Goodbye 2015, It’s Been… Intense and Immense

I actually don’t know how to begin this post. Do I reflect on the year and end with the news I am DYING to tell you, or do I make the big announcement first….

Of course I’m going to make the big announcement first!

I’M ENGAGED!!!!

Can you even believe it?? I still can’t!

It was on Christmas Day. We got up, opened presents and then he gave me another present. It looked nothing like a ring box when wrapped up so I didn’t assume anything. Each layer had a love heart saying ‘I love you’, ‘Kiss Me’ and ‘Hold Me’ and I was told I had to follow the instructions. I finally got down to the box where it said ‘Be Mine’ and as I chomped on the love heart, I opened the box and there was the ring. He then whispered ‘Marry me?’ I proceeded to burst into tears and the love heart flew out my mouth. You know how it is, I like to keep things real!

So yes! We are engaged! I literally can’t stop staring at the ring. He chose it all by himself don’t you know.

In addition to all of that, I also got the job that I mentioned 2 months ago (oops) AND we found a perfect flat. Literally life has done a 180 in a couple of months and I’m still trying to get my head round it all.

We have our own sofa and our own bed. My mum bought us a Dyson for our engagement present (I can’t tell you how happy it made me). We’ve also celebrated my “fiance’s” 30th birthday and he got a promotion at work.

We have come so far in 2015 and 2016 will hopefully be filled with saving like crazy for our wedding in 2017 (we are yet to book anything so hopefully 2017).

I’ve pondered a lot and I think I’m going to set up a second blog dedicated to the wedding. Just need to think of a domain name first!

I’d like to give a shout out to Plentyoffish.com – it’s where I met my other half. Proof is in the pudding guys – online dating works. You just need to be able to identify the weirdos and persist. It took me 18 months to find my soul mate and I don’t regret a single minute of trawling through various dating sites and talking to some freaks. It was all worth it in the end.

Update: When Life Throws You A Curve Ball

So I just read my previous post and thought I’d update you all.

After many many tears, swearing at my parents and having a brief fall out with my boyfriend, I decided enough was enough and quit my job.

My interview is scheduled for tomorrow so after I’ve written this post, I’m off to swat up on all things therapy based.

My decision to quit was obviously very risky and in 36 hours I may be deeply regretting it, but when my work started to impact on my relationship, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I am all for having a career don’t get me wrong, but I’ll never be willing to sacrifice relationships for it. I strongly believe in the motto of ‘I work to live, not live to work’.

I’m someone who tries not to assume something will happen because normally when I do, I end up in situations like this e.g. I assumed that the job was the answer and I assumed I would make it to Scotland next year.

We have been to view a few properties because in theory we are homeless from Friday. We will be staying at my boyfriend’s parents, but my stuff is somewhat scattered around the country which is a bit annoying.

It transpires that to rent in Surrey,  you have to live at an estate agents. We clearly do not know the secrets of how to bag a property in less than an hour after its been listed. I’m not exaggerating. I enquired about a flat an hour after it was listed and got a response from the agent to say it had gone.

I know when you sign up to an agent, normally they give their customers a heads up first but seriously?! An hour!

Anyway, thus far we are having no luck. We have seen 3 flats, have had cancellations of about 5, and no luck to begin with on the rest.

One flat was beautiful but smaller than what we have now. Another was up 3 flights of stairs and the bathroom was 100% mould. And the other was meh. Couldn’t see myself living there.

Not stressing too much at the moment because I want to see the outcome of the interview first. Dont really want to get myself into a contract of £1000 a month with no job!

Life Just Doesn’t Ever Stop

I’d reached a point recently where although my job was annoying me a bit, life was just ticking by and I completely ran out of things to say on here.

I originally started this blog, about a year ago I think as a way of dealing and venting to the world about what I was going through and that’s the exact reason why I’m back. 

Let me set the scene… In August I was faced with a massive decision – I got an offer to do some bank work in Lincolnshire on the condition that I would be able to set up my own clinic in Edinburgh in 2016. And this all came with a decent pay rise – what’s to think about right?

