Tag Archives: smile

Now I Can Go ZING When I Run

I have signed myself up to run a half marathon on June 30th this year, in aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

I am going to run 13 miles without stopping. At 9am, on a Sunday. I also plan to do this within a highly respectable time limit.

I really needed something achievable to aim for in my life, and since it would seem I can’t rely on my mind alone for achievable goals, (damn thing keeps wanting what it can’t have, like ‘a graduate job’…) I’ve decided to rely on a combination of willpower and physical hard work instead. I am currently 10 days into my training programme, running distances of around 4 miles and keeping up an average pace of around 8 mins 50 secs per mile. So far, So good.

AND, I received this present from the charity today;

IMG_0192

which means I never have to worry about getting run over while I train (/trampled by sheep if I collapse halfway).

I am genuinely quite excited about this whole thing. If anyone happens to be feeling like a charitable and amazing individual, you can sponsor me here.

I would be massively grateful for any donation, no matter how small. :)

Much love

~xx~

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十六,十七

Something you always think ‘what if’ about. 

Something you are proud of. 

~

The what if thing is really easy.

When I was little I always said I was going to be a vet when I grew up. This ambition was very simply premised on the fact that I adored animals, and found all of them fascinating without exception. I also liked how they never required me to be polite and come out from behind the sofa to say things to people; things like ‘Hello’, and whatever the appropriate answers might be to the questions *insert relative’s name here* might care to ask me by way of small talk.

Anyway, the point is that I lacked confidence. Everyone who tried to instil it in me over the years must ultimately have failed, because I still lack confidence. Painfully. While such character flaws are mostly acceptable in doe-eyed, cherub-blonde four-year-olds, they are a little less forgivable in  tired-eyed twenty-one-year-olds (with hair of god-knows-what-colour).

But up until the point where it started to matter, I aced everything I needed to ace in order to keep my early ambitions a possibility.  Then for some reason I lost all faith in my ability to continue my education in the sciences, and chose to study English, History, Classics and Philosophy to A Level. Which in turn killed all potentially lucrative options when it came to possible University courses. Despite the fact that I went on to do well in all of those things and my eventual university degree, I now very much doubt that I will ever become a Veterinary Surgeon. I lament my decisions from time to time… vets make a lot of money; I’m sure that’s almost worth the horror of having to stick your hand up cows’ backsides every now and then. Having made the choices I did back then, and followed them up in the way that I have, I often wonder nowadays if I’ll ever be able to make money out of doing anything I vaguely enjoy. Not to mention the fact that the confidence has waned still further as a result; simply not being terrified of anything I might possibly decide to do seems like an unattainable Holy Grail nowadays. I’ve backed myself into a corner so that I pretty much can’t avoid living a lie, and I’m tearing my hair out in my efforts to figure out which lie would be best to go for.

~

Something I’m Proud Of.

Hmm.

My little sister loves me?

.

Here is a picture of a stumpy dog and its owner walking in the sea at Filey:

~xx~


30 Day Challenge – Day 1

Because I’ve been struggling to write lately; I saw this on a fellow blogger’s page, and thought if I attempted it I might manage to write more often. I’m already seeing some I’m not too keen on, but I guess that’s why they call it a challenge.

Combined with my return to (very) part-time work after 4 or 5 weeks of working almost every day, I think it might just work.

So.

Five ways to win my heart: 

1) Be smart. And I don’t just mean smart like you got some A grades. I mean smart like you just know loads of stuff. Like there’s room in your head for just about anything you might care to put there. Like you pay attention to the world around you and remember one heck of a lot of what you see there. Then bring it up at highly appropriate moments. Smart enough to know things I don’t, so that I can learn from you, and see things in a different light because of you. Smart enough to type/write every piece of correspondence you send me with perfect spelling and grammar. Bonus points if you’re smart enough to deliberately use incorrect spelling and grammar for dramatic/humorous/dialectical effect (or whatever you call that thing where you hear them saying it in a daft voice, in your head). Smart enough to get my (sometimes pretty obscure) sense of humour, and smart enough to figure out what will bring that out of me and in turn what will make me laugh like an idiot. (NB: Laughing at my general derpiness will only go so far before it no longer counts).

