Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thirty-fucking-five

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

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.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Ordeal V Adventure

Picture via Pinterest, original source unknown

I don't usually go for inspirational quotes, I find them to be a bit naff and cheesy, but this one though, this one is so fitting for right now.

Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure.

Losing a job, being made redundant, that's a pretty big ordeal. That mortgage and those bills aren't going to pay themselves. Being made redundant two weeks before my one-year anniversary meant that I wasn't entitled to a redundancy package? (Oh, I'm not bitter about that at all. Not. At. All) That's an ordeal.

But there isn't any point moping about it, is there? It's done, they're done, I'm done. Now it's time to move on.

What makes this an adventure is that I can right all the wrongs in my life. Rather than look for work in Geelong, my hometown, I can venture further afield to Melbourne - the world's most livable city, if those polls are to be believed - where the money is better and opportunity seems infinite.

Maybe I should be scared. Maybe I'll have the wind taken out of my sails in three weeks when I still don't have a job and my savings are rapidly dwindling. Maybe I'll fall (but oh my darling, what if you fly?). Or maybe, as my friend and ex-work colleague said to me yesterday, this will be the making of me.

I find these times in life, when you know life is going to be turned on its head, to be so exhilarating. Routine scares me. I need the rush and the adrenaline of being pushed out of my comfort zone because it makes me feel alive. And Goddammit, do I feel alive right now!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Well, that was unexpected

You know how you’re just cruising along the highway of life, thinking that while everything is okay, things could be just a little bit different? A little bit more exciting, a little bit more interesting, maybe even a little bit more drama?

My life’s highway has, for the past few years, been dead straight. No bends, twists or turns. No bumps, no major potholes. There hasn't even been any interesting scenery. Maybe just a few trees, evenly spaced along the side of the road.

Nothing is inherently wrong with that (if that’s what you’re after) but I haven’t been able shake that Is this it? feeling. Is being terminally bored how it’s going to be for me forever? And those kinds of feelings freaked me out, made me anxious that I've been wasting my life. I could be doing something amazing! I would think, but then have to go into the office on a Monday and face a job that held no interest, provided no challenge or stimulation, and I would despair. Pretty sure this is it.

I would write down my wishes in a notebook. Put it out there, make it known to the universe, and it will happen. I want a job I love topped the list. Over and over again. So as jobs came up that I was interested in, I would apply for it. There wasn't a lot of them though and I wasn't having much luck. Still, I wasn't desperate to leave my current job, so I just plodded along.

After a few months, the idea of temping occurred to me. Better money, constant exposure to new industries, and the very nature of temping would mean that I probably wouldn't have the time to get bored. The only thing that held me back was how do you leave a secure job for the insecurity of temping? I would talk about it with my co-worker all the time but could never work up the courage to do anything about it.

Meanwhile, the boredom I felt at work was creeping over to invade my personal life. I was bored. Saturday would roll around and I would find myself thinking I’m so bored. Bored on the weekend?! That’s insane. Not much to do locally and my shitty salary meant no extra cash to do the things I would like to do.
I was getting pretty frustrated and even though I could see, almost touch, all of the possibilities and opportunities that temping may bring, I couldn't commit to taking that step.

And then on Monday morning, I was made redundant from my job and my hand has been forced.


Hello, bendy, twisty, turny highway of life. It’s about time you got interesting again.