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On tipping, and making the world go round.

Hufflepuff
So I went home for the weekend.

And hi, I'm back (I've wanted to post about three times in here since that other post, which I'm taking is a good thing).

It was great. I mean, the travelling (both ways) suuucked but I made it and it was totally worth it. I have been reminded about being careful what you wish for though. By the time I'd got my train in and then a taxi to the house, it was 1.15am and the house was wonderfully, peacefully, strangely quiet. My parents had gone out to meet some old friends and still weren't back. It got a bit awkward when I was in before them.

On the way back, I secretly wanted to have plenty of time to drive and to get through the music playlists we'd put together, and dreaded driving through the busy-ness of central London. We set off at 6pm and there was a crash on the A1 which meant we didn't get into London until about 1am.

That said though (=thinky post alert=), I have wished for some things and they happened more better than I can have imagined.

Cats remembered me.

Home bed was more comfortable than ever before and I had the best sleep I've had in a while (well overdue).

OK so Mum got offended because I gave her a gift but I did it in the wrong way but mostly we avoided argument. Even when I was driving back from the christening and Dad decided to launch into me about how I'd stolen the family photos and they were theirs and they wanted them back I managed to calmly explain the situation and.... divert the fight. while I was **driving**. Super impressed with myself, ngl.

Early last year, or maybe the year before, a house mate told me something that changed my fundamental beliefs. She said that if she goes out and receives bad service, she tips more than she normally would. I remember thinking at first that it was a mad idea - why would you reward someone who hadn't done their job properly? - but then we talked through it. That if they weren't doing very well, it was probably because they were having a bad day, and why make someone's job harder? The very fact that they were trying when their day was so hard made it worth tipping that much more. And the beauty of this, is that you can turn someone's bad day into someone's "well, that turned out OK actually" day. You can make someone's blind cussing into a smile, by recognising... well, them.

I think I'm rambling, but what I'm trying to say, is that I couldn't see a bad side. A little bit of happiness goes a long way. Maybe you help break a cycle and that person does a better job next time, or remembers to keep up standards for the rest of the shift, or manages to keep a job for one day more.

It got me thinking about people's motivations, and in particular how hard it is to be polite and pleasant and open and fair... when you're in a bad mood.You might be in a bad mood because of you, or because of other people, or because of inevitable bodily functions. Any number of reasons. Whatever the case, if that person runs over your toe with their pram when you're already at the end of your tether because people have been rude to you all day, you're hardly going to grin and bear it, are you? If people are cruel, or unkind, or mean in anyway, you probably should be nicer to them than you would normally.

I've been practising this philosophy for a while, and it works. It's not always easy - who doesn't have bad days? - but I haven't found anything to disprove it yet. And in excusing people's behaviour, or at least considering it in context, I'm understanding a lot more about people and humans in general, not to mention myself. It's pretty great, actually.

To paraphrase a favourite TV programme, why not give it a try?: making excuses for other people.

This post is brought to you by the letters H, U, and H and doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up.

Hi. Hello. Not dead.

Corridor
*ahem* hi. yeah, hi. That's how these things start, right? I'm Laura and I've been MIA  since.. what, March?

I logged in to post a comment on a fic blog but I've seen some of you posting and I thought I'd take the time and opportunity to ... well. Write back to you, I suppose.

I'm still living in London, with new housemates (and a new address) since my last entry. New job, since July too. Now working in an educational charity in Hipster Central Shoreditch High Street. Still feeling a bit out of place too, and not really happy. But I am enjoying most of my time here, and in lieu of all the other things I haven't done, feels a bit like a rite of passage.

I kinda think that's all there is to it, really.

But I wanted to say. Once a Hufflepuff*, always a Hufflepuff. I live on other internet places now but I've put my various handles below. Maybe I'm hormonal or something, but I have been thinking about you and wondering about how you're getting on... I miss you.

tinymattresses.tumblr.com
@tinymattresses
&
this is me on goodreads

Alternatively, I'm more than happy to email or text or something. PM me if you're cool with that. I don't know what to say, except maybe, "hello"?

*I'm on Pottermore too, but I hardly use it, tbh.
Ignorance or Apathy?
I'm sitting in the South Bank Centre, wondering why I'm unhappy. I used to be happy, I think. I used to be happy with dips of low and now I'm low with dips of happy.

