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.