True Life Is Lived When Tiny Changes Occur

It’s 8:45am: I’m sitting in a coffee shop bumming off the free wi-fi.

Even when I’m sitting down, I feel like I’m still spinning from the changes that have occurred in my life over the last couple of months. I don’t think I’ve exhaled yet. Breathe.

Today is a new day. Hiding from your history only shackles you to it. We can’t undo a single thing we have ever done, but we can make decisions today that propel us to the life we want and towards the healing we need.

Steve Mariboli

I’m not one for airing my dirty laundry for all and sundry, (although more than a few people may have seen my knickers from my falling over on a drunken night out!), but I’m inspired today to share a little bit. Not too much, just enough.

From the outside looking in, I may look like a girl who knew where she was going in life, and threw it all away. I had the friends, the guy, and very almost the new life in the sun with a job, home and car.

This, however, is not the case. It may be June in London and I’m sitting with a coat on trying not to freeze when someone opens the door. I may be serving people to pay my rent (still), not ribs anymore, but a waitress nonetheless. I may have come no closer to achieving my five year plan – but there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. I didn’t throw anything away.

I’m starting again, and I finally feel 21 again.

People often say this when they are a lot older, and have experienced a moment which takes them back – a new lease of life to remind them of how they used to be.

I am 21 years old. However, I have felt weary for too long, like I’ve already lived a much older life. Now, I’m being dragged backwards through time – stripping off the wrinkles and worries of the middle-aged life I was living previously. I feel ‘dragging’ has negative connotations. Dancing back through life to how I used to be, perhaps. Some kind of time-warp Moonwalk.

I don’t really know what I’m getting at.

Yes I do. I feel that my life had stopped and slowed to a trickle. The road was set out for me. And I couldn’t handle it. Now, I’m not one of those Pocahontas types; a free spirit who goes where the wind takes me. No, I write lists about the lists I need to make. I absolutely have to know the plan for a night out. How are we getting home? Who’s staying where? What are we having for tea? What am I going to wear on the 15th March 2018? However, this plan I couldn’t go through with.

I can’t say I wasn’t happy. Parts of this period were deliriously happy times for me. And most of the time, I was sure that was the road I wanted to take, I was positive. The worst thing about writing this post is that certain people may read it and might try and read between the lines of what I’m saying. Please, please don’t. I was happy and don’t regret a single second of my life. However, it took some time alone to give me some clarity: to take a step back and get some perspective.

I know I’m the bad guy. I know it will take certain people a long time, if ever, to forgive me. However, I’m not looking for forgiveness, because that would suggest intent to hurt; a wrongdoing. If people should be punished for being honest, then I’ve been taught wrong all my life. If people want to punish me for being honest, then so be it. I’ve learned to let go of anger and hurt and understand why humans act the way they do.

I’ve also learned that I don’t need to justify myself to anyone. I’ve spent too long making excuses, going along with things for an easy life, smiling blandly as I watch my life take shape. No more. I haven’t made myself number one priority for years. It’s my time now. That sounds incredibly selfish written down, but anyone reading this who has gone through a similar period may comprehend what I’m saying.

There’s a lot more I want to say, but I’m aware of the risks of going too far.

I’m happy. I’m living with my best friend in a little flat we’ve made our own. I may be serving people for a living still, yes, but I tell you what, it’s bloody fun, and my German is coming along spectacularly. I haven’t given up my dream of Journalism, and I’m well on my way to achieving it. Just need to sell a few more bratwurst first.

Most of all, I feel like a new person. My skin in brighter, I’ve lost weight, I’m nicer to myself and everyone around me. The aches and pains of the elderly life I was living are falling away day by day. I’m learning to be myself again.

Although I’ve said I don’t need to justify myself, let me reiterate that my intent is not to hurt anyone. Anyone who knows me well can well understand that. I just don’t have to capacity to maliciously affect someone. However, hurt is a factor in many situations in life, and unfortunately it has featured very prominently in this one.

It’s the argument of the greater good. Should I have carried on with the way I was, inevitably hurting multiple people in the future? Or hurt one person now? To me the answer is clear.

I’m closing this book now. Yes, I’m not merely starting a new chapter, but a brand new book.

Wish me luck.


On being jobless, hopeless and getting desperate

I feel like a big fat failure.

I’m still working 40 hours a week explaining the differences between rib sauces, and rolling my eyes to high heaven when someone orders a succulent filet mignon ‘well done’.

“No blood, yeah, love? Can’t be doin’ wiv no blood. CREMATE it yeah?”

I’ve got myself stuck in a nasty rut, and I know it’s not where I am supposed to be, but I simply can’t quite climb out, the edges are too slippery. One step forward, two steps back.

Selfish as it seems, because I know that many are unfortunate enough to not have jobs at all, but I just know that my calling isn’t in scraping ketchup off plates. With each rejection, each patronisingly polite phonecall telling me why I didn’t get the job, and what a shame it is because they loved me so much, I fall deeper into a sick depression where I torment myself with telling myself I’m not good enough, and gosh look at all these people who graduated with me, look how well they’re doing.

In the beginning I’d tell myself ‘onwards and upwards’ and that there are plenty more job-fishes in the sea. Recently I’ve been saying it through a frozen smile to other people who ask “How’s the job-hunt going?”, whilst feeling ill with embarrassment that they can now see what a failure I am.

Oh, the job hunt is going fine, I can find the jobs perfectly well, there’s thousands. I just can’t secure one.

I sometimes feel melodramatic as well, in the sense that almost everyone is in the same boat. There are a few success stories of people I have graduated with, but most of my friends are going from internship to internship being paid expenses, or working a mediocre job, like me. There’s nothing wrong with having a mediocre job in the service industry, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with internships, gathering experience and making a name for yourself, but we all want more than that.

This post is a rant, but a rant many can hopefully identify with. It’s also very one-sided, focusing on my problems, what I want, and what I’m not getting. Sometimes companies just don’t have the roles, resources or time to look over your CV.

Sometimes, the person got the job over you because they were simply better than you.

I won’t stop looking, and I won’t stop trying. Onwards and upwards. I meant it that time.

E x