Preface

Hello, my name is Kirsty and I am a terrible blogger. This is true, not only in the quality of my blogs (whiny boring self centered nonsense that nobody would want to read), but also in the quantity (I haven’t actually blogged for eight months). I read through my old blogs and mostly I am embarrassed, but I have decided not to delete them because there are parts in them that I must keep so that I can occasionally remind myself how far I have come since then, and also how much I have still to grow.

I want to remind you that this is indeed a preface, and that there is a “good bit” coming eventually, just give me another wee moment to update the blog with my life over the past eight months and then I will be able to continue.

In the past eight months everything has been quite terrible.

I feel like that is enough of an update for me to now continue with the preface.

If given a space to talk about myself, whether it be a blog or a “How are you? What have you been up to?” section of a conversation, I will almost always unload the reader/listener with the most depressing load of oversharing that they have ever heard. I will moan not only about my immediate situation (I’m hungry, I’m cold, I have an overwhelming taste of cauliflower in my mouth, etc.) but also about life in general (I’m poor, I’m sick, I can’t find any work, I have been rejected for PIP, etc.). Nobody cares. Okay that is not true, like maybe about five people outside of your immediate family care. And just because they care doesn’t mean you have to unload all this information on them at any given minute, you dour, self centered, boring, woman-child. They, and the others who you are oversharing with, would much prefer if you were telling them about cheerful happy things that actually enriched their day.

I remember when I was working for Yes and whenever I was at an event on behalf of Yes I would have to be this cheery, nice, approachable person who was interesting to talk to. It was actually quite nice because I found that, as this person, I made contacts who actually wanted to stay in touch. It wasn’t until afterwards that they found out what a depressing bat I am that they decided never to speak to me IRL again. It is the same when I am working with kids, no matter how annoyed at the world I am I never let it show to the kids because my time with them is all about fun and learning, and making them like me and want their parents/teachers to invite me back to work with them again. I really enjoy these times. It is almost like a fake it until you make it situation, but it actually really makes me a bit less grumpy for the rest of the day.

It was when I was thinking about this I realised that can’t remember the last time I was happy without faking it. Like properly happy. Nothing else matters kind of happy. Completely consumed by happiness. I am not even sure if that is a thing that can happen. It is for this reason, among others, that I have decided to give myself a little project to firstly try and identify happiness, then identify what creates happiness, and then try and use this knowledge to try and be generally just happier. I mean I have the best friends in the world, my family are a constant source of love and support, I have a really nice flat, and although my purse is sometimes a bit empty I still manage to have a better standard of living than a lot of people who live in this world. I should be happy. At least sometimes.

The project starts on Saturday, it will last until I get bored of it. I was going to make it a year but really those project for a year things are a little stale now because they have been done so many times. I have been reading other people’s thoughts/projects/studies on happiness, and as much as I sometimes do wish I was a wealthy, powerful, super well connected person with an exciting New York social life, I am not (sorry fifteen year old Kirsty, I let you down so much). I don’t think my life experiences and the authors of these happiness books life experiences really overlap very much. I am still going to read their stuff and see what they say, maybe take a few pointers, maybe just enjoy ridiculing them, who knows. Please recommend anything you think I might like.

I also am interested to hear from anyone who might be reading this blog. I mean if you have made it this far down this blog so far I am utterly amazed, you must really be invested now if you have sieved through all of that. Are you happy? When was the last time you felt happy? What does it mean to be happy? What are the key components of happiness? Please do comment!

See you on Saturday x

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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!

What don’t I do that I should be doing?

(First posted 31st May 2014)

I am supposed to be packing. I am no where near halfway packed, and I have 9 hours to finish. So obviously I am going to write a blog right now…

Okay so I just watched a video on youtube by SoulPancake where they asked people on the street “What don’t you do that you should be doing?” and while the video was loading I was thinking of what my first off the top of my head answers would be. I made a mental list. Here it is.

-Floss regularly.

-Blog regularly.

-Eat healthy breakfasts.

-Exercise

-Go swimming.

-Ride my bike.

-Call people out on being awful (e.g. transphobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, ableism)

And then I started to struggle but then the video loaded and I thought about some of the things the people on the video were saying and they were talking about things like helping people, calling their families, following their dreams, appreciating themselves, along with exercising and staying active and encouraging people to love one another.

