Monday, March 30, 2015

This. And a bit of that.

Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

I spent a couple of hours on Sunday with my hands in the dirt, re-potting some bulbs that my mother salvaged from my late grandmother's garden. We don't know what they are - tulips? daffodils? freesias? - so it will be a lovely surprise in winter when they (hopefully) start to bloom. Nana is all over this tiny flat of mine, the one I've been in for a year this month, that she never got to see: from the framed picture of her on her honeymoon in the '40s, the crystal she gave me that belonged to her mother, to the sweet pea seedlings I planted in my tiny courtyard a couple of weeks ago. Whenever she came to visit us, she would carry in her cane basket scones hidden underneath a tea towel and a posy of sweet peas from her garden, wrapped in aluminium foil.

It has been two years and I miss her more than ever. 

I woke up before the sun this morning and then fannied about for so long, drinking tea and congratulating myself for having already ironed my clothes, that actually getting ready for work took place in approximately four and a half minutes. But I skipped out the door and off down the street towards work, ears free of the buds normally rammed in, blaring the same few songs on repeat (Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High by the Arctic Monkeys, Out of the Woods by Taylor Swift, or Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones). Instead, I enjoyed the crisp morning air, the blue sky, and the streets feeling oddly deserted (no doubt owing to the beginning of school holidays, great for me because it means I get to jaywalk across the usually busy street at my own leisure).

After reading an article online yesterday (lost amongst the myriad of articles I read yesterday, looking for answers but not knowing the question, otherwise I would link to it), I took its advice and decided even though I don't particularly like my job, I would be the best at it. It isn't hard work, and it isn't stimulating at all, but if I have to do it - and I do, I really do - I may as well earn some praise, have my ego stroked, and go down as the best receptionist / admin assistant they have had. Who cares if the reason is self-serving, as long as the result is the same.

I had a Christ-where-are-my-bloody-glasses? moment today when I completely mistook one workmate for another and had absolutely no idea I had done so until a third workmate pointed it out. Perhaps I should take heed of the reminder flyers I have been getting lately from the optometrist.

The nights are getting darker earlier and getting colder. I had turned the heater on last week for the first time this year and even though I have been wearing flannelette pyjamas to bed, I broke my own rule and switched on the electric blanket too. And slept like a baby.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

24 March 2015

Blogs are dead
I wish I blogged more
My job bores me
I gave up looking for a new job because the constant rejection wore me down
I was going to write that I didn't understand why I didn't get any of the jobs I applied for and I realised it's all due to a bigger reason that is still hazy when I try to look at it
I bite my nails too much
I miss my nails when they were long and beautiful
I wrote a novel
I read a blurb for a recently released novel that shared the exact same plot as my novel
I started writing a new novel
I stopped writing
I don't know why
I saw an Instagram post from someone I follow that made me happy for her
Immediately after feeling happy, I thought Get your shit together, Annelise. Seriously. Get your fucking shit together
I'm wasting: my time
                     my potential
                     my life
Today was the coldest day since October
I bought a domain name but don't know what to do with it
It's a fantastic domain name, it should be used for something amazing
I felt smug that no-one else had beaten me to it
It's both tough and vulnerable
I re-read all the blog posts I reverted to drafts
I liked the first half of the posts
They made me laugh
I sounded sad in the second half
That made me sad
I left them as drafts
Quotes from books generally don't stay with me but a line from one of the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn feels like it was written for me: If life had a theme, you know ...  a philosophy? A motto? Mine would be: There must be some mistake; I was supposed to be bigger than this
I tweeted that quote back in October
Nine-to-five, the suburbs, married-with-two-kids scares the shit out of me
Lucky that's not on the cards, eh
I don't want ordinary
I want extraordinary
I wish I know how to make it extraordinary
I can do more than I am
I can do better than I am.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


I turned 35 last month. I don't have an issue with ageing but honestly, sometimes the thought of being 35 sneaks up and smacks me on the head, leaving me reeling: Holy shit, I'm thirty-fucking-five

I didn't expect my life to be like this at 35. Again and again: I didn't expect life to be like this at 35.

I said to my friends that this is going to be my year. (Actually, I think I said I'm going to make 35 my bitch but that isn't very ladylike. But hey, I've already said shit and fuck, and really, the SS Ladylike sailed a long time ago.) Things feel different. I feel more comfortable in who I am, the most confident I've ever felt. I think that it's due, in part, to age and experience, but also to the best group of friends I could ever have hoped for.

My friend's birthday is the day before mine so we had a girls' night with some friends and I realise that that group of women is pretty much all I need: my best friend who I've known since high school (and whose son started high school this month, holy shit, we are thirty-fucking-five), another I worked with a few years ago, two I worked with at my old job, and another who I met through a mutual friend. There's no mean girls bullshit, no envy or jealousy, no drama. Just support and tonnes of laughter. Those girls, plus a few others, and I'm set.

