Life Is Always Changing — And So Are You

Photo by Jan Kopřiva from Pexels

I’ve been writing this article on the bus. It’s awkward; I’m not going to lie. It jitters as it cruises along, and brakes suddenly, interrupting my flow. I’m on the same bus I used to take for my old job back in Dec 2018. I worked as a temp for three weeks as a Data Entry Clerk for a delivery company. All I did was amend addresses and confirm that they were correct, so they were sent off to the right place before Christmas.

It was an easy job, except that I was doing it at from 7 pm to 6 am most nights, with a near 2-hour commute tacked on there and back. I was exhausted and cranky, but I finished the three weeks with my sanity mostly in-tact.

Fast forward to December 2019, and I’m on the same bus route, working 8 am-5 pm instead. It’s nice to see some sunlight on the commute for a change!

This time around, I’m a Data Entry Administrator. In this job, I’m logging, querying and amending existing addresses for customers and electricity suppliers alike. Incorrect addresses mean that electricity may not reach the right destination. It’s a delicate and data-heavy process. It’s my job as part of a team to make sure that there’s just the right amount of power on the grid, and that each household and business in the area get the right amount of electricity.

In short, I’ve gone from distributing packages to distributing electricity, and both the roles require addresses.

It’s kind of funny how no matter how things have progressed for the better that you still wind up coming full circle. You find yourself returning to the things that you left behind.

It could be rediscovering the music of your youth that you left in a dingy attic, or it could be reading the stories to your children that your parents read to you as a kid. It could be anything.

No matter how far we go into the unknown, we get pulled back to the familiar. It’s like a siren’s song — distant and ethereal at first, but louder and more enchanting as you get closer.

The trick to not crashing into the rocks is to know that no matter how many times you revisit something you love from your past, you can never be the person you were when you discovered it for the first time.

Life is a cycle of perpetual forward motion. I may be doing a similar job in a similar location with a similar commute, but it’s not the same job. My current job is better than the one I had in 2018. I have been working for nearly two months — more than twice as long as the old job! I’m practically guaranteed a 6-month contract, and my role could even become permanent!

Sometimes I look at the person I was a year ago and wonder how I even did that job! For three weeks, all I did was eat, work and sleep. My downtime was zero, and my weekends were a tired haze. I had to postpone my counselling sessions because I had no time for them. The only things that kept me going were sheer stubbornness and the promise of money. I think I surprised everyone by taking it on!

Here I am again, on the bus on the way to work while most people are still in bed. I hope that I never stop surprising people. That’s one thing that I hope will never change. If there’s one thing that I hope you take from my story, it’s that we are all evolving, no matter how often we come across the same situations.

Written by Miss Wren

You’re not going to be 100% all the time

Over-emphasis on productivity can be toxic. An excess of anything is toxic. It’s important to not overextend yourself. No one is functioning at 100% all the time.

Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until somebody punches you in the face.” It is impossible to plan for every outcome, so it’s better to be realistic and have some wiggle room in your daily plans.

We all have bad days, but bad days don’t last. Good days always come around.

It doesn’t matter if you’re sick, injured or having a personal crisis. Better days always come around.

It’s possible to find good moments in the bad days. Use the days to take care of yourself. You won’t always want to if you’re feeling crappy about yourself, but chances are you have people who care about you. If you’re not able to do it for yourself, do it for them. Take time to rest and recover. Recognise your accomplishments. Reflect on what you need to do to reach your next goal.

Sometimes in order to keep going you must stop and take a moment to get your bearings. Life isn’t all about moving at breakneck pace to accomplish goals. It’s imperative that you take a step back. If you’re not feeling okay today, you should only do what you have the energy to do – and do the things that are the most urgent.

Get better, gather your strength and move forward. A better day is on its way.

I Don’t Want a Job Anymore

I have a confession to make. I don’t want a job anymore.

Let me explain.

I’ve had jobs before. I worked my ass off in these jobs. I get satisfaction from doing a hard day’s work, even if it’s not the job I want.

I’ve been unemployed for over six months now. It feels a lot longer than six months. While I’ve been grateful for having this time to work on myself and improve my mental and physical health — I feel ultimately lost.

I’m not annoyed at the lack of response from employers anymore. I used to be, but now I’m just apathetic. I’ve got to this point where I can only spend half an hour each day searching and applying for work. Whenever I apply for jobs, existential stress floods my nervous system to the point that even the smallest error in an application makes me want to throw my laptop across the room. I’m no longer surprised when I see another rejection email in my inbox. At least they took a whole 2 minutes to write an email to let me down easy.

When I talk about existential stress, it’s more like my soul is crying out ‘Stop it! Why are you doing this to yourself?!’ whenever I apply for a job. I listen to that voice but apply for jobs anyway. Why? It’s what my family want, its what society wants and if I don’t do it, then I don’t get that welfare payment every month that allows me to buy the things I need to stay sane in my current position.

I’ve spent a large chunk of my life so far living for others and doing things that I think people want from me. I’ve spent the last year and a half cultivating a disciplined life and a better mental state after my breakdown. It’s not enough, though. I’ve helped myself to a point where I can help others and do some good in society. I don’t think my role in society is a typical 9–5 one.

Everyone has a part to play in our society, and it’s more than our job title.I used to think that I was worthless without a job, but I know that’s wrong. When I say I don’t want a job, I don’t want a job to take away the time that I’ve spent working on my writing and my art. I want these things as a job. I want to go freelance. It’s something I’ve thought about for a while now, and I’ve been afraid of being successful in my passions. Now that I’ve written it down I’m not so afraid anymore. I think I can do this!

Written by Miss Wren

Anxiety Got the Better of Me Today – and I’m Okay with That

Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

There is a little ball of anxiety that lives in me. It wanders around in my head sometimes and then rests. It has both eyes open and stares into the void. This is a normal day. The anxiety may appear a few times during the day to let me know it’s there and then it retreats into the shadowy recesses of my mind.

Today, the anxiety got bigger and more demanding. It wouldn’t stop running through hypothetical situations in my head, telling me what could happen. This creature is normally tame because I keep it on a tight leash. The leash broke and I ended up chasing it around my head like a frustrated owner trying to catch a mischievous dog. It dragged up past memories like sticks from the mud, demanding I play fetch with it for some reason. I thought I might have an anxiety attack!

I don’t want to play with these memories! What gives?!

Then I realised something. These were just sticks. This is a game. These sticks can’t hurt me. My anxiety pet just wants to play with me. It’s just as much a part of me as any other emotion.

If we don’t interact with the supposedly more negative emotions that we feel, we are ignoring part of what makes us human.

Anxiety taught me some valuable lessons today. It taught me that it can be a force for good. It can encourage me to analyse past memories and draw inspiration from them. Anxiety can encourage us to be present and plan for the future. Like any other emotion, anxiety also needs our care and attention sometimes, like a loving pet.

So I’ve decided to play fetch with my anxiety. It’s important to give it something fun to do once in a while!

Written by Miss Wren