The past and the future

It has been a strange weekend. It started off quite well. I went to the Albert Hall to see Tim Minchin in concert. We got the tickets for a bargain price and his show was excellent. We didn’t get back until well after midnight, which is rare in our lives, so it felt like a proper night out.

However, on Thursday, I had an interview to become a volunteer with a charity I’ve always wanted to work for. I was, as usual, very honest about myself and my background. They appreciated it, but I found it a bit weird talking about myself for pretty much a whole hour.

The thing is though, it made me think. A lot. Firstly about my past. Talking about it so openly made me realize just how far I have come. And then it made me a bit sad. There were so many expectations on me when I was younger. I was expected to do ‘great things’. Be an interpreter, work for the UN or the diplomatic service, be a composer and sell my music, etc etc. I had a brain. I was talented. I would go far.

But I was depressed. And it changed everything. I no longer had the motivation to complete work. I no longer had the motivation for extra study / extra reading. I no longer had the motivation or energy for volunteering or a social life. I withered away locked in a cycle of classes and my job (in a bookshop). I left university with a decent degree, but not the one I wanted as I managed to fail my second year exam. (My grandad had died and so I had missed the exam in China. Plus my Chinese comprehension teacher hated me as I didn’t turn up to every class and refused to learn by rote. A cardinal sin in China, apparently). My degree felt like a failure. Imagine what I could have achieved if it weren’t for the depression.

I left university to pursue an Msc in I.T. But my brother died. I deferred the Msc for a year and spent most of that year in bed, trying to come to terms with life. I restarted the Msc next year, but in the first week my ex (of 5 and a half years) broke up with me (by having an affair) and I had to move out. I left that house, full of possessions and furniture, with a few boxes of stuff and a bed. I managed to attend classes until just after Christmas but then couldn’t cope and had to leave. I couldn’t afford my room in the shared house and so moved in to a spare room with an uncle I hadn’t seen in many many years.

Other stuff happened, but it’s irrelevant here. I think I just wanted to explain about University. It was important to me. The ONLY thing I had to get me through school and the bullying, was the fact that I had a brain and could go to university eventually. When I could no longer do the academic thing, it crushed me.

I’m better now. I’ve worked hard and made a big difference to my life. But I still have those doubts. I’m in a position now where I need to think about my future. My contract at work finishes at the end of June so I’m in the process of looking for new jobs. I need to think about what I really want to do, where I want my career to go. I don’t want to take a step backwards career-wise. But I need a job.

I’ve also been thinking about politics. The election for Parish Council was uncontested, so I am now officially a Parish Councillor. And I have ambition. I am not satisfied with the councillors representing my local area and so I next want to run for Borough Council. It would mean running against someone who has been a Borough councillor for many years and is part of the political party that has overall control of the Parish council. His seat is up for grabs next year.

So doing all this voluntary work means that I’m ideally looking for a job where I could work 4 days a week or work from home for a couple of days a week and avoid a really long commute. I don’t want to lose the life that I’ve built up here and sacrifice it for a dull and depressing commute. Some things are more important.

I suppose I just wanted to vent. I’m feeling quite anxious and uncertain at the moment, which means I’ve been eating crap again and have put on weight. My current boss keeps asking me to do lots of things and keeps talking about applying for funding and about new ideas for projects. But I can’t get motivated because I know I won’t be there after June. They want to keep me, which is nice, but there is just no money to keep me on the salary I am on now. I have tried to negotiate some part time hours, but as the answers are always vague, I have decided to look for a full time job elsewhere. I’m not all that keen on change in my work life. It’s quite scary. It could be a good opportunity. I just need to get the courage to apply for the jobs I’m probably capable of.

Yeah. Easier said than done..

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