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On turning 26 and leaving 25 behind.

IMG_20170420_033113116So it is my birthday. I’m 26. That’s cool. One year left of my mid twenties. I’ve already started using moisturiser designed for people in their late twenties, for no other reasons than it was suitable for vegans and on special offer. I’m so ready for this aging thing. I am looking forward to the day when people stop asking me as soon as they meet me if I am a student. No, not for three years! I just look like one because I am too tired to iron my clothes or get my fringe cut. When my mum was my age I was six months old. I’m really glad I don’t have any babies. That is one life decision I do not regret. There is a lot that I do regret. A lot of them happened when I was 25. I was hoping I’d turn 26 and somehow magically be freed from the weight of all the crap that happened while I was 25. Turns out it doesn’t work like that, who knew! I want to write all about those things. I want to unburden myself of them. I want to exorcise them from my life. I want them off my chest. Off my back. Off my mind. I want to word vomit them out through my fingers and onto this screen. I want them gone so I can leave 25 behind. But it’s tricky. Writing a blog post about your life is tricky.

The trickiest thing about writing a blog post about your life is knowing when to write about other people. That is, when you are writing about a difficult thing in your life and the thing has to something to do with someone else, then by including them in your post you automatically put their business online for the whole world to read. It’s difficult for me to write about my life without including other people in the writing. I guess it’s all about respecting people, and either making it so nobody could ever know who you are talking about, or just leaving them out altogether. Some people totally don’t deserve the respect of not including them for this reason, but they are slightly famous on the internet (in Scotland) (if you are into politics) so might sue you for alleged defamation of character or something. I might still write blogs about such people, but I’m not sure how to yet because of the second trickiest thing, which I’ll tell you about now…

The second trickiest thing about writing a blog post about your life is that sometimes when awful things happen you want the world to know so they can be shocked and can tell whoever is responsible for the awful things that they are a terrible person, or can be comforting and offer you support, or can not be surprised when you act depressed or sad or distant. The hard part is that you might not want to upset the people that love you by talking about the awful things that happen or have happened in your life. You don’t want to upset them because they are the trying so hard to get you through this life in once piece. They are trying so hard and you are scared to let them know that you already broken. The same thing applies to other pieces of writing, when I used to write poetry I would normally write about trivial things or things that happened in the past or not to me, or to cartoon fish. The reason for this wasn’t because I don’t have real personal issues to talk about like everyone else, but the thought of someone I love hearing them and getting upset is too hard. Maybe that’s a cop out.  It probably is.

The reason that I am telling you about these difficult things is that I am going to start trying to write a regular blog despite them. I want to document my 26th year better than I documented my 25th. Maybe I  wouldn’t have made so many bad decisions if I had made myself vent all my emotions onto the internet for everyone to see. Maybe I would have thought “Oh goodness, definitely don’t do that again! The internet will judge you so hard if you go there” and not have gone there.

And I know it doesn’t work like that.

Still let’s try. And maybe it will do something for my writing. And maybe it will do something for my confidence. And maybe it will do something for you. Whoever you are. And I know I have made promises to you before, whoever it is that reads this blog (Daniel, is it still you?), that I will blog more regularly and I didn’t keep them. Maybe I will this time. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe…

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NaPoWriMo 2016 – April 1st – Calories Don’t Count

I have decided to blog all my NaPoWriMo poems individually, but that is not to say I will blog them on the day they are written.

Entry 1.

April 1st 2016 – Calories Don’t Count.

Calories don’t count on Christmas.

Calories don’t count on Boxing Day.

Calories don’t count in the week between Christmas and Hogmanay.

Calories don’t count on Hogmanay.

Calories don’t count on New Years Day.

Calories don’t count on your first day back at work.

Calories don’t count on Valentines Day.

Calories don’t count on Easter.

Calories don’t count on Halloween.

Calories don’t count on your birthday.

Calories don’t count on someone else’s birthday.

Calories don’t count when you are on holiday.

Calories don’t count when you are sick.