Like a fool, I agreed to it. Uprooting my boyfriend from the area he has lived all his life, moved into my parents and started the job.

What wasn’t mentioned in the role was ‘slave’. Now don’t get me wrong – I always put my everything into my work but I refuse to take it home. Unfortunately this job won’t allow it and my hours are stupid. Obviously I want to quit.

I’ve contacted my old job and there is currently a promotional vacancy and they’ve offered me a bank role until the interviews, of which they are confident I will get the job. My issue is that money is tight and what about if I don’t get the job?! I don’t want to sign up to a flat and then end up jobless! Nor do I want to look like I think I’m too good for the bank job. Gah!

Anyway all in all, accepting the job in Lincolnshire has ruined the plans I had laid out for the coming year. Scotland is off for now. And my boyfriend is on the verge of a breakdown. Let’s not even discuss my mental state of mind. Definitely annoying pessimistic!

Depression – It’s Not Just About Taking Medication

Depression stalks me.

When I was hit with depression almost two years ago,  I found I had a lot to say – years of anger building up in me which came to a head after dating someone with what can only be described as psychopathic tendencies. I had another mini breakdown just over a year ago when I nearly dropped out of uni. 

It was a shit time. It was a pain I cannot describe – an internal, overwhelming ache, racing thoughts and a fear that the feelings would never go away.

I wasn’t suicidal though and with a lot of time, support and self – counselling,  I made my way through it. Now please don’t think I’m assuming everyone can do it this way – I was lucky and knew enough about the condition to implement what I needed to.

However, depression still stalks me. Instead it’s now based in the workplace. I have had a couple of colleagues who have been unwell in the past few months, who have still come into work.

If you think you might be someone who goes into work whilst they’re depressed – I beg of you one thing – sign off sick and tell people why you are sick.

I agree that there is still a stigma around mental health and you might be in a situation where your colleagues may judge you. But on the flip side, the statistics are shocking for mental health problems (1 in 3), which means 1/3rd of your office have battled problems at some point too.

As much as I agree that when you are unwell you NEED to get out and about, work is not the place for you. It has taken me 3 months, and a lot of complaints to catch up on one girl’s work that was never completed, and now that I am on top of it, another girl is now in the throws of depression.

You may think that you are coping, but it’s evident that you are not. You come into the office in a bitchy mood and it’s impacting on your relationships – both professional and personal.

You’re sending out vibes of ‘I hate the world – especially you’, but then when I approach you, our time is spent in awkward silence.

The difficulties particularly arise when related to hierarchy in the workplace. Although I think it’s important that everyone is personable and approachable; it becomes difficult when you text me telling me to ‘fuck off’ when in theory my position in the work place Is higher up than yours. How do I handle that? They always say never mix business with pleasure and I think it’s applicable to some friendships too.

You come across as bitter. We can never share good moments with you because you pull us down. A friend had a date on Friday night which she was super excited about – but when shown a photo you described the guy as fat, homosexual and likened him to a very unattractive person you know.

You are trying to cope with your workload, but are falling behind. People have stopped talking to you because you are rude and they don’t know why. Your paranoia kicks in that people aren’t talking to you – but you think it’s because you are overweight.

Your depression is hard for me to watch. I have to watch my own health too, especially since I am moving away and my stress levels are higher than normal. Which of course you are punishing me for and taking personally. As a result, your depression is affecting our friendship and it’s not because you are mentally unwell – it’s  because the workplace isn’t designed to cope for your illness if you don’t declare it.

So I beg of you – take ownership of your illness. Don’t be ashamed – we all respond differently to life stressor. PLEASE don’t try and make the problems go away with recreational drugs – I have seen so many people with cannabis induced psychosis.

Get help – control the things that you can. The mind is a powerful thing – you just have to find that mental place to focus.

