Who Gave You Your Oscar?

Who Gave You Your Big Break?

This time two weeks ago I started to work out my notice at a computer outsourcing firm. They were the last two weeks in a living hell, and why was I leaving? Because I had finally got my big break. I was going to start that intern lifestyle. Okay, so I won’t be getting paid for a while but I think I can cope for a while on my last pay cheque. At this stage in my life I cannot turn down an internship as a content writer when that’s what I want to do forever. It’s terrifying knowing that tomorrow I am taking my first step on a career. This isn’t a job, this is what I went to school for. This is actually career-worthy stuff.

I know I’m not quite living that Carrie Bradshaw American dream but this is quite a big shot at it. And hey, I’m sitting at my desk, leg’s crossed, in just a towel, hair up, laptop at a funny angle. I may as well have some Chinese takeaway as well, just to finish the picture. Or a cosmopolitan? That sounds good actually.

So anyway, all this stuff about starting careers and having a big break made me wonder who have I got to thank for all this? I read a quote from writer of The Miniaturist Jessie Burton:

Yes, you work hard, but what the hell else is there to do, when no one is going to do it for you? And alas, working at something does not mean you will be rewarded in the way you thought you would be. But this does not mean that when you do find reward, you should think it was only because of your hard work. You also got lucky. The world is enormous and brimming with misfortune. We should not be ashamed of luck. We should try and pass it on. I intend to do so in 2015.

Luck? At first I thought “pfft,” no way, I worked hard for this. I deserve it. But then I thought, look at all the people I know who work hard and don’t necessarily get what they want. In fact, I was told that those graduating with 1st class degrees are less likely to succeed than those with a lower qualification. Maybe they lack the creativity to progress past the initial school-like environment.

But, still I certainly never considered myself a lucky person, in fact I normally say I’m quite the opposite. But now, I’m thinking that like Jessie, I should be grateful, I should keep up the hard work and be ready to pass on my good luck to others.

Let’s take a few steps back and see where my good luck has come from. It was September 2013 and I was entering my final year of university. Work was at an all-time high and I was going through a pretty traumatic breakup.  It was safe to say I was heading for a breakdown. So, out of nowhere I’m approached by some pals who knew me through my love for American Football and they casually mention how running their Uni team was a bit too much work and would I be interested in helping. There were 2 or 3 of them behind this decision and I actually didn’t know them as well as I thought I did at the time, but of course I said yes. It was definitely an escapist thing. Somewhere else to focus whilst my personal life crumbled and my degree was getting too much. Because of these 3 fellas I became quite a big name around the football scene. I met all the coaches and by the end of the season, the HC of the County Premiership team found me and got me shadowing his wife to be the GM of their team. Now those 3 original guys who really gave me my big break into that world aren’t prevalent parts of my life. Not through anyone’s fault, just time and drifting lifestyles. I still see them, but it wasn’t until now I realised I had them to thank for all my success in the world of American Football. Obviously, at every step along the way there have been people to thank. The woman who took me the extra way and her husband who introduced us have been massively influential and will continue to help me in my first seasons.

But it’s not just American Football related success that all this has brought me. It meant that 9 months ago I met a guy who’s become very important to me. Because of him, I’ve stayed in Cambridge. Because of that I’ve started a Masters. I have a gorgeous place to live. I’ve met some amazing people whilst trying to fund my way through a postgraduate degree. And my general managerial skills have impressed in all my interviews. Who knows, it may have been the American Football stuff that got me the internship!? That combined with my crazy writing skills, of course.

It might just have been these 3 random guys who really didn’t know me and I didn’t know them, that got me where I am. It might be nothing to do with it.

The point of this blog is to make you think who have you go to thank for where you are now. Like all the people winning Oscars… Who’s been holding your hand literally, or from afar? Who’s never lost faith in you? Okay, so the Oscars has got me way too emotional and grateful, I think! So for my metaphorical Oscar, I want to thank the American Footballers, my best friend for being the Dion to my Cher, the fruit to my nut and Hugh to my Grant. I also want to thank my mumma bear for being so confident in me. And finally, for all the teachers/lecturers who have told me since Year 3 onwards, “You’re gonna be big, kid.”

life begins at …..

So, at the start of this week I promised to post something everyday. Then, less than 24 hours later, I get a phone call offering me a full time job – something I had given up hope on after a good 100 job applications had gone unsuccessful. Looks like its going to be a weekly post from now on.

