Tag Archive | Real Life

Difficult Decisions

I am not very lucky with relationships. In fact,quite the opposite is true. I tend to fall for the straight guy, never really get asked out (well, by guys anyway), and never have the courage to ask someone else out (even if I’m certain they’re gay).

Last week, as i was trying to screw up the courage to ask someone out, someone else spoke to me first. I immediately said yes, and somehow (before we even went on a date) we slept together. We’re now trying to organise a proper date, but he is being a pain to pin down.

Now, a week on, I’m not even sure I am actually interested. Yeah, he got my attention a year ago, but as I’ve got to know him a little better, I’m no longer so sure I want to know him. Yeah, perhaps I thought I was interested. But I thought I was interested in my only girlfriend, and look how well that worked out… I’m also not convinced that he isn’t just in it for the sex. Or that my low self-esteem made me say yes only because he asked.

To make matters more complex, there is another guy. The one I was going to ask out. I already know I like him, have a feeling he likes me, and we have more in common than the organisation. Yes he annoys me sometimes, but mainly only when he’s showing off to others. I have also actually had more than one nice conversation with him.

I don’t want to hurt anyone (or get myself a reputation). But, I do want a relationship for myself as well as my partner, and more than just what happens in bed…

I think, while writing this I’ve decided what I’m going to do. I suspect I’ll regret it, but i think I’ve got to follow my heart.

This could get interesting…

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Worrying about Blogging

In light of my recent incidents involving Facebook, I recently got very worried about posting about, well, anything.  When I looked at my incoming referer logs, it was clear that people had come this way from my Facebook page.  Potentially a lot of people, based on the number of hits, though most likely only a couple who just browsed most of my blog.  For a brief while, I was paranoid that all of my friends (at least, those who can see my Facebook timeline) would be heading this way to see what I’d written.  Of cause, I clamped down on what could be seen very fast, and I think I limited the ‘damage’ (the only confirmed person who saw the blog I can cope with), but that didn’t make me feel that much better.  Suddenly, the perceived safety of a pseudo-anonymous blog had vanished.  Perhaps it was time to jack it all in.

Except, I then remembered why I set up this blog.  I write here to express myself, to vent, and because I enjoy writing for its own sake.  Sure, I might have blown my ‘cover’.  Sure, someone I know may actually read this.  I’ve realised it doesn’t matter.  Because this blog is mine, not yours.  I’m not breaking the law (as far as I know), so I can say what I like. You may not like it, but that’s tough.  I still have enough shreds of plausible deniability left to protect me from other members of the Organisation, and ultimately, it’s a free country.  As long as I’m not hurting someone, I can say what I like.

Of cause, this may not make me popular, but if I let that stop me, I’ve lost out, not them.

When I was thinking about all of this (and pondering over a few posts that I could write), an xkcd post comes to mind.  I think it covers quite well my final conclusion.  I think I’ll leave you with that, and, real-life permitting, normal service will resume shortly…

Dreams from xkcd.com

Dreams – from xkcd.com

Facebook

So, despite fiddling with settings and ensuring that all posts from this blog were directed to the Walking Plaster Dispenser page instead of my own personal timeline, WordPress yet again posted a status message onto my timeline.  Thankfully I spotted this one significantly faster than last time, thought not before at least one person came this way.

If you are them, I’ll point you in the direction of this post, and say no more…

In order to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, I have severed all connections between Facebook and this blog.  Seeing as I can’t trust WordPress not to cock it up again, this is the only real option I have to avoid dumping myself in the brown and sticky stuff. Again…  As a result, I’ve also taken down the Page (not that it was every particularly successful or useful).

If you still want to follow me, I’m still on Twitter, and there is always the RSS and email feeds.

My Future as a Leader

As I have mentioned a few times now, I am currently the leader of the local Organisation unit for young people.  This means I am in charge of two other adults and twenty 10-18 year-olds, and am somehow responsible for making sure they become disciplined, confident and well-rounded individuals (which most of them are).

Now, I have been a member of this organisation for just under five years.  The first three-ish years were spent in the university unit, which was fun at first, but in the end I had a falling out with two of the more influential members, and it became more trouble than it was worth to stay put.  Somehow, I convinced myself (and was convinced) that it would be a good idea to work with young people, and I transferred to, and eventually ended up leading, the my current unit.  In short, this was the best thing I could ever have done.  While trying not to be over-dramatic, I am convinced that, had I stayed at the University unit, I would since have left the organisation, or at the very least be very fed up.  Instead, I have had two of the most enjoyable years of my life, and I have grown very attached to all of the young people I work with.

