Forum: Arts / Diaries

Atlas Hands
By lux
On Thu Nov 14, 2013 03:47 AM
Edited by lux (197070) on 2013-11-14 04:04:54

Take me to the docks, there's a ship without a name there
And it is sailing to the middle of the sea
The water there is deeper than anything you've ever seen
Jump right in and swim until you're free


I've been listening to this obsessively, on loop, all week. It's been the soundtrack to bus rides and work days, housework and gym cool downs. I've got a plan..., and I don't, and that's probably why I adore it.

Life's pretty good, good enough. Work is pretty out of control, and it's getting to the point where I wake up in the morning panicking before I remember what I'm freaking out about. I can't even bring myself to go into the gory details right now, but needless to say, I'm missing the days when I could leave my job at the office.

6 weeks til Christmas break, I can make it through 6 weeks.

I'm starting this back up because I don't write anymore. I've got boxes of journals in my closet, dating back from when I was 7 or 8. From late high school to grad school, I'd finish a notebook every couple of months. When I first moved out of home, they were one of the few things I brought. I moved in one car load: a small pile of clothes, my CD player, and a box of secret diaries; spiral bound, fake leather wrapped, glitter fairy-covered. It was two boxes when I moved out of this first share house, three and a half years later.

I've been on the same hardcover journal for the past two years. It's a strange feeling, to stop being someone who writes. I thrive on the opportunity to unspool my mind, to turn the tangled yarn of my thoughts to words on paper. And so, I'm writing here. Trying again. I write, I will write. "So write.".

7 Replies to Atlas Hands

re: Atlas Hands
By lux
On Fri Nov 15, 2013 03:16 AM
I love my job, I really do, but sometimes I feel like, if I wasn't so flat out, if I had a moment to take stock, I'd realise that it's making me crazy and miserable.

I hate the fact that I can bust my ass within work hours, I can work for free from home most nights and weekends, I can stay every night for a week, but the infrequent times I manage to leave on time, I'm made to feel like I'm doing something wrong. Most times I can say I adore my work, and really mean it, but this week I'm feeling burnt out and resentful.

One of my besties and I are talking about packing up our lives and moving overseas in twelve months from now. I don't know if it'll happen; I've finally got a foot on the first rung of the career ladder, I'm scared that moving half a world away will be tantamount to leaping right back off. But I've wanted this for the longest time. When I was 21, I had a boyfriend who, amongst other neuroses, was twitching over the fact that he was approaching 30 and about to age out of eligibility for the Tier 5 visa. I promised myself right then and there that I'd never find myself in the situation. It's nearly four years later and I'm still here...
re: Atlas Hands (karma: 1)
By Tishwah
On Fri Nov 15, 2013 03:50 AM
Do it! Pack up your life and move half a world away. You will never regret going (I did it once, and I want to do it again!).
re: Atlas Hands
By lux
On Tue Jan 07, 2014 05:03 AM
Nearly let this one get too old to add to... oops!

To copy almost everyone else here, here's my 2013 in summary:

1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Learned to scuba dive!

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for this year?
As always, I made plenty of resolutions, but for once, I actually kept most of them! Perhaps the biggest was to get a "real job", which was the one I was the most surprised and relieved to check off. This year's are similarly expansive, so I might save them for another post.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My oldest and best friend. In fact, this time last year, she'd just told me she was pregnant, and I was sitting on the secret (with great difficulty, since I was so excited!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My grandfather.

5. What states did you visit?
NSW (once), Victoria (twice)

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
Super cheesy, but I feel like I'm ready to have a relationship again. I'd like to be in love in 2014.

Oh, and I'd like to get my driver's license!

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
The date my bestie gave birth.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting out of retail with plenty of time to spare before Christmas. Oh, the relief!

9. What was your biggest failure?
I'd like to say nothing, but honestly... I behaved really badly at a party (quite recently, which might be why it stands out as my "big failure". It was so totally out of character, and I regret it enormously.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Went on holidays and got frighteningly sick on the way home. Otherwise a couple of small illnesses, along with several truly impressive hangovers.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
- Tickets for the trip I took with my besties
- A ticket to visit my sister interstate for the first time
- Scuba lessons

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My sister. I'm so proud of the strides she's making in her career. If she stopped stealing my clothes, I'd be even prouder.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mine, at that stupid party.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Traveling, skiing and diving. I don't earn an awful lot, so I'm actually pretty proud of myself for saving enough to afford these things.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The above! ^^

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
I listened to Lorde's album on repeat, along with a lot of City & Colour at work, so maybe that?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier, by a long stretch. This time last year, I was winding down from a solid stretch of being (what I realise in hindsight was) a total basket case.
b) richer or poorer? Richer, but more importantly, I manage my money better.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Working out. Actively working to get ahead in my career.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating junk food.

