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Diary Of A Redhead


mylolita
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Hi Silverbirch,

 

Wow - the tribal dance sounds amazing! I love to try anything out dance wise and that sounds so fun! I have never been to a belly dancing class but I know plenty of women (some that are the coolest mums out there!) who have done it and loved it!

 

I often think if I had my time again, I would have started ballet dancing when I was 4 and tried to get into the London Academy. I just love to dance, it's in my soul. I'm quite a sexy, sensual dancer naturally, but the best ballet dancers often do have their own elegant, sensual style. I admire them and any dancer for that matter… I watch reems and reems of YouTube video's on pole dance, burlesque, jazz, modern, ballet - I love it all! Beyonce is one of my favourite mega star female dancers, and who can forget when it comes to stars and dancing, Michael Jackson. I truly love it and it's one of the only things that makes me feel fully alive!

 

I know what you mean about the bad attitudes that sometimes appear. I guess it can't be helped and people are people. I don't mind so much on the open forums but I dislike the idea of people who don't neccessarily like me or wish me well reading my most intimate thoughts. The only comfort I do have is that I don't post entirely everything on here. It is but half of my life and thoughts, so I always hold something back for myself and my private life.

 

Thanks for the heads up on the new job, it means a lot I will keep your advice in mind. My husband did say that he doesn't want me to feel trapped, and if I hate it I can work for him or find something else. I feel very lucky to have open options.

 

Lots of love,

 

Lo x

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thanks again Lolita. I think I will see if there is a remote possibility of one of the tribal groups here. The American style was developed by a woman in more recent times by studying dance moves from indigenous people around the world. There are well over 100 movements, and if you know them, you can supposedly dance with any indigenous group in the world. It is totally unchoregraphed, but they have signals they give each other, and they all take turns to lead.

 

On a slightly different note, one of my friends went to one of the Pacific Islands, I can't remember which one, maybe Fiji and danced with the Polynesian women. They were chuffed with her dancing with them and thought she was very good - wanted her to show her some movements she knew. She said that it was really easy dancing with them.

 

Some of the women, including my old teacher also belong to a womens drumming group - djembe (African) and debouka(Turkish/Egyptian) drums. I went to some classes, and loved drumming, but where is the time???

 

Good luck with your dance and job. I hope you can get in as much dance as you can - just because you love it. All the best. Silver xox

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Today was my first day on my new job and on my new life and I hated it. By lunch I was wondering how I could run out of the horrendous grey building without getting caught early. I was fantasising how leaving would feel, I was churning over the awful gossip that would be spilling out of all these new faces around the water cooler if I did a bunker right now. "You know that red head that started this morning? Do you know she just walked out on her lunch? What a weirdo! How unprofessional... she must of had a screw loose. How could we of hired her? I knew she wasn't right for the job as soon as I saw her. Probably came from a weird family. You give people a chance and this is how they repay you! The youth of today - they've never worked a real job in their life, etc."

 

The worst thing is I feel bound, absolutely eternally judged, and not by near 40 year old strangers who live and breath legal construction claims, no, by my colleague W's daughter who works there and how she would feel if I just durfed leaving her after she had recommended me and gave me a chance at a real job.

 

It's not that everyone wasn't nice. It wasn't that the work seemed particularily hard (even though I still don't have a clue what I'm supposed to be doing or where I'm going), but it was just so awfully, terribly SERIOUS. And important for once. As if a made a mistake, it would actually matter. Big time. Some real responsibility in an adult, black and white, moan and groan, deadline and lunchtime, fulltime jay-oh-be.

 

I was too nervous to even accept a cup of tea or coffee all day. Me, with my normaly pea sized and equally weak bladder known for trips to the bathroom at least 7 times a day only went once. I locked myself into the sanctuary of a luxurious, self contained mini bathroom equipped with all the power facilities your face could desire and all your scented candle needs matched. I should be happy. The perks never ended and I fained joy. Free laptop given to me with case, if I need glasses and a sight test, I get that too, free private health care plus I can put D on it for only a small amount, free induction courses today and tomorrow, lots of holidays not including bank holidays, travel insurance, life insurance, company car, free soda's delivered cold and herbal teas and a very posh coffee machine with a never ending selection of organic buscuits.

 

I sat in for a meeting with my note pad and pen sheepishly perched on my lap. My hand went numb slid under my thigh as I didn't dare move it. I have never felt so dumb and stupid in all my life. Everyone around me is was ten times smarter. I felt like a child sitting amongst adults. Everyone was comfortable, I was on edge, wired but exhausted... I could barely sleep at all last night.

 

I woke up after having a horrific apocolyptic dream. I was back at my mum and dads house and I was about 14. Heavy white and grey clouds were rolling in over the small green my parents house still overlooks. The trees were starting to swish and sway, hinting that a wind was getting up. Then the scene jumped to me, 7, lounging in my old front garden when everything was new. New, bright terracotta flag stones, a young, bleak border with plants yet to grow up, a brightly painted front door with a fresh lick of paint. Everything shining, even the sun. And there was my first crush, the blonde Andrew, sat right near our old, red front door. I was trying to flirt with him and tempt him to go out with me. I stretched my legs out onto the pavement and pointed my white socked toes.

 

Back to our lounge and the clouds are rolling up. There's a huge storm brewing and panic is rising up in my dad and my mum. My sister isn't anywhere to be seen. I sluggishly (in only that treacle like way you do in dreams) out to the green again and one of the plumbers from my old job is outside, tearing down the overly comic and overly large string of fairy lights that are suddenly dangling from all the trees in the green. I shout: "Stop doing that! You're getting glass all over and the kids play on there!" He replies shouting through the howling wind, but it comes out barely audiable, "I have too! The winds gonna tear it up!"

 

Then dust fills the house as the windows shake. My dad and mum have a face mask but I can't find mine. I know I'm going to die, I see black dots and begin to faint. I then wake up, overlooking the green. Leaves from the trees are everywhere and there's a strange burnt orange and grey wash to all the sky and all the communal green infront of the houses. I look accross to one of my old neighbours houses opposite my parents. The door is coloured in dark red and green gold edged triangles, like a jester pattern. Then this creepy old man who smells of wee and always wears about a million badges on his old coat and hat and can be seen walking my high street in real life pushes at the door and effortlessly it just caves in.

 

The dream ends, my day starts, and I just feel like there's a storm coming again.

 

I need some sleep. Things always look better in the morning.

 

Lo x

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Hi Silverbirch,

 

I think you might be right. This is something my husband said - I guess you can't make a final judgement after just one day. I'm now up at 5.30am to get picked up for this course - my change in routine has been a shock to the system! I can't believe people work so hard! I guess there's no such thing as a free lunch!

 

Thanks for all your support,

 

x.

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Is this your first "real" job? I mean "real" in the sense of being in a professional environment, dealing with professionals, etc.

 

I can understand your sentiments if that's the case. I think you just need to relax a little and give it some time. I don't work in a big company but I do work in a big hospital and there are days when I am stuck in an office and I'm running a lot of numbers and rub shoulders with a lot of administrators. It's just something to get used to. Just take a deep breath and relax. It's just part of being an adult and once you settle in, things will come more naturally to you. When I started my job, I was a wreck and so nervous.

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Is this your first "real" job? I mean "real" in the sense of being in a professional environment, dealing with professionals, etc.

