Today I went back to the Charity that I’d been volunteering with until the end of July last year. It was the first time I’ve seen the other volunteers and children since then and it was so lovely how pleased everyone was to see me. I’d kept them up to date on why I hadn’t been around for a while and they’d been so supportive and understanding of my situation, so to be able to go back today and say that I’ll be coming back after I’ve been home was great. When I was working with Net-A-Porter and teaching on the weekends it was hard to try to fit this in as much and I would have liked, but knowing now that I’ve taken my career and time into my own hands I can devote so much more time to it really pleases me. I suppose there is always a selfish aspect to volunteering, it really does make you feel good knowing that you’re helping to make a difference to someone but that’s not really why I do it. I do it because I genuinely enjoy it. I enjoy spending time with these kids and their families, and the other volunteers. I enjoy hearing other people’s stories and meeting new people. It just means a lot to me, and I’m really excited to get back into it.
So, coupling this with my first achievement of going to see Deftones last night, I’m feeling quite good today. Last night was good. I tried my very best to go with no expectations, no worst case scenarios, and just let it unfold. I also can’t thank my friends enough for not making a big deal out of it. In fact, nobody mentioned anything – and that’s amazing. I think if I’d felt like people were trying to bubble wrap me and make sure I was okay all the time, it probably would have overwhelmed me and I would have bailed. But they didn’t, and so I didn’t. I won’t lie, there were a few times when I was touched (unintentionally of course) that I could kind of feel panic creeping up which started making me feel anxious and claustrophobic and like I just wanted to run away, but I pushed through it. I was planning on also going to my friend’s gig in Brixton on the 23rd as more practice but I’ll probably be home. It’s also kind of been the first time in a while that I’ve been anywhere that’s really overwhelming in terms of my chromasthesia, which can be incredibly distracting at the best of times. If you don’t know, chromasthesia is a type of synaesthesia that relates colour to sounds – so basically for every single sound I hear, there’s a corresponding colour. It’s as simple and bizzare as that. Car doors closing, for example, are always shades of green. Generally it doesn’t bother me, I don’t know anything other than that but occasionally if I’m somewhere busy, like a busy street for example with traffic, voices, wind, whatever it gets incredibly distracting and I find it hard to concentrate on other things. I don’t see colours in front of me (some do, which is called projection), I see it like you would see a thought or a daydream – it’s just there in the background. Last night was difficult with that, and I can’t switch off from it so it’s knowing how to manage it along with everything else going on inside my head.
I know that maybe doesn’t sound like much. I was essentially only doing something I’ve just hundreds of times before, but I’m not like I was before. I hope in time that’ll change and I can go back to my usual “yeah whatever, I’m so laid back” self, but for now everything is a learning curve. I know it won’t always be on the up because getting better isn’t linear. Things will challenge me and times might get tough. But if I look back to March where shit truly did hit the fan and I just broke down and well, nearly kind of died butlet’snotgotherekthanks, I am doing so much better. I’m getting there, and I’m mostly doing it by myself and for myself too.
I really am so glad too about my work situation. It keeps hitting me more and more and I keep getting excited about finally getting back to doing something I absolutely love. I don’t know why I didn’t think it was possible before either, because when I’ve rationally worked out whether I could do it or not it actually benefits me more than working with NAP ever did. I don’t care about money; working with NAP was essentially the only time I’ve actually had a decent salary but now that I’ll essentially be working for myself but within a larger group actually works out better. And let’s face it: I just do not suit office work. Thumbs up to those that do, but it’s just so not me. My manager kind of summed it up perfectly at my leaving night when she said, “I’ll miss you as a person but as your manager, you were a fucking nightmare!” and she was right – I just cannot be managed. I’ve been told that time and time again to the point they eventually give up trying to change my idiosyncrasies and just let me work the way that I do. Before I did finally say hasta la vista to NAP, they also offered me a managerial position, but christ on a bike I’m definitely not management material either. Teaching I can do, sure, but between my total lack of professionalism and fly by the seat of my pants attitude to office etiquette that just wouldn’t be a good idea for anyone. Don’t mean to be difficult, but let’s be serious – I’m just pretty complex.
Applause and party poppers all round!