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Pull up a chair!..

We are Coffee and Peach, two twenty-somethings who have ‘recently’ graduated. Coffee now lives in Northern Ireland and has moved away to pursue a career in his chosen field of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. I, myself, moved back home to my small town in the East of England with no idea or intention of finding a job in the field I had studied for.

There are plenty of  blogs and books out there to bombard you with tips on flying the nest when it comes to going to uni. What we’ve  come to realise is that although there is an abundance of tips ranging from how to cook a full Sunday roast with a George Foreman grill to how to scrimp and save on electricity bills ( i.e living by candlelight) – there is very little to ease you into the agonizing pit of self-depreciation which is ‘real’ adult life.

Having graduated just over a year ago now, my friend and I have both taken different paths on the journey to adulthood and have experienced similar situations and contemplations. It seems as though there is a universal confusion as to how one should act once they have graduated and of course this depends on your luck  (or networking skills) when finding a job.

Throughout this blog we will take you through the highs and lows of the average self-doubting twenty-something and englighten you with the childish ways in which we have chosen to deal with them.

Welcome to the minds of Coffee and Peach  – enjoy your stay.

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On being left behind
The last year has been turbulent to say the least. So much so, that I’ve forgotten who I am. I’ve distanced myself from friends and family and have become a ghost my former energetic and exuberant self. 
I personally see no way out of this. 
Everyone around me seems to be moving at 100mph and I’m stuck in the slow lane. When I attempt to pull out and join the race I’m forced back into place by fear of rejection and social anxiety. 
Friends are getting married, having kids, moving in with partners. Me? It’s an achievement if I make it out of bed on a non-work day. Hell, it’s becoming an achievement if I make it out on a work day. 
I distance myself so people don’t see this side of things. Why would I want to slow other people down with my broken down struggle bus? I’ve been left behind and it’s too late to catch up with everyone else. 
-peach. 

End of Year Routine

End of Year Routine

As the end of the year approaches it’s hard to shake off the feeling of disappointment for anything and everything I set but filed to accomplish. Disappointed that not much has changed since the same time last year, although I bragged in anticipation expecting a great year. Disappointed that the first three thoughts on my mind when I look back at the year are of sadness. Disappointment mixed with excitement (or not) as we countdown the hours till next year and plenty of hope. Hope that this year I will finally clear all my debts, become a millionaire (although I have stopped playing the lottery) or just generally have more money (somehow; open to suggestions – no drug dealing thou!). Hope that I have learnt from the mistakes I made this year and that I can start fresh on a new empty page, only this time no errors or overwriting.

I couldn’t wait for 2015 to be over since January because I had so much planned for 2016. I called it the ‘transition year’ between 2014 and what was going to be a ‘BOOM YEAR’. I wanted 2015 to be over so much that it went by at a pace I couldn’t keep up with and now I am not even ready for 2016. The anticipated ‘Boom’, well, I’ll be lucky if there’s a spark at all.

It’s funny how 12 months of my life can be resumed in 3 moments: My decision to move back to England, moving back to England and starting my new job. Guess it’s fair to say leaving Northern Ireland was my biggest accomplishment this year. But I take comfort in that, because for the first time in 25 years of my life, I can celebrate ‘the biggest accomplishment of the year’ 2 years in a row. And yes moving to Northern Ireland was the big thing in 2014!

Of course being alive is also an accomplishment. Perhaps one that shouldn’t be taken for granted but one that I am going to.

Growing up is a bitch! I have figured that much! People look up to you, question your judgement, judge your decisions and compliment you for what you consider common sense. And every year brings more of the same. It’s a new page but it’s an old book. It might be exciting to write in a new page but it only takes one little mistake and you forced to scribble and just like that it triggers a chain reaction and that hope is lost and next thing you know….. I can’t wait for 2017.

Mixed Feelings

Mixed Feelings

It is one thing to be black. It is one thing to be white. But to be mixed-raced is not a concept. At least, this is what I have learned over my 24 years of existence.

Ever since I was young, I have constantly been reminded that I am either too much of one or the other, but only when it suits the people around me. My opinion is irrelevant. My earliest school memories are some of the harshest I keep locked away. The black kids had always told me I wasn’t black enough, “why do you listen to that white people music? Why do you dress like that? You’re such a bounty”. At the time, it stung a little but you brush it off – hey, you’re only young and kids don’t know what they’re talking about, right? There is only so much of this you can take. So you become friends with the white kids but they always want to touch your hair because “it looks like a sponge” and “oh it’s so soft and puffy!*squeals with delight*”.

