A Voluptuous Mind, Anxiety, Writing

Work Blogging Across the Universe

I’ve started writing for my work blog and the results have been interesting. I’ve had some really genuine and lovely feedback from people I don’t know very well (as well as close colleagues and friends) – and I’ve had more than a couple of moments of pure and utter anxiety about whether I’ve said too much.

I never want to hide who I am, even in a work environment but laying it all on the table, for instance talking about anxiety or telling an anecdote from my adolescence is different.

That’s who I really am, no messing, it’s me laid bare and it takes a lot to say you don’t mind sharing it with people you pass daily on the stairwell, who might stand behind you to buy a cup of coffee in the morning, knowing you’ve never really grown out of your teenage insecurities. (I greatly over exaggerate how many work mates read my words!).

It might make me second guess myself but it also feels real and that’s a weird one to define. I think it feels good to say you know yourself enough to share it with others. To write a post about your life long journey to accepting yourself for what you really are: perfectly imperfect, fucked up, damaged but still crawling, sometimes back up on two feet, sometimes running as fast as you can without looking back.

So yes, it feels good but I still have the fear. I guess I’ll either learn to put that aside or die trying*.

*Stop writing.

Happy Sunday, all.

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A Voluptuous Mind, Life, Thoughts

Working Overtime

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I’m going to free flow this bad boy today because sometimes little truth nuggets pop out when you’re not thinking about them and that can be a freeing feeling. I’m very tired at the moment, doing lots of overtime at work to pay for things coming up later in the year. Birthdays, trips, visits. Life.

I’m also knackered because I’m feeling super anxious all the time, about everything. Last night it was because I’m reading Pet Semetary and before anything has even kicked off horror wise I’m fretting about death like I’m the little girl Ellie Creed in the story. She’s just learning about loss and death after visiting the Cemetary (PROPER SPELLING) and now she can’t get her head around the fact her cat might die one day and I feel you, girl. I feel you.

Death is something I think of often but it’s never really to do with my own mortality (lie, I’m terrified of ageing) but more about other people. Like, please don’t leave me alone in this cold, unforgiving world.

I know it’s irrational and it’s part of the reason I sought help last Summer, why I’m medicated and trying to learn to let go of the worries I can’t control. Losing my partner, family members or friends is my worst fear and I have to accept that I can’t do anything about it. Phew, this got deep quick, didn’t it?

Perhaps I should stay away from Stephen King for a little while.

In other news, I’m slowly saving money for our trip to Amsterdam in March. We’re going to do a graffiti tour and I can’t wait for that. March is Glynn’s birthday month so I feel as though this trip is a double celebration. I can’t wait to get on a barge and drift past the houseboat we’re going to live on when we’re old.

And before March, Lightle‘s coming to stay and that is the greatest! When your girl sends you a message saying all she needs it tea and movies, you know you picked a good one. So this is going to be an exciting year, I have Copenhagen in October, plus more coming and this girl better pull her socks up and stop shopping because money is a thing one needs to live, yo.

In creative news, I’ve started putting a plan for a novel together. There’s a theory that we all have at least one book in us and I’ve been doubting that for a while. Then I got a fit of inspiration and now I’m really planning it. It’s embryonic days obviously and I have the right to sit on my hands for a while while I work up the confidence to hammer it out but it’s there, at the surface. The splinter I’ve just started to work out from beneath the skin.It’s almost there. The story, which is likely to evolve into something altogether different, is going to be about friendship and that’s all I can reveal for now.

Things are good and bad, rough and smooth, heavenly and hellish – all at once. Life, in essence and who’d change anything about it?

How’re things with you?

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A Voluptuous Mind, Life, Work

Breathe

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Here we are, back to work, back to reality.

The diet chat is rife, people are returning to the gyms with their tails between their legs and boy don’t we know it. The mince pies have been cleared away and we’re having hearty porridge for our breakfasts instead of a handful of Quality Street.

I hate all the self-flagellation that comes after all the joy so I’m not partaking in it. I won’t be going to the gym tonight or any time soon because I can’t afford it and also I don’t want to. I can’t think of anything worse than sweating my nuts off in between a hundred other people who’d rather be on the sofa finishing the new series of Black Mirror. So I’ll be on the sofa finishing the new series of Black Mirror thanks, in a blanket with my tea.

January is generally the most miserable month of all and I’m going to inject as many little moments of happiness into it as I can, even if I am as poor as a church mouse. Even if all that is is an hour reading a book I’m into or having a pickle. Life’s too short and my only resolution is to be MORE so bring it 2018. I want more!

