Is It November Already?

Yes. Yes it is.

I have to get used to the fact that 2014 is fast drawing to a close. In a little over seven weeks time it will be 2015. The year in which I will complete my 30th year on the planet. To think of poor me, sitting alone writing furiously about a dull and depressing life, aged 19, is enough to bring a tear to my eye. I don’t like reading old posts from the past, but they are utterly precious.

There will be plenty of time for reflection this Christmas, particularly as it will be 10 years of blogging, which is a remarkable achievement. I’m so thrilled I have stuck with it.

And Christmas is almost all I think about at the moment. I have booked my tickets to go home, on exactly December 24, and I’m so incredibly looking forward to it. I love it, every single year, that I can feel like I’m 14, or 9, or 16, or 18, or 6, again, and be at home with the family, all together, all safe, all enjoying a successfully navigated year, all – hopefully – enjoying each other’s company, with no worries for two weeks (I like to drag it out…) about work, or school, or money, or depressingly mundane existences.

But that is then. This is now.

November is a sad month, primarily because it is the time by which my spirit and will is finally broken, and I must, at long last, switch the central heating on. I always try to make it into November, but this year was almost no challenge at all due to a remarkably good spell of weather in October. Indeed, I remember the very same a mere five years ago when I first moved here. It was great weather. It’s so much better than home, a mere 150 miles north.

The cold is everywhere. It feels more so at the moment as I am, as I have been for the last year “inbetween coats”. I have not owned a winter coat for about three years. I thought it was time I did so, and have spent a not unsubstantial amount of money trying to achieve it. I wait patiently for it to arrive. Maybe it will be here tomorrow? I hope so. It will be just in time, for the coldness is really setting in. Our first 0 degree night is upon us for the first time since early in the year.

This time of year also tends to lead to a lull. The main IT business carries on regardless, but the other one that I’m part of starts to wane. No one wants to start big projects in December, so the usual preceding weeks, in which projects are planned, are empty. It happened last year. It is happening this year. It worries me as our admin lady has almost nothing to do at the moment. All very disappointing, especially when only a couple of months ago things looked very promising. Suddenly the cupboard is bare.

I always, however, keep my eyes on the future. I have to make progress. The passing of a whole year without any change in my house situation is a strange one. But I may have a new sideline with my business partner. Plans are afoot for a property development fun and games. We shall see.

For now though, I have to plough onwards. I hope I can make it to the end of the year without too many more disappointments. We’ve had enough this year.

(This is post 555 on this blog, woo!)

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Schmocktober

Another new month begins, and once more I’m in a waiting game.

I don’t know how and why this kind of thing keeps happening to me, but at present a couple of things have changed which have opened up life to yet more sitting around waiting for something to happen.

Firstly, my housemate has told me that he’s leaving. This was somewhat glorious news, but I had to pretend I was a little disappointed, of course. But – and here’s the big but – I don’t believe a word he tells me any more.

In truth, I failed. I let myself believe that he might actually be telling me the truth for once. Indeed, I even saw him pack up two boxes of crap that have been in the living room since we moved in here (ridiculous, I know) and take them with him. I could hardly believe it. It must have been true. His exact words: “I’ll probably be leaving sooner rather than later”.

Skip forward three weeks, and nothing else has happened. In fact, at a chance discussion last night, he revealed that he’d probably be here for a while now. Erm.

So now I’m annoyed with myself for believing something he told me, when I have been telling myself not to believe anything he says for months. I should have just rolled with it, and not let myself get excited for finally getting my own bit of freedom, because now it feels snatched away from me. If he left, it would remove all the pressure I have on myself to try and get out of the situation I’m in, which is made far more difficult for me because; a) my business makes it useful I stay here; and b) I don’t have the money to buy around here; c) I don’t have the logistical support to move far anyway.

The next step is just waiting. Waiting for something to happen. That is the story of my life.

Meanwhile, on a work front, I have had some relatively Good News, that might help push my business forward financially. I am waiting on a big deal with a relatively large company. If I get it, it will provide a good income stream, and security too.

But did you see that magic word in that last sentence? WAITING.

Every day that ticks by, I feel older. I am finally accepting that I am just not young any more. I am 27 now. Yes, it’s not “old” in context, but the fact is that there are a number of things in my life that I really ought to have done by now. Like, maybe, found some happiness relationship-wise.

I hate thinking about things like that, but in my quieter moments, and always in the back of my mind, it is a nagging doubt.

Here’s to a good month…

Disappointment

My business, and therefore my life (because my life feels like nothing other than my business), is taking some rather disappointing turns lately. Work, measured by quantity, is down. And no obvious reason for it; suddenly, the phone has stopped ringing with genuine callers. There remain enquries of sorts, but many of them are increasingly deciding not to bother with repairs.

Then there is the lack of any progress, any developments at all, on the “big news” front. Before Christmas I had thought that by now I would be striding forward by now, as we had expected a deal to be ready to sign with a big new client. Unfortunately, they are dragging their heels, and I’m starting to think they are about to go elsewhere. Ever the pessimist. I have spent bags of time last week putting together a proposal for another business, and that one has promise, but – again – it could be ages.

Then there has been a sudden spate of things going wrong. Yesterday I had to resolve three issues that were already fixed, but because of bad luck, and maybe a little carelessness on my part, they all came back. I sorted them for good this time, but there’s nothing worse than a retread.

