Thursday, 15 August 2013

To cry or not to cry; that is the slightly less famous question.

Okay, so I know that Shakespeare didn't say this but I figured we'd still entertain it as a topic to look at today because, quite frankly, sometimes I like to live dangerously. 

2013 has been a year of self-discovery for me. I have been a recluse, a social pariah, which was the followed suddenly by becoming a woman who's social life is booked up months in advance. I have also been a push-over, followed suddenly by a push of assertiveness and sticking up for myself. In addition, I have gone from reserving my periods of drastic emotion to nights in with a bottle of wine and the movie One Day playing in the comfort of my own company only, to public displays in front of others and trying to accept that that's okay. 

All of this is, I've been told, a positive thing but I'm still battling with years of social programming to accept this. This is what I want to focus on today. 

If people reading know me, the subject of my public crying will come as surprise or be completely normal, depending on the period of my life you were introduced to me. I go through seasons of being emotional for a while then suddenly deciding that this is a bad thing and becoming completely void of all public emotion. 

At the moment, my source of public emotion seems to manifest itself out of my being angry. I get frustrated with things and then suddenly there are these tears that just fall and continue to fall and I'm all "well this is hardly productive, what the hell?"

However, throughout all of these changes, I am trying to accept that this is perfectly normal and that, if I'm the type of woman who decides that she wants to cry when annoyed, there's really nothing I can do about it and I should learn to accept it. Better out, than in and all... Although I'm pretty sure that saying applies to the manner of burping, I'm going to apply it here because I'm a rebel like that. 

There are several factors in my life at the moment that I won't go into detail here but I can safely assure you are pretty much hella frustrating. My go to reaction in these areas are that I should just lay down, close my eyes and let it happen, suppressing it from my mind once it's over. This is all derived from this bizarre inclination that I have whereby I want to be liked so, if I don't argue about it, people won't hate me unconditionally and will continue to adore me. 

However, what I have found in these situations is that doing this doesn't really make people like me but rather realise that they can get me to do anything because I don't argue. So I decided that a little gentle "no, sorry, I can't do that" or "I'm actually not happy with the way you have spoken to me" might be beneficial before I became known as the world's biggest push over. 

And this is what I have been doing. Let me tell you, my life before doing this was so much easier and... Well... Predictable. Since I decided that I was going to let people know of my limitations, it has felt a massive struggle just to get through the week sometimes. 

And this is where the crying comes in. There is one thing that I have been just ridiculously terrified of since as far as I can remember; confrontation. Confrontation is a bitch and something that gets me all freaked out and frustrated when it happens. Because I don't know really how to deal with these situations as I have generally avoided them like the plague, I am now finding myself in them and not knowing what the hell I am doing. I get all freaked out and my tone reflects it, all the terror comes to the front and manifests itself into some form of anger. 

When a person sits with me to discuss opposing views to what I feel, my brain automatically freaks out and screams at me and the following internal battle happens:

Programmed self: Lisa? What the hell? I know that people have a different opinion to us, but why are you gearing yourself up to verbally tell them that?
New self: Apparently this is what the rest of the world do when they disagree with something. We're trying new things this year, remember?
Programmed self: Yeah, but we don't know how to do it. Remember when we tried it six years ago and the world almost ended?
New self: Yeah, I've been thinking about that, we may have over-reacted slightly on that occasion. 
Programmed self: But if we tell them that we don't agree, then they're going to know we're not perfect and the world's easiest person to get along with. 
New self: Let's be honest, did we ever really believe we were that person?
Programmed self: Of course we weren't, but what happened to our life goal of striving to become that person?
New self: I've been told that that person might not exist. 
Programmed self: But how are we going to cope if this person gets angry at us an their opinion drops of us? We'll lose points!!!!!
New self: ... I've been thinking about that... Would that be such a bad thing? So one person doesn't like something about us. I think that that's the nature of the human race. 
Programmed self: Okay, now you're just not making sense. What if this person decides not to like us at all?
New self: Well... Maybe that's okay too. 
Programmed self: We don't know how to handle that. We'll self-combust. Remember that time-
New self: I think we can safely say that the previous times, we didn't quite react in a normal capacity. 
Programmed self: What is the normal way of reacting to things?
New self: I'm not sure. Let's find out. 
Programmed self: We don't know how to argue!
New self: We did it once. 
Programmed self: I don't remember that bit! I'm sorry but I'm freaking out. You're making me do something I don't like. I'm not happy. What if we get it wrong?
New self: Then we know what not to do the next time. Let's just go through this calmly-
Programmed Self: Nope, I'm not happy. I think I'm just going to make you sound angry and... And... Cry!! Cry uncontrollably and then see if your argument has any credibility or people actually pay attention to what you have to say. HA HA! I win. 

