Sunday, December 30, 2018

dear diary

I set regular reminders to read articles on various subjects (I may have mentioned repeatedly).

One of the things I keep an eye on is about property, namely, getting one, getting the finances ready.

I've been looking into shared ownership just now. I've seen one shared ownership property that is in a really delicious location, just near to my gym. So fucking near to my gym, it is painful. They are up to 50% share ownership. I don't really understand the situation but what I gather is that the rent is lower than regular mortgages, but there are service fees.

I fit in the lower-middle bracket for the income ranges that they are interested in. I am quite assured by that.



Saturday, December 29, 2018

I'm in the middle of lots of other things right now. I must write this down.

One of the things I've learned from my father is: resilience. I've learned how to deal with crisis situations, tragedies, urgent problems. I've learned of the mentality to rise up to the situation when an extreme thing happens.

And some of those problems I have seen him help were my own.

I've learned from my mum the importance of supporting others. Through her actions, I've seen her be supportive and comfort others in difficult times. I am a bit like my mum at work, with that skillset I support a team of award-winning people to do their job, and they confide in me during their crisis times, both personal and professional.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

it's 4am and Im still not asleep.

I'm thinking about the pay rise I've been offered. I've been offered an incremental pay rise (pay rise in january then april 2019).

I have opted to reject the pay offer. but it stands I understand as a mandatory condition.

When I think about it, the rejection of this offer is based on some numbers I've crunched about my own income against rises in inflation as a result of brexit and general economy things.

Then I think about some of my friends. My friend at a university isn't getting a pay rise; my friends in the public sector are not really getting a pay rise, except a 1%-er in certain sectors.

I'm fortunate, but I'm also working in a place that may not exist in 10 years.

I've been working on spreadsheets, data entry and some basic csv documents all since about midnight. I've done a solid 4 hours of work.

Later today I hope to go to the gym in the morning. I am also hoping to meet a friend to see Aquaman in the afternoon. After that, I shall have a non carbonated drink in a pub.

Carbonated drinks make me anxious.

Eating makes me anxious

Anxiety makes me anxious.

I have a problem with anxiety. It exists on the su

I think that I've done a satisfactory amount today.

Let's let go and relax, friend.

Onwards, bedwards

I've enjoyed this time we've had together lately. I like writing more on this blog. I should do it more.

negative feelings

  • I don't like how my sister thinks she is in control of me, her domineering nature over me carries over from years ago which is no longer relevant
  • ditto for my mum
  • They do not wish to recognise i am an independent adult, and it makes me behave in especially 'limbic' ways*
  • I feel insecure about my body lately (maybe the 'easy' reaction to the top two)
*lately, I've set up a weekly reminder to read about personal development, things that I feel will help me develop as a person. As such, I have been reading a bunch of psychology articles, papers and so on. This is in contrast (or addition) to the regular kinds of things that I read about: mathematical structulralism, Kantian themes, post avicenna Islamic philosophy, and tech reviews for external GPUs

I miss mia lately. I wish I had someone who saw inside my soul to talk to me. It would be easy if I had mia. It's harder to live and go on without her. The harder path is the one which makes me the wiser and the better. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

One day in Late November

On this day November 21:

  • 2013: Received my first tablet computer with money i earned from the sport desk, I also bought some tactical gear and was invited to an interview (did not get it)
  • 2015: I wrote copy for a Christmas gift guide at the paper that didn't give me that job in 2013
  • 2017: Was invited to a 'major artist's book launch - made it as a date with J
  • 2018: First day that I made overnight oats - seemingly life has gone downhill since that book launch

Monday, December 24, 2018

December 17 2018

was the last episode of the show people just do nothing. the main characters are aged between 32-33, which is basically my age.

I also discovered how to upgrade my earbuds so that they can connect to my laptop, basically making my headphones obsolete.

Fuck me.

The 'on this day' function on my calendar is quite telling about the time my life suddenly changed:

2015: saw the new star wars movie - got home bloody late
2017: bought a 'glenn gould hat' from M&S, a sign that I'm well and truly middle aged. Later on that day it was 'onesie sunday', the third time I've done it.
2018; my (presumably fourth onesie sunday, I also found out that L from the gym (who I nickname as Harambe -long story) is preggers

Here's something that marks the age.

Loads of people who used to be beloved are now hated, or are deemed not woke enough. Apparently the fucking guy from peep show and father ted are now transphobic.

Also, it feels positively regressive to reminisce the 2000s. INstead of it being a way of me processing what has been in order to embrace what is now, it's a potentially dangerous form of rumination.

That's what I think anyway.
Rumination is one of my distraction schema now.
Dear Diary,

It's 3am on Christmas Eve. I can barely tell to be honest.

I am off for 9 days. I'm on day 3. It's gone by ever so quickly.

I've started watching Killing Eve. It's really interesting. It's not unlike my job at the Sentinel. Boring, but the other guys have all the action. I'm catching up on logging all the past events of the week into my calendar.

Let's do an 'on this day'.

A day in 2013: I went to a local pub. I saw a band called The Tuts and Kate Nash was there. It was awesome. I anxious because there was a guy who didn't really understand social interactions and he was talking to the musicians on stage without understanding that he was not entitled to a response or that they would be interested in him. In fact it almost seemed like heckling. I did get annoyed at him and almost wanted to get him thrown out, but I realised that he's more likely learning disabled the more I saw him. It wouldn't be right.

5 years later. I'm at a party in The Sentinel. It's the bigun, the feature writers, fashion desk, my magazine and other sections are there. I have dinner with the grown up film and tv critics beforehand. What do they talk about: salacious rumours of the personal lives of their colleagues. Jesus wept. I grew up with some of these people on my computer, reading their critiques and so on.

The bizarreness of my life situation has not been lost on me, but I do not pause too much to think about it, as I have been so busy these past few weeks. I've had social event after social event. I've had a couple of family engagements and I've been through some career defining work. My life feels like something that my seriously depressed and previously suicidal self would have dreamt up, then woken up and cried about as his reality consisted of a brass bucket full of piss and a lamb shank that is under the bed, uneaten for a month.

I had to be that person to be the person that I am now.

Who am I now? I have a to do list to log all my activities of the past week. I then have to process them into my calendar, and then enter them into a weekly report. I am 10 weeks behind on my weekly report. Once I have completed the weekly report, I then do the monthly and annual 2018 document. I see and analyse patterns from said document as I have been compiling these records for a few years now. I then design the 2019 document.

This all began from me setting an album listening document back in 2006-2007. I set lists of albums that I listened to, a lot of heavy metal as it happened. I then expended the idea to create a system of organising my life. It grew, it grew to something that I used to get a hold of the confusion that is aspergers life. It's no longer 2006-2007 and I'm scouring people's facebook music interests to understand what they are into and simultaneously getting a grasp on the culture of the time. As it happens the culture is always changing.

It helps to work in a pop culture magazine, but I'm still making lists. So many lists that its' a full time occuptation to enter everything in.

So long as it makes me a functional and normal person in society. I'm using this system to orient my savings and work towards a mortgage. Maybe I can get a 300k property.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Positives of the week and month (December 2018)

  • Lots of people my age going bald, but my hair still awesome
  • I'm in great health
  • Mum and dad are alright 
  • I'm seeing family on Christmas day - tick that off for the family quota
  • I went to 4 workplace parties
  • I went to lots of new and unfamiliar social situations/interactions
  • I had onesie day at the gym last week
  • I have been offered a payrise of 5.05% (paid in two increments)
  • I'm going to see my friend from canada
  • I'm going to see my friend from sheffield
  • I'm going to see my friends from school
  • I have 10 days off work
My colleague and I were walking to the train station after some drinks. He said to me when he meets up with old friends, he avoids talking about the past. S invited me to his 50th birthday party. I should heed his wisdom. 

note to self: one way in which I am working on plasticity is that I've set tasks to read articles on self help, positive psychology and advice on how to deal with specific adverse situations.

This will feed into my flash cards project.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The busy period

Dear Diary,

I'm trying to keep up with all the things that have happened so far and are yet to happen. Basically there are loads and loads of parties. I'm really pleased about it.

The following happened:

  • 2 work parties
  • saw aquaman
  • nightwish
  • gym socialising 
  • (mind is a blank)
Things yet to happen:

  • Christmas with fam
  • Aquaman at least 3 times again
  • 2 more christmas parties
  • Socialising xmas with neighbours, 
  • socialising xmas with badminton crew
  • Meeting The Microbiologist (uni friend) over Christmas
Today on my day off I need very much to just get all the logging done and keep up.

Keep up! 

I'm really behind on logging stuff.

Lets talk about december 5:

I went to the dentist. I had 2 fillings in. It was immediatley after that point that my other filling (in the week before) started really hurting.

I left work early after arriving late, to go sohpping. I went to M&S and PC world. I was looking for a fancy velvet or print blazer for Christmas, A size 46 slim does not fit me. I thought I would rather not get anything than get a thing that ill-fits.

Anyway in PC world I saw a really nice gaming chair. I've seen them all on websites and things but when I sat down it felt simply heavenly.

Anyway I looked for chairs,GPUs and blazers and bought neither. I did eat some M&S crisps on the way home. I love M&S crisps.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Dear Diary,

If i were to be blunt, I struggled this week.

I struggled with my energy levels. I struggled with a work life balance. I struggled with my sleep and I struggled with distraction.

