How I know I live in a small town again…

…my local branch manager is someone I went to school with, my mum works with his dad and I used to take dance classes with his mum.  And this is someone I wasn’t close with at school!

I’m still getting used to the fact that my local bank even has a named branch manager – aren’t they all customer consultants or some other wanky term?

The thing is, I quite like small towns, although they’re not without their perils.  There’s no possibility of having a slouchy day, no quick pop over to the shops in your grungies: that’s the day you meet your old high school crush, or some old popular girl you used to hate.  But it is an excellent opportunity to go out looking fantastic and then bumping into your old high school crush (and slaying him with your fabulousness) or, in my case, the girl you used to work with who was younger, thinner and blonder but now is fatter, with roots showing and looks significantly older than you thanks to a hard lifestyle.  Ah revenge, thou art so sweet.

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Back to the drawing board

Well, I didn’t get the job.  I guess it was always going to be unlikely that I would get a job after only one interview but still – gah.  I was pinning my hopes onto it more than I should since I haven’t heard back from any other job I’ve applied for yet (except for three no’s).  Even temp work is proving hard to find!  Moving: maybe a big mistake after all?  We’ll see.  Stay tuned for the next exciting installment of cover letter writing and general job sucking.

Waiting for the phone to call

Had an interview on Monday and was supposed to find out Tuesday whether I got it – now hoping I’ll find out by tomorrow morning.  Job searching and dating have a lot in common.  Being in a relationship, I thought my days obsessively checking messages and carrying the landline around with me everywhere were over.  Hopefully I can restrain myself from also drawing little love hearts and initials while I wait :P…

Perspective… I has it too

Memory is a funny thing.  I don’t think I’ve appreciated, until now, how closely memory is tied up to the physical world.  If you have a memory, you always have a memory, right?  I know memories can be triggered by a smell, by a song, etc, but just being physically in the same city that you haven’t been in for awhile can not only bring back a host of old memories, but old emotions, too.  Stuff you haven’t thought about it in years.  Stuff you had every right to believe you had sorted through and had moved on from.  Stuff you had honestly actually forgotten until it all comes flooding back, reminding you that your mind has recesses to its recesses.  Hidden nooks and crannies you didn’t even know about.  How can you be such a stranger to your own brain?

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about people who have affected my life and, in a new(ish) trend, giving more and more thought to the effect I may have had on other people’s lives.  I’ve never given it much thought in my life up til now – not through callousness but because I have never presumed that I affected anyone.  How could I impact on someone’s life?  I’m just me and barely worth mentioning.  It sounds like false modesty but, really, when you’re young I think you don’t appreciate consequences just yet – consequences your actions have on others, consequences your actions have on yourself.

 

Maybe that’s the thing I’m thinking of most of all: consequences.  Small decisions, rash ones, decisions you make to prove to yourself that you didn’t deserve it anyway (but, in a very deep part of you, you think will turn out well despite yourself, because Hollywood endings could happen).

 

Although I honestly believe the world is a place that is basically good, as I get older, I’m more aware of the less-than-stellar things in it.  It doesn’t change my ultimate belief but, quite naturally I guess, things become less black-and-white and more shades of grey.  With that comes the realisation that the world isn’t always a just place and, hand-in-hand, things don’t always work out.  You fight with a friend – younger you assumes that, despite you being a jerk (and them being one too), in a couple of weeks it will all blow over and you’ll go back to being friends again.  Only later do you appreciate that a serious impact has been made and there are consequences.  I’ve lost a lot of friends that way.

 

One of my grandfathers spent his life complaining, being an absent father, alienating himself from his wife and children.  He now has dementia, has been put in a home and is now sad and alone.  I find it absolutely heartbreaking (and, now that I’m back in the country am visiting him soon!).  From my perspective, I can see that over his life he’s made lots of tiny little decisions, each made on their own merits, mired in his own fears and fallibilites as a human and each one a decision any one of us could have made in similar circumstances.  I have no doubt that he did not anticipate the consequences of the cumulative effect of those decisions.  And yet, regardless, wanted or not, intentioned or not, the consequences are the same and he has to live with them.  Unjust? I don’t know.

