The Decision, The Hurt

I have been thinking about a decision now for the best part of a year. It was a decision that I have been wanting to make for a while, but I just didn’t have the bottle to take it.

Basically, my business has long outgrown the house I live in. My house is basically my business premises, in which I eat, sleep and be unmerry all year around. This home arrangement makes it look a bit of an amateur affair. In my opinion. This works for some customers, but for where I want to be, it is not acceptable.

But I am now so extraordinarily close to making this decision. There is premises available. I have a possible arrangement I can make, and a possible business deal with a contact. I am so worn down that I am almost ready to make this decision anyway. I have high ambitions.

And I feel ready to take the risk.

In relative terms, it’s a pretty big one. It’s bigger than the risk I took to move away in the first place and start up this business in the middle of an area I’d never before been to.

But I feel this time we’re almost there. We’re almost in the right position to make it.

Today I went to meet a friend. I don’t have many of those, but I felt I needed someone to sound off to. To just have someone listen to my ideas and evaluate them. I also went some way to offering him some ideas for how he could help me, which he was willing to do.

I have known this friend since secondary school. Originally he was going to join me in the business anyway- but he was never willing to risk everything to make it happen. He was just like most of the people I’ve come across in this world: they want the safety of the income stream from now to eternity. He wanted to wait for me to get it all up and running, and then he would step in to help.

He belittled my efforts. He said in the early days “I earn more stacking shelves”. He provided no support, no encouragement, no help. Much like my family, to be honest.

I would like to say I can find it in my heart to forgive them, but the truth be told is that a part of me can’t. It still sticks in my mind even now, despite the fact that I have decisively, convincingly proved them wrong, and am almost ready to make the next gamble.

It’s richly ironic that I may end up employing him, when the offer on the table, if only he’d had the bottle, was for 50% of the business.

I guess I should take joy in having the last laugh. I would like to think that I’d be better than that, but I feel like I deserve this moment of self-indulgence.

All that remains is the pain of not having anyone who really believed in me.


I don’t know when I became such a bore. Or maybe I don’t know because there never was a moment.

Of course, that’s it.

There never was a moment because I’ve always been a bore.

As one of life’s introverts, going out and doing stupid stuff, or saying stupid stuff to people, or just generally being an up-front arse as has never appealed to me. I look at extroverts, whenever I actually venture out the house, and laugh. How pathetic they are, I sneer, as they desperately try to notch up more love from their social circle. I, on the other hand, do not need such approval.

Sort of.

In recent days, my brain has been getting totally fed up with who I am. Again. I go through this identity crisis on a semi-regular basis, and I just wish it would stop. I am who I am already, and nothing I have ever done, or could ever do, has been or will be able to change that. Sadly.

But that argument just never sinks in. It can’t. I am so desperately unhappy with myself that it drives me to tears. I’ve just spent the weekend with precisely zero social interaction, caused by a combination of useless friends, no opportunities to make new ones, and family being unable to speak to me, despite it being Father’s Day.

I wish I knew what I could do to change this situation. I spend my whole life these days worrying about something or other. If it’s not worrying about business, it’s worrying about my social life. And if it’s not that, it’s my utter lack of any kind of confidence that any of it will change. Or worrying about my family, and ageing, and a whole shedload more.

In summary, I am a huge ball of anxieties.

I can see the grey hairs on my head. I’m age 24. I suppose I should count my chickens, as a couple of former friends (former because they have ignored me now for several months) already have the beginnings of an egg in the nest. Not quite so bad here, but receding hairline is indeed obvious, and the grey hairs are increasing in number.

I stress myself out about my life, and about everything. I wish I could relax and enjoy some free time, but I can’t. I feel like I should be doing something, all the time. And when I’m not, I feel guilty.

None of this is any good, and it has to stop. But it won’t, because I can’t make it. I can’t change myself. It’s too late for that. Personality is a stubborn thing, and mine has been stubborn since I first realised I was such a loner, such a withdrawn and insecure individual in Year 7 of secondary school.