20. What was your favorite month of 2013?
I can't say one in particular stands out.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Afraid not.

22. What was your favorite TV show?
I watched a heap of Sex and the City, Grey's, New Girl and Gossip Girl... man, I need to class up my TV-watching act!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
I won't name names, but yeah, a little. I feel it's deserved.

24. What was the best book you read?
I read a bunch of books in 2013, but the best was still my old favourite "The Secret History".

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I finally started reading the copy of "Women of Letters" I bought the year before last, and through reading an absolutely beautiful piece by Peggy Frew, I rediscovered Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone", and fell in love with it like I never have before.

26. What did you want and get?
New job. Overseas holiday. Check aaaaand check!

27. What did you want and not get?
Nothing that isn't depressing to write.

28. What was your favorite film of 2013?
Silver Linings Playbook. I adored it, and I've seen it something like 3 or 4 times now.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 24, and went out to dinner with friends.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I guess maybe if my job were closer to home?

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Neat, feminine, minimalist.

32. What kept you sane? Honestly? Probably the amount of alone time my massive daily commute affords me. Also my wonderful housemates/friends.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you have a crush on?
No one really comes to mind.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Marriage equality was legalised in our capital city, and I cried when I saw Ivan Hinton propose to his partner on TV. The bill was overturned, but it's a step, I hope.

35. Who did you miss?
My father, always, of course.

36. Who were the best new people you met?
Might sound odd, but no real stand outs - I've met a bunch of new people!

37. What is a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013?
I'm still waiting for them all to shake themselves out.
re: Atlas Hands
By lux
On Wed Jan 08, 2014 04:18 AM
Ok, next up: New Year's Resolutions for 2014.

1. Get in shape.
- Run/do some form of cardio every morning before work.
- Gym 3x week minimum.
- Cut down on refined sugar, processed carbs and soft drink.
- Lose 10kg this year.
- Complete Couch to 5 K.
- Run a 5 K.

2. Pay more attention to my appearance.
- Regular haircuts and eyebrow waxes.
- Make the effort to style my hair and makeup every day.
- Make more effort to style & accessorise my outfits.

3. Be kinder.
- Make a conscious effort to be less snarky, snappy and judgemental.
- Do more nice things for the people I love.
- Quit talking about people behind their backs. Not cool.

4. Feed my brain.
- Complete my Duo Lingo Spanish course.
- Read 20 books I've never read before.
- Read the news every day.

5. Become a better cook.
- Learn to cook 5 dinner party-ready dishes really well

6. Work towards taking the next step in my career.
- Enroll in and complete the industry course I've been eyeing off since last year
- Keep regularly update with industry news
- Start checking out job openings that interest me, and see what skills I need to build to be competitive for them.
- Start building these skills!
- Set up a LinkedIn profil (why do I not have one already?!)

...aaaaand, I think that's the lot. Let's do this!
re: Atlas Hands
By lux
On Sun Feb 16, 2014 01:06 AM
Edited by lux (197070) on 2014-02-16 01:07:11
I really am the worst at keeping up with these things!

I used to write all the time, I have piles of diaries from high school and the years after, a guidebook to my choppy romances, sloppy nights out, hopes and anxieties. Then, when I started grad school and dating my ex simultaneously, all that excitement and fear was documented. I used to write everything I couldn't tell anyone real. I guess it's a good thing I don't journal anymore - I'm too calm, too settled.

Anyway, on to more mundane things. I've been trying to throw myself into my ongoing goal to get in shape. I've surprised myself with how well my commitment to gym attendance is going, but my diet is truly awful, and my workouts are suffering for it. I've been stuck on the same damned level of C25K for two weeks, because I just cannot run further than 3KM. I'll give it one more go this week on a better diet, and we'll see how we go.

Work's... OK, I suppose. I swing back and forward on it. Some days I love it - it's exciting, being part of something new and cutting edge, learning so much and seeing things grow so fast. But it's stressful, too, and sometimes it makes me feel so stupid, I feel like I should just go back to retail and earn the same amount of money without the stress. I'd never do it, of course. But sometimes it makes me feel more stupid and useless than I can stand.

Anyway. I'm sitting in bed, watching "The Broken Shore" on iView, eating leftover Thai food and texting an old friend. Life's not so bad, I guess. Things are a little slower than I'd like, and I feel like I'm waiting for a change, but I guess I can't complain.
re: Atlas Hands
By lux
On Wed Mar 12, 2014 06:36 AM
I love my job, I love my job, I love my job.