Unfortunately, now that I am graduating, life gets more interesting.  With my upcoming graduate program, I could end up changing where I am working every three months.  I could end up spending three months working in the US, or Germany, or anywhere else that my company operates in. Add on to the fact that I won’t know where my first placement is until after my housing contract has ended, and this level of uncertainty is not really conducive to being a good leader.

I don’t want to leave my unit.  I feel like I have really achieved something here, and without all the hassle of the politics involved in working with adults, and I also feel really guilty about being the fourth leader to leave them in as many years.

That said, I am about to embark on what could be a really exciting start to my career, and I am worried that if I feel tied down to a specific location, I am going to be unwilling to take up some of the opportunities I could get.  I would love to go work in the US, even for a little bit.  While part of me is keen to stay in the UK, I think I would be doing myself a disservice if I let these chances pass me be.  It’s not as if I wouldn’t be able to volunteer in EMS elsewhere (even if I ultimately end up living outside the UK).

I think I’m going to have to have a long hard think about this, when all my university stuff is done, and I have a feeling I know what the answer will be.

It totally sucks, but I have a feeling I won’t be a youth leader for much longer.

An Update

I know I said I would do a series of posts on observations, and I still intend to, but at the moment real life is just getting in the way. This is just a quick update of what’s happening, and the next post will be about something I really need to get off of my chest.

So, I am rapidly approaching the end of my degree. My final report is due next Tuesday, and after the Thursday after that, I am done. Finished. Leaving my university and likely not coming back (except for graduation based stuff).

I’m not going to lie, it’s a scary prospect. Not accounting for my work placement, I’ve been in full-time education for 19 years. It is literally the only thing I can remember doing. As of September, I start on the beginning of what (at the moment, at least) will be a career in Engineering. Real engineering (it doesn’t get any more real than jet engines…), where the work I do actually has a real purpose.

I will be leaving behind what I know and am comfortable with, a huge number of my friends, and all the other benefits of student life. This is scary beyond belief…

In other news, I am currently bike-less again, as some idiot drove over the front wheel of my bike (fortunately while I wasn’t on it). Needless to say, this is very annoying, not least because I am currently sat on a bus that takes the most roundabout route home possible.

This year I am not going to the graduation ball. In fact, this is the first time since starting university that I’ve not been there in some kind of first aid capacity, and I have zero interest in going as a punter. I had intended to go as first aid, but I haven’t been asked yet, and the unit has upset one of my good friends, so we’ve decided to go on duty the next morning instead. The person who did the upsetting is now also not going, but I have managed to persuade my friend that it isn’t her problem any more (and so she doesn’t need to pick up the pieces after the very likely meltdown).

Speaking of meltdowns, the local adult division is currently having a very slow one. Three of the more progressive members have been made to feel very unwelcome, and so have walked away. As a result, their training program is steadily going down the pan, morale is going to drop (as people realise what they’ve lost), and its all going to go to hell. Of the units six-ish active ambulance qualified volunteers, they now have two actively refusing to do events, two prioritising county level events (me and CycleGuy), leaving two to (fail to) meet the units commitments (meaning other units have to help out).

On the bright side, my unit of young people is going strong.  We have just had a very successful sponsored walk (where I got to legitimately play tag for the first time since I left junior school), and have half a dozen things planned for the near future.

Work is still being its normal irritating self (but that’s retail for you), and I’m doing far too many hours for the Organisation (no change there, then), and for the most part I’m enjoying myself.

When things start settling down, I will try to post more frequency.  For now, I will get on when I can, and I’m still on Twitter (my lifeline when drowning in my project).

Now, to finish, another musical interlude.  Enjoy 🙂

Another Door Closes

Yesterday I emailed by project supervisor, who had been pestering me about doing a PhD.  I basically explained that I don’t currently want to do a PhD, and that I have been looking for and found a graduate job.

This was not an easy email to send.  Despite being pretty certain that I want to take up this job offer, a part of me won’t let up on pointing out that I am turning down an opportunity that may not come up again.

Looking at it, I see this:

  • Doing a PhD allows me to pursue something I’m probably interested in, to a level further than anything else I can do on my own.
  • Doing a PhD will mean I can call myself Dr, which is kind of cool (even if it’s Doctor of Philosophy)
  • I will essentially be being paid to do a PhD, and so start working off some of the mountain of debt I seem to have acquired

However:

  • I can earn twice as much doing a real job as I can doing a PhD
  • I still don’t know if I want to stay in engineering, and if I don’t, this is another few years down the pan
  • I can do a PhD later if I wish, so if I stay with engineering the opportunity probably isn’t gone forever
  • Other than being slightly more prestigious, I don’t see any benefits that a PhD can give me that experience doing the job won’t

I’m not saying it would be easy to take up a PhD later, and I’m not saying that it would be a complete waste of time.  I’m sure that, if I actually went for it, it would probably be fun.  But that wouldn’t answer the question of whether or not I want to do the job. The only way I’m going to work this out is by giving the whole job thing a go.

