Tag Archives: Career

A different take on the same old problem

28 Sep

sex_and_the_city_007

Sometimes I feel so lonely I could die.

I’ve had a run of weekends recently when none of my friends were about. This is perhaps the fourth weekend in a row that I’ve spent swimming, going to yoga, and watching TV. This weekend I decided to start watching ‘Sex and the City’ from the beginning. There is no better therapy. So much of it rings so true. And it makes me feel OK to admit certain things to myself. Like the loneliness. The fear of dying alone. The resentment of smug couples and yummy mummies.

It hit me somewhere between Season 1 and Season 2 that – although I want to meet someone – what I’m really missing right now is, well, more friends. I don’t want to paint myself as a total loser. I do have friends. But a combination of factors means most of them don’t live in London. Or, don’t live in London anymore. Work is super sociable. During the week I’m surrounded by colleagues who I genuinely consider to be friends. But the weekends. Ugh. There’s nobody, unless I jump on a train to Scotland (which I’ve been doing more and more of this past year).

So maybe what I want isn’t necessarily a boyfriend.

I watch ‘Sex and the City’ and I’m so envious of that group of women with each other to turn to. That’s another thing – most of my friends in London are men. They’re fun. They’re great company. But it’s not the same as having a group of girlfriends.

So what do I do?

There’s no way I’m ever moving back to Scotland. But maybe I need to hit “Restart” on my social life.

I have tried this past year. I started yoga to try and meet new people. I didn’t meet anyone, but I discovered I love yoga. Maybe language classes would be more sociable? So I started Italian, but three classes in I couldn’t keep up with the homework and had to forget it.

If only there was a Tinder for making new friends. I have no idea how at the age of 32, settled with a flat and a career and ready-made life I go about creating a new social circle. Any ideas?

Because more and more I’m feeling like I need to prioritise. And as much as I want someone to go through life with, and marriage, and kids, and happily ever after, I also want someone to call after I’ve been on dates, and talk to before them, and visit Topshop with, and bitch about work over coffee, and eat pizza and watch DVDs.

I actually have a date this afternoon. I almost forgot.

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Here we go again

19 Aug

I’ve been up since 5am on account of a very, very important prospective client coming in. The very, very important prospective client left at noon, and I’ve been running around the office since trying to sort things out and catch up on everything I haven’t been doing while I was preparing for the very, very important prospective client. 

Now, it’s nearly 5.30pm, and how I wish I was heading home to eat fish fingers and watch Real Housewives. 

But I have a date tonight. And it’s too late to cancel. 

C (we will call him “C”) lives in South London (boo). Works in tech for a bank (hmm). And has quite good chat. 

This is our first date. We met on the eHarmony. 

He has booked a table for sushi at 8.30. 8.30. So late for me on a school night. What am I supposed to do until 8.30?

He has booked it at a place in Covent Garden. Hmm. Never had a date anywhere near Covent Garden that went well. Tourists, anyone?

Oh well, here goes nothing. 

Be right back

16 Jul

I haven’t been posting this week because this week has been like this:

Work.

Work.

Work.

Argue with people at work.

Work.

Work.

Migraine.

Work.

Migraine’s still there.

Work.

Migraine ain’t giving up.

Work.

I would like to extend a big “Thank you” to the person who has been sending me lovely text messages to keep me sane while I cry into my coffee (well, I’ve had to switch to green tea now on account of all the migraining).

Normal service will resume shortly here on the pizza of doom.

Green tea is not that nice. Just saying.

Yesterday was plain awful

10 Jul

Funny crazy looking cat picture

Yesterday was stupid.

I woke up at 4.30am, and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I went for a run just after 5. I had to be in work shortly after that, but stopped to treat myself to a fruit cup and coffee from Pret.

Uh. Oh. This was where I should just have turned around and gone back to bed. The fruit was dried out and sour. The coffee had milk in it. I don’t do milk. I don’t like it. It’s makes me gag. And, on more than one occasion, vomit. What a way to ruin a coffee – and my Wednesday.

Then work began. And did not stop. It went on, and on, and on. Until around 6.30pm when I was thinking I could get ready to pack up and go home, but answered a call from the New York office. One of my team hadn’t sent their work on. The buck stops with me. And when I couldn’t get through to him on the phone, or find the files on the server, I had to redo the work.

(I should also mention that by this point in the day I had consumed at least 7,000 calories. I do not think this would have happened had I enjoyed my fruit cup that morning.)

I left work, and it was raining. I decided I needed to walk a lot to try and calm myself and get some exercise, so walked up to Islington to go to Waitrose and buy some pumpkin ravioli. At the back of my head, I kept thinking I would not have time to digest said ravioli before bed, but I wanted it so much.

Cue a mini meltdown in Waitrose when every single person on the tills decided to just stop and chat to their customers for a good ten minutes rather than actually serve anyone else. Cue customers behind me hassling me to hassle the checkout staff. It was all very stressful.

And then there were no buses.

I got in the door to my flat, anxious to get this pumpkin ravioli cooking ASAP. And the phone rang. It was my Dad.

“Dad, I literally just got in the door.”

By this point it is past 9pm.

And he talks, and talks, and talks. Mainly about the weather.

