Hello … It’s Me!


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I was wondering if after all of these months you would still like to see another blogpost..?!

I was somewhat taken aback when WordPress kindly notified me that not only have I reached my 2nd blogiversary but also that I haven’t posted a blogpost for 8 months. Truly time does fly.

I wish I could say I went on adrenalin infused adventures that kept me away from writing but rather as the youth often proclaim ‘life happened’.

I have been thinking of a career change for quite some time. Being the indecisive person that I am it took me a while to narrow down my career interests.  I have finally settled on what it was that I wanted to do. I left my previous job which admittedly was the scene of many timely blogposts and few eyebrow raising characters.

Naturally this realisation did play on my mind a bit and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that my new chosen career path would lack that kind of inspiration. But alas, my new co-workers did not disappoint.

I head into the New Year armoured with blogposts that could potentially see me through 2016. Let’s just say that being the only menstruating woman amongst a pool of menopausal women isn’t an easy treachery to navigate. I never know which way the hormonal wind will blow.

Hello, how are you? It is so typical of me to talk about myself, I’m sorry!

I hope that you are all well!

 

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To Commit or Not Commit


I am commitment phobic… There folks I said it. This psycho-analytical revelation wasn’t something I wasn’t hitherto unwary of. Of the plethora of phobic paraphernalia I suffer from, fear of commitment is the only one I never actually admitted to myself or to anyone else interested in such folly.

It wasn’t until a recent conversation with a friend in which I became somewhat epiphanic. It was then, amidst a gentle grilling from my friend where he questioned why I fail to attend the gym that it dawned on me that maybe I suffer from commitment phobia.

Of course I didn’t admit that to my friend. I saved him the heart break, the realisation that his friend prefers a life of sedentary solitude where the only commitment required is with the couch as opposed to being his gym partner-come-protégé. Though I might need to explain to him in 6 weeks’ time why his fitness plan isn’t working for my pot belly.  I suppose I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I have an aversion to anything that requires an undertaking that lasts any longer than an hour. I lose concentration and generally fall out of love with anything humanly or otherwise after 60 minutes. That’s why at 27 I don’t have a phone contract, I am semi-vegetarian, I have a gym membership that I never use and more or less freak out every time someone mentions the word marriage.

Though at 27 escaping the word marriage (and sales advisors with lucrative phone contracts) is almost inescapable. I am the Jennifer Aniston of my world minus the blonde tresses; though I am working on that. Everyone wants to know when you’ll get married. For a commitment phobic like me that’s on par with asking a vegetarian (which I also happen to be, albeit semi) let’s dive into a bit of a bone marrow stew… Someone pass me the sick bucket…

Puking aside… The marriage references, innuendos, offerings, insults; whatever the narrative, has been on the rise. For many self-appointed worriers, I am close to surpassing my sell by date and destined to a life of putrefaction; only exasperated by not having an equally elusive phone contract with the latest 4G technology. I need saving, I am told with great assiduousness.

Commitment is what turns a promise into a reality. I don’t like making promises I can’t keep and I am relatively happy with my current stream of reality. The rebel in me doesn’t want to be confined into the linear narration of a commitment. I can’t commit to commitments, I really just can’t.

I like the excitement of what nonconformist ideals may bring me…According to Warren Farren “when women hold off from marrying men, we call it independence. When men hold off from marrying women, we call it fear of commitment.” As I am often told, I was probably a man in my previous life that is now incarnated as a woman. I am an independent person (note my intentional use of an abstract noun here) who has commitment issues.

Do I love you? Maybe I do maybe I don’t…

Or if we consider my 6 year old nephew’s pertinent question “am I your favourite?” to which I reply to with unabashed uncertainty “maybe you are maybe you are not”…after all there is a tribe of nieces and nephews all competing for that coveted position.

There is something in the ‘maybe’ that appeals to me. Its tentative nature is all but too comforting. For now all I can commit myself to is a mere maybe…

The uncommitted life is one truly worth living, or at the very least worth exploring!! That in itself my friend,s is an unconditional commitment.

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At The Touch Of Commercialism, Everyone Becomes A Lover!


Weekly Writing Challenge: My Funny Valentine?

Before the Christmas decorations have gone down to gather dust until they are called upon for another year and before the festive cheer had a chance to pave way for January blues, the shop windows and displays had us reminded that Valentine’s Day was fast approaching.

The roboticism of it all renders the very act it is denoting unromantic. Not long ago I was engaged in a conversation with a friend in an attempt to get a male perspective on the issue. To paraphrase, he didn’t like partaking in the whole Valentine’s Day shenanigans because he didn’t believe in celebrating what was essentially another man’s day for declaring his love. Male ego aside, how apt I thought. I am sure that wasn’t what poor old St. Valentine had in mind but I too don’t like being dictated to or told what to do. I don’t want to be part of a commercial construction of love and romance.

As a recovering chocoholic, I am sympathetic to a bit of chocolate 365 days of the year with the sprinkling of love and romance on top. Flowers..? Yes please, any day. Lilies are a favourite of mine, if you are taking note. Why limit all that goodness to just one day! Don’t be so cruel to yourself.

