Posted in Books, Education, Goals, Health, life, Musings, rant, Shonda Rhimes, University, work, Writing

Confession: I’m a terrible decision maker

I really am. I am either two ways about something: I love making plans to do something then fret and spend time wondering how I can get out of it; or, I loathe making plans and end up making a stupid choice in the end because I was too indecisive and shouldn’t be allowed to make rash decisions.

Story of my life.

I hate to admit it, but I will. I loved starting uni, and the beginning of each term when I could go full on Rory Gilmore and have a ‘legitimate’ excuse for spending £40 on stationary (not that I don’t already have a house teeming with unused pens and notepads). However, as the term progressed and either my insomnia or hypersomnia got the better of me, I found it harder and harder to stick to my class schedule. In my final year I was between 6-8 hours of classes a week AND I STILL MANAGED TO SKIP TWO OF EACH over a 12 week semester of course. Now I know looking back I wonder why I couldn’t just have forced myself to go, I probably did lose some marks here and there for non-attendance but the thrill I got from turning over in bed and going back to sleep was ridiculous. Then I remember the tiredness. It’s not an excuse, but the overwhelming, mind-numbing, soul-draining tiredness that made me fall asleep sitting up at various desks and start to dream while believing that I was still awake, is still such a problem for me that it’s now hard to imagine taking full time classes, constant homework, a part time job, and tutoring as well. I’m actually quite proud then of how I did survive it.

It does bother me, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it now, and it’s why I am the Coffee Queen. And when I go into super sleep mode at night and have wild and fantastical dreams it soothes the creative side of me and gives me such a boost that no caffeinated product on earth has yet managed to achieve. As such, it is mostly an issue on my days off from work, I’ve not been working a lot of hours the last few weeks so realistically I should be managing to get plenty of work done given that I’ve had plenty of off time. NOPE.

I set my alarm early, so I can get up and carpe diem but when it goes off, I have no idea what planet I’m on and flip my phone onto snooze and this routine can last for a couple of hours…. YES, A COUPLE OF HOURS! So that when I do finally remember I had a reason for getting up early, I’m groggy, my eyes are stinging with broken sleep, my head hurts and I feel blah. Plus it’s hours past the time I wanted to get up and I shuffle about like a zombie, caffeine having no effect on me at all.

It becomes a vicious circle, tired and sleepy –> lethargic –> the desire to crawl back into bed –> no creative energy to write or work/no urge to start –> feeling guilty that another day has passed with nothing done when this is my DREAM, DAMMIT!

I know this was something I mentioned in my goals list that I wanted to work on for this year but I’m trying to create a kind of Cheat Sheet of inspiration, things that no matter how tired or blah I am I’ll be sparked into action by reading them. Something that definitely helped recently was reading Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes, that I spoke briefly about in the last post, I just finished it last night and it has had such a profound effect on me. I know I need to start living more YES and hiding away less. Blogging has helped a lot as well. I’ve had blogs before but then really lacked the focus of what I was trying to do with them or I was too nervous about certain people reading certain things, whereas now, I cleaned up my facebook so everyone still there can read or not read my posts but I have nothing to hide. I changed how I approach blog posts, not just travel, languages, writing, but everything all of me, all that is me. I can’t split myself off the way others can, no one interest really takes the lead over the others, they are all important to me and in different ways, at different times.

Anyway, as much as I’d like to say this blogging exercise has got my creative juices flowing again, I think it’s more the venti caramel coffee soya frappuccino next to me that’s done the trick. I’ll implore you once again to read Shonda Rhimes book (99p on kindle) and I’ll get back to writing my script that I’ve been procrastinating on for too long.


e x

Posted in Books, Education, Fitness, Health, Late Nights, life, Musings, Shonda Rhimes, Travel, University, work, Writing

Battling the sleepies

I’m drained. Zonked. Gone.

I’ve had a few days off work just with how the scheduling goes, and had all these wild plans for what I’d do with all that free time. And yet, it’s been cold, stormy, wet, and blah. They probably sound like excuses and maybe they are but I’m so tired. I’ve caught up with some work in short bursts of effort, usually around 1am when I should be succumbing to the tiredness, but when my creativity works best. The rest of the time I just feel like a sleepy zombie.

