The grass is always greener on the other side

So as you know from my last post, I recently left my old job and after the consequences finally sunk in and I was devastated and fell into a kind of deep regretfulness. When I spoke to my best friend, she said something which didn’t strike me until now.

The grass is always greener on the other side but it doesn’t actually mean that it is necessarily better.

She’s right. It’s like admiring something from a shop window and wishing you had the money to buy it, day by day you watch it entranced, the want becoming more like a need. The tension builds up for months on end until one day you have the means to buy it for yourself. Now that you’ve got it, you realise that it wasn’t actually that important; you no longer want it after a while because we always forget and move on. Because in the end you will forget, you misplace something and you forget and move on. You might be reminded of it sometimes, you might visit the item again, but ultimately it doesn’t matter so much in the grand scheme of things. This is exactly the same feeling, day by day I feel the control and hurt lessen. It’s been more than a month since I left and I can honestly say I don’t regret my decision anymore, not for one second. Why? My life has changed, my eyes have been opened. I’ve met so many different people – if I didn’t leave I wouldn’t have met some lovely and genuinely nice people. I wouldn’t have challenged myself – I would have been stuck in a rut constantly unhappy and constantly moaning to the ones I love. If I hadn’t left I wouldn’t have been challenged socially – I would have stayed insecure and scared. But part of my job requires the confidence to know what you are doing since you are in control and if you screw up, you’re directly responsible and you have a lot of people to answer to.

The company has opened so many doors for me and already within the month I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve learnt so much and I genuinely do believe I am working for a fantastic company and I’m actually very lucky I was hired. The interview was a complete fluke and they must have been desperate since I was supposed to go for a second interview, but they just offered the job immediately after I hesitated. Wow the power is always in your hands whether you realise it or not and I didn’t realise it at the time. We make our own decisions. I met up with my friend from the old company and he was telling me about how they were being sent to Venice for a conference for 2 days, they were having parties thrown, 2 bonuses etc. he went on about all the amazing new things happening and it sounded wonderful – I’m not that high up on my horse that I couldn’t see it and disregard it all. But at the same time, I felt nothing and that was when I realised that I was over it. When I went to meet him at the company I felt nothing. In fact my first thought was “Oh gosh it’s tiny compared to my new office.” It felt small and slightly suffocating and that was when I just knew I am okay – I am over it. I was so unhappy in my last job, I had forgotten how miserable I was, how unchallenged and bored I was. All those feelings went out the window when I lost it all, when I felt ‘cheated’ and now I remember all the bad times as well as the good. The grass looks greener, but in fact it’s not. I just built it up in my mind and refused to move on. But I have now and I feel free.

I feel happier in all aspects and now it’s just time to wait. I don’t know what the future holds, but I won’t give up and I will try not to lose sight. I am questioning whether I actually want to work in Marketing anymore. The thing is I get bored easily and I don’t know, I just feel like it’s not really for me. I don’t know what exactly is for me but working in this job makes you realise things you like and things you don’t like. You might have a lot of regrets, you might wish you took a chance, but never fear because another different chance will always appear. In life, I think about all the chances I let go, but there are also all the chances I grabbed. If you want something grab it, if you don’t know, don’t worry because there are so many opportunities its overwhelming. All I know right now is that I like helping people. I would like to do some volunteering work one day, I would like to travel, I would like to try my hand at different jobs. This corporate role right now is just a means to an end to achieve those goals and I will try not to get stuck in it. I don’t think it will happen. You never know though, but this I am sure about. My self-esteem is not great, my confidence and belief in myself is also weak, but day by day I am learning to accept myself. I am learning more of what I like, what I’m comfortable with – I like gossip I am human, but I don’t like when it turns vulgar and becomes cruel. I am learning what I should do and how I should act in the future – don’t let people push you into things, don’t let people bully you – sometimes it’s good to be pushed because I was quite literally pushed into this job by my agency which I resented them for and still begrudgingly still do, but don’t let people push you unless they force your hand, just remember it is always your choice and you have to live with the consequences, not them – YOU.

Everything has a way of circling on itself and working out for the best. Funny enough I met a colleague in my department who applied for a job at my previous company and turns out it was the same job I had applied for one and a half years ago. I got it and she didn’t. I got the chance and she got another opportunity at a different company before joining this current company 6 months ago. It’s funny how life works!

A dream is not always better than reality. The other side might look perfect after you’ve left, but take off those rose-tinted glasses and you’ll see the truth. Reality hits hard. Not everything is as great as is perceived. Perception can be deceptive just as my Philosophy lectures taught me 3 years ago.

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I’m going to blame you since it’s easier and I’m quite fond of my well-being…..