I keep telling myself to keep from going insane. I can't figure out if it's the place or the role or maybe the whole industry. What if I've made the wrong choice? What if I'm not cut out for this? What if I was meant to be a teacher or a physio or a journalist after all?

I feel like it's turning me into a worse person. I'm losing the rhythm I've gained, I was doing so well eating healthy and working out regularly, getting enough sleep, investing in the relationships I care about. I don't earn nearly enough for my life to revolve around this gig. I have to sort my stuff out, or figure out a way to justify what I'm sacrificing. Ugh.

I went out on the weekend for a good friend's birthday on Saturday night. I haven't drunk since we were overseas, and he was drinking, and we texted a little, and... it's always the same. He's not in love with me, nor I him, and this makes it worse I think. It's all entirely innocent, it's defensible, of course. But I know him, and I know what it means. I remember what happened the last time we got together in this kind of state better than he thinks I do, and I can't imagine how he thinks this would go down.

I know that's cryptic and silly, but I need to get it down somewhere. I feel I've been circling the same horrible mistake for way too long, but I'm too silly and insecure and affection starved to cut the cord entirely.
re: Atlas Hands
By lux
On Sun Apr 20, 2014 07:29 AM
Edited by lux (197070) on 2014-04-20 07:31:32 Bullet point markup
Edited by lux (197070) on 2014-04-20 07:32:27 Once more...
I'm still debating the merits of making a move at the end of this year or the start of the next, packing a suitcase and making a move to the UK. One of my closest friends, who I also live with, is half-convinced too.

I'm going to start recording my thoughts and my research here, to keep me on track. Who knows, hopefully it'll make me accountable, force me to follow through...

PROS
  • I've only got until I'm 31 to get a Youth Mobility visa, and - much like everyone else - I'm only getting older.

  • I've wanted this for the LONGEST time, and I'm not sure how I feel at 32 and beyond if I never do it.

  • I feel like it's been a long, long time since I had an adventure, and this feels like the perfect way to do it.
  • I can't think of a better way to see Europe whilst not risking a yawning hole in my CV. Trotting over to France for the weekend is kind of difficult in Australia, not so hard from London.

  • Two of my closest friends worked and traveled throughout North America for two years, and they had such an amazing time - it's always been an experience I'd love to replicate.

  • I'll have enough work experience to (hopefully) make me employable within my field.

  • I'm single, dependent-free, I don't own a house and I don't have much by way of debt (a couple of hundred on a credit card, which I'd pay off before I left). I might never be this free and able to pick up and leave again.


  • CONS
  • If I can't get a marketing job in the UK, the time I spend there will be a gap in my resume I'll need to explain when I'm looking for work back home. I'll be 26 when I return, with only 18 months to 2 years marketing experience under my belt. 26 feels very old to be starting from scratch. This is, by far, my greatest concern.

  • On that note - I don't know how much longer I can hold out on an entry-level wage. Even if I DO manage to get marketing work whilst I'm over there, I'm essentially resigning myself to at least a year more of earning much less than I'd like to. I'll certainly be living lean in London, and chances are, when I get back, I'll end up in a job on a lower wage than I would have if I'd stuck around in Australia.

  • Do I want the financial stress? The Australians I know who are living and working in the UK adore it, but they barely scrape enough to get by, even though they have roommates and work 6 days a week. What if I can't even afford any of the weekend trips I'm going for in the first place?


  • The money thing is a big problem. When I was younger, before my parents divorced, the people I grew up around seemed to think we were rich. We weren't, of course, but my dad had a good job, and in hindsight I suppose the area we grew up in was (then at least) relatively working class. I wasn't old enough to understand it properly then, but I knew that certain people - adults, even - resented us, and their kids picked up on it. It was a handful of people in a community of many, but it was pronounced enough for me to notice, and I know it made both of my parents feel awful.

    I get worried that I'm that person now, the jealous one. I earn less than almost everyone else I know, and sometimes I feel like the resentment is seeping out of my pores. I survive, easily. I'm hardly "poor", and I'm saving a solid chunk of my wage towards this whole UK plan anyway, so it's my own choice to limit my funds.

    But none the less, I know I'm on a significantly lower salary than my peers, and it smarts. I want nicer work clothes. I want to split a bottle of wine over dinner. I want to get my hair coloured, buy a for-no-reason present for a friend, own matching bath towels. I am so totally aware that these are dumb luxuries that so many people can never afford in a lifetime. But the people I'm friends with, who I studied alongside and who I watched pick up their first professional jobs around the same time I did, they can afford these things, and I hate that I can't.

    I don't know if I can put myself through a year or more of scraping by on purpose.

    But then I think of the trade off, and well... it's worth it, I think?

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