Unicorns, Hot-flash Honeys and Biblio punishes me.

Wow, wrapping up the first week at my new job. The job that is actually like… related to my dream career, the official first working step towards that. First of all, turn up. Second of all- my log from that first week is complete and just interesting to look at? For me anyway, probably not for everyone else.

I’ve been doing daily logs since… May? When I took up bullet journalling. Something about helping with my memory and also becoming aware of just how much I am actually doing. The first week was easy, in the sense that I’m still learning and they’re all being very nice to me. Anyway, here are the stupid notes:

Day one- not a dream. am employed. have a mac?! wow, everyone is so nice. biblio is so easy (this will come back to bite me in the arse) I AM EMPLOYED! Unicorns everywhere. Tired AF.

Day two- wow, like they actually employed me? VISTA IS SO HARD? Mail outs? Deliveries? O my. Hands aching. Bookshelf rearrangement= work out for life.

Day three – so, many books! Buddy lunch? Thai food! How did I not fall asleep after lunch? Steps and shelves are my work out, whomst is a gym? Hotflash… honeys? That sounds like… something dirty. Maybe that’s not the right title for that book.

Day four – ISSA WRAP. Week the first. Dummy making for dummies aka sopping up that dummy knowledge. Biblio thinks I’m a mug and won’t connect me to the server. Lunch with sales- sour dough pizza and a raspberry/white chocolate brownie (NUT! *three drop emojis* Hello excel my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again, I get… a SCALPEL! Are they sure? BABIES FIRST SALES PACK! Shookedt.

Anyway so like, tomorrow’s another day. Feels very solid now that I’m a person with a job and I’m liking the pace that I’m learning my duties at. I feel prepared and chilled for it and making my family laugh by already planning what my first pay check is getting me (out of debt. its’ getting me out of debt.).

This won’t be a regular thing, but it feels special and I wanted to share it anyway.

Issa Employee

To be honest y’all, it’s been a madness.

On my return from Trinidad for Latoya’s wedding, we got stranded in St. Lucia. I wanted to fight the pilot, because the day after my return, I was supposed to attend an second interview (for a job where I had my first interview literally days before flying out)… but luckily for me, we were only stuck for under two days and the company were very understanding of my situation.

Roll around Friday 6th . I’m actually acclimatised somewhat to the English temperature again, and I’m trying to commit to drinking as much water here as I did overseas.

Knees weak, arms are sweaty, no vomit on my sweater already (mom’s spaghetti). Quick 40 minute train trip that I’m hoping to memorise because wow, could you imagine a transport so quick and easy? I’m wearing a pencil skirt, my skin is still caribbean soft and my hair- well, mum did my hair because I was feeling lazy last night and wanted a little babying (I’m an adult…).

Great bit of banter with the girls in the reception room who loosen me up with Harry Potter because let’s all be real- Dumbledore did not YELL “Harry, did you put your name in the goblet?”, he said it calmly. I believe it’s even italicised there? I’ll have to do a re-read- but that’s not the point.

So then there’s a test. It’s something I actually can do with a bit of confidence (after having done many such tests in many such undocumented interviews july was a very busy month) and I have a half an hour. Fix an AI sheet. Come up with a marketing strategy. Thank you social media marketing internship- I have my interviewers laughing and relaxed and I answer questions with a sort of authority I wasn’t quite sure I had. I meet more people on the team! Swelling with hope here, I mean, why else would they have me meet so many people on the team if not to gauge if we’d work well? After some handshakes I’m reassured that I’ll know the employment tea by early next week.
As I leave I check my watch, I arrived about ten minutes before the interview. The test was 30 minutes. The Q&A… an hour?! Again, I’m hoping its good news. I check in with my parents, because they asked and then I head off to catch up with a friend.

