Shift

I feel strange. I’m not sure if it’s the change in the weather, or my pending move, or something that will simply reveal itself in time. But I woke this morning with a curious feeling that I cannot quite put a name to. I feel as if something is coming; a shift of some kind. As yet, I’m not sure whether this is a good thing, or bad. I’ll just have to wait and see how everything progresses.

Frankly, there is something about this time of year that makes me reflective. And I don’t just mean because the year is waning, and drawing ever closer to it’s end. Time seems to be slipping away from me faster than ever before, and the list of things I want to do grows ever bigger and seemingly more unattainable. I can’t help but feel like I’ve wasted the opportunities this year has given me, and yet on the other hand it feels as though the Universe is conspiring to drive me constantly back to the same places, both literally and figuratively. If there’s a reason for this, I’ve yet to discover what it is, but I no longer have the energy to fight it. Perhaps this has been my problem all along. Fighting against the tide only works for so long, before you must resign yourself to the fact that perhaps it is better to just let the current take you wherever it intends you to go.

I have to believe that whatever this change is that I can sense coming, is going to be for a good reason, even if that reason is not immediately apparent to me. I have to remember that there are some things I have no control over, and try to just go with the flow, whatever comes.

I can only hope that this shift brings with it something positive. I’ve had quite enough negative for this year, thank you very much.

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On Being Positivity Adjacent, and Being Ok With It.

I am not what you would call an overly positive person. My brain is simply not wired that way. Part of this has to do with having a mental illness (depression, represent!), and part of it is because, on a fundamental level, it just isn’t who I am. I err on the side of pessimism, and I tend to find it a greater struggle, and much more of an effort to be positive and cheerful and optimistic about things.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this lately. A very good friend of mine has recently begun to immerse herself fully in a journey of self discovery, and she’s doing all the better because of it. I talk to her, and feel inspired to be better, to try harder, to push myself out of my comfort zone and throw myself into the deep end of human interaction and brand new experiences. And then the inner voice that lends itself to my decision making, reminds me that I don’t like people, and I feel uncomfortable in social situations, and that I am much happier just living my little hermit life. Then, for reasons beyond my understanding, I feel guilty about it. Why is it so hard for me to put myself out there? Why do I loathe the idea so much? Is there something wrong with me?

I’ve been asking myself these kinds of questions a lot in recent weeks, for a number of reasons. Firstly, there seems to be an influx of people lately, urging me to try dating sites, and to get out there and meet potential partners. And every time, I laugh it off, and tell them that I am happier on my own. Which brings a myriad of questions and doubts from the people trying to set me up. After all, it’s a truth universally acknowledged, that everyone else knows more about how you should live your life than you, the one actually living it. At least, they think they do. I’ve spent most of my life single, and the idea of dating is largely unappealing to me. But the major argument against this, is that I don’t know unless I try, and that I could be missing out on something great because I ‘cut myself off’ from any possibility of romance.

Secondly, I’ve been spending a lot more time on my own than normal, in my house, locked away. All the friends I made here are working in a job I no longer have, and I don’t know anyone else here. I’m still unfamiliar with this town, despite being here nearly five months, and my days off are mostly spent inside, or adventuring to other towns by myself. Again, the very idea of meeting new people is daunting. And, by the way, how do you even do that? I mean seriously, do people just approach others to strike up a conversation and end up with a friend?

I went to a networking event the other night, and the girl hosting it talked about finding your passion and rolling with it. Which sounds great in theory, but I don’t know that I’m passionate enough about anything to want to make it my job. All the women there seemed content to chat and plan and interact. And this is where I differ from the above mentioned friend. I think she took a lot more from the night than me, because she’s willing to be open to new experiences and to try new things. And I felt bad because I was acutely uncomfortable in this room full of strangers, and then I felt like I wasn’t trying hard enough, and that I had failed in some way. Why couldn’t I talk? Why did conversation make my throat tight, and my heart race? Why did I feel a little relieved when the headache that had plagued me all day intensified to the point where I couldn’t stay?