In other ways it was a fine week. I went out to see Nightwish (amazing!), I got invited to a fouth Christmas party and...I can't really remember the rest.


Lets talk about the egg swallowing things:

  • I'm really struggling with being efficient with my time. There are lots of time holes: youtube, mobile phone games, mobile phone distractions, youtube (did I say that?)
  • I spoke to my brother and sister to ask what they wanted for Christmas. I have a plan forward to sort out Christmas. I also feel like they will be accepting towards me during Christmas day.  - I just need to sit there for Christmas day and not be bad or mean or malignant or insincere. Just be nice. Failing that, just be quiet. 
  • I'm dealing with a lot of jealousy. I'm jealous of how other people my age are living their lives. Many of them getting married, having kids, one woman I used to cover for on the sunday sentinel has 3 already! I'm jealous about income stuff. I'm jealous of my girlfriend's partners. I'm jealous of people going to parties. I'm jealous of people who aren't afraid of planes. So, yeah, I'm afraid of airline travel. 
I'm really behind on my logging lately. I'm also really behind on my planning. I'm living each day with the plan I set originally, but I need to refine the plans. 

This Friday I decided to take the day off work. I was so unwell I just couldn't manage. 

I'm goping to do the minimum for the remainder of the night. Mostly planning

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Yesterday (Monday) I did some egg swallowing. 

I sent my sister a text: is there anything I can get you, hubby or the kids for Christmas?

Her reply: thank you but nothing for me or husband, let me get back to you about the little ones...

I sent my brother a text: anything for you or the wife? 

Bro: Nothing for me, let me get back to you about the wife, she probably wants something.

I got my mum and dad a £500 vacuum cleaner this year.

I'm a really shitty son. I've done shitty things and even if they forgive me, I don't forgive myself. 

I'm also getting quite angry lately. I'm angry at myself and it manifests in other things.

When I got home yesterday (monday), I had a really nice bit of food from Sainsburys. I had a vegetarian cheese and cauliflower bake. Mum really liked it. I was very tired and immediately went to sleep. I woke up around midnight or 1am (about 3.5 hours ago) and had to do all the things I didn't when I fell asleep: personal hygiene foremost, then charging my earbuds. 

I have since been working on my schedule and I've done a bit of planning and catch up right now.

I feel like i'm in a good place with my routine. I do wish that I had a chance to go to M&S last night. I want to get a dinner jacket for the Christmas parties. 

Also 3 years ago: I saw Klitschko vs Fury.

Last saturday (2018) I saw Fury Vs Wilder.

How things change and yet stay the same...

Other things in 2015 of the week beginning 23/11: I bought a Jawbone UP3 (Jawbone is no longer a company) and I was playing a bit of fallout 4 (Fallout 76 has since come out. I got a fallout 76 mask and giant hand)

Thursday 26 2015

Thursday 26 2015: i went to Body combat and CX Works, which I haven't done in ages. I logged that I was emailing about casual work with work. A casual scheme that hires short term cover. I was the shrot term cover.

I went to speak to someone who was working on the magazine do to a handover. I told her that I've worked on the magazine loads of times so I didn't need a handover, so instead she told me about how to do expense claims for the food magazine. It seems she got a lot of invoices for the food mag.

My parents were in Peru that week.

The day before I was doing a shift at my old job in events. I went to the discussion group too. On Tuesday 24 I got an email asking me to come in. Thursday 26 I had a conversation about what was needed. The week after: I started working on the magazine.

I've never left.

I've never worked for 3 years at anything before. I must admit that I feel very...proud of being able to keep a job.

I'm going to put some 'on this day' reminders about this. I realise only after the event that these days were more significant and pregnant with meaning than I realise.

At the time it was just another job.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Dear Diary,

Today being a sunday night/monday morning I seem to allow myself to write in this blog as a kind of review of the week or something like that.

Here's my insight: I've been reading this book about Bullet Journal, which is not dissimilar to the techniques that I employ when I'm organising myself (except with GKeep). Anyway, I've managed to really up my organisation game lately. I've managed to organise the next two weeks (also allowed for changes) and I haven't hit 3am yet.

Lets talk about this week: I went to a press event for a thing that I went to on saturday with my friends. I went to this interactive exhibition thing. I basically went twice. I had booked it months ago with my friends. I realised that I really need to make reasons to meet up with the guys. It's just not happening lately. Anyway, we managed to make it work and we had a really good time. The best part was to be with my friends and I felt a big boost of energy.

I realise that this month (December) I really am doing well in terms of socialising with others, going out, meeting people and even spending time with work colleagues outside of a work setting.

So, that is pretty cool. It's also very challenging in terms of my time, my energy and the other things I want to do.

When I had depression over 10 years ago. I really didn't know how to do the adult thing. I'm getting better at it and I'm getting stronger and more resilient.

I should be honest about my recent challenges:

  • Night terrors are still an issue
  • I have issues with social eating 
  • I have triggers more often now
  • I get angry and distrustful a lot. - especially with specific people
  • I feel a tiny bit paranoid. I know that at work, there are people who are trying to undermine us. It makes me worry about the wider situation with the world at large.
  • I worry about my parents.

The big one: I had a falling out with my brother, sister and brother in law. A thing for which I must spend the rest of my life paying a debt to society and to my family for. A thing for which I accept responsibility and accept my part in causing very real harm. 

I feel like i'm not forgiven. I also dread some things. I dread having to text my brother and sister asking about christmas presents for their families. I dread that Christmas Day is likely to be with them all. I don't want to sit with them. I don't want to be around them for Christmas and I don't want to be around all the noise. But I have to make an effort. 

I keep saying I need to rebuild bridges and have a better relationship with family. In the group sessions I had this year. I realised that having positive relationships with friends and family is an important aspect of my life. Also being able to manage problems in my life. It's difficult when other people in my family are less good at dealing with their own problems. It's difficult when other people's problems become your own. It's also important to have healthy thinking, this also includes not blaming others for too many things but accepting your own responsiblilty. 

How do I work through all 3 of these? I think if I did Christmas day, just the lunch time, and went home. If I didn't get angry and let things slide. If I were quiet and didn't offend anyone or upset anyone. If I just sat there and did my bit to be a part of the family by just being physically present and anodyne. If I could do that for a day, fine. That's enough. That's enough to say I'm working on family relationships. That's enough to say I'm doing better than I did before. That's enough on a base for better future relationships with them. 

In the Doctor who specials with Matt Smith, he used to say: every Christmas is the last Christmas. 

I really need to treat this as the last christmas. It's the last christmas for somebody. I just need to do one day and then I have the rest of the week to work on my spreadsheets and projections for the year or any of that other stuff. 

It's important to me. It's very challenging for me at the same time. 

A guy at the group said that the relationships that are really valuable do require a bit of work. 

I guess I need to man up. I can lift weights and push my mind intellectually but none of that is as tough as facing down the shame I feel about my judgmental family. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Dear Diary,

I feel like something is hitting me hard lately. That thing is when events I have planned do not go to the plan in actuality. I get irked by it.

This has been the case lately. I've had a box that UPS is supposed to deliver. It has not arrived. It said on the UPS note that it was due to arrive on monday but it has not. This has been a blight on my mind since monday.

Another thing has pissed me off. When I was going on the tube home yesterday, a man sat next to me and he was doing this fucking manspreading thing. I defensively held on my jacket and I think as a result of it I  held the jacket upside down without making a fuss, when I should have made a fuss. Anyway as a result of it I lost something which I have had to spend £40 to re-source.

Anyway I did something different today.

After work, I went to get some groceries. I bought food from a list I made. I made a list of healthy foods and specific desirable qualities. So I bought some salmon, spinach and Oats. When I got home I decided to prepare Overnight Oats. That's A Thing apparently.

So...when the morning comes, lets see how it goes!

Monday, November 19, 2018

I'm in a hurry so I better to this quickly.

Every week as you know, I task myself to make a list of 3 things I'm positive about today, and a list of things I'm positive about in the future:

  • I love my mum and dad. I feel like things with them are like a golden age right now. They can't be better, in fact, they won't be better. 
  • I have a very busy social calendar this December, which is nice. I don't remember last year being like this. I don't remember last year at all! Anyway I'm happy that I have a social calendar with parties, meeting friends and so on.
  • Today (well sunday) I did a 4000kcal gym workout. Pretty extreme eh! I feel so good after, I feel like I sweated out all the bad things in my body, including bad attitudes
Things I'm positive about in the future:

  • The Union is arguing for a 5.5% pay rise, which is nice
  • The reputation of The Sentinel is at an all time high, and I'm a part of an historically significant organisation
  • (my mind is a blank now)
  • I am um...listening to different music than usual?
  • I've set up a food list. I might eventually evolve it into a food planner. I've initially made a 'bucket list' purchases for food. The list I'm now making is a proper examination of healthy foods, their properties (i.e. why I should eat it) and maybe provide me ideas of ways to eat and prepare them. 
I just wish that I could find Broccoli based dishes in fast food takeaways.

Anyway. I got some shit to do before I go to bed, so toodles. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Dear Diary,

Perhaps it's the CBD
Or perhaps

Autumnal blues have arrived.

I'm getting lots of flashbacks lately. I'm also feeling very emotional.

I feel a lot more love for T, and I've told her that. I'm a shitty boyfriend.

I've been worrying about things. My parents have been doing something recently which is scaring me abit. They are saying things like: this next car we buy will possibly be our last, so lets make it a good one. They are pulling out all their assets from their stocks and shares accounts.

