When a girl goes to the pub

I am waiting for my friend. After a long tiring week finally I am here at Liverpool Street and all I need to do is wait a few minutes more for a drink. I am exhausted, my eyes are red, and I am dying for a bubble bath. Travelling at the beginning of the week, meeting a friend on Wednesday and watching La Boheme (what my friend said when it ended: just like life, right?) on Thursday means I had no “me” time 😉 but it is good! Finally life is good. Work is freaking busy and I can be useful, bonus. Awesome!

And now here I am patiently waiting… Ready for a fun weekend. I will be able to catch up with my friend all weekend and have the luxury of seeing someone in my tiny flat. Here in the pub I am looking around and I feel like I am in a bubble. Pushing myself through the crowd I find a seat pretty easily. The noise is fascinating- this pub noise is so overwhelming and so strange, Liverpool Street after working hours. Bankers mixed with builders, boys and girls, different cultures etc. all in one place. Everybody is there for the same reason, drinking and socializing, laughing and listening to each other. I am suddenly invisible. I am alone and it means that I do stand out. That’s why girls don’t go to the pub to make friendships.

You need someone to go with you to justify your visibility and existence.

Please tell me I am not the only one who observes people whilst I wait. Guessing the relationships within groups is fascinating, a brief profiling. Then I look deeper and watch the body language and reactions of those talking. A girl is staring at her huge engagement ring waiting for her friend to come back from the bar. Old men group on the left, young on the right where one is talking and the rest looks bored, security at the doors watching for trouble makers, more groups on the balcony wearing suits. One girl is applying lip-gloss and her friends look like they are from a catalogue. The naked Angels (24 at least – counted them) on the ceiling must have got used to this craziness and colourful experiments. They have heard all the stories and secrets, they have seen more than the human brain could probably take! I remember the first time I came here. This decoration was nothing what I expected. It is a strange but beautiful pub. There’s a nice food smell in the air and reasonable price for a drink after work. What else do you need?

My friend is here now and subsequently changed my status with her arrival… Someone who justifies my existence in this pub.

Next: Being single is not a disease

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

 

The unsent messages

People come and go in our lives and we accept that. Or at least we try to. This is life and this is how it supposed to be. However it doesn’t mean that we don’t miss some of these people. When their absence leaves this emptiness behind it can take time to fill that space again. It is particularly hard when something happens that you would just love to share with that one person.

When I was at school we had something called the “Memory book”.  We used to give our own memory book to our friends when we were leaving school for them to write short messages/ quotes/ pictures in. One particularly memorable message went along these lines: “When someone leaves you, you have to let them go. They left you because they were able to leave you. You should forget them and move on.”

I try to remember this quote when someone walks out of my life. I accept them leaving and I don’t contact them again. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think of them anymore but when I do want to talk to that person I simply write it down instead. Having an outlet for my emotions helps me to move on.  It works, for me, every time.

This is one of them. Happened over a year ago when I had to write down what happened instead of contacting that old friend and this letter was my final one (to this friend).

“Today I met with a really nice guy. However as it turns out he has a kid! And all I could think about was something you once said; that you respect those who can do it (i.e. have children) but you couldn’t do the same! It made me think of you. Of us. And what has happened since we parted ways. I remember that I said I wouldn’t be single for years. I was wrong. But in spite of this, this year has been the best and the worst of my life. There is no regret. My journey has been very good and I have changed a lot and I am very grateful. I appreciate now, more than ever, how lucky I am. I have many friends and people I love and who love me! I also met with a lady recently who told me how English people don’t use too many words and I said I knew only one. I told her how he used to be my friend and how I learnt something new from him every time we talked.  Funny how every now and then I still feel the need to write to you! You don’t receive these thoughts at all course, there is no point, and things changed a long time ago. But in these cases I pretend that I have that friend (imaginary)  I used to have. And I tell him all about my day. I have many people around me now but they aren’t quite him…”

Next: Fear

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

unsent

New Year – New me?

Happy New Year All! Wish you all the happiness and let’s make this year a big one! Even bigger than the previous!
Instead of new year’s resolutions (it only makes you disappointed when you don’t keep them) let’s write an awesome plan and work out how to execute it! Set up milestones and write a priority list. What to put on the list? Everything which makes YOU happy! Everything which makes you smile and boosts your confidence! The rest will follow 😉 Normally I have 3 sections: brain, body and travelling. Plus “Others” just in case I have extras (ok, I admit – always). This is the best time to focus on the future and appreciate what we have and what we achieved. Don’t look back, there is no regret. What you do right NOW that makes a difference.

So is it really a ‘new year – new me’ approach? I would like to believe that it is still me, maybe an improved version with plans and dreams. And I like to dream BIG!

It is the easiest to start with your body and health, doing more activity and concentrate on sensible eating. Last year when I was thinking more and more about my health I went to see a Practitioner in Naturopathy, Acupuncture /TCM. It was the best experience ever! It gave me a great kick and motivation, she became my accountability buddy.

