31.03.21

I am not entirely convinced that I exist.

Is it possible to be a figment of one’s own imagination?

I’m not quite sure that I really belong anywhere. I kind of feel like I’m not here, physically. I can feel my hands move and my scratchy eyelids open and close over gritty eyeballs and even my heart beating somewhere beneath all the layers of skin holding me together. But I mostly feel a cavernous space inside, as if I were a miniature Amy shaped galaxy within a humanoid shell.

Doesn’t make sense, huh? How can I be, and at the same time feel as if I’m not even here? My blindness irritates me, but marginally less than the glasses that don’t properly fit my face and that’s why I’m squinting as I type this.

The weight of expectation will be the death of me. Do this. Be that. Fit the mould. This whole goddamn world is so generic.

I just want to be held. Someone sing to me, quietly. Offer me some small comfort, a gentleness, a tenderness. Remind me of the sweet things. Soothe the wound of endless disappointment.

FREEEEEEDOM

You know that scene in Braveheart where William Wallace bellows “FREEDOOOOOMMMMM!!!”?

Of course you do. Everyone knows that scene, even if they haven’t actually seen the movie. It’s iconic.

Well, I was embodying William Wallace/Mel Gibson as I walked away from what was formerly my shop last Saturday afternoon. Admittedly there was less disembowelment on my part, and more dancing, but that’s not the point. The point is that I was finally free from the cage that had – for several years – made me miserable, sapped my time and energy, tried to simultaneously destroy my spirit and my bank balance, and led me to almost drive myself into oncoming traffic on at least two seperate occasions. And no, that’s not a funny little metaphor or an exaggeration; the job made me, quite literally, suicidally depressed.

As I handed over the keys and walked away for the final time ever, I was so elated I swore I could have started to fly. It was as if a weight had been lifted. I danced. I hugged my friends. I went out that night and partied like it was 2019, before Covid happened and the world went mad…der than it already was.

Nary a card nor handshake was offered in exchange for 6 years of service. I didn’t get so much as a thank you or a good luck from my employer. Yet it seems I’ve yet to be removed from the weekly email updates, and thus, keep receiving notifications about which shops are meeting budget and how many KPI’s each store has yet to achieve. Go figure.

But rest assured, all this extra time I’ve got is not wasted. I’m currently in the middle of rehearsing for a play, which I also need to make three costumes for in the next few weeks. Plus I’ve been asked to be in a music video for a local band at some point, I have a skirt to make for a friend for her birthday, various clothing repairs to complete, and somewhere in there still need to find time to exercise so I don’t look like the Goodyear blimp in my brother’s wedding come August. Not to mention that since that final walk, my other job has been ramping up. I’ve taken on another client, am about to potentially take on two more, and just today received an email offering me an interview for another job I applied for. When it rains it pours, I guess!

What I mean to say is, I’m flat out and a little tired, but I am happier than I have been in a long time. I highly recommend being made redundant, it does wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. And the most important thing of all, is that I am finally free from that toxic environment. Now I can actually dedicate my time to doing things that are constructive. And where I don’t have to endure daily misogyny whilst being forced to wear a fuck ugly uniform. Freedom indeed.

Oh, Honey…

I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when it started. All I know, is that I have become the kind of person who calls people honey unironically. I’m not quite sure when my language changed. When I progressed from bro and dude and oi, dickhead! to words like doll and sweetheart and most recently, perhaps one of my least favourite condiments; the infamous honey.

I wonder if this is an age thing. Did turning 28 turn me into someone who uses actual terms of endearment when referring to people I like? Or is it something else, a change in my molecular makeup perhaps? Whatever the reason for this change, I have to admit that it’s far from being the only, or the most significant change in my life of late!

The thing is, I actually seem to be experiencing a kind of cosmic shift. In one week from today, I will no longer be employed with the company I have spent 6 years working for. I have been saying I’m going to walk out for years now, and since being made redundant, have been literally counting down the days until my ultimate exit. I’m planning a celebration, such is my excitement at being free from this particular cage. To say I’m looking forward to my unemployment is an understatement.