And yet people always say how nice I am.

There’s something really wrong with me.

Perhaps the only thing wrong with me is me.

I don’t know if any of this made any sense. I guess it wasn’t meant to.

The Line In The Sand

Last week I decided that the end would happen in March. The end being defined as the point at which my patience for business, and my new house, will run out.

I told this to my housemate, who was understanding. He tried to say that if I do get to a point of giving up in March, I should instead look to find a job in my new house down south. But I don’t think it’ll work.

The reason being is that the whole purpose of the move was to do a joint business venture with him. None of that has happened. We were supposed to be working on various websites, and a website design and construction business. Hasn’t happened. He has no interest in it, despite insisting he does every time. He also claims that he does have time to do it, but I’ve pointed out to him and told him many times that he simply doesn’t, and I understand.

Otherwise, every time we come up with an idea, it falls on its arse within minutes because of a lack of time on his part.

I knew this would happen, but I hoped it wouldn’t. I don’t know how many times I’ve fallen for him suggesting an idea, or saying he has something ready for me, which never actually happens.

And it has happened again lately. He’s been banging on for ages about forming a partnership with a shop in town which sells printer cartridges but doesn’t do PC repairs. He finally got round to approaching them, and told me he sounded very positive and drafted a suggested e-mail for me to send to the owner.

I did.

And nothing has happened.

Nothing ever happens. Every time I try something, the response is poor. 150 leaflets, four customers, two of which did not even receive the leaflet but had passed it on. There just seems to be no way in.

I’m not really sure what I can do any more. Short of wasting vast sums of cash on advertising, most of which will be wasted, I don’t know how anyone breaks into any sector in business.

Anyway, this disaster is why I don’t want to stay living with the current housemate if the business venture doesn’t take off. I have no intention of just having a normal life living there. It’s too weird. It was meant to be a stepping stone to something bigger. None of that has happened.

So three months to go before I decide whether to join the real world, accept that I’m just another tedious, boring person with nothing special to offer, and clog up the arteries of the world in yet another office.

Bloody hell. What a shit year I’ve had.

It’s All In The Eyes

One of the changes I’ve noticed in myself over the past year is a sudden inability to look people in the eye.

I still do it, a little bit. But I am absolutely certain that I never used to have such a large degree of trepidation when I was talking to people. Even people I know, friends, family. I can’t look at them for more than a second before before I’m having to look away.

I think a large part of it is down to my collapsing self-confidence over the last year. Confidence that has been knocked again and again because of my continual feelings of inadequacy. That I’m not achieving the life I thought I would. That I was promised going to university and getting a good degree would set me down the path of a really good life.

Unfortunately, none of that has happened. It’s been, as I have chroniced tirelessly since June last year, a complete failure. I had such high hopes, and high expectations on my shoulders, and none of it has come to pass.

That must have taken its toll on me. I can’t even look people like my mum and dad in the eye for very long any more. They can be trying to talk seriously to me, but I can’t bear to look for long. I feel like I don’t want to acknowledge their presence. If they look me in the eyes for too long, I fear they’ll see right through me and notice that I’m, these days, incredibly close to tears at the plight of this ridiculous situation I’m in.

It might improve, but I’ve been saying that all year. My business has struggled badly since I moved away, which has been a major disappointment. I really thought that working with my housemate would make all the difference, but it hasn’t. It has gone nowhere. All his ideas and promises have come to nothing. I’ve had two customers here in nearly a month. That’s not going to sustain £700/month living costs.

So what am I supposed to do? As I’ve scrawled a million times before, I really want to run a business. I don’t want to work for other people. But maybe I have to.

But to work for others, and to get through interviews, I’d need to dredge up some confidence from somewhere.

And when you’re at rock bottom after 18 months of near inactivity, that’s pretty damn hard. If you can’t bear to look people in the eye, they’re not going to trust you. That’s difficult for me right now.

I’m going to give it till Christmas. Then I’ll decide what to do.