Show me how to live

Right now, it all feels too much. A lack of sleep does not help, but I have issues with my ongoing investment saga, issue where either I or the accountant/investment managers forgot to do something really important, issues with online banking, a vauge bug description and no user reply. I am tired of thinking I will never get comfortable or confident enough in German to do what I do – any of what I do. Of feeling that I am not doing well enough for anyone. Ever.

I am tired of dealing with money, tired of having to know when to trust, and I am tired of working. “everybody has to work” but I am tired of it all. Of doing what other people want, of not having any idea what I would do if no-one was telling me what to do – not that makes any money, anyway. Of feeling inadequate because I cannot see how to turn the things I do want to do into money – I don’t want to do the writing about it, or dreaming up some course based on what I am doing, or some coaching, or teaching or any of that- and most definitely not the marketing, the chasing business. I want to do something I can *definitely* do. I want to be one of those people who does something(s) so well, they don’t have to look for work, it comes to them .- and they can do as little or as much of it as they like.

I am tired of sounding like a whiner.

But there is some fundamental problem with me, has always been there. I can bury it, and play along with the world, sometimes for long periods. But I have never solved this issue. I escaped, but could not stay escaped. And after that, the moment I had enough funds to maybe break it again – I got too greedy-lazy and wanted to pay someone else to do the work of making it earn for me – which is not working out as expected/hoped.

How do I live? Live, not chase money, not chase approval, not worry about what I can do, but live, just live…

Or do none of us get to do that? Are we unlike every other living thing on this planet? If so, why?

P.S. by the end of the day, problems were at least further forward, and I felt a bit more hope and light. Let’s see how it all turns out.

Tears

This morning was the 2nd time in a row that I ended up crying in the gym. Not from a hard workout – just like last week, when the same thing happened, it was on my bodyweight-only day. I’m not sure what sets it off.

Memories of Dutch fishing boats in the sun, a misty dawn at Brunsbüttel, waiting for the canal to open. Surely that’s my real life? What’s this I find myself in here and now?

Or is it my one-legged Russian deadlifts really hammering home how damaged my body is, how slow and uncertain my efforts towards recovery are? My right hip, hamstring and calf are slack and weak (except the external rotator), and have always been prone to hideous cramp unless I’m careful. My left side is strong (except the external rotator) but stiff. If it’s getting better, it’s extremely slowly.

How did I let myself get into this state? Maybe that’s the common factor. Grief over all that I want to have again. Mind, body – a life lived free.

Whatever sets it off, there I am, lying on my mat in the corner, tears running secretly into my hair, or onto my towel, as I lie face down to do extension work. Fortunately, I am out of direct sight of anyone else, because what on earth do you DO when someone is crying in a public space – I would not want to inflict that dilemma on anyone. Or maybe I fear trying to explain, even to sympathetic ears, what I don’t myself understand.

Yesterday, I got up at 6, went to the gym (squat day), ate breakfast on the tram (flat peaches, plums, mixed nuts), read a technical book in German on the train (HTML/CSS/JS), walked past the big lake to work, where I got a self contained piece of work done and out to the test server, with a little help from my colleague’s deep knowledge of our data, ticking the “interact with colleagues and demonstrate that I value their skills and knowledge” box that is my refinement of the management’s wishes – as well as updating my documentation (tick another box). Ate well (leftover white bean Thai curry, and then later, kidney bean salad). Came home (reading fiction/bit of email/facebook), cooked and ate dinner (melon, then mixed veg stir fry with sprouted lentils), did a pile of dishes, put on a washing, did my Business German homework ready for class tomorrow night, checked in and downloaded my boarding passes for my trip to the UK on Thursday (Round The Island boat race), set up another washing, talked with my boyfriend when he got back about 9:45, fell asleep to an old episode of Game of Thrones – and woke up to hang up the 2nd washing (with help) then go to bed…

I can’t fault the day, I can’t fault my efforts. I would not say I’m unhappy, in general. So why the tears?

At least it’s feeling something, I suppose there’s that.