Calories don’t count when you are on your period.

Calories don’t count when you are mourning.

Calories don’t count when you get dumped.

Calories don’t count when you have to dump someone.

Calories don’t count if you have just been fired.

Calories don’t count if someone else is paying.

Calories don’t count if you stayed out late last night.

Calories don’t count if you got up early.

Calories don’t count if you don’t let them.

Calories don’t count unless you give them power.

The February Hypothesis

Yeah, I haven’t written since September. I warned you this might happen. You can’t write when you’ve got nothing to write about! But I am writing now because February starts tomorrow, and I have this hypothesis that positive change is more achievable in February. I don’t know what it is about the second month that makes me feel this way, but I do always feel like happiness will be much more manageable in February. Sometimes I am right, and I start a new habit that I manage to keep up long term, and sometimes I am wrong and I never do or stick to the thing that I endeavor to change. More often than not I am right. I am fully aware that the fact it is February probably has nothing to do with any of this, but it does seem to be a pattern. These changes tend to make me much, much, happier. I started being a vegan in a February. I stopped believing in God in a February. I started writing blogs in February (not this blog). Last year I made an entire new friend group in February, and entered the world of performance poetry. Maybe it is because it is a shorter month, and so I somehow convince myself it will be easier to try things out and give things a go. Maybe it is because I always start the new year with the idea that I am going to better myself this year, and I get to the end of January and see nothing has actually changed and think “Tae hang wi’ this, I’m makin’ a stand!” and then take on February with much more determination than the previous month. Who knows what the reason is, it doesn’t really matter as long as happiness is achieved… right?

Last January I lost my job and broke up with my boyfriend. I wasn’t particularly upset about these things, I had hated my job, and it was my decision to break up with the guy. Despite this the job, the relationship, the referendum, and the recent death of a loved one had all taken their toll on me and I really wasn’t very well, physically or mentally. I decided to do something about it. I slept a lot, for weeks. This was extremely beneficial for me, and I am so lucky that I was in a position where this was possible. One day I decided to stop sleeping and to get proactive, I decided to take up something that I had dabbled in in the past: Saying Yes. I considered myself to be a Yes Woman (partly under the influence of Danny Wallace) but I hadn’t actually been saying yes to many things since my referendum hangover took over. In February I went to every event I was invited to (unless I was double booked, in which case I went to the one that I agreed to first). This was great because my friend Aileen had been running a campaign to save the Buchanan street steps, and she needed help and I needed a pathway back into activism. I got involved with this campaign at a very late stage, and as a result I made a whole crowd of new friends. Another friend, Ross, invited me to loads of performance poetry nights, and I went along to every single one of them. I even started to perform again. I didn’t think this would ever happen again. I am so grateful to these two friends for extending these invitations to me, and for helping me get back to being a person who I am comfortable with being.

So, what will happen this February? I am feeling pretty well loved, and I have a pretty hot social life. I am not overly healthy, but there is not a huge deal I can do about that*. I am broke though, and my business isn’t making very much money at all. I have decided that in February I am going to deal with these issues and take control of my business, rather than sitting back and watching things get worse. I am going to do my book keeping, I’m going to write more material, I am going to set up a website (with a new logo that is being designed for me by a brilliant and talented artist), I am going to invest in advertising, and I am going to make money. I have decided these things will happen… and so they will. I must have a better chance of succeeding than if it were any other month… Come on February, work your magic.

*Okay, I will start taking vitamins or something.

Back.

“Good evening, you’re through to Intensify Everything, Kirsty speaking, how can I help you?”

Okay so I was away for a while there. Away from wordpress, away from reality, away from thinking. I was trying really hard to not think. Thinking is the worst best thing. So on the 19th of September I decided to stop. Just have a wee break from thinking. From participating. I think I am just about ready to start again. It is not going to be easy. I don’t really know where to begin to be honest. I guess firing out this blog is a good place to start. Free therapy or something. Let’s talk about all the issues in my life that I have been doing a good job of ignoring.