What I’ve come to realise, amidst all these self doubts and existential questions, is that whilst I may not be as socially outgoing as my friend, I do have an inherent curiosity, and thirst to learn more about…well, everything. I too am open to experience, and discovery, and knowledge. Just not with other people. And there is nothing wrong with that, and certainly nothing wrong with me. The fact that positivity doesn’t come naturally to me, is not necessarily a flaw. It is nothing more or less than a quirk of my nature, a part of my genetic makeup, if you will. It is me, and I’m good with the person I am.

I know what I want to do with my life. I want to adventure places, see the world, be inspired and create, in any way I can. But career wise? I got nothing. Romance? I’d prefer not to. People? Thanks, but I’ll pass. And whatever I may do, it isn’t likely to be with rose colored glasses and a positivity hat. But with pragmatism as my super power, I’ll do just fine.

Deactivation, and Decluttering

I deactivated my Facebook a little over a month ago. I haven’t really been all that active on that particular social media site for a long time, only posting sporadically. And I have long since unfollowed probably half of my Facebook friends, because they annoyed me, so my news feed essentially consists of memes posted by the friends I do still follow. Which, in my case, is about as far from interesting or entertaining as it gets.

I decided to deactivate the account for those, and other reasons. Essentially, I have grown tired of it, and it serves little to no real purpose for me anymore. I was pretty much only keeping it as a convenient way to arrange group gatherings, and to keep the page for The Elegant Fox open. But even that grew tiresome. On a busy schedule, it’s not easy to find time to sew and post something every day – or even every few days! And the constant reminders from Facebook, telling me to update the page because I hadn’t posted in five whole days, grew increasingly tiresome. I have to admit, not having that constant pressure to keep my followers updated has been a pleasant change of pace for me.

Most of my social media presence is via this blog, and my Instagram. I have a Goodreads account, but I find that’s less about social interaction, and more about sticking to my reading goal for the year. The truth is, I didn’t outright delete my Facebook account, in case it becomes of use again. In any case, I’ll need to reactivate it so I can keep up with the Fox. Assuming, that is, that I don’t follow through with my plan to simply let it lapse, and go back to taking commissions only when people ask. See, here’s the thing; I hate where I live, and I am no longer particularly fond of my job. I don’t want to spend any time on any other things that bring me no joy or serve little purpose. Facebook is one of those things. And to a degree, my small business venture is another.

I love sewing. I love creating things from nothing and wearing my handmade items with pride. I love learning new skills, and putting them into practice. But the business, if you can even call it that, is far from profitable. I’m thinking, instead of dealing with the pressure that comes with expectation, simply keeping the business name registered, but not trading publicly anymore. It is the kind of thing I need to dedicate more of my time to, and working full time isn’t really conducive to full time creation.

I’ve kind of reached this point, where I am sick of doing things for the purpose of keeping other people happy. Especially because it hasn’t really worked out all that well for me. On the contrary, I feel worn out and spread thin from all the trying. So I am going to slowly, but surely remove the things from my life that no longer serve a purpose. Like a big spring clean, only it’s the wrong season and I’m decluttering my life instead of my house. Though that will come later, when I move.

I think sometimes it’s good to take stock of our lives, and work out what things are holding us back, dragging us down, or making us unhappy. And then take steps to improve those things, or rid ourselves of them. Because what’s the point of being alive, if we don’t get to enjoy living? Forgive the cliche, but it makes sense, don’t you think?

What to do When You Don’t Win the Lottery

I didn’t win the lottery today. I won back fourteen dollars of the twenty two it cost me to buy the ticket, but the fifteen million, as I understand it, was won by someone in Queensland. Lucky bastard.

I never actually buy lottery tickets and expect to win, and I don’t buy them regularly. Just every so often, when I’m feeling particularly unlucky, I purchase one. See, even though I never expect to win, I figure if my luck is so bad to warrant buying a ticket, then maybe the universe will take pity on me, and grant me some millions. Amy logic, and logic that has never won me more than twenty five dollars at a time, but I stick with it because…well, we all have to hope for something better, right?

