Disclaimer: This blog post is all over the place and as such, I apologise in advance.
It’s the back end of the summer as August has now kicked in. I can’t complain because the sun is still shining and people are smiling….. every now and again. I see kids happy that they have time off of school. I see parents wishing their kids were back at school! It’s the usual scenario except my summer has been different, very different. Read on if you will because I’m about to explain right about now how my life got flip turned upside down.…(love ya @WillSmith)
The annual summer internal argument
Every summer I have an argument with myself about why the hell haven’t I made adjustments?! This summer however, I actually took action. I was fed up and tired of having an argument that lead to no avail. First off, I had been unimpressed with myself in my working environment. My progress had plateaued. I was like a sausage that had run out of sizzle but hadn’t yet denatured to ashes. With this sudden moment of clarity, I chose to initiate a discussion with my employer with an end view to leaving.
It was a great place with lovely people. I don’t want to disrespect the company in any which way but I could hear Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way” playing on the radio near HR every week. A little alarm bell would ring every time I would hear
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way ”
I kept asking myself which way was I going about my life because it most definitely wasn’t mine! Was it?! That thought was giving me unsettled stomach vibes. Not what you need when working in an office I assure you! Obviously it wasn’t just Frank (otherwise I’d be flying to the moon) but as a mid twenties striver in the age of the ‘millennials‘ and off of the back of constantly reading about these success stories, I really did and do want a piece of that success! So off I went to Berlin for a week to clear my mind and figure things out. Me and all 10kg of my luggage 😆
But before I delve into that let me explain my reasons. The company and I were no longer a good fit. I was trying to make it work at the expense of myself. It is sad but it is also true. I came to an unequivocal realisation when waiting for a bus in Berlin as I was stood there feeling quite hot n bothered. Those two minutes felt like twenty! Anyway, to get more to the point, I was finding Berlin lovingly friendly and there was this alluring taste of fine, fine freedom in a place where once upon a time at the time of the world wars, there wasn’t such a freedom at all. A strange place to have such a realisation, I admit. It is here though where my heart began to believe that I can make SUGAR happen (replace sugar with another word if ya know what I mean lol) and I knew what I had to do. It kind of reminds me of when people talk about love and say “when you know, you know” Well, this wasn’t much of a love story but when I knew, I knew.
My time in Berlin
Instagram. Talk to me.
Pictures speak a thousand words (#instsgramlife) so need I say more? Well if you insist….I went on a sightseeing tour bus. I saw a lot of sausage, #currywurst and strawberry trailers. The streets were clean. The buses were on time. I waved at scary cops as they drove by (and instantly became paranoid that I’d accidentally broken some sort of law) and never had I heard the German language spoken with as much love than with my time in Berlin.
As you can see in my wonderful photos (I’m working on my photography skills) I went to do a little shopping but it was the history and the buildings that caught my eye with Checkpoint Charlie, the death strip, the mix of older and more recent architecture and the triumphant sense of how modern Berlin has not forgotten about the wars but used that sadness to define itself as a united, creative and progressive city of positive existence. It makes you believe that good can come out of bad and as the human race, isn’t that reassurance exactly what the doctor ordered? I certainly think so.
All in all, I had a lovely time. A great point to note is that my time out there didn’t cost me too much money either. Very kind on the purse strings 👌 Can’t complain really at all. Most importantly though, I then knew what my next move was. Like the German engineering of years gone by it was full steam ahead!
Everybody writes these days
This will all make sense but first you’ve got to hear me out….On the plane back from Germany I was thinking about writing as an art form. It is so saturated. It’s not even a joke. Everybody and their pet dog says they write! I am all for people who love to put ink to paper and all that jazz…. But it makes it extremely difficult to make it obvious how exactly it is that you are DIFFERENT! I mean, I’m confident that I have something to offer that is actually unique. Then again, it’s dog eat dog out there so I have to believe that I have something unique to offer otherwise I might as well close my eyes, count those jumping sheep and go live in a cardboard box! Got to be honest when I say that…. I’m not really gravitating towards that cardboard box life.
Needle. Haystack. Find it.
