Change is harder than people think….

“A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to.” Tom Bissell- This quote popped up after I published this article and I just had to include it because it was very true for this story of mine. So without further ado here is some of my ugly truth.

So I recently successfully completed a telephone interview and I have an assessment day on Wednesday but I am very scared, but  I don’t really know why. I suppose it is because of the failures of my last interviews and I am afraid of how people perceive me. But the truth is I am trying to find myself and this day is for a job in sales. Everyone says that people should follow their dreams, but this is not my dream and I know in my heart that this job is not the right one for me. I want to run and not take part. I want to ring up and say I am not interested but that is the coward in me who doesn’t want to bother with the effort or the research. I hate presentations and I don’t want to do it so I want to run. But there is always something in me which stops me from quitting- which makes me face the things I hate. Because if I don’t face them I’ll always be scared and run away. If I don’t try I’ll never know. That is the part of me I love and hate at the same time. If I give up now there’s no point because I didn’t even try. Even though I don’t want the job, the experience of the interview is good. But another part of me says what’s the point? I should save myself the humiliation! Well who knows I could meet some very nice people. I could actually learn something. I could stop running from my fears. No I don’t really want this job, but I do want to try and experience things. For me jumping out of a plane or para-sailing is far more exciting, but it is also a lot more dangerous.

That day I answered the call- I didn’t care I just went for it because I knew I had nothing to lose and I didn’t really care. But now, now that I have passed the interview I do care. Or perhaps it is that I care about how I look in front of top business people. I don’t want to make a fool of myself in front of them. I don’t want to fail. I just want to get this over and done with but at the same time I want to run in the other direction and not face this day.

Recently I have been fearing the future. I don’t know why but it was my graduation last week and I was not looking forward to the stress, seeing people, the fear of tripping over my heels. But on the day during they ceremony I felt blessed. I felt so happy- going up for my certificate I had no time to be scared because I was happy. This was what I worked 3 years for. All my hard work paid off. So why didn’t I want to face the day? Can you imagine what would have happened if I missed it? I would have missed out on such much! On such a momentous and important day for me. Granted there was a lot of people I didn’t want to see and didn’t want to talk to and I didn’t really talk to them because who says you have to? University is over. All that matters is what you achieved and who you are.

After America over the summer I have not been the same. I thought I hadn’t changed which I disliked because I wished to change- I wanted to be more confident but the truth is I had changed. I had become worse, more fearful, more reserved and quiet! I came to hate myself. Such a shame just as I was coming out of my shell after all the good uni had done! Even after these few months I hated me. I wanted to forget. I wanted to forget when people hurt me. I wanted to forget everything. I was ashamed. Why? Because I did not like me. Why did I care so much what people think? I don’t know. When I spoke to someone they said why would you want to change? You’re fine the way you are! Well I think I do need to change some things but I am fine. I’ll take that!

The problem is I let my insecurities rule me and I let fear control me. I hate it and I am trying to change it. I am trying to change me for the better. But it is no easy process. Things happen for a reason. The other day someone asked me what my dream job would be and I thought and in my head I had absolutely no idea! But because I needed an answer I said I would like to have been an author. Truthfully I don’t think I would have! I like writing stories- but for myself and for my friends. Perhaps I would have liked to have been a doctor. No maybe I would have liked to have worked for a charity. I still could- I like helping people so I could work for a charity. Maybe I will try it. It’s not impossible and completely out of my reach unlike medicine where I actually need a medical degree.

Nothing is impossible! I just have to keep telling myself that. I need to change. I need to wake up and be positive. I need to get back to where I began. When I was a baby I had no care in the world and was not affected by any external judgements. So I can’t get back that far. But I can shield myself from criticism. I can choose not to let things affect me. It is hard to change, but I must do it. I must be the change I want to be. But most importantly I must learn to love myself.

At least I know that some people love me, my family, friends and most importantly God. That’s right me and the man upstairs are changing the rules. I will not fail. And if I do that’s ok I’ll just get right back up and start again.

Fiction or Reality? I choose getting lost in fiction any day!