 

I can understand your sentiments if that's the case. I think you just need to relax a little and give it some time. I don't work in a big company but I do work in a big hospital and there are days when I am stuck in an office and I'm running a lot of numbers and rub shoulders with a lot of administrators. It's just something to get used to. Just take a deep breath and relax. It's just part of being an adult and once you settle in, things will come more naturally to you. When I started my job, I was a wreck and so nervous.

 

Hi Fudgie!

 

It is in the way of being fairly responsible. My position is in administration and I talk to the Vice President of this and the Vice President of that (I'm actually working for a huge American firm which I have never done before), so I'm feeling mega daunted.

 

I was in a professional occupation as an estate/lettings agent before in my previous job but the role was nowhere near as demanding or overwhelming. I feel horrendous because I said I knew how to use basic software like Excel and even though yes, I can get by on it, my manager just presumed I knew the ins and outs which made me look seriously, seriously stupid and phony. It was my first day using the phone and all the different extensions and I think due to my nerves, I was just all thumbs and flapping inwardly and outward at EVERY CALL COMING THROUGH!!!! ARRRRGH! So and so president calling from Dubai and this and that, 90% of them have the most outrageous, long forgein names that I'll never be able to pronounce making me look like a complete mong. One director knows like 6 languages and yaps away in Frence and German like it's nothing. Oh god.

 

Thanks though Fudgie - I think with me being a perfectionist I am so hard on myself and expect everything I do to be good, and when it's not going well I crumble!

 

x

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You will be ok ,Lolita. Chin up.

 

 

Thanks Victoria, so sweet!

 

I keep asking advice from D's mum (my mother in law) and my dad and my old colleague because they've all worked in serious office environments all their life, and they say the same thing - the first day or week is always a panic and a nervous train wreck. You're not expected to know anything and it'll all become second nature etc. I feel so much better after hearing it but I just feel like it'll never happen for me! Argh! Haha!

 

x

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Thanks Victoria, so sweet!

 

I keep asking advice from D's mum (my mother in law) and my dad and my old colleague because they've all worked in serious office environments all their life, and they say the same thing - the first day or week is always a panic and a nervous train wreck. You're not expected to know anything and it'll all become second nature etc. I feel so much better after hearing it but I just feel like it'll never happen for me! Argh! Haha!

 

x

It will happen! Just breathe and take a day at a time. You can do this.

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I always feel terrified when I start a new show. Under qualified. Inexperienced. Judged. But once I get through it and I can look back on it...not that difficult at all. It just felt really big because I didn't understand it.

 

You'll be fine It sounds like a great company to work for....and even professionals joke around when they get to know you

 

 

As for the friend thing....I get it. I feel like many of my friendships have either become way to superficial (nail polish and throw cushions) or way too heavy- like I'm carrying them. I'm starting to venture out...hoping to meet more people like me...that I connect with on an emotional level. I feel like...every 5 years, I change. I become someone else....wiser, hopefully. And I lose friends in that process. Maybe it's like that for you?

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Oh god.

 

I've never worked so much in my life - is this the real world?

 

Got picked up for a seminar this morning at 7.30 to then leave the office for 5pm. I'm getting picked up tomorrow at 7am. Thursday I'm working 8 hours and then I agreed to clean a house for a bit of extra money because the rate is so good - I'm doing this after work which will take me to about 10pm. I'm tired but wired with nerves and adrenaline. I'm schooching from, "OH MY GOD I CAN'T DO THIS I'M QUITTING HOW DO I QUIT?!?!?!" to "This isn't so bad..." to, "I can't believe I'm getting paid to sit in this car." back to feeling like crying. I don't know, I just don't know.

 

Due to all the extra time I will have put in this week at work I get to go home early on Friday. Just how early I'll check with my manager. I might have to take some in paid over time instead.

 

Writing about all this is just not helping but D is away in London with work and I have nothing to do and nowhere to go, apart from a short walk accross the high street to maybe get something to take in for lunch at the office tomorrow. My stomaches been in constant knots for 48 hours and I feel like a drifting wreck lost out to sea with no life boat or wooden raft to save me.

 

The feeling of not being able to escape, the pressure I am asserting to surpress my natural instinct to leave and not return, is very lonely and very adult. It's pretty alien to me.

 

All through my life I've mostly done what I wanted and had it very easy. I've never had any major responsibilities. Yes, I pay the rent - all of it. But D is always here to buy me things, get dinner, pick up this and that expense. What I contribute is tiny in comparsion to our cost of living. I've never been out on my own. I went straight from the single bed I'd slept in since I was 4 and my parents all caring roof over my head into D's cosy cottage where I chip in and play at wifey but never have any real responsibilities.

 

This mantra keeps chanting inside my head, something W said before I left "The grass isn't always greener, the grass isn't always greener, the grass isn't always greener..." The lady who has now took my old role originally worked at the agency before I was taken on. She left because all she did was complain about it. Now she's back, W shrugged her shoulders and said the phase that won't leave my brain. "The grass isn't always greener..." I don't know which way round it's meant when it's repeating in my mind. Is it saying to me, if I leave my sturdy American company I won't find anything as good or better, or that I left my boring but very cosy and easy job for something I thought would be a million times better but really isn't.

 

Maybe I just repeat my mistakes over and over again and never learn?

 

When riding with my new manager in her car this morning to the seminar, she said "Your life is already planned out for you. What will happen will happen." I thought it was a pretty deep and dramatic thing to say since I had known her only for a day, but I guess I was listening a lot and she likes talking. (Don't we all).

 

I disagree. Infact, I find that thought outrageously depressing. So nothing I do, nothing I say, can change my doomed or successful, pre-planned future? Is it written in the stars like some Greek legend? To be honest, I'm not that important, and no one is that important to have the fate of the galaxies aligned to their destiny. A load of old dishwater, like astrology and the idea of fate. Pure baloney, in my opinion. But still, that phase stuck with me and kept creeping into my mind after phone calls and whilst handing out cups of coffee. What does it all mean? Is my brain making me live in a really bad internal soap opera where the director thinks it's a great idea to have voice over flash backs every other second? Is it some omnious warning from my own subconcious about how I'm feeling?!?

 

Sometimes, I truly think I'm loosing it and that I'm mentally unstable. Often, I feel so stupid it's debilitating. WOE IS ME. AGAIN. So my female manager then goes on to say she had a horrible and tragic loss - her sister died in a freak accident only last year. And then I feel awful for ever even thinking about moaning.

 

It's funny how the things that aren't important in life put into perspective the things that are. Amongst all the meaningless paperwork, all the routines and the sign in's and the networking, all the pointless crap everyone holds so dear, is assessed on, relies on to pay their mortgages and feed their children, after all the bodged up phone calls and the crummy excel exercises, lunch broke and I pulled out my phone to see a picture of D, softly smiling in a thick woolen fisherman's jumper and khaki, beat up coat. He's sat on a rock on a windy beach while the sun shines behind his head, and he's holding up a star fish we found a million cheap outings ago. I saw my screen saver and my heart melted. Everything made sense and I knew I couldn't wait to leave all this pointless rubbish behind to see what really mattered to me. I miss him so much tonight.

 

Whenever I feel down or low, and close to tears as I was this morning whilst waiting for my lift (I really didn't want to go in), I think of D and all the sweet, funny and imperfect things he says and I feel stronger just for knowing him and mostly, knowing that he loves me.

