The Disappointment

After all the complaining in my previous post, it rather feels good to be proved right about something bad.

My annoyance was absolutely spot on. Nearly three weeks since, nothing of interest has happened in my life, except for being tortured by certain jobs with certain clients.

But my housemate did indeed find a new job. A job that means he will not be thinking of leaving any time soon. Fucking great.

I am losing my patience and growing a bit tired. A neutral observer might wonder why it is that he is the one that must leave, and not me, which is a reasonable question. But the arguments in my mind are tired and somewhat over-rehearsed, awaiting a confrontation that will never come. I have commitments now in this town. I have a business with reputation and a name. This is an ideal position to work from. And I have no transport at all.

On his side, he has none of that. He also, with his new job, is now significantly well-off enough to surely be able to bugger off and find somewhere else. I pushed the issue a little bit the other day, but he is so stupid I don’t think he understood how disappointed I was to hear that he now has no plans to change living circumstances for some time.

This only coming a few months after a somewhat less than dramatic “meeting” in a coffee shop, where I made it clear I was looking elsewhere because I need my own space. In his mind, he has every right to stay, and it should be me that goes. And that is pretty much impossible. See above.

So where does it all end? Fortunately, over the last few days I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had to worry about it. You can’t beat being completely overwhelmed with work to distract you from the daily nonsense that depresses you when you think about it too much.

But it must end. Does it end by me specifically telling him to go? I feel a bit bad about doing this, especially as we have only just renewed the tenancy agreement. It would almost feel like ripping him off. Although, in my defence, he wasn’t too concerned about that only a month ago when he said he was leaving.

In some ways, I actually want it to be me that ends this ridiculous arrangement. Something about wanting to be in control of my own destiny makes me feel that way. It would also be good to actually say something like that and mean it. But I can’t. Unless things change drastically in the next month or so. And even then, moving on top of Christmas would not be ideal. Moving full stop is not ideal, not when I am trying to juggle so much work-wise.

In other news, the other disappointment in my life is the state of my hair. I haven’t cut it in about five months, and I reckon I probably should as it’s starting to resemble Lego Man hair again. If Lego Man had curls.

I could do with a good night’s sleep. Not had one of those for a while. Might be why someone told me on the phone earlier that I sounded rough. Who knows. And I am starting to fall asleep whilst typing this.

No real surprise though, as I’m doing so while waiting for a virus scan to finish from a customer’s computer, one that has taken me HOURS to fix. The multi-tasking joys of my life.

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…

What Happens When Work Takes Over

It seems to have been three weeks since New Year’s Day, when I last wrote. I’m not quite sure what happened. Well, I know, but it just doesn’t make sense. It all goes so quickly.

After New Year I had a good break, spending time relaxing, doing my own thing. Playing an awful lot of piano too. I really could notice myself getting better and better every day, but there’s so so much to learn, and it’s so difficult dividing your brain into two for the left and right hand. If you’ve never played piano, you won’t quite understand, but eventually there comes a point that clicks. Your brain just starts doing it after you practice it millions of times. Or seemingly millions of times.

But I suppose it’s like that with anything really. If you do it enough times, it suddenly slips into a subconscious part of your brain, and you don’t need to actively think about it any more. It’s like that with my business too. The work is not challenging any more. In fact, when a challenging and difficult job comes up, I really enjoy it. The jobs are all the same – which means it’s relatively easy, and sometimes doesn’t take me long any more. That can actually be a big problem when you charge by the hour…

The start of this year was supposed to bring some big developments with my business, but thanks to the slowness of the wheels turning when you’re trying to secure big business contracts, very little has happened. I am fortunate, however, that instead of worrying about it, I have been busy non-stop for two weeks since I got back. So after coming back from holiday feeling totally refreshed, instead I have exhausted myself really quickly and am already looking forward to the next holiday…

There was also not so good news either when I got a letter telling me one of my bigger customers has suddenly turned into a “creditor”. Not good. £843 they owed me, and I’m unlikely to ever see that again. Bastards.

About the only bit of non-work I have to report was on Wednesday, when I went to see the film War Horse. It was better than I expected, but very very mushy. It wasn’t a war film, but in its war scenes to did capture the essence of the effect of war on people very well. It’s a film about human relationships, really. Numerous tearful moments…

Then there is today. I’m sitting in a neighbour’s house some 10 miles away from the normal house. They’ve let me borrow it just to get away for 24 hours – which is very kind of them. It does work. I have had a little chance to sit back and relax, watch some TV, some DVDs, do a little reading, and a lot of eating too. Eating is a must, after all, and I have been so busy this week that I have missed tea on two days in a row. I just didn’t have time. Literally, 15 hour days of work.

And just when I feel like I’m getting on top of things, on Tuesday I’m going away on business for a week. Exciting, and interesting, a new web project… hopefully. But it’s not a guarantee, and it’s going to lead to me falling behind on the normal bread and butter PC repair work, again.

Anyway, enough for now.

 

Relying On Others

As life progresses, you realise almost nothing happens without the co-operation of others. It’s really only the small things in life, the bits that probably only you can do anyway, which you can accomplish single-handed. For example, if I don’t go shopping, I will starve and die. Therefore I have to. That’s not a particularly big achievement.

On a bigger level, there are some things which are optional, which if taken on single-handed can lead to a real sense of fulfilment at their completion. Maybe taking on the decorating single-handed. Or a good old-fashioned top-to-bottom spring clean. Or perhaps being the sole person responsible for organising a party. Yes, these things can be very satisfying.

Ultimately, however, they are limited in scope. To get bigger achievements, you need help. You need a network of other people, whether they’re friends, family, colleagues or other people with an interest, whether personal, emotional or financial.