I have the most common problems such as hay fever, digestion and sleeping issues of course only in the last X months (I wonder why!). She was lovely and helpful and taught me many new things. I spent the weekend after my visit getting ready for improved lifestyle. Main goal: cutting sugar…. This is the hardest challenge. Stopping coffee was painful, I don’t wish for that zombie land period again that’s for sure. I used to wonder “Will I hit someone when I am craving sugar so badly?? 😉 ”  And turns out I have been doing many things right, being so open to the healthy lifestyle. But no more “specials” after lunch, no sugar rush hmm…(the only solution I have found so far is a ‘Nakd’ bar after lunch)

The needle part was nice and easy and even if it doesn’t work and I am sure it will, it is still a good type of placebo cos I know I will be okay. I want to concentrate on this. Oh yes! Once again the power of mind! And let’s face it, if something has been around for 1000s of years, there is a good chance it works.

#get inspired and write a fabulous plan for 2016!

PS: after a year I can tell that acupuncture did help a lot and however I couldn’t stop eating sugar completely I did reduce it which is great.

Next: The unsent messages

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Smile

 

 

It’s been a year

Time is such a strange thing… It meant to be consistent but it never is. It never feels the same. At school when I had my exams time was never enough. When I am in a rush and waiting for a bus or train it feels like an eternity and every second passes very slowly. When happy, time flies. But what about when you are not happy?

This particular winter was the longest in my life. I had to travel 4-5 hours almost every week and stayed in hotels. The longest 6 months ever. No contact, no social life, no money. I had nothing but the routine of work. What makes me to think about this? Today I am celebrating my one-year of freedom!

One year ago my life changed completely….now I stand here and I am quickly measuring everything. The past and my present and my potential future. I am standing in my flat, exploring a new job and my social life is slowly picking up. My heart is slowly healing and I have so many plans that I am actually looking forward too. My eyes are turning wet, letting out the final drops (I know now that they were the last ones over him) and I cherish my memories and letting them go (or putting them in the right box). I am thankful for the 5 years and thankful for the journey after. It’s the first time that I wouldn’t change it all, the first time when I feel it’s going to be ok and it will work out. I like my new life and I can see all the opportunities. Having a bit more money means I can do some courses and thinking about all the dreams I would like to achieve. Sleeping is still a bit challenging and my confidence is damaged. I have a lot to sort out and learn. The journey is still on but today it is the end of an era, no regret, no sadness, only acceptance and feeling that I am on the good path…. It’s time to grow

PS: as you know this blog is a good year behind and I can tell you for sure that from this point everything changed. I have been looking only forward ever since! Being single for a year in London is a very easy thing, don’t think even for a second that anything is wrong with you. You are perfect, once you are ready and you open your eyes you will start to see again. See things you meant to see. Your brain can focus on things you desire. You just have to decide what you desire… And this can be more difficult than achieving those dreams and goals. My single life hasn’t stopped here therefore I can promise you that there are so much more to come, many lessons, ups and downs, challenges, happy moments and sad moments… 😉

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Next: Sugar free – or something like that

it's time to grow

What is POF?

One year after the break-up and I finally decided to put myself on the market again. Hottest place to be on the market was (apparently) Plenty of Fish. All happiness apparently happens there. Can I be the same? Can I find the one right here and now? Let’s see…

I “loved” my friend’s stories about all of these dates. How one guy went off mid-date to try a pair of trousers on and she never saw him again. How she went to dinner with a guy she really liked and noticed the “white” line on his finger where he didn’t get a tan…. My other friend went to dinner and the guy’s payment card just didn’t work. Went to the machine and he had 5 cards in his wallet but his card just didn’t work….after he explained how he spent 500 pounds in Westfield…Women could write an endless book about these a**h@l#s. It should’t put you off of course!

Anyway, at least it’s good fun right? Took me two hours at least to fill in all the forms and viola I was on the market. (With this move I have just given away my data for free and made them an even bigger data collection site). 1000s of profiles to flip through. Which is not so great when you are that type who always likes to finish things (a book or a film, etc.) I can’t stand to leave something half done/half arsed! The first night I could hardly stop searching. Can be very addictive. Always hoped that a good looking man would come up or someone who has got a good profile. (Wishful thinking, I know)

It is a great confidence booster if you see past the creepy messages and read the compliments… Albeit I am not sure how well intentioned some of these men were with their compliments.

But it didn’t feel right, me liking guys, maybe I am very old fashioned but I like when a guy makes the first move.Very soon I noticed that more idiots and losers were on the site than good ones and it was very time consuming to filter them. (So tiring!!!!)

I have too many young colleagues and boys around me to know and hear the other side. How they think about this and it always puts me off. Three nights in a row I started to see the same people, always on line. That’s when it hit me. You’re all here all the time. You don’t have a life. Going further into my thoughts I realized, I didn’t have a life. Why am I playing with my phone and scanning through 100’s of absolutely non-potential guys instead of going out and exploring? After 3-5 days I met with one guy. My first time. Guess what. He wasn’t using his own picture. What a big surprise. He really wanted to go back to mine and tried to tell me how good it would be. Never mind that he was not very handsome and very annoying too. I quickly escaped and as I was walking home I did the most reasonable thing: deleted my profile. It wasn’t the right time. It felt like a massive relief. Could breathe again. Wasn’t locked up in this fake virtual world with a crazy addiction. There must be another way… Or maybe not…Time will tell…

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Next: London is full of broken hearts

Due to the fact that today is Santa day, see below combined Santa with POF 😉
– Happy Santa Day All!!!

