Mood.

Sometimes I feel like a caretaker of a museum; a huge, empty museum where no one ever comes and I am watching over it for no one but myself.- Haruki Murakami

I cannot rid myself of the feeling that I am not in the right place-Franz Kafka

I always wonder why birds choose to stay in the same place when they can fly anywhere on the earth. Then I ask myself the same question- Harun Yahya

I need days when I can be alone, to think, to daydream-Margarita Karapanou

I swear to you that to think too much is a disease, a real actual disease- Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

I don’t know who I am, where I am going- and I am the one who has to decide the answers to these hideous questions.-Sylvia Plath

The other day, lying in bed, felt my heart beating for the first time in a long while. I realized how little I live in my body, how much in my mind. –Rodger Kamenetz

I desire very little, but the things I do consume me.-Beau Taplin

I want so much that is not here and do not know where to go- Charles Bukowski

What you seek is seeking you-Rumi

Forever I am that girl.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit”
― E.E. Cummings

In the midst of all the angst and anguish that plague us as young-ish adults trying to navigate this minefield called life, it is easy to forget to celebrate our wins. I know this first-hand. There are so many uncertainties, so many decisions to be made that I find myself in a state of constant stress and anxiety. By the time I actually achieve something, all I feel is mild relief and I am not able to super bask in my accomplishment because I am already worrying about the next thing. I downplay all my achievements, it’s crazy. All the “omg congratulations! so proud of you” just slide off me like water. Nothing is a big deal to me anymore. Only the stress and anxiety exist. I am so hard on myself that I forget that I really am that girl.

A few months back I decided to start looking for a new job. I had been complaining about my current job for almost two years now; I actually came across a chat with my friend in November 2020 when I was complaining about being sick and tired of the work. I finally decided to stop living in a funk and actually send out my CV and respond to a few of the recruiters in my messages. I would always joke that the only reason I stayed at my job for so long was because I could not be bothered to go through the interview process. The thought of prepping for an interview frightened me. Let me just stay in this place please, after-all no one is chasing me. I am lucky to even have a job and a job is a job so might as well stay here.

Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.

As I wrote in my last post, I am very motivated when I am working towards something otherwise I am just dormant and inert. Once I gave myself the all clear I started responding to recruiters and sending my CVs to employers. I chose the wrong time to go through this- I was in the middle of a very busy work season so I was stressed out to the max. I had to schedule interviews around client meetings, team calls, and office visits. There was one time I kept working until about 10 minutes to an interview and then quickly got ready for the interview and immediately went back to work. It was wild. Also made me wonder how people went out for job interviews pre-zoom/teams. How many sick days could you take before it got suspicious? Anyway, I did four interviews and told myself no mas!; I would continue (if needed) after the busy season was done. Long story short, I got two job offers at the places I wanted (the other two were really just for practice). Not only did they give me offers, they were both really impressed by me and really really wanted me. Like all the things that I fear, the interview process turned out not to be that scary. In addition to this, my current company is desperate to keep me and sad to see me go. I had to acknowledge that I really am that girl. Such a good boost to my ego and esteem. But of course rather than bask in this, I spent all the time stressing over what to do and which offer to choose. I was so bloody stressed. Looking back now, I should have just relaxed and enjoyed being wanted. I should have been patting myself on the back for getting myself a new job but no all of that paled in comparison to the unbearable stress of trying to make a decision. My friends were all oh congratulations girl! and I was like “meh. thanks.” Now I’m thinking about how great it is that I wanted better for myself and went out and got it. Thank you God.

The interview process was very much needed because it reminded me of how capable I am. When you are in one place for too long it is easy to forget who you are and even start to think you don’t have anything to offer. You read a job description and shrink in fear because surely you are not up to par. Thankfully I have never let that stop me from sending over my CV- let them filter me out if I don’t have the required skills-but still it is easy to let the fear take over. However after the first couple of interviews I got a hang of the whole thing. By the time I got to the interview for the fourth company, I was so calm and relaxed; I went from trying to impress them to also interviewing them to ensure they would be a good fit. I have options, okay Dah-ling?

Sometimes the fear does not go away so you have to do afraid.

I have achieved so many things in my life but I sometimes don’t give them the respect they deserve. This may also be the problem with being a high achiever; my expectations are so high that everything seems insignificant. I see all these achievements as the norm, nothing out of the blue, nothing that has not been done before and so I do not often celebrate myself as I should. I just never give myself enough props. Even at work I am full of anxiety and when I have to juggle more than one thing I start to panic that I’m not meeting expectations and blah blah; then I see other people’s work and realise I don’t respect myself enough. After bouts of panic and anxiety, things always resolve them and I find out that I have panicked for no reason (yet again). The truth is that I am highly regarded at work and always get performance bonuses. I am literally that girl.

