A selection of things I’ve actually done since quitting my job

A while back (read: almost 8 months ago) I wrote a silly little post called A selection of things I’ve considered since quitting my job.  Truth be told, I actually knew what I was planning on doing at the time, but wasn’t in the position to actually share it yet – so I figured I should kickstart my blogging again with an updated version.

So – here we go. A selection of things I’ve actually done since quitting my job. Turns out things weren’t as adventurous as I’d planned…and no, I didn’t get a tattoo!

  1. Started my own company. Yep. I did that.
  2. Lost about a stone and a half
  3. Signed up for an Odeon Limitless card
  4. Joined an orchestra
  5. Moved into a new flat with an old friend…but only a short distance from home
  6. Made a heck of a lot of new friends
  7. …and said goodbye to a couple of those friends as they moved back to their home countries
  8. Actually practiced my violin…and enjoyed it
  9. Found a better orchestra and joined that instead
  10. Started to seriously consider writing music again
  11. Met Rachel McAdams  (but failed to get a selfie)
  12. Saved up enough Boots advantage card points to get a fitbit
  13. Joined the local library
  14. Occasionally remembered I have this blog
  15. …and not written a single word for it since July. Oops?

 

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30 Reasons Not To Hand In A Bibliography

Usually, Facebook memories just reminds me of regrettable hairstyles (blonde was not my colour…), embarrassing statuses and friends I haven’t spoken to in years.

Today, it’s reminded me of something very, very different – a quite spectacular bit of procrastination from my final year of my undergraduate degree. (Though I say so myself)

So for those of you who are currently mid-dissertation, essay or other such deadline, here is are 30 perfectly valid reasons not to hand in a bibliography, as written by myself and a friend. (Facebook memories didn’t help me with which friend…).  Some of these are quite music-specific, and a couple of the jokes are ever so slightly 2010. But the message is still there…somewhere.

1) I have a severe allergy to bibliographies.

2) All things relating to Harvard Referencing are against my religious beliefs.

3) My newly upgraded computer software is not coping well from running all the programs required for your essay and this bibliography will push it over the edge.

4) I’m going mad from trying to reference the MILLIONS of sources I used, because I spent hours and hours and HOURS researching, and there’s just too many to list.

5) I’m a keen environmentalist and consider it a horrendous waste of paper to print a bibliography due to the unnecessary effects on planet earth.

6) I’m a socialist, and don’t want to give these damn writers any more bloody publicity. They get paid enough.

7) I had one sheet of paper left, and I needed it to write a letter to Obama.

8) I have attached it…it’s written in invisible ink.

9) An evil villain hijacked my printer, and in order to secure public safety I had to take on  some serious negotiations. This eventually led to a return of the piece of paper, but said villain kept the words that were written on it. It was for the good of the human race, though…

10) Turns out my room is actually the TARDIS. The I stepped inside it, I was transported back to three years before recordings were first made, therefore there were no books available on how recordings have changed music. Or about a piece of music written in 2002. Therefore I used all my prior knowledge, and have only just managed to get back to the present day.

11) Jack Black turned up and urgently needed my musical talent and skill to play in Battle Of The Bands and I felt it was necessary for the purposes of Sticking It To The Man which is a cause I have always been a strong advocate of and besides I only just got back and didn’t really have any time anyway.

12) I DID write a bibliography, but on my way to uni I was attacked by a goat. Turns out this goat had a preference for pieces of paper with bibliographies written on them. It was my bibliography or my composition, so naturally I chose to save the composition.

13) Computer says no.

14) I had a vision from God in which he commanded me not to write this bibliography because it is a sin and I would otherwise burn in hell for the rest of eternity.

15) I went with Busted to the Year 3000 and saw that bibliographies were obsolete, therefore it made logical sense to adapt to the way of the future.