I'm thinking about them, I'm thinking about them as a couple, knowing that their time together is nearing some kind of inevitable end. It feels unbearable not for me but for mum and dad individually. I'm also worrying relationship has broken down with certain people in my family.

I have been a real dick and's caught up to me. I've been such a dick that I could have ruined my career, I've ruined my career if I ever wanted to go into politics or public affairs; I could have ruined my brother in law, sister and brother's lives with the stupidity of my life and my careless hubris (careless hubris..not a George Michael Song I know of).

In the shattered mirror of my decisions, I don't think that I can put things together as they once were. I fear I may not be able to put them together again. I fear that things have happened (some by me, some by wider  family) have split the family forever.

I have a continual night terror. That of being alone, of dying alone, of having no kids and no marriage and once I'm gone, nobody is there to mourn me. The horror is when I wake up as well as experiencing the dream. When I wake up, I'm young-ish and not an old man, and I am not in that position yet, but I feel I'm slowly and inexorably drifting towards what seems like a foregone conclusion.

A couple of things make me realise that things are not well in my mind and in my life. My room is a fucking sty. I keep receipts, plastic bags, cutlery, books, books, review books, books i've bought, notebooks, coins, cardboard boxes, unopened christmas presents, clothes from my 20s that no longer fit me, clothes rom my 30s that I recently bought on impulse. Basically I'm a hoarder. It's really making an adverse affect on my life.

Something else made me realise that things are not well. There was a trigger on sunday afternoon. I'm not going to say what it was. It was seemingly innocuous, but when it happened in my room, I felt unsafe. I felt almost a panic mode. My mind went to fight or flight, and I did flight. I lay in my bed and put on some mindless youtube videos just to pretend like I'm doing something. I'm scared. Things scare me - unexpected sounds, sirens, loud motorcycles, people whose behaviour or motives I cannot immediately understand, the uncertainty of the future, getting rid of things, not getting rid of things, getting new things without getting rid of things, getting new things and getting rid of things, not getting things and neither getting rid of things nor not getting rid of things.... it's exhausting.

I want to cry but I don't know what to say, I don't know what the feeling or thought is directed to. At work today I felt on the verge of tears and I didn't know why.

I realised something lately: I've been working at The Sentinel for 5 years now. Yes, it is true that I wasn't on contract for 5 years or on permanent staff. But it has been 5 years associated with that paper. I see the veterans of the paper, I think I am one of them now. I also think about the people who were once there who I saw as the veterans and no longer are there. I also think about how my position has changed. I see the perky but wet behind the ears temps who sometimes work here. I want to say something like: I was where you were once...but that is patronising and irrelevant and unhelpful to them.

I'm not that person anymore and that person is not relevant to their situation. My situation is relevant to their situation and my situation is that I am a bit more senior and experienced and knowledgeable in the company, and not a wet behind the ears casual. I have serious responsibilities and I look after a headcount of about 70 - at any given point, someone is at paternity/maternity, jury duty, bereaved or getting married. I feel the heaviness of their lives. One person told me that they didn't expect their mother to live through the year. They didn't. I see the heaviness of other people's lives. I have my own heaviness. I try not to bring my personal self into work, but when I sit with people after a while, it just necessarily rubs off.

I think that the CBD oil is taking effect. My mind is slowly cooing to a restful pause. It feels more organic than sedative drugs.

I should also say: I've started talking to Mia again.

Don't worry I'm not purging.

But...I need Mia right now. I need a woman who scares me. I need a woman who gets inside my head that I can't do cute flirty talk with. I need a mirror. I need to suppose truth is a woman.

I need my past. I feel like I've forgotten myself. 

Ignore that last thing I said - that's not true.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Dear Diary,

I've been spending money like nobody's business lately. Some expenses I have accounted for long in advance. But still...

I think I need to consider that I should spend less in the near future. Fuck, the jacket I bought was £350. But it is a legendary jacket.


Today I got up properly out of bed maybe from 11am. I had some breakfast. After the shower I got to my desk and things moved at a good pace from there. I got a fuckload done in my non priority schema and I have caught up on things I've been meaning to for ages.

I think that waking up well had given me a good pace for the day.

Other things on my agenda: I want to go outside, just because. My motivation today has been that I need to rush all of my chores so as to be in a state where I can go outside.

But really. I realise that I don't really need to go outside. I might order a deliveroo though.
Things that have happened:

  • I bought a shearling jacket £££
  • I bought a lot more supplement foods
  • I bought some uniqlo clothes --- twice
  • I bought some 'winter trousers' but I'm not fully happy with them
  • I bought some alexander wang branded uniqlo clothes -a special range. they feel really futuristic and sci fi. They also don't feel polyester-y with that weird smell after its worn for a while
So, it's almost midday and saturday morning.

I really want to go outside today, just to go for a walk. I don't want to do anything specific. I just want to walk. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Things that happened today:

  • I got the CBD oil from amazon. I'm starting to feel quite drowsy now so I might go to bed after this post. 
  • I wore the camel coat for the first time. Well not the first time this year, but the first time for this autumn-winter period. The camel coat is effortlessly stylish and coming into its 3rd year now
  • I was at a meeting where I had to be confrontational to people. Not in a mean way but I did need to correct them. 
  • I did body attack today. Only half of the class. That's my new tuesday routine now. My knee isn't 100%, it may never be, but I need to work in my body's limits. 
  • After being confrontational, I have been preoccupied with intrusive thoughts that have gotten in the way of my evening. I'm trying (to some degree of success) to just soldier on.
  • i think that I've been quite depressed lately. I'm just remembering the past couple of years and I'm not proud of myself. I'm revisiting old thoughts. I'm revisitng old selves. I'm revisiting old memories.
Anyway. I should go to bed. If I get up early enough I might get to have McDonalds'

And now I just realised tomorrow is Wednesday - the sucky day. 

It's midnight. I'm sitting at my desk. I'm deciding whether to go to bed or to stay up a little more. It smells funky in my trousers. That can't be right as I got into some fresh clothes

No wait...I didn't. I'll switch up after this post.

Today I have some problematic intrusive thoughts. I was in a confrontational situation at work. Everything amicable I hope, but I keep replaying the situation in my head. I don't think it's helpful.

What I will do is: get some errands done for the rest of the night. Maybe then I'll go to bed. or something.

Perhaps I should exercise some thankfulness exercises.

  • I really am glad that I currently have both of my parents and are in reasonable health currently. 
  • I like having a gym card and a routine of going to classes on tuesday
  • I like having a job
  • I'm working on my finances
  • I have reasonable health
  • I have access to lovely food
  • There weren't too many fireworks outside to scare me tonight
  • I am safe
  • I got that CBD oil
  • I got another lumberjack shirt from uniqlo

Monday, November 5, 2018

Dear Diary,

I'm getting into a certain swing with my life at the moment.

It's almost proper adulthood. Except that I live in mum and dad's custom built loft.

So this weekend: Saturday I got up early to get the flu jab. I have a corporate certificate at work to get a flu jab. I then did some window shopping. I've been thinking lately about a couple of things, firstly how to get winter worthy clothes and secondly, additional supplements to my regime.

Someone recommended CBD oil to me. I think I might go into that to help me. When I got home in the afternoon, I fell asleep. I woke up and it was dark. I decided to sit at my desk and do 8 hours of straight working.

I was thinking to myself on sunday at 3am as I got to bed: doing those 8 hours on my desk: did I really feel like I achieved anything significant? I'm doing little bitty tasks. Let me list them for you:

  • I've set up a new spreadsheet to monitor my assets
  • I've calculated how much money I have tied to savings and in my investment portfolio
  • I've been doing some product research: looking for things to buy for winter weather. Particularly trousers. 
  • I watched some TV, kept some things earmarked on iplayer and ended up watching a movie
  • I bought that CBD oil and gels I've been meaning to get for a while
  • I've updated some templates that I use 
  • I've updated some data on my savings and setting savings goals
God that shit sounds boring as fuck.

The reality is. I can't function as a normal human being unless I get all this administrative stuff done. It helps me be able to go to work and have asense of peace of mind. 

On sunday, I felt quite unwell. I believe it was as a result of the flu jab that I had a fever. My fever seems to have passed within a few hours. It did mean however, that I was unable to go to the gym for Sunday, which is my favourite thing. 

I fell asleep and got up by about 6-7pm. I then decided to get to my desk and busy myself. I read about 13 magazines and caught up on other administrative shit. I'm up to date (mostly) and I've set a plan into place for the next week. I've even set some dates for November-December.

I have noticed that the next few weeks will consist of 'organised fun'. I will be going to see a few films at the cinema. There is a nightwish gig. I have two Christmas parties and I might be doing some Christmas things.

There's something that feels good to me but might seem really small that has brought me some pleasure lately. On friday I took a half day. I thought about going to the cinema but I ended up window shopping. Anyway, I bought a lumberjack shirt from uniqlo. It really has changed my life. I love the soft, yet coarseness of it. It is softer than my corduroy shirt and more versatile in terms of wearing. It's casual, smart casual, masculine and (I assume) practical. 

I think that I have found the universal shirt. This is like me discovering the black t shirt or black longsleeve all over again. This is going to be my staple. The only problem is that I want to wear it so much that it's gotten dirty again. I have bought a second shirt to deal with that problem. I've become very atttached to it. 

