Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Loving Life ..Not Quite But Getting There

"So how are you doing?" said J today over a latte, doing that sideway lean thing that people do to you, when they're trying to be sympathetic and not being wholly successful at it.

"Not bad" I said surprising myself.

It's been exactly three weeks since I hit a complete frustration meltdown, that came from the now overlong saga oftrying to find a permanent gig and thus returning to that charmed, bubble like existence I was living in until several moons ago.

My saving grace has been my sister, who went through a similar life/work abyss a few years ago. Hers lasted two years in total and was so extreme and stressful that I am sure, the cancer she subsequently suffered from, and has thankfully since recovered from, was accelerated by the upheaval she went through.

In the past two weeks, I've talked to her about the lot, my highs, my lows, including dealing with constantly hearing 'No' (my least favourite word ever) or "We'll get back to you" (does that really ever happen nowdays?) and I've felt so much better for doing so.  For finally owning that all has not been well with me for quite awhile.

Slowly but surely the seeds of my new life are emerging. The short-term gig I had has continued, albeit for a few less days a week. Miraculously I've just landed another gig to supplement those lost days, and as Mr Benn would say; as if by magic I'm still afloat.

Having faced of all those bloody 'No's' and my worst fear - not having the security of a regular paycheck; I have been working on my own business plan.

It's not revolutionary and it won't change the world, but it's an opportuity for me to prove myself and not feel that my future is in the hands of some faceless or uncaring suit, who's forgotten about me as soon as I've left the room. 

The truth is with so many good people looking, candidate must-haves and interview chemistry have become essentials. Whereas before I've always lived to work, and if I'm honest done so to the detriment of my personal life (I was the original "No, I don't mind working the holidays or Bank Holiday"), now I merely work to pay my bills that's it. I have absolutely no passion for what I do.

Don't misunderstand me. I am incredibly blessed and lucky to be working at all. So many amazingly talented people I know aren't at the moment. As point of pride whatever I do, I do well but I now see it for what it is, a means to an end.

So what about that high flying career that I thought I had, along with all those rock solid industry contacts I'd built up over the years. The truth is, that 'career' and those people I gave so much too, were actually illusions built on quicksand. I never really got anywhere. I was always known as the grapher, but I never really felt I made it.

It's taken being on the brink physically, financially and almost mentally (in terms of losing my confidence) destroying myself, for me to realise that if you don't love what you do and balance it with a reasonable personal life; you're screwed. Pure and simple. Screwed.

Right now I'm excited.  I love the instant connection and freedom of social media. That''s my passion. The fact that I don't have to be encased in a suit. Tied to a desk to talk about something, contact somebody or even brainstorm.

Yes my dear friends, for the first time in a long time BB can say hand on heart

'Anything's possible'.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Audition

Audition (film)
Audition (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am taking the plunge into the unknown.

After an all too short break, I am currently auditioning for a new partner in crime to share BB Towers with.

Having abandoned my ridiculously long wish list, I am now down to the basics and have matched them against the worst attributes of some of BB Towers past residents.

1)Must be normal. Not depressed (imagined or mildly clinically!)

I am of course talking about the New Zealand Plain Jane virgin, who pastimes included writing erotic fiction - I know, go figure!

She definitely had an Anne Summers loyalty card though !), drooled over a certain tv action hero and left BB Towers giving no notice or a damn about anyone except herself ! Charming !

2)Must not love animals more than humans. That would be the animal nut who treated her dog like a child, talking to it constantly - morning, noon and night and expecting everyone to share her passion - I did not!)

3)Must dress appropriately around the house (Tenants 1 and 2 loved nothing better than slobbing around in their pj bottoms teamed with tank/vest tops.

If they had varied this kit, with maybe a tasteful (non-towelling) dressing gown or even a jaunty head scarf, it might have been vaguely tolerable to my eyes, but alas no.

As any fashionable diva knows the pj/vest top combo only ever rocks when you are in reasonable shape (Neither were!) and you have to sport it sparingly - say up to midday ? Neither did. It was kind of like their after work, wear it most of the weekend uniform! Hideous !

4)Must not start every conversation with a funny voice, desperately trying to attract attention and be amusing, when there is absolutely no need to be.

This honour should be shared by several of my ex-tenants, but the one that stands out the most is the lady who spent at least 30 mins of the day gazing at herself in the mirror, before launching into yet another story about herself. 