And then I am left with New Self making an argument and Programmed Self forcing me to seem uptight, rude, angry and with the overwhelming inclination that tears will help my argument when I'm trying to say that I'm not being over-emotional at the moment. 

I mean seriously, those tears just spike up and pour down while my Programmed Self is laughing in my head and saying "Yeah, that's right. Assume the foetal position and close down." 

And yesterday, I almost did. I almost decided that my opinions clearly didn't matter and I should just give up because people were starting to see my imperfections instead of the flawless persona I have tried so hard to bring across. Then I had this epiphany. So what if they see something they don't like? It's not the end of the world. Provided that what I'm doing with my life isn't spiteful or damaging to anyone and I steer clear of acts that might send me to jail (I wouldn't last two minutes in prison), I should embrace all the parts of me and let my freak flag fly... Or something. So I have parts of me that aren't that great. So what? Everyone else does. 

And then a weight lifted from my shoulders that was such a relief I didn't know whether to laugh or cry... And, in that instance, I didn't cry. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

WARNING: If you're not a fan of the complaint then I suggest checking out another of my posts instead of this one... That, or google image pictures of Otters because they never fail to be amusing.

I'm cold. I came out of the house without a jacket today... It's been what England likes to call a "Heatwave" recently. And granted, for what we're used to, the weather has been unbearingly hot. So much so, I took a week off, spent it in my garden and everyone now thinks I've been abroad. This has been awesome, but also has been a source of regular complaint amongst our cinical race. We do love a reason to complain. Of all the things that we British are good at, complaining is what we do best... That and sarcasm... Oh, and writing novels about kids going to a wizard school; we're good at that too. 

I have tried my very hardest not to make the heat we've experienced a source of complaint. I think I've managed quite well. Especially given that we probably won't experience heat like it again for at least another couple of decades if past years are anything to go by. 

However, suppressing my natural inclination towards the need to moan for a whole month has left me the teensiest bit pent up over the whole thing. As such, I have felt the first tinge of a breeze and its like I'm suddenly going through a rather chronic episode of verbal diarrhoea. Complaints are coming out of my mouth with no end. I am finding myself without a single filter or self-restraint. 

If these complaints had just limited themselves to the weather, then I could deal. I mean, sure, it would annoy people a little but overall it would be manageable. However, apparently this small breeze and drop in temperature has burst open the damn of suppression and I am now finding fault with almost everything around me... 

What's that you ask? You want a list of what I have found need to complain about? Well, if you insist...

1. The fact that we can't last longer than a month with hot weather.
2. How my £3 Sandals are now starting to fall apart... That's a whole £3 I'm never seeing again. 
3. How, no matter how much time I spend on it, my room is still looking as if I haven't unpacked since I moved in. 
4. How I don't have enough time in the day to do my day job, my freelancing editing job, write my second book and get to bed for 7:30pm. 
5. How Netflix seems to be taking all my time, imposing a tirade of TV Series on me that I can't seem to tear myself away from. 
6. How I'm almost finished with the series that Netflix has taken all my time with and I can't find another one that will take its place. 
7. And today? Why the hell does my train still feel the need to put on the air conditioning when it is clearly no longer hot anymore. 

Wow, I feel better now. Needed to get all that out. FYI. My verbal diarrhoea also doesn't like to listen to solutions, because then I'll have to admit that I can't complain about it anymore... I think it's clearly evident that sometimes a girl just needs to complain for the sake of complaining. It's what makes us women so complex and fascinating... It's also why there are so many gay men out there nowadays... Possibly... To be honest I have no facts to back that up. 