I feel my motivation is good. I haven't been 'dependent' on the preworkout supplement to boost my mind. I feel it is a drug and like many drugs, there can be dependency issues. I was on a date last week and I chose not to drink. I think that I am happy not drinking. I could go by the rest of my life without any alcohol and I probably wouldn't mind a big deal. I don't think that I could do that for beef, though. I fucking love beef. 

I really want a better relationship with my family. Things have happened that have distanced me from the family. Things of my own doing. Ultron from the marvel films say: we create the things that we dread most. I had my ultron moment. 

I like writing these blog posts to close off my week. It feels exceptionally therapeutic. I need some kind of healing. Let's close off this therapeutic reverie by addressing the 'on this day' of previous dates in previous years for this week:

  • 2018: I was heavily involved in political cartoonist stuff at work
  • 2018: First time I had a mcdonald's bagel - my god those are heavenly. Got to go for double sausage and additional bacon. Nom nom nom! 
  • 2017: A BBC news article came out about some things I was woring on
  • 2017: My uncle was hospitalised. The issues with my uncle are still ongoing, but he's still with us and making improvements from what it was. It makes my dad and me feel very vulnerable.
  • 2016: Dave's last day. Dave was the guy who offered me the fixed term contract and I always felt that he was on my side. When Dave left, I felt distinctly more isolated. 
  • 2014: I'm working on the newsdesk of a sunday paper: I'm regularly booked on the sunday paper and it is very exciting
  • 2013: It was my last day working on the sport desk. A baptism of fire but it set up the work that I do now.
  • 2013: I attended a Buddhist U35 discussion group. I was invited and found it interesting. It tapered off after a while
  • 2013: I bought a Galaxy Ace phone - it's a piece of shit but I think it was my second ever smartphone. I wasn't with as much money then as I have now, so I had to just get any phone. Buying that phone began a process to getting the phone that I have now. 
Anyway: i ought to go to bed -- just one more errand. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Dear Diary,

I woke up about 8:30 this morning. I felt very low and vulnerable. I tried to do some pep talking to myself. I said to myself in the transactional way that I used to during my eating disorder days: I'll give 14  hours: 12 hours of straight work, then gym, then going home and warmdown, and then 2 hours on my desk. After that I want to relax and be miserable or whatever I'm feeling now that makes me want to avoid life.

That bargain seemed to work.

Although its nearly 1am now, I did my work today. I worked hard. I then left work early. I decided on the spot that my knee is not in a good condition to go to the gym. I went home and it was very cold outside. As I got home I got a deliveroo. A cheeky cod and calamari dinner.

I unpacked my back and put all my devices on charge,  I put my clean clothes into the wardrobe and with sobriety I did my necessary chores.

I then lay in bed for a bit. Eventually (by 10) I decided to get to my desk and do a bit of catchup. I read about 20 magazines and watched some TV. I also worked on my long term decision matrices. 

Today at work I have been under a bit of pressure to make a Christmas party plan for 20 people. I ended up doing so but on a day different to my usual estimate.

It's the last day of October. October came to me as an afterthought of September. I'm still in the summer mindset. Well I was until that fucking cold wind hit me on Tuesday morning.

I've been thinking about getting that new jacket from North Face - it's wind, rain and something else proof. I'm also thinking about how to wear trousers for winter. Are there 'warm' trousers out there that also do not get wet? Are there such trousers that do not obviously look like they came from an outdoors shop?

On wednesday there's a big union debate about a pay claim. This probably means that I cannot go to lunch or go to the gym as I have a lot on. I think a bit about how my friend used to play badminton. In each move he had the pregnant thought and action of the next 3-5 moves.

I plan my life in a similar way: Wednesday involves meetings which means I can't do the gym, which means I don't need to pack my kit; it also leaves an opening: do I dress smart or dress casual? So many variables from decisions.

Anyway. I should go to bed, wake up, try and bargain a deal for Wednesday (maybe 12 hours) and then I'll have a nice Mcdonalds breakfast.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Dear Diary,

I used to run a blog, from the perspective of being a philosophy grad student.

Now I just haven't posted in ages.

I've thought about re-starting it.

I had this idea of myself as some kind of public intellectual, a future academic, a future talking head.

A few people I knew from uni and from other circles have become talking heads. It's quite nice to see them on the telly.

I've not ended up in their path. I have however, worked and do work with people who are public intellectuals and talking head, which is very cool. Very cool to know of their existence and for them to know of mine.

I've been soul searching over the past few days: thinking about my fears and my future.

Sometimes when I'm at parties I realise: there's someone who I don't talk to or don't bother to talk to, the more I don't bother to talk to them the more I realise I have a problem with talking to them. I feel like I have a problem with doing small talk or introducing myself or just finding conversation with people.

It's difficult. I need to feel in my mind that ability to feel safe with a person and in my mind know what they might want to talk about. To an extent that requires me to 'read' a person. Some people I can't read. With many people I feel like I see them as versions of myself. Today I asked the picture editor how his trip to Canada was. Pic Ed said it was great. I asked a follow up: what were your highlights? PicEd spoke of the eagles, the woods, the air and the snow. Really sounds stunning.

Last friday I went to comicon. I felt so good. I stripped off to my vest and did some muscle posing with Thor's Mjolnir and Aquaman's 'quindent' weapon. Loads of people on my facebook and instagram loved it - including my colleagues (and my bosses!) That felt weird. But also: it was positive energy. Everyone who saw it had a laugh, I had a laugh, we all had a chuckle. It just felt unadulterated niceness.

That gave me a bit of energy. I spontaneously decided to go on an OKC date on the saturday last week. It was below average but I am glad I tried. Sunday I did the big gym routine: 5 hours, 4000kcal, utterly punishing, but I also felt like I really achieved something. I also felt like I cleared out some cobwebs from my mind. Today (Monday-Tuesday) I can really feel the consequences of it. There's like a purity to my mind after doing lots of gym and pushing myself.

I also need to learn how to relax and rest and do self care kind of things.

I left work early, after things started to get busy and I realised my work load was...a bit much.

When I got home I slow cooked some meat (bought earlier from the Waitrose deli). I did a bit of reading, watched a lot of streaming tv today and I said to myself: okay so it's 8pm now. I propose that I'll sit at my desk from now until 2am to just work flat out on various things ('life admin'/planning).

I barely scratched the surface but I'm up to date on my data entry.

Oh boy I realise how much shit I set for myself.

Let's talk about other stuff:

  • Mum and Dad: they are okay, but we had a worry about a family friend tonight who was 'missing' for a bit. This guy has bipolar and a while back he started to lose a grip on reality and they had to put him on some serious meds. Turned out that he was in a local cafe until 11pm and didn't realise that was 'unusual behaviour' that worried his wife
  • Finances: I need to work more on this but I'm starting to seriously fund the Mortgage savings account. I've put some things into place (money here and there) to get that savings up. I now realise that I have significantly less 'disposable income' now that I'm really saving the fuck up
  • Mortgages/housing market: I'm looking for a one bedroom in the area where I grew up. It will cost about 1/3 of the house that I currently live in but do not own. I see some flats that I wouldn't hate living in: one bedrooms with a reception room and a toilet. I think that will do for me. I've started to notice that flat that fit the bill are going down in price. Case in point: a one bedroom I saw for 280k on the shop front, turned out to be 260k on the website 5 days later. I might be able to afford something in the under 300k range.
  • Work: My job predominantly involves rota planning. However I'm really behind on the admin side lately. I really really need to catch up. I finally tidied up my desk and that helps my motivation. I'm working on work life balance at the moment. Leaving early helps; the clocks going forward (and earlier sunset) does not. 
  • Mental health: If I'm honest, my anxiety manifests in ways that are entirely unrelated to my mood. This makes admitting mental health issues a bit more easy. My body and my brain are highly strung. It says nothing of me as a person. We've gone really far in mental health. I need to get more done about getting better.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I'm watching this documentary about the 2000s (my 3rd or so post tonight).

One thing that's very painful in my mind is the expression: 'lost decade'. Back in 2009-2010, young people (like myself at the time) were referred to as the lost decade.

I remember it. Graduating from university and then, getting to the job centre once every other week. The friendly job advisor asking what I've done that week for applications and then their services not really being applicable to my skill set, to my job aspirations or even their tools to help not applicable to me.

Woolworths closed down. My aunty I from across the street lost her job, she lost her pension. She later died 4 years later in 2012. Of course I didn't know that at the time.

The 2008-onwards period of my life was marked by so much darkness.

I do believe that I'm coming out of that darkness, but perhaps into another, different, deeper darkness.

But that deeper darkness is an adulthood, a realisation, that moment when you wake up depressed to the cold air. Realising that its better to get up than stay in bed. Even if facing the day means facing a cold dry truth of reality.

It was a few years of waking up at 10-12am and trying to get to do some job applications. Working part time, then part time-ish, then full time-ish to what is now.

I climbed out of that lost decade, but I do ask myself: if things could have been much better and went much faster if things were different, if I were different.

That darkness implies that there could have been a lighter reality for me.