But anyway, the next day I was up at 7am, home at 7pm and asleep by 10pm. Life had truly begun. Then I got thinking, when does this so called good life start. There’s so many sayings going around, I’m no longer sure where the good parts are meant to be.

This is a little story I’ve been writing on the bus each day.

Hannah had begun her first ever fulltime job. It was hard, it was long hours and there was actually a lot more to transcribing than she thought. Chinese code language ran through her head all day and all night and every time she heard background noise when she was writing she very nearly coded it, even when she was on her blog. <BGpoa> ~~<2Ty>

Her first day hadn’t got off to a good start. Hannah had been 20 minutes early and her boss had been 20 minutes late. She had argued with her boyfriend before leaving for work as he didn’t understand. He had been in full time work since he was 16. The transition from student to adult was hard. Hannah was not happy. Hannah was only 21.

As a child Hannah had always been bitter and very aware that these were her best years and yet she was spending 5 days a week in school. Hannah wasn’t popular at school. In fact, Hannah had been bullied because she was smart.

When Hannah got home from work she was tired and miserable at the thought of going back to work early the next day, she had less than 12 hours before it all started again. That evening, whilst they were cooking dinner, Hannah accidently dropped her phone in the sink, along with the washing up. Hannah and her boyfriend argued again and fell asleep, back to back.

On Hannah’s second day she had caught a cold. She was aware she was sniffing a lot but was too afraid to go to the toilet as some doors in the office lock automatically behind you. Hannah didn’t have an electronic door card yet and didn’t want to risk being locked anywhere in the office’s four stories.

The training Hannah was going through was rigorous. She wasted her lunch hour reading Moll Flanders and wishing that she could actually be a Gentlewoman one day. By 6pm Hannah was ready to go home. That night her friends in the year below her, who were still living the student life invited her for a night out on the town. Biggest night of the year, they said. Hannah told them no. That night her friends had fun. But Hannah had fallen asleep by 9pm watching Our Zoo on BBC iPlayer.

The next morning a friend called her on her commute. Hannah sat on the bus listening to her friend talk of the dramas of the night before. She spoke of tears, vomit and adultery. Hannah told her friend that university is the best years of your life, enjoy it. But Hannah wasn’t convinced, she had never been convinced. There are only so many kebabs and hangovers a girl can take.

That day at work Hannah found out she passed her initial training tasks. It was her third day on the job. Hannah ate a tuna sandwich for lunch, read some more Moll Flanders and tried not to blow anymore snot bubbles when she dozed off.

When Hannah got on the bus that evening she overheard a woman on the phone. She was wishing her sister Happy Birthday. Laughing, nay cackling, she told her sister not to worry. Life begins at 40. You just wait.

Hannah couldn’t tell if the woman was being sarcastic, she looked way past 40 and was still riding the bus commute home into the least good areas in the city. Hannah looked out the window and smiled. The sun was setting and the whole of the city was glowing a warm orange. Hannah had forgotten how much she enjoyed the school bus journey home all those years ago. How pretty the views were and how it made up for the nastiness at school. She remembered the spring bus journeys and seeing the first baby lambs and she remembered the Christmas bus journeys with all the twinkling lights. She looked forward to those days to come.

Hannah had realised that life begins when you work hard for something. Life began when she was going to school because she was working for the weekends. She worked for those evenings when she could see her family and play. Hannah had loved nothing more than going to Church with her mum on a Sunday and coming home and chopping vegetables. But Hannah’s Life had stopped when she went to university because she had all the time in the world and nothing to work for. Hannah had got a degree, she even got a first and was proud. But her money was eaten up on an expensive student house, with 3 messy roommates. Hannah’s life had been a party and she didn’t appreciate the time she had.

Hannah got off the bus and could smell Autumn. It reminded her of her first week back at school after the 6 week Summer holiday. Hannah’s boyfriend was standing at the bus stop. He had some shopping for their dinner and tissues for her sore nose. That night whilst they were sitting in the garden talking, something they promised they would do every night from then on, Hannah realised she didn’t mind work anymore. Hannah could see what she was working for. She understood that life only began when you had worked out who you wanted to spend it with.

Hey, Remember that time?