Frankly, I need to move on. Yesterday my patience snapped. I’ve been doing this business now for three years, and though it is in a very good position really, I kinda get the feeling that I’m running out of time. I’ve had this horrible sinking feeling for a few months now, that I am not really going anywhere, and my life is not living up to what I had hoped it would be. Maybe it’s the early mid-life crisis. After all, something must have made me buy a bucket of Lego recently…

I think the other abiding problem I’ve got is where I am. My housemate returned from holiday yesterday, and it has been bliss without him being here. I’m fed up – completely, utterly, totally – living with him. I think it really is time I had my own place. But I can’t do that – financially – until one of these big projects comes in. Housing is not cheap.

Then there is the relative disappointment. On Sunday, I was lucky enough that a friend of mine came to visit. This was a bloody miracle, since a) I have so few friends; and b) the ones I do are all so far away they don’t bother. But for a change, someone did. He has just finished a PhD and is about to emigrate to Switzerland for a few years. He also has a girlfriend, and is seemingly quite pleased with the direction of life. I can say the same, too, for the rest of my tiny friendship circle.

I keep telling myself I shouldn’t compare my life with my peers, but I can’t help it.

Search Results

The weekend now seems a distant memory, but it was a productive one.

I arrived at my destination on Friday evening, and was met there by my friend and prospective house sharer. I’m still a little unsure about what he’s going to be like to live with, as though we’ve known each other for years we don’t really appreciate each others way of life habits. The kind of thing you only begin to understand when you live with them…

So it’s a gamble from that perspective. But I think it will be OK.

We started the house hunt in earnest on the Saturday morning. We had worked out a tight schedule to view some 11 properties in the space of six hours, spread across our prospective new home region. It ran like clockwork, as we managed to get to all our appointments early and the estate agents were all on time too. Good for them.

Some of the properties were embarrassingly bad. The estate agent almost seemed apologetic showing us round them. They were top floor flats with grimy communal areas like staircases and lifts. Then you’d go inside and either there’d be a total mess in there or it would be clear but that would expose the rather curious holes in the plasterboard walls.

After much scouring of flats and apartments we quickly decided they weren’t going to work.

So we moved on to the house part of our itinerary. That, I’m pleased to say, was much more successful. The advantages of having entirely your own space are huge. Even better, one of the houses we looked at had a small garage to its side which would be perfect for my computing business.

That house is the one we’ve decided to go for. It was new, modern, recently redecorated, and the price was a steal once we offered a 12 month tenancy.

It’s a massive gamble for me. Can I possibly recoup the £4,000 in rent over the space of a year? If I can I’ll be happy. It will be a positive sign that there is room for continued growth.

I will also have a much better chance of running my business properly as my friend is going to be heavily involved. That’s one of the major attractions of moving.

If it doesn’t work I think it will become obvious to me very quickly. In which case, I really will have to find a proper job. That won’t be too difficult, hopefully. But in any case, it will result in me successfully leaving home and starting my own life, something I’m desperate to do.

If it does work… well, the sky’s the limit.

It’s now just a case of waiting for the estate agents to do their bit. And, of course, hand over huge sums of money for trifling little bits of legal and clerical work. Bastards have me over a barrel with their fees for this, that and the other.

Exciting times ahead…

Searching

This time tomorrow I expect to be safely ensconced on train, zooming southwards to a potential new home.

Well… it might be a little to early to say that. At the very least I’ll be on the lookout for a new home.

My plan to form a bigger business venture with a business partner might happen, or it might not happen. It all hinges upon us both finding somewhere decent to live that isn’t expensive. In fact, cheap enough that a six month tenancy will be worth the gamble.

So far we’ve not made all that good progress using the internet. We have found a couple of properties, and even booked in for some viewings, but it is a shame that in two cases we have since been called up to say that the property is gone. One of those in particular was something that looked extremely good for us.

But nothing beats actually getting out there and searching for yourself. Most of the work will be done in the space of six hours or so on Saturday. It will, no doubt, be a tiring experience. There’s certainly a lot of ground to cover, as there is more than one potential town on the horizon that we could live in.

It’s an exciting time for me… I’m having some doubts about whether this is a good idea… but every time I have them I realise that I have no other real option. Staying here for the rest of my life is not doable. And, the more I work for other people, the more I want to work for myself, and make it happen properly.

In theory this could all go very quickly once we’re committed. There is no time like the present, after all. I don’t really know how the logistics of the move will work, but in any event it’s not something I need to worry about now. These things will come together somehow.

The key to it will be hitting the ground running. Once I’m settled down I’ll have to think hard for ways in which to make the computer repair/retail thing really take off. I’ll be more willing to leaflet and advertise to wider areas once I’ve got proper transport available, which can only help. Right now I’m terrified of the phone ringing and the customer saying they’re in a place 15 miles away… because I either have to turn them down or it turns into a big travel commitment.

But that’s all for the future. Who knows, it might not even happen. After all, in the past week, I’ve actually been really busy with my business and other things in my life. So much so that I was starting to feel quite good about myself again.

But I knew today would come, when there are no calls, and once again I’m sitting here… waiting… for something, anything, to distract me. Hoping that that something might earn me some money.

And that’s no good.

And that’s why the search is on.