Checking my email for a shopping order, in the Westfield Costa, deciding on whether or not I’ll get that blueberry muffin with the medium hot chocolate or nah… it arrives. Letter from my interviewer. ISSA JOB OFFER. Mate. I almost fell down my knees were like jelly. Big beaming smile on my face as I send screenshot to the family chat on whatsapp because literally we’ve all been talking about this job for the better part of a month. I decide I deserve the hot chocolate and the blueberry muffin and get to snag one of those comfy chairs overlooking the window while I wait for my friend to show up.

I’ve told her I got news but I wanted to say it in person. I am buzzing like a swarm of bees, literally can not sit still for the life of me. When she sits down with me, her order on a tray, taking in this ultralightbeam smile on my face she asks about the news. And I tell her. And she says- I knew that’s what it was. I’m so happy for you!!!

I am low-key dying. Congratulations from the famalam start coming through as news spreads through the pumpkin vine family gossip network. I post not so cryptically on twitter because I want to share the news, but I still don’t believe its real? I’m just glad it’s finally happened. Wow. Your girl’s employed and in the industry she’s been trying to break into for about 3 years (incl. the year of MA studies for this industry).

It’s really starting to sink in!

I start next Tuesday!

6 lessons from 6 weeks

So… I have just finished a six-week internship. It is in fact, my first day off.

I had lovely co-workers, an easy commute and got paid! *Cha-ching!*

There was a lot of admin. Scanning. Printing. Filing. Binders. There was one point where I was dreaming about excel spreadsheets and my fingers were stained with highlighter ink- but, it’s something I look at and laugh…

There have been a few things I’ve learned. Truly learned to be true- about myself, during my placement. Things that you usually hear and don’t take to heart, but you realise to be true later on.

What are these things?

  1. Having 18 hours of my day (sleep, commute & work, respectively) already accounted for has made me plan my days better. I learned to make the most of my “spare time”. I struggled keeping to my bullet journal before, but then… I as the weeks progressed, it was much easier to bring structure into my life. Also the fact that I had something to do during the day made the few rejection emails that I got for permanent work, that much easier to deal with.
  2. I read so much. So, so much, during my commute. Literally blazing through books, but still enjoying them immensely. Usually, I like to start a book and devour it in one sitting. I guess its similar to binge-watching? This starting and stopping (due to changes, lunch breaks etc.) made it feel like I was anticipating the story progression more which made the experience better for me.
  3. I love sleep! This is not a surprise. But I really love sleep. Sometimes I used sleep as something to do when there’s nothing else to do, like a mini-escape from all the things I did in the day. Par example, I love a midday nap. Getting through the day linked through to the next thing I learned.
  4. There is so much tea drinking in the office environment. I’m a big fan of tea. Even though I’m on a green tea kick right now, drinking breakfast tea 3-4 times a day? I was buzzing! Hard! Also tried two new types of tea (Earl and Lady Grey). I can see why Picard drank that tea! I will be trying a wider variety.
  5. Food markets are amazing! I’m a millennial or whatever, so like, finding joy in food and beverages is something my generation is supposed to do a lot right?
  6. Sometimes, work emails are about baby bracelets, baking shows, restaurant recommendations, recipes or helping someone in the office win a contest online. And that’s fine!

Taking back space

So. We’re a bit further into the new year.

I have accepted that I’m moving on from this part of my life. But I still want to retain the memories that I’ve acquired over the years.

I’ve been watching almost every fashion and aesthetic blogger that I follow talk about minimalism. I read all the articles on the KonMari art of cleaning. I watched the documentary on netflix. Researched the appeal of this lifestyle change.

The freedom that comes from not relying on possessions and purchasing to create happiness in you. It’s something I can totally get behind. So…

I’m embracing the minimalist movement into my life.

It’s kind of like, reclaiming the space in my house and making due with what I have. When I moved to cheshire for my undergrad, my brother moved everything in my room to the attic and moved in, painting over it and leaving me to sleep in his old (still cluttered, and yes, smaller) room when I came home for the holidays and reading weeks. Over those three years away from home, I accumulated so many things that for two summers I would only return to London with suitcases of my clothes and my personal electrics. Moving back home… These things take up space.