 

So where does that leave me right this minute?  With a full and pressing realisation that I have impacted on peoples lives and the consequences of that.  Sure, I have positively impacted on people, which is wonderful but, right now, it’s the negative impacts that are concerning me.

 

My own fears and baggage have led to decisions I’ve made that have hurt others.  I guess we’re all guilty of this but it doesn’t make it right.  I’ve burnt some bridges in my day and, right now, I’m trying to repair two of them.  Good friends who I’ve lost, through my actions.  Impacts on their lives that I didn’t know or appreciate until I’ve come back where I left off and it all comes flooding back, only this time with the perspective and (limited) wisdom that 4 years of growing and separation can give you.  Makes you see what you didn’t see then: and I’m not proud of where I left off.  They haven’t responded yet, which brings me back to consequences: just because you want to rebuild a bridge, doesn’t mean that you can.  I’ll be ok if they decide they don’t want to get back in touch and it’s a learning experience for me all the same.  I hope they do, though.

 

Edit (a few hours later):  I am a lucky lady – I have heard back from one friend and it was very positive.  Can’t tell you how nice it feels to have that chance to improve something you regret!

Glam metal Mondays: Here I Go Again

Ok, it’s technically Tuesday but I can see this will be an ongoing theme for me and Monday is more pleasingly alliterative.

I was but a young girl in the 80s, not really glam metal’s target audience at the time but it nonetheless forms a big part of my warm fuzzy memories about the Best Decade Ever (you guessed it: the 80s).

What was it about glam metal that got the ladies so hot and bothered? Big hair, leather pants tucked into white high-tops, inappropriate pelvic thrusting… what the?  Well now that I am that target audience (albeit belatedly) I can tell you that it’s big hair! The inappropriate pelvic thrusting! And even leather pants tucked into sneakers are a ! not a ? when it’s David Coverdale doing it.

Even after all these years, he can still impregnate you with that steely stare.  Which is why today’s offering is Whitesnake’s ‘Here I Go Again’.  It has all the classic motifs: artistic use of a smoke machine, excessive tonguing, gratuitous power stancing and guitar thrusting, not to mention lots of leather and luxuriant locks.  It’s a classic for a reason and has single-handedly kept me at the cycling so I can have Tawny Kitaen-worthy pins. David, you’ll be in my dreams tonight*.

* If either of David’s kids see this, sorry you had to read that about your Dad!  PS what is it like having a rock god as your father?

Things I learned today

  • That having a personal trainer for a brother does not mean you are shown any mercy in a group training session
  • That “mates rates” do not apply, even for sisters of said trainer
  • That my brother actually hates me and is wreaking his revenge through the agony of about a million squats
  • I now feel less guilty about making him play dolls when we were kids

Working 9 to 5

Even amidst the worst economic conditions since the last World War, the London job market was pretty buoyant, if you had good experience and skills.  The Australian economy is in much better shape, so I assumed that job hunting here would be the same or easier.  Alas, I made the fatal mistake of not taking into account the fact that Brisbane is a much smaller city, with a much smaller market.  The economy might be better, but people are still uneasy and the jobs seemed to have dried up.

 

I don’t mind job hunting – I like the feeling of opportunity, the feeling of potential, the feeling that my dream job is just a click away.  Still, it has its fair share of drudgery.  I loathe writing cover letters.  A mini-essay written to be approachable, yet professional; brief and pithy but with details; something that shows your personality, yet not too much personality; something that states you could easily do the job, but doesn’t make you sound overqualified… it’s the impossible balancing act that you can spend hours honing all for some office lackey to give it a 15 second scan (if you’re lucky).

 

Agency visits are tedious too.  They bait-list jobs on the internet that you apply for; jobs that never seem to be still available once you’ve signed up with them (after you’ve gotten yourself all dressed up in business-best, spent a small fortune on public transport and trekked into the city) but, don’t worry, there’ll be other jobs along.  They’re sure of it.  Just wait by the phone…

 

…luckily, though, I think I found some good ‘uns.  I’ll consider them minions, scouring the job market at my behest, bringing me the choicest of jobs for my consideration and delectation.

 

Or, you know, a 6-day temp job in the Valley.  Whatever.