’s not read it, or plans on seeking it out (which I would encourage), it involves a guy at a crossroads in his life who ends up getting advice on life from the staff at The Why Are You Here Cafè. He learns all about the PFE (Purpose for Existing) and leaves some eight hours later with some very different thoughts on life. At times the book is a little surreal, and reminds me of Twin Peaks. It would not have surprised me one bit had Agent Dale Cooper walked in and asked for a damn fine cup of coffee.

The book has given me much to think about the last day or so since I finished reading it. While it’s nothing I haven’t been thinking about the last eight years, it makes me realise that I need to start working on my PFE. I discovered it in 2011, while studying in the States. I found out that I could write, and once I knew that, I knew it was all I ever wanted to do. Since January 2012, this blog has enabled me to write, although little has been done in the way of fiction writing.

The friend who gave me the book also challenged me to write the other day. Right there, on the spot, in a pub in Twickenham. He gave me two sheets of till-roll and a pen, and challenged me to write something. I knew it would start once upon a time, but other than that I really had no idea what else to write. I looked at him, and he said, “Just start with ‘Once upon a time’.” I started writing and didn’t stop until I reached the back page of the second sheet.

While I’m sure it won’t go down in history as one of my greatest works, it was a good experiment in teaching myself that I can write when I need to. Usually my blogs are written when I feel I have the need to say something, to get something off my chest, or when something random in life has given me the idea for a blog. I know that if I want to make that my “job” (I use the inverted commas because I hear that if you love something so much, it won’t be a job), then I have to be able to write on demand. I know that the last few years I have been scared to write anything other than blog posts, and when I have started something, I end up feeling stupid and abandoning it after maybe a page.

Here in my Bed & Breakfast in Chiswick, I know that I must start engaging with my Purpose for Existing, and soon. A recent comment on my Homeless Sweet Homeless blog picked up on what I had said about wishing that I was 40 on my next birthday, not 36, because then this whole thirty-something crisis might be over. He advised that if I think it won’t end before I’m 40, then it probably won’t. He’s right.

My blogging hero, Opinionated Man, whose well-followed blog, over at Harsh Reality, reblogged Homeless Sweet Homeless last night. Since then, my stats have spiked and I’ve had more likes and comments than I could have believed. I am so grateful for what he has done in getting my blog read by more people than it currently reaches. He writes a lot about other bloggers who complain that they don’t have the followers, and that they should work harder to get their writing seen.

While I don’t complain about my lack of followers, I know what it takes to get my blog read. From experience, regular blog posts and social media promotion are what take my writing across the world. So why don’t I?

My Purpose for Existing has been uncovered, and I know what I have to do to get myself out of this homeless, unhappy life I currently live. Much has been said about JK Rowling writing Harry Potter in Starbucks, while having little money to live on. My life provides much of what I write about in these blogs, aided by the most fantastic back catalogue of 80s pop culture references. My life, no matter how bad, is what will get me out of this life and into the one I really want.

This song has been stuck in my head ever since I read The Why Are You Here Cafè, and it seems like an appropriate end to this post. Not goodbye, just until the next one.

Some of their dreams came true
Some just passed away
And some of them stayed behind
Inside the Sad Cafe

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/eagles/the-sad-cafe-lyrics/#dSTsLYI22HtV2l3b.99

Eagles – The Sad Cafè (1979)