Where Is It Going?

The question on my mind the past week has been where the hell my life is going.

This week has probably been one of my best weeks since I started business. Several hundreds of pounds of profit, all from doing not very much at all. Laid end to end, you’re not talking more than three days of the week. But that’s never the way the cookie crumbles, so I suppose that’s not relevant.

And yet it feels like it’s been quiet. It feels like I haven’t had enough work, and that at any moment the whole thing is going to stop dead. And it probably will.

When it does, I’ll go out leafleting once more. And that in turn will, hopefully, get things moving again.

Unsurprisingly, this vision of my future has left me feeling a little… underwhelmed.

The real reason why I’m starting to worry is that the past couple of weeks have, despite profit, been a considerable disappointment. Several major leads in quick succession have failed. On all of those I had pinned many hopes that the business was going to start evolving into one that had important contracts with other businesses, thus providing me with a stable income, a solid platform to build from, and, with success more success will follow.

But none of that will now happen.

I’m sort of back to the drawing board. Until I get something like that, I will not feel like progress is being made. Doing odd jobs for home customers is all well and good, and earns me cash, but it is not secure, and it makes me feel like a bit of a spare part, who can do a few tricks with Windows. My work is valued, my customers like the service, but I don’t feel “valued” in a professional sense. Only other businesses can truly appreciate that.

I am ambitious for the future, but don’t want to wait. I feel like I’ve spent enough of my life waiting around for things to happen. But what can I do? I want the rate of progress to increase, but it is so slow it’s unbearable. I worry that I’ll still be in this exact position in a year’s time. That will be another year of my life gone, and still waiting for things to improve.

Maybe this is what life is like. Maybe I’m one of these people who will never be satisfied. That whatever happens, it’s happened too late, too slowly and not in a way that makes me feel like I’m heading somewhere.

A part of me says I should quit whinging and be grateful. But that would be succuming to fatalism, something I don’t believe in. I am in control of my destiny.

Except I’m not fully. I can do my part to get the word out, but whether people respond is another matter…

Still, it beats working nights in a petrol station.

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Week To View

So here I am again. Minus a belt, but plus an ASDA luxury all butter scone. More on that story later.

It’s a fortnight since the last time I was on this service, heading North once more. This time, however, it’s a lot lighter. The time is 7:30am, and the day is well and truly underway. Only the sky is grey, full of clouds, a little bit threatening and somewhat windy. Nevertheless, the fact that it’s lighter can only mean one thing: summer is on the way.

But that’s enough about the weather.

Life at the moment is not particularly busy, and yet it is. It’s in that unusual balance between me thinking I’m busy all the time and then realising I’m not. After all, anyone who can afford to spend 6 hours travelling is obviously not going any real work.

In my case, though, there is purpose to this journey. I’m expecting to be kept busy all weekend, but the nightmare that I was expecting has been averted. Two customers have deferred. The rest are still waiting, but I have a good feeling I can fit them all in comfortably and maybe even have a little time to relax.

I don’t really get much time to do that. When my housemate is around he puts me on edge a considerable amount. I’m not entirely sure why, but there’s just something about his demeanour and his general “So what’s the plan for today/this evening?” that stresses me out. Not everything has to have a grand plan. I usually have a rough idea of what I’m doing, but I don’t have micro-managed schedules. Well, I do sometimes, but invariably my motto is the less I tell other people, the better.

I don’t know why I’m like that. I don’t feel comfortable when people are interested in me. I think there’s an insecure part of me which believes that I’m not worth bothering over. But at the same time, I like to keep my activities private. I don’t like being quizzed on what I’m up to. It’s probably why I’ll never make a politician.

In recent days my thoughts have turned to distant lands. I’m getting that same tired old feeling again where I think about whether I should go back and do the US summer camp thing again. It kept me awake for over an hour the night before last. I so dearly want to go there and do it all again. But some things are so special because you can only do them once. I have a feeling that if I did it again I’d end up being depressed because I’d know it would be my last time, and that it might not live up to expectations.

Besides that, the major problem is obviously that I’m older now, 25 this year, not that I can do it this year, but if I did next year 26 is a little old to be going off on an early-life crisis. Some of my fellow counsellors were that kind of age, one was even 30, and the directors were all in their 30s. But still… it’s a young person’s game!

And worse, I can’t really afford to drop all my business for the sake of an American jolly, one that wouldn’t lead me to a new career. Unless by then I can afford to employ someone else. Hilarious.

Facing facts, it ain’t gonna happen.

