Birthday surprises

In two days it will be my birthday. I’ll be a quarter of a century old and I’m hoping that in two days I won’t have grown white hair or torn my hair out from stress and frustration. Planning a birthday party in a foreign country is like constantly smashing your head against a brick wall. First, there’s the language and trying to understand and communicate. Second you’ve made a big mistake and invited over 17 friends but didn’t expect everyone to actually attend. So now you’re stuck trying to find a place big enough to accommodate us all. Don’t get me wrong there are places, but in Japan not so many. We’ll probably be split up which is fine, if only I could understand if that was what they were saying. I have no idea to be honest. This was a very bad idea. Japan doesn’t really cater for big foreign groups and I can’t say that I blame them. Not many restaurants where I live are very big. Not to mention that my level of Japanese is limited and quite frankly terrible. I’m trying, but it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do. I’ve faced rejections from more than 5 restaurants already and I’m already in despair as I’ve just spent the last few hours hoping and failing namely falling flat on my face while my dreams of a smooth party do not exactly pan out.

But for now that’s not what’s important. It’s important to recognise all the people who want to celebrate with me. I never thought so many people would turn up or even want to come. I am lucky to have such good friends and so many too. They’re not all perfect, we do have some differences, but they are there. I’m not normally so lucky with friends, so this is pretty amazing. So I will just persevere and hope everything will work out, even though everything has not been in my favour. So does anyone want to actually plan my birthday while I take off on a jet plane to somewhere relaxing, namely one of my nice fantasies since a last minute holiday is out of the picture these days. Anyone? Any takers? Yeah I don’t blame you, I wouldn’t either.

Anyway here’s to nothing going right in life, to the unplanned, the spontaneous, the exciting, the unexpected, the good, the bad and the love.

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.

Is that a writer’s block I see?? Comfort food here I come…

It is a difficult time personally as I have a dissertation to write in philosophy so we all know that is mind boggling. Normally when I have trouble writing an essay I know that last minute pressure will motivate me to write it and thoughts seem to flow. But this long essay is due in one month and one week and I have yet to submit a draft which I planned to have finished over a week ago.Things are not going my way and if I continue on this path I won’t even have a draft to submit except the final piece. That spells disaster! But it is also the case which my friend got herself into. Actually it is the case that many of my friends got themselves into and it is an easy hole to fall into. Not a pleasant one to get out off.

Somehow though I cannot seem to focus nor want to complete this dissertation. It requires so much work and working within a word limit has never been my strongest point. To top it off I am frustrated with the interpretations of others commenting on Nietzsche thoughts! For me I do not agree with what most say and I feel that they digress from the original point. Or maybe it is just not relevant to my question. But then my tutor picked them so it seems that maybe I am missing something. If only I had a magic wand that could do all the hard work for me! So I am here instead trying to divert my attentions and write something other than philosophy. Maybe I might even find some bright ideas to make me focus and overcome my writer’s block! Or maybe a source of inspiration will slap me in the face while I’m not looking. Well that’s what I am hoping for, but blinding walking into the future hoping something will hit me is not the best option. Plus it involves waiting and that’s not something I have patience for.

What started off as an extremely interesting topic has now become a confused muddle of words that don’t seem to link. I should take a day out, but then I really don’t have time! I feel like I am going crazy but I know I must complete this soon so that I can work on my other end of year essays and revise for exams and then come back to working on the dissertation. Everyone says I should relax, but I do in a way go out and relax. I can’t say I sleep very well though.  I have so much on my mind, being alone in the night with nothing but silence only makes you wonder and think about what you have to do. Oh and that dreaded race against time. Dangerous thinking indeed.

I can’t wait till all this is over but then there will always be new challenges that will face me. What can you do when you don’t know how to proceed?  When your attention is diverted by everything. Even the tiniest things can distract me. Pascal was right we divert our attentions because we cannot deal with the present. I agree we are always bored which is part of our human condition. Boredom is the condition in which the self feels imprisoned in a certain state which it cannot escape from.  This allows humans to fall into constant unhappiness due to the lack of fulfillment. Is this true? It certainly seems so, though I have argued with others who present contrary views  I cannot say that I believe we reach fulfillment. Why you ask? Because whenever we feel we reach a goal, we feel extremely satisfied, but once conquered we seek to conquer something else. We turn our attentions to something else because how can we focus it on something already fulfilled. Pascal points out that man cannot sit still and be solitary. Well off course that is understandable as we are gregarious creatures. No one likes to be completely alone- at least not for long periods of time. We would go insane! Pascal even says that we fear the truth and thus divert our attentions with our passions etc. such as gambling. Though in modern times we use other means such as films, virtual realities and playing games- anything to divert us from our current state i.e working. At least for me literally anything can distract me.

This is partly what my dissertation is about. Interesting right? I love Pascal and I love this topic but somehow I can’t seem to write about him. Maybe it is the word “Dissertation” or “long essay” that gets me, or maybe it is knowing that I have so much to do that I am “lost in the cosmos” and lost as in where to start. I have to keep trying. I used to wake up with a optimistic mental attitude, but these past few days my optimism has faded and I wake up dreading the day and looking forward to the night so that I can sleep away my worries. I fall asleep late and wake up late. Not a good start, but it is a pattern that has recently developed.

I’ll try and end this on a happy note, though I can’t speak for my mood. I’ll keep preserving and trying, I will not give up- I mean that I will not. I will do my best to overcome this mental block, as hard as it is I need to get this done soon. Time is running out and time is definitely not on my side.  But I hope everyone is having a much more productive and happier Easter! I am off to have a feast of good food! At least that will make me happy!