I decided a long time ago that I wouldn’t settle for a job I didn’t enjoy, just because it paid well.  I know full well that I can earn more as an engineer than as a nurse or a paramedic.  Perhaps if I was willing to go the whole hog and become a doctor of medicine it would be different, but I don’t, so that’s that.  I also know that as an engineer I’ll get nicer hours (or rather, not shift work), probably have a more comfortable life outside of work, and potentially be very successful.  However, none of this means very much if I don’t enjoy my work.  I’m sure I can live a comfortable and happy personal life on a nurse’s wage, and if I enjoy work more as well I think I’ll be better off.

And because of this, I won’t change my plans.  I will give engineering its chance.  I’ve invested too much into it now to not, and all this disenchantment may just be from uni course burnout.  However, if a couple of years down the line I decide that enough is enough, I will move on and do something else. And, in the mean time, I will work to put myself in the best possible position at that time.

I just have to keep reminding myself that while I might be passing up opportunities now, it’s all so that I can keep my options wider in the future.

An Update

So, I think I should do a bit of an update.

I’m currently in the middle of my final ever exams at Uni. I’ve done one, and have another three to go. I’m a bit stressed, as you can imagine.

It goes without saying that all the depression and anxiety are acting up, with all the problems that entails, not least because I still haven’t got around to doing anything about it…

On the bright side, I have just received confirmation that I have a graduate job with a big engineering company, doing pretty much the engineering I think I want to do. How it pans out remains to be seen, but at least its something to go in to while I worry about everything else. My plan has always been to get a graduate job, and then see what happens next. I can still go into nursing (or something else) later if things don’t work out, and in the meantime I can build up my savings, ready to go back to uni if the need arises.

Typically, now I’ve got this all sorted, I’ve got my project supervisor pestering me about doing a PhD with the uni. I’ll admit, the idea is slightly attractive, but not enough to make me abandon my longterm plans. I can’t justify further expense that could be on a doctorate in something I’m not that interested in as a career ( and I have no desire to be an academic…)

With the Organisation, it feels like we’re on the verge of mutiny with the local Adults. One member (who I have already introduced as CycleGuy) has jumped ship to join my youth unit, and the feeling is growing that two more may be planning to leave.  To add to this, I have heard through the grapevine that the Adult leader may want a word with me about ‘stealing’ CycleGuy, after having both of us make it clear to him that the unit he held his membership at was his choice, and neither of I nor the Adult leader minded what he chose.  The fact that CycleGuy and I both found this out through a third member doesn’t help the matter.  Needless to say CycleGuy is slightly miffed (and I’m far from impressed).

I also know that CycleGuy (as well as HistStudent) wants to become my 2IC.  I am a little sceptical, mainly because I worry that he doesn’t have the Youth Work experience, but my alternative is HistStudent who I know (at a gut level that is difficult to explain in words) would be wrong for the position.  I have been putting off re-opening the position (long story…) because I can’t really face the interviews and the stress they’ll cause, but I don’t think it can wait any longer.  I could be off for good in a few months time (sad times 😦 ), and someone needs to know what to do if I go.

I think that’s a catch-up of everything that’s been going on over here.  I have an exam tomorrow, so I can’t stay up too much later.  Fortunately I’m reasonably confident about this one (at least, everything is making sense).

And Again With the Wrong Men

Sometimes I wonder if someone, somewhere, has it in for me.

Yet again, I have fallen for the wrong guy.  Yet again, I’ve found myself having feelings about a straight man (in a long-term relationship with his girlfriend), and have to clamp down hard on them.

This time it’s one of my friends from the Organisation.  We met about a year ago, I think, when he moved to the area, and I started regularly attending the local Adult unit.  He settled in to the unit fairly quickly, and as we have very similar interests in the Organisation, and opinions on how many things should be done, we’ve got on very well.

Over time, and particularly recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve become very attracted to him, above and beyond the normal wish to be around someone who you get along with.  He’s a bit older than the man I’d normally go for, and not conventionally good-looking, but there’s something about him that gets me going every time.  I think it’s because pretty much everything he does, he’s very passionate about, and it’s really easy to get caught up in that, and it’s exciting.

It doesn’t help that I have recently spent a large amount of time in his company, and a reasonable amount of that alone with him.  It’s possible (though looking increasingly unlikely) that we could be crewing a vehicle together this weekend.

I am, of cause, being good.  Not only would I not dream (well…) of getting involved with someone who is obviously dedicated to his partner (who I also get on with reasonably well), I know that doing anything about this except ignoring it would only end in losing our friendship.  Not to mention the general awkwardness that it would result in from now until the end of time.  Instead, I bite my tongue, and keep things as friendship only.