On another note, I’ve been spending more time than is healthy watching 2017 highlight videos on social media. All those wonderful perfectly composed images from the past year fill me with an instant gratification but when I think back on my own year, which was filled with some really dark moments (and obviously it was worse for my husband), I’m just thankful I made it at all.

Not to bring the mood down because we’re all about positivity here but I’m amazed I didn’t run away or bury myself in the garden at times. We suffered a great loss as a family, which was awful but has brought us closer together and I’m grateful for that. I feel as though I held on to a lot of the trauma of what happened though and then I moved from my comfy (but deeply unfulfilling) job into the worst one I’ve ever had (yes worse than the turkey plucking) – and I nearly lost it.

Some good did come of this though as the anxiety I’ve been trying to freeze out for years refused to be ignored any longer and I had to do something about it. I also learned that some people are just horrible and nothing you can do or say can change that. A hard lesson has been to understand that that’s on them and not me.

And even though I’m not sure my current role is a forever, it is fun and I’ve made some great friends – so for now I’m just going to enjoy it and see where it takes me. Despite myself I’m excited for what the year has in store, slightly wary but overall hopeful – and everyday, I’m just going to try to remember to breathe.

How are you guys settling into the New Year?

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Blogtober 2017

Life-date 

A life update today, and a break from all the horror of Halloween, like you need one because it is the best. But in case you do, here’s the horror of my real life instead. LOL.

It seems a lifetime ago but only really four weeks that I was fretting every day about having to go into Horrible Work. Every evening was stressful because I knew in a matter of a few short hours, I’d be back at my desk again. Every weekend was hard because I knew they would end and Monday would soon loom over me. And every morning was the worst because I had to face the terrible mistake I’d made in leaving my familiar comfy job of six years to ‘try something new’ – and that something new couldn’t have sucked harder.

Some mornings now I see one of my old colleagues driving past and it jogs my memory back for a second. And then I shake it off because these people have no power over me anymore. 98% of my colleagues there were a joy anyway but it’s amazing what the 2% can do to your mental well being. So eff them, truly.

Now I’m much happier and things have changed so much. I’m feeling creative again, enjoying social dates and my job is fun. Sure, it is still a job and one I’ve done a lot in my working history but I’m learning something new and I enjoy it at the moment. The people are great and young and fun – and I feel like a different person.

My anxiety still kicks my arse every now and again but I’m working it out and that’s a great achievement. I’m proud of the changes I’ve made – even in my darkest hour I managed to brush my hair, put on my business bitch best and nail an interview, even when my head was banging and my stomach was twisting. Lucky me to be able to do that, eh? Some days is seems impossible to leave the flat and I know I’m not alone in this.

My Coping with Worry classes are about to come to an end and I’ll go into more detail about those when they’re done. I think I’ve found them helpful, though the last session was slightly more awkward because only four people came back and it’s so quiet in the room, I overcompensate with an annoying nervous laugh and that makes me feel even more anxious. Dammit.

Life is okay at the moment is the theme of this post. A million times better than a month ago anyway and although I need to stop shopping, stop eating out so much (£££) and start looking at my future more seriously as I enter Level 40 – I know I’m incredibly privileged, able-bodied and working so I never want to be ungrateful for what I have.

How you doing?

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A Voluptuous Mind, Work Post

Werk

I’m trying to look busy as I work my notice at current job* and it’s tiring frankly, because I have next to nothing to do, except answer the phone and shuffle papers from one end of my desk to the other.

There are 10 more working days left until I blow this popsicle stand forever and although I have heaps of cool stuff coming up over the next few weeks, part of me wishes I could fast forward time – I’m gagging to start the next phase, so sue me.

All this has got me thinking about the jobs I’ve had since I left school, some have been truly wacky and educational, while others have been dreadful. I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that this job has been the worst, but has it? Worse than the twenty-five minutes I lasted plucking turkeys on a farm at Christmas time? Let’s revisit my CV highlights.

Oldies but Goodies

My first job was doe-eyed care assistant in a home for the elderly (and criminally insane). (Kidding, I wish). Yes, I was a professional bum wiper during my school/college days and mostly, it was a rewarding experience.

My boss, a German lady who walked with a pronounced limp and chewed Nicorette 24/7 made things less bearable. Rumour has it she was a former lush who’d fallen out of a moving plane onto the runway, hence the gammy leg. She fired me for having pierced ears after a couple years of service and by then I was happy to go (how dare a teenager have pierced ears though!).

Slightly awkward when my Gramps ended up there as a resident himself many years later but the staff took care of him until the very end, for which I am grateful.

