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imageLast week I had an epiphany of sorts, not for the first time either. I realised that I’d been utilising my energy in areas that didn’t challenge or reward my sense of wellbeing. This may sound like gobbledygook, but think about it. We all have day jobs, we all need to pay the bills and we cannot always do what we love. Wait, scrap the last sentence. We CAN do what we love but we have to take risks in order to make the impossible become possible.

I have always been a creative person, I hoard design magazines, stare at beautifully crafted objects, observe the tiniest features on a website that makes it stand out from many others. This aspect of my personality is deeply embedded in who I am, and it drives my ambition to be creative in all that I do. So, it’s only natural that I should work in a field that encourages this trait and passion. It’s long overdue that I take this risk, and if you were to scroll down to posts from a year ago you would see that I have always been this way, only I fell back into routine – the humdrum, risk-free life of ‘business as usual’. Oh what a disaster that was. I spent another year working in jobs that I couldn’t sustain, my passion was like an empty bottle of water, there lie nothing to quench my thirst.

Often people say to me “how do you manage?”, when they hear that a job has fallen through and I’m struggling to make ends meet. The truth is, I don’t know but I always believe I’ll find my way. In the past I’ve just repeatedly made the same mistakes – interview for another office job, secured the job, started the job and lost the job within weeks. It’s not because I’m lazy or that I want to be out of work. It’s bigger than that. It’s because I cannot settle for second best. Life is so short, it surprised me to see that my last blog was a year ago and that i’d repeated the same mistake again. Only now could I look back and say “I won’t make that mistake again”.

Through my passion and commitment to succeed in being a creative individual and forge a career doing something I love, I’ve taken the bull by the horns and applied for jobs in web development. I’ve been honest and stated my actual skills instead of amplifying them. I’ve laid myself bare and what have I got in return?

Responses.

Interested people.

Possibilities.

All of the above just goes to show that with a little drive and belief, you can make a start to get to where you want to be. Today, like any other day, is a new day to make a change and I’m on the road to reaching my destination. Sure, I have money worries, I’m scared, but I’m excited and this feeling overrides everything else because I know that I will get there.

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I really dislike it when people say ‘there is always someone worse off than you’, because it reinforces the thought that happiness can be found in someone elses suffering. How about we change the saying to ‘there is always someone better off than you, if they can do it, so can you!’… Just a thought.

~ imnotfamous.

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Let me begin by saying that I am one of those ‘positive’ types. The kind who will try to increase others self-esteem when they feel like nothing is going their way. The person who likes to believe they can lend a positive voice to a worried mind. I would say I have learn’t these attributes from my parents, who raised me the only way they knew, which was to provide for me as best they could and so I developed characteristics such as kindness, generosity and trust. These are positive attributes, but along with these came some not-so-positive traits, such as the ability to sulk at the drop of a hat, talk too much without letting another get a word in and feel like I never had to do anything unless I believed it was going to benefit me and my family. The latter trait has hindered me in ways, especially in my work choices where I made flippant decisions without any regard for future consequences. However, being a positive type, I always believed that everything would turn out ok in the end.

I remember a good friend of mine once saying to me ‘I worry for you’. She mean’t it in the nicest of ways, a brutal honesty that only a real friend can give. The reason she said this was because she could see that I was not worried. I had no fear within me regarding the topic we had discussed, and firmly felt that everything would be ok. I learnt years later that what I had neglected to take into account was what she really meant. She was concerned about how I would make ends meet, and could not understand how I was able to live a life of constant chaos, change and risk. I have long since discovered that very few people are able to live like I did, and though I used to think they were wrong (who doesn’t like to think they’re right?), I can now see why I worried my friend.

As time has moved forward, so too have I, in age, mind, and body. My past consisted of living life on the edge and that has left me with feelings of anxiety but not regret. When you are young you feel like you have all the time in the world to start again. But, when you get a bit older you make the dreaded mistake of comparing your life to others. I’ve done it, and I’m sure you have too (you may even be doing it now). All I can surmise from doing so is to say that it is completely useless and irrelevant. Comparing your life to anyone else’s is pointless because whilst one person may seem to have it all, that isn’t to say they haven’t been through their fair share of hardship to get there. They may have been unable to do the things you have, and vice versa.