PS. I'm in my "I'm going to blog all the time because clearly the blogging community is the best community out there" phase at the moment. I'm kinda hoping that this time it will stick, although at least I feel safe in the knowledge that if it doesn't, I'll have something new to complain about. 

Silver linings and all. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Monday night is the new night to party... Apparently.

Being a very dynamic and "with it" woman in her 20s, living in the bustling city of London, I naturally found myself dosing off at 8pm last night... Of course only after I had lived it up by moaning to my housemates for half an hour and eaten what was only meant to be one Galaxy Cake Bar which evolved into the whole pack... Yeah, I know, I'm nothing if not a rebel... Plus it's a school night.

Anywho, my sleep found its way to be disturbed at around midnight when a noise I can only describe as being something that equals to the world ending burst through my windows, waking me up from my slumber. I stirred, I looked around my dark room and I scolded myself for not being more pro-active in building my underground bunker underneath my new home. After all, I am the author of a book about the end of the world... I should be more prepared. 

Briefly I considered the irony of a woman who spends her whole life geared around survivors of an apocalypse, not actually having an escape route of her own and then figured that if I was going to die, I might as well do it sleeping and turned over, placed a pillow over my head to drown out the continuing noise and attempted to dose off once more. 

It was only after another ten minutes of this deafening noise that I realised something else might be up. I emerged from man-made cocoon and looked accusingly at my open windows as if they held the responsibility for the noise and so therefore should provide me with an explanation. When they stared back at me innocently and without a single sign of an apology, I realised that panes of glass bordered by plastic holdings probably weren't to blame. The noise continued... And continued... And apparently my accusing stare wasn't scaring it away. 

I growled and decided to move my accusing stare elsewhere, hoping this might stop the noise. I grabbed my dressing gown and opened my bedroom door. The noise increased in volume although still clearly originating from outside. I moved to the bathroom at the back of the house and transferred my glare to this direction of the house. It would appear I was now facing the correct direction to the sound although I was still non the wiser as to where it was coming from. 

I would like to point out at this section that when I am half asleep, I am not at my cleverest. I tend to deviate from logicality and search for an easy solution to things, even if the answer is something that might appear to be what the kids call "insane."

I therefore made my way downstairs and flung open my back door to my garden, walking barefoot into the middle of my garden and stared accusingly at the sky in the direction of the noise. It was at this point that I realised the noise was in fact music. Only this music wasn't coming from a sound system one might find in a house, no; this music sounded as if someone had just picked up Wembley Arena, tore down its walls and unleashed the concert music on the rest of the world. 

Now, although I live in London, I am just enough outside it that there are no clubs nearby, and my particular area is completely run by the Greek Community. So much so, that I can't remember ever hearing any music being played in this particular area that wasn't of the Greek variety. This was clear RnB. And on top of the music was a man who felt the need to repeat sentences of the song intermingled with a series of "yeah" and "Uh" and "say what?" I was officially not impressed. Where the hell was this music coming from?

Once again, not really applying logic to my reasonings, I decided that if the noise had woken me up, it was clearly news worthy and so would obviously be on the news, or at least Google. So I searched "noise in Palmers Green" and waited patiently for my phone to bring up what I was sure to be an endless list of reasons as to why there was music playing at the stupidly late hour of 12am. 

Imagine my surprise when google and my news apps came up empty. What's more, twitter was completely silent as well. (With the exception of a guy complaining about how he had to get three buses to get to Palmers Green and my own tweet complaining about the noise.) I was entirely bereft. My phone had failed me for the first time ever. This only meant one thing... I would have to go in search of the noise myself.

What exactly I planned to do when I found the noise, I was unsure. I think I was leaning towards finding the man talking over his "music" and ask him to minimise his ongoing commentary to a small introduction at the beginning of each tune as well as introducing some more mellow and sleep inducing numbers into his repertoire. This certainly had to be the better option rather than TLC's Scrubs which had just come on the sound system. Although apparently I was in the minority as now I could hear the sound of a throng of people singing along with the chorus...

I was close to crying at this moment. Did these people not have jobs to go to in the morning? Why were people still out and singing? That's just ridiculous. 

There was only one answer that seemed feasible to me; the end of the world was actually happening and they were all having one last party before falling to their inevitable deaths... Yes, the books I've been writing may have slightly warped my view on life. I should probably take a small break from writing this second one and work on gaining some form of sanity again. 