I have a job, and one that I love. Some great people and whether it finishes in May or not I'll have learnt so much and had a fabulous time doing it.

I'm not living with my parents anymore and I'm taking control of my life, even though I still don't feel independent of them as much as I'd like. But I did something and I'm proud of what I've achieved, and earning respect and a name for myself, which is something I've always wanted to do.

I'd like to say I had some amazing friends, but I don't feel I do anymore. I've recently been unable to accept them for who they are and it means all I see are flaws. One of my friends constantly considers her boyfriend(s) over me; another has delusions of grandeur and can't stop trying to tell me his life is better than mine. I think I've forgotten how to tolerate people. Or, more than that, how to love them when I find things annoying. When things are annoying, I end up thinking that means we're incompatible, and then I stop making any effort, because, logically speaking, why bother?

Take out the "logically speaking" and that sounds horrible. In fact, leave it in and out sounds horrible. I don't want to be that person, and yet here I am, getting pickier and pickier about who I choose to spend my time with. It's funny: I'm getting more picky about friends and less picky about food. I thought I'd grow out of being picky about both, tbh.

At the same time, I'm still undeniably single. I can't help feeling the two are related.

I'd appreciate any ideas, by the way. I really would. Right now I just want to sit down and cry about it. I think I'm doing this "people thing" wrong. Maybe I'm not saying enough, maybe I'm saying too much, I have no idea.

Jan. 13th, 2013

Breakfast
So 2013 is here. And I am sort of indifferent to it. There is nothing in 2013 that I can look forward to. Nothing. I am moved out, and (technically) employed, not quite earning but definitely getting somewhere. I have friends, and am making new ones while I'm working in more ways of seeing the old ones. I am finally proud of myself, and positive about my future. Except there's nothing exciting about 2013. It's either more of the same, or less of the same. My cousin is expecting a baby, but I doubt it is going to be super exciting when I hardly see him anyway. It's all a damp squib after the joy that was the Diamond Jubilee, the Olympics and the best summer of my life.

Whilst we were walking along the Southbank, I pointed this out to a friend. I was so sad to see 2012 go; what is there to hope for in 2013?

He couldn't help but see the positives, and spoke of how I was in for a year of knowing where I stood, and the number of times you get that are rare. I hopefully wouldn't have to move jobs; I knew where I was living and my self-confidence wasn't taking a knocking everyday; my networks were developing and I could see a list of my own contacts ahead of me. It was all good.

The only thing he thought I should do, was improve and grow my friendships. At first, I was surprised. In London for less than a year and I have people - friends - to go out with several times each week, if I want to, not to mention the people I work, live, and practice Tai Chi. Starting from nothing, I had found friends, I had found friendly people, and I had a social life that had been different from anything before. "I can't go any faster!" I wanted to tell him. I don't trust others easily, and I'm not going to rush it. There's not much of a love life for me, but I tell myself that will come when I'm ready (and I don't think I am yet, tbh); otherwise I am happy and things are great.

But I asked him what he meant, nevertheless, because input from friends is always worth understanding.


He erred for a moment. "Do you want to stay in London?" he asked.

"Well, I don't want to go home," I answered. "I could probably live anywhere, as long as there were some things to do and work for me, but going home would be a backwards step."


"So let's take it that - providing you get paid work and that looks likely - you'll be in London at least for this year."

"Ok?"

"So you need to have people who are there for you..."

I thought about the mental list I constantly bear in mind entitled, "People who would be there in an emergency, whatever the cost to themselves." He's on it.

"I do."

"I mean, here." he indicated.

It sounds naiive, but what he'd alerted me to was something I hadn't considered before. It was a brand new concept.

I've rarely moved house - in fact I never moved before going to university, which I'm not sure really counts, and even now it wouldn't be far out to suggest my family home acts as a "base" - and this is the first time I've had to find some people that I like to spend my time with, without having any means of specifying the pool in which I find them, like in University or School. I have friends here, and people I'm on friendly terms with, but where are my Friends? In that moment, I understood what he was talking about.

"You mean, Bridget Jones Stylee?" (And yes I actually say 'stylee'.)

He was in the middle of trying to elaborate more, but stopped to confirmedly agree.

