Struck Down With The Flu

The fog is lifting now and I am glad, the last week has seen me pouring a full cup of milk whilst attempting to make a warming cup of tea, putting words into sentences that make no real sense and generally feeling negative about anything that crosses my mind.

I have felt the wrath of flu, despite utter denial for the first few days. The initial dry tickling throat, the underlying sense of unease and the reoccurring thought that all is not well with this vessel.

Each morning brings a new set of symptoms for me to groan about, my head feels like its filled with lead weights that smash against the side of my skull whenever I get up too quickly, my joints ache randomly when I am sitting down as if to remind me not to get too comfortable and I walk around the house like zombie with no real purpose or destination what so ever.

Outside a relentless storm is bearing down on our tiny old village, a full weeks worth of heavy grey skies and horizontal rain batters the house from all sides. 80mph gusts of wind creates a small swell at the bottom of my toilet which baffles me and the poor old house creeks and groans, just like me.

I can’t work, I am no good to anyone like this, but that doesn’t stop me trying, and failing miserably at every task,  so I admit defeat and I turn to consumption, I eat even though my taste buds have deserted me and my mouth is dry and sore. That awful taste, the stiffness of my jaw, even my gums hurt.  Only the sour, sharp tang of my self medicating brew can save me now, consisting of half a lemon squeezed, honey and a pinch of cinnamon and turmeric swimming in hot water that chaps the lips and tightens the cheeks as it goes down, but it works to relieve the dull ache and fever which has washed over me this week.

Finally, I rise this morning with the dawn of a new day, along with a welcomed break in the weather. The clouds have parted as my head has cleared. Fever has released its grip on me and the sun rises once again like an old friend returning from their travels. My head feels lighter, no more lead. The morning routine is far friendlier than it has seemed this past week, thoughts and ideas no longer seem impossible and I can hold a decent conversation once more, It seems like things are on the turn and this cup of tea tastes amazing.

 

 

 

 

 

The Cold Hard Truth: Part 2: Career Suicide

To try and pick up where I left off, months went by feeling the way I did in the final paragraph of the Cold Hard Truth. In fact if you asked my partner, she would probably tell you that it got a whole lot worse, to the point that on a Friday evening while most people were welcoming the weekend I was already dreading the following Monday morning. I knew then that something needed to be done. and fast.

If you have ever found yourself in the same position where you wake up one day and it dawns on you that you have spent 5 years of your life and a shocking amount of money to prepare yourself for a career that you really have no passion for, you will already know that careers advisers, recruitment specialists and just about everyone else related to the employment world have no real idea what to suggest to you other than the generic blurb on their websites.

A great deal of soul searching ensued, followed by self doubt, the feeling of failure and finally the last straw.

I found in my job that the part I liked the most was design, more specifically AutoCAD design, something I felt that I wasn’t particularly skillful at but it turned out that my interest hadn’t gone completely unnoticed. Before I knew it I was in talks with the Architectural department of the practice and all I had to do was persuade my boss that moving me across to the other team was great news for everyone.

If only it was that simple, it turned out that my boss actually thought I was a pretty valuable member of their team and was certainly in no rush to let me go any time soon.

While all this was going on, I was helping out an old friend of mine after hours, drawing up some plans for his business as an Electrical Contractor who had started moving into the larger commercial projects, and from there the seed was planted.

If I could take on enough jobs like this, there was a good chance I could get out and make a clean break for it on my own or at least provide the same income that my humble graduate salary provided .

Desperate for an escape, that is exactly what I did. One pretty rough Friday in the Spring of 2015 I committed career suicide and wrote myself out of the Building Surveying world, left my desk and the thick grey walls of my office for the last time.

After 8 months of going it alone and a modest client list of 6, I can safely say that I feel a hell of a lot better than I did last Spring, financially I would even say that I am marginally better off, although I wouldn’t say that I was totally out of the woods yet.

What do I know about running a business…. not much, Marketing… the same… Self promotion….. generally pretty poor. Overall chances of building a successful business empire.. Slim (I can here successful business owners grunting and tutting as I type).

I am not the angry, aggressive, cut throat businessman that I am told I need to be to succeed. More than that I am terrified of turning into the guy that gets to his office at 7:00am and doesn’t leave much before 21:00pm everyday,The guy that never sees his kids, who’s wife is always asking what time He is coming home, and who’s only reassurance that He is doing the right thing is the bank balance He uses to pacify his constant absence, the same one that will solve all his problems, when he really needs a get out of jail free card.

Writing the previous paragraph seems incredibly negative to read over and may even seem critical to some people,  but it is based on what I have encountered so far in business . Don’t get me wrong though, I admire their drive, their determination to succeed, but I morn the sacrifices they are making to achieve their goal, and moreover I feel bad that I can’t push myself to that same place, or perhaps feel the passion that they do.