I’ve been setting an alarm, but when it goes off in the morning, because I know there’s nothing I NEED to get up for, it’s more of an annoying noise that I flip over and end up snoozing for two more hours. It’s a bad habit… probably, but I think I’m suffering with ‘what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-itis’ and for me, hypersomnia is how I deal with it.

Now that I’m pondering it, there’s an element of SAD involved. It happens every winter, except this is the first time in a zillion years where I haven’t been compelled by full-time education to get my arse out of the house. I’ve ordered a sunlight alarm clock that will arrive in about two months -_- there’s no way I can afford a SAD lamp, plus electricity freaks me out.

In between passing out asleep and trying to wake up with strong coffee and Italian rap music, I’ve been reading Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes book. It’s amazing! I don’t often read autobiographies/self-help stuff, but her words are so relatable particularly about working hard and living/breathing/eating your own work as a writer. Even the parts about not having everything as a parent/writer/woman, it’s finally a relief to hear someone admitting that they don’t have everything sorted out, that they aren’t superwoman and, don’t have all the answers. She needs help to manage her life, she gets it; she needs help to look after her kids while she works, she gets it. Why should anyone be a martyr to a lost cause without asking for help? I’m hopefully never going to go down that merry road of motherhood but I can understand how certain parts of your life aren’t going to be perfect or even balanced while focusing on another part of your life.

I know it’s bad for your health to be stationary all the time, but as a writer, much of what I do requires that I sit writing drivel onto a screen or into a notebook for ages at a time. And in order to work as I need to on that, I can’t always breakaway to go to the gym and I nearly broke my back on the times I went to the gym and carried all my writing stuff and laptop with me… I’ve seen those girls at Uni, they’ll need traction by 25. I’m too old to put up with these pains though, and thus things slide. Plus, sitting/lying/being still is one of my favourite pastimes. I could pass as a statue.

Alas, alak, we’re nearly in February, still a month I hate but I’m hoping the nicer weather will make an appearance and my mood will feel less funky. I’m planning on doing blog posts on my previous trips abroad. I’ve got so many stories to tell, might as well tell you them. Just need to find all my old photographs as well. First trip to Italy was in 2008 and I can’t even begin to think how many different computers I’ve had since then!

A tarde!

e x

Posted in Fitness, Food, Goals, Health, life, Musings

Resolutions 2018

So in the last post I touched on the idea of those pesky New Year’s Resolutions we start the year with, often without enough determination to see us past the middle of January. Or when we mess up, we throw them out altogether, as unattainable and pointless. But here I’ve compiled my list of things I want to constantly work on and improve forever, not just in the new year and not just until I have a bad day and ‘mess up’.