So you go to a hairdresser but they’re not comfortable with styling ‘afro’ hair. You explain that it’s actually a mixture of Afro and Caucasian so a little wavy but curly in places but that’s still too much of a mission for them. Onwards to the Afro-Caribbean hairdresser and what a surprise, “your hair is too white!”. And don’t even get me started on make up, foundation, concealer, whatever (but thank you Mac Cosmetics for restoring my faith in make-up).

Boys act like you’re some variety of exotic fruit because “you’re black but you seem more white. It’s weird but cool”, thus leaving you to feel like an unfinished science experiment. Work colleagues make casual racist jokes but you’re a spoilsport or a killjoy if you don’t find them funny, but how are you supposed to react?

I could go on and on and on and I am more than sure that others have had similar experiences. So where does this leave someone like myself (and of course my fellow mixed buddies) In this big bad world? Do I accept that the human race feels the need to categorise everyone and everything to make sense of general life? Do I accept being called a ‘lighty’ and occasionally being made to feel like a dragonfruit or [insert intriguing new foods here]?

I don’t have an answer and I doubt I ever will but I just hope this makes some people think before they speak and to just consider that being racist isn’t always discriminating towards black or white.

A lot of people won’t like this rant and I personally don’t care. Unless you’ve been in my shoes (and you wouldn’t want to be because they smell like wet dog) you don’t have the right to tell me how to think.

Side note – I am fully aware that there are so many other combinations involved in being mixed raced however I can only speak from experience. Feel free to comment and enlighten me with your examples.

‘I miss you’…… BOOM!

‘I miss you’…… BOOM!

cartoon-eagle-clip-art-free-1626793We all know dating is a war! A hot and yet cold endless war of which we all hope to retire from one day so we can hide the scars and bruises and be remembered for the battles we fought by those who fought alongside us. And wear the medals of honour we receive for our final achievement.

You might think the ‘L’ bombs are the hardest to dodge in this war but you got to agree that the ‘M’ ones are equally as bad. Call me an idiot when I say that I’m starting to think that in this day and age if someone says ‘I love you’, you can get away with not saying it back as long as you don’t act weird about it. I’d like to think that the modern lovers understand that it just means that you are not in the same place emotionally or that one of you will never be. But ‘I miss you’….

Again I can only speak for myself but I know I’m not the only one who feels uncomfortable hearing it.
It’s like catching a jacket potato with bare hands and left juggling it from a hand to another because the only other option is to throw it back to wherever it came from.

My problem with such expression is the struggle to understand its meaning! Not that I never missed someone or something before but there were reasons behind it. Now, when I am texting the girl I’m seeing and we been flowing back and forth for some time about a certain subject and when we hit the end of the conversation I get a casual, plain and out of place ‘I miss you’ and BOOOOOOOM!!!!
I Miss YouI turn momentarily deaf such is he loud sound of the bomb exploding next to me. I get genuinely confused!

I have been through a lot trying to find solution! In the process, I have been called insensitive and accused of not caring despite the amount of time and effort I put on dining out and romantic evenings.

At first I used to ignore it and carry on the previous conversation hoping she wouldn’t notice but there’s no escape through that route because what was said once can always be repeated. Actually, it’s worth pointing out how often the phenomenon keeps re occurring when one tries to ignore it.

I often consider changing the topic but let’s face it! Unless you are dating a lamp, a doll or a car (not being funny! Remember watching ‘My Strange Addiction’) no one is dumb enough to ‘miss the switch’.

However nothing beats the trickier thought of saying it back. I do it thinking ‘there, I said it, let’s move on’ but all that seems to do is spark further unwanted conversation like ‘what do you miss about me’ or ‘are you just saying it’ or ‘aww why didn’t you say it before’. I’m running out of options and I can feel my enemies closing in. Even what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger ……. nahhhhhhhh I don’t think that applies, I’m running for my life!

For now as soon as I hear/read such meteoric words I laugh and highlight the number of weeks, days and/or hours until we get to see each other.
Do I hope to retire from this war? Certainly! Would I do it now? Unlikely! So till then I guess I better study the opposition and figure a strategy for my next battle!

—Coffee—

What They Don’t Tell You About Shift Work…

What They Don’t Tell You About Shift Work…

Here I am, at work. It’s 02:57 BST and I’m trying to find things to keep myself awake until 7AM. Whilst everyone around me is pretending not to snooze at their desks I thought I would use my time productively and do something worthwhile. So here you have it – my current thoughts and feelings on shift work…

You don’t know when or what to eat.

“My minds telling me no, but my body, my body is telling me yes”,but wait; in this case it’s certainly your body telling you no. ‘No, you should not have a whole pizza to yourself at 8.30 in the morning, you cretin’. You’ve finished your shift and your 40 minute drive home and you’re not quite sure whether it’s breakfast or dinner. You face dilemmas such as ‘is it okay to have a drink after work to wind down?’ And the simple answer, as I have been told many a time is – no, it’s not okay. Nobody should be drinking a large glass of vino before at least midday, even if you are about to hit the sack and sleep through a day of mediocre daytime TV. As well as this, you’re in a constant state of food-craving limbo for the 5 days and nights you are on shift. So have fun trying to trick your body into thinking it was all a prank and that you’re gonna be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at a normal time because you won’t be! This creates another problem..