There are so many examples of me downplaying myself and not acknowledging my strengths. I was watching this vlog in which the girl talked about how she moved from the UK to Germany for work, and I started to wish I was more adventurous like that. Why couldn’t I do such things like moving to a different country for work? I need to stop being so boring and dull. Blah blah. It took me a minute to remind myself that I am literally in a different country ALL BY MYSELF WITH NO SINGLE FAMILY MEMBER. I moved to a different country (continent even) at 15 BY MYSELF for university and again (to another continent) at 21 for Masters degree and work. How dare I say I have not done anything adventurous? I need to rate myself more highly. By the Grace of God I have achieved a MSc with distinction, got a distinction in my dissertation (another source of angst), got a good job, a place to live, passed my professional exams, another job, permanent residency etc. I have actually tried for myself. There’s obviously more that I want for myself but while the fact that there is still more to do does not mean that a lot has not already been achieved. This reminds me of the time I started a post with the intention of writing about my birthday depression and how I have never had a good birthday only to walk down memory lane and realise I have had nothing but good birthdays. A mess.

Another memorable moment was a few years ago when I booked a trip to Canada to see my sister. I think this was the first trip I booked by myself; and I booked the flight through a third party site. To get a cheaper price I booked a flight with a layover in the USA. No problem, until I got to the airport and was told I could not board as I did not have a USA Visa. M’excuse me? I am not going to the US of A, it’s just a layover and I would not be leaving the airport. It didn’t matter. I could not board that flight. My day was ruined and my disappointment immeasurable. How was this possible? I had paid for accommodation and was looking forward to spending time with my sweet sister. I called my dad, who was in town at the time staying in a hotel and he said well come back you can go another time. Excuse you sir? I am going to Canada one way or the other. I managed to get another flight which was eye-wateringly expensive but listen I was going to Canada. My father always refers to that moment- how proud he was of my tenacity and resolve. Now again I didn’t see it as anything.

My first term in boarding school was unpleasant. I did not like the seniority system and the way the seniors had power over us; the bullying and nastiness was unacceptable. I missed my family terribly and just did not want to be there anymore. So I decided I would not. At the end of the first term, I packed everything I owned, including those things that had been purloined by seniors (I literally went through their lockers for my stuff) and said goodbye to that place. Looking back, I am amazed at my resolve. I was not going back. That was it. I did not even discuss it with my parents beforehand. Just got home and told them I am not going back. My dad was perplexed and tried to push back but listen, I am indecisive and fearful but once my mind is made up it is made up. At the time I did not think much of it, but I occasionally look back at this moment as a testament to my resolve. So many times I wish I was more this and less that; it turns out I am already all of that, if the situation calls for it. Everything I need is already in me. I just need to put myself in situations that stimulate me more and use my talents.

I am that girl. The one and only. Powerful beyond my presumed limitations and capable of actualising my wildest dreams. I just need to stop worrying so much and doubting myself. Sweet girl you have achieved so much and you are capable of even more. Nothing is out of your reach, nothing is impossible for you. You are that girl.

Why are you running?

When I watched the Nollywood film titled Pretty Liars (no relation to Pretty Little Liars), I had no way of knowing that that one scene (you know the one I’m talking about) would go on to become an iconic meme. Today when I sat to write this post, that is the first thing that came to my mind. Why are you running?

See I have been running for a long time now. Running even though no one was chasing. I have always been in a hurry to get through the stages of life. It may have started when I skipped grade 6 and went straight to secondary school at nine years old. I turned 16 in my first term at University, completed all my credits at 19, and by 22 I had my Master’s degree and was starting my career. At university I took summer classes every year to speed things up so I could graduate in three years instead of four. When it was all over, I sat with myself and asked the question “Now what? What’s next? Why were you in a hurry?

The sad truth is that I should have enjoyed the journey more, rather than rushing to the destination. It would have been nice to have taken the time to smell the petunias. At the end of it all I am grateful for everything, and I’m not going to dwell mindlessly on the past; still it is good (important even!) to reflect. Did it matter if I graduated at 19 instead of 21? By the grace of God, we all reached the destination, and it did not matter how long it took. I was so engrossed in just getting it all over with, that I never even stopped to consider what the point was, and what the plan was after everything was ticked off.

