Ebullient

Well isn’t my Monday-Friday daily posting schedule going well! (not)

Fridays are supposed to be my ‘review’ days, and last week I posted a book review. I have not read nor watched anything particularly enticing recently, so I will review this week.

This week was an event. It was an event I will call ‘Ebullient’, which means ‘bubbling over’. This word can have positive connotations; to be in an ebullient mood is to be excited and enthusiastic about something. However, I like to think that it can also have negative connotations! Bubbling over means danger, heat, suspense. It can translate to anxiety, worry and fear.

Excited and enthusiastic I certainly was about this week, but I was also anxious and worrisome and dreading of it. Is that correct English?

So I geared myself up for it in good cheer, talked myself into a great mood, and plunged myself full swing into some hard work and lots of smiling.

I had two days of training, which was to take place at the golf club next to my workplace. Fear not, we did no golfing. We listened to lectures, saw presentations and participated in ‘exercises’. We were encouraged to ‘network, network, network’ and because I am antisocial and socially awkward, I found this particularly challenging. I like watching people and talking to people, but I think I don’t know how to.

They served a delicious dinner, the highlight of which was a massive tureen of profiteroles and oozing, hot, chocolate sauce.

Both days I returned home late, exhausted and zombie-like. How on earth did I survive university?

After this there was a company team-building day, followed by an evening event.

That was exhausting. I learnt a great deal, I like to think I participated well, but it was exhausting. Every laugh I laughed was forced and fake and eventually it began to hurt my brain.

There were some great highlights, some lovely people, and some excellent food.

But my heart raced, my palms sweated, and I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. I was so tempted to go home, but I forced myself to attend an evening of socialising. It was difficult. But I was ebullient, in appearance at the very least.

I am twenty three years old, and it might be time to accept that while I am confident, I might just not be the funny, capable, social person I used to think I was.

That was back when I had a firm group of friends, you see. Now I am a nomad and my network of security (of family and friends) is spread over several continents.

Now I am drifting alone, sort of on a little bit of driftwood, following in the wake of the mad backwash created by a magnificent cruise-ship. I can hear the laughter, but never be a part of it. I can see the joy, but can’t feel it. I can sense the warmth, but cannot touch it.

I can be on the fringes, but never in the middle.

I can dance through the dance floor, but my arms will be cold.

I can flit from one group to another, but shoulders will get ever closer together.

I can smile my widest smile, but eventually it will fade, leaving a forced ache in my cheeks.

Today was a crap day. Like a hangover, but a social one. I don’t feel like being nice to anybody, I just want to curl up and be alone for a while. I feel like I’ve had too much socialising with far too many people and I need a break!

Good job it’s the weekend! Time to recuperate!

How was your week? Do you enjoy ‘networking’ and socialising, or does it tire you out and make you desire solitude?

Night-sky-in-the-north

352 Days Left

I got job today. Well, not today, but today is my first day. It’s minimal wage, and only for two hours a day, because I can’t go full time until I get me a first class degree, but its something.

I still feel like a failure though.

My husband pointed out that I have been running an online business for two years and not even scratching the surface of a liveable income. He is right. He reckons I have no gumption and spend more time and effort making excuses rather than doing anything productive with my life.

‘Where’s that book you said you were writing?’

‘Um, I’m writing it.’

‘Where’s that translation company you wanted to set up?’

‘Well I am studying a full time course, you know!’

‘You could stop your tuition that pays you peanuts and start your company, but no, you just have excuses, always excuses, and I am so sick of it.’

He is sick of it. I am sick of it. He is sick of me. He is also sick, which doesn’t help his frustration. I made him so many cups of tea and tucked him up in bed and brought him all his meals and made sure he was warm and comfortable in a clean and tidy environment. He is so cold to me though lately. It hurts me a lot, but I don’t have time to mull over it or confront him about it because I have all these assignments and now the job and in between that and chauffeuring my brothers to school I don’t have any time to talk to him.

I don’t blame him, really.

I’m upset, though. I know these things bother him a lot. They bother me too. Maybe it’s tough love.

I know we are at very different stages of life at the moment; he is a successful automotive engineer full of ideas for the future, liasing with other engineers about how to make software to promote the green lifestyle etc etc. He is innovative and hard working and aspirational. I am still studying full time. And he is right. If I spent more effort chasing my dreams, I would have made something of myself by now.

‘You’re 22,’ he said, ‘what do you have to show for it?’

Nothing.

My mum would say I have a driving license, I have an online business (which pays me peanuts), I’m working towards a degree, I bought a car. But those are things all adults should work for. If I didn’t have any of those things, given the opportunities I have in life, I would really be a failure.

I don’t have a real degree. Yet. My business is not at its full potential, and I could have made it so, had I worked hard enough. I have been writing a novel since I was eleven years old. When Christopher Paolini published Eragon at age 15, I thought, ‘I’m gonna publish mine by the time I’m fourteen.’

Did I? I’m 22 now. Did I? No.

So I feel like a failure. I keep doing this. I keep saying things and talking the talk but not walking the walk.

But all is not lost. I have been 22 for thirteen days. I still have 352 days left.

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Photograph of Venice

Tuesday.

 

Oh hi.

I am sitting on a comfortable bed at the moment. My eyes are stinging, I am exhausted and cannot take another verse written by Wordsworth. I really can’t. I assure you I am not dissecting his poetry because I care about it. After extensive study, I really don’t see why he was such a celebrated man. I can understand why Austen has reached the level of recognition she has, and even Shakespeare. I acknowledge the greatness of Dickens, and appreciate the poetry of Dryden, but I just CANNOT get my head around why Wordsworth is so highly praised. He just seems like a big headed, self obsessed snob.

I have had a long day.

The baby is keeping me company. She is sitting next to me on my bed. Her large cheeks are flushed, and her chubby little fingers are scrabbling through a pile of books, her sweet little voice telling me intricate stories, of which I can only make out the bare minimum. Words like “lion” and “dinner” and “stouwy” emerge from the baby jargon.

“Otay Len?” she says, after turning the page, to make sure I have listened to her tale. She can say my name properly now.

“Okay” I tell her, smiling, before turning back to my screen.

I got up before the sun roused itself from sleep. I worked out for a good two hours. I cleaned my mother’s house and spent five hours tutoring some children before settling down to pore over vexing poems. I then drove to an Arabic grammar class I signed up to as per my New Year’s list.

It was such an exhilarating experience. The other people there were all of different ages, and so jokey and cheerful. The teacher introduced me and they all welcomed me in such a friendly way. I felt at home immediately. I wasn’t expecting her to ask me about my background in Arabic though, and so wasn’t prepared to be put on the spot like that in front of a whole roomful of silent people. I felt my face flushing hotly as I told them that I had my father speak it to me as I was growing up. I was surprised that I felt embarrassed, though. I thought I was over that. We learnt about the command verb, and how it applies in a sentence when addressing a male, a female, two males, two females, an un-gendered group of people and a group of females. I remember vaguely studying about that before, so catching up wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be. All in all, a remarkable lesson. I can’t wait for next week.

Busy days are tiring, but so satisfying. As long as you keep to schedule, of course. Which I am not doing at the moment, am I. Off I go to dissect more Wordsworth.

Do you like busy days, or do you function better when your schedule has some gaps?