You genuinely don’t know what day it is anymore.

the first thing you’ll think of when You wake up is ‘what day is it?’ And You won’t think this is particularly bizzare until you genuinely don’t know what day of the week it is, what time it might be and even your own name because you’ve been awake for 3 nights in a row. Be prepared for the confused stares and cocked heads when you’re referring to what happened yesterday, not realising that whatever happened did in fact take place this morning or 2 days ago. Your friends think you’re insane but won’t tell you, they’ll just give you funny looks and quietly discuss between themselves what may have happened to your mental state in the few days they haven’t heard from you.

You simply can’t keep up with your friends.

Ever woken up to 347 Whatsapp messages? I have and that’s including 206 sent in the same group chat. Whilst you’ve been sprawled out in bed, creating a puddle of drool deep enough to house a school of small fish; your friends have moved out, gotten married, had kids, sent kids to university and relocated to other countries. You now have to sit and dedicate time to skim reading through the hundreds of mostly pointless messages surrounding these riveting events or you’ll be caught out by the inevitable ‘You don’t listen to me! Don’t you remember?! I told you this yesterday!’ to which you’ll mentally reply ‘My yesterday or your yesterday? What day is it?’

Morning Wood and Mixed Emotions.

When you spend 12 hours with the same people for four or five days at a time, you become unnoticeably comfortable with them until you blurt something out that even shocks yourself. For example, ‘don’t you find that you get really horny at 6am when your shift is finishing?’ And to your surprise everyone is quick to agree and offer explanations as to why. You also realise that the closer to the end of your shift, the funnier everything gets. You’re off your face on a mixture of cheap coffee, original Lucozade and extreme fatigue. You erupt into maniacal laughter at anything that would normally only result in an inward chuckle. Everything becomes one big joke. However, you notice your dear colleague is quietly sobbing to herself whilst watching the Real Housewives of Orange County because “they’re just being so nice to each other”. Everyone’s a mess – It’s definitely time for bed.

People tend to think you’re lazy

Just because I’ve been in bed all day, doesn’t mean a) I’ve been asleep all day or b) I don’t have things to do. I have a multitude of things to do, an endless list, but do you get up during the night to catch up on washing or housework? No, I didn’t think so. The day is now your night time, don’t let anybody take that away from you. You’ll get the odd remark about wasting your days sleeping but you didn’t invest in blackout blinds and sound cancelling headphones for no reason! Whether you live with housemates, your partner or your parents, unless they’ve been in your position do not waste your breath trying to explain your tiredness and how an extra hours sleep makes all the difference. Just accept defeat, embrace your title as ‘eternal sleeper’ and move on.

There’s always a silver lining

It’s not all bad news, you can catch up on all the TV you’ve slept through during the day and you don’t tend to spend as much money because you’re always asleep or at work. Your friends eventually come to understand that you’re not a recluse and you’re not purposely avoiding them, you just need to manage your free time. Most people have some kind of admiration for you because, frankly the thought of breaking their tight-as-assholes 9-5 routine is terrifying and they either think you’re an alien or a God of sorts.

If you agree with me, or even if you dont, let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

–Peach x

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

Sometimes you just gotta wait for that switch to flick and you realise someone ain’t worth the hassle. One of the most important quotes I’ve ever seen in my life was on Tumblr, which yeah is normally full of fitness blogs and food porn tips, but this time it really hit me.

“Why give someone of so little importance so much control over your happiness?” 

And I thought shit yeah oh my gosh. I’ve been waiting for this guy to want me and make me feel important but why am I giving him so much power?? I am my own being and I need to appreciate myself more. How can I expect other people to appreciate me if I can’t even appreciate myself? And this, guys and girls, is the switch that you may or may not notice that is being flicked. And amazingly when this switch goes I feel powerful and I feel like I’m in control again. When you’ve had a few days of not really being sure about yourself and questioning everything you’ve done in the past few weeks, this feeling is awesome. I don’t want to dwell on this too much for now coz I may not feel like this in the morning but what I do need to remember is that this is how I felt tonight and now that I’ve made my mind up I know the direction I should head in. This has happened before: if I got out of it then, I can get out of it this time. 

Maybe this hasn’t been about a guy, and maybe more about my ongoing struggle with depression and anxiety that people don’t often seem to notice. But I’ve gotten it off my chest whatever it was and I feel better for it. 

–Peach xx