It is such that my life at the moment is at this stage. I’ve moaned about waiting in the past. Waiting for things to happen. Waiting for others to decide. Waiting for others to act. But as you move through life you realise everything is like that. And always you think “if only everyone was as organised as me, then I wouldn’t have to wait…”

Well… maybe there is some truth in that. I am a pretty organised person. I always have been. From when I was a sad youth, doing my homework as soon as I got back so I could have the evening/weekend to me. Same was true in university, finishing my essays, tutorials, even my dissertation, safely before the deadline. And it’s always been true in my work life.

But now it has taken on a greater relevance to my life – because I am now relying on others to pay me. I have huge debts outstanding to a few clients, and I have to chase them to get the money they know they owe me. I also rely on others coming back to me, finding my service useful and good value. So far so good on that score.

There is a big project I’m working on at the moment that if it comes through will be the making of me. I need the mythical Others to hurry up and decide. Hurry up and get things in motion. Because I’m sick of thinking about it. Sick of wondering whether today will be the day they finally get back to me. I hate chasing people up to do something they really ought to have done by now, or really should have had the decency, professionalism or common courtesy to get sorted.

But there can be all manner of reasons why things don’t happen. And I’m not perfect either. Others are waiting for me to do things all the time. I just hope they don’t feel this way about me.

Betcha they do. Hypocrite warning.

Maybe there’s a reason for this. I guess I just don’t like other people really. Deep down. Might explain why I have no friends any more!

What Happens Next

At the moment, life feels like one of those awful rounds from A Question of Sport. You know the one where they play a bit of video tape and pause it at a moment where nothing seems to be apparently happening. And then when they start playing it again…

Yep. That’s right now. OK, the pace of business is brisk, but there is something of a tedious pause going on at the moment. I am awaiting news on a number of fronts, as I’m sure I’ve kept mentioning. I need the news to happen as soon as possible. It has to be good news, or I’ll be severely depressed. But we just keep waiting.

I’ve noticed a pattern emerging in life. This is the beauty of blogging. I can look back and see how many times I have moaned in the past about waiting. Waiting for this, waiting for that. Often it does come, and life improves. Usually it never does, and I have to find some alternative angle. Which usually involves more waiting. The wheels of decision-making don’t turn quickly.

There is a big meeting next week I am attending. It could change the pace of everything here. It could be rather interesting. I’m in limbo at the moment waiting for it. I am even going to have to spend some money for it, which is a damn shame. I hate wearing nice clothing, nice suits… it just isn’t me. But I’m going to have to look the part for this meeting, and so a good suit is in order. The current one, which is about nine sizes too big, just will not do.

But that might mean I need to cut my hair. That is also in a limbo at the moment. It hasn’t been this “long” for some time. I say “long” because my hair doesn’t really get long any more. Since about the age of 12, I suddenly developed curls in my hair when it reaches a certain length. It’s way past that length now, and I have the beginnings of what would turn into a curly mop head. I’ve been partly too busy to cut it, and partly too lazy. But if I want to look at least reasonably smart, then the hair is probably going to have to go as well…

Meanwhile, life in the house is bad. I don’t really talk to my housemate any more. I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but it just did all of a sudden. I did want it to go like this though. For months I had been hoping that he would get the London job that would pull the plug on all of his involvement in my business. It would force me to take some decisions to reshape the way it works. It happened, and so I did. In the end, they weren’t even difficult, or at least haven’t proved to be in the last few months.

And if the news… hopefully this month… is good, it will soon be time for bye-byes on this so-called friendship.

No wonder I don’t have many friends…

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.

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.

The Five Year Itch

Five years ago today, and almost to the hour, I began my blogging journey.

Five years of misery. Five years of false dawns. Five years of some success, much to my surprise.

I say this every year, often many times, but the reason why I blog is because it is such an awesome record of my life. It isn’t complete, far from it, but it gets across most of the important events.

In the last year, I feel it’s become a non-stop bitch-a-thon though. I guess it’s the nature of sitting around waiting for something to happen. But that’s no good.

I feel like I used to write about different subjects, because all manner of different things were going on in my life. But that may just be a shade of rose-tint on the old spectacles, which one day I’ll need due to continuing failing eyesight.

Because I’m pretty sure I’ve always been very passive about my life. I sit back and wait for things to happen, and let everything wash over me. I never usually have more than a handful of things on the go at any one time, and don’t do anything to upset that balance. That’s me all over.

And that is how my life is slipping away.

I genuinely cannot believe that it was five years ago I was sitting no more than two metres from my current spot, in an equally depressed state, thinking about what had gone and what was to come. Watching my own transition to an adult life, not knowing where the hell it was going. Back then it was disturbing; now my listlessness is almost par for the course.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Five years of whinging. Of waiting. Of hoping some break will occur for me, and never getting it.

They always say that it’s no surprise that the “luckiest” people in life are invariably the ones who take the most risks.

That is probably why it’s been almost five years of ceaseless boredom. I don’t take risks. Well, I do take the odd one. Moving away this year was a serious one.

Except it hasn’t paid off. I’m almost resigned to that now, and beginning to think of what the exit strategy is.

Fortunately, there are some things I life I still enjoy. One of these is happening right now, as I’m trying to type while holding one of my usual nonsense conversations with my younger sister.

The subject, what else, is doom and gloom. The end of the earth, which is due in 2012 according to her supervolcano theory, influenced by a current film. It’s providing plenty of banter. All good stuff.

At least there are people worth living for, even if life itself is a load of rubbish.

But anyway, as Shakin’ Stevens sang: Merry Christmas, Everyone!