10.11.2014 - 07.01.2015 5 °C
So many of you will know that since returning from Africa I have been sans-job. I have given it many names - fun-employment, faux-ternity leave or home-possessing bum.
However as of Monday this will be no more, I officially have a reason to get out of bed in the morning, other than breakfast and coffee dates.
Whilst travelling in Africa I realised that I need to find something I am passionate about, and with the impending doom of 30 around the corner, I thought I better stop flitting from job to job and actually get a career. So at the end of last year I decided to be strategic with jobs and look for something with definite progression opportunities. I got back to London and applied for only 2 jobs and got a job with Flight Centre that I decided to start in January, giving myself an adult mental health break of 2 months.
I can't recommend it more. I am calm (ish), patient (ish) and relaxed (ish). My life had never really had these things, so it's a start. An ADHD squirrel still needs a million things to accomplish in a day, but during this time it could be done at my own leisure.
I have learnt to appreciate my own company and done things that I have been meaning to do for a while. I've tried different coffees, watched shows I wouldn't normally watch, listened to music I wouldn't normally listen to and developed as a person.
I have gone to exhibitions I wouldn't think I would like, and have enjoyed every piece of them, read books for leisure, read books for knowledge and spent time doing the things I love.
But things like this only stay enjoyable while they are novel and new, so it must come to an end. As of Monday I must once again don my bright colour gym shoes, grab my Boris bike and join the rat race that is London life.
But while I do there are a few things I have taken away from this time and I thought I would share them, because even if you are not able to take a 'break' from real life, you should still be able to take a break.
1) Embrace sitting at a cafe by yourself. Take a book, newspaper or a work (if completely necessary) but don't feel self conscious because you are alone. Don't grab your phone immediately and check Facebook for the millionth time today. We only do this because we have a immediate need to display our ability to make friends, knowledge within yourself should be enough, who are you trying to impress? The girl making your coffee? The guy sitting at the window - trust me that don't give a toss.
2) Which leads me to my second thing, you don't need someone to make you happy.
You could meet a friend to have coffee, sit awkwardly, make small talk, even tag yourself together on Facebook. Then tick that off your list for something you don't need to do for the next 4-5 months. Why? Don't bother. Hang out with who you like, who makes you a better person, who you enjoy the company of. Sense of obligation is only in your own head, the other person probably feels the same way. So give yourself a break.
3) Don't eat too healthy or partake in juice cleanses. It's pointless. Do exercise, live in moderation but don't kid yourself. What do you think all that amazing food is for? Looking at? Lusting over? How dull. Eat, drink, be merry and then go for a run. Ate lots? Run further.
4) Try something new. It's unlikely to kill you. And if it does, I apologise to your family, that was not my intention.... And if you try it once and it's not for you, then DONT do it again. Easy as that. Don't feel you have to keep doing it because you have a 5 trip pass or you and your friend signed up together. If you don't like something, don't keep giving it second chances, it's probably still going to be bollocks.
5) Magazines are unnecessary. Celebrity gossip is pointless. Fashion magazine show clothes you can't afford, can't wear because it's 'next season' and only look nice on people that look vaguely like a pogo stick- width wise and the weird early 90's buzz everyone is currently on. Two points here I guess, dress who you are and how you like, and that sunscreen song was right - do not read beauty magazines they will only make you feel ugly.
6) Make your jam something that isn't on the radio. Don't let someone else decide your music choices for you. Based on how big their ass is, or how much money they have for their music video or what you 'think' your friends would listen too. Listen as you wish. If you want to listen to Frozen on repeat, crank it up. If you secretly love Nickleback, be secret no more. If someone doesn't like you for music choices, were they really a friend? Or only in inverted commas? Does your music choice make you cool? Who cares! Embrace your 80's power ballads and love your life.
7) Make 2015 the year of you. Do something YOU want to do, not someone else wants you to do, or someone else expects of you.
You want to learn a language that will be absolutely no use to you or your career? Do it.
You want to go sky diving naked? Why not?
You want to quit your job and follow your dreams. Crack on. You may end up waking up from your dreams, but I promise you you will have learnt something during the process. It's all about you. Without a strong sense of who you are, you will never be who you want to be.
So as I am sitting by myself in a central London coffee shop enjoying my last few days of freedom I will appreciate these things, and try to take them into work life... Almost certainly won't happen, but I'm not one for New Years resolutions anyway.