My room at university was bigger than my current one. Everything was a bit cluttered, but it didn’t stress me out. Having half of these belongings in my room, and the other half stashed around the house for over two years however… it does stress me out. I feel suffocated in stuff. Or I used to.

I am slowly beginning to take back my space. My room is in the process of being refurbished. My possessions are currently being evaluated on usage, sentimental memory and aesthetic- then being sorted and either gifted, donated, recycled or thrown away.

There is a bit of a rush in getting rid of things in this manner. And in the planning of what my room will eventually look like (and by proxy, what clearing the house of my other unused possessions will do). In between job applications, it’s a project I can work on.

I’m funnily reminded of studying Virginia Woolf’s “A room of one’s own” just because, well, I’m crafting a room of my own. One that helps me stay inspired, relaxed, creative and focused. A place, specifically carved out and designed for Fayola, to just be Fayola.

It is finally coming to fruition.

Very short Update!

I am a graduate!

I graduated today!

12 months are validated as I dressed up, walked across the stage, got my handshake and collected written proof that I had completed my degree in front of my family, my friends and their families and friends.

This is one of the better pictures my mum took (she has problems focusing for some reason).

Thank you to Kingston University, all my lecturers and all the friends I’d made along the way to reaching this goal!

EDIT: 27/01/2017!

ANOTHER ONE! Travelled all the way down to Brighton. My brother is also a graduate!2017-01-27 13.29.57

 

when the rules of interaction change…

One of my new years resolutions was to put myself out there. I don’t know if anyone else noticed (yeah right) but I am a bit of a shy introvert prone to second-guessing myself… a lot.

So usually my social life is a little bit of a struggle. It’s an Asocial life.

But this year, I reckon I’ve at least made a step closer to calling people “friends” and actually meaning it, not just saying the word because it sounds better than “acquaintance” or “Yeah, I met them like three times IRL and now we’re Facebook friends”

So, my biggest problem is something that you’re “supposed” to outgrow in primary school (apparently… news to me). I have trouble cultivating friendships of convenience to last, I’m great when I’m in a specific situation, I have people I consider close friends, we have inside jokes in person. Outside of that…. not so much. I have in the past followed an admittedly ridiculous set of lists that I used to follow about maintaining friendships.

Honestly, these “rules” I followed because I’ve been burned by friendships, I’ve had falling-outs that were worse than break-ups. I’ve ghosted and been the ghostee. I’ve had toxic friends, and I’ve also been the toxic friend who lashes out at everyone. I’ve kind of… drifted away and became uncertain how to approach rekindling a friendship’s potential.

But that’s not to complain, baby steps. That was how I was. Now I’m improving. Got myself a solid set of friends init.

My rules have changed. Or rather, my attitude to socialising has changed and my anxiety has decreased.

  • I’m a stickler for keeping my Facebook friend list… actually full of my friends, but  that doesn’t mean I can’t interact with them on different platforms. Twitter & Snapchat are becoming my go-to for casual friendly interactions.
  • Everyone is surprisingly chill when asking for numbers, then I’m getting added to WhatsApp or DM group chats and welcomed into [situation] squad chats.
  • It’s completely fine to bring up something I’ve seen online.  THAT ICEBREAKER THOOO. Most people like when you put them onto things that remind you of them… like duh.
  • Just because I’m friends with a certain person in one situation, doesn’t mean I have to have them integrated into my central friend system. I think that’s the thing that used to make me the most anxious- wondering how all of my friends (with their varying interests and the differing environments where our friendships grew) would interact and if their perception of me would change based on meeting each other. I’ve learned to not worry, and to be wavy about it. Not every day every situation friends must meet.

