One Month Later

It’s been one month since I made my last post, which was full of despondency. Understandable. I still feel much of the anguish of that post.

But I am fortunate in that during the last few weeks I have been kept exceptionally busy. Through a combination of a major project, which lasted nearly two weeks, to plenty of small and big jobs for customers, business has been ticking over nicely. Keeping my mind busy with work stops me from sliding into depression, and gives me a real sense of momentum that things are moving in the right direction.

Now upon me is another big decision. In just a few weeks time it will have been a year since I left home. It has been a turbulent year, difficult at first, but steadily improving, yet with much problems still to face up to.

Obviously, living here simply must continue. I would be foolish to pull the plug on this business given that I have no alternatives. At the moment it’s not making me a small fortune, but I’m able to live OK. Ideally I need my income from it to double, but that isn’t going to happen any time soon unless I get projects like the network one I’ve just finished on a regular basis.

The other option would be if somehow I came across a circumstance in which a full-time job was offered to me based on the strength of the work I’ve done. I doubt this would ever happen, but you never know. If something like that came up I’d seriously consider it, despite the obvious benefits of self-employment. There are many down-sides too, such as being unable to “switch off” that would influence such a decision. Not that it’s relevant right now anyway.

But it does come up, as my brain is always looking for what other options my life could take. Plus I keep watching The West Wing and thinking “that’s what I should be doing!” – forgetting, of course, that real life isn’t like that. But still, the temptation of a proper political career is still what I’d secretly like to do. In the back my mind. Not that that will ever happen either…

The decision, having accepted the reality that life is dull, then,  is whether to sign up for another 12 months, or 6. Of course, that can always be extended. But the risk of 12 months is that during that time I will snap and decide I’ve had enough. That was unlikely during the previous 12 months, as I had already accepted that I would give this business a proper 12 month go of it and then if it’s failed then that’s the end of it.

But it hasn’t failed – which is good – so now I must decide whether to commit to a longer period to it. Hmm.

Inertia is easy. It will make me stay here. But in the back of my mind is always those little niggling doubts. Only a few more years left before I won’t be eligible for Australian and New Zealand working holiday visas…

Summer Revisited

At this time of year, with the dawning of Autumn, I generally take a look back at what happened over the summer, and whether it was a worthwhile event.

From the perspective of the weather, I feel very confident in saying it was the worst summer I can ever remember. Rain, rain, god-damn rain, day after day. I just knew it. Those late spring days in May, scorching hot sunshine, while I toiled over a mountain of revision – that was the real summer. It turns out I was spot on in my prediction that:

I’m sure by June it will be raining every day again.

That’s exactly what happened. I would say that of the 13 weeks of summer, no more than two of them can be classed as good summer weather, i.e. sunny, warm and reasonably consistent (i.e. one good day follows another). What we actually had was a hell of a lot of rain in June, July and early August, interspersed with a randomly chucked in nice day, but one which always had the looming threat of showers. And then when it didn’t rain, it was muggy and overcast, meaning the second you tried to do anything physical like play sport, the sweat would start pouring off you.

Just isn’t good enough. I thought last summer was bad: a worse than average June, a very poor July and a mediocre August… but this one really did smash those low expectations.

The worst of all was that last night I stepped outside to go on a little trip to the shops, and it felt cold. Now, 8°C isn’t cold, I’ll admit it. But after months of temperatures above 15C, and very rarely below that at night due to the cloud cover, it suddenly dawned on me that it felt like winter was just around the corner.

And all of a sudden thoughts begin to turn to Christmas. Mark my words, it will soon be here.

The thing is, my miserable summer weather-wise was actually surpassed by everything else. This has been my worst summer since I can remember. I have done nothing all summer but look and apply for jobs. I have done nothing but dither, and in the end have ended up back at square one. I extricated myself from the teacher training plan, but have yet to come up with a viable alternative.

I am so stupid, because I should have decided this earlier. I have no regrets right now, even though in an alternative universe right now I am starting my placement in school and starting down the road to teaching. But it’s amazing just how quickly I’ve dropped everything. I used to read the education news almost relentlessly. Now I barely visit the websites. I still find it all interesting, but it seems that I was only interested because I had to be. With hindsight, that is a very bad sign.

But if I had made the decision to quit earlier, I would have saved myself a lot of hassle, and I could have put my summer to better use. Number one would have been to do the US summer camp thing all over again. I would have enjoyed that so much more (I still reminisce about how good it was), and it would have been a great opportunity, since I’ll never be able to do it again (unless I’m still jobless next summer!). But instead it was frittered away.

I. Did. Nothing. All Summer.

How embarrassing is that. Talk about throwing your life away.