Take my trip to Tasmania (is just over a month now guys, I’m so excited!). I am taking the trip because I need a break from pretty much everything. But I am also going for two other reasons; to write, and to look for employment opportunities. Because, since I didn’t win the lottery today (or any other day), I figure it is up to me to try and better my own situation. Despite my periods of doubt and unhappiness, I am taking a proactive approach to keeping my head above water. The issue with trying to find work in Tassie is, unfortunately, the lack of job opportunities. There are more jobs in this one city than the entirety of Tasmania. But nevertheless, I am going to scout it out and see if maybe something comes up. It surely can’t hurt!

See, I kind of came to this realisation a few weeks back, after my first job application in Tasmania, and the subsequent conversation I had with my best friend. He said that the job in question (which I’m certain I didn’t get, since I haven’t heard anything back) could end up being really lonely. And I said to him, “so maybe I only do it for a year. The beauty of decision making is that it’s so rarely final.” And it has kind of become my mantra lately. I know that where I am right now, is not the place I have to stay, either mentally or geographically. At the end of the day, the decision with what to do with my life is mine, and mine alone. And I have to stop letting everything and everyone else try to make that decision for me. So I make a choice, potentially make a move. And if it doesn’t work out, (like the last one), then I move on and find something new. I always talk about wanting to spend my life on adventures, maybe now is the time to start.

I Hate It Here

I’m not usually a ‘blog every day’ kind of girl. I don’t think I’m that interesting for a start, but also I really don’t often have something to talk about every day. But lately I’ve been blogging a lot more frequently. This has to do with two things; I rarely have anything to do at work in the mornings and so I need something to fill my time, and I need to keep my mind occupied so I don’t focus too much on the negative things that are swirling around me at the moment. I am trying very, very hard to keep on top of it all, and to stay positive and try and not let the bad stuff bring me down, but it’s not easy. Plus, I made a promise to myself to write 200 words per day, and even if it may not be for my current writing project, it has to be for something. And thus, lots of blog posts.

So, I was going to actually write about this yesterday, but my thoughts about Bourke St seemed more appropriate at the time. I started thinking about this post as I was driving to work yesterday. It wasn’t a particularly warm day, despite the fact that we’re coming up on the hottest month of the year, and the sky to the north of my house (in the direction of the city) was dark and moody, with the tease of a storm in the air. As I drove towards those imposing clouds, the contrast of the sun at my back seeming to turn them a darker shade of gloom, all I could think was that I wanted to chase them. And there was a part of me that would have done so, if it weren’t for my sense of responsibility urging me towards my place of employment instead of in the direction of the storm I so desperately long for. (which ultimately died away before it got much more interesting than light showers anyway). All I wanted, all I want is to drive away from this city and never come back.

It’s been just shy of five months since I moved. Hardly a long term commitment to city living. But already, I’m itching to leave. In the words of my eternal hero, Spider Jerusalem; I hate it here.

Image result for spider jerusalem I hate it here

It’s a lot of things that contribute to this all consuming hatred for my current way of living. I miss living on my own, I miss not having to commute for an hour to get to work, I miss having a job that didn’t make me miserable. And it seems ever since moving to this shop, things have been going wrong and getting progressively worse, to the point where I doubt every single day, my ability to do my job. There is a possible opportunity for advancement within my job in the coming months. An opportunity that has the potential to get me set up for a good long while. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that I’m not sure I want it. Yes, it would be a good opportunity for me, and yes I could say that I had achieved something big at the age of 24. But the crushing anxiety and doubt may just be too much for me to handle. And I know that doesn’t exactly sound like it fits in with my whole positive vibe, but the flipside is that my mental and emotional health is going to be at rock bottom if I continue like this, and I firmly believe that my health and happiness is more important than any amount of money.

Though I still don’t think leaving my home town was the wrong move, I think the place I moved was the wrong place. I come from a big country town/city, and it seems all the things I grew to hate about it in the year or so before I moved, are now the things that I once again long for. Go figure. The problem is, to return to that town would be inevitably taking a step back, and that’s not the direction I want to go. I want to keep moving forward. And so last night, I did a thing. After day long consideration, I applied for a job in another state. It would be a huge move so soon after my first big move, but I figure what the hell? I’m not going to stress about it, I’m just going to wait and see what happens. If I hear back, then I can take it as a sign that it was a good decision. If I don’t hear back, it just means that it wasn’t the right opportunity, or the right time. I haven’t had much luck making my own decisions recently, so I’m going to leave it in the hands of fate. As my best friend often tells me; the universe provides.