A part of me, that darker part of me, says of that thinking: don't think about it, think about the now and your options now. Think about what's useful for you now and in the future.
Standardised clothing loadouts:

Profile: casual

  • Trainers
  • Socks
  • Underarmour trousers  (the nike ones if hot)
  • Vest underneath
  • long sleeve waffle top
  • Sleeveless hoody
  • (in bag) jacket 
  • Baseball cap

Profile: smart

  • Brogues
  • Socks
  • Uniqlo trousers (note to self- buy 2 pairs of new trousers 
  • Uniqlo textured shirt - has to be specific shirt, no variants except for colour
  • Tie or bowtie
  • Sleeveless jumper, either wool vest jumper or wool sleeveless cardigan (with buttons)
  • Black jacket from Uniqlo
  • Optional: blazer if cold

Dear Diary,

The difference a compliment can make.

I woke up this morning and I felt so pumped by...a nice comment from a woman.

A woman I dated last year, who I sometimes message from time to time, received a pic (because I sent it to her) of me at the gym, a muscle pose (I do those now...). Juliet said to me that I was so hot looking that she would 'totally jump me'.

Which genuinely made me blush.

Okay, so, I carried that energy in me for the rest of the day.

Cut to - 4pm, I'm in a rush to finish work and leave for the gym.
Cut to - 5:30 -5:45 pm, I'm in a rush to the gym to the gym class, I've finished the programme at the men's group and now I have tuesdays free. I spend it now doing body attack classes
Cut to - 6:35 - I fuck my knee up doing a tuck jump. Ah I feel so embarrassed now. My knee is fucked and I can't do gym tomorrow.

I've spent the rest of this evening sitting down, be it at my desk or on the sofa. I ordered some cod and onion rings to salve the pain. I discovered a new fish and chip shop that Uber Eats delivers to. Oh yeah, I do a lot of deliveroo and uber eats these days.

I kept talking about how to cope with life being faced paced a few years back.

My life is finally fast paced, I'm a permanent staffer at a news organisation and I'm organising the rotas for Christmas and dealing with some HR issues and internal politics.

In the midst of all my work I feel like I have a struggle inside: a struggle to find myself, some authentic sense of self that I feel like I used to have, or is diminishing. I guess that's a myth (implied: a falsehood), but myths do have power.

Tonight I'm watching a documentary series on 'The 2000s' (Jesus Christ - really?) and I am reading through some stack of newspaper.

In so doing, I am reflecting on the importance of writing on physical paper. Yes I'm on a blog here, but I feel I am rediscovering myself through writing on paper. There's something satisfying about burning through a ream of paper full of ideas, there's a pregnancy and immanence of ink on paper, that I just do not have via computer or phone. It also helps me think differently, which helps my life at large.

I am spending a lot of time working on developing myself. Perhaps that is my sole activity outside of my job.

Time to get back to the paper.

(my fucking knee god damn)

Sunday, October 21, 2018

So every month I leave a note to myself to write about 3 things i'm positive about and a list of things I'm hopeful about in the future:

Things I'm positive about:

  • I get free newspapers and magazines at work. 
  • By some bizarre turn of circumstances, I'm a cartoon editor and acting like a production manager at an international news organisation
  • I have my friends, my mum and dad and maybe I have my family.
Things I am positive about:

  • Sometimes I got up the bend if things are broken that I absolutely rely on: nothing is immediately broken at the moment
  • I am not experiencing too many rumination or flashback moments. Especially this time of the year which has been difficult in my past (September - December; September- March; basically 'the dark times')
  • Christmas is coming, which is nice
  • I'm respected at my work
  • I have a job
  • I have a growing amount of savings
  • I caught up on my sleep this weekend (I think)
  • I really enjoyed watching Netflix and there's some really strong TV on right now
Okay so that's done.

I'll take it off my list. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

So, I've recently made a list of music videos going from 2000 to present day. Which apparently define the decade.

I'm close to present day.

Back in 2000, I barely had pop music on my radar, I was too busy at school and later uni. It was peripherary. Then after uni it was even more peripherary but I did see the world, culture changing around me. Coming back to this list of music videos I feel like I can see the world that changed around me as I didn't pay attention to the pop.

Then it comes back to full circle. The current track, one by Sia, is always on in my gym classes. My les mills classes attended by mostly women, with tracks from 1-year passed it pop tunes. I'm starting to get the music that's on that list of music videos.

Combine that with: I work 2 days a week on a pop culture magazine and I sit with some really cool Journalists and music critics (tv critics too). It gives me a bit of an idea of pop music and what young people are into these days.

Full circle?

Well, pop's changed a fair bit. But that's okay. That's life.

Oh, and I am obviously past it.
Music I've been listening to lately:

  • Charli XCX + Troye Sivan 1999  (omg the nostalgia is dizzying)
  • Freedom Call: Warriors
  • Glenn Gould performs Bach Partita in C Minor (JS Obviously)
  • Rachmaninov's Variation 18 from variations on a theme of Paganini
  • M.I.A. Bad Girls --- omg I'm surprised at how much I like this track. (and M.I.A. is so hot) 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Dear Diary,

This week has been an hectic one. It is in many senses, a continuation of last week.

So, there were a couple of instances where I've had to get some freelancers in on very short notice. I manage a production rota now, by the way. It's not officially part of my job but...well...I do it and I'm needed.

I feel so essential in my role at work, I half suspect that they won't fire me when the run of cuts come...I hope.

So my work has been recognised lately and praised. I really like that. Also something of big commercial significance happened at work. That was notable, my boss was the lead on the launch of a new thing. Which is part of why I'm so bloody busy lately.

I've been so busy at work and I've had a personal issue as well. It's taken a lot out of me. Most of saturday and sunday I spent asleep, resting, relaxing, recovering etc.
I went to a concert this weekend. Not just any concert. I saw David Helfgott at the Cadogan Hall. I did the Adorno thing and read the scores as the performance went on. By the end of it, I had 60 pages of crap on my feet. David Helfgott is a beautiful and special soul. Were I not so busy, I would have been more excited.

On my 'on this days' of the week:

  • 2010: I received a formal job offer as an events assistant at Shambly arena, thus beginning my new life after university.
  • 2012: I had some drinks with the Events Assistants, after that I went to Kensington to a venue to see my mate's band. I think it was at that concert that my friend met the woman who became his wife. They have a kid who is now in Primary school. I'm no longer an events assistant, and my friend is radically different now
  • 2013: I broke my beloved Seiko Watch while going to work on the sport desk. 
  • 2016: My (now) sister in law was having a birthday party and I left to visit my friend J in hospital. My friend nearly died (technically he did die and came back) and he was airlifted back to the UK where he made an eventual recovery. That whole incident haunts me to this day.
  • 2017: Saw the sequel to Blade Runner - why did I put that down?? Seems insignificant!
I have a lot to be philosophical about. A lot has happened at work.

Has a lot happened in life? I'm not sure really.
My chest is really hurting a lot lately. I hope its not bad. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

In the early part of this decade, people started dying.

People die all the time, and if you know lots of people, lots of people die.

These things came as a surprise to me, a shock to me, things I had to grow up about and face in a mature way.

On a day this week, 7 years ago, my uncle died.

I'm reminded of that mainly by seeing an 'on this day' for 2011. Around 2011 my life was very different. I was sort of working, I was working in events as a casual. Remember Shambly arena? I technically haven't 'stopped' working there, but I've not done a shift in about 18 months or so.

Uncle S used to say things would eventually get better for me. It was odd that he said it not when I ever reported that things were going badly. Uncle S was the kind of person who had views that are a slight embarrassment by today's standards, but he was an older man and saw different things. Uncle S was the closest person to my grandparents, with him gone, I felt a few connections go. Connections to my grandparents, seeing my dad's world slightly get smaller, and my connection to the 'old country'.

This saturday, because my knee is fucked (I fucked my knee on thursday), I haven't been able to do too much physical stuff. I've sat the shit of my chair today. I've watched a whole lot of netflix and BBC Iplayer. I watched HIGNFY, Mock The Week and Jonathan Pie's libertarian spiel on the iplayer. There's something about this decade, especially the post 2016 stuff, where we are in a 'Roman' type era. An era of slow down, of decay, of the empire splitting into two. One side will be taken by barbarians, and the other becomes the Byzantines.

I spent a lot of time at my desk today. I worked on a big bunch of things. I also (without realising) bought a lot of stuff. I bought a hooded top for gym and casual. It's sleeveless and urban tactical (apparently). I also bought some Mahabis, they are posh middle class Guardian-reading slippers. It was odd that Jonathan Pie kept referring to Guardian readers. I've also been watching Press on Iplayer. One of the newspapers was definitely The Sentinel.

I also overate today. I have lost my appetite lately. I've been worrying about a number of things and well, that's taken my delight in food away.

I'm deciding to myself whether I should go to the gym tomorrow. My knee is less fucked than yesterday and may be less fucked still for Sunday. On the other hand, I'm not in my 20s anymore and I can't just dust shit off and carry on.

My life is definitely different. I'm budgeting stuff, I'm doing paper work. I sat down for a fair few hours just catching up on a stack of magazines. I need to make a plan for the next two weeks.

I've been toying with this idea, when I plan my week, I have busy and quiet days. I have been thinking of this like a Sonata in music. The Sonata has the fast movement, the slow movement and then the fast movement again. I was thinking about spacing out my days: the fast paced days versus the days when I can leave the office at 4pm and spend most of the day resting and recovering.

There was a week in July when I really really pushed myself, I did two separate VR booths and then a week after I did both zombie tactical and airsoft one after the other. It was a bit gruelling and not so fun for me. What I even decided to do was on the sunday, after airsoft I would actually go to the gym, do two hours and two classes.

There's something I've left unsaid, which I've perhaps deliberately ignored.