Medication is not the answer – it will numb the pain, but you also need to address the stressors that cause the depression – if it’s your weight – lose it. If it’s from a broke relationship – let yourself heal and grow.

Don’t underestimate the power of meditation or mindfulness. Don’t underestimate the power of cognitive behavioural therapy or counselling.

But my main message is… get help.

Time For Change

Once again I’ve been lack lustre with the blogging. I see why people have to give up their jobs to blog – not enough hours in the day!

Well it’s nearly 2 months ago since I last blogged and once again life is on the move.

If you read my blog you will know that we have decided to move to Scotland – preferably next year. And this is still the plan – however we are going on a detour via the East Midlands!

I have been offered a job round there so we are going to be brave and go and live with my parents for a few months whilst I work and sort stuff out ready for Scotland. Literally can’t believe it’s happening. 

It’s exciting and it’s scary. What’s been even more weird is people’s response.

Normally I’m quite free spirited and up for moving around and finding somewhere to settle. My boyfriend has never left the area (except to go on holiday) and he’s feeling OK about it too.

What’s surprising is the people from my work. I was expecting ‘congratulations’ – I thought that was the norm. Except people are really sad to see me go – to the point of being bitter. Not everyone, just some of them. It’s a strange response and one I’m not really sure how to process! 

Anyway, I’m just ignoring them. I have a lot of other things to think about including packing. I hate packing!

Another One of Life’s Lessons

Firstly, apologies I never finished my dieting blog. I was doing well and then fell off the wagon as work got really stressful. So I went on holiday weighing 10st 5.5lb. Not quite the weight I was after but never mind. 

Secondly, I’m not really sure what’s going on in my life at the moment. Except complete chaos! Work has been pants – beyond pants. My holiday wasn’t much better either.

Life got poop about 4 weeks ago when my parents were on holiday. My brother (who has mental health problems) decided it would be great to gamble £1700 – money I was hoping he was going to use as a deposit to move out of my parents. No such luck. It transpired that his intentions were good – he wanted to raise money to help his friend get out of a relationship and he thought it was a sure bet. But on the flip side, we all know we would be hard pushed to risk such a large amount of money.

Life improved a little after that. My boyfriend has finally secured a Monday – Friday, 9-5 job – YAY! However, turns out he can’t cope with change. So our holiday was ruined as he shut the world out (ie me) to cope with his impending new lifestyle. Not going to lie – it very nearly broke us.

On return from my holiday in Portugal, of which I had the pleasure of my boyfriend communicating with me for 36 hours out of 7 days, I came home to more chaos breaking out at work. A restructure. Demotion.  A devastated work force.

My job is so far OK, but it may mean my commute may go from 25 minutes to 2 hours each way – that’s not cool.

In addition I need to not get stressed because of my epilepsy – have you ever tried to not get stressed – it’s hard work and consequently I’m not doing well. Had a panic attack thing this evening so thought it might be wise to blog – to have a bit of a rant.

Bruce Jenner And His Gender Transition

Now my disclaimer is that because I live in the UK and it’s 8am as I write this, I can honestly say I am yet to watch the interview with Bruce Jenner. But I have spent the last hour trawling the Internet to see what the world’s reaction was to the now infamous interview with Diane Sawyer.

From what I have read the interview was heartfelt and emotional. And without a doubt – brave.

Celebrities like Lady Gaga have come out in support of Bruce’s ‘confession’ and others like someone called Wendy have labelled him a fame whore. Some people are thinking that it’s turning people who are transgender into a spectacle.

I personally have considerable admiration for Bruce. Firstly, just based on the fact he has stayed sane after living with the Kardashian mayhem for so many years. But in addition to that, he has provided an opportunity for us to have an insight into the battles he has led all his life.

At the end of the day, knowledge is empowering and he has given us a 2 hour insight of the effects it has on his life. If anything he has everything to lose – his family and his fame. He carries a lot of responsibility and he was strong enough to finally come forward and tell the world ‘this is who I am’.