I got kind of snippy. Then made my ravioli, ate it in a rush, and then called him back to apologise for being a grump, at which point my Mum wanted to talk.

I stuffed myself with more chocolate.

DID I MENTION HOW HORMONAL I AM RIGHT NOW?

And went to bed.

It was a stupid day.

But what I really wanted to tell you all is that I did not cry. I got angry with a few people, but I did not end up locked in a cubicle at work trying to calm down. And I didn’t wish that I was coming home to someone to tell about my day and cuddle and love.

I was, in fact, 100% delighted when I put down the phone to my parents, turned on the TV, and had a good hour to myself before falling asleep.

This, my friends, is progress.

Who are we all, anyway?

5 Jul

Alaska, two gray wolves at the forests edge.

Yesterday was our company conference.

This means that my day started super early at a hotel in central London, making small talk and eating stupidly small croissants. We then had a whole day of “exploratory” exercises that were meant to help us decipher who we are as individuals, and as a business. The day was run by an external company. I (and most other people) took an instant dislike to the man running it. Ugh. He made my skin crawl. He was a fat man on a massive ego trip, and also a man incapable of referencing any success story (business or otherwise) that featured a woman. He also misquoted Steve Jobs. Repeatedly.

It has to be said – the feedback from most people was that the highlight of the day was a five-minute presentation I gave in the afternoon which compared our important marketing work to the work of Dr Cristina Yang in Grey’s Anatomy, and then went on to assign “animal spirits” that illustrate our company culture. In case you’re wondering, we are penguins, wolves and cats.

I’m just showing off, but the point is, the rest of the day felt simulated, manipulated and very, very inauthentic.

What was authentic, was sitting in a pub sixteen hours later, drinking wine and talking about life and love and – essentially – who we are with two of my colleagues. One, a man, married, in his early 50s, once divorced already. The other a girl, around my age, very recently married. And then me. Single as a hungry mole.

We were discussing our own love lives. I was telling them more about the pizza of doom. The guy was discussing his first marriage. The girl was talking about how different she and her husband are, and how that helps them to fit. It was deep, dude. And we were all agreeing that life and love take all kinds of different shapes, but none is less relevant than the rest. Nobody is less important because of their circumstances. What is important is that you’re happy.

In the past few weeks, I feel happy again. My heart feels glad. I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in my posts. I’ve certainly noticed a change in my ability to keep mascara on my face.

Now, this brings me back to the wolf animal spirit. You might be wondering what that was all about. Perhaps it sounds ferocious or brave. But, no, the wolves are a symbol of support. We have a fiercely supportive culture in my company. Just like a pack of wolves, in which everyone has a role. In a pack of wolves, there are hunters, protectors, there are even wolves who play the clown to keep everyone’s spirits up. They all do their thing well, and I’ll bet that their wolfy self-esteem is all hooked up in that. They don’t need to aspire to be anyone else because the other wolves value them for being exactly who they are. And that’s got to feel good. Everyone wants to be loved for being themselves, right?

Likewise, in my company we all have our own roles to play. Our niches. Whether we’re creative, or best at strategy, or building client relationships, or project management, we find what we’re good at and we do that. To the very best of our abilities.

Which is kind of how it is in life, right? Clearly, I have missed the boat on being one of those girls with the perfect love story. But that doesn’t mean I’m not perfect (imperfections and all) just the way I am.

Relationship reset

2 Jul

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Oh. Wow. I’m tired.

We’re launching a new website at work tomorrow. I haven’t stopped in days. And when we get to this stage and stakeholders get involved for sign off, every meeting means unpicking work already done. Going back. Rewriting. Redesigning. Recoding.

It’s frustrating because you invest hours and even days in work that goes nowhere. But for all the reworking, you do end up with a better product.

Sound familiar?

Excuse the stretched out metaphor, but it’s easy to feel like you’ve wasted time and energy, love and hope on relationships that don’t work out. You think you’ve met “the one”, everything is great, and then – boom – you’re back to the start. Picking up the pieces. Trying to date again. Building new connections. That’s really tough. And quite the head f***.

I know since the pizza of doom I’ve felt like I wasted a huge life investment.

But if I can keep the faith that this website is going to be worth the insane amounts of effort, I can keep the faith that my life will be worth all the relationship resets.

And I’ve never been afraid of a little hard work.

What we can learn from flowers

1 Jul

photo

It has been rainy here in London.

And I’ve been working my paws off on several big projects.

Yesterday I planned to get out of work on time and go to yoga. Then I was going to make a delicious dinner. And watch Catfish.

In reality this is how things played out: I got stuck in a (very boring) meeting until 7.30pm. I left work while it was raining cats and dogs and what definitely felt like elephants. When I got home there was no food in the fridge. I fell asleep trying to watch Catfish.

But, on the way home I did stop to buy myself flowers. Beautiful pink gerberas to be precise. There’s a photo above. Just look at the gorgeous little poppets.

Today, I think work was even more stressful than yesterday. I got home exhausted (having missed yoga again) and saw my flowers on the windowsill which cheered me up immensely. And then I noticed that while I was at work and the sun had been shining in on them, each flower had turned to face the direction of the light.

Let this be a lesson to us all, my lovely blogger buddies.

Even on rainy days, turn towards the sunshine.