Resulting from this change comes another, in the form of taking on more clients with my second job. I started working for a friend of mine late last year as a social media manager, and between the two jobs I have to admit that I haven’t had the time or energy to dedicate to both jobs equally. It has also meant that I have very little of my own time, between working six days a week and spending much of my spare time doing other life things. What can I say, I’m a busy gal! But with one job going by the wayside, I am hoping I’ll be able to better and more effectively manage my time. And, y’know, actually HAVE time to manage.

Perhaps the change in my language is the result of actually embracing the softer side of myself. After coaching sessions with a friend of mine (which I wrote about a few posts back) I discovered that I had been presenting myself outwardly as this dark, tough, loveless individual. And, in an attempt to keep myself at a distance from anything that might make me vulnerable, I kept myself detached from all things soft and ‘mushy’. But since taking that first step on my journey to self discovery, and opening myself up to vulnerability and authenticity, things in my life began to change, and one of those things, it would appear, is how I speak and the language I use.

Anyway, I’m OK with it. As a lover of words, I have no objection to expanding my vocabulary. And this is the person I am now, affectionate names and all. But nevertheless, there will always be a place for the bros and the dudes and the dickheads. I may have grown as a person, but I my vulnerability does not negate my vulgarity.

Unrealised Potential

When I first started sewing is 2014 I was never far from my machine. My brain was filled with wild ideas and creations, and I would spend every spare minute crafting them into physical designs. I look back over the clothes I was making in those early days, and it makes me sad a little. I miss the enthusiasm and the joy I took from the process.

These days, my creativity has taken a back seat. Actually if I’m being honest, it got kicked out of the back seat months ago, and left stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. And the truth is, I feel so cut off from that essential part of me that I don’t even really feel like me anymore. It’s like, somewhere along the line I got caught up in the day to day life stuff – and no small amount of bitterness about a whole bunch of that life stuff – and then, without me even noticing, my wild creativity just became more and more stifled.

I don’t know what it is. There is a passion within me that I feel has been wrenched out of me. And in its place is a gaping, jagged wound. What the hell happened to me, that I ended up here?

I don’t write anymore. Not for years, actually. Once, I had notebooks filled with stories and folders full of ideas. These days the only writing I do is here and for my job. Again, a part of me that has slowly been obliterated over time.

I need to start making time for being creative again. It’s essential for my wellbeing, my mental health, my very existence. I think a big part of the reason I’ve struggled so much in recent months is because I’ve not allowed myself the time to create. I’m going to be out of a job in two weeks, and then…I’m making a promise to myself. I’m going to make sure that I find ways to reignite my passion for creating. In whatever way that presents. There’s far too many projects unmade, and far too much unrealised potential.

I’m happier when I’m making something. Calmer in my person, and my mind. Better. More content. So here’s to finding the spark again, and to finding myself.

On Not Being Good at Things

I’ve been thinking about being good at things.

You look at talented people. Artists, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, authors. People who are really good at design, or carpentry, or sewing. And you think, damn I wish I could do that.

The thing is, all those talented people started out untalented. No one just wakes up one day and knows how to play the piano, or paint a realistic portrait. People develop their skills over time, and with practice. When I first started sewing years ago, the garments I was making were barely fit to be worn out of the house. These days, I have a wedding dress under my belt and another scheduled. I’ve made costumes for plays. I’ve made and altered clothing for friends, family, and people who just happened to hear that I sew. And I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. I’m not expert, but I’ve learned and improved over time.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolour. Every so often I sit and create something, and sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s awful. And that’s OK. Because at least I can say I’m doing it. Again, I’m by no means an expert. In fact, I’m not even remotely talented where painting is concerned! But I enjoy the process, and sometimes I think that’s all that matters. Not comparing myself to talented artists who have spent years honing their craft. For me, it’s not a passion, but a hobby. And therein lies the difference, I think.