It has been really nice to see myself grow and interact with people. Even though this term I stretched myself thin, I’m slightly grateful that I was forced to socialise with so many people and so often. I’ve really gained and understanding some of the things that really help me solidify positive notions of friendship.

 

It’s a bit of alright actually, this socialising thing.

 

I can’t believe I did the thing.

It’s November 30th as I write this. The last day of the NaNoWriMo challenge that has taken over my life for the past thirty days.

The first time I attempted this challenge, I was highly motivated to win. I had joined an online writing community, I attended write-ins, I didn’t have a job or class to go to so I could literally designate entire days to upping my word count and fleshing out my characters.

This year?

Not so much.

I went in blind, with nothing but a brief idea of what I wanted to occur in my story. I found that as I am a frequent reader of sequential works, I’ve picked up the habit of working with trilogies in mind (Thank you Robin Hobb) and even though I have hit the 50k word mark… The story has not progressed as far as I wanted it to…  but then there’s always book two and three!

This year, I’m an MA student 2 months in with a lot more on my plate. November is busy enough with the countdown for Christmas starting and a lot of family birthdays to prepare for. I got distracted often… There was an entire week where I didn’t write a single thing! And then there were the nights that I would spend on my google documents, struggling to catch up to the recommended word count (Do not recommend).

Skipping 1667 words a day is totally fine if you miss one day… when you miss several days… multiple times… and you’re demanding more of yourself than ever before… you might stress yourself into illness.

Which I did.

And it wasn’t fun.

At all.

But I’ve finally completed something. Too often I’ve become swept up in a monthly challenge only to have my enthusiasm fade out as the days progressed. I’m talking about the Monster Girl Challenge on my IG and the Journal Writing Challenge I started on Tumblr… wow.

It feels good to finish something creative that isn’t for class.

I’ve always had a big sense of admiration towards authors and writers who churn out worlds and characters every year. Now, having completed the process myself (minus all the editors and beta readers because I’m not planning on submitting this novel for publication), that respect and awe has increased five times over.

Even though my novel isn’t the best… and hasn’t ended up as I had hoped, but I’m happy with what I’ve achieved. I mean, 50023 words in thirty days on top of an MA course? That’s an achievement. I’m crying.

I’m like the proud parent of an ugly baby*, no one can tell me a thing.


 

*No harm intended, most babies are cute, some just need to grow into their features.

 

 

Technologic

This is the first post in the +XP tag. As with many a video game, this tag is for my writing about things I’m learning or experiencing.  Like a treasured starter Pokémon, when I gather enough XP I can evolve.

So it’s happened. Ya girl’s working on ways to make herself indispensable. My generation “the millennials” and the babies who come after us are children of the digital age… and people expect us to know everything about everything (after all, we’re always on our phones and laptops).  And so, after years on numerous blogging platforms with customization-enabled layouts… I’m formally learning how to code HTML and CSS.

200_s

I mean, I’m  pretty prepared. I’ve had an account for codeacademy.com for a while now, and not to brag, I’ve been personalising my tumblr CSS for years now. I figured that since I mostly stay home on my days off, school work at some level of completion, with “nothing to do” I should finally acknowledge the codeacademy logo winking at me from my bookmarks bar.

“No!” I said, “I will not waste this Wednesday sleeping and catching up on my shows! I will be productive.”

And so there I was. About three hours (and a 45 minute curry break) later. Multiple badges on my coding profile and with enough basic skill to create my own basic web layout as well as a social media account reminiscent of my days on piczo and bebo.

What I didn’t expect was for it to be so much fun writing the code. I felt like I was in a potions class in Hogwarts, following a specific formula to get an outcome. I can see now why there are so many stories of children and young adults creating apps and selling them for millions.

Yes, the pages looked basic and no, no one else can see them, and no I’m not getting a certificate at the end.

But.

I do have a profile I can link as proof of my blood, sweat and raspberry Kool-aid flavoured tears.

And I can now say “I can code” and not be exaggerating, because technically I can.