Lessons of the day: Remuneration and awkwardness

Today I learned two things:

Lesson one

The word is Remuneration not Renumeration.
I spent a good amount of time searching for renumeration in a document and of course I could not find it. I then decided to google what I was looking for and dear ol’ google popped up with “Showing results for blah blah remuneration.” I had this face for 20 seconds;

I cannot pronounce remuneration. It is so unnatural to me and I kept tripping over it. My tongue and my heart want to say renumeration and my brain is there fighting for remuneration to prevail. I am going to say it 30 times before bed tonight.

Lesson two

When you run into someone you know know at the train station, say hello with a smile. If there is time, ask how they are; how their day has gone; where they are going to. To bring the conversation to an end say “It was nice running into you. Enjoy the rest of your day“. It is okay to skip the conversation after hello and just say “…it was nice to see you…”

What you should not do is raise your voice twenty octaves and then mumble over yourself, repeatedly saying “I am so happy to see you” unless of course you are really that happy to see them. But that reaction is usually reserved for a lover or the pizza delivery guy. Odds are you are not really that happy to see your senior work colleague.
Now you are going to spend the next hour thinking perhaps it is finally time to start working on your perennial awkwardness.

The memoirs of the eternally awkward.

This reminds me of a few years back when I ran into an old friend at a party. I was quite surprised and actually pleased to see him. I was also so overcome with awkwardness that I cupped his face in my palms. He leaned in because he probably thought I was trying to tell him something. No dear, I am just holding your face because isn’t that what people do when they run into people they haven’t seen in ages?

It was weird.

Today reminded me that I am still that awkward.

Where did you learn this?

How far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
How often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
Why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
Where did it begin? What went wrong? and who made you feel so worthless?
If they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
All this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin?
and what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
How are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
Where did you learn this, to want what does not want you?
Where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?
Warsan Shire


Fear of missing out.

I never have any plans for the weekend. Whenever someone asks me what my plans are for the weekend or what I did over the weekend, my answer is the same: nothing much. For as far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed my solitude. Weekends are for me to stay in and relax completely. I cannot be bothered to leave my room.

Despite this I have a sizable fear of missing out; FOMO as it is called. I always imagine that others are having fun without me, which they most likely are. I so badly want to stay home and do nothing but at the same time, I sometimes feel as though I am wasting away my youth.

I think deep down in my heart, I am a social person. I look back at the child I was and I wonder what happened. Back then I would organise all the children on my street; I formed a club and we would have meetings. One random morning, I decided to throw a party and a few hours later the party was underway for no reason at all. I miss that person. I wonder what happened to her. She is still in here somewhere, I feel her stirring all the time. I seem to have buried her under layers of God knows what and only God knows why.

I have a self to recover, a queen. Is she dead, is she sleeping? Where has she been, with her lion-red body, her wings of glass?

I am starting to be bored by my solitude, which occasionally turns into its ugly twin-loneliness. When the weekend approaches, I am a little sad that I have no plans. Yet whenever I do make plans, I am filled with a strange nervousness. Once the plan is actually underway I feel fine, but the hours before I set off are mildly nerve-wracking. I assume it is a watered down version of what an agoraphobic must feel. It is almost as if I am afraid to have a good time. I have become accustomed to the initial nervousness and I know that I just have to get through it and have a good time. Still sometimes I am relieved when plans fall through and I get to do nothing instead.

Once I am done with the outing, I am happy to be back home having fulfilled the need to leave the house and do something. At least now I have an answer if I am asked what I did over the weekend. This one outing usually satiates the desire to go out for a few weeks; I have left the house, that should hold me over a little bit.

Yet I wonder what others are up to, what fun things are they doing?

The worst case of FOMO comes on my birthday. Even if I do nothing and stay in the whole year, I like to create beautiful memories on my birthday. I spent weeks-months even trying to figure out what to do on my birthday. Oh how I panicked that I would end up staying in bed all day. 4am on my birthday I was still up trying to figure out the plans,  it did not help that it was on a weekday and everyone was at work. I did eventually manage to have an okay time by myself but it could have been much better.

I know deep down the social child I was is still there. I love planning things; I love creating an itinerary of events and things to do. It is rare that I go through with them but still the process is exciting.

In my dream life, I am out of the house regularly-not clubbing-but just being enriched by the world and all the beauty life has to offer.

I am over being alone.

Go out and do something. It isn’t your room that’s a prison, it’s yourself.

I need to leave my room more often. This is really the long and short of it all. Nothing interesting is going to happen in my room. I need to remind myself constantly to just get out and see what outside has to offer. I literally stay in all weekend, only leaving to stock up on food and then I worry I am missing out on life.

I have resolved to do something interesting every weekend, at least one day of the weekend. I made a similar resolution last year-I was determined to leave my room at least once a day. I even wrote down a list of places to go but then couldn’t be arsed to go to some of them alone.

Life is meant to be lived and so far, I am failing miserably at that. I do not want to be bereft of memories. I want to look back at my life and marvel at how rich it was.


Both quotes are from Sylvia Plath, who seems to have a quote for every mood I’m in.

…unable to love anyone.

“I’m tired of living unable to love anyone. I don’t have a single friend – not one. And, worst of all, I can’t even love myself. Why is that? Why can’t I love myself? It’s because I can’t love anyone else. A person learns how to love himself through the simple acts of loving and being loved by someone else. Do you understand what I am saying? A person who is incapable of loving another cannot properly love himself.”
Haruki Murakami, 1Q84


Who knows what true loneliness is—not the conventional word but the naked terror? To the lonely themselves it wears a mask. The most miserable outcast hugs some memory or some illusion.

—Joseph Conrad

Love is something far more than desire for sexual intercourse; it is the principal means of escape from the loneliness which afflicts most men and women throughout the greater part of their lives.

—Bertrand Russell

Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship—but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.

—Sylvia Plath

But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o’clock in the morning.

—Haruki Murakami

If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.

—Jean-Paul Sartre

See more quotes on loneliness here

Nostalgia is denial…

Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present. The name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.

Quote from the film Midnight in Paris.