16) I got an anonymous letter saying an anonymous donor would give £10million to the university if I didn’t write a bibliography. I wouldn’t want to deny you that possibility. Sadly I can’t show you the letter as it self-destructed 20 seconds after I read it…

17) I’m actually quite close friends with Harry Potter and he needed me to help fight Voldemort. Order of the Phoenix business….

18) I’m secretly a superhero and you were urgently required to go fight some crime and I’m kinda like Birmingham’s Batman, so I couldn’t say no…

19) “Bibliography? You didn’t say please, and I find your lack of manners objectionable.”

20) Your mum has it.

21) I already gave it in *Jedi wave*

22) I’m a ninja. You say the word bibliography again, or question the lack of it and….well, just look out is all I can say….

23) …yeah you heard me. Don’t make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry… *insert rapid transformation of Hulk-like proportions*

24) My boyfriend’s a werewolf. You know how they change if they experience strong emotions? Well, he has VERY strong emotions when it comes to bibliographies and Harvard referencing, so every time I print one, he changes and it’s just putting my life at risk really…

25) …and then my crazy vampire ex is going to come back and try to kill him which will involve serious liaisons with legal teams and law enforcement agencies not to mention adding to the vampire-werewolf rift which a bit on the rocks as it is.

26) I feel it’s an invasion of privacy to ask which books I’ve read and which websites I’ve been on in relation to this essay.

27) I was going to do my bibliography, but then I saw the weather forecast for more HEAVY snow on Wednesday. The thought of more snow, especially after last week’s snow-related events, sent me into a downward emotional spiral and I was therefore unable to do my bibliography .

28) I had to remove all traces of my physical and cyber whereabouts due to government surveillance because I’m secretly the Hulk / Birmingham Batman / I have a vampire ex / werewolf boyfriend / because of the villain etc etc

29) Ohhh no. Didn’t you hear? Bibliographies are actually illegal, anyone found writing them will be sentenced to at least 30 years in jail and a lifetime’s ban from music…

30) “Ah. I thought you might ask about that. I have decided, that should you want to know which books and websites I used, I would present it to you in the form of interpretive dance….”

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A selection of things I’ve considered since quitting my job

If quitting my job has provided me with anything, it’s thinking space.  And if thinking space has provided me with anything, it’s a list of things that I’ve considered since quitting my job – from the ones that are quite likely to happen (Odeon card, ear piercing) to those that are…slightly less likely (Brighton, Birmingham).

So, here you go. 15 things that I have considered since I’ve quit my job. No reasons, no explanations You’re welcome.

  1. Going on a long, long holiday
  2. Getting a tattoo
  3. Signing up for an Odeon Limitless card
  4. Re-starting singing lessons
  5. Getting my ears triple pierced
  6. Going to the gym more
  7. Doing a PhD (no, really)
  8. Vlogging
  9. Re-starting piano lessons
  10. Moving to Brighton
  11. Training for a 10k
  12. Moving back to Birmingham
  13. Taking up improv comedy classes
  14. Re-starting violin lessons
  15. …blogging more. Ah.

Please do send me your encouragement/discouragement for the above. Maybe apart from number 2. My parents would not be amused…

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On taking risks

Almost exactly two months ago, I handed in my notice at work, taking something of a leap of faith.

Taking risks has never been my strength, but my time at my former job was bookended by just that. I was initially rejected for the job, but took the risk of calling and telling them they were wrong not to hire me (a risk that clearly paid off!). When I handed in my notice, it was a risk again – I was leaving with a plan to start up my own company, which will also hopefully pay off soon.  The safe, easy option would have been to stay, despite the fact I wasn’t 100% satisfied, and just trundle along.

Exactly a month since I walked out of the office on my last day, and I’m already feeling much more fulfilled.

I’m seeing friends more. I’ve made new friends, been to the cinema far too much (more in the last month than I have in the last year!).  

I have a new found love for brunch. I’m still undecided about Bloody Marys (…or should that be Maries?)

I’ve rediscovered my love for sitting in a coffee shop and getting my work done, whilst watching the world go by.