My signature has changed recently. It used to be an A, followed by my eight-letter surname (which ends in -dell, and if I didn't pay attention, I would usually add an extra L, making it look like I don't know how to spell my own damn name), but now my signature is dominated by a larger, more extravagant A, followed by just a bit of a squiggle to represent my surname. I'm no graphology expert, but I like to think that it's symbolic of becoming more confident in myself. 

There are new possibilities just out of reach. So close, but I have to be patient. My work is done, I have to trust that what is supposed to happen, will happen. In the meantime, I have a renewed interest in the novel I wrote last year (hello, second draft!) and my goal this year is whip it into shape and send it off to agents and publishers - something that a few years ago, was only a pipe dream. Now, with this newly found confidence, is a definite plan.

So, 2015. Not too bad so far. A definite improvement on the second half of 2014. Thirty-five, you're not too bad either. But just to remind myself that just because I'm 35, doesn't mean I have to act like it, next weekend I'm accompanying one of the aforementioned girlfriends to a One Direction concert. Because, yolo.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Seventy-six days. That's how long I was out of work. Eleven weeks. It was not the making of me, like my friend and I thought it would be. I haven't gone on to bigger and better things. The experience has left me frustrated, questioning my abilities, and depressed. Oh, and let's not forget my favourites, mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I have a new job now and I'm grateful for it, really. And I don't want to say anything bad about it, but I think if I said I'm the sixth or seventh receptionist they've had this year, you'd get an idea about what I would say. If I was to say anything bad. Which I won't. Ooh, I also have to wash other people's dirty coffee cups. 

This is me, keeping my mouth shut.

This is also me, having my very own pity party for one.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Two Months On

Names of people my friend has messaged me about, wondering what they are up to right this minute:

Things not to say to someone who is unemployed and looking for work:
  • "Awesome! I wish I didn't work!"
  • "Have you looked on Seek?" (What? Only the biggest jobsite in Australia? Why no, I did not to think to look there for a job. Thank God you suggested it.)
  • "Maybe you've got too much information on your résumé."
  • "Maybe you don't have enough information on your résumé."
  • "Put your apartment up for rent and move back home with us."

Television series I've binged on in the two months I'e been unemployed:
  • Gossip Girl, seasons one and two
  • Veep, seasons one and two
  • True Detective (aborted after episode five as I was so fucking bored which surprised me because everyone talked about it like it was the second coming of Christ)
  • Scott & Bailey, season one
  • Black Adder, seasons one, two, three, and four

For the record, we thought that Tom Selleck might have been kicking back on the couch, wearing board shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, drinking beer and eating pizza, and playing Playstation.

Friday, September 19, 2014

One Month On

Today is the one-month anniversary of my unemployment. I'm acknowledging the day by sulking and refusing to get out of bed. It's just gone 3pm, for the record.

A couple of weeks ago, I was all Tra la la la, this is such an adventure, this is going to be so much, talk about funemployment, tra la la la! but today, I feel defeated. Looking for work is demoralising. The constant cycle of applying for jobs and being rejected, either by a thanks-but-no-thanks email or just deafening silence, is wearing me down.

I've had interviews and not heard back. I've met people face-to-face, had a conversation, looked them in the eye, and they haven't bothered to let me know the outcome. I've sent follow-up emails and not had a reply. I've left friendly voicemail messages and not had a return phone call. Not all for the same potential employer, mind; that would mean I was a bit mental. No, this is across the board. It's rapid fire rejection. Pow pow pow!

So I'm taking today to sulk and wallow. Come Monday, my armour will be a little tougher, my skin a little thicker. I'll pull myself together and keep going because what other choice do I have?

Monday, September 8, 2014

An Accidental Novel

I think I accidentally wrote a novel.

Well, no. I did.

I had an idea and after I just couldn't stop thinking about it, I bought this tiny little notebook and thought if I scribbled every single thing I was thinking that the idea would burn out. But it didn't. Instead, I pulled out the laptop and started typing. My preferred method is usually to write by hand but there is no way my penmanship could keep up. I had to type. So I kept typing. I started in May and at the end of August, I had almost 120,000 words.

It was fun. I couldn't stop thinking about my characters. They invaded my every waking moment. I carried the pink notebook around with me everywhere and wrote down every idea. Any thought that crossed my mind. I would panic if I couldn't find it. 

But as I panicked, I would tell myself that it wasn't important, it was all just for fun. This wasn't to be talked about with anyone. This was very silly. This was actually pretty embarrassing. But then my computer froze. It unfroze for a while but then kept freezing. I completely lost my shit that the whole thing could be lost. I managed to save a copy to a USB before the computer set itself on fire and died until it was dead. 

That's when I realised that my silly little manuscript meant a quite great deal to me and now I have a first draft.

Holy shitballs, I did it. I have a first draft. In a couple of months, I'm going to start a second draft edit. But just because I want to see if I can do it. I still feel like this is all a bit of nonsense but there is a small, tiny part of me that is championing this silly accidental novel.