Hope Amongst Despondency

I’m blogging after a couple of beers.  Not always the best idea and I don’t really know what the blog is about or how to structure it.  Well, I know a couple of things that I want to say.

I try not to drink on a school night as it tends to disturb my sleep pattern.  There is definitely a correlation between having a couple of beers and taking 3-6 hours to go to sleep.  Not to mention the sausage and bacon sandwich along with the red bull in the morning, not quite conducive to my attempted healthy living.

The trigger was spending all afternoon in a ridiculously hot office.  28.1’C we reached.  I’m going to come back to this.

My underlying happiness, or slight lack of it probably has more to do with it.  I’m not morosely miserable – I do have a few days a year where I literally don’t want anything to do with life.  A few out of 365.  I can cope, I keep as quiet as possible and have a big pile of gravy when I get home from work.

But recently my happiness rating has been averaging around 4.5.  Yes I do keep a record of how happy I am, and have done for years.  Don’t tell me you are surprised.

A rating of 5 out of 10 is fine.  Average.  What it should be.  0 is slit my wrists kind of happiness, 10 is I’ve taken the best ecstacy ever and had the best sex ever.  Something like that anyway.  Most days fall between a 4 and a 6.

Most weeks this year I’ve been averaging around 5.5 to 5.8 which is pretty decent.  But recent weeks I’ve been mostly averaging around 4.5.  Which is especially weird as May/June is normally my favourite time of the year.

Something is up.  Without doubt, the heat in the office is affecting me.  In the morning it is an acceptable 23’C to 24’C.  22’C if I am lucky.  All definitely shorts and t-shirts temperature but of course I’m in office attire (argument for a sex change here).  But it’s kind of fine, I work hard, I can concentrate, I’m bubbly, have the odd joke, make people smile – I am the James that I want to be.

But then slowly during the afternoon, when it is sunny from March to October, anyway – cloudy days are fine, the office heats up and I become drowsy, lose concentration, become irritable, become able to do less work, become irritable about doing less work…dot dot dot virtuous circle please let me go home.

And I’m not the James of norm.

There are other issues too.  The office temperature is worthy of 13 Facebook moaning posts a day but not a whole two and a half beers blog.

Two of them involve people so I won’t go into details but I’ve now come to the conclusion that they do not have a resolution.  I need to accept and move on.  Nothing is forever in this life.  But I never find it easy to move on.

There is always a loneliness dimension with me too.  I’m pretty good at enjoying my own company nowadays, but being with someone always fills me with joy.  Well, there are exceptions!  But most people most of the time.

Though part of this isolation is self-enforced.  For the last couple of years I’ve spent 10-15 hours a week studying towards a new career.  Which means unless I wake up super early or have any energy remaining after being in a sauna all day, most of it has to happen at the weekend.

For sure, I complain about friends not wanting to do what I want to do, cancelling on me, being flaky, not even bothering to respond to messages (granted sometimes it takes me a month to respond) but a lot of the time it is me that cannot do things because I’m pressuring myself to study.

Having a soul-destroying dull repetitive job, dealing with complete fucking arseholes does help motivate me.  It is mostly pull factors towards my new career but also push factors too.

So onto the hope.  I’ve been applying for roughly 546 junior web developer jobs each day, and speaking to random agencies about non-existent roles that they are really excited to put me forwards for that never ever call me back or e-mail me back after I follow them up.

One company found my CV somehow (granted I have posted it everywhere including on top of the Garage Nation posters on the Hammersmith flyover), e-mailed me asking if I was still looking for work.  I heard nothing further for a couple of weeks so added it to my pile of disappointment.

Then this week I heard more.  I had a test.  I got around 50-60% so was disappointed in myself.  Assumed I didn’t get it.  They e-mailed to ask if I would go in for a chat.

I have suggested Monday afternoon.  Granted 24 hours later it has gone quiet – I assume that I have an interview (chat) though knowing my recent run I may end up with more disappointment.

I recently had to explain the concept of not counting your chickens before the eggs hatched to my wonderful Spanish colleague who is my little piece of salvation in an unrewarding environment of disappointment that they call work.

So I’m not counting my chickens.  Even the interview is not guaranteed in my eyes until I’m sat in the room.  But something feels good about it.  You know when you have that feeling?  Crap I just realised I’m talking out loud in my bedroom.  Time for another beer.

I don’t actually know any more about the role than the job title.  But the company is perfect – it would be working for a digital design agency, they’ve had a couple of very cool projects that they’ve listed on their website, and seem to be growing.  From the limited communication I’ve had, I like the feel of them, I like the ethos of the company – it just simply feels good.  My slightly offbeat style would fit in.  OK my hairstyle would fit in.

Not only that, it is in London.  Well, technically slightly outside of London but I’d be able to live in London, in an area with rent not too much higher than I pay now and be 30 minutes on the tube from either work or central London.  I’ve only been threatening to move to London for 11 years now.

It would be a great chance to meet new friends.  Oddly enough I haven’t met anyone in Bracknell, bar my new housemates.  A few years back I didn’t want any new friends – I had too many.  I could do with a couple extra now.  I could do with someone close by for a hug on demand.  Crap, I’m even starting to think that I should consider employing a girlfriend, or whatever the technical phrase is for that love stuff weird people do.

So there is hope.

Weirdly, the process of blogging itself and getting my thoughts onto paper (or the ones I can publish) always helps settle my mind.  So has these few beers.

And I’ve always found that I do acclimatise to new situations.  There was a point that living in Bracknell was reducing my happiness averages.  It doesn’t now.  People move on.  Life moves on.

Fingers crossed for this job.  I’m craving being back in a motivational environment, one with reward, one with inspiration.  One where my abilities and magic are appreciated.  One where I want to go into work every day rather than just accept it is a fact of life.  One where I am so into what I’m doing that going home time surprises me, as opposed to one where I am counting down the minutes to the end of the day as soon as that first drop of sweat rolls down my back around 2pm.

It’s not a panacea to all ailments, but it will get me away from the boiling hot office, it will get me away from Bracknell to a city I love, it will kickstart the career that I’ve been working hard towards outside of working hours – it will be the reward for all the sacrifices I’ve made over the last couple of years.  I’ll be able to achieve again and follow my dream.  I will meet new people, have a whole world of opportunities.  And in case I forgot to mention it – maybe work in an office with a normal temperature.

But until then, please let it rain every working day.

I don’t want much.  Just this job, a few hugs and a lot of rain.

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