POF and Santa

Ready for the next chapter

After being “brave” (and “stupid” according to some) I had managed to get an interview. How and why? It is an interesting story. Just because it was meant to be I guess. I was travelling a lot and trained the new person to take over my role so I had no time to look for a job at all. I was exhausted. Beyond walking dead. I just assumed I would find something after. Like I said, I don’t recommend leaving a job, having nothing lined up, if you don’t have savings though (see previous post).

Do you remember the girl from Pret? My first new friend in London? When I told her that I quit my job she gave me her recruiter friend’s phone number. I called him. In 5 min, he gave me some good advice and he also checked my CV and told me to do some changes. He sent my CV to one of his friend who is a top finance recruiter in London. I had nothing else, only this lead. I went to see him one week before my last day and he was great.  He sent my CV to one place and I managed to get an interview on my very last day! And after 20 minutes I got the job and for much more money than I was on before! Now I had the most important part to start my new life in London: a job in London. I started the following week! No time for a break and adjustment. I was very lucky I know. If this is not luck, what is it? (the Universe 😉 ) It doesn’t happen that often in London I am sure but it seems it had to happen this way. I couldn’t stop thinking about this: it all happened because I met that girl in Pret….

Additionally to this I actually helped a friend at the same time as well. She had an interview in London on the same day. She landed the day a before, I picked her up and she stayed at mine. Guess what, she also got the job. She was also told on the same day I was! We could both start our new chapter! Being single in London 🙂 with a new job!

I was very happy at the time. Why I had to get a job there and then, and what lessons I had to learn I only figured out later. I can confirm one old statement though: everything happens for a reason…

Next: What is POF?

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

Nothing expresses my feelings better than this song from a very talented, special singer Szilvia! She is really closed to my heart 🙂 It’s called Never Again and it was my anthem for a very long time… You will understand why!
“…cos this life is made for living no regrets no doubts..”

It’s time to say goodbye

When you work in an office and every day is the same you really wish you had the opportunity to travel for a living and stay in nice hotels. But when you do that constantly you get sick of it really soon, as I found out. No one is ever happy, human nature! Just like girls with straight hair wanting curls and vice versa.
I can’t complain I had some sort of job, was independent but I didn’t have a life. I had to travel from London to Leeds at least every second week, sometimes every week (see previous posts). I was spending my week days in hotels. Loneliness reached a very different level, as I had so much time on the roads with my job (and many other things) to
reflect. M1 and A1 became my best friends, know them so well.
In the end I would work later than I had to and fill all silence with noise because it was better than being in the hotel room alone. I knew it was only temporary, I had my plans however filling up that massive emptiness in a different city was a challenge. At the first I used to go to the bar area to get some company, hoping I could meet interesting people. Yep, me being naive again I know. It was full of ageing men with a good salary who can’t wait for vulnerable pray like me. Argh. Come on old men, just be faithful please! My little trips to the bar stopped pretty quickly!

Dancing was the highlight. When Amy had a free night and we went for dinner was always the best. I am ever so grateful! I also went for a swim whenever I could and talked to random people in the sauna. I really think I tried everything to keep myself busy. It did help no doubt but happiness was far-far away…
Finally my last day at this job arrived. As usual, being on my own in the pool (around 9pm it is expected), I enjoyed my last swimming there. Water has a special effect, it really switches my mind off. To breathe and feel weightless. Magic! I had so many thoughts in my head, selection of emotions, it had to come out somehow. Therefore when I went back to the room I wrote one of my final “diary rhymes”. (Since then I have created a busier, happier life so have no time for rhymes anymore.) I knew everything would change after this particular day on the roads. I had only one interview on my last day at my job. I had absolutely nothing else lined up….

Three hundred and thirty, and it’s really not dirty
I am alone in the room, I cannot be wordy
It’s been for a year, it’s always only me
My final night is here and I am getting released

God put me here, to be on my own
Not to hear a sound, so I find the inner glow
I learnt to shut up and listen to myself
Not to get distracted, be happy in my head

To hear my own soul, (cos) it was lost in a hole
Found its way back, finally it grows
I was really alone, this room was my home
Living in a hotel, it wasn’t my goal

The tea in the draw, the pics on the wall
I swear I won’t miss it, I am ready to go
The number has changed but the rest stayed the same
I needed to get out and start a new game

Ten thousand miles, what I drove with my car
I sang the same songs like a million times
It was in York but not in the New
Shire is the end and the people are cool

I am ever so grateful, I can’t say a word
Everything I learnt here I really deserved
Things will be fine, I am standing at the door
Of course I am scared but this was my choice

Next: Ready for the next chapter

(Author: An, edited by my lovely friend Sarah)

 

only some of them

only some of them