 

To end soppily and to try to be upbeat, the order of importance in my life is as follows:

 

1. Love

2. Everything else.

 

Just a side note: it seems like I'm over the top upset with what is, at the end of the day, just a stupid job. It's not the job or the work thats making me upset. I'm cheating myself and lying, again. I walk in their pretending like it's what I want to do. Inside I'm dying. I feel like I'm literally selling my soul for money. This isn't what I'm good at and this is not what I'm meant to do. Maybe this job will be okay for a year, to get a mortgage, etc but... I can't make this the rest of my life or I will have a break down at 30. I'm serious, I think I'm wired that way.

 

I remember my old boss talking about a Tenant we had; "He used to have a good job you know, but he had some kind of a break down and lost it all. Shame." I used to remember thinking not how sad it was that this once upon a time financial success then lost it all tragically, but how amazing it would be to be classed as a successful person, or to have a taste of professional success. I day dreamed briefly for 2 seconds on how I would like someone to say that about me, even if the next result was a break down. Well, not that I'm at the top of the tree or anything here, but I feel like I'm a step closer to getting a whiff of how it really is. The sacrafice for 'professionally successful' seems too huge. I don't want any part of it. I used to say that all the time, but it was always half hearted and secretly I wanted a taste. Now, I truly mean it. I wouldn't trade my place with any of these Directors or Vice Presidents for the world. I feel like when I see them, they're dead inside? I know that sounds over the top, like I'm just splurging out words here, but honestly - if true intelligence is independent thought, these people are the stupidest f*****s in the universe. Yet they're on insane amounts of money working insane hours with insane responsibility. Do I admire them? No. Do I want to be them? No. Do I think they're smart? In some ways, definitely yes. In others, definitely no. Do I think they have any creativity at all? Absolutely ZIP. Dead behind the eyes. No spark. Just a train of divorces, golf at weekends and kids they don't see.

 

And this brings me back to my dilemma which I wrestle with every single day. How do people settle? Do the 'What If's?' ever go away? When do you just retire and give up on your dreams, no matter how vague they are? How do you cope with not getting exactly what you want out of life? Is there a way around all this? Is it possible to create the life you want?

 

I'm such a coward. My own personal wish this year, for whats left of this year, and for all it's worth, is that I have the strength to follow my own heart. I'm letting myself down daily and I can't take the personal dissapointment.

 

RESIGNED AND WIRED, VICE PRESENIDENT IN TAKING 3 HOUR BATHS,

 

(I need to shut the f**k up because I'm even boring myself.),

 

Lo x

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I always feel terrified when I start a new show. Under qualified. Inexperienced. Judged. But once I get through it and I can look back on it...not that difficult at all. It just felt really big because I didn't understand it.

 

You'll be fine It sounds like a great company to work for....and even professionals joke around when they get to know you

 

 

As for the friend thing....I get it. I feel like many of my friendships have either become way to superficial (nail polish and throw cushions) or way too heavy- like I'm carrying them. I'm starting to venture out...hoping to meet more people like me...that I connect with on an emotional level. I feel like...every 5 years, I change. I become someone else....wiser, hopefully. And I lose friends in that process. Maybe it's like that for you?

 

 

Hey faraday!!! So nice to hear from you!

 

I don't think I change but I probably do - we all do, it's impossible to avoid I guess! I find it hard to let go of a lot of things, especially long term friendships like the one I have with my best friend. She's more like a sister really, we've known each other that long. It bugs me a lot and it's always at the back of my mind. I'm really undecided on how to handle it. I guess I feel like this year has been a big cross roads for me... career wise, relationship wise (tying the knot) and friend wise. I've had a lot of changes and I feel like all my secuirity blankets have been snatched from beneath me.

 

I appreciate your advice about the job. I need to suck it up and just stop complainging at the end of the day. Honestly, the benefits just keep rolling in, I've never been so well looked after by a company in all my life. I should be thankful, not moping in my dull disappointment!

 

What did you do about your friends growing distant? Did you cut them off or did you let it fade out slowly?

 

Thanks for chipping in! Always nice to hear from you.

 

Lo x

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Hi Lol,

I know you weren't asking me, but I did want to tell you that I have had friends for many years where at times, our paths moved in different directions, but then our paths have crossed again. With a lot of those people,within a short time of seeing them again, it feels like I saw them last week. Some friends are just like that! It's really nice actually.

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Hi Lol,

I know you weren't asking me, but I did want to tell you that I have had friends for many years where at times, our paths moved in different directions, but then our paths have crossed again. With a lot of those people,within a short time of seeing them again, it feels like I saw them last week. Some friends are just like that! It's really nice actually.

 

Silverbirch!

 

It's always lovely to hear from you - and I know what you mean. I think it's really special to have friends like that. Actually I've been in the apartment myself for two nights in a row because D has been away working and after starting this new job as well, I've felt really lonely and just pretty pathetic and helpless. I text Miss G my best friend and tried to reach out to her and she was great, pretty much back to her old self. She invited me over last night, I had a small glass of wine and I felt good when I was there and all this old surge of love came back for her. We had a really good night, and then it went downhill for me coming back to the apartment because I wrongly started focusing on my anxiety about the next day in my new job, tried to sleep, couldn't, and at 1am just started crying in the most pathetic way because I started to feel so frustrated with myself! Oh god what a loser!

 

I feel ohhhkay-ish this morning. Anyone reading this, including if I was reading it, would probably be thinking by now, 'Just get over it!!!' but really this has been the longest freaking week of my life!

 

x

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Thanks Silver... I think they do. I just hope I pick it all up quickly. My manager has been there over 10 years and she knows everything so trying to show me the systems has been frustrating for her I think (because it is so natural to her). Infact, she's been really bad at showing me how to do anything. I kind of got these massive hand books left on my desk, she break neck wizzed through the different files and processes, didn't show me everything and never even showed me how to used the phones properly even though it's one of my main jobs. Crazy! I know she's super busy but I did feel like I was left and kind of expected to just know a lot of things. I guess the phone might of seemed really obvious but to me it wasn't.

 

Oh thanks Silver - I changed it from a photo of myself because I had this paranoid thought last night that if anyone stumbled accross this from work they could easily piece together it was me from my photo which still probably showed too much of my identity!

 

x

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There are two sides to every coin. And you can choose how you decide to look at a situation. There is an old expression that goes you can't always change a situation, but you can change how you look at it.

 

So you say you've had it easy and all your life you've had someone else taking care of your adult responsibilities for you. So now rather than looking at this job as *SPOILING MY FUN* you can look at it like this is your chance to really grab a hold of your adult self, learn how to function in situations that stretch you mentally and physically a lot more than your prior life just soaking in a 3 hour bath. So, you have a big book on how to do the phones? Then take it home on the weekend, and lounge in your bath and read the whole book about how to use the phones so you are familiar with how to do it. RISE to the challenge rather than RUNNING away and hiding behind Daddy's (hubbies?) trousers!

 

You can do it, you're obviously a smart girl, so you have to recognize that life isn't always fun and will stretch you in uncomfortable directions sometimes, especially when learning something new, but something that was once alien can become very familiar once you've done it a bit.

 

Success is not just about desire, it is also about EFFORT. And the effort isn't always easy or fun! So decide this is an opportunity for you to stretch and grow up, rather than turning it into a massive opportunity to criticize those you work with as 'soul-less' and hence justify your desire to bolt.