  1. Work more effectively – This is a big one for me, I’m a terrible procrastinator and will find 127309274930 other things to do instead of just getting on with the one piece of work that I need to get done urgently. But it’s more than not procrastinating, it’s making proper use of actual working time. I’ll need to get the Forest App or use the Pomodoro technique to help me focus again. Otherwise I can spend five hours attempting to do something while really spending most of that time being distracted.
  2. Be more mindful – Ooh, that’s a buzzword. It’s not a cliche, but I need to spend more time being in the moment when I’m doing something. This goes back to me becoming too distracted with things. Like when I studied Photography all I wanted to do was French, and when I was back doing French I had all these ideas for things I could have done with the resources I had in my Photography course. Not being in the moment can definitely lead to problems of regret and getting one’s ass kicked by hindsight later on.
  3. Stop living in the past – It’s a bad habit but I’m not alone and now that I have admitted it to myself I know it’s something to be worked on. Instead of ‘I should have done this when X happened’, I need to admit that all that has happened has happened the way I let it happened and the only thing I can control now is now and the future. It’s important to learn lessons from the past and apply them to our current/future situations but not to dwell on them as if we can change them.
  4. Do more of what I enjoy – This is a no brainer, but how often do you go to bed at night and are bombarded with thoughts about all the things you meant to do today or wished you’d made time to do… or feel guilty for not having done it? Well, it happens to me quite a lot. And I’m not talking out there wild stuff like flying off to Belgium every weekend (oh, if only!) but simple things like spending some time crocheting my lovely blanket that I’ve not touched in months, or going back to refresh some Italian grammar, writing a new blog post, trying out a new recipe. Simple, but often overlooked, especially in the madness of the working week, it is as important as meditation and self-care, you need to do a little soul feeding as well.
  5. Stop biting my finger nails – Yeah, I know, ick! I used to do it when I was a nervous little kid, then in high school I started growing some of my nails (weak nails though) and fell out of the habit… Then I moved to Spain and with the shitstorm of nerves and anxiety that that brought, I found myself suddenly back to biting. I can’t stop and I need to, but still my nails break really easily and then we’re back to square one. I bought really nice nail polishes from Avon so I would stop, only thing is I hate painting my nails (shaky hands).
  6. Be more careful with diet/alcohol consumption and exercise – This one has pretty much dealt with itself since the new year began. I wrote before how I keep getting ill, so my diet has been stripped back so much. I haven’t felt much like drinking any alcohol, just had a couple of small, low alcohol beers and stopped before any pain could appear. I haven’t been to the gym… much or at all in 2018 but working retail has kept me moving and on my feet, but I am determined to get back in asap before I lose the benefits of my retail induced weight loss. In regards to exercise, I’m back at full fitness since my accident last April, my knees dead on are still very tender but everything else seems to be working smoothly (fingers crossed) and it’s just a matter of getting started back at it and KEEPING MOVING! Being still is one of my favourite hobbies and I know it’s not a good thing.
  7. Being more assertive and not listening to others’ opinions – I’ve spoke about this before, but my life is my own and I’m in charge of what I do, will do, should do. My opinions are valid and my choices are mine to make… I need to believe more in myself, my choices and accepting that they might differ greatly from what other people think. You can’t be a people pleaser.

Well, that’s a fairly comprehensive list of all that I want to work/focus on in the coming year. But believe me, it’s by no means an exhaustive list. I may add to it as the months go by, and might even give it its own page too to serve me as a reminder of what I want 2018 to be.

Who else has made plans, goals, or wants to see change in 2018? Let me know in the comments below.


e x




Posted in job hunting, Late Nights, life, work

A funny thing happened a few weeks ago…

I barely slept the night before Thursday 14th December as I knew I had an interview at 10am that morning. I had prepared, and had had ten days to prepare my presentation for it, but still I was unsettled about my impending performance and how it would be judged.

I dragged myself up, buzzed and nauseous at the same time and left early to get my bus. Despite the rumours of snow and bad weather I made it to my destination in plenty of time and without much hassle.

I cut my presentation into chunks stuck to large index cards to make it all look a bit more professional and after finding the right building and climbing a million stairs, I arrived about ten minutes ahead of time and was instructed to wait in the small dining area.

My interview started quite a bit after ten as they all seemed fairly casual about timing, then I stumbled into the small double-doored office but repeatedly informed that this wasn’t where interviews normally were conducted. I put any nerves aside and focused on the potential opportunity in front of me. I know things here in Glasgow are much different from what I was used to in Aberdeen, actually getting an interview is a much bigger deal here; the competition being infinitely more fierce.

It lasted all of fifty minutes with the two interviewers doing most of the talking. I believe I did do my best, but felt that their constant ‘sympathy’ of the horror of doing a presentation in front of two people kind of took my edge off. I’ve done hundreds of presentations like this, hundreds of times where I’ve put myself out of my comfort zone and had to think on my feet or speak while only pretending to feel confident, and yet… Something ultimately wasn’t enough, I didn’t get the job and received the rejection email six hours after the fact. I could over analyse and try to interpret where I went wrong, but without actual confirmation from them it really could have come down to an arbitrary point. However, the stats they sent me said 300 people applied for the job and I was one of 30 to be interviewed but only 12 were selected to be hired. There’s some consolation in that.

Anyway, the day was far from over.

I was starving and bolted to Wetherspoons straight after the interview and got the small breakfast and an avocado bagel… it was wonderful, considering I hadn’t eaten anything before it. The lack of sleep was wearing on me and I made for the bus to go home and sleep instead of a coffee refill. Thankfully, a bus appeared just as I got to the bus stop but suddenly my phone blasted the opening riff of ‘Sugar we’re goin’ down’ (my ringtone) and I awkwardly presented my bus ticket while trying to hear the person on the other end of the line.