At the very least Valentine’s Day stifles individualism. Some confectionery, a card, a bouquet of sorts and a pair of kinky lingerie should win your loved one over! Hooray! And if you really want to push the boat out why not cook her/him a three course meal. And hey presto you are one heck of a lover.

For those of us who still regard love as a private conduct between two consenting adults (and I am not implying extracurricular conduct) and don’t see the need to showcase personal displays of affection, the whole day is somewhat gimmicky and full of sap. So is this reality or parody one may ask? Whilst the act may be a noble one however, Valentine’s Day musings depict a romantic ideal of being swept off your feet, so to speak. It is an ideal nonetheless that each one of us should be striving for all year round come rain or shine.

Personally I think many dire relationships would have had shorter course of life had it not been for the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day. With a little help from clever marketing from shops and restaurants in order to boost their profit, Valentine’s Day quickly puts out any burning flames of wanting to quit a relationship and turns such desires into ashes for another year; the illusion of romance successfully instilled in all party concerned.

The singletons aren’t safe from this romantic PR stunt either. They too get struck with the dread disease of being alone on the day. So to avoid such calamity they go out on the hunt for a culprit that could be coerced into a dating parody. It embeds a positive illusion of romance, consequently seeing imperfect partners in a new idealised form.

We truly live in a nanny state. As it is in all the other areas of life why not have this little old thing called love dictated to us too; why not let commercialism baby the populace in how to conduct itself in all things love and romance? Now that the logistics of love has been taken care of; the how when and why of it all sketched, what is left is for us to take centre stage in this puppetry dubbed Valentine’s Day and feign love!

 

Don’t mind my cynicism, Happy Valentine’s Day!

Contemplating: Career Crossroads, Callings and Chide Choices


Weekly Writing Challenge: Contemplating

Today is the first time you stepped a foot into your old University Campus. It has been six years since you were here last. Judging by the edifice of the building so much has changed but then again so have you. There is an aura of eeriness to this terracotta painted Georgian building. The pilgrims of students rushing in and out of the building distract you and then your eyes transfix on few students in their graduation gear. You stand still in that position, application forms dangling from your left hand and you begin contemplating.
Before you knew it, your thoughts have gone back in time; to your own graduation day.

The nostalgia is quite palpable.

November 18th 2008:

Your whole life has been building up to this moment. You are bursting with pride and so is everyone within a square meter. November 18th 2008 was a special day, in fact a very special day when measured against the scale of the past 21 years of your life.

It was your graduation day; a day laden with superlatives. It was easily the best day of your life to date. The kind that fill you with warm fuzzy feelings which when you are so lost in the moment give you the false hope that the world is indeed your oyster. Ahh you were so full of youth, promises, hopes, naivety and who could blame you then for having so many hopes for the future. How were you to know that life wasn’t quite going to pan out as you hoped it would, as you planned it would. You were always full of positivity, and maybe your innate ability to forever see the glass as half full has been your downfall.

You arrived extra early on the day to give yourself plenty of time for any mishaps. The local City Hall, a grade II listed building was the University’s chosen venue for the ceremony. The weather wasn’t particularly great on that faithful Thursday afternoon so you made your way into the building past the giant portico and through to the changing chambers; an area dedicated to graduates to retrieve their gowns. You remember walking briskly towards the chirpy man at the counter. “Olright love” he said to you in his friendly northern accent. “What can I do you for”, he asked before you even had the chance to acknowledge his initial greeting. On a normal day you would have sniggered at his illusive question and replied back with an equally subliminal satire along the lines of “dunno mate! What do you have on offer?

But not today, his pun on words has no purport; you quickly attribute it to harmless foolery and it is thus safely ignored. Upon verifying the correct details he presented you with a black calf length gown, a maroon and grey sash placed neatly at the front of it in a V-shape. He observed you as you adorned your graduation gown and cap, a gift from your parents who took on the expenses of hiring the gown for the day.

Getting you into a six digit worth of student debt wasn’t seemingly enough but they want to squeeze every last penny out of you so you are well and truly a “skint student”. Fulfilling prophecy and all that! Once you signed the declaration forms to confirm the retrieval of your gown the man began studying you in that gown or rather your aesthetics (to date you still can’t quite tell if it was the former or the latter) and remarked “you look lovely flower”. You politely offered your gratitude and walked out of the room to the promise of something great lying in the auditorium next door.

As you made your way to the auditorium you are met by a young rep who tells you where your seating is. Upon entering the hall you made your way towards the back where aisle 7 was and began inspecting the decor of the hall or the lack of it. But you were not too fussed by that, rather more appreciative that your surname began with the letter ‘G’ and sighed a silent prayer of gratitude to God and great granddad (times how many necessary numbers to take you to whichever granddad it was that gifted you with such a surname). To say that you were relieved to know that you didn’t have a name beginning with the first letter of the alphabet and consequently seated in the first aisle was an understatement.

You took your seat in aisle 7 and watched in silence as the rest of your peers took their respective seats, waving and smiling frantically as you spot familiar faces. Everything was working to a military precision. Within minutes the Dean of the University took to the stage and started addressing the crowd. His speech was euphoric.