September, October, November...are my bad months.  Every year has been the same even before I started uni.

I've tried to believe since last year that I can fight it. I've been ignoring that recognition as I continue to think that I can fight it. But I know its there.

I know the memories are there.

I've started talking to mia lately. I think that's a distinct sign that things aren't so well.

But I'm holding a job down, and I'm in reasonable health for now.

I might try to sleep now. I'm weaning myself off talk radio. I keep listening to radio phone ins (an anxiety thing since July 2017). I might just play Frankie Boyle (a new ritual) until I can sleep.

Maybe if I get up early on sunday, I might even have a Mcdonald's breakfast. That's been a ritual I've enjoyed.

I just remembered - last saturday-sunday I had that fucked up insomnia.

I think I can probably buck that as a trend for tonight.

If I sleep now
Must stop typing.

I've missed writing

Good night

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tomorrow I have a 121 with the facilitator of the group. It will be our penultimate interaction. I wonder if I should be nice or rude to her. I don't know.
Dear Diary,

I work at a national newspaper which also publishes a few magazines. I work at a place where my line manager has appeared as a character in a film and may be in the annals of history for having a very antagonistic relationship with very powerful governments.

But, I'm jealous as fuck. I'm jealous as fuck about a couple of people from grad school. One of them is working on the interface between social science and scientific methodology. The other is working on the interface between logical approaches to rationality and its cashing out in scientific research: simulations, automated research etc. It is some really abstract stuff and yet has real application to the real world.

I'm so fucking jealous of them because ...I wanted to have their life. I also so desperately wished...for a different life.

I miss those days. A couple of people from those days got married, they live in the yorkshire dales in beautiful nowhere and have a progeny together.

What do I do. Work at a national paper in a real struggle to work financially (the paper, not me). I'm so balls deep in it I can smell the pubes. I am not using my 'higher brain', but I do use a lot of instincts, quick thinking and I have this sense of knowing the higher world that a bunch of Q4 analyses or projections don't scare me.

Maybe this is the kind of 'grass is greener' situation. I know of a couple of PhD friends who are less successful than I am in life, and less influential. It's all relative I guess. I loved that university was full of those really influential people. I miss being there. But...that's not to say anything of the influential people I'm around now. I guess journalists don't really make me star struck. Not in the way that someone who did a thesis on formal theories of truth, or evolution and homo economicus might.

Maybe I should stop being miserable. Life's alright. I'm due for a pay rise soon and given the work I've done, I am really respected by people who are really heroes in the political war going on right now.

I'm up at 3am. Is this insomnia? Or is this the only time in which I feel most myself.

I've got a hectic couple of days tomorrow. I'm also re-thinking how I dress for work. I'm thinking about if its suitable to wear a suit everyday, or just one the days where I'm not going to the gym. I'm also thinking about how suitable it is to go to the gym during lunchtimes at work. I think that Monday is a definite Gym day, Tuesday (tbc), wednesday depends, thursday I have an evening class and Friday depends. Other parametrics related to me going to the gym are whether I intend to leave early and how much procrastination time I have at work.

Basically if I want to do more gym, I have less time for procrastination. I need to be exceptionally deliberate with my time. Every thought and breath counts.

I should try to go to sleep. Maybe I'll relax by listening to some music. I want to do so sitting up though. Not in bed.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Dear Diary,

Have I done enought today?

My midnight of today began with me working (continuing from saturday) through the night up to 7am, where I ended the day/morning by going to Mcdonalds and eating a nice breakfast.

I did lots of fucking work between 1-6am. I won't go into that as I blogged a bit in between doing all the stuff.

After I got home from mcdonalds, I went to bed not long after. I spent a few hours in bed. I woke up about 1230. It took a while for me to get back in the swing, but not the longest amount of time. I wrote up my workout plan, but then realised I'm running a bit slow. I accepted that. With slowness, I eventually ended up at the gym. I did a gym class for an hour. I met my walking target and then I had some snacks. I was talking to my buddy who was at the gym class on the way home.

I had a nice lamb dinner tonight. I read all of the weekend papers while watching a bit of TV. I very hurredly set a plan for the week.

Have I done enough today? I feel I should do more but my brain is porridge right now.

I also looked at that 230k flat. It's a fixer upper. It's also a 12th floor former council estate. The 24 hour period that counts as sunday was really 0.6 of my waking period of what was saturday. I had a semblance of a sunday after midday. I guess I did a fair bit

I need to sleep properly. I think I'm afraid to go to bed. I think I'm afraid of being in my own voice.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

This week in past years


My Brother('s band) released a single.

(2018: My brother is married, the bassist has a kid and works as a producer at a sports channel, one of them works for an aerospace something or other, and the singer is still working as a professional musician)


I retired my 'listening log' which I had operated since 2006 or 2007. It is part of a story of how my current records-keeping system continually evolved


My 'last' day on the casual contract. I thought I'd never work there again
(2018: reader: I'm a staffer now)

2015: My mate performed macbeth in a pub. Also seems like my mate Phi has been in a relationship for 3 years now ...she never speaks and is not interesting. Also that mate who performed Macbeth - still a shit actor.

I had a probation meeting (HR requirement) for my current job role (when it was FTC). I passed!

Political cartoonist sends me a book, I do some PR for her because I believe in her. a
On saturday I did some shopping - stuff from boots and also a fuckload of groceries. I decided it was a better idea to get the bus home as it was a heavy bag I was carrying. I hope it was worth that £2.30. Fuck, I'm a curmudgeony old man thinking about saving money. I've become my dad.

On saturday I went to boots. I've been putting it off for a while. I need to get more Corsodyl toothpaste. It went empty really quickly. I also need to get interdental brushes. The Dental Hygenist man said I need to do a daily regimen of interdental brushing to prevent further teeth shittiness.

I just cannot sleep right now.

Between 2-3am, I got some books from the shed and put them in the box room. Mum asked me to do that. I also put some books in a pile for disposal. I simultaneously cleared some of the shed AND did what mum asked. I bet she's still going to complain. If she does, I'll tell her how so many of my theology books are eviscent of my interest in the Catholic faith. She thinks I'm not religious. I know more about the thing she thinks she believes in than she thinks she does.

So right now I'm doing some decision making. I've decided to earmark an £8000 savings plan. It's nominally for a PIano, but I think it will actually go towards my Mortgage fund. Making these calculations, I realise that the kind of life I aspire to and want actually demands an amount of money. I may not have that amount of money right now. Maybe I never will. All the same. I think it's a positive thing. I really need like a 20-30k pot for a proper deposit. I saw a 2 bedroom flat a mile away for £230k. I saw another nice studio for £270. I *Might* be able to afford it. I can't wait for inheriting that house across the street (long story and its pretty tragic too).

Dear Diary,

I'm up at 1-something AM.

This morning I got up about 10 or so. I did some proper errands between 1-5pm. I got tired and fell asleep maybe between 6:30-9:30pm.

I pondered whether to get a deliveroo of dessert food today from the local dessert specialist restaurant. I decided against it.

I've been having some thoughts just now. Upstairs there's a skylight and I was right in front of the moon. It was beautiful and helped me think.

I thought to myself: what went wrong in 2007-2008? What went wrong in 2009? What went wrong in 2009 was a consequence of 2007-2008; what went wrong in 2007-2008 was a consequence of the uni years. What went wrong in that freshers week in 2004?

Can I really pin it to that? no, not all, I made other decisions since then, but it's all part of a garden. The garden has weeds and while there are some clearings, other perennials are deeper set. /analogy

Perhaps I need to focus my thoughts on certain things. Like a self-therapeutic process. I also need time to walk. Nietzsche's old dictum: some of my best thoughts are from walking. I need to walk, I need time where I'm doing something menial where my thoughts come, original thoughts, ideas, aspirations, boredom. The most interesting and creative things to come from such boredom.

I also need to make more efficient use of my time.

The preworkout is affecting my mind. I can tell when the preworkout is in my mind. I think differently. I think with lucidity. But with lucidity comes the fog. Sometimes I'm foggy. But....I feel like part of that depressive me was about those foggy moments. I felt like I was supposed to not be foggy and I couldn't shake it. I need moments of lucidity. This preworkout is a drug. Beta-alanine, creatine, caffiene, the combination of whatever it is is doing magic on my mind, but it is lighting out of a bottle. I can only harness it periodically.

So it seems my mind is shut on right now. I should make the most of it.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Dear Diary,

All the notable things I've experienced today I've written on a to do list on Google Keep. I've written so much down that I usually have the weekend to process it. Both emotionally and in an administrative sense.

The really big thing that happened to me today was that I had an impromptu meeting with my boss, who showed me the 'big thing' he's working on.

So, The Sentinel is [redacted]. It's so amazing because I grew up [redacted] and my dad is the kind of person who would really like something like that.

I'm working on [redacted]. It's a really strange thing to work on such an organisation which is setting its sights on [redacted]. I really love the New Yorker and it almost feels like this might be what it is to work for a stylish forward thinking but traditional medium.

But you know what, that didn't really feel like a big part of my day. On Wednesday afternoon, I made a thing that I called the 'shopping list'. The shopping list is a euphemism for when I have a fuckload of work. What I do is, I write a big fuckoff list of things, all to fit on a one-pager (another made up phrase I've made). I write the tasks down which range from gobbit jobs (a term I learned from a theologian at Uni) to more extensive tasks broken down.