So I have recently been reading and thinking. Writers usually write to allow their readers a form of escapism but also it allows them to escape in their own fantasy world. Most plots derive from our fantasies or so it seems, but some things are also mostly based on our experiences, because how can you write about something without having some kind of knowledge of it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be knowledge from the experiences one has had, but it can derive from the experiences of others- though you only see one side of their experience. Not only do you not experience the emotions of pain or happiness that they felt since you cannot feel it thus you cannot truly comprehend it. You could imagine it, but never grasp its reality. But you also only receive their side of the feelings- their words so stories end up twisted from the original truth (or original event that happened). For example if my friend broke up with a guy, I would be hearing her side of the story. How she interprets the situation may be different to how he interprets it. I would not understand how she felt because how can I if I’ve not had the similar experience of breaking up with a guy who I really loved or liked. I could imagine how it would feel, but that would be no good because I didn’t feel the raw emotions of what it is to love in that way, to feel pain or hurt in that specific way. All I would feel is pity for my friend trying to comprehend the way she feels, trying to reassure and comfort her, while secretly thinking and making the mental note never to make the same mistakes that she did. Never to fall in love so that I don’t give anyone the power to hurt me like. But that’s the problem with learning from other people’s mistakes and not learning from your own. You become too cautious to even make mistakes of your own because you are too afraid to do the wrong thing, to be caught in the hole in the ground everyone keeps digging for themselves. There is always someone who tries to lend a hand to a person stuck in that hole, but its up to you to choose whether you need help or even want the help offered or whether you drown in your unhappiness.

Anyway I have digressed, people teach you things whether you realise it or not we are all influenced by our family, friends and random strangers! Despite sometimes not wanting to be, you are. This has somehow drifted into a completely different topic that I no longer know how I got here! I can honestly say I am lost in a rabbit hole but in a different kind- not due to a relationship but coming to terms with what do I do with my life? Where do I go from here now that I have finished my studies? Who can help me? I can only help myself- I have to try, but what I always find that I do- no matter where I run to, where I go what I do- I always seem to try to escape to a different reality. To a fantasy world, to a place of fiction anywhere from the truth. But authors do that too- they try to recreate their own fantasies in their writings, they try to realise the dreams they never fulfilled through their characters giving them the happy ending they never got. Well I wouldn’t say never- just a different happy ending in life. While a book ends mostly happily ever after where the main character wins by defeating the baddie- war between good over evil conquers all. Well this is not the case in life, because there are no happy endings in life. There is no such thing as the prince saving the princess and living happily ever after. What does that even mean anyway? It’s time to grow up and learn that life’s not like a fairytale. Its been said many times but it really is true so why do people continue to read and watch these fairytales wishing they were true. In real life, that does not happen- after happily ever after aka getting married more problems and obstacles arise i.e maintaining a job, growing old, having children etc. Everyone still battles with their demons- but life goes on- no happy end except death. But then is that the ultimate end? So many debates surrounding that topic I won’t get into that now.

Society too has an impact on everything- on our lives, music, movies, books, media etc. The media seem to control what we desire and what we want trying to portray lifestyles we must attain. We try to attain perfection- perfect life, perfect body, the happy ending. But this is all poisonous if it only succeeds in hindering us, by shying away from our bodies, being ashamed. Look at the books that are on our shelves, being sold- they represent the times in which we live in and unfortunately they are all filled with crap! The desire for the superficial rich and famous lifestyle- The good girl getting with the rich rockstar living the dream! What is the dream? What is the life? Everyone is different so surely not everyone wants to be rich and famous. Books nowadays seem to have weak characters especially portraying women as weak, dependent and annoyingly stupid! Look at Twilight- Bella can’t even do anything because she’s so clumsy so Edward must be there all the time to “protect her”. The last thing the world needs is another young woman depicted as a “heroine” when she clearly isn’t! If you want something interesting to read, read the Hunger Games! Mind you it reminds me a little of Battle Royale! Anyone agree? It’s a pretty famous Japanese film! I would look it up if you enjoyed Hunger Games, though it is a lot darker.

Anyway there must lie some truth in a book- yes in the sense they are based on some kind of experience. The characteristics of the protagonist resemble some person or other. The main character normally resembles a person who the author wishes to be- who the author and sometimes reader wish to have the same strong characteristics that make the character strong and likeable who will fight for justice. No one likes a weak character, likewise in this cruel world no one likes a weak person. I wish I could say that I have learnt a lot from my experiences but sometimes it takes something twice as bad to hit you round the head for you to take notice and by then it may be too late. But then hopefully there is never such a thing as being too late. Better to have tried later than never.