We hear the phrase ‘life is a journey’ thrown around all the time, but it is a saying I believe to be true because what else can we call life when we are constantly on the move?

The reason I posted this is because I often question my motives and reasoning for choices I make and have made, and I see others voicing similar concerns. We think we are alone in all this, that everyone else is doing ok and we are struggling. Well, *newsflash*, you are not alone. The only way to stop the doubts from niggling away at your spirit, and preventing you from making progress is to STOP comparing yourself to others and live your life as you wish, in a way that suits you – whilst keeping your morals of course 🙂

Now, carry on with your day, come what may (sorry it rhymed, I couldn’t help myself), and remember, every choice you make is right for you, as long as you turn it into a positive.

~ imnotfamous.

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It’s the first day of a new month, so, if you haven’t already, please pinch the nearest person to you. I just hope you aren’t dyslexic and punch the nearest being, as my advice could land you in hospital. If the latter does happen, then you my friend need to work on your fighting skills.

In other news… Today, I was standing in a shopping aisle minding my own business, when I saw a little old lady in a motorised wheelchair/scooter or what not, asking a passer by if she knew where the ‘fruit sherbet sweets’ were – I wasn’t sure what she meant, but it appears they don’t just make lemon sherbets anymore, times are a’ changin’ folks. Clearly by this point I had stopped minding my own bees wax and was observing the passer by pretend to look. Literally not a minute had passed when the stranger said ‘no love, I can’t see anything’. The old lady was very polite and apologised for the inconvenience and the passer by walked off. So, I approached the old lady. I feel bad calling her that, so I’ll call her The Lady. I asked her if I could help, and so she repeated that she was trying to find some fruit sweets that were like lemon sherbets, only fruit flavoured. She then went on to tell me that her grandchildren loved them and she wanted to buy them for when they next visited. So, I looked, I actually looked, and there they were. I pulled the sweets off the hook and showed her, and then something quite touching happened. Her face lit up, she reached out and held my hand and said ‘thank you dear, I cannot see very well, you are too kind’. What touched me was how tender and grateful she was for what was essentially a gesture that I felt anyone in their right mind would do, and yet I was surrounded by people that had and were ignoring her. I asked if she needed anything else as I could see she was about to fall out of her scooter whilst trying to reach for a bag of fudge, so to avoid Fudgegate, I grabbed them and put them in her basket for her. The next thing I knew, I was walking around the aisles with her trying to find Ainsley Harriotts cup-a-soup(?), I was sure she meant something else but I didn’t want to question her so I continued the hunt until a shop assistant appeared offering assistance. This was where our journey ended, she bid me farewell and off she sped. I felt a little lump in my throat when she left, which might sound strange, but after seeing how determined this Lady was to manage on her own, I also got to witness how kind a stranger could be in one moment, and i’m not talking about myself. The Lady was so sincere that I almost felt sad for all the people that had passed her by. If they had stopped, they too would have got to meet a kind soul and maybe, just maybe they would have seen that one of the loveliest moments would have been the one they were not expecting.

I’m going to ask one thing of you and if you don’t want to do it, well, it’s a bit like homework, I’m not your teacher so I’m not going to be checking! But in the spirit of it being the first day of the month, rather than a punch and a kick for being so quick, how about be kind to an elderly person for no reason at all, and if you need a reason then it should be to help someone other than yourself. It’s not too much to ask now is it? If it is, then you my dear, have a sad life ahead of you.

Tally-Ho.

~ imnotfamous.

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This week I had to say goodbye to my iPhone, and buy a bog standard £12.99 phone until my iPhone 5S arrives. Now, with third world problems and wars going on, I cannot moan about the disadvantages of not having a smartphone, but I can say that the impact it has had on my daily life is profound. SImple things that I took for granted, like checking google maps to find an office location, or quickly opening Safari to look something up. We do these things and they feel so normal, and yet when we are presented without this technology, we realise how reliant we have become. I am fortunate to have an iPad Mini, which saved me from having to ask a local person for directions last week. Instead, I sat outside a shop, activated their free wifi and was able to find where I needed to go. Ok, I may have looked like a geek sat with my iPad in the middle of a shopping mall, complete with a confused ‘what am I doing’ look on my face! But, it worked.