Basically, I'm almost close to being a proper grown up. I've finally made it.

This job is so great. I do sort of wish I had a better job title that reflected the work that I did. I could say I'm an executive assistant (I earn more than them), maybe a PA? (I earn more than most PAs but not more than city PAs). I'd like 'production manager', business analyst, oh fuck it, why not call me 'editorial manager' with an aspiration to be managing editor. Okay now with those last few I'm pushing it. Production manager is sort of what I'm actually doing. I'm running a production schedule for many sections of a 6 day weekly newspaper.

Can you believe we've gone to this point in life?

Well, I've got things I want to do. I've become Ed Norton off from the film Fight Club, and like Ed Norton, I have become an insuffrable asshole lately. The PTSD night terrors are not so good. Sudden loud noises, things like cyclists who don't stop at a red light or sirens (sirens really hit me bad) change my thinking. My thinking isn't...healthy.

I haven't spent much time at the computer lately. I need to update a shitload of spreadsheets, do some financial planning and plan for a social life. I've not done any of those things lately. I really would love to take some time off, but I've got some pressing deadlines at work which prevent me from taking time off.

I want to talk about group a bit more. I'm going to miss it. I'm going to miss the guys in the group. They were all in different circumstances to me. We all had to end the group and we are all doing it to move on with a semblance of life. They felt a sense of hope and positivity after finishing. One guy decided he wants to do more for his family and spend more time with his wife. Another guy has made a choice that means he has more family time. One guy is really close to getting into work (he's young). A guy older than me has a certain kind of routine in his life, thinking about his income and...well I'm not really sure if he has definite answers. Another guy has shown an increased sense of self assurance, even standing up to some of his friends when he didn't before - nigga grew a spine. Then there's the guy who I felt I related to the most, he had a lot of problems and demons. He's going to reach out to his stepdad and has career aspirations. The guy changed career (not by choice) and is making a new way in his life. I think we all are.

Am I?

I guess I aspired. This life isn't the one I wanted. But it is the life I have, and it's comfy. My knees aren't too fucked yet. I've begun to feel some arthritic tendencies in my hands lately.

I need more time to process things. I think my way of doing that is by writing lists, doing spreadsheets and then the emotions come out. I've already set up an inventory to schematise aspects of my life and problem solving.

I should also say - I'm adjusting my dosing for Creatine lately. It helps to lower the dose. I don't get that whole weirdness where I go all 'Eddie Morra' from that Limitless film but also with the really bad consequences.

That film really hit me, limitless. I probably saw it around 2011 or 2012? It made me feel that film was a defining moment of the decade (for me anyway) as the tone shifted so much from the 2000s. The transition from the 2000s to the 2010s was marked by a god awful new years eve party. One of the girlfriends from that party is now a talking head on various news outlets and she's a PR goddess. My mate really crapped out by not holding that relationship.

It seems that the 2010s are to close. You know. I'd really like to have a new years celebration. One with the boys. Maybe like, book a cottage somewhere and fuck around.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

My week has been so full on. I haven't really processed the last few days, because i'm still processing the days before then!

So here's me processing the past few days:

  • Monday: so busy at work - couldn't do gym
  • Tuesday: Penultimate day of group, felt really angry at facilitator (she knows why). Trying to just complete it without any problem//also had big meeting with The Boss (one of them) about some issues
  • Wednesday:
  • Thursday: So busy I skipped body attack. I left work early in fairness, but I fell asleep as soon as I got home. I woke up to eat and shower and plug in my earbuds (so they have charge for friday) but I slept again. Really tired!
  • Friday: Meeting with the line manager - turns out some shit's going down in management level. Anyway I was asked to prepare a dossier  - I ended up working until 7:15pm. I wanted to go to a concert but I think it was cutting it close to get to Cadogan hall. It was too early to get to the other venue for a jazz gig. I want to balance it out and not be home too late. Too tired for late night gym
  • Saturday; gym, fell asleep, had a date. Pretty good. Except for doing those things I was in bed exhausted for the rest of the time. So much so that when I got back from the butchers I fell asleep and left the steak in the bag. It ended up being 'room temperature', which was nice.  

Let's call that an executive summary of the week. I'm now working towards sitting at my desk. I wonder if I should stay at my desk until about 2:30 or 3 and then go to the gym, or really push things at fast pace right now and prep to leave for 1345. I Think the latter is too ambitious and too draining.

I've done enough sprinting this week. Sunday isn't my rest day anymore --- but, maybe I just will run rather than sprint.

My chest has been hurting a bit lately. And I'm really thinking about a blogger called Peeweetoms right now -- he's a famous guy on social media and not very well with the cancer right now... He's 32 (my age) and that's weighing heavily on me.

It's been drastically cooler lately (note to self: update spreadsheet). and I've been thinking about how it being darker affects my mood.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

On this day (yet again)

2014 -- me and the boys got together to watch the film Blacula. That was funny as shit.

19th september 2017

My records tell me I took lunch off to go to the British Museum to see [the ex] at a British Museum exhibit on the Scythians.

My God - has it been a year already?

The time goes by too fast. I work and work and work like a fucking dog, and suddenly a year has gone by.

I really need to take some time out. Fuck I sound like a broken record. The days off help me feel a sense of distance and time goes by less quickly.

(also really loved that exhibition)
Dear Diary,

I should stop trying to overexplain things sometimes.

I am heavily reliant on google keep these days (google calendar -- obviously, but I can't do micro detail on it).

One task I have apparently set monthly is to write 3 things I'm positive about in a day, and write a list of things I'm positive about in the future.

Things I am positive about

  • My work at The Sentinel really has an impact on the business, so much so that it's draining myself -- (no, no, positives).
  • I spent this evening mostly sitting up instead of laying down. I usually am laying in bed and that leads to inaction and then feeling miserable for inaction. Despite being tired from a long day, I have been upright and not prone
  • I'm glad that I went to the dentist last week. I'm really working on myself lately. That consists of working on my mental health and physical health. I'd really like a day off to take a breather and do some planning
Things I'm positive about in the future

  • Payslip's coming up
  • Next month I might get a pay rise (subject to union decision)
  • Today I went to a debate without speaking - being passive is not my strong suit
  • I've got a ticket to see David Helfgott in a few weeks
  • I have my health
  • I have access to clean water and shelter
  • I value my family - I can work on showing more gratitude
  • I have a support network, despite group ending soon.
  • I have a routine
  • I have a full belly - a bit too full but it isn't life threatening. 

When I wrote on this blog at the beginning it was always negative. And sometimes I'd be so negative that I didn't know how to not be negative, I'd not know how to be positive and the absence of negativity felt uncomfortable as I was so familiar with things being shit. 

The other thing is: being a depressive and then coming out of lost an identity. As fucked up as that is, its uncomfortable to lose an identity, its a fear of losing an identifier of youself that you are uncertain of what to hold on to. I'm looking at my desk right now. Big stack of papers to the left. Big stack of books to the right. I've got no shortage of things to do. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Dear Diary,

The past couple of days at work have taken a toll on me. I'm not so hot on it.

Yesterday I had group. It was the penultimate session. We are to finish the group and never meet any of the men in there ever again (a key condition of group). It was interesting to see their journeys. One guy is a young guy and he wants to get into work; another guy is getting into a new family routine; another guy feels more confidence.

There's a guy in the group, I really get what he's feeling just from the tone of his voice less of what he's saying. A guy in the group who is really open. If I were more open or if I were younger, he would have been someone I would be mates with I'd think.

Anyway, I just want to finish the group. I don't think it helped but it's an NHS pathway to more help. The IAPTs people emailed me recently to say that I need more intensive help.

Today I varied my routine by going to a pub and observing a pub debate organised by a local community group which I used to be associated with. I met a woman there, lets call her '42 but was 35 and hot when I first met her'. 42 is going away to latin america. 42 told me that she spent a year volunteering and is going back for a year away to work on some environmental and infrastructure projects in the central america.

After the debate (which I left early), I went to a takeaway and then got home. In my head I am thinking it's a Thursday, but it is in fact a wednesday (for the next few mins).

You know, I really really want to take some time off. I really, really need to be away from work for a while and spend more time doing what I'm doing right now, reflecting on myself, observing my feelings and healing myself. There are times where I really want to write and reflect and take stock of things going on in my life, but I'm too bloody tired or too much going on.

It's a good thing to be busy. I think the alternative is worse. However, I am beginning to think now that I want to pace things. Some days I want to put everything in fifth gear and get all the thins done and be wonderfully efficient. Other times I wish to sit on a bench and listen to the birds sing while watching a vast open space of a green park or a field or some sight in nature.

I've been using a lot of pen and paper lately. I'm burning through a fair bit of paper and a n amount of notepads fairly well. I could do better .

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dear Diary,

There are some feelings. The deepest inclinations and emotions, things linked to powerful mTories and experiences, which I really wonder ever go away.

One of them for me is: abandonment, a lack of trust; that want to trust someone and then feeling let down. What happens then is anger, righteous anger (or so it feels) and then once the fire of that righteous anger burns others, a sense of emptiness of pushing others away.

Lately I talk about plays, play as in, a sequence of actions (i.e. power play). Where I work there are so many plays, so many mind games. It is perhaps the case that I perpetuate most of them.

My anger has a play, but I do it in such an instinctual way it is a weakness. I react in the identical instinctual way repeatedly. Perhaps so much that if someone were smart enough they could take advantage.