Person: Hi, this is X from X at X, I was wondering if you’d be available for an interview today?

Me: Uh, sure. What time at?

Person: How about 2pm?

Me: Uh [checks watch to see suggested time is only an hour and a half from now] sure, I’ll see you then.

I came off the phone in shock and realised the ramifications of the spontaneity of the interview. I was in the middle of town, heading home and this place was the other end of the city, and I still had my job centre appointment at 4pm. So I did what had to be done and called in the support team.

The long and short of it is that by the time I got home there wasn’t much time to get a bus so I had to get a taxi to the shop and made it for a bit before two. I approached a staff member, was ushered into the back of the shop and met the boss. I didn’t even get to sit down when she asked to see ID, if I have full availability and can I start today. HA! Finally!

Of course I said yes, but would need to come back after the JC appointment. I headed straight there after my thirty second interview and my adviser and the person who questions people why they’re in the job centre were both thrilled for me and amazed that I had gotten something so quickly.

Then it was straight home to change and out to hunt for some food before getting to the place for half five to actually start… until 11:30pm.

So it’s been pretty much non stop since then, I’ve so far only had three days off but still have the next three days off to catch up on real-life stuff including uni work, this blog, and other writing stuff. I’m physically zonked from the constant standing around and bashing into things behind the counter, but I’m not emotionally drained which is the most important part for me. Still don’t miss the last job!

I hope everyone has had a really good holiday season and I’m sure we’re all looking to 2018 to be a much better year all round.

Hasta luego,

e x





Posted in Education, job hunting, life, work

When real life hits

I’ve been under no illusions the last few weeks. Life is being a bitch. I’ve had too much time on my hands without a job and the panic has set in many times. The unemployment rate is ridiculously high in Glasgow… apparently nothing’s changed in the last five years, even despite the massive increase in my work experience and my degree; it has done little to improve my circumstances.

Don’t ask what happened to the other job. All I’ll say is it was making me ill and it’s not the direction I wanted to be going in. Though I’m struggling, I don’t regret leaving… I’m just wondering if being in Glasgow is really the right place for me now.

When I don’t need to get up, I really struggle to get up at a reasonable time. I am the master of the 12-hour sleep and also often suddenly find myself still up faffing around at 2am… you get the picture. Anyway, today I finally got my shit together and left the house after 2pm wanting to go to the Mitchell Library. It’s only open until 5pm on a Friday but I could still make it for a few hours.

I was barely on the bus and in the middle of reading Lauren Graham’s Talking as Fast as I Can book when I heard others on the bus cry out a resounding “OHH!” I looked up and saw a wee man at the bus stop just collapsed onto the ground and wasn’t moving. Everyone on the bus froze in shock and a few people quickly jumped off and started fussing. Still no one knew what to actually do. I felt like an idiot. I just watched from the bus window, concerned but helpless. A guy appeared from nowhere and I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to get into the bus stop and was unaware of what was going on, but he got down on his hands and knees and pulled the guy onto his back and started doing chest compresions. Another woman soon took over this and the guy started giving mouth to mouth. Someone else called an ambulance and we all watched on as the old man still lay unmoving.

Eventually the bus driver was wanting to move on, some people stayed with the man and let the bus go. We all felt bad. A few stops later we saw the Paramedic ambulance racing in the opposite direction and a bit after that the real ambulance also rushed by. Gives me the shivers but isn’t the first time I’ve been in a situation like this. I really need to get First Aid certified.

It hasn’t tainted my day in so much as it has just brought a mortal edge to my issues. I’m struggling to find work, but so are lots of people. The world isn’t what it used to be… but also the world isn’t what it used to be. I am young, free, and single. The most fortunate woman in my long family line where I have had the help and support to be educated, to be free to work (even if I can’t find it), I live in a technological age where I can earn bits of money online, and I don’t need to marry, nor have children. I am not infallable, but I’m not defeated either. Something good will come eventually, it’s important to keep looking and being involved in life. In the meantime I’ll keep writing and finding joy where I can.

Just keep swimming!

e x