Here is the ruddy thing though, opportunities are out there but sourcing them out is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Unless it’s sticking out you’re going to have a nightmare looking for it. You might even get pricked by this needle and still not know where it is! I have had my writing praised and pooped upon. I take it like the English weather, each day as it comes but ain’t nobody going to give me a pay cheque every month in this line of work easily! They want me to go black and blue with ink stains all over my little hands and they want me to dream of thesauruses and have nightmares about apostrophes. Once I’ve done that and I’ve built a following of the same numeric size of Bill Gates’ bank balance, or roughly a billion people, only then will I have an income to support my lifestyle….. as a minimalist. Sure, I’m exaggerating but you must get the point as that is the whole point. I feel very passionate about THAT point.
When I was 21…blah blah
Well, let’s go back to being twenty one years old…. I was young(er) and I was dreaming big. I wanted a five bedroom house by the time I was twenty five and this house was going to have beige walls, a cream and red furniture set and I’d be the best dinner invite you could get this side of the Pacific Ocean! I was dreaming and I was dreaming ma-hoo-sive! Of course life doesn’t run on the plans that you write because this ain’t Hollywood and even Hollywood doesn’t even follow its own rules so…. you get what I’m saying.
Stuff happened and that stuff was people, situations, gains and losses, both in the negative and positive senses. To be perfectly honest, I was losing my way. When I was walking around in Germany I couldn’t believe that those things had actually happened in my life and I felt so blessed just to be able to enjoy some time in another country. Time is a great healer. Believe me.
The A B C to my 1 2 3
Now, I don’t need to throw you the A to Z about what happened and what went through my head at every point but y’all can relate, right? How many plans get thrown in the ‘so not happening right now’ box? I can think of at least five in the last week alone! It is sad but you know when one door closes you must go find one that YOU are going to close!!! You want to be in control so when that other door opens make sure it’s in your hands when you open or close that door! You have the key, the control and the capacity to open and shut that door as and when you please. I’m pretty sure the U.N. haven’t stated this as a human right but believe me, it is your human right! Do not let any other soul be in control! You must be the one in control of your own decisions.
Handing in your notice
Changes are difficult but necessary
Is it bravery or is it stupidity? I could argue that it’s a bit of both but what you can’t say is that it’s not honest. Honesty is a big thing for me. I knew that to get onto my preferred side of the fence with dignity, I had to make it known I was ready to jump and leave peacefully on great terms, not just good terms.
Funny thing, I am one of those people who conjures up lines and recently I thought “Always leave so that the worst anyone can say about you is at the bottom of the list of the nicest things anyone can say about you.” I was all so ready to just put that on @instagram but it had more meaningful weight to add to this post but damn! Ain’t that a fine line! (Even if I do say so myself) Conclusion on the thought process: Difficult but necessary.
One day at work, I pulled my manager aside and first things first, everything I said was honest. I stated why I was leaving all the way from why I don’t see myself as a good fit for this role at this point in my life and why that right now I quite simply have different goals. Look at it this way, if I was a plant that was being neglected then I would wilt and then next thing be a dead plant so using that botanical analogy for my ambitious happiness, I was sure that in order to get through this phase of my life without regrets, I had to be a little ballsey. I had a white envelope with a typed out resignation and more importantly, a mind that was set. No going back. No doubt. No regrets.
Today is the second day of August and I’m sat here with a clean slate. I forgive myself for all my misgivings and faults because if I genuinely want a crack at making SUGAR happen then being bitter and sour isn’t going to yield the sweetness I so very much crave. And crave that sweetness indeed I do (kind of like that cookie dough below yum indeed!)
I need one person to start this new chapter off. One person to kick it into action. The one person who needs to back me before anyone else is sat right here with a cheeky lemonade and a wry smile…..me. I need to back myself one hundred percent and you know what ladies and gents, I bloody well do!
Danke (it’s German lol)
To end my blog post today, I wish to do so with a thank you. Germany, I thank you for making 2018 clearer, showing me that streets can be kept clean and that German isn’t such a scary language to learn. Also for being awesome and helping me figure my life out. I may well owe a segment of eternal gratitude for my future successes to that week in Berlin.
Berlin. Germany. The nice people of the world. My readers. Danke sehr.
P.S. LA? Maybe one day…
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