Back in Black

Or at least, purple. Slightly alternative, possibly cooler? Who knows. But the alien is once again among us, with photo collages and random thoughts about Life, The Universe and Everything. 
The photos above are a Day in the Life, gym, iconic building, train to work – where I’m sure my new colleague with the too many legs was just blatantly slacking, sunning himself all day. Lucky sod. Yeah, I used the 4-letter word. WORK. It’s not ideal to be a minion once more, and the story of that is sad but true – maybe I’ll get round to telling it someday (ideally when I’ve escaped). But, at the end of it, no matter what life throws at us, there are always comfy trousers (up to size 62)! Personally, I was joyful beyond reason that the skinny denim cutoffs still fitted. No need to go shopping! 🙂

Brief boat trip, on the ferry to the magical kingdom of Wendenschloss, huge salad dinner on my wee boat (a different one, stay tuned…) Then there was this …

Tomorrow, lab rat time, with a raw foods 30 day trial, and some blatantly hippy “finding myself” type exercise. Keep on rocking \m/. Love you all x

When I Look Inside Myself, I Find it’s Me and No-One Else

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No music playing, trying to let the music in me come out. No comfortable, stable place to be – only a choice of spaces either being taken apart, or yet to be. Roughing it, roughing it out, designing a new life, a new me. The old never quite totally gone. Grief never fully fades – and sometimes love, even in its fullest power, can’t always bridge distance. Still, life lived finally in the light, right from the start, no shadows – that’s joy like nothing else. Been a long long time, my friend, since that’s how I rock n rolled.

Now, I need to let it shine out of me, to have learned, to have changed. Locking in a closed space only leads to ill, let it out, let it spill. Must remain engaged. There’s a whole world, and to be whole I have to let it in. Breathe with it, balance and flow, know.

Shared.

Aware.

Alive.

Go …

Share and enjoy

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I’ve been slack on the entries, partly from the fact that I’ve taken to leaving my phone behind whenever possible, I  enjoy the freedom – but it means I take less pictures, and it’s the pictures that prompt the memories when I come to write.

Bike is back with me, in the nick of time Cinderella shall go to the airport! For a 6:20am flight, there’s no train. Grumble, grumble, bloody British public transport. For the Xmas/NY trip, I’ve booked a nearby guest house where I can leave the car til I get back – bike in Dec/Jan could be a bit hardcore. Did it, oh yes, in the deep dark cold of early 2013, every day to work, as my car lay in nearly as many pieces as my life – the one being slowly put back together, the other falling further apart…

I’ve cut my coffee consumption, cleaned diet, tried to get some exercise done. Skin’s not good, and coming into winter, with no holiday left, and no prospects of sun, that’s not good. I am unreasonably annoyed/sad about this, since I have actually been eating pretty well, sleeping fine, all the things not perfect, but I have strayed far further, for far longer and not had this happen.

I’m a little tired of being different right now. My self discipline, restraint, knowledge, planning – they get me a slightly nicer life. They’ve let me survive relationship breakups without practical [i.e. financial] issues that so many suffer in those circumstances. They’ve worked with my decent genetics to preserve my health, and keep a more youthful appearance. It’s nothing game changing though.

Ah, wait, though, giving up drinking might very well have been just that…

But still. It’d be nice to just buy sandwiches for lunch, instead of always making a salad. Drink a coffee. To go to the airport and have it be for a proper holiday, relaxed rather than optimally squeezed between work weeks. To fritter a little cash rather than think every time – “that has better uses”. To vegetate and be lazy when I felt like rather than know I have to exercise or my body will quickly find some way to rebel. To be happy with a normal life, grateful to have a job, to be a fully paid up member of the system. Instead of always fighting, somehow, to be free…

Creation is Rebellion

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[top centre photograph by John McMullan]

After establishing that we weren’t somehow playing the very African wedding next door, and avoiding getting a parking ticket (Brian the bassist was not so lucky) The Merton Manor social club gig went very well. Pro lighting guys and pro film crew, techs running Brian’s Prosonus desk which gave us full audio. My guitar was miked, so for once I could hear myself. Better not get used to it… There will be a video and audio for promo purposes, soon, I hope! Brian is doing the mixing. I’ll listen and wade in if and only if I think I need to.