I have realised that I am not only a geek, I am a reliant geek. Without these tools, I can begin to imagine what life was like before telephones and computers existed. We have come so far and yet we take it all for granted. I read something from Andrew Marr’s book A History of The World that resonated and stuck with me, that if you were to go back 3000 years and tell a person about the war in Syria, they would be able to relate. However, tell that same person about your iPhone, and they would stare at you, without any idea what you were showing them. This goes to show that although we think we have evolved, the only area in which we have truly broken boundaries is Technology, and it is something that we should recognise and applaud.

~ imnotfamous

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Do you ever have, and I quote, ‘one of those days’? Silly question really.
Yesterday I had one. I felt like everything was going wrong and I’ll admit I felt sorry for myself.

Here’s what happened:

I went to the shops to get some bits. It started to rain, so I walked a little faster and thought hey, it’s not that bad. Then it hailed. Oh yeah, lots and lots of tiny hard hail stones came raining down on my hoody wearing self. Yes, I chose not to wear a jacket, as the weather had been fine before I left. Then, as I approached the shops, I reached into my bag, only to find my house keys. No purse. I scoured my pockets and felt a plastic card. Hooray! I thought, no walking back for me! I pulled the card out and what did I find? I think the question should be ‘what didn’t I find’ but moving on… I found a co-op card, the type that you give to the cashier to build points? The one that you can never find when you are asked for it but have on you when you do not want it? That one. I then looked in my other pocket and found a crumpled up ten pound note, so there was some light at the end of the tunnel.

I bought what I could with what I had and returned home, only for the sun to come out and a beautiful rainbow to appear just as I reached my front door.

I’ll be honest, this isn’t the worst day I’ve ever had but it felt like it. Yet, upon seeing that rainbow, I smiled. I actually smiled and I didn’t care who saw me (luckily nobody did), and then I laughed (really glad nobody saw that). I did this because it hit me how laughable these events had been and how seriously I took them at the time. In the grand scheme of things, today was nothing more than one of those days.

~ imnotfamous

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It’s Friday.
It’s raining.
I have my laptop.
I have food.
I’m staying in.
I’m on my 3rd can of coke.
I plan to start coding.
I plan to link my new site to my website.

Problem with the plan? I haven’t done anything remotely good enough to upload. I have realised that my coding skills are rustier than my memory is at remembering birthdays. Oh, and the sound of rain is distracting me, in a cozy way. Writing this blog isn’t helping so I best get cracking.

Before I forget, my new URL will be imnotfamous.co. I just bought the .co as I thought it looked cooler than .co.uk, it’s the little things. It’s also called being a geek.

See, procrastination again. Ill sign off now.

~ imnotfamous

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What do you do when you have built a career doing one thing, but have hit a wall?

For five years, I’ve built a fluctuating career as a procurement professional. I started out not knowing what ‘procurement’ meant, but applied for the job nonetheless. Upon landing the role, I soon discovered it meant buying things, along with many deeper aspects that I’d soon discover. Essentially, procurement meant being in control of someone else’s money, something I quite liked the idea of.

As time went by, I moved onto different companies, taking on exciting opportunities and often making risky decisions. Where did it get me? Well, that’s a hard question to answer because on one side of the coin, I developed a vast amount of experience in a relatively short time scale. On the flip side, I created a persona that was different to my own. Being a contractor, you can either be perceived as ‘not being able to hold down a job’ or ‘expensive’. Either way, there was a huge demand for these types of employees not long ago.

Times have changed. Companies want permanent staff, they want control and they have learnt that hiring a contractor is no longer as essential now that ‘best practices’ have been tried, tested and implemented, by us I might add. In effect, by being good contractors in what we do, we have pushed ourselves out of the market.

The question that still alludes me to this day is why, still, I crave more. Is this why I wound up being a contractor? Did I crave more money, and the idealistic view that this would bring better future opportunities? Or was I ensuring that by ‘contracting’, I’d never commit, thus giving myself an excuse to move on whenever I wished?

There comes a time when responsibilities creep into our lives, and we can no longer flit from one job to the other. But, what’s hit me most of late is that my desire to create, read and write is merely a stepping stone to a new adventure. Hopefully, one that will deliver roots, stability, and most important of all, purpose. That’s all I’ve ever really wanted, to achieve something with purpose. I guess to some extent we all have the same desires, it’s just some of us reach our goals sooner than others.