Do you ever have those weird and wild moments when you and your team do something so utterly mental you think ‘Why isn’t there a camera following us to make a TV show about us?’ or perhaps a more simple: ‘We should write this down!’

Well here are a few of those times Ellie & I have encountered:

 

Megan: do you remember the time you drank absinthe at 3 in the afternoon to do some artwork and I sat in the bed thinking about hares and trees.

Ellie: I love that. Remember the time we did shots then lay on the floor and listened to ‘de lime and de coconut’

Megan: I’m going to write a ‘Remember that time’ book right now. Hit me.

Ellie: ok…

  1. The time we walked down the corridor in Halls in search of our own Little Green Bag
  2. The time we got stalked by a Japanese man and very nearly raped. I was in a onesie in a night club so he asked me if I was ready to “roll straight into bed”
  3. That time I stuck hole punch pieces to your face then we went clubbing.
  4. That time we went to a screening of The Seventh Seal and it sent everyone in the room to sleep.

Megan: I remember a really good one, that time we ran across Parker’s Piece on the way to Revolution singing like Red Indians, then you hit your mouth so hard you split your lip. No more Red Indian wooping for us.

Ellie: yes!

And the time we heard somebody stroking my duvet but it was neither of us.

Megan: Well, if we’re on the subject of paranormal activity… there was that time we watched Most Haunted for 5 days straight. By the end of it I asked a ghost in my room to knock twice, when it actually did it we got so scared (thus screaming) that I got a noise complaint!

Ellie: there was that other time when all we watched were Quentin Tarrantino films all weekend? And the other time when all we did was watch Alan Partridge! A-ha!

Megan: don’t forget the time we ate like Kings and tore apart a whole chicken between us, whilst drinking from our goblets!

Ellie: well, the time we purchased the blue goblets was a time of its own! Oxfam, 50p, blue plastic goblets – Ring of Fire resistant & you feel like a Queen during drinking games.

Megan: remember the time I wore Max’s hat and a guy stole it. Then when we hunted the guy down he said he wouldn’t give it back unless he got a kiss. Which you gave.

Ellie: Yes, then you ran over, took the hat, slapped him and we gallivanted back into the club.

Megan: We are reckless people sometimes aren’t we? Like the time I smashed Max’s plate in the kitchen by accident. He still brings that up.

Ellie: but, of course. Nothing will beat the recklessness of the time you drank wee.

Megan: we said we wouldn’t bring that up here?

Ellie: well… what’s done is done. Do you want to justify yourself?

Megan: Not particularly.

Ellie: people out there are going to think you leisurely drink wee now.

Megan: one time. Plus, despite the rumours, I did not swallow any. It touched my lips.

Ellie: ok, let’s move on. Remember the time we went to the cinema and snuck in ice cream with our own spoons.

Megan: of course, if I remember correctly, it was that same ice cream which broke my spoon?

Ellie: Oh yes.

Megan: and remember the time you really damaged your coccyx by sitting down in the shower straight onto a bottle of shampoo.

Ellie: that hurt.

Megan: then a few days later you tried to dance like Lady Gaga to ‘Telephone’ and damaged it some more. You still can’t sit down properly can you?

Ellie: not really. It’s a struggle. But, on a lighter note, remember the time we met SkyBlu from LMFAO coming out of a dodgy looking drug house at the side of Mill Road.

Megan: Mill Road has many a memory held on it? Remember the tramp that asked me if my legs were cold, I was drinking absinthe so shouted at him that my legs were quite alright thank you very much. If I’d been sober I’d have started crying. Apparently there’s a tramp on Mill Road that doesn’t have a tongue.

Ellie: don’t forget the time Max carried 12 Mountain Dew bottles on his head the whole way back down Mill Road.

Megan: or the party on Mill Road that we walked past and all the people were ‘wooing’ inside so we woo’d back from the sidewalk through the open window. Then they all went quiet and stared at us. There was an awkward moment of silence until they all suddenly threw their hands up in the air and ‘wooooped’ back even louder than before. Then they started shouting and asking for us to join.

Ellie: that was brilliant. Almost as brilliant as the harmony we had when we sang ‘Broken Strings’ all across Parker’s Piece. We did the whole song, didn’t we? You as James Morrison and me as Nelly Furtado.

Megan: That was fabulous.

Ellie: The man behind just thought we were fools I suspect.

