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. 

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!


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

on the problem of wanting

It’s stories such as this that make me believe that my break will come and all I have to is keep chasing and doing what I like 😁 well done! Xx Coffee xX

the love story project

For weeks I’ve wanted to write about all that’s happened in my life in 2015, but I couldn’t find a good way to get at it. I keep thinking back to a rainy Sunday night, about a year ago, when I met two friends for dinner. One was pregnant and doing interesting research for her PhD in linguistics. She and her husband were thinking about buying a condo or moving to a new, baby-friendly apartment. The other, a psychologist, I hadn’t seen since August, when she was in the midst of a messy break up with a not-at-all-nice guy. But by March she was living happily with her new boyfriend—a man who seemed unbelievably successful and kind and good for her. A man she met the day after her break up. She told us about helping to raise his two kids, and her summer plans to attend conferences and visit…

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Office Zombies

Office Zombies

Office life isn’t for everyone.

Judging from the reaction of most of my friends, the general concensus is that sitting down at a computer all day is easy. What’s not to like about sitting in a warm room all day, surrounded by chatty people and drinking countless cups of free coffee? Well let me tell you.

Throughout my student life, right from upper school up until my graduation I’ve worked in bars, nightclubs and supermarkets and am used to running around, sweating profusely, and not even realising that my shift has even come to an end. Hey – I’d happily stay a few more hours if its busy because why not? I’ve already worked an extra half an hour for free without noticing. I suppose you could even say I enjoyed it. It kept me fit and kept my mind occupied.

These days, life is a lot more different. Clock-watching has become a thing. Office Jargon has become a thing. Coffee machine flirting has become a thing. Lift (elevator for you lovely Americans) small talk has certainly become a thing. Reeling this little list off has made me sound like a moody, grumbly, ungrateful bitch – which may be the case- but I’d like to try and explain myself before that judgement is made by everyone else.

My colleages, some of which who started when I did, a year ago and some who have been here since forever and are now part of the furniture are all very different but all share the same quality – they’re slowly in the process of turning into office zombies. You can see the remnants of their past personalities and optimistic outlooks on life, before all ambition and interests were sucked out of them to feed the ‘needs of the company’. When I first started here I was not even remotely interested in the latest office trends or what ridiculous outfits Lady Gaga wore at this weekends big event. Okay, maybe a little interested, but never enthralled enough to want to discuss it out loud on a serious level with my peers for over 30 minutes.

Now I find that If I haven’t caught up on the Daily Mail home page before I start work I’m left out. I’m an outcast for not watching last nights episode of Eastenders or not knowing who’s through to the next round of Great British Bake Off. And this makes me a little sad. Ocassionaly I will try to draw out my colleagues ‘real’ interests because I know they have some deep down, and I mean REAL deep down. I’ll try find out what they did at the weekend for example – oh you went to a gig? Oh what band? Oh I didn’t know you liked that kind of music! Tell me more… but that’s where it ends. It seems like they start to realise that going to a rock gig in Camden on a Saturday night is NOT the done thing in the office and shouldn’t be spoken about and here we are back to talking about the colour of Kim K’s hair. And this is what I mean. I know they have interests and hobbies they want to talk about but keeping up the office façade is clearly more important. Seriously though – there are those who really do just like to read Heat magazine and go for cocktails and that is truly the depth of their hobbies but that’s fine. That’s just not enough to keep me interested. Which means I have to make pointless small talk to engage with my team and I really do not enjoy that.

I would rather take 5 flights of stairs than get in the lift in the morning to avoid talking about the weather and whether it’s going to be ‘as cold as this at the weekend’ because I feel like im going crazy. Flirting with people at the coffee machine who I would never even have batted an eyelid at because they are the only people I see everyday (unless I talk to strangers on the commute to and from work, but that’s a story for another day) and the dreaded work parties every pay day. I vowed to myself I would never attend one of these when I first started here but for the past couple of months I’ve found myself looking forward to it. Why? Because it’s something different to talk about on Monday. Of course – these stories become incredibly similar as the months go on but as theres always new starters, they provide a bit of light entertainment.

Now that I’ve got these thoughts out onto paper I actually do believe that I am what I’ve previously tried to convince you I’m not – a moody, grumbly bitch. I suppose I could do something to change this, or I could continue to pretend I’m content like my fellow colleagues stuck in this daily quicksand routine because I’m terrified of rejection.

