Rat a tat tat.

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I am getting a bit slackola with the blogging. I have been meaning to, but actually want to think about what I have to say. This is more of a forum for my own catharsis, my therapy, my way of talking myself through things a bit more logically than I do in my mind.

I feel ratty. Restless. A vague sense of unease.

I have felt like it for a long time, on and off.

I used to just try and deep dip the feeling in chocolate. Didn’t work.

And you don’t just give an irritable, moody child a cake to shut her up. No.

You say “hey, what is it?”

I’ve gotten a lot better at this in the past year.

I’ve been through a lot in the past year, and have had to find a new place for myself in the world, to look at the things in myself that I am uncomfortable with, and decide what sort of person I want to be, and what sort of life I want to live.

I have given up a lot of “security” for a go at happiness. Bound to cause anxiety. No brainer.

That financial and material security of being in a dual income partnership was very important to me. I grew up in a household where there was no money and constant anxiety about how the family would manage. Hence, I worry a bit about money. Financially, I would be a lot better off if I had stayed with my husband and worked full time as a consultant, rather than leaving him and doing a PhD.

Money’s not everything. I have a secure job which pays well and allows me to earn while I do a PhD. I will spend many years earning good money. I have enough to put a roof over my head, feed and clothe myself, and have as many good times as my leave/the weekends will allow.

I have worked full time since I graduated. That was quite a security blanket. There were always things to do, and I could go home at the end of the day, satisfied in the fact that I had “worked hard”. My controlled chaos, foul means or fair method of working got me through efficiently and effectively. I am a good doctor, I know it and my colleagues know it. It is safe, for me.

The lustre has worn off the PhD a bit. A lot, sometimes. I have to run my own show, work off my own motivation, be exacting and methodical. Make lists. Do one thing at a time. It is not the way I am used to working. It is all very amenable to the little demon of “you are not good enough” making big appearance. That perfectionism makes me scared of doing things, and gives rise to procrastination.

Sometimes, the only thing that keeps me going in it is the faith of my supervisor.

He believes in me. He thinks my project is worthy. Shouldn’t I?

And I am learning new ways of working. New time management skills. Lots of other skills.

No, I don’t know where it will lead. Probably (hopefully) somewhere exciting.

I left a “secure” relationship…..I do question that sometimes, but always quickly return to the conclusion that it was the right thing to do.

I get so lonely. Crushingly so. But I did in my relationship, too – I would often come home to an empty house, and I really don’t like it. Not then, not now.

The difference is that now I face it, and try and deal with it as best I can.

I am learning that I have good friends I can turn to. I have a better idea of who they are now, who I could call at 3am if I was climbing up the walls. It’s good to know.

It is not some guy off RSVP, that is for sure.

The dating….many tell me that I shouldn’t be.

The thing is, though, that I never dated. Never had that adolescence where I dated boys. I studied. Hence, I need to go through that now, to figure it all out. It’s important.

Plus, I actually genuinely like meeting new people. I have learned a lot about people, and about myself in the process. It is nice validation to know that I have no problem getting dates. Nice given I have spent most of my life feeling that there was no way I could attract a member of the opposite sex.

I have found, to my pleasant surprise, that most of the people I come across are good people. Sure, they do some shitty things, but they are good. And it’s nice to know that I still think people are good. I don’t want to become jaded.

People say “oh, but you must be happy with and by yourself”….(usually folks who have never been single in their life, or have been single all their life). But I don’t want to think that happiness in oneself and wanting a good relationship are mutually exclusive. I have had plenty of opportunity to be in relationships, but have not just gotten into one for the sake of it. That is edifying.

My life is  exciting. A relationship would have to be pretty good to compromise my lifestyle, I’ve decided.

A few salutary lessons in dating. The first is of patience. To learn to STFU when in doubt. To have the strength to walk away if I feel my sleeve-heart is being slapped around. To always act kindly and with dignity, even if the situation makes me want to tear them a new arsehole and call them vile names, and make them hurt as much as I do.

The biggest thing, though, is that no man is the be-all and end-all. Or, if one is, I haven’t met him yet. This is important to remember. Particularly given that things are very much easy-come, easy-go. Somebody can have a swift and profound effect one week, and be gone the next and it is dizzying and frightening.

So I must always, always, hang on to those things that are real – my own attributes, my loved ones, my life, the things I enjoy.

I, by nature, am somebody who worries about the future. I think most of us do, more so when things are less certain. I would like to fully buy into that philosophy that things turn out the way they are meant to, but I have seen the fuck-up fairy fly over people too many times to give the philosophy much credence.

Focusing on the now, and the near future is incredibly helpful. I am out of my comfort zone, so it is mandatory that I find regular comfort and joy. (Ohhhh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy!)

I am good at planning things to keep myself busy. I am good at planning trips. I am good at keeping my diary full. I have gotten better at scheduling quiet time. Perhaps what I need to do is keep a weekly list of “things to look forward to”. Things to get me through the day.

And knowing that whatever discomfort, sadness, unease I am feeling, that it will pass.

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