I feel like another play takes place, the play of pushing those away when I have a miniscule cause for doubt or mistrust or betrayal.

It feels fun to get involved in all the play bullshit, it also feels like running a script that was already written.

The bold thing to do would be to challenge that play, challenge that instinctual response. I would then be in a new and unfamiliar situ. Now wouldn't that be something.

There's a familiarity to anger and mistrust. There's an uncertainty to being open to trust.

There were people who wanted to help me. I'm not sure if there are still people who want to help me.

The feeling in me is the fear of being misunderstood, someone imposing their narrative or bias and not getting the picture that is correct. And my script is to control the narrative.

A guy in group once said that such behaviour is a sign of insecurity within myself. I think he's right.

I'm soon to finish my group. I think I've been avoiding the prospect of facing what happens next. I think I have been avoiding it because I'm not ready to be on my own. I'm not ready to be without the support.

As I conclude this diary entry. I should say that a visage of Mia has entered.

She and I are going to talk.

Just talk.

(no purging, I promise)

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dear Diary,

I spent friday to see the GF.

Yes, I do have a GF.

I don't really want to say too much about her. It's my blog, not our blog.

I had a lot of time to think in the coach today. I think I mentioned that. I mentioned once to a friend that these days I don't have much time to be bored. Boredom is a luxury.

That same friend is about to begin a job with a £60 salary. Nice work if you can get it, as Ira Gershwin says. That friend has had health issues for the past couple of years and so it is great news that he's getting well again. I caught him on the way to a squash game not long ago.

I feel like sometimes I'm multiple people. There's the version of me when I'm super productive, and there's when I am not super productive.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Dear Diary,

Today is a saturday, I had a really long sleep last night and into the late morning. But I won't beat myself up about that. I was so tired yesterday and it seemed that the activity had an impact on me.

I spontaneously decided to take Friday off and went out for a bit. I went shopping with the girl and we just hanged out for a bit. I don't really do that so often so it was nice. In addition I sat on the bus in total for about 4-5 hours. I had a lot of thinking to do. I only had 100mb free data so after rinsing it on spotify, I ended up having a think for a bit.

So today: I had a mess on my desk just now. I put the mess of the desk on to my bed, and I stacked it in some kind of order. I'm really tired today and i was thinking about how much I value just having a day where I don't have to do things. On sunday, for example, I have a routine around now of having to prep for gym. Through the weekdays I have work. On saturday I have the nonsilent wind through my window carrying the distant sounds of a busy city.

My life is different now. Different compared to when? Different compared to when I started this blog and what I might now call the 'limbo years'. The limbo years themselves divide into phases: no work, work: part time: work; semi-full time; work, full time before contract...

I have a lot to do. A lot I need to do, a lot I want to do and just overall a lot to do.

Saturday is the day when I filter all of that out. I keep thinking to myself how much I want a stimulant. Not so much a self soothing (junk food etc), but something to boost my mind. I really am hooked on the pre workout lately (and pepsi max),

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dear Diary,

I'm posting from work. I don't think I've ever done that.

I just wanted to communicate something. I've got a load of tasks set for myself lately. One of which is to re-do my CV.

I haven't even started on it, but I have set up a document to add things to.

Turns out that I haven't set up a CV since 2012? or at least that's what my records say.

If I think of the things I've done from 2012 to now -- it's a difference between about 5k a year to 30+k a year (hopefully up by 1-2 k by October...TBC).

But ...on reflection the difference in my life is between a 5k and a 30k life - and on reflection, that makes me happy. Not happy like 'happy ever after' happy, but 'I have no regrets' happy. It's an 'I'm proud of where I am' kind of thing.

Anyway. Back to work.

Just wanted to show some self praise.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

getting help. not easy

Dear Diary,

Ever since I started on staff contract last year (it's my anniversary). I have thought to myself that My Life (tm) has suddenly upped into a faster pace.

I sort of believe that to this day. I've been really active this week. I still feel like I've not been active enough. Perhaps I've gotten into a rhythm of things a bit more.

Monday, September 3, 2018

The Dental Hygenist

Dear Diary,

I almost seem to be addicted to Creatine. I am hooked on the lucidity that it gives my mind. I feel so very much alive taking it.

I've also been taking a lot of other supplements and I am eating a lot of protein flapjacks and fancy Gels. I need to try and eat real food as well.

On sunday, I had a plan to go to the Dentist. I haven't been in a few years and unfortunately a large plaque buildup necessitates 2.5 hours with a dental hygenist, I'm about 1.5 hours through. After the dental hygenist does their awful painful work, I'm due to have a few tooth caps, or fillings or whatever they are called.

The dental hygenist injected some really thick needles into my gums. I did cry a little bit. The last two needles I barely felt. I must admit that the hygenist was exceptionally professional. After the session, I was in south London's wilderness and never have been outside so early on a sunday. Against the advice of the dental hygenist (are they doctors?), I went to mcdonalds and had a breakfast wrap with two hash browns. I could barely taste it unfortunately and I also ended up inadvertently chewing on my cheek for some of it. Now I realise why it was ill advised to eat.

When I got home (after playing Pokemons), I fell asleep. I had only slept about 2 hours before going to the dentist. I spent much of last night...actually I don't even know what I was doing. I think I was downloading on the the BBC proms, or clearing up some google keep items?

At the moment I am planning the next week. I have been working on creating procedures for facing the day. Specifically a 'wake up' and 'warm down/evening' procedure. I have copy/pasted them into my gcal agendas for the next few days.

On days like these, when I feel particularly pensive, I look at my 'on this day' for previous years. I thought I'd share a couple of them:

  • 2007 - started purging. Yeah. Not great. Also poignant considering that I'm now getting extensive dental work as a result of that decision. So...yeah.
  • 2017 - The Thing. Yeah. Also...not..great.
  • 2016 - so apparently I've been wearing Kinisio tape as I really fucked my knee badly. I bought a 'wine' coloured pair of chinos (which I no longer wear) and spent £300 at Uniqlo. Another day in that week of 2016, was my last day as a casual before I started my fixed term contract. 5 years of working in the same place, about 3 of them as a casual, 1 as an FTC and 1 as a staffer. I also went to a BBC Prom
When I get back to work tomorrow, it will be close to my 1 year anniversary of being on staff. 

How do I feel about that? 

Good, I guess. But bittersweet. It took a long time to get there. But I did. I'm now in the middle of my friendship group in terms of success and income. Some friends are massively wealthy, others are not, I earn 'normal' money but probably more than my friend who is executive level in the Civil Service. 

Let's think about 2018 as an 'on this day/week', if I did, I'd write the following: 

  • 2018: I went to a BBC Prom: Andras Schiff. This week I also participated in a union wage claim, the proposal by the group was to wager for a pay rise of 5.5% 

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Dear Diary,

I have mentioned that I have been taking creatine to varying degrees since July 2018. I am beginning to think (or this is my perception anyway) that it has had an increasing effect on my mind and mental functioning. Specifically, I have very low and lull periods, but the active periods are very very active.

I am led to think that this is some kind of nootropic effect.  It's nearly 5am. I've had no regard for the time. I've spent the past few hours working on a plan for the next 2 weeks. I have some events coming up and I've decided to set a plan which has varying degrees (2) of detail to it. I've also set up some templates for ritualistic behaviours that will help me not need to think about what they are exactly, as I will be working on them in a more formalised way. Those rituals are: gettting up (morning) and warming down (night time).

I work and work and work and work with this creatine in my brain, until the brain fog comes back, until I become normal again.

That wasn't really what I wanted to write about.

Let's start over

Dear Diary,

It's nearly 5am, and I'm wrapping up to go to bed.

I'm going through my 'on this day' notifications for this week (week 34), and there are events of interesting resonances.

Last year (2017) I wrote to myself that it was on a day this week that I was offered the contract for the permanent staff position. I took it. There was a salary rise, I was very happy about it. The person who was involved with my contract was someone who once sent me what I assume is an automated email telling me that my (casual) contract was due to end as a mandatory condition of working casual shifts. I find it interesting that as I get older, I see the same people professionally and personally, but occupying different roles. I too occupy a different space compared to 5 years ago or even 1 year ago. Perhaps even compared to 3 months ago I'm doing much more hands on stuff at work.

The HR person, (lets call her Alva), first informed me about my casual contract ending. Then it came to me being inducted as a full time permanent staffer.

Other notable anniversaries of this week:

  • 2016: One of my friends has a barbeque at his new recently bought flat. He's now a home owner, one of our other friends in the party acts like a dick .. we begin to notice his alcohol problems and it divides the group 
  • 2009: I move out of the flat and get back home. The mess of what was the immediate aftermath of my masters, and the decisions i made through eating disorder-me are now settling in, I'm not working to move forward not backward.
  • 2010: I saw the expendables movie. On that night, a friend of ours was flirting with a girl. They had a one night stand. They have been married for a year now (2018). Such a beautiful happenstance. Sylvester Stallone really does bring people together
  • 2014: On my anniversaries, I write that I was paid 'over £1000' for work during a whole month. It has been ages since I've worked enough to bank £1k at that point. I immediately put in £330 to pay off an overdraft. 
So much resonance with so many of these events. I'm so happy for my friend who got married; so happy for my friend who bought the flat and so happy that I'm earning more now; that I'm a staffer at The Sentinel and the darkness and poison of what happened during grad school is...not behind me, but...I'm working on it. I'm making a new me.