What A Difference 9 Months Makes – How Blogging Saved Me

I read a lot today. I read my own writing, from my first blog post up until now. In hindsight, I believe this blog saved me from a much darker fate. The act of putting something in writing for the world to see, be it an idea or a thought, an emotion or a desire has strengthened my will to achieve my dreams, and I am proud to say that since the time I started writing publicly, my life has completely changed for the better.

It was sad to read many of my posts. The first 3 months I spent blogging was a very bad time in my life, wrought with depression and other vices that were leading me down a rabbit hole I could not see a way out of. The truth of the matter is that I am usually not a very open person. I find it very difficult to confide in people, or even talk about my state in the simplest of terms. Yet in writing, I find myself telling the world, openly, all the things I cannot seem to tell even those people that are closest to me.

I read posts about freedom and failure, materialism and minimalism. I read about my plans to remove all of the clutter from my life and about the way I want to live. As of this moment I am happy with my life. I travel, I see, I do and I feel free. Since leaving Melbourne I have learned, and learned very quickly, just what is important in my life. I own less than I ever thought possible, yet find myself wanting nothing more than a new book occasionally, or a block of chocolate. I live well, I enjoy my work, I eat well and have good accommodation, and all for less than I could have ever imagined.

Perhaps the hardest hitting revelation I had in this process is recalling just how depressed I was in my ‘successful’ life. Were it not for me putting in writing many of my thoughts I would no longer remember just how much I hated my life. The depression I felt now seems so distant, and my blog serves as a reminder to me that my well being is in my own hands. My current situation is a direct effect of acknowledging that I was not happy and making the hard decisions necessary to change. It wasn’t easy. Much of the journey has not been easy. I have had several serious setbacks and many unexpected turns, but never lost sight of my goal. However, no matter how stressful, or how broke and hungry I may have found myself in the process, the depression that once gripped me has loosened its hold and no longer exists.

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Unnecessary Anxiety

My mind is in a strange place at the moment. At work (only 4 weeks left) i’m as depressed as I have ever been, though outside of work i’m getting close to being the happiest I have ever been. Every day I undergo a complete mental reversal at about 5:30. There is excitement brewing in me about what might be to come. There is also an anxiety eating at me about just how bad work might get during the next 4 weeks. The anxiety is very hard to overcome, whilst also being unnecessary. I recognise that my anxiety stems from a fear of what is in my short term future, whilst that in 4 and a half weeks I will be on Falls Creek without a care in the world. So why do I still feel anxious? why do I still have the urge to destroy all the things?

It seems reasonable that whilst in the midst of a hard time or a stressful situation one might become stressed or overwhelmed. Though to be stressed in anticipation of an upcoming event that may or may not be hard to deal with seems entirely unreasonable, and to only make the present, otherwise potentially pleasant moment, worse. So why feel anxious? Why whilst understanding that right now, whilst i’m not being persecuted or accused of some bullshit bureaucratic¬†error, do I still feel so anxious about events which may not even occur. Further more, the events which may or may not occur depend entirely on my ability to output a sufficient amount of work. Though my anxiety about what may happen if I don’t get my work done is preventing me from completing my work. It’s all a vicious cycle of horrendous productivity. Perhaps a clear sign that I am not where I want to be.

I think subconsciously my anxiety is also a result of feeling that I am letting down my employer. I have a responsibility as an employee, that of late, I have not upheld. My first years as an engineer I produced, though at the time I was unsure how well I was doing, it is clear now that I was well over performing. It is a lie to say that I have enjoyed my time as an engineer though. I have resented (with perhaps the exception of the first 6 months) almost every moment I have spent behind a desk. It took some big mistakes and personal errors to realise that I was choosing to stay behind a desk, and that the feeling of entrapment was a result of being financially comfortable. Though now I am anxious, biting finger nails, feeling shit and wanting out. In 1 month, it will not matter what happens over the next 4 weeks. I will be out.

I Got That Job – A Big Step in The Right Direction

I don’t really know what to think at the moment. I’m happy. I’m excited. I have taken control of my life back and am on my way to somewhere I want to be. Though wherever that ultimately is I will only know on arrival.

I just had the call from Falls Creek (Snow in Australia), and in less then 2 months now, I can confirm, I will be on my way up to work for the whole snow season. This moment feels truly liberating. I have escaped the corporate world, likely never to return (as an employee at least), and have started my next phase. The phase were I really get to live my life.

I am no longer worried about my immediate future. I just need to continue existing as an engineer for another 50 days.

Reflections on an Interview

Yesterday I had my first job interview in over 3 years. The last time I had one it led to my ‘career job’…. That didn’t really go to plan though. In fact the whole concept of a career has basically been thrown out now.

job-interview-uncomfortable

As an adult with an education and some real world experience, the whole interview process was relatively stress free and could easily be approached with a relaxed attitude. In younger years we are unfortunately drilled about the difficulties of getting a job and subsequently (in my experience) we become very anxious and nervous. Our education tricks us in to thinking that “if this doesn’t work out, i’m doomed to fail”, and we hinge all our hopes on getting a job that we probably won’t like.

Every time I have attended a group interview, I am surprised by the attitude and approach of some people. During yesterdays interview there was only one such person (tough competition otherwise), however my experience suggests there are usually more. The individual I am referring to turned up rather unclean and wearing big bulky skate shoes and shorts. My first thought when faced with people like this is that they must attending the interview for their welfare payment, which is inconceivably pathetic in my eyes anyway, but this one was different. First impressions count. Though it seems many people don’t understand this. Fundamental to any interview is making sure you are clean, dressed appropriately (usually just slightly above what you believe the expectation to be), knowledgeable in the area you are applying for, well spoken, friendly and smiling. That some people manage to miss all of these things baffles me.

With the right attitude, especially in Australia, there is no limit to what anyone can do or achieve. We have too many options to choose from. So many of them have life changing possibilities. I might tend to quote macklemore a little too often. But I think his work is brilliant and his message is clear. So:

“We have many paths in this journey. They all act in different directions, so when you question don’t you worry. Theres not a wrong one, beauty can be found in all of them.” – Macklemore

So. Yolo. I really hope I get this job, but if I don’t, it’s ok. I refuse to take another job I don’t enjoy. If it doesn’t work out, I start my search for the next adventure. From now on I work for experience and to learn. Ultimately I think it’s a bit silly to rely on an employer for our long term security. However in the short term I can use a job to learn new skills whilst picking jobs that I actually enjoy.

So. I guess my humble words of wisdom are to find out first what it is you enjoy and then go and find out how to get paid doing it second. Things will not always go to plan, we will stuff up and fail. But don’t become stale. Don’t end up where you don’t want to be and afraid to change. This life is your responsibility. And don’t wear shorts to an interview.