How did that happen?

Hello!

Yes, I’m still here. I haven’t abandoned my blog! In truth, I’ve been beyond busy, and then I changed phones and didn’t set up my email notifications properly, so it wasn’t until yesterday that I saw the, frankly, phenomenal amount of emails in my inbox. Sigh. Anyway, even if I *had* been updating my blog, there wouldn’t have been much to tell! At least not on the boy front.

In my last post I said I wanted to take a break from men-folk for a while and I meant it. Aside from meeting The Greek once or twice for complete no-strings fun, I’ve been a very good girl indeed. I’ve been too busy sorting out the next phase of my life anyway.

I handed in my resignation two weeks ago – I’m going to Goa, just like I said I would. In little over 2 weeks time, I’ll be on a one way flight to Mumbai with nothing other than my backpack and the promise of sunshine waiting on the other end. I’m beyond excited, but I’ve been so busy and stressed with work that I don’t feel like I’ve had much time to really plan or think about it. My plan consists of land, jump in a cab to Arambol and then find somewhere to stay. And meet up with The Musician at some point. More on him later. So, yeah. That’s me. I still have a list of things I need to buy/sort out, like travel insurance, pick up my prescription for malaria tablets and stuff, but I’m ready (ish). Got my passport, currency card and visa. Gulp.

I can’t tell you the relief of knowing my days in that office are on the count down. I had my leaving drinks on Thursday and I got a bit emotional. I’ve made some wicked friends and I’ll miss seeing them all the time, but I can’t cope with the work anymore. It makes me want to smash my own head in. I want to draw and write and chill. Oh yes, on that subject, I’ve decided my book will go on Kindle on March 1st. Now that’s scary. I’ve hired an editor and now I’m trying to sort out a book cover. I had no idea it would be quite so time consuming!

So, The Musician. He’s in Goa at the moment. We’ve been speaking still, more or less daily until he left. He doesn’t have internet where he’s staying, so he’s been coming online to say hi once a week or so from the internet cafe. He still seems excited to see me – the promise of food (I have to send a list of what I like to make it easier for him to know what to make since it turns out I’m really quite fussy – who knew) and lots of talk about things to get up to generally. It’s nice to know there’s someone there who I know, and yes I do like him, but for once, I’m not thinking about things *like that*.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. I miss you guys and I’ll catch up with you all soon. I’m taking the laptop with me, but I don’t know how often I’ll be updating my blog – or when I’ll be back exactly.

For those of you who I actually speak to on a regular (or regularly-ish), if you want to keep in touch then send me an email or leave a comment (email preferably) and if you’re on Facebook we can connect there. Or via my real Twitter account. Until the next time….parting is such sweet sorrow 😉

Have a nice Christmas everyone!

xxx

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Re-assimilation sucks. So why do it?

So, I’m back. In fact I’ve been back for about 3 weeks now. It sucks. I miss the sunshine, I miss the food, I miss the friends I made. I miss not having to wake up to an alarm every day. I miss the peace and quiet. These statements should covey the fact that I had an AWESOME time. Just brilliant – so much better than I ever expected it to be, and I had a lot of time to think about what I want and all that big stuff. Having to come back to a job that bores me is not my idea of fun. So, it’s been a pretty busy few weeks.

First off, I’ve picked up my art again, and I’m loving it. So much so that I’m actually gonna try and sell some. Why not? See how it goes…if other people can do it then I can at least try. It seems a shame for them to just sit in my sketchbooks in my wardrobe for the rest of their days and it’s not like I’m expecting to become a millionaire or anything with them. So far, the feedback from my social circle has been good, so we’ll see if they’re all talking bullshit soon. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Second, and perhaps, the biggest piece of news, is that I’m planning another trip. Woohoo! This week I will be booking a ticket to Goa, to leave in January. I’ve put in my 6 month career break application but I’ve already told my boss that I’m going, even if it’s rejected. I was hugely inspired by the people I met in France (and yes, one was a man, but nothing to go into really as yet). I met a lot of people who were doing the very things I’ve always wanted to do. They did what they loved all day, and travelled while doing it. I’m not a musician and while I like to draw, I’m yet to be convinced I could call myself an artist, but the travelling aspect was what got me. They live in Goa (some in Varanassi) in winter and when I sighed and said ‘I’d love to go there’, one of them asked ‘what’s stopping you?’

I couldn’t really answer it. Ok, so I have a job, a well paid job at that. And friends, and family. But otherwise I have no boyfriend/husband/children/mortgage. The only thing stopping me was myself. I thought about it for a while, but it wasn’t until I got back to London that I made my mind up. Being back at work feels like I’m destroying my soul. Sounds dramatic, but it’s true. If it was a job I was passionate about (or simply not bored of) then I’m sure the reaction would be much less acute, but this is my situation. My debts are very nearly all paid off, and I have the offer of paid, remote admin work a day or two a week while I’m away from Mr Arrogant, so I should still have some income. Other than that, I’ve not planned much at all. I planned to the nth degree in France and it didn’t go according to plan in some aspects – but it made it so much more fun and flexible. And for a control freak like me, it will be a good exercise in being a bit more relaxed with the security of knowing there are people that I know in the same country at least.