Scottish Independence – The biggie. So we didn’t win in September and it broke me. That’s fine. That’s the past now. I am strong enough to get back in the game again. But like… what do I do? Everyone else seems to have started concentrating on their political parties. I don’t have a political party. I like bits the SNP and bits of the Greens. I also dislike bits of both. I don’t want to have to pick. I don’t want to have to be on one side or the other. Do I really HAVE to make a decision in order to become fully politically engaged again? I think I might need to. Which is sad, because I don’t want to.

My minimum wage soul sucking job – I work 37.5 to 40 hours a week. I get paid minimum wage. I make roughly £900 a month. My spending works out at around £900 month too… sooo I am not saving any money. Even though the point of working right now is to save up money for like 5 years in order to do my post-grad. I also really hate my job. It is really really pointless. If my job and the other people with the same job as me’s job didn’t exist then the world would be no worse off. If people were suddenly unable to get the service that they get from us then their lives would continue as normal. We don’t really make anything much easier for anyone, occasionally we do help people but there are other ways for these people to receive the same if not better help, and if we didn’t exist then they would be more aware of that. I also get shouted at a lot by people from all around the British isles, and it can be a real drag. It is just really tedious and draining. I want a job that inspires me. Where I actually make a difference to the world in some, albeit small, way. My hours are also really not very good for my MS as I have absolutely no routine, and I am pretty much constantly trying to push myself past chronic pain and fatigue. My memory has gone to pieces because the fatigue and I am forgetting really basic things like how to spell my last name or what day of the week comes after this day. I need a job with proper hours and proper wages so that when I go home to go to sleep I can actually do that instead of lying awake worrying. Only issue is that I am pretty much always exhausted so when I get home from work I have no energy to job hunt, and when I wake up in the morning I am usually just as tired as when I went to bed, I need to rest. I also need to socialise or I will lose my mind*. And when I am not resting or attending to my mental health then I am working. So I have no time to job hunt. :/

*I think either that or that my friends would end up really resenting me, but that’s not a real thing is it guys…. you wouldn’t really resent me for this would you… :S

My post graduate degree – So as previously mentioned I have so far saved £0 towards the post grad fund. I have also gone on 0 placements because of another thing I previously mentioned, the no time/energy thing. I need to go on placements to even be considered because my degree isn’t good enough. Like if I had a 2.1 or a 1st and a couple of placements then it would still be really hard to get in because it is a hella competitive course. The acceptance grade is a 2.1 and I have a 2.2. Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of my 2.2… I did it despite the whole constant pain, constant fatigue, occasional blindness in one eye, occasional loss of use of limbs. My 2.2 is pretty great, considering. People don’t give you much of a chance to “consider” though because they don’t ask for a medical history when you apply for a post grad. Oh well, I just need to do everything I can do. And everything I can do is arranging and going on lots of placements and lots of earning and saving money.

My poetry – You might know that I write performance poetry, you might not. I don’t talk about it an awful lot because I am more often than not in a state of “writers block” or what ever you want to call it. Writer’s block is nothing to be ashamed about, F Scott Fitzgerald even suffered from it. I know that I will always get back to writing eventually, but the frustrating thing is I never know how long it will take. My head gets so full of other things and then my brain goes no, you do not deserve to do the exiting, freeing, wonderful thing that makes you feel more alive than any of the other things. You do not deserve to do this because you have other things to dedicate your time to. Dissertation. Referendum. Finding a job. Finding a flat. Finding another job. Saving money for post grad. Placements. Buying Christmas presents. Laundry. Showering. Eating. Sleeping. Ahhh. Stop! Okay so I need to find a way to get back into writing before eliminating everything from my list. Realistically someone with my personality is never going to have everything eliminated from their list. I have written poems though, despite always having a list, and these poems usually get written at times when I am utterly unable to do anything else. When the poem just can’t not be written, and so it just bursts out of my brain and into my hands and my hands burn and contort until they get a chance to violently type it out, or scribble it down. So I need one  of those times again.