All of this was not important at what was now 12:30am. I was getting more and more angry and, mingled with my sleep deprivation, I was ready to find the source of the music and pull out the plug altogether. 

I walked back in the house and made my way to the front door, reaching up to open it before I remembered that I was, in fact wearing a dressing gown with nothing but a bikini underneath (it's been really hot here lately).

For all my half awake state, I still had enough brain cells to realise that I would need to change clothes before single handedly ruining someone's party. I thought about that for a moment and my own sleepiness won out; marching out in the middle of the night to an unknown location was one thing but actually getting dressed? That was too much energy. 

As such, I resorted to sitting on the bottom stair of my home and glancing longingly at the closed bedroom doors around me, mentally willing one of the men inside to come out and volunteer to be the saviour of my sleep.

Nothing happened. 

I stared more intensely. 

No movement was made. 

I began to question my sanity. 

Before I go into the reasons for my next thought process I would like to:

A) Remind you that I was half asleep still. 
B) Point out that I work around mental health on a daily basis and so voices in people's heads are pretty much like my bread and butter.

I deduced at this point that, due to the fact that the music was deafening, no one was announcing it on the news, and not one of my housemates had stirred, I was therefore clearly hearing music in my head. What if it was something only I could hear? What if, instead of the average Schizophrenic who tends to hear a voice talking to them, my brain had chosen to fill my head with catchy, slightly annoying tunes from the late 90s/early millennium? That would be typical of my brain. Stupid over achiever. 

This thought, as ridiculous as it may seem, scared my half awakened state into a state of fear that had me running back to my bed and crawl under my covers in a state of utmost denial. 

You'll be pleased to know that the possible insanity driven music turned itself off at about 2am. Apparently, even my brain has a curfew. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

A night of chatting with a famous person that was COMPLETELY wasted on me...

Myself, One-And-Only-Daniela and a few people from work decided that we would go out last Friday. We went to a pub in Stratford near where we work and sat and chatted...

My wonderful friend Laura had reserved an entire section of the pub that we had gone to, due to the fact that we were expecting a large amount of people from work. As it was, there was only about five of us for the majority of the night, although once the third drink was ordered in, we really forgot to care.

I was on duty as being the awkward 'person to hate' for the night as, due to not knowing who was going to turn up and being promised that others were "on their way," I had the joyous task of turning to the people jumping at a chance to sit in the 'standing room only' section of our local pub, and saying "sorry this place is reserved for our work colleagues." This was even more awkward as the night continued to roll on and very few additional people turned up, all making me look like I was the bitch who wanted four tables all to myself when we clearly only were enough people to fill one.

Anywho, all of this amounted to me starting to feel bad later on in the night and therefore allowing in a small group of people who had decided to sit at the far table in our section. We looked over, looked at each other with a resigned look and resorted to promise to chuck them out when more of us turned up.

This was fine. We thought nothing more of it until Laura and One-And-Only-Daniela, who happened to be positioned so that they were facing the small group of intruders, noticed that there seemed to be a few people who kept on coming up to this table and asking for their picture with one of the people they were with.

The next hour was taken up of trying to work out why this person seemed to be so popular with the majority of the rest of the pub... these were our conclusions:

1. The guy was famous
2. Not one of us had a CLUE who he was... seriously, he didn't even look slightly familiar.
3. Our conclusion? He must be a football player.

Due to the fact that none of us had a clue how to even begin to identify this man as we were all women who had very little interest in football, we resorted to taking a sneaky picture of him on our phone and sending it via text to Laura's brother for clarification purposes. We continued our conversations, ignoring the man who was getting more and more attention from the rest of the pub, until a text came through on Laura's phone, identifying him as David James, a man who had apparently been England's goal keeper for a VERY long time.

I feel I should add a little note in here for those of my readers who are reading from across the pond (AKA America), when I say football, I am, of course, referring to your Soccer. American Football is something that this country has never really gotten into, except when we watch any American teenage film/TV show ever and see them playing it there... Although this man was clearly unrecognisable to us being an English Football player, he would certainly have been unrecognisable to most people in the pub if he had indeed played American Football. So please feel free to go ahead and substitute the word Football for Soccer for clarity reasons in the remainder of this post...