But its not all bad. I’ve met some great people and some guys I even enjoy hanging out with outside of work. But these are the ones I’ve managed to bring back to life, bring back their real selves and have hopefully contributed to stopping the full transformation into the office zombie. And maybe they’ll do the same for me.

–Peach x

Looking for a job after University? Here some things that will only make your task even harder 

My dad once told me: ‘study for as long as you can because once they give you the diploma and you decide to go get a job its the beginning of the most stressful time of your life’. 

Unless you are graduating with distinction from either the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge or you are an award winning undergraduate who has already secured funding for his postgraduate degree (in which case you wouldn’t be reading this) you will be stressed to your teeth throughout unemployment. 

Firstly I advise you to start searching as early as you possibly can (and I mean half way through you penultimate year). Consider your career ambitions and paths, and most importantly what your degree and/or qualification allow you to do. The last one being the most important of it all because through your degree all you will ear is ‘you can do anything with it’ and that isn’t quite right.

You might think that sounds too early to start looking for jobs but (trust me!)  this will decrease the amount of time you spend unemployed after graduation. 

You might have spent 3 or more life changing years, accumulating experiences and learning to look at the world from a different prospective at university but out here things haven’t changed, job hunting is still the same. Remember when you were 14 and decided to get a part time job and you thought it would be easy because your friend who was ‘dumber’ than you had one, but instead you found yourself getting agonizingly rejected time after time: well the good news is you have been down this road before, the bad news is it doesn’t get any better; On the other hand if you never had a part time job before or never had a hard time getting one (mum was the stores manager, or dad was self employed) then buckle up because its a ‘bumpy ride’. 

It can take up to 12 months after graduating for an average student to get work in their field. During this time you will wake up and go back to sleep 

with the same thought eating you up. You will update your CV, write a cover letter, check your emails 10 times a day, send out new applications and do your very best to avoid thinking about it unsuccessfully.

You apply, get no reply for weeks, when you finally get a reply its unsuccessful, after a few of these you get depressed because you are only human, but u gotta fight through the pain and keep applying which means you risk more disappointment – but how many disappointments can you take before throwing the towel?! But throwing the towel is out of question because it sentences you to a life of ridicule – no job after all the effort you put into getting your degree. So you become trapped in a vicious cycle that consumes you all the way.

Your parents that you love and respect so much will stress the demon out of you.

Obviously life goes on and since you are jobless or back to your low paid part time job you might have to move back to your parents house because you can’t afford living in your own.

After living by yourself and running your own life for 3 or 4 years this can seem like a set back for many. 

Your friends that you so often called fools for lacking ambition and for being stuck in a dead end job all over sudden seem to have a better life than yours and you even get the feeling they laughing at you at times. 

Your parents (as usual) feel the need to be involved and to support you through these tough times (their hearts are in he right place) but they have no idea how to do it so they take the only approach they have mastered – being present and challenging you to successes (in other words stress the demon out of you). They watch your progress (or self destruction) all the way, they show their concern, constantly asking for updates, etc. Now how could you forget how you used to automatically start failing a test as soon as the teacher looked over your shoulder to see how you were doing. Same situation! (Except the teacher would eventually move on to someone else).

Concerned, parents will question your methods of job hunting and your desire to even get a job (probably in fear that your plan is to be supported by them forever) they take matters into their own hands and start looking out for jobs for you, turn up with positions you have no interest in and eventually they will start questioning if your degree was a waste of time (as if you hadn’t already question so and decided it might have been) and also they will constantly remind you of how many times they advised you ‘to do something else’.

As you can see my dads advice wasn’t a lie! Of course what hat he had failed to tell me was how much of that stress would be due to him.

You might think that your parents guidance is the reason why you got this far in life because they were always there and said the right things at the right time but after 20 something years of questions and answers and awkward conversations you must have started to realize how some of the things your parents told you in the past turned out to be complete non sense (I for one can’t seem to forget when I asked my dad the difference between immigration and emigration and he told me one referred to birds) if not just think back it doesn’t take long (and please, do share).

Anyways sorry if I scared you, that was never my intention, maybe you are one of the lucky few that won’t have to go thorough this. If you are however going through this just know you’re not the only one and although these tough times seem endless there is light at the end of the tunnel and that no degree is waste of time because the knowledge and experience are yours forever.

Good Luck!!

— Coffee