If only I could fall for someone who there is even a chance that they might return the feelings, without the certainty that it’ll blow up in my face.

Housemates!

He’s done it again…  My housemate has invited a couple of people to stay at our house for a couple of nights.  Not once has he asked me if that’s a problem, or if I mind, or even just given me warning that I’d have two strangers (to me) sleeping in the house.

It’s not even as if I’d say no.  I wouldn’t mind if he just warned me, so when these random people turn up my first instinct isn’t ‘who the hell is that in my house’.

I know this is a shared house, and he has as much right to have guests around if he wants.  That I don’t have a problem with.  They’ll probably be using my eating stuff tomorrow (though I’ll be damned if I’m washing it up specially for them…)  I don’t even really mind that they’ve just spent the entire evening on my Xbox (again, not even as much as a ‘do you mind’).  What bugs me is the fact that he doesn’t even seem to have considered the fact that I might mind.

It is tempting to get up nice and early, make myself a nice cooked breakfast, and generally clatter around tomorrow morning and see if he says anything.  I may even ‘forget’ to close the kitchen door, and accidentally set of the smoke detectors like I regularly do when frying things.

It sounds a little mean, as I look at it, but hey, we can both be inconsiderate from time to time if we want…

The Inside Story

It is difficult to describe what it is like, the low mood and other things I’m feeling right now.  It is difficult to imagine (even for me), which makes it hard for people to empathise, (or more importantly for me, understand).

It’s not just feeling sad, though that is definitely part of it.  Everyone feels sad from time to time, and most people get through it without it being a problem.  It’s also not just feeling lethargic, or lazy, or just not bothering to do anything.  Again, everyone gets days like these.

But, in my case at least, it’s not just feeling sad all of the time. And it’s not just feeling apathetic all of the time and accepting it. It’s more than that. At least these would be something concrete to fight against.

For me, it’s somewhere in between. Some days I feel fine. If I keep myself busy, through myself in to my work with the Organisation, get lost in a good book, or am snowed under with work, it seems to go away. I don’t really want to get up every morning, but I know that if I do I’ll get out of the house, get paid, and be able to do important things like eat for another month. On a good day I’ll be full of energy, whipping around the house, tidying, finishing paperwork, generally getting things done. On a good day I can achieve a lot, and by keeping myself busy I don’t give myself time to sit and mope. Through me in to the deep end of an event, and I’ll be so busy doing things I enjoy that I won’t notice it’s been a good day until it’s over. For a while I’ll forget.

On a bad day, it goes completely the other way. I’ll sit on the sofa, mope around and do nothing. I’ll have work satin front of me, waiting for me to finish it, and I’ll just put it aside and pretend I’m busy. It’s not even just procrastination, just a complete lack of motivation. Given half a chance, I’ll spend the morning in bed, only getting up when I’m seriously hungry. I won’t eat properly, snacking on stupid things because I can’t muster the motivation to cook properly. I won’t bother to shower. I’ll generally neglect myself, leaving everything I can get away with. If I bully myself enough, and I have a close enough deadline, I might get a little work done, but only enough to scrape through. It’ll be a struggle to even get that done without putting it off.

And to top it all off, most of the time I’ll just sit and think. Mostly about how rubbish I’m being, and how I need to get stuff done. Things will go around and around like how I’m a useless Youth Leader, a rubbish engineer who’ll never enjoy his work, anything that’s getting me down. I’ll beat myself up over every little mistake I’ve ever made, agonising over how I should have done it differently, and imagining terrible consequences for it all.

Which is when the harming tends to come in. I try to keep myself away from things that can seriously hurt me. I’ve never done myself serious damage. I don’t plan to allow myself the opportunity to start. I almost allow myself the small things, as a pressure release, to stop things building up. It’s not good, it’s not a solution, but under the circumstances, I can think of worse things.

If I can muster the motivation, and I have the time, I try to go for a cycle ride at this time. A bit of mindless cycling, having to concentrate on everything going on around me and not what’s going on in my head helps a little, at least for a while.

I need someone to talk to. Someone I can sit down in front of, real out everything to, and get some honest advice (and probably a kick up the backside) in return. The problem is, everyone who really meets those requirements is an Organisation member, and so immediately I run them in to a difficult position. And of cause, even the thought of this is enough for me to not talk to them, because I don’t want to drag someone else down with me.

And so the cycle goes around and around. I am desperately trying to get myself sorted, but time and again the general lack of motivation defeats me. I’ve got to keep trying and keep trying, and hope this won’t beat me.

No, that is the wrong attitude.

This won’t beat me. I won’t let it.

I can’t let it.

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