I thought about Bridget Jones for a bit. There she is in this pokey flat, not sure where her job or life is going, and annoyed at her parents for being a bit pushy, but whatever happens, whatever the weather, she's got her friends.

My family have never lived around the corner, and moving away from uni never affected my relationships with my school friends, so it's not surprising that I'd never thought about making really good friends more conveniently close to my living arrangements. Now he'd noticed it, I couldn't help noticing it too. I depend on my friends everyday, to stop me going insane and to keep my heart warm (I'm a hufflepuff, we run on friendship) and yet while I had several really good friends across 4 different counties, none of those included places that could have been listed under the heading "close enough to have a coffee with me at lunchtime" or "can make arrangements for the evening on the day". Of course when we're in the same places we do these things, but we have to arrange these things, often weeks in advance.

I'd realised that all my friends lived a distance from me last year, and had felt the consequences of having to make all those arrangements. But I've never considered the other side of things - that maybe I should make better friends closer to home as well.

The thing is, that I can't stop thinking about this. Where does one find best friends? What happens if I can't? Should I try? Should I just try to be happy with the way things are? Wouldn't it be good if I did have someone in London like that?

It made me understand a few things. I have people who (I think) look out for me, but who is there to come round to see if I'm ok or suggest a film? I end up having a lot of fun, but wouldn't it be nicer to not have to tag along to other people's events all the time? Where are the people who I can be sure will definitely want to do something with me? Where are the people who I can feel entirely comfortable and cosy with? If something happened, whose sofa would be closest?

I just can't stop thinking about this bloody hole in my life. It'd be nice to not be lonely.
You try quitting McDean.
Just remembered how much Craig loves John Paul. Might be okay.

Quick update.

Wibbly Wobbly
Went home to Sheffield to see Pulp this weekend. Sister came back from university and the family dynamic has changed somewhat. For the good, I hope, although I had to be a lot more serious than I normally am because I had so much to do. I didn't sleep well either, even though homebed and CATS. Enjoyed being back though.

In other news, I need a haircut and to stop having feels about something which I was last excited about in 2008.

Sep. 23rd, 2012

King of OK
Just finished watching The Power of Three. Normally when something is so obviously fanservice it makes me cringe, but this was done right, I think. Adorable and sweet. L'ill bit in love with Doctor-Ponds friendship, ngl.


Can't think straight so words are coming out a bit pickled for anything more than that, sorry.

Time to tell you things in WORDS

The Gospel Truth
So. I've been working out a way to write this and how to talk about it but I've come up with nothing, so I'm going to go by my usual plan and write whatever's coming out of my brain.

Tbh, that's probably not the best way of doing things, because for the last almost two weeks, I've been learning all about PR and Media, and a lot of it comes across as just bloody well keeping your mouth shut.

Well, a bit more than that, but it's something I'm not all that used to doing, to be honest with you, so I'll be taking an alternative route.

Yes, I have a new job. Away from Supermarkets and Sainsbury's and shitty soaps and suds. NO LONGER AM I A CLEANER! (Not that I am snobbish in any way - far from it, especially now I know what it's like - I just did not enjoy being judged and looked down by other people who assumed I lived a cleaner's lifestyle.) I mean, in a way, I've gone down the ladder, because I'm not actually *earning* anymore; nope, FREEDOM FROM CAPITALISM AND MONETARY SOCIETAL STRANGLEHOLD IS MINE!!! But also I have no money to live. So there is that.

I'm in London, and it's exciting. I'm pretty proud of myself too, and I'm not worried about saying that; living in a London postcode (albeit Zone 3 *shrug*) is something I wouldn't have felt, let alone been, able to do barely three months ago. I'm not sure what changed, but I've just paid my rent, I'm working in an interesting and creative industry (although "being taken advantage of" may be more appropriate since it's unpaid, but still, the experience at this time should hopefully be invaluable), and while I'm not sure it's even properly hit me yet, I am beginning to live my own life. My thoughts and wishes and wanderings are my own. I come back when I like, I eat what I like (and surprisingly healthy too! Note to self: BUY SWEETCORN! DONE!) and I think I'm enjoying it. It's been a bit topsy-turvy, confusing, in relation to my health and ability to think straight (change of sleep patterns + new living arrangements + LONDON + FT work + stress = WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED I DON'T EVEN HOW IS IT TUESDAY but on the whole, it's hugely exciting, beautifully liberating and very enjoyable. It sounds like I've missed a few arguments at home, which is nice, and I know this is going to sound a bit strange, but I'm beginning to have my own thoughts again. It happened when I went to Uni for the first time, and reversed when I had to go back home afterwards; instead of more-than-automatically cancelling thoughts before they can get out of the box, I'm beginning to (what I can only describe as) 're-feel' an authority in my own beliefs and critiques, I'm able to spend time on my ideas and be my own judge of whether they are worth voicing. It's one of the side-effects of living with an emotionally-unstable illiberal guardian that you end up keeping a lot of things to yourself and limiting what you say and I suppose think.