Once the Dean was done with his speech you and the rest of the graduates began your solemn procession towards the stage and one by one you all retrieved your certificates and made your way out to the foyer. Once in the foyer, you were all frivolous and snapped away at each other in an attempt to capture this important day. Of course you all couldn’t help but partake in the decades old tradition of throwing your mortar boards (and your inhibitions) in the air; symbolising the end of an era and the beginning of an uncertain one.

A female voice coming from a distance brings you back to here and now. “How can I help you, love”, she says to you. Her question brings your nostalgia to a halt. You take a moment or so before you answer her question; “hi, I am here to see the postgraduate officer”. You follow the friendly female’s instructions and walk down the corridor past the jubilant graduates. Your excitement is flagrant too. When you reach the bottom of the corridor you turn right, up a flight of stairs and into yet another corridor, this time occupied by various offices on either side. When you reach your destination, you pause, inhale deeply and then knock on the door. You can’t help but hope that in three years’ time you too will be celebrating.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Three Ways To Go Gonzo


I don’t know your name but excuse me miss, why do you blog?

“In a nutshell…to stay literate”, I said bluntly to the six foot something, dark eyed enquirer as he tossed away stray strands of mousy blonde mid length tresses away from his face.

He looked confused, scratched the nape of his neck, made a few inaudible grunts and remarked “but you don’t strike me as an illiterate, care to explain further..?!”

I smiled at his nonplussed expression and I joked “don’t let those geeky glasses fool you, love”.

I watched him as he eased himself further into his seat, lifted up the armrest separating him from the seat next to him and slowly loosen his tie. A stripy silver and white skinny tie which camouflaged with the silver striped shirt that served as its backdrop beneath the navy blue pin striped suit ensemble. I couldn’t help but think what possessed the guy to adorn this many violent concussions of stripe and silver. Each to their own and that, I quickly reminded myself.

He gazed at me pensively, a look I was all too familiar with. So I decided to put him out of his misery. I too shuffled myself further into my seat and rested my head against the window to mirror his languid disposition.

After pausing to allow the conductor to announce few housekeeping rules on the train and pointing out to the passengers the obvious: “smoking isn’t permitted on this train” in case they missed the various preposterous and piercing signs displayed throughout the four carriages of the train; and apologising profusely for the delay; I began explaining to this friendly stranger sat opposite of me on the now VERY delayed 20:35 train from London to York, my thought processes. Yes, train commutes are perhaps one of the more bizarre places to be digesting blogging quandary.

I took a deep somewhat exaggerated breath, maybe to make my new found audience understand the gravity of what I was about to unleash on him. I explained that “George Orwell prophesised the current situation that I, YOU and many others find ourselves in today. Newspeak he called it and that was in 1964. Sixty five years after he made that assertion, my friend, he might just be vindicated”.

I paused for a moment, to check that I haven’t bored and consequently lost the poor fella. To my astonishment, it turned out he was all ears and thus instructed me “to carry on” with my synthesis.

So I began my soliloquy, or rather monologue because my audience was now hooked on my every word.

“We are now well and truly caught up in a never ending vortex of Bad English that Orwell foretold. I find myself in the dilemma that is pretentious diction in my 9-5 and urban slang in my 24/7. This is a catch 22 and I don’t want to upset the apple cart, but let’s face it the chickens are finally coming home to roost. I mean why are we catching the number 22, and why on God’s good green earth would a cart bursting with fruits be upset with me. Idiom hell, if you ask me. I didn’t think I had it in me to be upsetting apples too and don’t get me started on the chicken; let’s just hope they aren’t coming to my home to roost or whatever else they intend to do.

Once I am done with idiomatic hell I enter slang-ville torture. Like mandem them ting tings ain’t cool like ya’ feel me init? Rah bruv they chattin’ bare breeze n’dat init!! I know I am going off on a tangent here, but seriously how can anyone with their cognitive abilities intact utter such gibberish or worst still inflict it on poor unassuming folks like me, hmm…?

Mind boggling stuff, my love, mind boggling stuff hence, why everyone needs to blog. To better their diction, which by the way should include fully spelt out words as opposed to giving me CBA for an answer. Because lovie, if you Can’t Be Asked, logic would tell you to not even bother texting an acronym denoting the very thing you are unable to do”!

“That is George Orwell apocalypse right there mate”!

Now, it was his turn to make a point with his breathing. He exhaled loudly as to mark the intake of all that malachi I just offloaded on him.

Whilst he never interjected once and politely nodded intermittently, though I can’t help but think he might have been slightly relieved when the conductor announced that the train was slowly approaching its final stop in however many minutes it took. That wry smile he shot me was all but too revealing.

Once we arrived at our destination, we both concurred that at least this exercise in diatribe wasn’t lost in vain. It helped us with our respective late night commuting doldrums. At the very least we barely noticed the 2.5 hour train journey we just endured. As we departed the train we both laughed at this declaration, bid each other a good night; disappearing into the darkness of the night and returning to what we were, are total strangers!

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