Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Stormy weathers and stats

In the spirit of my attempt at doing one blog post per week, another post is over-due.. No writing at the weekend because in truth, I had really quite a wonderful weekend and spent each day in such good company. Of course I've launched myself into another week and I'm not quite sure I put my life-jacket on for this one so I'm hoping that I find it soon. Two days in, and I have survived, even a three hour stats class and new students and some other rather demanding tasks (sort of the 'he who shall not be named' type of tasks)...

Still inevitably questioning and mulling over the decisions I have been making lately. Of course my doubts are heightened by a CPD workshop I did last Friday about existentialism and choice, responsibility, and action (and of course life, the universe, and everything.... and the ultimate meaning of our very existence!!!!). But this time, post-fantastic-weekend, I don't think my questions and doubts are all bad. In fact, I think the workshop ignited some much needed energy into my life and I am thankful that I was reminded of the things that mean something significant to me. I thought that the workshop leader made subtle, but quite meaningful links between practice, existential philosophy, and social responsibility. This is a philosophy that focuses on choice, action, and our isolation alongside the meaning we make of the interaction between ourselves and the world around us. How can this perspective not in some way, prioritise not only our responsibility for the choices we make about ourselves, but also those decisions we make about how we impact others. Our environment, our social and political commitments, how we choose to align ourselves with particular ways of living and particular cultures and beliefs, using the voice we have and allowing our actions to sit in line with our words and our hearts... It all comes down to choices, and actually (usually) rather simple choices at that!

So, with a little support behind me and some reignited reflections on the responsibility we have to each craft the life that we choose for ourselves, I am making decisions, and sometimes the decision is to be OK with not being certain about the outcome or potential consequences. Whilst being put to the test, I am also testing my own boundaries by seeing how much my own actions match my voice, and sticking with it. I am writing in riddles, which I dislike, but I can't see another way and besides, I am kind of enjoying my aversion to the details whilst I write about something that, in essence, is about clarity and acceptance of the storm (or standing naked in the storm, whichever way you choose to view it!).

There has been no nakedness in the storm today, but there has been this rather beautiful sunrise on my walk to work...

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Rose-tinted and being 'British'

I started to write this last night but it seems that I got half-way through and decided that sleep was a more appealing prospect. So I am beginning again with my second post of October. This is going well considering I did not write a single post in September. It is finally the weekend and I have to admit to my surprise at actually making it through the week, and I have not even been consuming an obscene amount of coffee. The week has included a lot of long hours, working lunch breaks, and a double working-weekend. That means the week is sandwiched in-between two working weekends away in London. This is fine because I love the variety that my life and work gives me and that is what keeps me believing that arguably foolish decisions are what makes life for the living. Such foolish decisions are either foolish or wise - they steer me far away from a 9-5 job and keep me alert and alive. This is not to say that starting a full-time MSc research degree alongside full-time work may not be the most questionable decision to date. I have certainly been questioned about it and certainly have questioned myself and been prompted to convince self and others that I am indeed a master of scheduling. Time to test out my own words.... If anything, it is a challenge and it is a change. And I am ready for both. I say that location-wise and home-wise I am not a settler. I embrace my nomadic traits a little, particularly when it is the summer months, and it seems that these traits are wide-spread and appear in my work life too.

I am indeed writing through rose-tinted glasses and although I embrace variety, sometimes it costs and sometimes (more often lately) I begin to wonder and re-consider my choices. I have made the decision to leave one of my commitments behind. This decision changes things and signifies a shift in my life. It is not only a decision but it is a statement of self-respect. I know this is right because a commitment that is restrictive, demanding, and often disrespectful, should not be one that any woman (or man) should endure. Time, skill, and people, are worth much more than that. Recently I have seen that respect is a moot point if it isn't reciprocal. It is not handed out as a free for all, and it is not an automatic given; it is earned and it takes two. I will not indulge in things that really would be professionally inappropriate to write on the world wide web, but I am welcoming change. From the person who, as a child, would move house to a different part of town but still insist on carrying her school PE kit, saxophone, and school books back to her old bus stop every morning instead of 5 minutes walk to the new bus stop to catch the school bus, simply because change was not language she understood, I think this is good.

Back to the rose-tinted glasses. I hate to write with my words filtered. But perhaps this is why I don't write so much these days on here. I would either rant and never stop, or I may boast and shout about hopes and achievements, and let's face it - most of us are too British and polite to indulge in a little ego-boosting self-appraisal. Actually I am in fact really not that British or polite at all... Polite, yes, if appropriate. But 'British'..... If being British is what we are led to believe, and if being British is subscribing to the ways in which this country is governed, then I am out. I think these days that I belong in a country far away from David Cameron.  But back to this blog - and perhaps more importantly back to the day. I have some reading, packing, washing.... and a Saturday to embrace before leaving to London later this afternoon.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

The next adventure

In the five years that this blog has existed, I don't think I have ever neglected it quite as much as I have done over these past couple of months. I might have even been beginning to forget that it even exists. I was reminded last night of how long it has been since I last wrote and it made me think it is a real shame that I seem to have taken a more complacent attitude towards writing lately. I am unsure of why this is... Perhaps I am concerned about my privacy and concerned about sharing things that may not be appropriate to share any more. Perhaps I have run out of things to say. Perhaps time constraints have played a part, or perhaps I am really just waiting for the next adventure to begin. I feel a little adventure-less these days and I do know that this impacts more than just my writing habits. It is almost as  if finishing the course and moving house and dealing with a few changes and transitions has meant that I have not been so clear in my thinking and my feet have not felt as grounded as I would like. Usually before I write it is helpful to feel sure of what it is I am giving words to on the screen, rather than haphazardly typing away. But lately I have been unsure on exactly what to write about. Hence the silence and lack of words. So perhaps I begin there...

What does one write about when everything is in transition? I have made a few decisions recently, some of which do not belong on an online platform, but some of which, are very exciting. I am finally officially qualified, graduate next month, and I have decided to do a full time research MSc alongside full time work too. I will surely regret this in 6 months time, but I am pleased that this initiates a little newness into my life, despite my staying at the same University for what will 6 consecutive years. Consecutive years of constant transition.

It is currently only 9.30pm but following about 3 hours of sleep in the hours of this morning, and a good few more glasses of wine than usual last night, I am suitably exhausted. I drank in the pub, and then drank more at home. Then the afternoon today was spent in a salon prepping hair for a job this weekend, and now I am home I have much redder hair and I just have to pack a bag for a few days in London and enjoy some undisrupted and non-alcohol fuelled sleep for as many hours as possible... this packing can be done in the morning. So I will pack and I will await the next adventure and hope that it brings me some inspiration for my life once more.