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Plucking Turkeys

One December, my BFFs and I thought it would be fun to go and pluck turkeys for some extra Christmas cash. What honestly could go wrong?, we thought. What we hadn’t accounted for was the total horror show that awaited us. Turns out, this was never going to be the sterile scene we were picturing. Instead, we were lead into a barn (Leatherface’s barn in Texas Chainsaw), given gloves and a rubber (?) apron and told to wait.

Knee deep in bloody feathers and god only knows what else, my stomach had already started to turn when the actual turkeys were brought in and hung by the feet on hooks in front of us. We could hear the poor gobbly bastards having their throats cut in the barn next door and it turns out, you’re supposed to pluck your birds while they’re still warm because the feather comes out much easier. In my story I lasted 25 minutes but the truth is, I can’t remember even touching a turkey. I believe I freaked out there and then and was gone before it even stopped twitching, Joanna, Juliet and Faye close behind me.

Porn Shop

I’ve talked about my time at Daisy Publications before and to be honest, I still think of it fondly, even though it opened up my eyes in ways that probably weren’t necessary at that age (22). We dealt in an awful lot of filth and now I can look back and giggle about it but at the time, well I learnt quickly that there are pockets of kinkiness all over the place, literally something for everyone. Is that a bad thing?

To each his (or her) own I say, as long as you’re not hurting anybody but my god, I don’t want to see it. This might explain why I’m so vanilla in my old age.

Packages Ahoy

I’ve only ever walked out of one job in an R-E-S-P-E-C-T manner and it was after a short stint at the UPS store in Penticton, BC. The job itself was 90% helping people use the copier but one day the boss was so mean to me because I fucked up some shrink wrapping on some business cards, that I walked into the back, grabbed my coat and was gone before he had a chance to draw his next breath.

I remember that feeling of total liberation as I sashayed down Main Street, hips a swinging like it was yesterday. Looking back that was the beginning of the new life I built for myself, a sassier one where I told a lot more men to fuck off.

Starbucks: The Early Years

I by no means look back on my job as a green-aproned Barista with vitriol, however the early days took a bit of getting used to. This too was a job in small town British Columbia and I ended up loving it but for the first few months it got really tiring being asked if I knew the Queen of England.

The girls too, apart from my beloved Rebecca, all went to church and didn’t like cursing or sex talk, my life blood. So for a while I was the Billy No Mates of Cherry Tree Mall. It changed one day however and I never looked back, moving to Down Town Vancouver and meeting some of the loves of my life.

Those genuinely were the days and although I still remember how much my feet and hips ached after each shift, I sometimes miss the job. I do not miss the toilets, though.

 

After all this I’m pretty sure I can survive a few more weeks in a job that didn’t work out. I’m not going to let the negatives break my spirit. I didn’t then, I won’t start now.

How about you? What have been your weirdest most wonderful jobs?

*Horrible job.

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New Things, Work

New Job Update

New work is good although I’ve got an awful lot to learn about the print business, that’s for sure!

Everybody else has years of experience on me and all I have right now is a willingness to pick it up. Which is better than nothing, no doubt – and they knew it when they hired me. I’m not worried, it’s just the usual first week nerves and self-doubt sneaking in. (My old friends).

Ex-colleagues who’ve been through the grinder in my last work place understand the “Rocket effect”. How it knocks you down and fucks with your self-worth, making you feel like you have nothing to offer the outside world. It takes time to shake that.

I still worry about whether people will like me. But that’s human nature I guess, and I’m trying this time not to freak out. In the end I can only be myself and I am enough.

I must say it’s really nice to be in a new environment where everyone knows their stuff, and I can’t wait to follow suit. The smell of ink, the sound of the presses whirring – it’s all so new and interesting. Being able to see jobs through from beginning to end, well that feels like achieving something, you know?

So I’m a week in and I’m looking forward to the next, which will no doubt be busy, terrifying in places, educational and very satisfying. This is exactly why I needed a career change and I have to remind myself of this when I feel stupid for not knowing something. It’s brand new and it’s brave to make change – that’s why it’ll pay off in the end, because I want it to.

How was your week?

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A Voluptuous Mind, A Voluptuous Mind's Diary, Life

Tuesday and Wednesday 

I was so sick last night I spend the whole day in bed and I got no writing done. So here’s Tuesday and Wednesday together.

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Same morning routine but this time I catch a ride with my husband to work. On the way we see the IT guy on his bike. I admire his beard as always which looks like that of a viking. I do this without making a big deal to Glynn. I’d give anything for him to have his big unruly beard back but apparently he has concerns about looking groomed for work. Boring.