In the same way that I own four different string instruments and still can’t play a single one. The truth is that whilst I love the idea of being able to play an instrument to go with my singing, I’ve never dedicated the time to learn. I get frustrated when I can’t learn 20 songs in an hour, and then eventually give up. But if I spent time and effort learning them, in the same way that all the talented musicians I admire have learned their instruments, then I could add that to my small list of things I’m not-bad-but-not-awful at.

I blame my lack of time. I blame the fact that I’m not good at a thing (despite not being able to GET good at it if I don’t practice). I blame life, and commitments, and work and a myriad of other things. But hey, in 3 weeks I’m gonna be made redundant anyway. So maybe I can start actually putting in some time and effort to learn a skill properly. Instead of just trying it out every few months and giving up after a day. Maybe I’ll take a class or something, I dunno.

Anyway. The point is, that skills rarely come naturally. And even the ones that do still need to be worked on. And it’s OK to not be good at everything. And it’s also OK to admire in others, skills you would like to have yourself. But if you want to have those skills, you’ve gotta be prepared to work at them. But don’t let not begin good at something stop you from trying it. We’ve all gotta start somewhere.

Practice makes perfect, or something.

20.02.21

Fuck I wish it would rain.

I’m out of sorts, man. I’m just so fucking sick of everything. I took a tally of how many times I’ve thought about dying this week, and so far we’re at 17. Wait. Now it’s 18.

When it’s not the void, it’s the misery, and if not that, then it’s the rage.

So what do you do with all that anger? Masturbation is a good way to vent it out, sure. But an orgasm or two doesn’t keep the emptiness at bay. Sooner or later (usually the former) it comes back, and then you’re right back where you started.

What do you do when you realise that your life just isn’t gonna be anything other than mundane? How do you get up every day, knowing that today is going to be just the same as yesterday? Running away is a good idea in theory, but it’s a temporary solution at best. Clean slate? Never. You always bring some baggage with you, that’s the inevitability of existence.

I’m just so goddamn tired of being alive.

Small seemingly insignificant things hurt far more than they reasonably should. It’s like having your heart gouged out with a wooden spoon. Splinters are the worst, right? I wish I could just scrub the memory from my brain, but it’s there like a neon light in the darkness. Stupid light.

There’s so much I wish I could say. Not that it would make a difference even if I could speak the words aloud. But the things left unsaid are sometimes the heaviest burdens to carry. So we stay silent. I guess this is just the way things are.

Fuck I wish it would rain.

Escape

Lately I’ve been feeling overcome by the overwhelming urge to escape. I am in urgent need of some time alone, away somewhere far outside the reach of people or communication.

I feel like I’m drowning a little, if I’m being honest. My two jobs are draining all the energy out of me and even the people I love are becoming hard to spend time with or talk to. I am in this constant state of physical and mental exhaustion, and desperate for just a few quiet days on my own.

I want to shed all responsibility for a couple of days. Not have anything demanded or expected of me. No one asking me to give them my time or my energy or my focus. I want to be somewhere surrounded by trees, or somewhere near the ocean perhaps. Just anywhere that doesn’t involve people. I need to ground myself, and reconnect with the Amy that isn’t a weary ball of tension and stress. I like that Amy. She’s much more content than me.

The state of things here aren’t helping any either. We’re still forced to wear masks and now our government has sent us into another lockdown. It’s tiring and frustrating and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has, frankly, has enough.

I just need a break. A step away from my current reality. A well deserved escape. Hey, you never know; with just four weeks until my redundancy takes effect (woo!) maybe going away somewhere can be my celebration.

Redundancy, and Change

I’ve been made redundant. Or I will be in five weeks.

I work for a company that has many franchises. My shop, which has been up to this point company owned, is about to be bought out. We just started a new guy this week, and he will go with the shop. I, on the other hand, will be let go.

