Next Steps

I’m going to get a promotion and buy a house.

Easy to say when it’s just in letters, on a back-end-of-the-internet blog. But that is what I’m going to do.

The promotion is already happening, a bit. Not in a permanent way, but in a very definite we-can-work-on-this way. In a moving forward productively way.

The house thing is happening as well, in that I have looked at a lot of houses on the internet, and one in person, and I’ve talked to an adviser about mortgages, and googled “the best place to live in Leeds”.

It’s all terrifying.

I’ve made a bit of a significance out of always moving forward, and always bettering myself in small ways every day. Right now I have a lot of times where I feel like there is no possible way of climbing the enormous mountain of life, or even the enormous mountain of getting out of bed in the morning. But I also have a few times where all these things feel achievable, and like things that I have watched other people do with great success.

And like things that will not end the world even if they don’t pan out perfectly.

So here I go, taking steps.

We need to talk

..about Tinder. Mate. It’s so weird.

I’m something of a serial monogamist, though serial is probably taking it a bit far. I’ve had about 6 boyfriends, and 5 of those were between 16 and 18 when the most couply thing to do was hold hands and maybe meet up at the park. So I’ve never really “done” dating.

It’s been a month, and so in a moment of bizarre adventurousness, I decided I needed to Get Out And Meet People, so like all good millennials I took to the world of the internet. Because nothing says “healthy adult mindset” like picking out your best pouty photos in the hopes of getting strangers to like you.

I don’t have high hopes, I have to say. I’m (despite all appearances to the contrary) very shy, and apparently you really have to be willing to talk first. I also have no idea what to say. Hi there, I’ve recently separated from my long-term partner, I’m having some kind of life crisis, also I quite like opera. It’s a winning line, I’m sure.

And I don’t know what I think about the other people. Sure, some of them must be like me, just after a quick way to meet some new people in different circles (don’t get me wrong, I love my circles, just interested in new circles [but not Google circles, no-one cares about those]) but they are vastly outnumbered by people with terrible bios full of cheesy jokes or random quotes from obscure TV programmes. Or maybe those are the same people and I’m just doing it wrong.

Who knows, quite frankly.

com·men·tat·ed, com·men·tat·ing, com·men·tates

It’s easy, in times like these when everyone is a first-hand witness to the atrocities of the world via real-time coverage and social media, to feel the need to share your commentary on every event.

But actually, you don’t have to.

Terrible things are happening every day. Terrible people are making a lot of them happen. Those people feed on attention, they are greedy for it, and they depend on it. No, ignoring the problem will not make it go away. But you can be a helper without discussion of the acts, the motivation, and the reactions.

Good places to help right now are:

Only give to charities and organisations whose work supports your personal beliefs, and be aware that there are organisations in the world who may not use your funds as you might like – a little research will normally turn up most problems, or you can use resources like aliveandgiving to check a charity’s credentials.

Current Skillset

Name: Sally
Age: Some
Gender: is a social construct

Skills: General administration
Good phone manner
Diary management for others
Complete inability to manage personal diary
Will apologise for literally anything (profusely)
Creative, but only in very specific ways
Good cook
Bad teenage skin (note: not a teenager)
Can lose glasses almost immediately
Personable
Strong ability to preempt the needs of others
Strong ability to incorrectly try to serve those needs
Flattery
Loves buying presents (presents are often terrible)
Can coexist with cats
Likely to say all of the wrong things at all of the wrong times

Where now, nowhere, now here

When I was about 13 I picked up one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. It was called “Fire and Hemlock”, by Dianna Wynne Jones, and though I’ve read it a lot of times since, I’m still not totally sure I can tell you what the story is.

It interweaves the story of a young girl with the folk tales of Tam Lin and Thomas the Rhymer, and you spend the whole book not really knowing if you are coming or going. In particular, a set of vases are featured which depending on how they are positioned read any of “Now Here”, “Where now”, “Nowhere” or “Here now”. I loved the idea of these, and the idea that even if you feel like you don’t know where you are, it only takes a change of perspective to flip that on it’s head.

At this moment I’m somewhere between nowhere and where now? I’m beginning to take the first steps towards the first thoughts which will eventually lead me to now here.

Then the question will just be, where next?

Where the heart is

Home isn’t  a place, home is people.

This isn’t my first statement as an online lifestyle guru (though obviously that’s what I am). It’s an observation from the last few weeks, in which I’ve moved out of what I would have called my home, and learnt that Leeds is full of places which feel like home to me thanks to all of the fantastic people here.

Life is full of change, and full of things which don’t come through. My relationship with my boyfriend was longer than my relationship with this blog, but long doesn’t mean right, and so in the end moving on was the right decision for us both.

I’m not over it yet. 8 years is a long time. But I know that in time, I will be, and while I work through this I am so lucky to have the best people in the world creating my home for me. I’ll never be able to say thank you enough times to the people who’ve let me cry on them, text them when I’m sad, leave my things with them, move in with them (a particularly big thank-you here).

So. If you need my new address then please get in touch (if I know you. Don’t post me things if I don’t know you. I’m not famous. That’s just weird). If you fancy catching up, I’m all ears and also time.

Thank you for being my home.

 

(Also maybe this is the start of me blogging more again, but also maybe not, please don’t get your hopes up)

What makes you happy

I am very bad at “self-care”, which the internet defines as;

“…the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical and mental health”

The thing about it is, I’m mostly wired to focus on doing things to make the people around me happy (brag brag brag, I’m such a great person), and so doing things exclusively for myself feels like a bit of a waste of time and energy.

That being said, you have to collect the things that make you happy and know what they are, so you can call on them when you need them.