Once we had identified him, the novelty of his fame quickly dissipated amongst us as we substituted our interest in him for conversation topics more relevant to us. 

It just so happened that, after I had returned from the bar at one point, I found myself standing by our table, talking to Laura. Suddenly a very tall man was looming over us and asking us if we wouldn't mind moving. We turned and saw it was David James. We smiled and moved to one side, he smiled said something I can't recall in a friendly manner and made his way to the toilets. We sat back down and I turned to Laura. 

"I need you to clarify something for me, Laura, as flirting is usually wasted on me due to having a completely clueless attitude towards it... However, did he just seem to go out of his way to talk to us? There was a large spot next to us he could have got round us... Everyone else who was rushing to see him, had."

Laura thought about this for a moment and then simply shrugged. 

"I didn't notice anything." She replied. 

We both shrugged and continued our drinks and conversations. Next thing I knew, someone had sat down on the sofa next to me and was introducing himself to us. I turned round and there was David James. 

I cannot stress how much this is apparently a big deal for every guy I know, however I had absolutely NO clue who the man was. None of us did. As such we sat and chatted to this guy for about four hours and, if he was used to people gushing over him and bigging him up, he did not receive that from us. 

I think, in the space of my conversation with him, I managed to argue with him, call him stupid, tell him that I didn't care he was a footballer as I had no clue who he was and straight out call him wrong in his views...

This may all seem like it was a disaster of a conversation but actually it was really interesting and he genuinely seemed like a nice guy. We also laughed and joked and all anger was in purely a "debate" setting. It was fun and, to me, it was no different to chatting to any other guy... Enough so, that I almost didnt blog about it. Although, I am assured that, although I have no interest in his celebrity-dom, it was still a massive deal so, for all those who saw a picture of me and him on my social network pages and wondered how the hell that happened... There you go. Now you know. 

To those who, like me, have absolutely no clue who this man is... Just disregard this post... I probably will. But perhaps a picture? Here he is. 

Peace out my lovelies. 

Friday, 2 August 2013

I can't decide if I should report my GP or just go right ahead and marry him...

Hey guys,

Remember when I told you about my session with the awesome new GP I had? If you don't, please feel free to click on the link here, and give it a read.

So, I had to go and see the man again recently as I seemed to have gotten a little overexcited about there actually being sun in England and it coinciding with my new absolutely massive garden. I had a week off work where I decided to spend it sitting in said garden and working on the editing of a book I've been given as a freelancing type gig.

I wasn't silly about it. Although my red hair may be from a bottle, my fair skin which seems to be prone to being burnt, is all natural. As such, I had my trusty Factor 50 sunblock and I applied generously for the entire week. However, and this is a problem that many single ladies may be able to relate to, there are certain sections of my back that are not accessible by me and so, even though I had a spray sunblock and I had tried by very hardest to spread this evenly over all of my back, I inevitably missed two spots just behind my shoulder blades.

This became even more evident when, after the first day, I went inside and saw that these areas were not only red raw but there were also these lovely little dots of white where I had sprayed the sunblock and not rubbed it in. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, and you'd be right, I looked hot.

Anywho, this happened and so I continued to sunbathe for the rest of the week, except now I had draped my top over my back to keep it from getting into any more trouble than it already was. In addition to this, I have my one and only mole on my back, a nice big one that sticks out and shouts hey to all who see it... I hate that mole; not for any vain reasons. If I'm honest, I couldn't really give a rat's arse how attractive my back is... I hardly ever see it anyway. However, it always seems to spark up the paranoid "Cancer!!" vibe whenever I look at it and so I'm never really that keen on burning it or aggrevating it in any way... I really should have thought of that before trying to sunbathe without having access to protecting my back...

I feel I should mention at this junction that this is by no means a comic post that is leading up to me now telling you all that I have an incurable disease... there are no cancer scares within this post... in case you were worried and required reassurance. I shall continue.

