Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 16: Second-Hand-Drama | It's only a job

image from
Last week, I was reminded that it's not always me who every now and again wonders if she will ever find a job that feels like a true vocation, not just a more or less convenient way to sponsor my increasingly expensive handbag habit. Two people told me they were this close to quitting, extremely disappointed by their management and didn't feel valued. I told them what I keep telling myself in such situations - it's only a job. Not much comfort if you don't have a plan B, just as little comfort it is to hear similar platitudes in relationship crises. When your current job or (wannabe) relationship sucks and you feel the whole world has conspired agains you, it is so incredibly hard to believe that "the One" job or partner is out there somewhere. I should feel comfort that it's not just rainbows and unicorns for others, either, but it just makes me mad that most people have to put up with so much sh*t at the place where we spend so much time. Not worth it.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 15: Ahead | One Step at a Time

I had a somewhat weird week. It was actually good, work-wise since I was thrilled to have things to do after what felt like a hiatus of months, if not *cough* years, but I was still in a weird state of constant alert for most part of the week as if I had been hooked up to a caffeine drip. Nope, no difference to my Starbucks routine there, but I was just very hyper in a slightly disconcerting way. The kind of hyper where you wake up from 8 hours of sleep feeling everything but rested. There are several things bugging me somewhat seriously, with the share of work/private being about 30/70, and while I have optimistic and productive moments, there are (many) others when I just feel like panicking. I am positive that everything will be fine in the end (if there is one thing I believe, it is this), but when exactly "in the end" will is still not crystal clear. I keep telling myself I can see the top of the metaphorical staircase though.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 14: Growing Apart | It's Not You, It's Me

Last week I was back in Dublin after an absence of over a year. Since the European HQ of The Firm is located there, I used to visit at least once a year on average, but due to my sabbatical and other factors had not reason to visit last year. Dublin is like an ex-boyfriend for me. I remember that we once were very close (when I spent an Erasmus year there in the mid 1990s, I thought it was the coolest city on earth, pretty much), but now cannot really see the attraction any more as both of us have changed a lot in the past almost 20 years and we both know that we won't get back together. Despite its sleek exterior in some parts of the city, the city has come pretty run-down and is one massive building site in the city centre. Most unique Irish stores have been replaced by international chains (like everywhere else, of course) and in general, a lot of Dublin's somewhat provincial charm has long been lost in my personal opinion. I'll always be glad to be back for business, but cannot remember the last time I considered spending a holiday there. 

Friday, April 08, 2016

So How's Your Novel Coming Along?

I have to say that I was surprised by little to none questions about the progress of the novel I said I was going to start writing in my sabbatical. Whether this is due to tactfully wanting to spare me an embarrassing admission of failure, or sheer disinterest, I don't know, but I still wanted to give an update. Many people asked when I was back in town after my long summer holidays and two or so actually tried to make be believe I had announced I would also finish it, which, in all honesty, I never thought I would. Summer 2015 was exceptionally hot and I am not the type of person who would ever choose staring at a screen and attacking her keyboard if she can swim in a lake or sea instead. Let's just say that I had never been so tanned than last summer. And I loved it. 
I did write 9 chapters, though and have rewritten/edited them since. Other than that, not much action and only 2-ish chapters added since September. Apart from the fact that I spend most of the day Mon-Fri in front of a computer for work anyway and have an instinctive urge to stay away from it on weekends or evenings, what I am writing about is very personal and what I initially thought would be cathartic felt daunting, a lot of the time.
Like (hopefully) a lot of people I am VERY good at procrastinating even if writing ranks high up among the top 5 things of things I love doing most and have been telling myself that I will get down to writing, like, seriously, after I have decluttered my closet, read all the backlog of magazines and books, got X, Y and Z out of the name it. Procrastination aside, I had to admit that my choice of "software" turned out not to be the most productive. I had looked into various applications, but then thought I would prefer something easy and cloud-based that I could access from any computer, so started writing each chapter as a separate Google doc. This was straightforward enough, but not so great for getting an overview at one glance and be able to navigate and edit easily. I therefore looked into the genre of writing tools again and stumbled upon Novlr where I have now successfully imported all 20,500+ words I have come up with so far and feel a sense of achievement just from looking at the sexy font and simple outline.
In order to put a little pressure on myself, I am putting it out there that I want to be finished at the end of 2016. There, I've said it!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Week 13: Budding | New Beginnings

My good resolutions from 2 weeks ago did not get implemented in the end because the person in question was quite seriously sick and my squishy soft heart melted with worry and empathy. However, I have had ample time to draft what might be the Ultimate-Farewell-Text-Message (henceforth referred to as UFTM), ready to be fired off whenever the situation presents itself, unless I find the moment and courage to deliver it in person. So much for the theory.
Today is also the first day in my new role at the Firm and while I am looking forward to joining a new team (flying to Dublin later today to meet some of them, including my manager), it is always a strange feeling to be the new kid on the block and manage to strike the right balance between being the quiet observer/absorber in the back and yet be visible and involved enough to leave a mark from the very beginning. 
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