It’s surprising how one can live in the world and not be affected by anything that happens around, especially when one is an idealist with little awareness of the world around. Is this right? Is that person living in ignorance? I have to admit that this is wrong and we shouldn’t be living in ignorance, but I can understand why we would want to hide and not hear all the depressing news. To be unaware would mean not knowing the crimes, pain and evil that goes on in the world around us and it also serves as a safety barrier and a protection against most things cruel. It’s not that I don’t want to know, it’s just that I am not so political I need to know. Now that is a lame excuse! But what I mean is that I like living in my happy go lucky world where everything works out. Truth be told it doesn’t satisfy me completely because I know just like a good book or film that it doesn’t end there as a happy ever after. Now in fact the real story begins filled with troubles, good times, low times etc.  I find it difficult to cope in the real world fully which is why imagination serves me so well. I basically live two lives, one where I am half in the real world pretending to listen to the lectures, meetings and discussions all around me but wearing an intelligent looking mask and nodding occasionally which disguises my true intentions, letting myself drift into the world of the imaginary where anything is possible. A place to escape from this dull and boring life. A beautiful world where every scenario or dream I want can become my new reality and is orchestrated the way I want it to go. There can be an infinite number of ways a scene can be played out and if I don’t like a certain one, I can change it. Simple! Problem with this? I don’t actually end up living much of my life! 

So when we are forced to face reality and bought back by certain events, we wake up and realise the truth. I am hiding from the world and it is so much easier to blame someone else, especially the person who makes you aware of your own condition, but I suppose it helps a bit. So I’ll get away with shifting the blame onto them. When someone makes you feel small and stupid it’s always nice to take it out on them rather than yourself because in the long run it’s going to affect you if you blame yourself. It’s going to damage self-confidence and self-esteem far more than we think and we shouldn’t really. Other people give us far more than we give ourselves credit for and sometimes its wrong when we depend on others to support us. I am not saying that we should shrug off what that person says, take it into account by all means, but don’t take it personally, All you need to do is just learn more and try to be more open which is what I’m taking from this. So when my colleague made me feel this small about not knowing which case was being held at the Old Bailey today, I didn’t feel too bad when I imagined walking past him and having the desire to tip the contents of my scalding hot mug onto his smug self-satisfied balls.  The reason I am feeling so vicious today and in such a foul mood is because of a series of events which made my morning quite eventful so I’ll divulge the story.

The patronising so and so put me down when I came in late this morning. To explain myself I told my team about the police vans and the waiting around and when I asked I wonder which case it could be he said “Do you not read the papers at all? It’s been brandished in the papers for weeks. Where on earth have you been?” The reply in my head was “Well I’m sorry its 9:20 in the morning I’m tired really, woke up felt sick couldn’t eat breakfast, ran for my train only to realise it was cancelled, thus missing my connecting train resulting in a major shitty journey trying to get into work; forced to share the tube with some selfish idiots refusing to move down the carriage. During the God awful squashed journey some bastard released a major stink bomb polluting the air with its repellent fumes. Got out and everyone was moving so bloody slowly, finally got to the street and was prevented from going any further because of the police blocking our way to let criminals in a massive van be led to court. Now not having worked near the criminal courts before, I experienced this temporary lapse of panic and rush to get to work as my interest was diverted as to who was in the van and what’s happening. Gosh and it’s not even lunchtime yet. So excuse me you stupid ass if I haven’t read the paper this morning or week and do not know who is arriving at court this tender fresh morning.” If I was more comfortable with people and more daring I would stick my finger to him, see how he likes that. However, since I work in a professional corporate and polite environment, off course that would be inexcusable, especially to the Head of Business Development. Oh well at least this is why we have private thoughts and the lovely imagination to entertain our wild and fanciful ideas. Though not all ideas are good, some wicked; we are after all only human with free will so thinking something doesn’t necessarily mean we want to act on them, at least not always. Say I wanted to murder half the people on the tube, doesn’t mean a) I would do it b) I would want to do it in reality.

I agree though this is mainly a rant about him as he seems to get on a nerves a lot, especially recently. I’m normally a very tolerant person, but he is making it more and more difficult to be even polite to him. He’s rude, obnoxious, arrogant, awkward and up his proverbial ass but also extremely intelligent and clued up (yes I am a little jealous of that). Still doesn’t make him any less of a douche and somehow since the first day he met me, he seemed to have an intense dislike for me. It was instant and I recognised immediately his brash and resistant mannerisms which ultimately told me he rejected me from the team. At first, I thought it was probably because he didn’t think I was smart enough or good enough for the role, but now I don’t really care. I thought relations might be improving but I was clearly living in that imaginary world again, mistaking fiction for reality. Another colleague who is also new gets on very well with him, but she is quite stiff, very firm and intelligent, but very nice too with a dry sense of humour. I think they get on well famously because of that sense of humour and also they seem to be on the same wavelength. At least she is nice and although she was a bit reserved with me at first, was still very nice and civil. He however seemed to attack me with a few hostile questions and an intense “I hate you” glare; so much for the warm welcome on the first day.

