I’m very much willing to admit that my writing on this blog hasn’t been ‘good’ recently. I sometimes publish a blog and then edit it the next day (after advertising it) because when reading it over I’m just like ‘what is this bitch going on about’.
I’ve been trying random things and sharing my findings in a really informal way- blogging is like a leisurely activity for me at the moment as opposed to a side hustle that I do academic research for.
I’m currently working on my 13th and 14th assignments of the year for university. Also doing a presentation tomorrow and have lots of preparatory work on top of that which involves researching for academic debates and so on.
It’s a lot of fun but staring at a screen and trying to digest such complex information is really hard work. When I am not doing that I tend to journal my thoughts out as it’s such babble.
Every now and then I get thoughts that are persistent, and memories that are persistent. I sit on them until I am able to present them in a way I think might be useful, or an interesting read.
It’s probs mercury retrograde, but I’ve been going through a phase of having really vivid dreams where the events manifest in reality once I’ve woken up. Then during the day I will get literal visual immersive flashbacks to the most random scenarios I’ve been in. Sometimes these flashbacks come with emotion, but luckily for the most part they’ve come up for me to be able to observe- seeing these situations from a different angle.
One of the memories that often comes tied with a lot of frustration and anger, is when I was working in an office I didn’t fit in to at all. This actually was all the way up until lockdown 1, which (actually in a stroke of luck) meant I could be furloughed until it was an acceptable time to quit.
In retrospect, this was an incredibly karmic and formative time of my life. At the time, I felt imprisoned and resentful every single day.
My family life and living situation won’t be spoken about in detail- but the circumstances I was living in at the time put a lot of strain on me. I had to be of service to people who needed support, and I couldn’t see a way that I could get out of the conditions I was living in. I felt no support, because in truth, at the time, I didn’t have any. This isn’t a ‘woe is me’ report- I want to give context to the factors in my life at the time that led me to be stuck there for so long.
I was working an apprenticeship that was 10 minutes down the road from me. I felt I had to finish this apprenticeship, which contributed again to me feeling trapped. In my mind, I had to save to escape. I was earning £700-800 a month for working 47 hours a week, so driving was not an option. While I was lucky enough to save money (by literally not spending a penny of what I earned), this came at a cost.
The work was easy, but the company… was not a good one. I apologise if there are any readers offended by my honesty in this article, though your offence is not my problem.
I was the youngest person working there by 10 years and I was working across three different departments. My work was usually completed by late morning/ early afternoon. We were not allowed on our phones… as grown adults, HR would confiscate them as if we were school children if we were caught. The constant threat of that loomed. The office Karen (over 20 years my senior with two children, a husband and a mortgage) took a disliking me and literally bullied me (a 19 year old) every single day until I gathered enough evidence to get her disciplinary.
These things I could put up with to an extent. After I finished my work I was sneaky and did work for my website/blog/business disguising it as work for my apprenticeship. I had some people in the company that looked out for me and took me under their wing, there was at least two good eggs in the company that made the days bearable by letting me get on with it.
If I had time after working on my own stuff, I would seek out and work jobs which paid me as and when I needed it. During my time in this office I worked at RawMusicTV for exposure, landed an interview day at Channel 4 (which was incredible experience), made a lot of money working for askastrology.com, networked with people who got me events to read tarot during the weekends, and generally collaborated with a lot of other people. In this ‘prison’ type of job I saw purpose in it because I was doing something that benefitted me, I wasn’t just wasting my time for money and feeling empty.
If I didn’t have the ability to work on things I cared about, I would have been significantly more hopeless and might not have seen a way out.
By the end of my apprenticeship I was working 3 or 4 jobs. My 9-5, freelance writing (services and experience available on my site), tarot reading remotely and at events, and I also got myself a nanny job. I was working 9am-8/9pm for just a little bit over £1000 a month.
I maintained my authenticity and stayed true to myself by using this opportunity to leverage myself into the career path I wanted.
In the December 2019 election, my perception of people, the place I lived, and my tolerance for those around me completely disintegrated.
In the build up to this election, I was the angriest I think I can ever remember being. When I was in that office I just wanted to throw staplers at people.
I worked harder than anyone else in this company (barring the lady who cared for her elderly mother with dementia, and the lady who was rushed off her feet 24/7 caring for her children, house, and anyone she could take under her wing).
I didn’t have a moments rest, I researched academia for my blog, I have been educated.
Everyday I was faced with ignorance that decided my knowledge and education was lesser than their opinions and unsupported judgement.
Everyday, I was faced with people from middle class comfortable backgrounds telling me (who needed the support of the NHS and state funded resources in a way they NEVER have) that these things were not of value to the people of this country.
In January 2021 we can see how destructive the tories have been in the last year alone, disregarding 10 years prior.
This is when I had a complete epiphany about everything I just can not ever let myself be.
I identified that the full time people in this company were there (without any desire to be) because they had allowed themselves to be ruled by fear. And they settled for it.
Everyone played a role here. Nobody was authentic. Nobody was friends, nobody cared about anyone here. The decisions made by these people day in, day out, were ruled by fear.
In that election, I took these people’s votes personally- because everyday they looked at me struggling and thought ‘huh, as long as I’m alright…’. I cracked jokes with them, had conversation with them, got to know them. That changed my view. A lot.
Out of fear, these people were bought and controlled.
I began reflecting on my time already spent there. At that company I was constantly told ‘you can’t say that’ by peers, in response to the most regular and transparent conversation I had with managers- which I was literally never pulled up on.
I was constantly told ‘you NEED this’, ‘you HAVE to do this’ and if I ever questioned ‘why’ nobody knew the answer. They only thought about fearful consequences.
On my first week, my line manager asked me “have you had an interest in business administration?” to which I replied “not really!”. And that was literally fine. For the rest of my job there the manager would talk to me about Louis Theroux documentaries and we could communicate on a human level. If I’d have said “yes I love spreadsheets and working with a system that is literally 15 years out of date” I very highly doubt that I would have had even half as much of a good relationship with my managers.
There were audible gasps at my response, but it worked because there is a difference between using honesty and authenticity as a charming asset, and just being a negative Nancy.
It’s a trade. Don’t kill yourself for a company that will replace you in a second.
Which is my main point here.
This recurring memory reminds me that putting a face on for every role you play in life will confuse the shit out of you and lead you down a path you will grow to resent. As will allowing fear to dictate your life.
I was always so surprised at how people I wouldn’t trade places with thought they could impose their unsolicited judgement (disguised as advice) on me simply because I was 10+ years younger.
If you walk through life telling the truth, keeping your heart pure, investing in the betterment of yourself and refusing to commit your identity to one singular role; what can go wrong?
I’m not here to advise you on how you can get out of your situation, because I got lucky. As do many people. But I wanted to emphasise that authenticity is the key to aligning with what you want out of life, even if you don’t know what you want.
Don’t waste your time caring about things that don’t matter.
That’s the brain dump for today!