Tuesday, 20 June 2017

What is Your Quest?

I have noticed there are some misconceptions circulating about my nationality. While it's true that I've been working on becoming a British citizen, I am sadly not at the end of my quest yet.

Over the past few months I've made certain steps towards that goal. First of which was passing the Life in The UK exam, followed by applying for a Permanent Residency Permit. Both of which required a lot of time. I've spent a month preparing for the exam, a week filling up a form for the permit and two months waiting for a decision to be made. It all went well enough. I expected to wait half a year for the permit but I got it in less than half the time which allowed me to visit my godson for his first communion ceremony. My main hurdle at the moment is money.

I've been saving money for it for the past year. Due to that trip I had to spend some of it so my plan to get it done by the holiday season didn't pan out. The fee going up by three times what I expected this year didn't help either. So a few weeks ago I sat down to make some calculations. Turns out that going by my usual rate I'll have enough money saved up for it in March.

As such, my main concern now is to cut down my expenses so I can get it over with as soon as possible. Currently, my plan is to cut down on my usual expenses so I can hit my target sooner than March. I've already made some decisions to achieve that.

- Reluctantly, I broke my promise to a good friend to visit her in Amsterdam this year.
- I won't be doing anything for my birthday in November nor for Christmas as in previous years.
- I'm suspending my dojo membership for the next three months.

All of the above should net me three months worth of savings and if I receive back the money I lent out to a friend, I'll have another month worth of savings to add to that.

It still won't let me reach my goal by October but my mum wanted to give me the money I'm missing. I refused to take any, obviously, but we talked about it some and reached an agreement where I would borrow money from her after the summer holidays. Hopefully, I'll manage to spend as much time at work as possible over the coming months, boosting my income in the process so I won't be forced to borrow as much from my mum as she's offering to give me.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Cutting Down

For the past few months I've been logging in on Facebook, going down my Friend List and clicking the unfriend button on someone. I would do this on a small scale every year after my birthday but this time I decided to go through all my social networks, Facebook being the last stop.

I'd like to be more open online like I used to be, especially now that I'm putting up a front in my day-to-day life. In order to do that though, I have to ensure that only a select group of people has viewing privileges.

I've never been a party person. Although it seemed to me to be a well-known fact, it kept being ignored. I was constantly subjected to endless questioning and dismissal in my attempts to explain why I take no enjoyment in the same activities as most. Despite it, my wishes went ignored and I kept being damaged by so-called friends who thought they were doing me a favour by trying to fix me.

I was tired of dealing with it.

I thought that maybe if I go out a few times, drink some, start lying about having fun but my finances dwindling too much because of it, I'll be able to get some peace at work. It worked, in a way. I no longer feel like I'm being dragged out against my will when I decline an offer.


I'm not happy that I had to resort to outright lying to people and I have to admit, being so closed up these days is having severe negative effects on me.

I broke down last week.
I spent a whole day mostly in bed and in tears.
Today I managed to keep myself together for half a day, at least.

I guess I'm still struggling to find a balance to this new way of life.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Shame

I wasn't feeling well this past weekend.

It was odd as I had an entire day to myself before going to work over the weekend but until Sunday evening, I had the impression I would simply fall over. I don't know what came over me.

Earlier that week I broke down completely, cancelled nearly all my regular outings and stayed at home for two days. That was because I had two very long and stressful weeks at work prior to those days. I thought I managed to sort myself out. I went to dancing yesterday and I was just about to go practice ninpo today when that ever present feeling of shame overcame me. I could hardly get myself to do anything. I ended up spending most of the day just watching Naruto Shippūden.

Although I'm fairly fond of anime, I don't enjoy days like this. I've been feeling emotionally weak lately and, these days, it seems harder for me to pull myself back together. Most days I manage to bottle up my feelings of shame and go out into the world despite them crawling along after me.

I'm truly ashamed of the way I am, of what I enjoy and of what I dislike. At times like these, I'd love to talk to someone but I know full well that most of my friends and family would be more than happy to see me give up on my activities and spend my time in front of the telly instead.

I know they mean well; that they think I would do better in life if I had more numbers on my bank account, that I'm overextending myself or simply not enjoying what life has to offer. Despite knowing their intent, it still hurts when I'm being laughed at for enjoying something else, for feeling stressed out by engaging in their form of entertainment and for being different.

I'm not proud of what I do and enjoy. I only started applying myself in a variety of fields because I decided I deserve to enjoy life as everyone else. Just because I enjoy different things, doesn't mean I shouldn't do them.

I can say in all honesty that I'd rather be the sort of person who likes to go out and get drunk with people but no matter how much I try, it stresses me out to such an extent that I eventually break down mentally.

I try to distance myself from people so I don't have to deal so much with feeling worse in comparison to them when I'm being asked to go out but there are still moments when their best efforts get to me and it becomes too much to deal with.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Yellow Brick Road

The subject of journeys has cropped up into my mind recently.

I suppose with all that's been going on in the world, people talking of moving away and some taking steps to do so, it was inevitable.

When I moved out to study abroad, my plan was to get an education and qualifications to travel around the world teaching English. Over my time in education, I saw a slew of offers to teach abroad and heard of people moving around Europe, simply changing schools they teach at... but after some years I realised I only wanted that so I'd have photos of various places to upload to Facebook and make other people envious. Their envy, however, wouldn't have made me happy.

When the subject of what languages I speak creeps up into the conversation what generally follows is an expectation that I've been to every country whose language I'm more or less familiar with but I lack the wanderlust some people exhibit.

Even when I went to Paris with my parents a few months ago, I had to cancel meeting some friends for a boardgame which would have been a nicer way to spend my time. I keep catching myself forgetting I went abroad recently, I just care so little for it. I did get a few books out of it so I can't complain.

When I'm shown photos of other people's travels, while I appreciate the joy they exhibit and see how wonderful the places they went to are, I don't regret not having the time nor money to go there. In fact, while people around me talk about how they'd love to have a chance to travel but for various reasons can't, I probably have the means to just up and leave.

Why not? Why not go on a grand adventure spanning a few years, experience what the world has to offer? Because it's a life that carries with itself a burden of impermanence. Such a life holds no appeal to me.

I'm not satisfied living with what I can carry, working and filling my spare time with socialising. I've worked hard on creating a life for myself that I could be happy with. Although it's not perfect and I'm still implementing plans to make it more manageable, I could do without various people telling me to throw everything into the bin and go be pretend-happy instead.