For so long it was just “on to the next”. I was ticking things off robotically like I was collecting infinity stones (I only know this reference thanks to social media. I have not watched the film), and when it was done I felt so terribly lost and confused. What now? I had not thought beyond the destination, forgetting that life is not one destination but one long never ending journey with some pitstops. After my final summer semester in which I got the final credits for my bachelor’s degree in summer school, I remember sitting in my room in University, completely overwhelmed by the rest of my life staring down at me. I had reached the end of the race in record time and there was still the rest of my life to deal with. For years I had known what the next step was-midterms, exams, summer school etc. That was the first time that all certainty was gone- there was nothing set for me to do next, the decision was all mine and I was petrified. I was technically an adult now and had to decide what to do next, yet I still felt like a child. After graduation I just laid around and waited for someone to tell me what to do next. That was one of the more depressing periods of my life. I remember one day my mother scolded me for loafing around saying “do you know you are a graduate now?But I’m still a child, I thought. How am I supposed to make all these decisions? In a way I am still that child, and I struggle sometimes with making serious life decisions because I’m just a baby haha.

For a long time now I have been in a rut. Well actually maybe for the past 2.5 years because before then I had professional exams that I was working towards (again rush rush get it all done in one go no resits hello anxiety). These exams were not fun by any means but the stress, anxiety, adrenaline provided something other than inertia. After those were done and dusted, life returned to this long monotonous bore as there was nothing I was working towards or looking forward to. It’s weird that in writing this, I have managed to partially diagnose myself; I need something to work towards and for the past couple of years I have not had that, hence the funk.

I have started implementing changes in my life, and the main one is that I have found a new job. For some people this is not a big deal, but for me it is the biggest of deals. I just could not deal with the monotony anymore and I wanted something fresh. Now I realise that even the new job by itself may not provide me with a completely new fresh lease on life. There are two reasons for this; the first is the feeling that while this is a change, it is still not my purpose. I may never truly feel light and happy with work until I am doing something that feeds my spirit. The second, which I literally just realised while writing this post, is that unless I am working towards something, life is dull and monotonous. So this new job is not going to automatically lift my spirits, because if care is not taken I risk falling into the same rut. Still it is a much needed change. I just have to be intentional about this.

Taking this leap feels scary, but also empowering and liberating. If this job does not work out, I will get another one. Now that I know better, I will try to be more mindful of my life. There is a thin line between doing too much and not doing enough. I want to get a promotion within a year of my new job, but I also want to chill and take everything in stride. The next big girl decision is to get a new place to stay, but with rising costs of everything the situation is dire, and it may be better to just stay put. Still I feel better than I have felt in a while, and for now that is enough.

Why are you running? Take the time to enjoy the journey, admire the scenery, smell the roses. You will get there in the end, there’s no need to rush.

Make up your mind.

“I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

One thing about me? I am indecisive. It is top ten most annoying things about me. I recently had a job interview and I was asked what my weakness was and without hesitation I immediately mentioned my indecisiveness (of course taking care to emphasise how I am working on it). Funny enough, I had just been thinking about my indecisiveness before the interview so I had my answer ready to go. Nice looking out God.

Yesterday I was fed up with myself and had to ask myself what exactly my problem was. I had gone to get some cookies that I really had no business eating (I’m a sugar addict, send help). Even though this was my third time in a week getting these cookies, and I had been deliberating over the choice of cookie flavours all day before leaving my house, I still found myself at the cookie shop second guessing myself and asking the shop attendant to decide between two flavours for me. Even as she was bagging up the cookies and ringing up the order I had half a mind to ask her to make some changes. I finally made my decision and walked out of the shop completely insecure about my choices. I just felt uncomfortable. After walking on for about five minutes with this sinking feeling in my belly, I said to myself “girl what’s your problem? It’s a fecking cookie for goodness sakes. You’ve been here three times already, you should know what cookies you like by now. Even if you don’t like it so what? it’s just a cookie! Damn. You weirdo!” That’s what what I needed to hear (lol) and I immediately felt better and the sinking feeling was gone.

My indecision is tightly woven into the very fabric of my being and it drives me insane. Everything has to be second guessed. There are times when my heart screams yes! and I don’t have to question anything but those times are few and far in between. I don’t know what it is I am so afraid of. I am afraid of making the wrong decision, that much is clear, but most of these decisions are not even a matter of life and death, they literally do not matter. Yet I waste precious finite time agonising over them. It is infuriating. I need to learn how to manage this. Most of the time when I am being indecisive I am not making any concrete thinking or weighing the options with any intelligence; I am simply just being indecisive and stressing myself out.