If you walk away after his interview still judging Bruce, that says more about you than him. None of us are the perfect human being; we have no right to judge. We can accuse him of being a fame whore all we like, but imagine having to hide who you are whilst your entire life is broadcast on TV around the world. Sure – he benefits from the money, but we also can guess that it’s the female side of the Kardashian/Jenner clan that insist those cameras come in and film their lives.

We also know that that interview was the calm before the storm. Cameras will now follow Bruce everywhere in the hope they’ll see him with nail varnish or wearing a dress. He’s definitely not opted for the easier route, but I genuinely think he came forward to stop the speculation and help us empathise rather than judge.

Am I Old Before My Time?

Set the scene: it’s a Saturday night in Brighton. Whilst queuing to get into a nightclub, I see a very drunk man who has a case of the sneezes (random). He falls to the floor after one particularly magnificent sneeze and I laugh. I then get waved on into the club – it has 5 rooms, all playing different types of music. We head to the disco room (not my particular preference). We walk directly to the bar and I order a diet coke. I marvel at the price – just £1.50! Soft drinks are on me!

We have arrived early after the adonis cabaret (I’m on a hen do) so it’s 9.30pm. I happily boogie away although resenting every second of the 80’s throwback. It gets to 11pm and I start to flag – where’s my bed?! Fortunately I clock that the bride-to-be has started to fall asleep on the dance floor, and by 12.20am I am back in the apartment.

8 years ago I would have been acting very differently. Firstly, I would have befriended the sneezing drunk in the street. As opposed to spending £6 on drinks, I probably would have spent at least £30. Instead of declaring the night over at 12pm, I would have said that the night had just started. And I would have worked my way round all 5 dance floors and definitely wouldn’t have entertained the disco room (granted that was the toughest bit even just last week).

Additionally, 8 years ago I would have hoped that some random would have started dancing with me and turn out to be ‘the one’ (naive!!). Last Saturday I prayed people wouldn’t come near me which obviously made me more of a magnet. What’s worse is that one 12 year old looked me up and down and realised I wasn’t also 12 and LITERALLY pushed me aside (rude!).

My partying ways have done a 180 in the past few years. I think this is partly because I stopped drinking and now I’m settled in my relationship I no longer need to go on a man hunt. Also working full time means my bed time these days is ideally 10pm at the latest and I’m buggered if it reaches 11pm before I sleep.

Now some of you may think that I sound like a 90 year old. And granted, I’m pretty sure a 90 year old has more stamina than me. But I never envisaged the day where clubbing wasn’t for me. I was referred to as the ‘dancing queen’ at uni.

But what interested me was that I’m not the only on this hen do that stayed that way. It was in fact even a bit too conservative for me. People had a couple of drinks, and granted stayed out later than me. There was one girl in the group, who at 27 is still in partying mode – but to the point where I think she might have a problem as she gets wasted most nights of the week and is shagging about 20 different guys at the same time (to clarify, not in the same room).

Maybe that’s what the kids do these days? I dunno. But considering I’m only 3 months older than her, our lives could not be more different. And quite frankly, I prefer my lifestyle.

Why Hen Do’s/Bachorelette Parties Are Overrated

If your Facebook feed is anything like mine, you’ll be feeling a tad weddinged out. It started 5 years ago and I would say only about 50% of my friends on Facebook have thus far walked down the aisle.

I have 3 weddings to go this year (I was invited to a fourth but I’m on holiday). Some of my friends have 6 weddings to go to before the year is out.

It’s ridiculous!

Anyway, with weddings comes the traditional hen do/Bachorelette party for the bride. In fact, I was at one last weekend.

It consisted of drinking/pizza (not for me), pole dancing, adonis cabaret and a trip to the beach. Quite a nice affair.

But the wedding is 4 months away. Hardly ‘a last night out as a single woman’.