2) Make me laugh. Properly, genuinely. My favourite people are the ones I pretty much can’t spend even a small amount of time with without us laughing until it hurts at least once. Bonus points if we’re laughing over some private joke that other people around us just won’t get, and will give us funny looks for.

3) Buy me something. But not just anything; something I will genuinely like and appreciate. I’m not being materialistic, here. It wouldn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive, just something very well thought out. Something I have a definite place for in my life. Certain of my closest friends tell me every Christmas and birthday that I’m difficult to buy presents for – but the ones saying that are the ones who keep getting it right. (See? It is possible…) Don’t get me wrong, I will graciously accept any gift anyone might want to give me, with thanks. I’m not a monster. It’s just that it’s quite a rare thing for people to get it just right – provided I haven’t already specified what I’d like Santa to bring me, or something . Once you get it right I’ll know you’re something special.

4) Be passionate about/work hard at/care excessively about something. Hard to explain, (and I may be sounding slightly hypocritical saying this right now) but if your attitude to almost everything (and things like shoes and clothes and bags and teacup pomeranians and haircuts don’t count in my world)  is mostly kind of ‘meh’ then… meh to you, too.

5) Convince me to remove my heart from the list of organs I designated as available for use by the NHS when I die. Persuade me instead to put said organ up for auction – all proceeds to charity – upon my death. Kill me. Attend the auction at which my heart is to be sold. Do whatever it takes to ensure that you are the highest bidder.  Pay your money, take my heart and do with it as you wish.

Sorry. I couldn’t think of another one. I think my heart perhaps isn’t too easily won.

Actually no, wait… I’m not sorry for that. Sorry.

; )

~xx~


Sticks and Stones

hurt so much less than words. I almost enjoyed the burn across the back of my hand in comparison to the one across my self-confidence. Here’s something that happened to me today that most definitely did not make me feel good (but there is a sort-of smile at the end if you stay with me… oh, and LISTEN UP);

I’d just moved over from serving/doing various small tasks behind the hot food counter in order to help out D, who was serving on the deli counter at the time, because a bit of a queue had developed there.

As I arrived where I was needed, the guy who was apparently next in the queue – somewhere between middle-aged and old, I’d say mid sixties – was chatting to the woman in front of him, whom D was serving at the time.

Addressing both man and woman with a blanket hand gesture, sort of <——-> I said something like; ‘Hi, are you two together or…’

and then addressing just the man, ‘… or are you waiting?’

He said to me, ‘What is all this? (waved his arms a bit) Are you doing sign language at me or something? I don’t understand what you’re saying to me while you’re waving your hands all over the place.’

So I tried again; ‘Sorry, I was asking if you two (*hand gesture* – I can’t help myself, I talk with my hands more than my mouth, mainly because often the words have trouble finding their way out of my mouth in the right order, LOUD(ly) ENOUGH and C-L-E-A-R(ly)  E-N-O-U-G-H and things, when I talk) if you were together, or if you were waiting to be served. Clearly you are.  Sorry.’

At which he snapped, ‘Yes I am waiting to be served, actually. I’ll have two slices of the honey roast ham’.

Resisting the urge to put in the please he left out, I gritted my teeth and went and sliced the ham, put it on the scales and read out the price; ‘That’s one sixty-two there’.

He said nothing for a good ten seconds, so I assumed all was well with one pound sixty two and got on with wrapping the ham, maybe visibly disgruntled by this point. As I was putting the label on the bag, he piped up;

‘Sorry, did you say something to me just then?’

Confused, I looked at him for a second before looking down at the scales again and then saying, louder than before, ‘er… yeah, sorry, one pound sixty-two for the ham...?’

‘Oh well it’s just that I didn’t hear a word you said. You didn’t even look at me. Oh never mind, that’ll do’.