Camp America is not all it lives up to….

I am back from four months of being away and you would think I have learnt a lot and grown up. But I have not. I am still pretty much the same person recalling how I thought I would somehow change over the summer. But then some people are just too stubborn to change and that someone might just be me. It’s not that I don’t like change I don’t mind it unless it is change for the worse in my personality or something.

Anyway I went to work in America for 2.5 months at a camp in upstate New York. They say that not all camps are the same and the experience is different at each one, but I doubt I’ll be doing this again. I came out unfulfilled and not impressed with camp. I thought I would love it and have the most amazing summer of my life, but I just came back sad and extremely tired from all the hours they worked us. We were not really allowed to get ill and clogg up the health centre but that is what happens when you overwork people and treat your staff in such a way. The amount of hours I did would be illegal in the UK and certain things make you appreciate the UK a lot more such as the NHS. Though the infirmary was free, we were dissuaded to go. One day, it was visiting day where the parents come to visit the children they dumped at camp for one month or two months. I worked as an Outdoor Adventure Specialist and had to work in the burning sun (heatwave in the US) for 6 hours straight with 20 minutes for my lunch break. I had to run to get my lunch, scoff it down and rush back so that we could manage the unlimited amount of kids choosing to go on the adventure course. it was a manic day which resulted in us closing 1 hour earlier than planned due to the heat. I convinced the head of Outdoor Adventure that my fellow friend (who also worked on the adventure course with me) was sick but refused to get help. She finally ran to the bathroom to be sick.  While I too ended up with heatstroke as I finally choked on some water and collapsed. It sounds dramatic and in fact it seem dramatic at the time, but it was just fuss made over nothing- I was just too tired.

No one can understand what I experienced- everyone think that camp is amazing because despite the hard work you make friendships for life, you looks after children and discover your life dream. But for the tiny percentage that don’t like camp which includes me- I discovered I hate working with little brats and can’t stand working with children who don’t want to learn but just want to be selfish and do whatever they want.

The social aspect was great meeting new people and adapting and facing new challenges, but we lived in a camp bubble with no privacy, no respect for personal space. I came to camp prepared to give up drinking for 3 months to work with kids, but when I got there I discovered that we were allowed to go to the bar and drink. On our days off, everyone would make out with each other, get stupidly drunk and sleep with people without having a f””””” clue what they were doing. I was told of “goggle eyes”- which is when in the beginning you are not attracted to a person but having to be forced to live with them for 2 months you eventually find them attractive. Well I sure wouldn’t like it if a guy at first thought I was ugly and then after a month found me more attractive because of the limited amount of girls left to hump. Some people are just superficial!

It was not all bad I did have some fun, but I found it insulting that my camp director told us at orientation that we should get to know our fellow staff because who knows it might be the person you’ll end up “making out” with over the summer. I didn’t think a camp could have such crappy and fake values than the ones espoused. The children were spoilt rich children who had no idea what pain and suffering there was in the world. People complained about the food instead of being grateful they were at least being decently fed and had a bed for the night to sleep.

What’s more I underestimated how much I would miss my family and though some people did not. Being away made me realise the importance of looking after my family and treasuring my good friends who actually love me for who I am and who actually want me back. During my travels I discovered that my aunt, my uncle and a family friend had passed away this summer. These events have made me realise that so much can happen in just 4 months and we must not neglect the ones most important to us. We must treasure and make them feel like the most important people in the world so that they don’t have a reason to give up on life. RIP- may you finally be happy and never alone.

Anyway I hated camp and I never want to return. Though I do remember the fond memories of the people I met and of the fun things I did before the children came. I will never forget the bitchiness, the cruel people who would gladly step on others to get to the top. In fact I am pretty sure that is life- the horrible people somehow manage to climb to the top while the soft and quiet get trampled underneath. It’s time to get a voice, but I sure won’t resort to mean ways to get ahead. Its sad because on my travels I met some very nice people who went to different camps and they were very friendly! Much friendlier than those who went to my camp. It’s a shame really but at least it will give me pleasure when the company who helped find my camp ring me up to ask whether I will be going to camp again, I can gladly say a big fat “NO! Never again”. I’m not one for tormenting myself as much as it is all the rage now since Fifty Shades of Grey!