I continued to protect my back for the remainder of the week with my trust top flung over the entire area, not wanting to make my burn any worse than it was already. However, by Sunday, I realised that I only had one more day before I would have to go back to work and my back was feeling a hell of a lot better than it had done, the burning sensation easing away and being replaced by a nice bronze finish. To say the tan on my back was uneven however, is a little bit of an understatement. I had white patches all over the place, and I really wanted to at least find a way to even them out. As such, I decided that it was time to re-expose my back to the sun once more.

That day, I learnt a massive lesson. When one is sunbathing and sunbathing only, you tend to swap sides or go into the shade or totter around, for the sake of being even or (as in my case) because your pretty bored with the whole 'lying in one spot' routine. However, when you are camped out in the sun, editing a book that has you completely and utterly hooked and taking every part of your concentration, hours can go by and you haven't even realised. This is what happened that fateful Sunday.

I didn't notice that anything was wrong at first. Nothing felt burnt, and I still had enough of my self-awareness available that I continued to re-apply sunblock when I felt my skin start to complain. Once again, the issue didn't come to my attention until I entered the house once more and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I really don't know how to write this next bit without it sounding like I'm exaggerating so I will just say this. When what I showed what had happened to my back to work colleagues the following day (bearing in mind that I work in a hospital), every single person had the same reaction; their face scrunched up into a look of either horror or disgust and they uttered the words "That is not right." The sections of my back that had previously been burnt had now turned an entirely different colour. The rest of me resembled a white girl from England with a slight bronzed finish and the two spots on my back represented a black girl who had never spent a day out of the sun in her life. Hell, someone even said it looked like I had had a dodgy winged tattoo done. My back was black. Not deeply tanned, not red, but black.

I was a little concerned, and so I decided (apparently forgetting the uselessness that is my doctor) to book an appointment with my GP that Saturday. Also, my one and only mole was all burnt and I freaking hate that thing for how paranoid it makes me.

Saturday comes and the black shade of my back was not as intense but still pretty prominent. I turn up at the appointment and our conversation goes a little like this:

Me: Hey, so I've got this problem, I was out sunbathing and there were parts of my back I couldn't reach and, well, I guess you should take a look.

I show him my back

GP: Oh, wow... that's interesting... 
Me: Should I be worried?
GP: Sunburns are weird.
Me: Yup.
GP: Turns to his computer and begins to type in the slowest 'one finger' fashion I have ever seen, the word 'SUNBURN' in all caps. Are you enjoying the sun?
Me: Well, I was but apparently my back has had enough.
GP: My son is coming home tomorrow. I'm considering taking the day off to see him.
Me: Okay.
GP: It's just going to be a lovely day and I really don't want to be working during it.
Me: Well, if you don't need to be in... go for it... About my back?
GP: I'm meant to be only at work until 6:30 today, but I just know I'm going to have stay longer than that, if I'm going to get everything done.
Me:  Work can be like that sometimes. Should I be worried about my mole? I would really like to get it removed.
GP: Sure.
Me: Sure, what? I should be worried?
GP: Let me see it.

I show him my mole

GP: That's well and truly cooked.
Me: Yup, kinda why I want to get it removed.
GP: The thing is, even if I do stay after work today, I know I'm still going to have come in tomorrow, and I really don't want to.

I look around the room to see if anyone is filming this whilst simultaneously wracking my brains, trying to remember when it was in the three appointments I've had with him, I became his best friend and not his patient... Needless to say, I came up empty.

Me: Ummm, I hate to be a pain, but can you refer me to someone to get my mole removed?
GP: Oh, ask someone outside.
Me: ... Anyone?
GP: The receptionist, I do appointments here where I can remove it for you.
Me: Oh, okay...
GP: So, I'll see you at your appointment. Thanks for dropping by.

It was only after I left the room, booked an appointment with the receptionist to have my mole removed and was on the bus home, that I realised he never really gave me an answer about what was going on with my back... People at work asked how the appointment was and I had to say that I didn't really know, except that my GP's apparent expert opinion was that it was "weird."

Yes people, I am trusting that man with minor surgery on my back... people ask why I keep on going back to him and not find another GP... it's kinda because it's fun to guess what he's going to say next and then be utterly amazed when my normally ridiculous imagination doesn't even come close... but mainly because I've yet to find a GP that does clinics on a Saturday which is really the only time that I can see them...

Also, to find a new GP requires work... and who can be arsed with that?

Peace out my lovelies.