It's nice to think now that my creative (with a small 'c') side is on the road to recovery, slowly but surely, every day dissolving the fences I have laboured to put up the last few years; it's like one of those MAGIC! flannels that you had when you were younger (or maybe now, I don't know your flannel habits and tbh, I don't really want to) - add a bit of cool refreshing moisture, and it starts to breathe.

I don't know if that made ANY sense, and I feel very much like I'm coming across as a 13-year-old days before OMG ONE DIRECTION RELEASE THEIR TOUR TICKETS AND THEIR GOING SLIGHTLY NEAR MY HOUSE AND OMG I LOVE THEM #1Dfamily lovelove or something. [DISCLAIMER: I have no idea where the '1D' tour is going and frankly, I do not care.] I think that is probably because the tumblr and the twitter.

the tumblr makes me type in this tone when i only use lower case and have this sort of vaguely pensieve mood where i wonder stuff aloud and question the world through rhetorical questions without any punctuation

my inner linguist is going to look into that

My twitter makes me use CAPS and get excited and not really think about what I am typing, tbh. Also acronyms and I suppose run-on sentences? Alongside being pretty frank and not really worrying what people think of me. And I think write for me rather than anyone else - I'm not narrating an event, I'm just venting my challenges; it's not to you, it's at you. I hope to one day get some decorum back.

But yes, for now, everything from my home life to my writing style has changed, and I'm loving it.
The Gospel Truth
Sooo, I feel the need to blog. Here. I have been neglecting it, and yes I'm sorry, but I will be making amends and it's definitely worth getting back into this whole "think in longer sentences" business so that's what I am doing. Tick.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to blog, and here, although I suppose today, whilst it hasn't been all that eventful, has seen me feeling somewhat refreshed and quite thinky, for want of a better word. Pensive, maybe. Hmmm.

I went through a box of papers, and it had bits of everything in it. Bus and train tickets, plane tickets even, but then magazine articles about Pompeii and a purposefully tea-stained letter from my my GCSE History days. I'm fed up of having loads of tat in my room - it's beginning to look positively store-room-ish because I'm such a hoarder - and so I was harsh (ish) today. I think I ended up chucking half the box out, which is okay. What surprised me though, was just how much it became clear that I resented my time at uni. All these things about information for Freshers and receipts and even my notes... I just wanted to get rid of it. Didn't want to see it again. Hadn't liked what it had made me.

And it had made me something. Or rather, somebody I didn't like. Who just... wasn't me. It's taken so long to realise it, and I'm still not sure I'm entirely there, but university made me a bit of a monster, tbh. Not to anyone else, I'd argue (although the fights I had with Mum were pretty epic. In a BAD WAY. No lols.), but in myself. Unrecognisable, and quite possibly suffering from some sort of Winter of the soul. My education was corporised, my home limbo'ed, and my friends changed. My life moved out of the ladder-shaped routine it had been suited to at home, and fell into the quick moving river (at times getting stuck in an ox-bow lake). I had to learn to do a lot of things very quickly, not least Learn the Right Way. And learning how to learn is HARD.

Here I was, used to teaching and questions and boards and discussion, and arguably THRIVING on that for the majority of my school years, and now the goal posts are moved and actually it's "Sorry Laura, we'll have to sit this one out, it's up to you now."
"What the foof?! It's up to ME?! Since when was it up to me? I sit here quietly, have a giggle, take it all in, wow people with my knowledge and enthusiasm, give people a couple of laughs for being outspoken, tick a couple of boxes, and write an answer we just planned. Batta bing, batta boom; everyone goes home happy."
"Er, no, Laura, no bing or boom here. Or even batta. Read a book, do your work, and get on with it BYE"
"but but but... what. How do not stories books?"
"I dunno. BYE."