There was the one about her and her family. Then there were several about her and her boyfriend (who cheated on her repeatedly). Work and her and oh did I forget, most importantly so many stories, just all about her; all narrated in a selection of really annoying voices.

5)Must be trustworthy, unselfish and honest - Oh dear! Suddenly my basics have turned into must-haves !

Let's see how I get on shall we ?  I predict fun and games :0 )
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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Stop and Stare - Citizen Journalism Gone Bad !

As you all know I am a social media nut. I thrive on the immediancy of community engagement  (yes that does mean I love a good gossip!) and having my finger on the pulse of life changing events like Why does Louise keep going back to Spencer in Made In Chelsea?

One thing I'm not is part of a growing group of stop and stare freaks, who unleash their mobiles to take pictures or record mini clips, during moments of civil unrest or as I witnessed today, a road traffic accident.

As we hit the main junction near BB Towers, I saw a motor cyclist lying slap bang in the middle of the road, crumpled like a rag doll, and much more worringly, unmoving.

On either side of him snaked rows of people, some hurrying from the stopped buses, to make their way onto the train station, while the rest were nosey Parkers made up of school kids and other grown-ups who should really have known better;  some of them furiously snapping on their Ipod cameras to capture the drama unfolding.

I get the Arab Spring, the Berlin Wall coming down and even the London riots last year. There is no denying the power of social media as the means to organise and relay political messages or to get independent viewpoints across; but taking pictures of a potential traffic fatality is in my humble opinion beyond sick !

"How would you feel if that was one of your family or friends lying there?"

I snapped at one idiot who was having an extreme Rakin moment, taking shots from every angle and perspective, as if his life depended on it.

He lowered his camera. I kissed my teeth, told him to "Show some respect" and then walked on by.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Stand By Your Man or Get a D-I-V-O-R-C-E

D-I-V-O-R-C-E (album)
D-I-V-O-R-C-E (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It might be because I have absolutely no shame in laying my disaster prone love life for the world to pick over, or laugh at depending how silly I've been!

Or maybe it's just because I'm point blank blunt when my opinions are asked for.

Well either way, I've just got off the phone with one of my favourite people who called me looking for some love advice !

M is the type of woman who believes in standing by her man no matter what (Tammy Wynette would be proud!) and I mean that most sincerely.

In all the years I've known her, I have seen her be lied to, cheated on, swindled (yes, she does have pretty, but bad boy disorder!) and generally taken for a bit of a mug, because she stubbornly believes that no matter what, once you're in a relationship you should stick out; particularly when you've invested a lot of time in it.

I am of course completely the opposite. I maybe a hopeless romantic, capable of totally random silliness in the pursuit of my latest Mr Right, but if things are bad (or terminal), I have absolutely no problem in walking off into the sunset. I don't do it with any drama or tears (way over rated!), usually just a polite face to face conversation and the door is closed quietly on any what might have been !

My experience is, I never go back to exes. It's part rule and part how annoying life can be sometimes,since most of my exes are invariably snapped up by new girlfriends almost immediately.  The fastest one being 24 hours after we split - she was his old girlfriend, who he said he wasn't sleeping with, but he was the whole time we were dating! . Yep I was totally blind to that one !

While my exes are moving on, I usually navel gaze for few weeks, accompanied by several tubs of ice cream, before snapping out of things, in time to indulge in some hardcore retail therapy. Works everytime!
So when M called me and told me that she has finally decided after four years (very long ones for all of her friends, because we hate her boyfriend !), that because among other things he refuses to move in with her, she has decided they have no future.

Aside from launching a Jersey fist punch with my hand that wasn't holding the phone receiver, I think I did ok containing my joy. I let her talk and then let her have it.

"I feel your pain, but really, get a grip. It's been four years and you are in exactly the same place you were with him when you first started dating. He's telling you everything you need to know just by his actions, so listen to the man.  If it's not what you want. Leave.

The sky won't fall in on you and we're not gotta say I told you so.  Just learn from this. Stop repeating your patterns. You don't have to stay in a relationship if it's not working for you."

She didn't cry. In fact, she thanked me (....I know, I have no idea why either?) for being so honest.

Which made me wonder in turn - can you ever be too honest with your friends ?
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