The point of this ramble? To remind myself to take more risks. So far, some of the happiest times I’ve had have come from the biggest risks – and my biggest regrets have come from not taking the risk that I knew in my gut I needed to take.

Until next time,

L x

 

On Solo Travel  – A Trip to Berlin

I’ve spent the past couple of years talking about how I should travel more – see the world a little bit (other than my annual trip to Cyprus with my parents). The problem has always been who to travel with – I’ve always been slightly nervous of travelling alone.  Travelling with friends always creates it’s own problems too – diaries and budgets don’t always coordinate, and it can be hard to agree on what you want to get out of a holiday.  I have the added complication of having lots of friends scattered around the country, rather than one core group.

However, earlier this year I was lucky enough to go to Berlin for a couple of days with work – I spent the first couple of days at VideoDays Berlin –  a huge concert featuring some of Germany’s biggest YouTube stars, and I was quite impressed with how much I could understand,  proving to myself that my work bushing up on my A Level German had paid off! (even if I didn’t manage to speak as much as I had hoped.  Still, baby steps!)

After my two days at VideoDays, I switched hotels to somewhere slightly more central and cheaper (the Aletto Ku’Damm Hotel & Hostel – would definitely recommend!) and gave myself two and a half days to do a bit of exploring. And so, armed with my Lonely Planet guide book, I did a bit of exploring.

With relatively little time, I wanted to cover as much ground as quickly as I could – and there is far too much to fit into one blog post without boring anyone reading to tears! But it has to be said, I did enjoy the freedom of being on my own whilst exploring and walking round museums. I could whizz through things I wasn’t so interested in and linger a bit more elsewhere.

My favourite outing was to the DDR Museum.  It was tiny and very busy which made it a little tricky to see everything, but it was jam packed with informtion about life in East Germany after World War 2. I am fascinated by that “real life” side of history, so it was amazing to see how people actually lived and what life was really like for people living there, and the interactive nature of the museum definitely kept my inner child happy!

My other top recommendation, abeit for very  different reasons, is the Holocaust Memorial.  On paper the concrete design sounds unappealing, but in reality it provides a very moving experience indeed. The bleak concrete blocks that get increasingly higher as you walk through are eerily claustrophobic, and the  underground Holouocaust museum is a harrowing experience, but one I felt I couldn’t miss.  I definitely shed quite a few tears walking around.

For a first time solo traveller, I found Berlin to be perfect.  Public transport was easy to understand, everything was very reasonably priced and there was plenty to do without getting bored.  The free wifi in my hotel helpled too – Netflix kept me amused in the evenings once I was back in my room after a long day of exploring!

I’ve posted a couple of pictures of my trip below, and there are a few more over on my instagram.  I would love to hear your tips for the best solo travel cities – so please leave your recommendations.

 

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Creativity is hard

Creativity is hard.

There are so many things to get caught up on, to trip yourself up with and to use as an excuse to just hide behind Netflix and ignore the bit of your brain that’s trying desperately to kick into gear. I know this because it’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past 2 and a half years.

I left university (well, music college) with an undergraduate degree in 2012 after 4 years studying composition – that is writing and creating music. Rewind to 2007 and I was a fresh-faced, enthusiastic 18 year old starting off on what I thought was going to be a journey towards writing film music and eventually seeing my name on The Big Screen. But skip forwards again to 2012, and I’d become somewhat dissolutioned with the idea.

I’ve spent the last two years essentially fighting with my own thoughts, with what seems like one half of my head saying “go on, do something creative, you know you want to….” whilst the other half sits there asking “Why? Who’s going to care?”. And so, before this turns into some great sob story, to the present. I’ve decided to say a big, resounding  “f*** it!!” to the reasons why not to start being creative again, because what better answer is there to “why” than “why not?!”

I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the most amazingly creative and motivated people I’ve ever met in the last year or so, and as far as I can tell they all upload, blog and post because…well, why not?

Creativity is hard. But if it was easy it wouldn’t be anything special, would it?