So I handed him the godforsaken ham, and enunciated ‘Oh, right… really sorry about that. Thanks, bye’  in a voice as raised as I could manage while fighting back tears, (it had been a really stressful day up to that point, and surprise surprise I was feeling tired and lifeless and hungry and anxious beyond all rhyme and reason) then spent the next hour or so fighting the same tears with around a 70% success rate.

~

Normally, after such an event I’d just quietly rant to a colleague about what an arsehole that guy was and how I hoped he’d choke on his stupid honey roast ham. But some days life apparently isn’t that straightforward. He had me worrying about whether I really do talk too quietly, mumble, avoid eye contact to the point of perceived rudeness, as a habit. If I do that means I’m barely further on now than I was at age 4; shy to the point of being physically unable to say hello to relatives when they came over (sometimes going so far as to hide my clammed-up shame behind furniture).

Does everyone struggle to hear a single word I say? Do I really speak all that quietly?

If my customer service technique was so far from up to scratch, my boss might have noticed too. My abject failure at fake smiles and pleasantries might outweigh my efficient working habits and my OCD supercleaning of everything and my always making sure everything looked pretty, and if so I might get sacked. Especially if the guy had decided to complain to someone in authority about me. From that point on I made sure I always raised my voice considerably to talk. I tried extra hard with the eye contact and the sickly smiles. I wondered if there existed a job that didn’t involve  interacting with other human beings and berated myself for being so antisocial. Most of all I wondered why, why why why was this bullshit bothering me so much? How far have I fallen if I can’t even stop myself from crying in front of people over silly little things?

I think I’d have dealt better with being physically kicked. Until my brain bled out through my ears.

 

But. While at least two colleagues (the male ones, of course) had a good giggle amongst themselves at my expense, there was one person who saw me cry and was kind about it. Which kinda made me feel like crying more at first, but then I realised I was right the whole time about who the nice ones were gonna be, there. (I placed bets to myself on day one, regarding each co-worker’s true colours – or at least which ones might give me the time of day; so far I think I’ve been pretty much on the money).

So I really hope a lot of good things happen to her.

I also hope this madness-sadness-stupid-shit ends soon. Like, before I’ve managed to lose everything I once held dear. Such as that little shred of dignity I think I might have had at some point.

Pygmy Shrew;

~xx~


So Prosecute Me.

The sun was shining and I had nothing to do, so I got on my bike and rode it to the very outskirts of the village I call home, like I did almost every day in the Summer when I was a kid. (We used to make ‘ramps’ up and down the huge mounds of earth that marked the boundaries of the chalk quarry there. ‘We’ being me and my brothers and my elder brother’s friends. I preferred hanging out with them, because the times they were mean to me were vastly fewer than the times my female friends were mean to me, and I had one heck of a reckless streak – believe it or not).

Anyway, some kind soul has taken it upon themselves to define the aforementioned outskirts with a fence and a gate and a menacing sign, since the good old days;

One of the best bike rides involved continuing along that route, for a 5 or 6 mile round trip. I wonder how many more gates there are along that way now that everything has to belong to someone.

Anyway, I left my bike this side of the fence, climbed over and (*gasp*) trespassed.

Because over the other side of that field and those trees – on either side of the field, actually – are lakes. I crossed the field,

(with much trepidation, given that I will never forget the time when walking through long cut grass like that led to being chased a long way by angry wasps, after the dog stuck his nose in their nest… who knew wasps could nest in the ground?)

and came to this;

And then I sat somewhere and watched things happen for a while. Birds, like these;

And some other stuff, like these fellas;

And the big fat fish that it was impossible to get a photo of. And then I stole this flower;

…and wore it in my hair for a little while, before feeling bad for stealing, and deciding not to keep it…

Then I wandered around aimlessly for a while longer before making my way back home;

And that is how I did nothing useful today. And smiled a bit.

And was reminded of how where I come from may be the asscrack of the universe in some ways, but in others it ain’t so bad really.

~xx~


Essentials In Life:

Someone To Love.

Something To Do.

Something To Look Forward To.

~

Thus read a plaque I saw in a tiny, crooked little gift shop in Boscastle, Cornwall, when on holiday there with my family 2 years ago.