What are you so afraid of? What are the consequences of buying a cookie that you do not like? It’s flour and sugar, you will most likely eat it all. If I was a therapist here is the point I would try to make a link between my fear of making mistakes and some repressed trauma from childhood Are you afraid that your parents made a mistake in marrying each other and making you thus injecting in you this abject fear of making decisions out of fear that you make the wrong one and ruin your life and possible end humanity as we know it? For a while my indecision made sense to me; of course I have to spend half an hour deciding what to eat at this restaurant only to end up ordering the wrong thing anyway because if I don’t like my food then I will have wasted my money and not be satisfied. Then I am hungry and without my money. But it just grew and grew and took over my life like a venom coursing through the bloodstream. In many ways I feel like a child who has been ushered into adulthood without any guidance and I need my mummy (or some other responsible adult) to make decisions for me. The fact that it is EYE who have to make these decisions is bewildering.

This also means I have an issue with execution. I want to do something, and I have the ideas but I just let them float about in my head without actually doing anything. For example, I volunteered to plan social events for my work team. I sat with these ideas for ages not daring to make any decisions on my own. I needed someone else, preferably a higher up in the team, to discuss the ideas with and to get their backing before going on to plan the event and notify the whole team. I could not bring myself to decide for the team; if possible I wanted to ask each person what they wanted and get a general understanding before even sending out an email. Again I am like a child that needs mummy to hold my hand. Then I got two emails from other people on the team with their executed social plans: “Hey guys we are planning a bowling outing. Let me know if you’re interested!” Simple pimple. I felt so bad, the way I do when I feel I have failed at a task and someone else has had to take over. I imagine someone rolling their eyes saying “this girl is not forthcoming with any ideas let me just go ahead and plan something.”

My indecision is never more evident than on my birthday. Oh my word. I want to do so many things but will my friends be able to make it will it be convenient for them will they be willing to spend this much money on my birthday will they….? The result of which is that I end up being incredibly stressed out by my approaching birthday and sometimes I find myself with no birthday plans, just alone and depressed. A few years ago my friend said “Just tell us what you want to do for your birthday and we will let you know if we can participate.” Those words have stuck in my mind. I did go ahead and share my plans and they turned up, spent the money and I was happy. The crazy thing is that when my friends have plans I always show up, so I don’t know why I run myself ragged trying to decide on what is best for everyone without even first letting people know what I want.

Recently I went house hunting and found one that was alright and ticked most of my boxes. I could have made a decision there and then but of course I had to “sleep on it” and by that I mean not make a decision and hope the universe somehow makes it for me. It was not until the estate agent called me to say the flat had been taken that I started to have real regrets. I still have not able to find any place as good, and I am completely fed up with my current place. I was not making constructive points about what I needed to know to make a decision about the flat. I was just hmmmmn I don’t know. It still pisses me off to think about it. In this case the reason for my indecision was “What if I settle and something better comes along?” A stupid thought, given that I had been searching for ages and hadn’t found anything.

In the job interview, I said that I am learning to deal with my indecision by first carefully considering all possible outcomes and the consequences of each. In effect, what is the worst that could happen? I also said that I need to communicate more with those around me, rather than wallowing in isolation. Most of these decisions do not need to be made by myself alone, there is nothing wrong in seeking advice and help from others. A problem shared is a problem half solved, as they say. As with most of my afflictions, I know the solutions; it is just difficult to fully extinguish one’s neuroses.

I read somewhere that indecision is a decision, just make a decision and stick with it!

“Having made the decision, do not revise it unless some new fact comes to your knowledge. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
― Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision.”
Maimonides

Since you’ve been gone

I want so much that is not here and I don’t know where to go for it.

It has been over a month since I last posted anything, which is wild as I have been through a lot since then. Well not really. My emotions have been through a rollercoaster. One thing about me? I am going to be stressed out over the tiniest of things.

Let’s start at the beginning.

It was my birthday. Nuff said. What is it about one’s birthday to bring out the sadness and dismay in one’s life to the forefront? I realised some years back that birthday depression is a real thing and I think it’s because of the expectations that birthdays are fun and filled with love and presents, and when you’re not fully basking in goodness the whole day, depression creeps in. That is my theory. I also realised that it is solely my responsibility to make my birthday a good one, so I try to make plans. My birthday fell on a weekday this year so I had the option of doing something the weekend before or the weekend after. I chose to go into town to stay with my friend the weekend before; none of my other friends could make it but I didn’t mind. I spent the weekend with her, we ate, and went to the gallery, and saw a play and it was nice. Then my actual birthday came, and though I had technically celebrated my birthday, I still had the birthday blues. I had the day off and had fantasies of getting my nails done, a deep tissue massage, a facial, all the good relaxation things. Of course I did not actually book anything so it was all fantasy. I get anxious and stressed out over everything, and that includes not relaxing as much as I want (or wasting a day off). Though I didn’t make any spa booking, I had dreams of relaxing fully the whole day in bed, finishing up some of the items in my Netflix watchlist. Of course that was not to be. I had to respond to calls the whole day which yay! people care about me on my birthday but also nay! leave me be. Another thing about me? I hate being on a phone call longer than I want to (I hate being on a phone call period). It just annoys me when I cannot get off the phone, or when the other parties cannot take the hint- I have sighed twenty times and said “well I’m just going to go get ready now” thirty times, so why are you still talking? The trigger for my irrational irritation is that I could see the hours hurtling past which meant my day off would soon be over and I was not relaxed at all. My friends got me breakfast and snacks which was so kind of them. Still I was alone in my prison room so there were no festivities and no birthday vibe. I had miscalculated greatly.