This is probably as personal as I could get for a blog post. Sharing my past experiences, and failures is a scary thing to admit when others, many of whom I do not know, will read and/or judge. However, I am past the point of letting others views dictate my next step or feelings. Gone are the days of caring what Bob thinks of my choices, or Gertrude’s opinion on who she thinks I am.

In summary, all I can say is that I am as normal as you, as chaotic as you and as silly as you (one of these is bound to apply), and this, what you have been reading, is a mere glimpse of a life that we can all identify with in some shape or form.

~ imnotfamous

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It has been three days since my last confession, so I felt it would be only fair that I write something, as I’ve been somewhat distracted these past few days.

I had a busy weekend, visiting a friend, then going out for another friends birthday, which ended up with being adorned with moustaches and consumption of copious cocktails, shots and what not. I spent the following day recuperating and overseeing my friend bake cakes. I was instructed not to interfere, and that my contribution was merely to keep her calm, whilst the cupcakes were beautifully crafted from powder and dust. Or flour and icing, call it what you wish.

I’ve also been a little distant as I’ve become immersed in reading. I am usually a crime fiction reader, but not long ago a friend of mine inspired me to start reading again. I rediscovered a novel I owned by Markus Zusak called The Book Thief, and I was hooked. This book, though fictitious, is an account of a German girl whose life is effected by nazi germany and books. It is also narrated by ‘death’.

I then went on to read The Alchemist, various books on WWII and Anne Franks diary. I was gifted The Rise & Fall of the Third Reich; one of the earliest editions. I am yet to have read it, but I will. The problem is that I have read so many books on nazi Germany, that I developed a curiosity for history on a broader scale. So, I bought a book by Andrew Marr entitled A History of the World. It is fascinating. I have not been able to put it down and strongly recommend it.

As a child I found it hard to absorb history lessons, so I guess you could say that I’m making up for lost time.

In other news, it’s raining. So, with the sound of the rain drumming in the background its back to the history book I go.

Until the next time.

~ imnotfamous

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Have you ever been in the middle of something, when suddenly, a memory hits you so hard that you almost enter the memory, and relive it? Earlier, I was going through my laundry and picked up an item of clothing with writing on the front. Instantly, I was taken back to when I had last worn it, and one persons comment. I was there, in the place, reliving that moment. But, only for a second. This moment in itself inspired me to write this blog, because it reminded me of a particular trigger that occasionally surfaces when I am cleaning. Not just any old cleaning, that would push me to the brink. No, this memory arises whenever I remove limescale from my shower door (I wish it were more interesting).

Before you think I’m crazy, the memory that comes flooding back requires some background.

A long time ago, when I first entered the world of work, I joined a company that will remain nameless. They told me that I would be training to be this, that and the other. They neglected to mention that I’d be working in their home, with their two (very big) dogs and an egomaniac who didn’t appear to know what a hoover was. Being that this was my first ‘real’ job, I thought it was normal. Why wouldn’t I? I used to think eating 20 ice poles in one sitting was the norm.

Anyway, I could go on to tell you many more stories but, I’ll save that for another day.

The aforementioned memory is that I would routinely clean their shower door. 

Suffice to say, I am taken back to that time. I would remove the limescale from the glass with such finesse, it would look brand new. I wasn’t being subservient though, oh no, there was a method to my madness. You see, not long after joining, I noticed their ability to create mess wherever they stepped. I swear, even the dogs were tidier. So, I used this to my advantage. I offered to do this job. They happily agreed, and called me crazy. However, I knew that this job would be required at least once a week (more if I’d lived there, but we are all entitled to live as we please), and, more importantly, I saw an opportunity.

So, why did I offer? What was in it for me? I’d love to say something truly inspirational, but, i’ll offer the truth instead:

I did it because it allowed me to sleep off the previous nights hangover.

This is the memory I get, every time I clean my shower door, and I mean it when I say EVERY TIME. All because I saw an opportunity to sleep off my hangover. The reason that I believe it surfaces, still to this day, is because every time I spray bleach or limescale remover onto the shower door, I feel nauseous. Much like one does when they’ve had too many tequilas.

I also believe it was my first, and most foolish, moment of genius.

Happy Friday.

~ imnotfamous