(From where my mother acquired a gargoyle to add to the extensive collection of Green Men distributed around the external walls of our house).

 

I think I treat the people I love pretty badly, most of the time. Where this doesn’t make them disappear pretty quickly, my efforts to make up for my failures usually only end up making things worse – and making them disappear eventually instead. (I would add here that in my case the Someone to Love would probably have to be loving me back for me to be Happy. Not sure if everyone would agree there, but Heck I guess I’m just needy). Family can’t very easily disappear all too permanently and are more forgiving than other people, so I guess I’m managing about half for the first one.

[‘So if Heaven is where the good people go, Up There, (pointing) and Hell is where the bad people go, Down there (pointing) …where the Hell is Heck?’ asked once my eight-year-old self, of my ‘Hell is a swear-word’ Grandmother – thinking I was being so damn clever. I eventually came to the conclusion that Heck must be where bad animals go when they die].

 

My job is (very) part time, and I’m so useless at it – despite it being pretty much the most mind-numbingly simplistic job ever – that whenever I ask for more hours I’m generally offered about 4 more per week for 2 weeks in each month. (I’m a nice girl who means well and they don’t really want to upset me, but damn why am I so useless?)

I’m not complaining. Every little helps and all that. But the fact remains that there are 4 days in most weeks during which I have absolutely no obligation to do anything at all. My friends all live somewhere between pretty far away and really far away. I haven’t really made any friends at work, yet; I try, and small talk is mostly better than no talk, but being there still tends to make me feel pretty lonely. Even the old friends that aren’t all that far away are still far enough that visiting regularly takes its toll on my fuel tank and consequently my bank balance. I’m trying to keep some moneys safe so that moar university remains a viable option where my not-too-distant future is concerned. So my masses of free time these days, even when spent doing actual stuff, tend to be mostly spent alone. I need ‘Me-Time’ (and I hate that phrase) but not this much of it. Finding another job that would leave me with less of it is proving difficult, mainly because there don’t seem to be any available that I could really get excited about. I invariably get halfway through an application before realising that I could never find the enthusiasm required to convince an interviewer that I even really wanted the job, never mind showing I could actually be good at it.

Maybe I’m just being pathetic. Maybe I am just pathetic. Because I’m pretty sure I’m as terrified of change and as useless at people right now as I have been all my life. As for alternative mind-numbingly simplistic jobs, I would appear to be living in the actual middle of actual nowhere; there just aren’t any within a 30-mile radius, and I’m probably quite lucky to even have the one I’ve got. (I thank my lucky stars for my manager in York thinking I was ‘a really good kid’, and for my manager here thinking I ‘sounded nice on the phone’). I want to write for a living, because although I may not be all too great at it, I find it a damn sight easier than out-loud real-life verbal communication.

(Have you ever had that thing where someone says something to you and it takes you so long to process what they just said that by the time you’ve come up with a proper response you’ve already awkwardly laughed and mumbled some kind of non-response and looked stupid and the conversation’s moved on/ended? Have you ever been concentrating so hard on making sure you’re smiling and making eye contact as much as is socially normal that you weren’t concentrating hard enough on what the person was saying and so the response you gave to their question just came out sounding really dumb? I guess all these things are excusable if you manage to prove yourself to be witty, charming and socially capable later on. Or perhaps if they’re male and you’re pretty and flirty and trying really hard. I tend to fail repeatedly, get angry at myself for my repeated failure and shut up, so as not to make things even worse. Where pretty is concerned, the best I could ever hope for was ‘cute’. And skinny. Unhappy really really ain’t cute, and skinny is only acceptable when proven accompanied by healthy).

 

As for the future I suppose I can say I’m working on it. Not knowing what’s next in my life – because nice as the people I work with may have been to me thus far, I really can’t stay there much longer without properly, irrevocably  losing my mind – is probably what’s killing me most. I’m beginning to think that applying for jobs that really don’t appeal to me that much but would require me to move to an unfamiliar city far from home all by myself  might not be the best course of action for me. (For Me, Y’ hear?).