 

You have the perfect right to bolt, but only because you have a husband who is willing to pick up the slack and pull all the weight financially. So your survival really depends on his continued good will towards you (which may or may not continue) and also his own health and presence (which may or may not continue). Things like accidents and illnesses and deaths and affairs and divorces DO happen, so if your only safety plan is depending 100% on your husband and his income, it really is time for you to find a way to function as an adult as a backup plan, or else to insure your husband up to the gills so that if something happens to him you'll be rolling in money to replace his income.

 

So now is a big OPPORTUNITY for you. Before you realized it wasn't as fun as you imagined, you recognized it was an opportunity and took it, and in fact it still is an opportunity if you can get past your own self centered mindset that wants things to be easy, fun, and for you to be taken care of without really having to stretch yourself as most of the adult world has to do. So start stretching!

 

If you discover in another 6 months you can't take it, you need to realistically make decisions on whether what is going on is a selfish desire to have it easy, and fun, and taken care of, or whether you just need to be an adult and find another career you are better suited for, and work this job until you do. And if your husband is willing to foot the bill and let you not work and have 'little' jobs, then of course you can make that decision too if he is OK with it.

 

But keep in mind that this is the real world, and accidents, and illnesses, and 'other women' happen and many women who are dependent on their husband for financial support are unpleasantly surprised when their dependence on their husband turns into a big liability when they lose their husband (or their husband's affections) for a variety of reasons. And many husbands who are happy to support a young and beautiful wife, over time get worn out from the responsibility of being the sole breadwinner and become tired of it and start to resent it, or trade their wife in for a younger and sportier model when she ages. So you need to have a LIFE PLAN not just a plan and expectation that the world will freeze and stay the same (and just the way you like it) because life doesn't always work out that way.

 

So look at the other side of the coin. This is your chance to develop some maturity, discipline, new skills, more financial security, a real career, take some of the financial load and stress off your husband etc. Rather than 'poor me, this is no fun at all.' You need to start investing yourself in success rather than failure, and invest yourself strongly is worrying about your husband's health and wellbeing and not stressing him out because he is forced to work much harder because you don't want a 'regular' job and prefer 3 hour baths.

 

Right now you have the luxury to criticize these other people you work with because you have a husband who is willing to support you doing nothing (or very little or just having a little job). They are not bad people just because they invest themselves in their work and are entitled to have their own motivations to do so, and in fact may well NEED to do so to support themselves and their families. And please understand that your hierarchy of 'important things' that lists Love as number 1 and 'everything else' as second, only works when you have someone else who is willing to shoulder the adult burdens of feeding you, housing you, clothing you. And just because these people work hard doesn't mean they don't love, don't want to love or be loved, etc. They are just 'grown ups' who have agreed to do jobs and are doing them and you don't know them or have a clue into what is going on in their inner personal lives, so you are being very harsh on them in your judgements of them.

 

So time to dig deep and take advantage of this opportunity. And if someone else put herself on the line to get you this job, you also owe it to her to spend some time trying to make a success of it. If after 6 months you haven't hit your stride there, then start looking for other employment until you find something. That is a respectful amount of time to try to make it work and you can then leave on some other subtext that won't make your friend look like you just spit on this great opportunity that was offered to you and spit on her in the process.

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Admittedly, I did not follow the run-up to your getting this job, so I'm just tuning in as of your latest post.

 

I agree with a great deal of what chickadeedee has said. And her advice.

 

I do think that there are a lot of people stuck in being "married to their job" and for whom money becomes an endpoint, not a means, which is quite precarious in terms of the soul's deepest needs and desires. But I also think that you're resisting the work so much, you're liable to pass by whatever you can get out of this. Your desire to run may be as much a product of insecurity about not being competent as it is about the kind of duties you're being asked to do. I see this as a fear-driven response, based on your other posts and if you leave a job it should be because you have something better in the works to leap to, and know that you simply do not like this kind of work enough to stay. You should not be leaving because after a few days of the novelty, you're scared out of your britches over your own abilities or lacks. I think you tend to like the novelty of all things fine and exquisite, but there's a kind of fairyland fantasy girlish element about it that just hops over the "this is what it actually takes" part.

 

One way you can think of this challenge is -- you're not happy when you avoid responsibilities or challenges, either. For all the gratitude you feel for "playing the part of wifey", there's still that negative connotation even you give to it. I have seen you express guilt over it, lots of concern that you aren't really grown up and self-reliant, fearfulness that you won't find something you're good at, and so you comfort yourself with your husband. There are things that he can't do for you -- things that are comforting in an enduring way that another person's love can't bring. Deep down, your knowledge of your own self-insufficiency "in the real world" makes you very unhappy. So even if you avoid this unpleasant work environment and quit, you're not really going back to satisfaction. You're going back to a lot of dissatisfaction in yourself and your life, and possibly even more because instead of sticking it out to prove to yourself you could do things, you'll reinforce your sense of failure and inability. A very FAMILIAR dissatisfaction, which feels easier to tolerate than this new, unfamiliar one...but it's not like your life has been making you happy the way it's been. There are a few lovely and fortunate props and crutches in it that make it good in ways...but are you happy with the way you are, as you are? No. I don't see you as complacent, which is a good thing. But that means you have to do something to change the status quo to find another way of being, if you want to fill in the parts of yourself that even love from a beloved can't supply you with.

 

I agree that this level of dependency on your partner is kind of like building your house on a glacier. It's solid...until or unless the polar caps melt. Whoever thought they were going anywhere? But now, with our climate changes...they are.

 

I'm not trying to rain on your parade with love being the most important thing in life. I do think it is. But I think love should be not solely about a love object. Love for doing a job well-done; love for a project seen through; an idea that involves creativity manifested; a person you help who is in need...there are so many versions and forms of love that I believe are part of a full heart and life. So love has been a bit narrowed down for you, and as I suggest to many people on here (I know I'm an ENA broken record on this), I think finding a cause you're interested in and volunteering will give you a place to focus your attention and care on something other than the person who sleeps with you every night. He should be a complement to your life, which is full...not a liferaft, emotionally and practically, so that when he leaves, you're depressed, aimless, and lonely. Engage proactively in the world and you'll have less time for these emotions to set in, or they may not set in at all. You might even find yourself looking forward to your "me" time -- and when he returns, it will feel all that much more rewarding to reconnect.

 

There are endless ways to be involved in projects that make use of your smarts and whatever subjects you're interested in that would keep you busy so that next time he leaves town, you're doing your own thing rather than waiting at the window until his car pulls up. That's the way it should be.

 

No matter how strong your relationship is, it should not be a crutch or a bandaid.

 

As far as what your boss said about your whole life being already determined for you, that is actually a scientifically valid position, which classical Newtonian physics tends to support. It's nowhere near astrology or claptrap New Age baloney. I am not a physicist, but I've read enough about it (because it fascinates me) to know that the notion of the universe being driven by completely predictable outcomes is actually the way Einstein described our universe. Quantum physics takes a slightly different approach involving more seeming randomness (which always bugged Einstein, and which he could not reconcile himself with), but physicists have been arguing over how much predictability and therefore determinism runs the show for literally thousands of years, and it's clear from more modern research that the debate comes down to probabilities and degrees of that. So this idea is not without actual philosophical and physical objectivity, having nothing to do with emotional appeal or mythology or astrology or personal belief systems. I mean, it might be for your boss -- it may be just her opinion based on her lived experience and layperson's preferred model. But if you were to get into the cosmological and ontological study of it, you'd find reams of material to back it up. And you're right, the universe doesn't care much (let's make that AT ALL) about any given one of us (if you're taking a non-religious viewpoint), but it's not about whether the universe "cares" about your fate. It's about how the universe operates, whether that depresses you or not.