Yeah. It was basically that. I hardly used the library until Third Year, and even then it took me forever to learn how to properly use those kinds of books (No reading from start to finish; you just rip them apart, abuse the f**k out of them, basically). Even then, someone had to teach me. It all made me feel very stunted, behind, and all rather unclever. Added to the fact that I don't think my heart was ever truly there, and my mindset adjusted for that, shrugging everything off to stop it being important. I suppose it's not surprising I became such a shell. No heart, no mind, no matter? Not me.

I felt stupid, and I thought it was because I wasn't doing enough; because I was getting less smart, and not trying; because I was in the wrong place doing the wrong thing. I still think that now - that maybe I shouldn't have gone to uni just then, or that I should have considered a lot more unis than I actually did - but I know it in a different way now. Reading is a bit of an Old Boys Club, tbh, and I'm very much convinced it was the wrong place for me, but only because I wasn't ready for the kind of learning it wanted to give me.

I'm absolutely not putting this down to the North-South divide (I'm not that aggravated) but my previous education (and myself, if I'm honest) had not readied me for this. I didn't know what was happening, I didn't understand why it was and how to turn it around, and I didn't yet have the tools to protect myself against the only answer I saw: that it was me, and I was "too thick". I honestly don't think I'd recognise that me, if I met that me now. It's like I'm recovered, because I certainly wasn't well then.

I doubted myself. I doubted who I was and what I loved, and where I wanted to go. The little voice that had only had to whisper before about what I was doing and the kind of person I was, was getting lost in the fog that filled me, even when it was shouting. In resentment it turned nasty, started telling me things I didn't want to hear. And I didn't have the strength - or really the knowledge - to not believe it.

Now THAT was an eye-opener: That I didn't have to believe things people told me. Well, I knew that. I'd developed that skill in my A-Level classes, even before; the source was important and ulterior motives were something I had to look out for. Clare broadened the meaning of "people" though; explained that just because someone has published something in a hard, bound, heavy book, didn't mean their writing and theories were any more factual. They might say this was what truly happened, or evidence for that particular thing, but they weren't me. Sure, they had years worth of experience in the field and plenty of research behind them, but I was one lowly BA student ready to challenge them all. No, I was new. I didn't get it for a while, but as learnt a bit more here and there, and started putting things together, and realising I could put them together, and that I didn't have to suppress them, I gained a gentle confidence in my own ideas. I'm still practising not suppressing them now - a lifetime of having an emotionally unstable mother will do that to you - but as I began to see a book as something that could be wrong, I began to see a tiny passing-through thought as something that could be right. My views... could be... GOOD. They could get marks, be admired, open someone ELSE'S mind!

Tied in with my module on what was basically Myth and Dichotomy, which posited that pretty much everything could be given the response, "Says who?" this philosophy took hold and now won't let go. Sometimes I forget about it, because I think you have to, to have a good time (you can't go thinking, "Oh! That was some SEXISM!" at a comedy gala, for instance; you have to 'blinker' as I think me and 4492 call it.), but then I go back into it and it's like I'm set back from the world, and while there are *things* in the world, there's no web for them to sit comfortably *in* anymore. It's a very confounding experience that can't happen too often because otherwise I'd go mad.

It's nice to be Separate sometimes though. Helps enormously with reading the newspapers and understanding the goings on of the outer bubble, which is the rest of the world when I'm Separate. It's focused those early A-Level skills too, about seeing where something has come from and relating it to other things that are happening at the same time. Like with that Tory Party Donor happening to be recorded just at the moment he's talking about something scandalous involving the Tory government, as reported in a normally Right Wing Murdoch Newspaper. As reported in a Murdoch Newspaper during the Leveson Inquiry. It's also made me a lot more confident in myself, and secured the platform my heart stands on, the one that keeps it out of the dregs and above the smears around it; the one that enables my mouth to speak up and say "No."

I daresay I'm maybe finally ready for university.

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Breakfast
glitterfairy25
Fangirling the Ə since 2006!

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