I now find myself surrounded by fellow business owners who I genuinely look up too and often ask my default question (in a round about way) ‘Are you happy’ Most of the time my question is met with laughter or a sarcastic comment but all too often and overwhelmingly so I get the answer, ‘I cant remember the last time I was happy’.

Perhaps Happiness isn’t their goal, I know that for some people that is true and they are more than happy (no pun intended) to sacrifice it to attain financial success. Perhaps I put far too much value on it and perhaps it is just not attainable, it certainly seems that way at times.

Either way, I will keep searching for it.

 

 

 

 

The Cold Hard Truth – Diary Entry

The cold hard truth: I have Cerebral Palsy, I am 30 years old and saying that still feels odd and slightly uncomfortable.
Looking out at the world from the inside, I feel just like everyone else that walks this earth, well until I catch a glimpse of my own reflection or someone with a keen eye throws me a funny look.
Overall, I consider myself to be very lucky, I have only a mild form of the disability which means that only my right arm and right leg is affected, as far as that my heel prefers to rest just slightly above the floor when walking, and the strength and mobility in my arm is that of only 60% of my left. It does sometimes hang lifelessly when I don’t pay attention, a fact that has always bothered me.
I have so far lived a very active and reasonably healthy life, taking to skateboarding and riding BMX throughout my youth and moving in to downhill Mountain biking as an adult.
Up until now my working life has taken the form of very physical roles where I have spent most of my day’s on foot, regularly lifting large, heavy objects, operating industrial machinery and working at height, often balancing on what felt like a shoe string.
The Doctors have told me that a childhood of physio and the odd operation to try and fix me, combined with my physical outlook towards work and play has left me in the most fortunate position I could hope for.
As I write this now I am surprising myself with just how positive this story seems and simultaneously cursing myself for allowing what comes next.
In a moment of infinite wisdom roughly seven years ago I decided that due to my poor performance at school, a return visit to education was exactly what I needed to secure a better paid career. With a sickening amount of drive I emerged in 2013 with a respectable middle class job to be proud of.
Ultimately though, this means that I sit behind a desk 5 days a week, 7.5 hours a day, and for want of more eloquent words, I feel fucked !
Gone is the fitness, strength and flexibility I built over the years (which I didn’t even know I had). Free time is now replaced with continuous personal development, and any minute that’s spare is devoted to my family.
Adding insult to injury, I have seen a massive difference in my mental state. I now dread getting up for work, where as I used to be up at the crack of dawn everyday without a worry.
I used to love writing a poem or knocking out the odd sketch but now my job is so mentally exhausting that I even struggled just to get this down.
I have found myself in the most unusual position and now have to think of a way out of it.

Sat In A Hole

I’ve been sat in this whole for more than a week or so

Plenty to think of but no where to go

I have made it my home, representing my soul

Dark, empty and ever so cold

I’m trying and trying to dig my way out

But I am not strong enough, not even to shout

I am not alone, no that’s far from the case

And all I hold close, a smile upon my face

I am too ashamed to admit the truth

Or even defeat, whichever suits

A day may come when I feel relief

And my soul restored with faith and belief

Hitching Rides On Clouds

Hitching rides on clouds as I pass over streets

My imagination it seems is my only release

Staring down at the world from my gaseous transportation

Collecting thoughts and ideas from the people beneath

I’m trying to do right but I keep making mistakes

I hope the wind blows and takes me away from this place

Distractions

It’s hard to think over all this noise !

These distractions keep my attention poised

I like, I pin, I edit, I comment

Image after image a mindless scroll

My addiction to this world of media tricks

And all the while I am unawares of the consciousness I lost

What did I do before all of this !

Wishing Life Away

My imperfections glisten
Perhaps more than most
Ohh to fade in the darkness
Like spectors and ghosts

Spending our days longing for tommorow
Rose tinting are visions
To hide pains and sorrows

Fully aware that life is so short
We hear the hands of time ticking
Like footsteps when we walk

Life as we know it will always decay
The only promise in this world
Do not feel dismay

No matter how strong our soul
It will slip away
Like the sun setting on a cold winters day

We chase what we had in search of before
Whether to make peace or settle old scores
And we run from it scared like the dreams of ever closing doors

The Static

We live among the static

It often clouds our site

Transparent in its form

You cannot shift it with your mite

 

Do not underestimate this force

Of which you cannot see

It will not effect you till it passes

And bring you to your knees

 

Judgments that you make

Of which you thought were sane

Effortts that you make, failed

Despite trying in vain

 

There might come a moment

When you can freeze it in its place

See things for how they truly are

Peoples greed and disgrace

 

Count your blessings when this occurs

As this is not a given

Take a moment to breathe, think

And make your decisions