19 September 2014

No one told me job hunting would be fun.

So. Much. Fun.

No. Really. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m actually really enjoying the process.

This enjoyment comes completely unexpected – I had pictured job hunting to be a long and torturous process, a soul-destroying endeavour that takes and takes and never gives, and that ultimately saps away all your confidence and self-belief, leaving you with an empty shell, an unemployed empty shell.

Granted, my expectations were rather exaggerated. And deep down I knew it couldn’t possibly be that bad. But still, I had expected the process to be a negative one: time-consuming, energy-consuming, confidence-draining, so on and so forth.

It has turned out to be quite the opposite, which has taken me by surprise. But a good surprise, the kind of surprise you get when your boyfriend gets you a gift for no apparent reason (birthday, Christmas, etc.), just because he wants to.

*pause so you can go awwww*

Anyways, to get back to my point, I’m finding this job hunting business to be surprisingly stimulating and self-affirming. For starters, producing customised CVs and cover letters is turning out to be an extremely rewarding process. It gives me a legitimate reason to sit down and spend hours thinking about all the good things I’ve done in life and how I’ve learnt and grown from past mistakes – something you don’t necessarily have the time or the inclination to do when you’re busy studying, or working for that matter.

And then, with each job application comes a whole world of possibilities. I happen to have applied for very different roles. Picturing myself in these different scenarios is, I think, one of the few times in my life where I’ve come close to actually understanding the saying “life is full of possibilities”. And it’s an extremely empowering feeling/realisation. It’s amazing.

Of course, this brimming optimism is most likely due to the fortunate fact that I haven’t had an application rejected yet. So of course life is full of possibilities. Get back to me when I’ve had my first rejection – we’ll see how full of optimism and self-belief I’ll be then!

On an unrelated note, I got back into teaching. So I was rooting about in my teaching folder and discovered my teaching log from when I was giving English lessons – and what on earth was I writing in that log?!? I had painstakingly come up with a system of notation that must have seemed clever at the time but now just gives me a headache. Over-complicating things – how typical of old me. I’m all for simplicity now – simple and effective! That could be my rallying cry. I should start adding that as a tagline in all my job applications – what do you think? *chuckles Sheldon-style*

On another unrelated note, I walked into a plant today. And it hurt. Yes, it really did. The leaf (you’ll understand when you see the picture) hit me right in my left eye socket, missing my eyeball by an uncomfortable 5-millimetre margin. I was sweeping the leaves on the patio and thinking about which long article to work on for my other blog when BAM. There I go for not paying attention where I walk, for letting my guards down in the perceived safety of my own garden. I’ve learnt my lesson.

2014-09-19 18.00.22

Meet the offending plant.

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The ‘leaf’ in the middle of the picture is the one I managed to poke my eye with. It’s like walking into a block of wood.

I’m lucky to have escaped without a black eye. To have escaped with both eyes, even. So yes, sweepers beware – look before you walk. It’s not for nothing that they say most deaths occur from accidents in the household. Just think, I could have lost an eye. *shudder*

With love,

Val

p.s. Oh and do wish me luck for my job applications. I am taking my time, as I so emphatically wrote in my last post. But still, it’d be nice to have some offers for me to take my time considering. Choice is bad, but money is good. *evil grin*

p.p.s. How random was this post? How did I go from the empowering effect of job applications to a murderous plant?! I must be a torture to read. Thank you for putting up with my writing antics!

 

 

 

 

 

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1 April 2014

I woke up expecting today to be much like any other.

But boy, oh boy, how wrong was I.

First, the pipe broke, which made watering the plants this morning slightly difficult. Ever so slightly.

Though, I must admit, the moment when the water exploded from the broken pipe was quite spectacular. A mini water fireworks of my very own creation.

Splendid.

Then, soaked, I came into the house to find that the bread had expired. No, no, that’s not funny. It’s very serious stuff. Especially when you’d woken up at 6am having gone to bed dreaming of having shredded pork on bread for breakfast. (I take my food visualisations very seriously.) It’s really not funny.

Stomach rumbling, I took a long, hard look at the loaf of bread and rued whatever it was that made me take the wrong batch from the shelf. The one with the earlier expiry date. There must have been at least half a loaf left. I mean. That’s a lot of slices.

What a waste.

So, an hour after waking up, what did we have? Half-watered garden. Half-wasted loaf. Half-drenched me.

So I thought I’d take a shower. It seemed like the reasonable thing to do.

The water wasn’t running.

Not sure if that had anything to do with the pipe breaking in the garden. I didn’t think so. But still, doesn’t change anything.

The morning was turning into a mini disaster.

That is to say until I opened my university inbox and saw an e-mail from UCL, announcing that I had been exempted from this year’s final examinations.

Why?

Because it’s April Fools’ Day.

Happy April Fools everyone!

Val

p.s. The events detailed in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance or similarity to any actual events is entirely coincidental.

p.p.s. I told you yesterday I’d let you know how the magic revision session continued after “lunch”. And it went great! Actually, today was also pretty awesome. It’s all in the (concentrated) mind!

p.p.p.s. I saw the HIMYM finale today. And whoa. Like. Whoa. (Worry not. No spoilers from me!)

p.p.p.p.s. (just one more) And I do actually go to UCL.

TEEHEE

 

 

30 March 2014

I spent half an hour watering the plants in the garden today.

I never realised how long it takes, to water a garden full of plants.

So I timed myself today. And now I know.

I went out at six thirty. The sun was low in the sky. The garden still bathed in daylight, but without the heat and glare of a high sun that would evaporate the water as soon as it left the green rubber tube that served as its conduit.

Watering plants is very relaxing. The sound of water, the spray in my face, the soothing green of the plants in our lush garden.

I especially like playing with the spray control. It’s my little game, adjusting the control so the concentrated stream of water can reach the plants in the back, and turning the stream into a soft, dispersed spray for the more fragile plants. The orchids, especially.

My dad is very dedicated to his garden. For such a distracted man – he has been known to walk into children simply because he didn’t see them – the attention to detail his garden manifests is remarkable. All the trees – of different sizes, colours, and species – perfectly arrayed.

You never quite notice how much attention has gone into a garden’s arrangement until you really look at it. And today I did. All the palms, the trees, the firs. Especially the firs. My dad is going through a little fir craze, and the garden is overrun with them.

I slowly made my way around the garden, watering left and right, always adjusting the control so the spray/stream was just perfect for the plant at hand.

Before I knew it, it was dark. Not completely. But the trees had all turned different shades of grey. And the sun was nowhere to be seen.

I had got through just over half of the garden, so I watered the rest in obscurity. To make sure I didn’t miss any plant, I slowed down even more.

Watering plants in the dark is enjoyable in its own way. All the trees looked different. The texture of the leaves – overlooked in daylight – suddenly became the most prominent feature of the trees.

Some of the trees looked so alluring in the dim light I felt myself reaching out several times to touch them, to feel the texture. Some of them were soft, like animal fur. Some coarse, like… what was it like? Some yielded to my touch. Some resisted the tip of my finger.

It was a wholly pleasant experience.

Try it sometimes if you have a garden at home. You’ll never see your garden in the same way again.

Until tomorrow,

Val