Whatever happens now, all I know is that this isn’t what I want, and it isn’t where I am meant to be. And I’m tired of being unhappy with the live I lead. I want to experience things, and I want adventure, and I want to live. No more of this stagnant, boring existence. I told myself things were going to change, and this time I’m not going to let myself be held back, by myself, or anyone/anything else. This is my time.

How Do You Make Friends (and Only Alienate People if They Suck)?

I meet people every day. You can’t work in customer service and not meet people. But they’re not the kind of meetings I’m particularly interested in. Unless I get regular customers, who then turn into friends, customer meetings hold no real appeal for me. It’s just business. But it poses the question; how do you meet people? More importantly, how do you meet people when you’re a perpetually angry, misanthropic introvert who is awkward in social situations and feels acutely uncomfortable meeting new people? There’s a Friday afternoon riddle for you.

As you may have gathered if you read my blog even semi regularly, I pretty much think people are the worst. But the flip side of that, is that my life consists almost entirely of work and home, with no real social interaction to break the monotony. And so, as loath as I am to admit it, I think the time has come to break free from my introvert shell, and make an effort to introduce new people into my life. The problem I face however, is that not only do I have very little time to hang out with theoretical people, I don’t even know how to meet them in the first place.

The shop I work at is smack bang between a supermarket and a big chain store. So the people I see every day are either too busy or too far away to try and strike up (probably incredibly awkward) conversation with. And in addition to that, I work on my own, so I don’t even have any work mates to develop a friendship with. I don’t have the time to fit anything more into my schedule, so signing up for a random class is out of the question. And my circle of friends in the city isn’t so large that I’m being invited to parties every other weekend.

I know there are dating sites, but is there such a thing as a friendship site? You know, like a dating site only without the sexual innuendo and expectation of any kind of romance. I’m sure there is, and I just haven’t really considered the notion before, but if there isn’t, there should be.

Look, ideally I would like to be browsing in a bookshop and have a rad stranger approach, tell me they love the book I’m holding, and end up having a long and interesting conversation that turns into a spur of the moment chai date and a friendship begun on the foundations of books and geekery. But let’s face it, my life isn’t a movie, and in reality I would be too wary of a complete stranger to do anything more than politely smile and turn away. But hey, it’s a very pretty fantasy.

Seriously though, I put this to you, because I am in grave danger of only knowing the same three people for my entire life; how the hell do you meet people? Inquiring minds want to know…or at least, I do. Come on, guys. Help.

Finding the Good in Every Day

Image result for chocolate

Ok, so we all know I’m not exactly the most positive person in the world. It’s not that I’m negative on purpose, it’s just my brain likes to automatically assume the worst. It’s a bad habit that, at 24, I think I need to break. Or at the very least, I need to start working on breaking. You know what they say, transformations don’t happen overnight.

So I am going to try and find at least one good thing in every day. Some days that is going to be easy, some days I’m sure I’ll struggle. But the point is to at least find something, even if that one good thing is as simple as getting out of bed. Take yesterday. I could have focused on a certain thing that made me absolutely livid. And believe me, the thing in question had me sending angry, ranty snapchats to a couple of people so I could vent. But if I allow that one thing to ruin my day, I would have to completely disregard the larger number of good things that happened yesterday. Good things like the fact that I got to have dinner with my friend Sarah. Or the fact that work went reasonably quickly. Or the fact that Tara Moss, a woman who I’ve come to greatly admire – and be inspired by – started following me on Instagram. I admit, that last one kind of made my whole week.

I figure if I am able to find something good in every day, then I can focus on that one (or more) good thing instead of getting caught up in the negative. And that one good thing will hopefully make it easier to be ok on those days when I don’t feel ok. So here’s to the good things. May they be plenty, and constant.

By the way, today’s good things are chocolate and Amorphis. Or music in general, really. I get to play my own music at work because I’m the only one in the shop, and it genuinely makes me happy to get to chill out and listen to some awesome tunes. And chocolate…well, that doesn’t really require an explanation!