I feel a little sheepish after my breakdown in the office yesterday but I needn’t. It’s business as usual. The morning is fun, we all have a proper laugh and I receive my Barb necklace from Black Heart Creatives. It’s perfect.

At lunch (baked potato again) I type up my Monday entry. I really enjoy doing it, despite feel slightly uneasy about being so honest and mentioning work. But, my friends, I am an open book and I don’t want to change that. For all my faults I like who I am and feel relieved I’m not numb and unfeeling, something I have been in the past. Emotion is nothing to be scared of.

Still not feeling great and knowing I have lots of films to watch before the weekend, I make it clear to Glynn I won’t be going to the gym after work. After a successful, yet unremarkable working day I return home and put on a Persian film called Under the Shadow. I have to watch it on my laptop, perched on my knee as the TV won’t connect the subtitles. It’s a ghost story set under the threat of bombing during the Iraqi war and is genuinely creepy. In slower bits I do a bit of social media for our podcast which is silly as then I lose track of what everyone’s saying. I get into a conversation about the film with a friend on Facebook. Glynn returns during a particularly jumpy bit. I put the dinner on.

We catch up on our days while the food cooks (Chicken and chorizo potato pies, veg in white wine sauce). His has been as uninspiring but pleasant as mine. Over dinner we settle down in front of my second film of the night, End of Watch. It’s very tense and a couple of scenes make me want to blow actual chunks, they’re so violent. As I watch the film, James messages to say he’s uploaded this week’s episode to Soundcloud. I make some edits ready to publish it tomorrow afternoon.

We finish the film. Glynn has enjoyed it as much as I have. I can see the ending coming a mile off as it’s been manipulating my feelings towards the main characters from the get go but I still cry. Both the films I’ve watched today have been podcast homework. I look forward to discussing them with James at our next recording.

We go to bed around 10pm. I read my Twitter feed for too long as usual. I open the window even though it’s cold outside because I just love to feel the breeze on my naked butt at night. I fall asleep with Glynn’s hand on the very same butt. Bliss.

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I wake up with a headache and I already know this is a bad sign. I get migraines when I’m feeling stressed but am hopeful this one won’t go any further. In defiance I put extra make up on. I’m sick before I leave the house though. On the walk to work I take a kick ass selfie and try to get the Barb necklace in. Black Heart Creatives have already shared a picture of their work on Instagram.

I feel like crud but remain hopeful that the fresh air will clear my head. I get to work in a fair mood. We’re introduced to a new staff member and I tell him he has nice hair and smells nice. He looks perplexed. I’m here to embarrass myself so others don’t have to. Tatty says he looks like he should be in Lord of the Rings.

I’m sick a couple more times and have to leave work in the end. My head is pounding and I can’t stop blowing chunks. I leave the office at 10.45am. I feel guilty but couldn’t stay in that state, my eyes can barely focus. I’m not sure if this is a migraine or a bug. I walk straight home, shed my clothing and crawl into bed. The bedroom is cool and I’m so happy for it. I sleep until 2.30, texting Glynn before I fall asleep.

I wake at about half two and feel I should eat something. I make a cup of tea, have two packets of crisps and a handful of Digestives. I’m not sorry, I need this. I watch 40 minutes of Tale of Tales on my laptop in bed but it hurts my eyes so I fall asleep again. I wake around five when Glynn gets back in. He makes me another cup of tea and I finish the film. It’s wonderful.

**TW: Weight loss**

I have a dilemma here and in life. I’ve decided to join a slimmers group and tonight’s the night to register. I don’t like diet talk, agree it can be harmful and am against the way fat people are treated in society. However, some fat people want to make changes and I’m one of them right now. So I’m doing that. I don’t feel any better for the sleep but don’t want to miss registration so I decide to go to the class at 7pm. I figure the fresh air on the way up the road will help. It does somehow.

The group is massive and I feel like a tit but the ‘leader’ is lovely. Another woman called Irene starts and she’s so happy there’s another newbie there that I stay to class, even though I feel awful and wanted to go home. It drags on until nearly 9, two women cry, Irene is funny. I feel okay about this decision. I won’t talk about weight loss again, nobody cares.

I get home, we order a takeaway (good start, eh) and watch an episode of Luke Cage and then an episode of Westworld. I’m quite bored by Westworld and marvel at how bad Evan Rachel Wood is, so go to brush my teeth as the episode winds down. Everything happens in those last ten minutes. Glynn fills me in on the action.

We go to bed at 11pm, late for us. I’ve slept enough though. I lie awake for a while trying to sleep. It comes eventually but not easily. ❤

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