You also shouldn’t ever feel bad about what makes you happy (unless it’s murder. Don’t do murder guys). We are societally pretty great at deciding how to define other people based on their choice of activities, and quite often those definitions are derogatory. Which is rubbish of society. If you love something and it makes you happy, do the thing (except MURDER. GUYS).

So, here are a few of the things which make me happy.

  • Facemasks – guys. You can get so much done while also wearing a facemask, and then afterwards your skin is all BLAM I’M BRAND NEW BABY. It’s great.
  • Coffee – I’m not a coffee snob, it really all mostly tastes the same to me. But I love sitting down to a cup of coffee.
  • Twitter – I’ve explained this one before.
  • Working out – I have  a total love-hate relationship with exercise, but I get a huge buzz after doing a workout. Especially now I have one I can do at home, because I’m much less comfortable around other people.
  • Nail art – I got a gel lamp from Boyfriend for Christmas, and it’s the best thing. Also see my instagram for occasional nail adventures.
  • Food – It’s ok to like eating. Food is one of the greatest creations of the human race, there is so much magic and variety in food. Both cooking and eating.
  • Skyrim – My name is Sally, and I’ve played over 500 hours of Skyrim, a video game about being an adventurer in medieval world with dragons. It’s a wonderful  escapism, it is helping me to refine my motor skills (I don’t have great hand-eye coordination) and I find it very satisfying to complete quests.
  • Reading – I don’t read a lot of books, I’ve yet to get back the habit after losing it through university. But I get a weekly magazine which I love, and I read a lot of articles online.
  • Crafts – Doesn’t matter what it is, I love  making.
  • Good music – I have great taste in music (totally objective statement), and like with a facemask, you can do so much while listening to good music. Also included in this category are podcasts and radio plays.

10 years from now

It is entirely possible that my life is actually a narrative being played out in the head of some supreme being, and that just prior to me writing this, some otherworldly director has issued the direction “fade in…she sits at the desk in the front room, and opens her laptop”.

At this point in the story, I think most viewers have probably dozed off. Or, we’re still in the first 10 minutes and setting the scene. OR this is a flashback.

Regardless, I don’t think I’ve reached the interesting bit of my story yet. I’m not wishing my life away at all, just reflecting on the narrative arcs so far. I’d probably make a fairly good web-comic, with the right artist. My life isn’t thrilling, but it’s pretty funny, in a vaguely mundane but satisfying way.

There are a couple of things I don’t think are going to turn up in my story (so if you’ve been waiting for these, now might be the time to leave the cinema). I have too many physical problems to ever become a ninja, swamp/jungle adventurer, or to get a world record for “sport”. I am not going to do anything phenomenal in the world of science. I probably won’t ever be on TV.

Other than that though, it’s up for grabs. Let’s just wait and see.

Songs for a New World

The future is global, regardless of the whims of the BNP or Donald Trump, or Katie Hopkins (a woman who should genuinely be shot into outer space and left to shrivel up alone). And so, to celebrate this fact, I’ve decided to compile a list of songs I love in languages other than English.

This post may also be fueled by Boyfriend’s obsession with the first track.

Despacito – Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee
This is everyone’s favourite tune at the minute, and I have to say, it’s pretty catchy. Particularly without unnecessary Justin Bieber.

Aicha – Khaled Sahra
My mum used to listen to this when I was younger, and get me to translate the lyrics for her. I have no idea how I did.

Ai Se Eu Te Pego – Michel Teló
Catchy AF (here AF standing for “and forgettable” because I can never remember the name of it and then end up just searching for vowel sounds until I hit the right few)

Adiemus – Karl Jenkins
I’m not sure if this counts, because it isn’t actually in a language – it’s been designed to just sound calming but structured.

Ya Banat – Nancy Ajram
This was played to us in one of my Uni classes, and I don’t know how you can’t love this song, even if just for the video.

Que me quedes tu – Shakira
She had to make an entry on the list somewhere, right? Because she’s the queen of my entire life.

Bonustrack – La Oreja de Van Gogh
Spanish language songs were always likely to dominate this list, because I am biased towards my own language base, and there is something about this song which has always just made me smile.

Major Tom – Peter Schilling
I am historically not a fan of German, because it has too many genders and cases, and LOTS of syllables. But Deutschland 83 and its amazing soundtrack definitely won me over.

Volare – Domenico Modugno
It would be wrong not to recognise Eurovision as the home of all the best music, and Volare just feels like the right choice for peak Eurovision.

Metaphorically Speaking

Who doesn’t love a metaphor? Only unfun people who don’t enjoy language, that’s who.

Here is an example of a metaphor. I am a match. What do you mean, I hear you cry (my imaginary friend). Well, I am mostly beige, apart from my head which is bright red and also on fire.

I accept this isn’t a great metaphor.

It’s totally true though. The colour that my face goes when I exercise is a sight to behold. You can feel the heat radiating from my cheeks from 10cm away, and I go a violent shade of red. It is not a healthy colour. I look like I’ve been running from a maniac with a kitchen knife. I imagine.

The reason for the redness and heat is that I have enough energy almost every day lately to exercise. Which is phenomenal,  and hasn’t happened for the longest time (/or maybe since last summer, idk). So I am. Each day this week I have done a 10 minute strength circuit, a 10 minute circuit or either arms, legs, or abs, and then 10 minutes of cardio. And then a cooldown.

And I feel I should note that it is so irritating when workout videos don’t actually explain “child pose” or “upwards facing dog” just as you are in a yoga pose that forces you to stare at the floor. But I cam get over it.

Basically, summer y’all. It is great.