Sounds like I got the raw deal in this whole scenario. And the truth is, I suppose I did. My six years with this company doesn’t appear to count for much, despite the insistence of my area manager that he would do all he could to find work for me. On the surface, it looks bad. But the thing is, I was getting ready to quit anyway.

My last trainee just quit. I got lumped with a new guy, a reject from an interview with my sister store in the other shopping centre. I had no say in the hiring process and effectively got stuck with the dregs of the last interview. The new guy is…creepy. And I don’t have the energy or the patience to spend the next 12 months training him, when I just finished training the last person we hired. But that aside, I’ve long felt that my time with this company was coming to an end anyway. There is a shift coming, and a big one. I’ve been struggling with where I’m at, and wrestling with the choice to stay or go. This change in my work situation was just the catalyst for a bigger change in my life.

I have no idea what I’m going to do next. But I feel liberated. I feel a weight lifted. I am ready for whatever the Universe throws at me. I think I’ve been ready for this for some time, and now that things are changing, I expect that things will start to fall into place. I am, for once, letting go of the reigns and putting it all in the hands of fate.

A Thousand Deaths

The thing they never tell you about life, is that it’s agonizing. The very weight of being is painful in a way that cannot be defined by words alone.

I hurt. I ache. I feel everything and nothing. And it’s endless.

We exist in these finite bodies, each passing day bringing us ever closer to our slow, inevitable descent into decay.

I endure. A thousand times over, and a thousand times again.

This great, glorified existence. No one ever told me that it will kill me long before I die.

Sunday Musings

Things are starting to heat up. No, not a euphemism. It’s summer in Australia, and whilst the last month was reasonably free of super hot days, January seems determined to remedy that. Today it’s expected to get to 37, and the same again tomorrow. Which is fine, if you don’t live in an ancient house with no air conditioning and a tendency to retain heat long after the sun has gone down.

I had plans to sew today, because I haven’t had any free time to do any this week, but I’m dreading the notion of slaving away over the machine in this kind of oppressive heat. So I might make the shirt I was planning to piece together this morning before it gets too hot, and then spend my afternoon watching Friends under the fan or something.

I always dread this time of year. I’m a cold weather person, you see. I like winter, and autumn, and those lovely spring days that don’t get above 25. But summer is a torrid time, and it is guaranteed that I’ll be easily irritated, sleep deprived and uncomfortable. But, I’m still chipping away at my savings, so maybe by next summer I will be able to afford to put a deposit on a house with actual air conditioning. It’s the dream!

But it’s not just the heat that has me restless and losing sleep. I am looking for a new job too. See, things at my current job are about to get a whole lot more unbearable. The girl I trained for 12 months is about to move to the city, and therefore she can no longer work for me. Which means I got stuck this week trialling two different men, neither of which I was particularly thrilled about. Unfortunately I had no choice, and was forced to settle on the slightly less underwhelming of the two. But the guy they’re going to hire – that I will now get stuck training for the next 12 months unless I do find a new job – has the attitude of one who will try and be the superior person in the shop. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to be spending my time bringing him back down to reality, and reminding him that I am the boss. In addition to this, my area manager is leaving as well, which means I now have to deal with a newcomer who will unboubtedly be out there trying to prove himself (because it’s never a woman) and turn into a real pain in my ass.

This week has, for various reasons, been stressful. I’ve cried. I’ve gotten overwhelmed. I’ve gotten angry. And we’re only 10 days into the year! I hope this isn’t a precursor to the next 12 months because I tell you, I am so not here for that kind of energy! No, honestly I think it’s just going to be a bit of a rough patch until I can sort a few things out. Until then, I’ll battle on, with the vague promise of better things to come to keep me going (it’s good to think positively, no?)

That being said, if anyone would like to buy a winning lottery ticket and post it to me, I’d be eternally grateful! Anyway, I’ma go have some breakfast, and do something productive before the heat gets too much and I give up on the notion! Happy Sunday, everyone!