The biggest source of my annoyance and stress came from the most unlikely source. A couple of weeks prior while walking to get food, I came across a food truck in town centre and decided to see what it was about. Turns out it was a vegan food subscription service. I am not vegan (or even vegetarian) but I have been in a food rut lately and also trying to be healthy. I thought this was a good opportunity to try vegan recipes so I signed up for this, and went on to get my beef burrito. I then promptly put this out of my mind and ordered some Nigerian food for the week. The first box arrived and of course I was not ready for this so I put away as much as I could in the fridge. Then I went away for my birthday weekend. Imagine my annoyance when I got a notification saying the next food parcel was due to be delivered in a couple of days. Arrrrghhhhh I’ve not even cooked the first one yet! Even more annoying is that given that I completely forgot about it, the company had gone ahead and chose the meal options for me. Now I started to panic; one it’s vegan food which I doubt I will like; two I live in house with other people and have limited fridge space; three I’m wasting food and money. To crown this, my friend decided to get me HelloFresh food subscription for my birthday. Now I was completely stressed. I have no space! I have not even cooked the food I have. This is all so hectic. The hellofresh delivery was not due until the weekend after my birthday so Again I decided to cook the vegan meals in the first package on my day off aka my birthday to free up space and soothe my fraying nerves.

The appeal of these food subscription services is the ease and convenience…allegedly. It took me thirty minutes to peel and dice the butternut squash, and an eternity to put the whole meal together. It was supposed to be a curry but I must have reduced it too much because it seemed too solid to eat with rice. As I cooked it I knew this was not a meal I was going to enjoy eating. I was only able to cook one meal and I was so bloody irritable by the end of it. It was my birthday and I had wasted it on nonsense. Now it was evening time and I had work in the morning and there goes my day off. I was so sad. It made no sense.

The foul mood persisted into the next day. I’m still working from home which is beginning to seem more like a curse, but that’s a story for another day. I was just so annoyed and sad. Was it really just birthday depression? My irritation boiled over when I was allocated a topic to present at a team meeting the following week. Whew. That pissed me off! I hate for someone to just allocate something to me, like I’m a child or a baby staff. I stewed for days off of this irritation, and did not even respond to the message. I vented to my friends and sister about this mood, and I managed to diagnose myself. I came to the realisation that my irritation may be because I am deeply unhappy with my current life. I have been in my current job and house for over five years now and I am just over it all. After years of complacency I finally want to move on. Another thing about me? I can stay in one spot for ages, and I have a high threshold for boredom, but the minute I choose to move on I am completely done and cannot stand it one second longer. I figured that was the cause of my angst- In my mind I had moved on from this job and this house; so every moment that I was “forced” to remain here is torture to my soul.

It is not that easy to move on. In my mind I was already done with this job- every time future plans were referenced all I thought was “I’m not going to be here.” In my mind I was going to get the first job I interviewed for, which of course also stressed me out worrying over whether it would be a good fit and whether I would be going from frying pan to fire. Do I wait until I get a new job before looking for a new place, or do I just decide where I want to live and search for jobs there? I was stressed. Now I know that I worry too much for no reason at all. Every time I worry it ends up being for nought. Still, I worry.

At the start of the month I had to go into the office for a team meeting; rather than being annoyed I was actually looking forward to it. I had just got my hair done so I was feeling myself. I went in twice that week, and enjoyed it. It was good to talk to people and laugh. This brought me to another realisation. Could it be that I, the queen of the introverted introverts, was actually getting sick of working from home? I looked back at the other times I had gone into the office since the pandemic, and it was always a nice time. The bulk of my intensely negative feelings about work started during the pandemic, which also coincided with increased responsibility at work (which is definitely another stress factor). Could it be that despite my constant profession of how much I love working from home, being at home 24/7 was akin to being in solitary confinement which was ruining my mind and spirit? I shudder to think so.