I was thinking, I totally help people a lot. But then, i don’t know if I do. I mean I donate money to charities on a regular basis, and I support and promote a lot of charities and causes both on social media and in conversation, but I don’t’ actually help people on the ground. I don’t go to those people who need help and actually help them. I don’t know whether that is something I should maybe start doing more. I mean, by just fundraising and raising awareness does that make me all talk and no game? Or are those things more important than actually going to those in need and chatting to them and asking how you can help them. How do you decide who is in need? Is that not something that a person has to decide for themselves, and wouldn’t it be patronising of you to assume that they specifically would need your help? I don’t even know. I think I need to consider getting more hands on in terms of helping people. Any suggestions, feel free to comment or whatever. I might need to wait until after the referendum because that eats up any spare time I have right now. But should it? Is it right that I am dedicating all this time to the referendum when I could be helping people? I mean I honestly really believe that in the long run all the work that Yes are doing will help people, once we persuade enough people to vote yes and secure better future for them, but should I be doing something now? I don’t know. I mean all forms of helping and charity work for good causes must be a good thing, but are their like levels of good? I am going to think about this a bit more.

Also calling my family, I call my Mum and my Gran a lot. But I rarely call my Dad or my Papa or my brother or my aunt Fiona. I never call my other aunts or uncles or cousins. Would they/I be happier if I called them more? Should that be something I endeavour to do? I think it would be a bit weird if I called my brother everyday. “Hi” “Hi ”How are you” “I am fine, how are you.” “Fine.” “Cool. I don’t have anything to say.” “Okay good, neither do I. Bye!” “Bye.” Maybe I should call the ones I don’t see very often and let them know I am thinking about them. But then they might think I wanted something or I was dying or someone else was dying or something, because it would be so abnormal. Oh well I think I will continue with my current call scheduled, but if any family members read this and decide they would like to talk to me on the phone more then please feel free to call me more, and I will call you more too!

Okay I really need to go pack now. Enough distractions. Good bye. Sorry for this pointless blog.

I’m back.

(First posted 12th May 2014)

Hello. I’m sorry I have been away for so long. Life happened.

So, I finished my degree. That was a thing that just happened. So that’s done, and that’s a nice feeling. It’s gone. I don’t need to do anything for it anymore. I can start concentrating on important things like Scottish Independence, finding a job, finding a new flat, and how to make the perfect seitan burgers. All these things are very exciting and I hope to write a lot more about them in the next few weeks, but for now I think I should probably update you all (all one of you, hi Daniel…) on what has happened in the past few months. A lot of it has been very samey, so there might not actually be that much. Don’t really know what I am about to write to be honest, I am just going to go in chronological order starting at my last post and working my way back to here. My last post was on the 4th of March. Okay, how am I possibly going to remember everything that has happened since the fourth of March!?

I will go through my facebook posts and expand on all of the important ones, that seems sensible.

4th of March: I finished my last ever essay and went out for pancake day as I said in my other blog but ALSO I discovered I probably have a bell pepper allergic. I have never liked bell peppers because they make my throat feel like it has a weird plastic coating, and they make me feel like I am going to throw up. I did an online search and it turns out people are legitimately allergic to them. Who would have thought! I am also allergic to blueberries too. So now you know.

5th of March: I started my dissertation and my pals Amy, Sophie, and Zoe sent me some motivational messages. It was thoughtful and only slightly intimidating. My flatmate Emily made vegan mince and tatties and it was awffy braw. She has crazy cooking skills, like she has the intuition to just know what and how much needs to be added, its magic.  And, probably the most exciting thing from the day (not that tatties and dissertations aren’t exciting) was that this video was released: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SvdecwnYJ4&feature=youtu.be and I am in it a few times and it was quite exciting because it sort of went viral (at least in the Scottish politico world) quite quickly. It was so much fun to be involved in and I hope I get a chance to do more things like this before September 18th!

6th of March: There was an election at the Student Representatives Council at uni. I told myself I wouldn’t get involved in caring this year since I am not going to be a student next term, but I couldn’t help but be bitterly disappointed with the election results. I won’t go into detail about this because it will make me mad, and I don’t need to care about this anymore. Anyone who cares about Glasgow University politics will already know anyway!

Apparently I didn’t think it was important enough to write about the event I was involved in for International Women’s Week on the 7th of March! It went well and we raised £30+ for Rape Crisis Scotland, so that was cool. We got women chatting about Independence in an informal environment, and we got a lot of positive feedback. I should have made a facebook post, but I didn’t make any that day I was quite busy because my best friend from home was here. We went out for lunch, tea, and dinner! And then we went to see the Vagina Monologues, they (it? I’m not sure..) were/was quite impressive. My chair was not though and I was wearing really uncomfortable jeans. Seriously, who ever invented skinny jeans was a sadistic, evil, human being.

Okay so nothing really happened apparently for a while. On the 14th of March a member of staff from my department at the university who I (and many other people) nominated won the award for best support staff. We were all really happy for her because she is truly a wonderful person. :) For the rest of March I wrote my dissertation, ate seeds, listened to some bangin’ tunes and poems, posted some nice wee videos for some excellent charities/causes, and had recipes posted to my facebook by my foodie flatmate.