When I met another colleague from Glasgow and Leeds however, they assured me that he was always like that. Didn’t really talk much to them and sort of looked down his nose at people so I was not to take it personally. However it is rather difficult when you are working with someone so brash and impatient, I’m glad I don’t have to work directly with him very much. If only people were simple, things would be easier.

So eventful angry start to the day and it certainly isn’t beginning to look a lot like Christmas Johnny Mathis or Bing Crosby!

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.

The difficult battle between the real self vs unrealistic self

So let me first explain what this post is about as it can digress into various arguments. When I talk of the real self- I mean the person who you really are, who you want to be, how you want to look in comparison with the self that is being projected in society of “how to look good”, “the perfect size” etc. I am concerned with how society is making us think in regards to our self-image. This guys is not just about girls trying to impress you with their great figure, it goes much deeper than that and it is about their confidence and self-image in light of society- to look good for the world and for themselves.

Recently I lost weight and thought great I have lost weight great I look good. But even if I lose weight I never feel good (no I do not have anorexia- you don’t have to have this to answer your insecurities). I am a size 8 usually which I love being but there are the pressures to be thinner. To look and feel perfect like the women portrayed in magazines and on television. How do they look that good? Where are all their imperfections and marks from previous cuts. Is it their true self? Do they have stretch marks? Do they have marks at all? How does their skin look silky soft and beautiful? In magazines the answer is easy- they are airbrushed and their true body is not shown. No one looks like that- everyone has imperfections. But there is the problem of the unreal which keeps developing and seeping into societal thoughts and thus into my thoughts. Where a slim girl with a great figure turns round and doubts herself. I look at my cousins and compare myself to others and think gosh they are so skinny- they look terrible and then subconsciously I think wow I wish I was that skinny, I wish I could be really thin like I used to be when I was small. But then a part of your mind also thinks I would never want to be that skinny I like to be curvy. There’s no equilibrium- no way of being completely satisfied with the self without having doubts. What if I looked a little bit thinner? What if?

Though it seems that the pressures don’t come just from society, but from family, friends and others who are important to you. If my aunt turns round and tells me I am fat- obviously it will affect me- if anyone says ohh are you pregnant? when you’re not will kill your self-esteem and knock down your confidence. When you compare yourself to friends or celebrities (if you see them as role models- which I don’t because they make mistakes and it puts them in a strong light as if they are “higher” than us- another rant another time!) When you examine their body, I know I look for imperfections- to see if they have any which relate to me which prove to me they are not the epitome of perfection. We are deceived every single day by images shown in the press, tv, films, etc. We are told that the only way to look good is be skinny. The media criticises any celebrities if they put on a significant amount of weight. They control the celebrities lives when the celebrity decides to lose weight. They have a strong power and control not only on celebrities but on normal people who read the magazines or watch the box. There is pressure all around us and this pressure is also mounting on men who are required to work out and have “muscles” or a “six pack” in order to look sexy and good. Looking perfect I believe is subjective and should not be an objective standard that people should measure themselves against. That I believe is wrong because everyone is different and you can look good in different ways.

Being curvy is the epitome of what it means to be a woman- to have a voluptuous figure with womanly curves. Many women crave it, while others crave the stick thin straight look. When I compare myself to others I feel inferior and that is something you should never feel and thus something you should never do- compare yourself. Every person is unique and looks good in their own way. They say that the majority of men like their woman to be curvy because it looks sexier. Attitudes are changing towards curvy women. It is now the fat vs the skinny. But what about those in between? Everyone has doubts! But if you’re not happy with yourself then how can you be happy with others? How can you be comfortable with others? Have you ever worn the magic dress which when you put on you just feel and know you look incredible? Its a wonderful experience and also difficult to find dresses that really build your confidence, that really flatter your figure but at the same time make you feel like a million dollars (££ pounds in my case!) I am thankful I have had the opportunity to find some amazing dresses that have made me feel amazing.

Being skinny is not as great as everyone makes out- you lose weight so obviously all your clothes don’t fit you anymore- not as well as they used to. Clothes seem to be dropping- they don’t hang well on you and you rarely find the right size in clothes you like. It generally just sucks being skinny with no/less curves and smaller proportions .  When I am curvy and filled out like people say I hate it- I feel a bit fat in some places and the shape of my body is weird, but when I lose weight I also hate it because even though I achieved being slimmer- I miss my curves and my clothes don’t fit me properly. Nothing does! So I am never really satisfied which is sad. There is no equilibrium, but it is a problem that many people face I am sure.

What we must do is accept and notice that there are these pressures. We must be aware that this is how society is conditioning us to look, feel and act. Finally we must be strong and react against it. Don’t let them make you feel small and don’t compare yourself to others. Be happy with you and your self-image. Easier said than done, but its true. In this world and society, it is always going to be a difficult battle and struggle against what is right, what looks good and the truth. Who knows the truth? Society? No wrong! Don’t let the “Great Beast” as Plato says guide you because it is wrong. We can never attain perfection because we were not created to be perfect.