So I’ve decided instead to apply only for the ones that really do appeal, when (if) they come up, and otherwise maybe – if there’s any possibility of anyone lending me the money to do so – prepare myself for Postgraduate study next year in a subject area that I know I could really fall for. I go crazy if I try to follow the dreams and goals that everyone else would approve of, so maybe I’ll give following my own a go. If that doesn’t work out, what I’ll have lost will be more money; I’ll have an even more Heckish debt on my shoulders. What I’ll have gained? More/more impressive letters after my name, more pieces of paper saying I’ve learned some stuff, some work experience in the big city if I’m lucky, some time to figure things out a bit more (and maybe become less scared) if I’m lucky, and perhaps even some of the people skills that I’m told I lack so sorely but cannot ‘go anywhere’ in life without. Or, perhaps the skills with which to go somewhere in life all by myself with bare minimum people skills. Or perhaps the courage to say fuck it all and take myself somewhere completely new and far away and just take my chances.

 

Anyway, Who Cares? If you’ve read this far I imagine I’ve done a pretty good job of boring you to death. That’s what I don’t understand about blogging; people talking about themselves and their lives and the things they know and care about. Nobody likes to hear other people talk about themselves, do they? Yet everyone likes doing it. I read a post yesterday where someone was essentially complaining about people complaining in their blogs. You have nothing to legitimately complain about unless something really, genuinely tragic has happened to you. Fair point, but… But I think in reality perspective is something of a Holy Grail at times. I try to always apologise for my unnecessary negativity, but I often wonder why I should. This is my blog and surely I can write what I want to write. Often, what I want to write is all of the nastiness away; writing this stuff is like therapy. People don’t like me writing or talking it at them – they’re not my therapist, and they have their own lives to live – but I feel so much better for writing it all somewhere, and naturally I find myself wanting to feel better wherever possible. The answer is simple; if you don’t like what I’m writing, stop reading.

Humanity is stupid.

Sometimes, I really regret not asking for the number of the skydiving instructor I fell 15,000 feet with, when afterwards he said to me; ‘So, Sociology… That’s all about how humanity’s basically fucked, right?’
We could have been ‘happy on the inside’  jumping out of planes for a living together. (And he was cute. And he kissed me on the cheek when I left. And the mind wanders when it only has itself for company).

…Photo?

Here is my favourite among Mum’s Green Man Army;

 

.

His name is Steve. He was named after me, because my sister and I decided to name one Green Man after each member of the family. This one definitely had to be Steve, since he kinda resembles Steve Martin, the actor. Right?

(We’re all mental to some extent, here. That’s why for now I call it Home).

~xx~


So

Everybody was out apart from me and the younger brother.

Bored of being alone, I decided to go downstairs and see where he was/what he was up to.

He was playing Call of Duty.

Online, with one of his friends from school. Y’know, complete with mics for chatting to each other about guns and grenades and all the rest.

(At this point, so that the next line makes sense I will point out that I barely slept last night).

After watching him play for a little while I got pretty bored, and curled up in a corner on a beanbag and snoozed.

I was woken by the continous sound of  a high-pitched voice coming from the gaming corner; brother’s friend’s little brother (aged 3) was with him, and asking him a million billion questions.

“What’s that? Is that you? Can I play? Why not? What does this button do? Why did he just do that? Who’s that? What’s he doing?…” etc, etc.

So, so cute.  ^.^

The best one, though, was;

– “What’s this? Can I use this?”

– “No, you haven’t got any facial hair”.

:’)

So yeah. That’s how my Tuesday has been made.

IWantOneOfThose 

For photos’ sake,

*snigger*

I give you my one of my bestest myspace-whore photos, (gleefully unearthed and mildly edited earlier today) showing what I made myself look like one time almost exactly 3 years ago today.

pahahaha. :’)

We’ll call this number 1 on the July Photo-a-Day Challenge list, and I’ll go from there?

(And though I’d like to say I’ve grown up a fair bit since then, I can’t promise that if you gave me a decent camera, a place with suitable lighting and a selection of makeup, I wouldn’t do it again).

~xx~


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