 

Of course, the part where it gets juicy for those of us who came to this kind of study through the door of metaphysics and philosophy, the question is, how do we live our lives knowing that we "apparently" have choices but it's possible all those choices are only "apparent" ones? To that, I answer: IT DOESN'T MATTER. What does it matter if you're under an illusion that you have free will? The point is, to exercise your apparent will and use your mind and heart to the best of your capability. My dad used to say (and he was also going on "personal theory" rather than professional astrophysical background), "We really don't have any choices at all. Every single thing we're doing, now, every time I move my finger, was predestined. I just THINK I'm deciding to move it now. But we have to PRETEND, to LIVE like we have that choice." I tended to agree with him then...and now even moreso I agree. He said a lot of wrong things, but that was one of the right ones, I believe.

 

Here's a link of this, and an excerpt that's good:

 

link removed

 

Other proponents of emergentist or generative philosophy, cognitive sciences and evolutionary psychology, argue that determinism is true.[46][47][48][49] They suggest instead that an illusion of free will is experienced due to the generation of infinite behaviour from the interaction of finite-deterministic set of rules and parameters. Thus the unpredictability of the emerging behaviour from deterministic processes leads to a perception of free will, even though free will as an ontological entity does not exist.[46][47][48][49] Certain experiments looking at the neuroscience of free will can be said to support this possibility.[citation needed]

In Conway's Game of Life, the interaction of just four simple rules creates patterns that seem somehow "alive".

 

As an illustration, the strategy board-games chess and Go have rigorous rules in which no information (such as cards' face-values) is hidden from either player and no random events (such as dice-rolling) happen within the game. Yet, chess and especially Go with its extremely simple deterministic rules, can still have an extremely large number of unpredictable moves. When chess is simplified to 7 or fewer pieces, however, there are endgame tables available which dictate which moves to play to achieve a perfect game. The implication of this is that given a less complex environment (with the original 32 pieces reduced to 7 or fewer pieces), a perfectly predictable game of chess is possible to achieve. In this scenario, the winning player would be able to announce a checkmate happening in at most a given number of moves assuming a perfect defense by the losing player, or less moves if the defending player chooses sub-optimal moves as the game progresses into its inevitable, predicted conclusion. By this analogy, it is suggested, the experience of free will emerges from the interaction of finite rules and deterministic parameters that generate nearly infinite and practically unpredictable behaviourial responses. In theory, if all these events could be accounted for, and there were a known way to evaluate these events, the seemingly unpredictable behaviour would become predictable.[46][47][48][49]

 

And another:

 

link removed

 

This is a huge topic of scientific debate, as you can see, and it's not a simple answer either, because a lot of the answers depend on how you define relative things about reality.

 

So what does this mean for your life?

 

Absolutely nothing, is what I'm saying. It's exciting and stimulating to contemplate and try to understand, and I'm glad someone is investigating those things with rigor. But it doesn't have to depress me or alter what I do in any way. It doesn't matter if someone could calculate -- given the right instruments and methodology -- whether your fate is x or y. The point is, are you living by your values? Are you even clear what your values are? Do you believe you're doing something to grow and progress as an individual? Are you pushing your envelope of comfort to gain in skills, ability, and to reveal your potentials? Are you doing things that you know you can look back on with satisfaction and taking pride? Are you treating the people around you well, and with awareness? Are you striving to be the best you you can be?

 

You don't need to know what the shenanigans of the universe are for proceeding. You do your part, and let the universe do its.

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And I will also add that I think you should stick it out at least 1 YEAR at your job, because then at least if you hate it, it'll look more respectable on your resume. A year looks at least like you put in some time -- whereas a few months reads as "quitter." So if you're going to end up not liking it, at least make it count for something, make it worth your while.

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Hi chickadee,

 

Gosh, where to start!

 

Okay, so I'll just begin by saying this journal of mine is a personal splurge fest, a therapeutic avalanche of mental rambling - I'm not asking for advice from it, or I would have posted on the advice forum, but since you're giving advice, I'll draw from it. But looking back, I really should have started this journal in the 'no response' section.

 

So, one misconception everyone seems to have is that my poor husband supports me completely when really he's dying for me to get a job and is sick of me sapping pounds and pence from his account and generally taking advantage of his financial and emotional support.

 

In reality, I can more than easily support myself and my husband (if his business went under, I could make more money than we ever needed and I would do it happily and have done, in the past). Another thing - my husband is hugely, hugely traditional, and would absolutely hate for me to financially support him. Ideally, he would like me to start a family right now and he is always proud and happy to support me. Sometimes I do feel bad about this - guilty because I feel like hardly anyone I know is in a similar situation so young, which causes me to think twice sometimes. We have very traditional roles - for instance, he hasn't done the washing up for 7 years! He's never cleaned up after himself, I do all our washing, cleaning, DIY (yes, I grout the bathroom!). He is completely taken care of. I make him breakfast every morning, cook him every meal etc. I iron and have his clothes out ready every morning. So in return for him making more money at the moment than me, in exchange I am his very willing house wife as well as now working full time. So don't feel too sorry for him, honestly, he gets quite a good bargain.

 

I will admit to anyone I've had it easy. I've had it easy when I was younger and single. I worked two jobs plus college and fell into two great jobs straight away and got good exam results without too much effort. In that respect, yes, I have had it easy. I met my now husband young and our relationship has mostly been amazing - it's always come very naturally and very easy. Then followed a few s****y jobs due to my own choice, and then I happened upon lap dancing and then my husband was coming to me for money! Which, by the way, I gladly would give him and supported him in his business. When I was dancing, to me, it was ridiculously easy money. My husbands business has gone from strength to strength (which I do some of the admin for on the evenings), and life has been good. I don't believe life has to be hard for it to be respectable or worth it.

 

Forgive me, but I don't believe it when people feel like they're not earning adult 'proper' money unless they're miserable in their jobs. I refuse to accept being unhappy in life, including work, which is a whole lotta portion of your life. I wouldn't expect my husband to stay in a crummy job he hated and neither does he expect me to do the same. At the moment I'm happy to stick it because it will help with a mortgage, which was my decision as he never asked me to go in for this, but it's not the only job I can ever have and it's not the only way I can contribute financially or otherwise.

 

It's quite personal the way a couple sets themselves up financially and I would never criticise someone else's set up. For instance, my mum is a house wife and has never worked for 10 years - does that make her a splinter in my fathers foot? He loves the fact that he comes home to fresh flowers, a clean house and a home cooked meal in the oven. He pays for everything - I would never suggest my mum must go out to work when my father doesn't need her too. I would not be so bold.

 

With regards to the harsh judgements of my colleagues... I agree I can be quick to judge, especially when ranting in an online diary. Obviously I would take what I say in a bad mood with a pinch of salt. This past week I've talked more and got to know everyone a little more and can safely say everyone seems quite lovely and very, very helpful.

 

I am grateful of the opportunity I've been given in a recession and I am never unappreciative of anything I have (although sometimes I forget just how good I have it, which is only human nature), but most of the time, I am overwhelmed by the beauty of life and just how lucky I am.