Back to reality, arriving at Reading station has caused a great deal of consternation in the train, involving an endless stream of new passengers, discussing which seats are available, which are reserved, and where it would be appropriate to sit a dog.

There remains two bits of news. First, that I forgot to bring my belt. I don’t need it for these jeans, because they fit well. But the ones I’ve got packed do. I’ll have to borrow one off a brother. Any one will do.

And second, I’m having to be extremely careful about the way I sit. Don’t want to squash my bonus breakfast I’ve brought with me. Yes, that’s the ASDA fruit scone. Oh my. I’ve scheduled that in for Birmingham.

On we go, travelling forward this time.

Saturday, Saturday

It’s yet another Saturday, meaning another week has come and gone for me. I sit, as usual, in front of the telly half-watching Match of the Day, half doing something else on the laptop. Usually reading political blogs. What a combination.

It’s been another busy week for me. Lots of work, a fair old bit of money too. Keeps me on my toes. But now the to-do list is empty, and I return to waiting for the phone to ring. Sort of like the bad old days, but hopefully it’s just a temporary lull. I enjoyed the day to relax anyway, especially as it’s co-incided with my own computery problems, which has given me an opportunity to fix them without getting flustered about when I’ll get time to do it.

Well, I sort of enjoyed the day to relax. It’s been several weeks since I had a whole day off, and in truth I spent most of it worrying that the phone might never ring again. Or, at least, take ages for it to. Maybe it’s better for my sanity that I’m kept busy. Probably true.

But the biggest disappointment of the day came when me and my housemate went out for tea. We went to the nearest Harvester, a place we’ve been a few times before. We haven’t been for a while, but we have been to many across the country, and it’s the salad bar that makes it so good. No complaints there.

The biggest problem, however, came at the dessert. Rocky Horror is always my favourite. Melted chocolate cake with ice cream and cream, with more chocolately bits on top. And a very generous size for £2.99. Sheer indulgence, and probably about four million calories.

Except, this time, I just didn’t enjoy it. The cake wasn’t melted. Nor was it a nice chocolate. Clearly very cheap. Meanwhile, there was the fact that my pasta only came with one garlic bread, when every other time it comes with two.

I guess we’re all not averse to an economy drive or two, but after that kind of performance, I feel like I may have fallen out of love with Harvester. I would never have thought I’d say that after all the good experiences I’ve had there.

Oh well. Life is a bit like that though. It sets you up thinking you’re doing something good, and then smacks you in the face to remind you that you’ve gotta keep trying.

Bit like my business, in fact.

On The Move

Wow. I feel a bit stupid writing this so late after my last post. I really have to get back into the swing of writing on a more regular basis.

The reason why I haven’t is fairly simple. I have been pretty busy over the past couple of weeks or so. My business appears to be going really well down South, which is something of a joy to me. There’s still the inevitable question of whether or not the work will continue flowing, but when I look back on the record I’ve been busy every day now for a few weeks, and even before that I was still busy.

In any case, there are other prospects on the horizon too. I’ve got excited before about claimed opportunities available via my current housemate, as he doesn’t have a very good record of delivering them, but this one feels a bit better because it’s actually one of his contacts who is extremely well connected and not short of a bob or two. More news on that next week, hopefully.

I’m currently writing this post on the train, at present smoothly gliding North from Reading. I was up at 5:20am, in order for me to squeeze in some packing, some tidying, breakfast, shower and then travel to the station. I’m also sitting in the quiet coach, which is living up to its name apart from me tapping on my keys. Probably because the handful of people around me are asleep. Exciting stuff, but this really is the best opportunity I’ve had to sit down and reflect for a long time.

Sitting and watching the world go by always does feel like the right time to do this kind of thing. Maybe it’s because I’m detained and have no other choice but to keep myself occupied. There’s only so many times I can listen to my music library through shitty iPod headphones. And looking out the window at the green land of England and seeing civilization (excepting certain unnamed parts) flash before my eyes is quite humbling. Reminds me of what a small part I am in such a big world.

The reason I’m going home is for work purposes, mainly, but also as a chance to see my family. I’m still going home every fortnight, because of a job I have in Liverpool, but I need it, to be fair. It can get a little “cabin fever” in my South house (not home) because these days it’s all about work and, frankly, I don’t have any friends down there anyway. Crazy.

Maybe that’ll change, one day. I kinda hope so, because I could do with some friends of my age. I keep in touch with most of my existing ones (via the joys of Facebook), except the ones who appear to be too busy to reply. Maybe a bit like me. Or maybe not, since I actually value my friends and don’t ignore them.

But in any event, life seems to be OK at the moment. Here’s hoping that continues.