So, yeah. That’s my news. On the man front, there is the guy I mentioned earlier, with whom nothing happened but I’ve been chatting to ever since. Sometimes for 12 hours straight or more about all sorts of things – not least stuff to get me excited about my trip (they’ll be there from December). It’s kind of nice to just take a step back from the men-folk though. I don’t want anyone or anything to hold me back.

Exciting times.

xx

Seven Days…

This time next week I’ll be at the airport getting ready to fly out to Marseille. Talk about excited. Talk about nervous.

The reasons for being excited are obvious, but the nerves? Maybe it’s because I know we’ll be having ‘the conversation’. About ‘what this is’. I feel 99% sure that he feels the same way I do, but that could be because of the distance. What if he decides he likes me, but not enough to want to try and have a ‘normal’ relationship? And what would that mean anyway? Moving? Who knows. It doesn’t help that I’ve not heard from him since Tuesday. That’s not a great deal of time and usually, I don’t stress about our comms. We have a rhythm that works for us and I trust him, but this is the first time that I’ve not heard from him for three days straight.

I think it’s because it’s making me wonder what’s happening over there. When I started seeing Mr Grey, I eased the comms with The Frenchman a bit and naturally, I’m now thinking ‘what if he’s met the love of his life?’. It could happen.

I’m trying not to stress. I’m sure I’ll hear from him soon enough, it just feels a bit…I dunno. Weird, I guess, knowing that with him being a guy and all, he might be about to do that ‘guy thing’ of going a bit weird when they know a ‘conversation’ is going to happen.

Our last comms was normal, he told me he missed me (my kisses specifically) and he was excited about me going to Marseille to see him, his house and his city. Sigh. Not much I can do except wait it out.

Keep it together, Freechick!

I’m working for a cash machine…

Ah, money, money, money. Not my favourite topic of conversation, it must be said. Not enough can make you feel depressed but too much can (supposedly) ruin your life. Remember Callie Rogers? She won the National Lottery at the tender age of 16 and has been chronicled in the papers ever since. By last year, she’d almost run out of money thanks to spending sprees, cocaine and plastic surgery (apparently). There’s no shortage of lotto winners out there who’ve since said that their win has made them miserable and it’s not hard to see why. Old ‘friends’ and family creeping out of the woodwork expecting a handout, not to mention the tough decisions about just what to do with your hard won cash. Fortunately for me, (or unfortunately), the chances of this kind of stress invading my life are minimal. That said, a bit of dollar wouldn’t go amiss right now.

I’m crap with money. I’ll put my hands up. I’ve been working now for 12 years and have no savings to speak of. It flows through my hands like water. Now that I’m single, it seems to have got even worse, given that I actually have a social life now. Add to the fact that I’ve had to help my sister out and well, let’s just say I’m waiting for payday to roll back around. I have to say that I’ve saved an awful lot of money this month by switching from cigarettes to roll ups (yes, I smoke…please don’t judge me *rolls eyes*) so that’s got to be a plus, although, I can’t actually see where this saved money has gone. Mojitos, probably. Drawing out a tenner a day for cigarettes and lunch is probably the quickest way to drain a bank balance. But now that I’ve come to a decision about my travelling plans, I’ll have to make a concerted effort to put money away.

This is where I’ll be this time next year. I was planning on going anyway and I will, all being well, be there for around 4 weeks. Now that I’ve found out I can sneakily carry over more than the stipulated 5 days of leave into next year, I’ll be able to spend a month in Rio de Janeiro AND take a second trip without having to take a break in my salary. I’ve been delving into research and my plan is to volunteer for 2 weeks and use the other 2 weeks to generally just be. I’ve called a few agents to get a ballpark figure on flights and it looks like I can get out there for under £600. Add to that the volunteering cost (which includes accommodation and meals) of around £800, plus hostel accommodation for the remaining two weeks and I’ll need to shell out £2.5k at least. It’s doable. I’ve already started adjusting my (slightly anal) Excel budget spreadsheet and it can be done. Nay, it WILL be done. I’ll get out there if it kills me.

Now, I may be being ambitious, but there is another destination I’m looking at for May next year, again, volunteering but this time for a month. Again, it’s doable. I’ve checked around on flights (based on this years prices), volunteering costs etc and that’s another £2.5 to £3k. My sensible head is saying I could use this money to put towards a deposit for a flat or something, but that would only further tie me down. I’d rather have life experiences to look back on than money in the bank and feel that niggling sense of ‘if only’.

Money, and the lack of, can be a bitch. It can depress even the lightest of souls, but while I might not have much, there are people out there in much worse situations than I am. I can give myself a weekend off in a month and save myself around £50. It will all add up to what will be, for me anyway, the trip of a lifetime. I’ll still be working for a cash machine, but at least my cash will be spent doing something fun and worthwhile.