Monday, 23 November 2015

Big Achievement!

I've finally paid off my student overdraft and credit cards!!!!!!!!!!!!

(That's it, that's the entire blog post)

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Drive out the Darkness

I'm not even sure if anyone reads this thing, but greetings to anybody out there who has stumbled upon my little corner of the internet.

It's been nearly 3 years since I last posted here and in that time a lot of things have happened. After struggling for money as a graduate with temp jobs and casual contracts, I finally got myself a full time job as a music teacher - no more feelings of dread when I see the postman bringing the bills each morning! I'm also really settling into my career as a freelance musician, getting a nice variety of work on all my instruments.

2 years ago I  finally passed my driving test and moved into a flat all by myself - no more flatmate arguments. Recently I bought a brand new car and I've even entered the scary territory of looking at getting a foot onto the property ladder...I'm really growing up! New relationships and friendships have come and gone, and I've found myself far more well-traveled to places like Southern France, Finland, The Falkland Islands and Cyprus since becoming a full member of the Army Reserves as a musician 2 and a half years ago.

Summing all the positive things that have happened in just a few short sentences does make it look like life is just peachy for me at the moment, and I suppose in a lot of ways I'm very lucky. I've worked very hard to get to where I am today but also owe a lot of it to supportive friends and family who've pushed me when I've started to slip.

However over the last few months, I've started to feel restless again. You know what I mean, when your day to day life doesn't bring you any sort of joy, and you feel like you need to get out and go on an adventure and do something that gets your adrenaline soaring for a few weeks? Well, that. I've felt like this a few times before and done crazy things on the spur of the moment - booked a session swimming with sharks, going away alone to Paris, and most recently booking myself into an expensive suite in a city centre hotel for a night of being pampered with massages, facials and gourmet food & wine.

All these spontaneous things have made me feel great for a time, but the feeling of joy hasn't lasted that long. I know I'm stuck in a rut. I feel shy and anxious about the person that I am, and feel like I have to have crazy stories about my life to tell people so that they will be interested in what I have to say and not bored by me. I even think deep down that's why I created this "list" in the first place.

The thing is it goes deeper than just being restless. Honestly, I think I feel like this because I don't really like the person I am right now. Most of the time I genuinely feel totally and utterly worthless, because all I do is go to work and go to play at gigs. Other than that all I can motivate myself to do is shut myself inside in front of the TV with my laptop, doing some small bits of admin if I really have to, but otherwise just slobbing. I justify this by telling myself I work very hard and deserve lazy nights in, but these slob nights are fast eating away at the rest of my life like some giant emotional black hole. I have been diagnosed by the doctors with clinical depression which I am currently taking medication for. In a way it's helped, I feel less on edge and anxious but I can't seem to drag myself out of this eternal listlessness. I'm sick of it, and I'm sick of losing the passion I used to have for things in my life like spending time with my friends, trying to swim as many lengths as possible in 40 minutes or even my beloved music that I've dedicated my life to.

The one thing I suppose that has kept me from losing my job and my sanity completely has been making little lists of things I have to get done day to day. Simple things that most people don't think about, from making breakfast to taking out the rubbish bin (sometimes the list even has something as simple as getting showered and going outside for a walk, because I know I won't even get out of my PJs if it's not on my list), through to typing up that list of gifted and talented pupils for my manager or arranging Christmas carols for my pupils. I've always been a fan of making lists of things to do, and even more of crossing things off those lists - as I'm sure many people are - it makes you feel productive and useful, and like you are contributing something good to your own little world, and perhaps in a small way to the worlds of others around you. At least by being able to do this, I've been able to prevent myself becoming a complete recluse.

My point, I suppose, is that I'm sick of feeling restless and covered by a black cloud constantly. I want excitement in my life, I want adventure. I want to do everything that's on this list and so much more. I want to ride elephants in India, try Tom Yum in Thailand and drink rum on the beach listening to a live samba band in Cuba, and see the rest of the world while it's here to see.

I have a perfectly good list here of new and exciting experiences to me that's existed for over 4 years, and now I need to stop making excuses to myself and try to get through it. Maybe I'll even start to like the person I really am again somewhere along the way.