My health – I need to stop messing around with my health. I need to go to bed at reasonable times, eat 3 meals, wear my glasses, take my drugs on time, take naps when I need naps, not be stressed out by stupid things, and just do everything by the book.

SOLUTIONS: Minimise spending and socalising until have found better job. Take up meditation and mindfulness because apparently that stuff sorts your brain out so you can do things like sleep and relax and remember things. I currently think it is a load of poppycock, but it is worth a try right? Who knows, it might even free up enough space in there that a poem manages to squeeze its way out.

Thank you for reading my rant. If you are reading this and thinking “Gee wilkers Kirstycat, you sure do sound like you are pretty snowed under! How the heck can I help?”, well you can help, and that is by letting me know if you see any ads for any jobs you think I might be suitable for.

“Is there anything else I can do for you? No, okay then. Well you have a great day. Thank you for your call. Good bye!”

Scotland is watching you!

I am on a train to the Yes office. It is pretty sunny, and I am listening to power ballads. Getting ready for a day of answering phones and sending emails. Today is the second “Big Debate” , and that means we are going to be a very, very, extremely busy office today. Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond will be debating tonight on the BBC (BBC one if you are in Scotland, BBC two for rUK). Last time they debated it was really not very good. It was even boring. This debate should not be boring. It is about the most important thing ever, our future. How did they manage to make THAT boring. What a mess. I am not a huge fan of either of them, but Alex has the winning argument. He can’t not win a reasonable debate. He has hope, Darling has fear. The only thing stronger than fear is hope!! Ask any Hunger Games fan! I don’t understand how he managed to so royally mess up that last debate. Let’s hope he gets his act together and doesn’t end up boring the entire country to death. Come on Alex, Scotland is watching you.

One month to go.

Can you believe it? One month to go until the referendum. It has been a long couple of years, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are almost there. We just need to give this last month everything we’ve got. We need to make every minute count. If you are not wearing a Yes badge and talking about Yes at every possible opportunity then you are doing something wrong. It will be a long, arduous month, but it will be worth it. We might not sleep much, we might not get to eat regular meals, we might lose the ability to function in social situations that don’t involve someone mentioning postal votes (http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk) or pensions (http://www.yesscotland.net/answers/what-about-pensions-independent-scotland) or the pound (http://www.yesscotland.net/news/common-sense-currency), but we will get through and at the end there will be the biggest prize ever. And despite that, I can’t wait for this campaign to be over.

Yup, I want it to be over. Me, Kirsty, the one who people say “Is always going on about independence” and “has she got enough badges?”. I see people all the time saying “I am sick of this referendum, everyone is always going on about it.”. So am I. I am sick of having to go on about it. I long for the days when we can talk about something else. Just about all of us Yes campaigners do. We wish we didn’t have go on and on, but we do, because we need to win. We need to win, because if we don’t we know what will happen, and it’s not pretty. We know more people will need to go to food banks, we know more children will end up in poverty, we know millions will continue to be spent on nuclear weapons and illegal wars, we know more funding will be cut, and we know there is nothing we will be able to do about it. We know our voices will never be heard again. We know this is our only chance. We know we need to grab it with both hands. Come on Yes campaigners, let’s win this thing! As a great Lady once sang “Scotland’s ready, gie it laldy!”.

I’ve moved site!

Okay so blog.com was a whole pile of annoying, so I have quit there and I am coming back wordpress, where I was before blog.com…. New URL though! I have just copied my blogs from blog.com over to here (including the ones that I copied from my old wordpress over to blog.com…) and I am going to be starting a fresh from now on. 1 month to go, I have a smart phone, I can totally muster up the motivation to post a blog a day. I don’t have the internet at my Mum’s, so I will need to blog on the train to work or when I am staying at someone else’s house who has internet (Like my Gran. My Gran has internet but my Mum doesn’t… Weird right?).

I hope that I actually manage to stick to this challenge. my blogs might not be very long and some days I might choose just to do 10 things I know to be true, but that’s better than nothing!