 

Other women, younger models... yes, these things happen. And that would be a cause for concern if my husband had just married me for my youth or my appearance, but fortunately for me he hasn't, and we love each other now more than ever. Death does happen, and trust me, I worry about illness all the time, really, I do. I'm a hypochondriac, big style. But I can support myself, and I don't need all the luxuries life can offer me, even though they're very nice. I'm not a helpless little girl, I'm just a girl who believes life doesn't have to be a struggle when you can change things.

 

I've worked since I was 16 and I always have my own cash, even if it is a small amount, I've always paid ALL our rent, even in my part time job. Hubby pays all the bills and all the meals out and yes, he buys me presents, a lot.

 

I do agree the way you view a situation can change the whole thing... happiness is a state of mind, etc etc. I agree, totally. My over-splurge - I chalk it down to a bad week. I had a big change and I don't deal well with change of office type set ups. It's against my nature. I'm very open on this journal so my emotions are often exaggerated due to the moods I'm in when I write, it's just the way it is so it's not always a factual assessment of my life. I don't do stepping back much!

 

With or without my husband, the difference between me and maybe someone else chained to their desk is that I'm free, and maybe thats whats so un-adult about me? In life, sometimes you have to ask yourself, are you so used to your cage that you have stopped noticing the bars? Are you truly free? Are you truly happy?

 

In life, we don't have to do anything, I think it's an illusion. You don't HAVE to stick a crummy job. I think everyone needs to start valuing themselves more than that. I know, a lot of people have children to support. My father worked in a factory when me and my sister were born. They had no money. He studied whilst working a c**p job full time at night school and ended up getting the top score in his exam in the UK - this is a tool maker who wore hand me down jumpers that his mum had knit him. No one is stuck and no one is stuck because of responsibilities or anything else otherwise.

 

With regards to my CV - I really couldn't give a fig about my resume. It's kind of made up and pointless anyway (can't exactly say I spent two years stripping and flashing my t**s at strangers for money). It's a shady area for me. It wouldn't have made any difference if I'd walked out of a job after a week or so. I have bigger periods of 'un-work' to explain which concern me much more.

 

Overall, please don't take my personal whinging and gushing on here as anything but a girl's diary. I've had a fantastic week this week and everything's moving along nicely. I've settled into my job a bit more and I'm kind of enjoying the mundane tasks for now. Everything's starting to come much more naturally and nothings as hard as it initially seemed.

 

At the end of the day, I can't stop thinking whatever I want, whether it's a quick judgement or a negative thought about a new job. At the end of a long Monday, I leave the office, turn my music up full blast, strip off my clothes at the door and down a red bull in the kitchen to dance around the lounge. I don't see why I have to be happy or accept office work if I don't like it. I do agree, the old me would have just left in the first week, but the old me was completely impulsive and a slave to her emotions. I kind of miss her, she was more fun. The old, impulsive me allowed me to walk into a lap dancing bar and go audition on a pole even though I'd never pole danced in my entire life. The old me, that spark thats still in there, is what my husband fell in love with. That old me did what she wanted and, well... it's kind of nice being your own boss with your hands on the wheel. You should try it sometime if you've never done it, it's liberating. Life's too short.

 

So back to my desk and grey pencil skirts - I've stuck it the first week and everything's clicking into place even though it's not my ideal job, but I only have to do it into the near-ish future. This cannot be the end game, surely? It doesn't feel right.

 

Again, ramblings. All ramblings!

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And I will also add that I think you should stick it out at least 1 YEAR at your job, because then at least if you hate it, it'll look more respectable on your resume. A year looks at least like you put in some time -- whereas a few months reads as "quitter." So if you're going to end up not liking it, at least make it count for something, make it worth your while.

 

Hi tiredofvampires,

 

In reply to your response, again, I don't mean to sound rude but this journal is mostly personal rambling and I'm not asking for advice, even though I had a bad, hormone fuelled week (ha!), but I'll give my thoughts on some things you've mentioned.

 

I have a large sense of dissatisfaction with my life at the moment, even though I am hugely happy with a lot of it (my relationship, our apartment, material things, plenty of money, etc). Truly, my dissatisfaction doesn't come from not sticking with anything or the fact that my husband (mostly) supported me for two years. My unhappiness comes from the fact that I'm not true to myself.

 

Me, sitting at a desk doing admin, is not me. It's not what I'm good at and it's not what makes me happy. So I'm unhappy with it. And the thing I hate the most is dishonestly, especially when I'm dishonest with myself, and sitting at that desk saying I like it is a blatant lie to myself, which in turn makes my stomach churn.

 

I really miss the 'old me' - you know, the me that did everything you're not supposed to do. I feel like I'm always fighting against my own nature, every day. I'm a slave more and more to how I should be and not what I actually am. This makes me sad and I wrestle with my decision to be more 'adult' everyday.

 

You know, you seem to know a bit about science, so I'm sure you're familiar with evolution.

 

In basic terms and in my own mind, I always view evolution as a trade off. So, you have an animal that can run very fast, but for one pro you get a con - maybe there is a weakness in the legs in order to create the speed, etc. It's about finding the perfect balance in survival.

 

The old me was impulsive, in touch with her emotions to the extreme, a slave to her emotions and did what she wanted. This meant, a lot of freedom and satisfaction, gratification, fun, my ego was protected. But the con is no stability, especially no mental stability. I always felt like I was never in one place for long and therefore wasn't rooted. Sometimes it's great being able to tap into that inner impulsive, selfish and almost childish ability. Other times, it's completely un-compatible with everyday, normal life.

 

Basically, I'm trying to find a balance. I'm in the process of training myself from being a natural flitter - you know, the type of person who's great fun and high energy but crashes every now and then or does something totally weird or crazy due to a mix of anxiety and the complete dedication to the avoidance of anything emotionally uncomfortable and testing. This journal is a kind of record of a struggle with myself, which is something that most people face everyday, if they were honest with themselves. No ones perfect.

 

On the topic of my husband again, who is, undeniably, yes, my life. I'm not even going to go there really or even try to change that. Have you ever been so in love with someone that you couldn't think of living without them and you always think about them? Thats me and my husband. I can't change it, it's chemical and beyond my control. If I take up a sewing class or decide to go help homeless children I'm still going to be fantasising of the next time I can feel his hands on my waist and turn the lights down low.

 

Hands up, I'm guilty and happily jailed by love, and frankly, I don't want to change that. He's one of the only things I truly care about, and thats just love. I can't change it even if I tried. Emotionally I need him. There are a hundred love songs, poems, romance novels that back me up on this very common, human feeling. I write about it a lot because hell, I'm an old romantic and he's the person that makes me happy in my life. Shoes, cars, money... it's all very nice, but love makes me happy. You get some pain with love, you're going to miss your 'soul mate' - animals pine for their masters and owls who mate for life have been known to stand in a mournful daze in the middle of a road if their partner gets run over. I would be waiting for the headlights. I'm a slave to love and I enjoy the chains!

 

Can I physically survive without him, financially and emotionally? I have done before, and there was a time before I knew him and I was happy but in a very different way. He needs me in exactly the same way... it's just the way we are, thats the nature of our love. If it's right or wrong I don't know, I don't feel qualified enough to judge. But I love him and thats all that matters to me at this moment in time. My job satisfaction is insignificant compared to how I feel about him.

 

With regards to my boss and the religiously toned 'life is planned' thing - I do get what you're saying. I've never believed in free will. I'm no physics student and I sucked really big b***s at science, but I will say science proves no such thing as free will even exists.