Megan: Tuneful fools though?

Ellie: Remember the time we had too much pasta?

Megan: No?

Ellie: you don’t? We were rushed to hospital. Carbohydrate OD’ing is one of the most serious over doses you could suffer with. Gave me runny poop for weeks.

Megan: I’ve only been to hospital once and that was the time I fell over in a toilet in Revolution and split my chin open…my family still think that happened when I was sober and walking down the stairs in my house.

Ellie: Megan, we went to A&E with froth spewing out of our mouths and blood out of our ears. We definitely OD’d on pasta.

Megan: well then I lost my memory because of it. I must have blacked out.

Ellie: That’d make sense, you did try to fly out of the top floor kitchen. It was ironic as well after we told the surveyor that there was no way anyone in Swinhoe could fit through that window. Looks like you could.

Megan: I have no recollection of this.

Ellie: it’s probably for the best. Do you at least remember giving that poor boy in a club an erection just by kissing him?

Megan: how could I forget that? I was scarred for life.

Ellie: I’m not sure I believe you.

Megan: he pointed it out to me. As well as repeatedly telling me he had a boner. I’m not proud of it though, so let’s move on?

Ellie: ok.

Megan: the time…I lost my I.D…..twice.

Ellie: Ahh yes true, but we did learn something from losing the I.D. did we not?

Megan: that I’m an irresponsible, drunken wreck?

Ellie: No, that we’re such hard core partiers that the bouncers recognised us (despite only being in Cambridge for 3 months) that they’d let us in, free of I.D.

Megan: I think we both know that’s only because you flashed your knick nacks to one accidently.

Ellie: No! That’s one of them but the other one just saw me uncontrollably crying so gave me tissues.

Megan: Not sure why he didn’t kick you out. Even still, neither of those reasons for having your face known are particularly impressive or anything to be so proud of.

Ellie: I suppose not, but to everyone else it just looks like I’m really well known; they don’t need to know the embarrassing reasons do they? So let’s keep this between you and me, yeah?

Megan: it’s in the transcript now.

Ellie: well rub it out.

Megan: I don’t write in pencil Ellie, its biro all the way.

Ellie: …bitch. Was that man you gave an erection to from Cambridge University by the way? I just think we need to get that out there so all those pompous Cambridge folk can feel a cringe shudder down their spine when they realise that boy was one of their own.

Megan: yes, we had a fair few encounters with Cambridge boys did we not?

Ellie: oh yes. Like the time those three boys invited us to a Cambridge formal dinner.

Megan: hmm. And on finding out both of us were in relationships we never really heard from them again.

Ellie: they invited us out once.

Megan: I think after we declined them there, they de-invited us though.

Ellie: that’s true. Perhaps we should just pretend we went to the Cambridge formal dinner.

Megan: Ellie, biro transcript. No going back.

Ellie: oh the irony.

Megan: we are popular gals though.

Ellie: Sort of. At first. For a while. The photographer even recognised us as “those crazy freshers that went out every night!”

Megan: I suppose we peaked too soon. We were the party rockers of Cambridge town weren’t we? ( I like to think we still are ).

Ellie: perhaps. But even Lincoln still says we are, and always will be, his favourite freshers of all time.

Ellie: remember the time we danced to LMFAO and learnt the words and everything?

Megan: you mean the legendary video that got us all over Cambridge. (I shall post the link at a later date).

Ellie: Remember the fights we got into…?

Megan: Well… haters gotta hate Ellie… Haters gotta hate.

Ellie: I remember a dear friend of mine, Nicki Minaj, once saying ‘haters you can kill yourselves.’ If memory serves correctly, Christy thought this was too powerful, but I think it fits in just perfectly. If they have a problem, which many people did with our erotic dancing, then they –

Megan: can I just interrupt.

Ellie: if you must.

Megan: the dancing was in no way erotic. It was humorous and Michael-taking. However, the public of Cambridge wasn’t ready, they didn’t understand and some thought, some crazed few, thought we were trying to be sexual.

Ellie: sounds like The Mighty Boosh, doesn’t it?

Megan: anyway, do go on, I rudely interrupted.

Ellie: well all I was going to say was that, those idiots can kill themselves because if they don’t I’ll beat them to it and kill them. It’s probably less humiliating if they did it themselves. You know?