I was supposed to hand in my dissertation on the 25th, but that didn’t happen because I got sick, so we moved the date forward, but that didn’t happen because I was still sick, and then when that date happened I was still sick too so we moved it forward. And I handed my dissertation in on the 8th of April, and then I slept for a day, until I needed to go to the library and write a further 3000 words for my Humanities in the Classroom  placement portfolio, and I wrote that and it was pretty excellent, I was quite proud of it. I am never proud of my work because I am too caught up in flaws, but this is one thing I can say I am very proud of. I still haven’t got the grade back for that one yet, so keep your fingers crossed!

Okay so we are in April now apparently. This blog has no structure. Maybe it’s a metaphor for my future. Oh wow, please don’t let it be a metaphor for my future. I want structure in that. NEXT:

April 10th was #YouYesYet day and I nominated a bunch of people to post why they were voting yes, and they did and it was very nice. One friend decided to spam my twitter repeatedly, and then spam my Facebook with exactly the same thing. She didn’t really understand how it worked…

April 11th I went to Fife to see my family and they were there and I were there and we ate a lot of food and went for some dog walks and it was nice. I went there at some point during dissertation hell too, and that wasn’t so nice because I was sick and had lots of work and it was bad, so it was really great to have time there when those things weren’t happening. My humanities teacher says I use too many comma spices, I’m not sure that’s true, do you think that’s true? It might be true, but I’m not sure, so I will just keep going…

I had like an existential crisis or something at some point where I was like “woah I feel exactly like I did 5 years ago when I was waiting for my exam results to get into uni”. I still sort of feel like that, only if failed my exams I didn’t get into uni, whereas if I fail my dissertation/degree I don’t get into… life. But that’s not going to happen. Right? Right.

Right….?

Anyway. So. I started my revision, but I also did some Yessing at Strathclyde Uni, because they were having an on campus referendum. It was great to be back out again, but I am so bad at giving people leaflets it is embarrassing. Seriously, I cannot approach people. The reason being is that when people approach me with a leaflet I get really annoyed, but I have to try and remember that the rest of the world isn’t actually socially defunct like I am. Okay, I am not socially defunct, but nobody ever has leaflets for useful things. I don’t care about no 24 cocktails for £1 because I don’t drink, and I am not interested in your half price burgers because I don’t eat meat, and I don’t need my hair cut because when I want a hair cut I get it done, I don’t just wait until a guy with a leaflet outside St Enoch’s centre hands me a leaflet. Give me a leaflet about something important and I might actually care. Sorry, rant over…

Okay so nothing much else happened for a while except revision, I listened to this playlist a lot http://8tracks.com/mvdison/wake-up-and-take-on-the-world  and I discovered a website that emails your MSPs and MPs for you, and wished I had found it before because it would have come in very useful! It still will. Here it is, in case you want it. https://www.writetothem.com/

18th April: I took the weekend off studying and friend Jodie came up from England to visit me for my birthday. It was chilled, we ate Chinese food and watched Frozen.

19th April: Went to the Gatsby Club Speakeasy at Steampunk Cafe for my birthday celebrations, we had a wee Charleston class and spent the night pretending we were in the 1920′s. I didn’t even need to hold any doors open for anyone.

20th April: It was my birthday. I turned 23. I felt exactly the same as I had always felt. We went for a picnic in the park.

21st April: I revised all day and then I went to the stand at night to do a flash mob with Lady Alba. It was good craic. I wore an Alex Salmond mask.

Nothing really happened between then and now except revision. On the 28th of April I had an exam and it was fine, but I also made vegan macaroni and cheese and it was delicious, and seeing the picture on my facebook just now has made me pure hungry. No food. Too late for food. Finish egotistical blog post and then go to sleep.

On the 30th of April I went to Ayr with Shayna because she had an interview at UWS. It rained. We went to the beach and got an ice cream/lolly anyway because we were “HAVING FUN WHETHER WE LIKED IT OR NOT!”. It was tremendous fun. We then visited our pal Stuart and came home and ate Chinese food…

Also on this day a video that I am in was released as part of MS week  http://youtu.be/4y2Hllx_09A. It’s pretty self explanatory. I got to go to London to make it, it was great fun. The following Wednesday the second part was released https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dk3ZwDFwR0A . Nothing much happened in between those two Wednesdays.

Then, on Friday I sat my last exam. It went pretty well, considering. Then my course mates and I went out for lunch to Oran Mor and half of River City and Winston from Still Game were there. We didn’t talk to them or anything, but I was excited anyway.

So, this weekend I have done a lot of sleeping and catching up with friends. I got a hair cut and put henna in my hair…

That’s it from my egotistical update. From now on my blogs will hopefully be less self involved.