 

I can do my own extracts, and here's one of mine from a favourite film of mine called Waking Life which you may also find interesting and which I agree with whole heartedly:

 

"In a way, in our contemporary world view, it's easy to think that science has come to take the place of God, but some philosophical problems remain as troubling as ever. Take the problem of free will. This problem has been around for a long time, since before Aristotle in 350 BC. St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, these guys all worried about how we can be free if God already knows in advance everything you're gonna do. Nowadays, we know that the world operates according to some fundamental physical laws, and these laws govern the behaviour of every object in the world. Now, these laws, because they're so trustworthy, they enable incredible technological achievements. But look at yourself: we're just physical systems too, right? We're just complex arrangements of carbon molecules; we're mostly water, and our behaviour isn't gonna be an exception to these basic physical laws. So it starts to look like whether it's God, setting things up in advance and knowing everything you're gonna do, or whether it's these basic physical laws governing everything, there's not a lot of room left for freedom.

 

So now you might be tempted to just ignore the question, ignore the mystery of free will. Say 'Oh, well, it's just a historical anecdote; it's sophomoric; it's a question with no answer; just forget about it;' but the question keeps staring you right in the face. You think about individuality for example, who you are. Who you are is mostly a matter of the free choices that you make. Or take responsibility: you can only be held responsible, you can only be found guilty, or you can only be admired or respected for things you did of your own free will. So the question keeps coming back, and we don't really have a solution to it. It starts to look like all our decisions are really just a charade.

 

Think about how it happens. There's some electrical activity in your brain. Your neurons fire. They send a signal down into your nervous system. It passes along down into your muscle fibers. They twitch. You might, say, reach out your arm. It looks like it's a free action on your part, but every one of those, every part of that process is actually governed by physical law, chemical laws, electrical laws, and so on.

 

So now it just looks like the Big Bang set up the initial conditions, and the whole rest of human history, and even before, is really just the playing out of subatomic particles according to these basic fundamental physical laws. We think we're special; we think we have some kind of special dignity; but that now comes under threat. I mean, that's really challenged by this picture.

 

So you might be saying, 'Well—wait a minute—what about quantum mechanics? I know enough contemporary physical theory to know it's not really like that. It's really a probabilistic theory; there's room; it's loose; it's not deterministic; and that's going to enable us to understand free will.' But if you look at the details it's not really going to help because what happens is you have some very small quantum particles, and their behavior is apparently a bit random—they swerve. Their behavior is absurd in the sense that it's unpredictable and we can't understand it based on anything that came before. It just does something out of the blue, according to a probabilistic framework. But is that going to help with freedom? I mean, should our freedom be just a matter of probabilities, just some random swerving in a chaotic system? That starts to seem like it's worse. I'd rather be a gear in a big deterministic physical machine than just some random swerving.

 

So we can't just ignore the problem: we have to find room in our contemporary worldview for persons with all that that entails. Not just bodies, but persons, and that means trying to solve the problem of freedom, finding room for choice and responsibility, and trying to understand individuality."

 

To summarise, I have to feel like life is what I make it or frankly, I'll go insane thinking nothing I do is not even partly within my control. I have to live with the illusion of free will. Do I honestly believe we have free will? Not really. Do I believe there is a religious plan or someone who has a plan for me, personally, and my little life? Definitely not. And I think this is the tone in which my boss originally said it.

 

Lo x

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Many's the time I ran with you down.

The rainy roads of our old town.

Many the lives we lived in each day,

and buried altogether.

Don't laugh at me.

Don't look away.

 

You'll follow me back,

with the sun in your eyes,

and on your own,

bedshaped,

and legs of stone.

You'll knock on my door,

and up we'll go,

in white light,

I don't think so.

But what do I know?

What do I know?

I know.

 

I know you think I'm holding you down,

and I've fallen by the wayside now.

And I don't understand the same things as you,

but I do.

 

Don't laugh at me.

Don't look away.

 

You'll follow me back,

with the sun in your eyes,

and on your own,

bedshaped,

and legs of stone.

You'll knock on my door,

and up we'll go,

in white light,

I don't think so.

But what do I know?

What do I know?

I know.

 

And up we'll go,

in white light,

I don't think so.

But what do I know?

What do I know?

I know.

 

But what do I know? What do I know?

 

I know.

 

- 'Bedshaped', Keane.

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Just so you're aware, you can always ask a mod to put your journal into the "solo" journal section, if you so choose.

 

I don't follow many of the journals here...and the ones I follow regularly, I can count on less than half a hand. I've noticed that some people don't want advice in their journals, and others do welcome it. I tend to gravitate towards the ones that do, because my own affinities are towards growth and questioning, not just chronicling daily events. I got the sense from your writing that you might be more in that latter category of journal-keepers here, as you seem to be keen to probe your troubles and issues, and also don't seem to need a lot of buttering up, but dually noted that you'd prefer not to get "advice" per se. Consider this post a last such submission.

 

On the free will issue, I wasn't there to hear how your boss said it, so I only took your post where you strongly rejected her view to mean you really do believe in it and think the idea of "determinism" is a bunch of malarchy. That's how it came accross. I would agree as a non-religious person that there's no one out there who "cares", and if that's how she said it, well, I'd disagree with that framework, too. It sounds like you think more like I do where you say you don't REALLY believe in free will, but have to live by that illusion. That, as I said, I believe. It's an illusion for the most part, but I also believe there is an observer-phenomenon, cause-effect interactive process that goes on (also proven in physics) that means we are shaping the next event in some dynamic way. The universe is rife with paradoxes...so beautiful and harmoniously contradictory.

 

For me though, it's not a problem to be tackling on a daily basis. Because it's of no use (and I'm part pragmatist -- a big part! Equal parts romantic, idealist, and pragmatist, is how I'd describe myself.) So I think it's absolutely viable to say, "Life is what you make of it." I say that to other people, and silently to myself when I need to call that up, in dark moments. To me though, that's not contradictory to determinism, and I don't need to figure out if it's I I I I I I that is making life what it is. All I need to know is that my *apparent* ability to make choices is being harnessed by my conscious awareness as much as possible. "I" harness my consciousness to direct it as "I" would like, and that's my work cut out for me. The wherefore and the why is really a footnote.

 

The rest of what I have to say feels....rather pointless or not terribly useful, because you've made it clear that it's not where your thinking is at. Kind of wondering if I even should submit it, as it's sort of personal, too. But I'm going to throw it out there anyway. Just to toss around.

 

The most important thing in MY life is freedom. (I could easily, EASILY say love as well, but I'd say in terms of driving forces that stand above all other drives and frame them, it would be freedom.) If you were to have a peek into my history, you'd see that theme played out everywhere. Intellectual freedom, social freedom on a large scale, social freedom in my personal network and with those close to me, freedom of expression, freedom from the tyranny of what others demand as social convention when it makes no sense to me, or is harmful. Freedom from conformity just to conform. So all these ways one can be free in the civilized world, as an individual.