My already fragile mood took a nosedive yesterday when I got an email with my work allocation for the next few months. We were to work from the client site twice a week and one day in the office. See that ruined my mood immediately. Now this was a client that was just assigned to me with no prior discussion. I hate when they do that. Hate it. What’s the point of being in a senior role if I can be randomly assigned clients with no forewarning. Then I found out that a delivery I had been waiting for all day was returned because my flatmate did not recognise the name and told the delivery people that the owner of the package no longer lived at the property. I just could not.

As I laid awake from 2am-5am staring at my phone (terrible habit!), I decided to change my perspective about things. Sure, it’s annoying to have to start going back into the office regularly; having to get up early-ish and get dressed, but perhaps that’s what I need now? I have lived without structure for 2 years, surely that’s enough. Rather than seethe over this, why not look on the bright side? I might enjoy working with a big team again, rather than by myself in my room. I still have two days a week to work from home- it’s the best of both worlds. Like magic, my irritation lifted and I started to feel positive about the whole thing. The positivity must have dried the dark rainy cloud hanging over my head because the rest of my day went better than the day before. First off I went outside to stick a note to the door, asking the delivery driver to call my phone number; within five minutes both packages I was expecting from two different delivery companies arrived and I did not have to stress about this the rest of the day. Work went okay, and now I’m writing this post that I have been meaning to for weeks. Some times all it takes it a mindset shift.

The HelloFresh delivery arrived and of course I panicked a bit. I was on my way to get my hair done so I threw everything in the fridge…or so I thought. Turns out what I thought was the ice pack was actually a pouch for the protein and I did not realise until the following afternoon. Yikes. I threw everything in the freezer (note the coping mechanism?) When it came time to cook, I panicked again- defrosted everything and then put some back in the freezer. It was a mess. Long story short, the meals were delicious, and by the grace of God I did not suffer from any meat related poisoning. I could only cook two of the vegan meals (the second was a fajita that I thoroughly enjoyed because I love tortillas) but I saved the ingredients I could and threw away anything that had gone off. There ends the debacle of the food delivery crisis. I’m glad that’s over with, and I’m sure most people would not have been anywhere as dramatic as I was over nothing.

I cannot end this without mentioning Easter weekend. Everyone is excited about the four day Easter weekend right? So was I. I was going to chill and be productive- clean my room, declutter, apply for jobs, write and explore outside. I did none of these things. I started out bingeing on Netflix as usual, but as the days loomed ahead I got tired of watching tv and just turned it off. Wow. That is not me at all. Rather than enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing, I was so bored by the endless days. The days stretched into each other and I lowkey longed for work to resume. How pathetic.

It is official; I have become a prisoner of my room. I’ll end this with a quote from Sylvia Plath:

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

The sweetness of doing nothing.

No stress, no pressure, nothing matters; just live in the moment, a ‘doing nothing’ moment. Dolce far niente is a way of life.

The period after completing a task that one has been dreading is usually the sweetest. One waits anxiously with bated breath as the months become weeks and days, then the hour arrives and it’s time to go. Sometimes the anxiety is overwhelming and I just want to get it over with. Depending on the severity of the task (for example, a professional exam which is essential to my employment), I spend the days before in a catatonic state of panic and stress. I am jealous of the people who appear to not have this stress; carefree strangers on the train, at the mall, walking down the road; friends and family wishing me well.

However, once the task is done, and done successfully, life takes on a new sweet meaning. The air is fresher, the steps are lighter and life is just good. The days loom ahead, stretched out into blissful nothingness. The sweetness of having nothing to do is intoxicating; no more revision, nothing to prepare for, just happy guiltfree relaxation.

I want to bottle up that feeling and relieve it often.

In my dream life, I have no pressing daily commitments, no need to set alarms, and no one to answer to everyday. I work hard, doing whatever, and relax deeply. In real life, it is so difficult for me to do nothing; I always feel that there is something I should be doing, and this ruins any relaxation. I would love so much to be able to fully and mindfully enjoy being idle. I say mindfully because every weekend I have the intention of relaxing but then I wake up at the crack of dawn and end up spending all day on my phone scrolling mindlessly. The result of which is that I end up not doing anything, but still end up not relaxed. I look up at it’s 7pm and I have wasted the whole day which then stresses me out.

Like everything else I need to be more intentional about doing nothing. Would it be counterintuitive to create a schedule for doing nothing?

Anyway, I am still happy about having some free time. I have been studying for a test for the past month and I completed it easily yesterday. Now I don’t have to worry about studying in the evenings after work and I can repurpose that time into relaxing. So help me God.

Twenty twenty too.

This time last year, we were gratefully exiting the wretched 2020, battered and exhausted by the unprecedented turn of events. Already people were commenting on how the new year sounds like “twenty twenty won“, and now this has changed to “twenty twenty too“. It does seem like we have never left the year 2020, and how could we have when Ms. Rona and her ever changing progeny are still around? In my mind 2019 is last year, not nearly three years ago! Time has flown by so quickly, even as the world grinded to a halt. I am dizzy and drained.