Megan: are you trying to post a formal public warning?

Ellie: perhaps.

Megan: amazing.

Ellie: have you got enough room in the bed there Megan?

Megan: Yes, more than!

Ellie:….yeah thought so.

Megan: …oh. Shall I move up.

Ellie: please.

And just for those who didn’t realise, we always do our best writing snuggled up in a single bed together, eating digestives.

Megan: right, where are we then?

Ellie: not sure, I’m starting to run a little dry. What about that time the Jamaican man at the Cambridge Market sold us a Jerk Chicken Bun thing? He warned us of the perils of success and to always trust in “the man upstairs.”

Megan: of course, I have a sneaky suspicion that was God talking to us actually. Because, for no reason whatsoever, we felt compelled to go to Church that evening.

Ellie: Remember the time we went to church and the service only lasted 15 minutes and then everyone left. That was weird?

Megan: there are some odd churches around Cambridge. There was that one when the man came up and said that anyone who wasn’t Christian was held captive by the Devil and that we needed to save them…

Ellie: yes, he asked us to stand at bus stops and stop strangers to try and covert them…

Megan: something tells me we stumbled across a rather…strict church that morning.

Ellie: remember the day we explored Cambridge?

Megan: how could I forget?

Ellie: what did we call it?

Megan: Culture-day Sundays.

Ellie: that’s it. I suggest anybody who goes to university should really go out round their new city and really soak in the sun and culture. Wherever you go you have every excuse in the world to act like a tourist. Take pictures. They’re memories you’ll wish you could hold on to forever.

Megan: alright, don’t get deep.

Ellie: sorry, I think it’s because Billy Joel’s started playing on your laptop.

Megan: this is rather a sad song actually. Do you want me to put Led Zeppelin back on?

Ellie: please do. I think a tear has come to mine eye.

Megan: I know a good memory that will cheer you up. Remember the time we went to a Chinese take away and we walked in and it was really odd. There was a small bench, with about 5 small Chinese men all cramped on, legs crossed. Then just after we ordered the girl returned with bowls of Chinese for everyone. And they all sat there in silence, practically on top of each other eating from these bowls. We had to ask the woman to have it to take away, even though it was clearly a Chinese take away…

Ellie: yes, otherwise we’d be stuck on the bench of Chinese men eating our chicken balls.

Megan: and it was such a tiny shop. Do you remember there was that Chinese couple too, who had to stand up and eat. I don’t understand why they insisted on eating in, I’d much rather sit in the comfort of my own home.

Ellie: Perhaps they don’t have a home? They didn’t even exchange any form of conversation with any of the other Chinese people.

Megan: mentalists.

Ellie: still it must be truly good Chinese food if the Chinese themselves chose to eat there.

Megan: this is when we find out they were all Japanese eh?

Ellie: What would you have done if the Japanese rapist that followed us home from Revolution had been there?

Megan: I don’t think I’d really recognise him. Man, that guy was creepy.

Ellie: ok Meg, as you’ve written up most of this you leave the rest with me and it’ll be finished in days.

Megan: I know what that means…

*Ellie never did write anymore.*

The end.

 

I forgot to mention one more thing…

I have 20 minutes to write something, before I continue to tidy up the world’s most cluttered bedroom.

I want things that are larger than life. I want to be remembered, I want my dreams to come true and most importantly I don’t want to forget anything!

Every moment that happens is magical. Whether you want to believe it or not. Moments are something you can’t get back, nor can you predict.
In the laws of Physics a Moment  is the tendency of a force to twist or rotate an object.

You see… I think that these ‘moments’… these tiny little pieces of our lives  all add together and twist and turn our life into a tiny, insignificant, yet beautiful story that no-one else will ever experience quite the same again.
Everything about a moment is different. The way you feel will be different to the way anyone else feels.

you are you and theres nothing you can do about it

Someone once told me I was too… ambitious. That my dreams would never come true… to settle and become a journalist, or something boring. But I stand my ground! I want to be a writer. A writer so famous that in hundreds of years to come teenagers “like” my quotes on Facebook.

Who Knows?

Stress gets us down. Gets us down and unbelieving. Gets us feeling like nobody loves us.
Well I love you.

🙂

I’ve been stressed, so stressed I think I’ve achieved things others cannot possibly dream of doing.

I… spontaneously … Combusted.