Archive for Friends and other nice people

#10yearsago

The twitter tag writ large…

10 years ago to the minute, I was at a house party in St Peteres Loge, as the council insisted our student digs were called.

A rag-tag collection of us returned to uni during the Christmas break, to herald the new millennium from our wonderful, infested, enormous, used-to-be-a-church-but-was-built-for-parties place in Bath.

A few of my school friends were there, a few uni friends, but mostly a large collection of Boys From Sutton. I’d arrived the previous day, my little Mini stuffed with cheap fizzy wine from Aldi. Preparations involved moving the scummy mattress from the floor on the landing to the floor in the hallway, and buying a £60 bottle of Bolly I definitely couldn’t afford.

I wore a black strapless dress and red strappy shoes and tried to do my hair in ringlets but they looked terrible so I washed them out. There was vodka (I drank nearly a 70cl bottle by myself) and tequila snorting and a first stolen moment with a boy I saw last New Year as well.

At midnight everyone hugged and cheered and sprayed Aldi fizz on the ceiling (thank goodness it was cheap). The Y2K bug didn’t stop anything working, and how could it because we were young and fucking invincible and about to take the 21st century by storm.

Given the surreality of university, the ten years that followed included all my adult life. I no longer feel like I can walk on water – my life got less magical, more real. This sounds sad, but isn’t. I’m still not bound by oceans, but instead of expecting them to part, I’ve been learning to build boats.

In terms of shit happening, 2009 has been the hardest year of the decade. The sacking was only phase two of the work horror; phase one was much worse – to the extent that I couldn’t face writing about it. And the second half of this year has been home/people-sickness. It’s usually low level but sometimes it sneaks up and punches me in the solar plexus, leaving me breathless and prickling tears.

But in terms of my happiness and sanity, 2009 was far from the worst of the past 10 years. This discord means this year’s been invaluable, simply because it’s confirmed that it’s up to me to create that difference between how things are and how I react to them.

2009 saw the first anniversary of my marriage – something I was so unsure of that now feels intrinsic 🙂 And why were only recent months plagued by homesickness? Because for the first six spent here J and I had the luxury of focussing on nothing but each other. I couldn’t have weathered any of this year without him – if our fate together wasn’t sealed in Spain, it certainly was when we stepped on that Singapore Airlines flight together.

But cool people aren’t the preserve of the UK. They are found everywhere, including S’pore, and a big ‘keeping me sane’ shout goes out to one such person. In some ways our backgrounds are worlds apart, but we see ourselves in each other (especially the strange bits) – that’s rare whenever it happens and amazing when the homogeneity of the country you live in struggles to include you.

So not a bad year, and an amazing fucking decade. An entire, sparkling, magical (ignore what I said before) journey through London skimmed over in this post. A friendship forged with my sister. A relationship that’s gone from break-ups and accusations to sharing brunch with the people we fucked the night before. A culinary adventure from fried egg sandwiches to eight course dinner parties (palate cleansing sorbet ftmfw).

Life was already damned good back in Bath when we were partying like it was 1999, and it seems to have been getting better ever since. I’m excited about turning 30, maybe becoming a mum, learning more about life outside London, and that’s just 2010. The short long forecast: the next ten years are going to be fucking awesome.

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Imitating life and art.

So around the time I was asked the question below, I was (briefly) living it. A very desirable and pleasingly feasible third party rocked up and stuck around for five days, half of which while the Boy was out of town, the rest after the Boy returned.

(Perhaps I should come up with some fun but non-identifying handles for people, but the reason J and I used our own names at swingers parties wasn’t to make a bold lifestyle statement, it was just paucity of imagination. So Boy = J, other boy = old friend.)

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Synchronous linkhronous

One of the questions in the post below merges into something I’ve been thinking about a lot over the past few days. Handy.

How desirable/feasible is a stable multi-way relationship?

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“I loved every guy I ever fucked, while I was fucking him.”

Have you ever fallen for a third party?

Yes! Next question?

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At least I don’t seem to have insomnia anymore

Ack, sleep gone very weird. Only had one proper lucid dream in the past four months but last week I had an odd two days of something like anti-lucid dreaming – knowing I was awake (sensing the bed, hearing the room around me) but not being able to control the free-flow of my thoughts, resulting in something very dreamlike.

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Be the change… yada, yada… Ghandi… yawn

Life has been disrupted by work training and pitches recently, adding to the displaced feeling.

Yesterday, besides getting some thoughts on paper, for the first time in three weeks I was able to:
• Get up and do weights
• Have porridge instead of hot dogs for breakfast! (At least the training included food)
• Go out and get fresh fruit and salad for lunch
• Leave work by 7pm
• Catch up on emails
• Have a healthy dinner

I also drank more than half a bottle of wine, which usually guarantees I’ll feel depressed the next morning. Yet today I woke up without the dread, fretfulness or sinking feeling that have grown to herald in each new day.

Positive mental attitude, self-fulfilling prophesy, extra vitamins? I don’t know, but it feels good.

Displaced

I’m having trouble wrapping words around my thoughts, which means I’m not sure I understand what I feel.

In simple terms, it’s half homesickness, half performance anxiety. The more I pull at those ideas though, the more they unravel.

Every expatriate I know says that months three to six are pretty hard. Quite a few of them talked about randomly bursting into tears. I haven’t been doing that, but I did sob all the way through The Book Thief, which is perhaps equivalent.

I haven’t been feeling depressed or manic, or any of the things I know how to identify. Just bemused resignation. “This is my life now.”

I am beset by overly romantic memories of London and the occasional, “Why would I give that up?” but I still want to know the world, even if doing so takes me away from people and places I love.

So, pretty confused on that front.

But come what may, we’re here until March. And fuck knows what the next 10 months will bring. When I think of my first six months out of uni, or the first six months in my last job, it’s hard to believe those times segued into the ones that followed, so different were they.

I am impatient though, even if I am better equipped to deal with change (or waiting for change) than I have been before.

Work has been a strange merry-go-round these past months. In brief, got job, hated job, temporarily lost mind, got new job, got counter-offer from old job, moved from Health to Creative.

This is perfect because it’s a great agency and ‘proper’ creative is what I really, really want to be doing.

But it is terrifying because it’s a great agency and ‘proper’ creative is what I really, really want to be doing.

What if I’m no good? I have more than two years’ experience, so I am expected to know my stuff, but I came from a small agency that didn’t focus much on teaching so I don’t feel like I measure up to the creatives here.

I know the whole point is that I’ll learn and get better, but now I have the opportunity I’ve been waiting for, I’m scared of finding out that I’m not as good in real life as I’ve imagined being.

It’s another part of growing up I guess. Watching our imagined lives stumble and get left behind as we embrace the median.

I haven’t accepted an imaginary Nobel prize since I was 17. Maybe I’ll be ok.