As we went into 2020, I was cautiously optimistic as one often is entering a new year. This was twenty twenty and it was everyone’s year. I had spent 2019 Christmas in Dubai with my family, and welcomed the new year surrounded by love, food, and fireworks. I was happy. I had also finished a highly stressful professional qualification in 2019, and I marched into 2020 with hope. Then it all went to shit, excuse my French. It is weird to think that another full year has passed since 2020 and I have to rack my brain to think of what exactly happened in 2021. What I do know is that I am tired, and the ever lingering feelings of unfulfillment have intensified and come to the surface so strongly that they can no longer be ignored. Dissatisfaction and exhaustion pervade every thought, every moment, every day.

One benefit of this blog is that I can look back on the year through my posts. By reviewing the posts I can jog my memory about what actually did happen. In summary, I was unhappy and burnt out.

Sad Girl: I wrote this post in February, and it is a sad summary of just how I was feeling early on a random Sunday. No need to sugar coat it; I was depressed.

Lunch at the Mediterranean: In this post I wrote yet again of my diet and exercise woes, this time my latest attempt at healthy eating by adopting a Mediterranean diet. I am happy to say that I did stick to a healthy-ish diet. For most of the year I greatly simplified my diet; oatmeal with oat milk, blueberries, chia seeds, boiled egg, honey for breakfast every weekday morning; then salmon, spinach, corn, and pancake waffles for dinner. C’est tout. I like routine, and this removes the stress of thinking of what to eat each day. I also enjoyed these meals and actually look forward to my breakfast each day. I also increased my water intake. I did this for months and did not even realise I had shed off the weight and bloat of the past couple of years (especially lockdown) until my friend pointed it out. Sure, I noticed some of my clothes fit better, and I no longer felt as if I was suffocating and my face was no longer a cesspit of pimples. It felt good to be able to do this, especially with no exercise as God knows I was not going to keep it up. I realised that my body does not like refined carbs (I think that’s what they are called) and will revolt viciously. All she wants is fibre and protein.

A new enemy: I was still on the healthy eating track, but I had a week of eating pasta and my skin paid dearly for it. I then realised with a heavy heart that I had to add pasta, rice and white bread to the no eat list (well, the no eat everyday list). At one point in my life, I was eating some combination of bread, rice, pasta, pastry, dough every single day! Wow. I realise now the havoc that wreaked on my waistline and skin.

Waiting for something to happen: One of my favourite quotes from the book-Madame Bovary. It so clearly encapsulates my feelings about life, and my constant longing for more.

Five years later: In this I took stock of my life, five years on from an earlier post. Of course I was disappointed.

Worry worry baby: Another post in which I complained about life, my job, and my propensity to worry. I remember the day I wrote this and the intense feeling of irritation and annoyance that led to this. I have spent ages complaining about my job. It’s time to move on.

el oo vee ee: I had a e-crush and it was nice to have someone to remotely fawn over and stalk on social media. Of course this didn’t last long but it was nice while it lasted.

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?: I got vaccinated with no fuss.

It’s not enough!: Another post expressing my tiredness and dissatisfaction with the brevity of the weekend. I found this wonderful quote which definitely resonated with me.
“Your rest is not rest. You are resting so that you can work. You are working so that you can rest. You are caught up in a circle.”
― Shunya

Third time’s the charm?: A last baking hurrah, in which I confronted an arch nemesis (orange pound cake) and won…somewhat.

Outside is open and I am lonely again.: Lockdown was lifted, and while all the normal people celebrated, I felt the resurgence of my feelings of loneliness and FOMO. With lockdown, everyone was at home, and there as no pressure to socialise; it was not embarrassing to not have a response to “what did you do over the weekend?” Outside was open and everyone was in full social mode again (some people never stopped).

War on drugs: Just Stop.: I finally realised and admitted to myself I had an addiction to sugar which is as bad as any other addiction. As they say, the first step is realising you have a problem and this truly was a revelation.

Inertia: More complaint about my life and work; the suffocating stagnancy.

Woman in Black//Who Killed Alfred Oliver?: We outside!!!! I saw two plays for the first time since lockdown. The second one was cancelled after I saw it as half of the four cast members came down with covid. I also finally saw Phantom of the Opera but didn’t write a post on it. I didn’t write as much in 2021 (even though that was one of my goals); I did manage to write each month, but some months have only one/two posts.

Note to self: Final post of the year. I ordered some flowers for myself and included a message. I really liked it so I copied it out into a post for posterity.