My friend John came to the gig, and as well as taking the great picture above, he also made the kind of comment it makes a performer happy to hear. I mean there is hope, that some people get it. I can’t quote it verbatim, but it was along the lines of:

“You can tell you didn’t just get up there and do it. That you all have spent lots of time and effort over many years on practice, money on the gear, and effort on getting the connections to get the tech guys here. On eating right and exercising and dressing to look the part.”

Well, that last bit must just be directed at me and Craig the drummer 🙂 But joking aside, it’s good that it shows. One of the “natives”, an ex-biker-gang hanger out, a bit older than myself compared me to both Suzi Quattro and Cher. I’m not turning my nose up at that, not at all…

Now it’s the end of another work day, and I wish I felt like I deserve to sit down and relax. But that would be The System getting me where it wants me. To stop when I have done my bit for the corporate machine, and passively consume some media. Fighting it is an act of rebellion.

Every act of creation is rebellion.

Fighting or Forcing

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A few of the week’s highlights. More stuff chucked, Friday night sort-of out had (I must be the World’s Weirdest relationship Counsellor, it seems to be the weekend of people having or trying to avoid  Drama with Exes). Car seems to have voted that i spend money and keep it. So, spurred by a puncture, I got 4 new tyres. Round ones! Don’t laugh, several of the existing ones were NOT. Really. Service + cambelt + waterpump booked, I’ll even get the bonnet unbent at the place round the corner from Miklos. Just as well really, after an outburst of unseasonal summer with hot sun, it’s turned cold, then wet. Plus now it’ll get me to Germany when the time comes…

Been thoughtful post-boat. Really reconvinced that work is a waste of time. However, I don’t want to start a business. Glum about setting up to compete globally for freelance development (I am convinced software is going the way of music, photographs and writing. Another thing no-one wants to pay for, making corporate-wage-slavery or commissioned work being the only paying route). Nor do I want to be constantly scrabbling to come up with investment strategies, or worry about how to optimise my opportunities to earn money, to plan … oh I dunno… a renovate-and-rent empire using my existing property as collateral for the financing. It’s all such bollocks (though any actual design/create/build part is FINE) . I want a life, and I want to enjoy it – trouble is I was never trained for that – none of us were.

As Frank Zappa said: “Schools train you to be ignorant with style. They prepare you to be a usable victim of the military-industrial complex that need manpower. As long as you are just smart enough to do a job, but dumb enough to swallow what they feed you, you are going to be alright.”

I’ve spent most of my life either fighting myself or forcing myself. I’m good (but not perfect) at both, but I am tired.

I am still trying to work out how to freelance in Germany and not go broke paying for health insurance (which you have to have, and has so many conditions that hardly any companies do it). And I don’t even get sick!

My basic issue is that I irrationally really just don’t want to pay for it at all. I have never bought private cover in my life. (the odd company I’ve worked for permie has provided it). In the UK, if my co. has an income-free or low income period, I stop payroll and live off my personal savings. So the co. doesn’t go broke. That’s not an option with the German situation. One is either employed (company pays at least half) or one is unemployed (the govt then pays it all…). I’m frequently neither… certainly in my ‘ideal’ lifestyle.

Basically, it feel like I will be forced to work more than I want to just so that I can pay the damned health cover. No doubt I have it all wrong or I have been an immoral NI-dodging scumbag (but one who has, in fairness, also *not* been a dole scrounger…). There are DE ‘Government’ schemes (Krankenkasse) but they are not cheap… and their health system is STILL no better than the UK’s in terms of being funded out of current payments and so likely to go bust / have severe service limits due to an aging population… Ach, no doubt I am just whinging. I have fired an enquiry at a pro expat tax/insurance expert, so we’ll see what he says…

I’m not born or bred to this middle-class manouvering. Don’t like it.