 

The deeper levels of this for me involve spiritual freedom, and this is where your experience vs. mine may produce a disconnect. Unlike you, from an early age, I've had it so much harder than the average person. I can't say, like you, that I've always had it easy. Completely and savagely the opposite (and in ways that WEREN'T me being the driver behind the wheel and having choices.) Things have not fallen into my lap fortuitously, with ease, and most of the things that I have wanted in my life the most have felt elusive. Major pillars of what one comes to enjoy and expect in this sensual, earthly, material existence have been smashed to bits, causing me life-threatening, life-altering anguish, loss and grief. And I am a natural denizen of the sensual realms to know. So I don't really expect some of what I say to resonate here, our realities are so different, but here goes.

 

The pearl that has grown out of the mud of all this is a deep realization, one that has conferred so much strength to me that I wouldn't trade it in. We are all very much chained by what we feel we need to be happy. NEEEEEEEEED in order to be happy on this earth. It is amazing how we cling to so many things for our breath and self-definition, self-identification. Of course, it's all very human, and no doubt, a lot of being human feels oh-so-delicious -- but it's equally problematic. Truth is, none of us are free -- that is, until we are actually able to imagine losing everything and still going on (not that anyone does that...it happens and then people get interested). If you're about freedom...this is the mother of all freedoms, the big one. And the fact of the matter is, until or unless you have some great loss in your life and your chains then cut into your flesh so that you feeling you're dying...they're not worrisome at all. They're even fun, as you say. It's interesting that you speak of the people at work as possibly being so used to their cage that they don't see the bars. In fact, maybe they love their bars, because look at all the rewards those cages and chains and bars provide them! You say these people are not free -- whereas you are. Then in the next post, you say you're a slave to love and are loving the chains. They're a slave to work. You're a slave to this love/person. So you're not free either in the sense that if your husband is your life, nothing of you exists independently without him. That's what you said -- that you couldn't live without him. And we see this a lot...visit the grief and bereavement forum. There are people who have lost the loves of their lives and for a good long while, their chains sear and sever and burn and lacerate their soul, their flesh, their spirit. The pain there is so palpable, intolerable for them...and no one's loving and reveling in those chains anymore. Those chains now FEEL like the chains that they are.

 

These attachments have cost people their very lives. Chains of love, now chains of death. (I'm sure this is starting to sound even better, as melodramatic romanticism goes, ha...)

 

So I believe it's very dangerous to "love your chains", whatever they are. That's just something I felt was worth saying. Your intact body, your job, your health, your family, your partner, your possessions...whatever you chain your life and its meaning to, it's seriously scary. You're no freer than those who feel their job and desk define them. They just have a type of chain that you find alien.

 

I'm not trying to bring you down, rain on your parade as I said earlier, be sermon-y, or bring a cynical worldview to your freespiritedness. Through none of what I've endured, have I stopped being a freespirit or a cautious optimist. But it's with so much more perspective and flexibility. Freedom is not just "I do whatever the hell I please". Freedom is the ability to not depend on any person, situation, idea, or thing to determine your life. I'm not even advocating you try to avoid risk of pain. I'm just saying, if you're going to the casino of life to gamble, don't ever take all the money you have to your name with you.

 

This is coming from someone who is not inexperienced in love. Yes, I've known love as you have. I have not been married, much less on a first shot out of my teens. You're fortunate. I'm not suggesting that you try to replace your husband or consider him interchangeable with sewing class or helping the homeless (you really did trivialize the suggestion of volunteer work, I see). I'm just saying that there's a way to fully love and be present in the world and take everything from it, without feeling that "XYZ" is "my lifeline," my air. It's precarious. It's not grounded. (but who asked me, right? sorry, almost done here..) One needs to be as self-reliant as they are able to love.

 

Likewise, you don't have to choose between "being grown up" and being a child. You don't have to regard this job as being dishonest. You don't have to tell yourself you like it, to honestly DECIDE that for now, you are doing it for these other reasons. So what's the conflict there? You're not trying to be something you're not, and you're not tricking yourself, deceiving yourself. So it's the adult thing to do something you don't particularly like for delayed gratification purposes. You don't LOSE being a childlike freespirit by GAINING greater maturity/responsibility. You CAN straddle both. And that's empowering.

 

My mistake if I misunderstood anything in your writing about having a problem with not knowing what you're good at and where you belong. I thought that was part of your struggle.

 

 

Anyway, I wish you well in the balancing acts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today was my last day being 24 and I didn't realise it until 11pm.

 

Tomorrow I will no longer be in my early twenties... I will (horrifically) by in my MID TWENTIES. The only pro I can see out of this whole thing is that I officially get to indulge in a quarter life crisis and can stop going through a practise quarter life crisis. Believe me, I have had plenty of practise.

 

I would like to document my un-eventful, un-realised till the last minute last day in my early twenties as follows:

 

6am - woke up to anxiety and a rush of adrenaline because I realised I'd messed up the day before at work and would have to face consequences.

 

6.30am - struggled with the idea of getting out of bed whilst the whole world was still pitch black. Started visualising my happy place of a Viking hut (I KNOW, BIZARRE... I can even smell the charred wood of an old fire pit).

 

7am - still struggling with this thing called 'Getting Your Freakin' Ass Out Of Bed!' Rolled over and curled up into a really warm, very cosy ball. This level of comfort never happens when I'm trying to get to sleep at the beginning of the night.

 

7.30am - really need to start putting the thinking about getting up into practise.

 

7.35am - D rolls over and is awake and cuddling me. Best surprise morning sex happens and all my anxiety suddenly vanishes for the duration of our hot and heavy quicky.

 

8am - mad rush to get in the shower. Bird bath shower happens, not the full 15 minute one I like.

 

8.15am - make-up on and chucking products in my bag that I won't need or use all day until the next morning.

 

8.25am - steam iron the right shoulder of my shirt whilst it's still on me because I see a crease. It's pin stripe, white and pale pink. Puts me in a good mood and I've never worn it to the office before so it makes me happy and the day better for some stupid reason.

 

8.35am - lift comes and I make small talk that I don't want to make because I'm half asleep and naturally anti-social.

 

8.50am - get into work and look at the massacre on my desk of paper work and all over naughty un-organisation. Stress levels rise but I'm still smiling and chirpily make everyone a cup of joe.

 

9.15am - my boss arrives and her stress head mood throws the whole vibe down.

 

1pm - morning at work was boring and a nag, but we're half way there people and lunch is ready. Yes. A de-frosted bag of frozen vegetable rice and a cup of soup. Good job someone bought me a doughnut because I have that on the side and put pepper on the rice. Its not too bad for a chuck in the bag lunch.

 

5pm - the afternoon was merciful and D is waiting to take me late night Christmas shopping.

 

8pm - I realise it's my Birthday tomorrow and this is my last day being 24. Kind of melancholy, like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend who I might see again but when I do, they'll be changed.

 

8.30pm - D buys me the most beautiful powder blue jump suit for my Birthday tomorrow chosen by mwah. I have decided I'm going to wear it to my works meal out on Friday. Maybe. Makes a change from wearing a dress.

 

10.40pm - come in to find the flat is a state and I invited everyone round tomorrow night for a quiet drink. Debating whether to set my alarm earlier in order to clean up before work so I don't have to do it in a rush tomorrow night before everyone gets here.

 

11.42pm - write in my journal about my last day of being 24 whilst the shower is running and I'm sat on the bathroom floor because I feel like it. Nothing eventful, just another day melting into months that bleed into years. Where does the time go? I'm too young to be 25!!!! I don't feel it, I don't look it and I don't act it. WHY ME? I never signed up for this. I refuse. Tomorrow, I will be turning 21 again.

 

Peace out.

 

Lo x

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