Maybe I’m too snobby, or too selfish, but 2 hen Do’s have cost me thus far £550, which I guess is close to $1000. That’s a lot of money spending time with people I don’t know or like, and doing things that aren’t my cup of tea. Granted I enjoyed the day activities such as the pole dancing and Go Ape, but I can HONESTLY say I don’t get the whole male stripper thing and the night out is always a let down – surrounded by children getting off with each other whilst listening to dire music (this just shows my age as I used to do just this ha).

Ironically, I was reading an article on male strippers earlier on another blog and it said that male strippers often ended up sleeping with the bride or bridesmaids. In the unlikely event that is true, why are we providing our so called besties opportunities to cheat on the guy they said they’d like to marry?!

Not only that but when we went to the adonis cabaret there were 8 other hen parties there. The shy brides looked traumatised and the loud and lairy brides were cringe worthy to watch.

Then of course there’s always the bitch fight. Ours was quite controlled, but on the Friday night which was our designated night in, 3 girls decided to go out on the pull and got completely wasted. The bride was upset because evidently they’d come for the party and not to celebrate the fact our friend was getting married.
However, for one of the hen Do’s at the cabaret,  a girl launched herself at a stripper – she got kicked out and they had to find elsewhere to go for their night out!

It is getting increasingly more difficult to find clubs that will allow hen Do’s and stag Do’s in, and I think that says it all.

Oh and don’t forget the massive amounts of penis paraphernalia!

Looking Back and Looking Forward

As I’m sure you are aware, the number of blog posts I make a month have decreased a lot since I started back in December – I assume a normal process. I’ve had my rants at the beginning about the world, and now I’m settling into working life. Kind of.

Knowing that I have a blog sitting in the background has made me more aware of my life. I’m always look for a moment where I think ‘ooh that would work well on the blog’ – and the fact that I’ve not blogged for a couple of weeks shows how little is going on in my life. This isn’t always a bad thing, but when I look at my life I know I could be a lot happier.

Firstly, so far my working life is going well. Everyone at work is lovely and opportunities are being presented for me to have a bit of a social outlet. That bit was definitely meant to be. Instead, it’s the home life that’s going a bit poop.

So what’s wrong?

As I’m sure you are aware, I hate the shift patterns my boyfriend works. Sometimes we can go days without seeing each other, and it does worry me epilepsy wise. Truth be told, we very nearly broke up a week ago (like VERY nearly), because he really doesn’t understand where I’m coming from. To be fair to myself, regardless of a health condition, I do resent the fact he works so much. I didn’t sign up to a relationship where we have had 2 whole days off together in the past 5 weeks where we can spend time together alone. Most weekends I spend by myself.

The other problem is that he hates his job. His department are understaffed and he is working a lot of overtime. So the time I do spend with him consists of him moaning about his job. Which I don’t mind… on the condition he does something about it. I’m not someone who remains unhappy for long, and I look for the problem in my life and change it as soon as I can, whereas I get the impression my boyfriend is someone who will just stick with it and moan about it.

Secondly, when I was working out how much I could afford to pay for rent per month, I didn’t know how much my pension scheme would be – which is almost 10% of my monthly wages… which has screwed my budgeting up massively. In addition; despite blogging about 3 months ago that I never wanted to buy a house, I have of course completely changed my mind. Thinking about all things money, I have realised that me and my boyfriend have backed ourselves into a corner where if we want to stay living near(ish) London, we will have to sacrifice buying a house, getting married and having kids. He won’t earn anymore in his current position and I could be looking at 2 to 3 years before I see a decent pay rise. Even then it will be a case of choosing one of the three.

So the answer to my problem is my decision to move (hopefully) to Scotland. My boyfriend (for the most part) has agreed, but having never lived anywhere other than Surrey, I am desperately worried about how he’ll cope knowing his family aren’t around the corner. I’d also like him to commit to whether he’d like to move or not, he’s very impartial at the moment which piles the responsibility on my shoulders. We would also both need to find jobs.

My happiness is wavering a bit at the moment, and it is a very lonely existence when your boyfriend works all the time.

It’s a massive decision, but it’s the only solution I can come up with for all of our problems.