My posts in 2021 have a sad depressing theme and they all revolve around loneliness and wanting more. I definitely need to switch careers because I am dead on the inside and cannot do this anymore.

My motto for 2022 is CHANGE. I need to leave my comfort zone and EVOLVE. Rather than making resolutions, I want to make proclamations. In 2022;
I will get a new job,
I will get a new place to live; one suitable to my needs
I will take care of myself more; eat healthy and exercise more
I will have regular trips to the salon
I will finish a draft of one of the many unfinished pieces of work in my computer
I will complete my application for permanent residency.
I will look feed my creative juices

I am too tired to be optimistic, but these things absolutely need to happen for my sanity. New Year New Me; I mean it this time. So help me God.

Note to self: Happiness is just around the corner. God is with you.

Happy new year!

Note to self:

My darling,

You have worked so hard this year, and I know it has been depressing and draining. The work will always be there, so please take the time to fully relax! Lay around all day and do nothing. Use this time to indulge yourself and recharge; then boldly start the steps towards a new life. Change is scary but necessary. You have outgrown this position and it is time to move.

Happiness is just around the corner. God is with you.

Inertia

1. A tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.
2. A property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

One thing about me? I will remain in one position- a flat, a job, a city- for years on end until something forces me to change. I am a creature of habit and routine; I like what I like and it does not take much to keep me content (happy is a stretch). For a while I enjoy the normalcy but then life becomes stale and I become restless. I bear this restlessness with unease, wishing for a change but not actually taking any steps towards this. Change requires too much energy and it is easier to remain in the same spot, until it’s not.

While this has been my comfort zone for years, I now find myself stagnant in the later part of my twenties. Stagnant; like a body of water with no current or flow, my life has become dull, unmoving and unpleasant. Though I (claim to) enjoy my routine, the stagnancy has been eating away at my spirit for a while now. Deep down I am a social person whose social skills/desires have been blunted by years of solitude and inertia.

I moved into a flat-share back in almost five years ago and I have been here ever since. In this time I have seen probably twenty people move in and move out soon after to greener pastures. They have changed jobs, houses, even relationships and cities; and I am still here- in the same doggone flat watching as the house gets dirtier and dirtier with each new batch of tenants. I mostly stay in my room, avoiding the only communal area-the kitchen-as much as I can. I am not free here and my soul is not at rest. I have grown weary of welcoming new tenants- I don’t care to know any new people. I so badly long for a big cozy couch, and the freedom to have a house all to myself (or at the very least to not be with strangers). So why not just move out? That is what normal people would do right? Well I am highly abnormal. What’s the point of paying more money in rent when I could just buy my own place and pay mortgage. So I remain here, stagnant and unhappy.

My Job is another thing- I like it okay, and as I always say-things could be worse. Still everyone in my year group and most of the people in the year above have moved on to new jobs, and I’m still here. My mother recently suggested that I apply for new jobs just for a change, as this is what people typically do. A new job could mean higher pay and more opportunities, but as always the change frightens me and I really cannot be bothered to go through the stress of change. Do I really want to go through the stress of job application only to end up with a job which could be more stressful and less flexible than the one I currently have? A job is a job no? I don’t want to quit my job until I find my passion/raison d’etre and can do that. In addition to the effort, my fear with change is the possibility of regret-what if the grass is not greener on the other side and I start to wish I had stayed where I was?

Change happens when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change.

Well, I have had enough. I have started looking for a new flat. What was the last straw? I’m tired of the revolving door of people, and there are two mouldy pots in the kitchen that no one is taking responsibility for (it could really only be one person). I have been casually searching for possible options but now I have put on my big girl pants and actually started organising viewings. Yes I will have to pay more each month, but what is the point of money if I cannot use it to make myself happy?

As for my job, I will stay on for a little bit longer. A steady income is nothing to take for granted, especially in these pandemic times. But rather than simply say things could be worse, I need to actively become aware of all my options, both in the corporate sphere and in the creative space. I am reminded of this quote:

Find something to work on, something that makes you excited, something you want to learn.

It’s not just the job that stifles me, it is the fact that I am doing nothing else. There is nothing that feeds my spirit and makes me excited, I am just existing day in day out. I would not be so bored, if I had something to look forward to after work. I met up with some people from work recently and one of my managers spent some time talking about her garden and all her babies-tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, even sunflowers. She is also planning her wedding so there is so much for her to look forward to in addition to work. Whereas I just roll out of bed, start working, and roll back in at night. Stagnant.

The sheer possibility of a change has brightened my day and lifted my spirits. I remember how excited I was when I first moved into this house; the joy of having my own space. I held on to that for five years too long. As stressful as it can be, change is so necessary from time to time. I hope I never forget this.