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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anonymous poem

"When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit."
~ Unknown

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February - The Depressing Month?

So, everyone says February is the most depressing month of the year. Christmas celebrations are over, New Year's Resolutions have been thrown out the window (Thank God I didn't make any this year!) and well it's not quite spring and not quite winter. I think today however can prove people wrong, especially for those living in London which is obviously where I am based. Look at that sun! Anyway.

Now - the reason I think February is possibly considered a depressing month is because we clearly expect way to much from ourselves and say to ourselves 'this year will be the best year ever!' There is no reason for this kind of pressure. Of course it is great to make resolutions, to want to improve ourselves, eat healthier, do more exercise etc. but it's even worst when we feel disappointed with ourselves for not carrying out those new promises we have made. What I'm trying to say is realistic expectations are less prone to disappoint. So instead of making a new year's resolution I just kind of decided I would take one day at a time, see what was bugging me about myself and sort of start from there.

To be perfectly honest my winter blues were the most intense this year during December and this was due to a variety of factors such as being ill with tonsillitis for a while, moving house, and not knowing what the hell to do with my life after graduating from my MA. Now, the disappointment or frustration was due to expectations. We are told since the beginning of our school lives that if we go to university then we will be able to get good fun jobs and live will be perfect. Well, admittedly this is not really the case and I am not sure if this build up is really fair on children/teenagers. Another thing which is rather annoying is that people in the U.K around thirty years ago were able to find decent jobs without having to go to university. Now this is practically impossible - you need to have a BA, MA, unpaid work experience, more experience and what's that - oh yeah, more unpaid experience. If you don't give me experience how am I ever to go where I need?

The most important thing is taking initiative and being creative. It's a dog eat dog world out there and if you don't have that little spark then your chance of getting that dream job is going to be even harder especially in a city as competitive as London.

What I also find rather annoying is that certain skills are not valued as much as they should be. I know this isn't a great example necessarily, but why is it that being a carpenter is less valuable than being a banker? Isn't creating something with our hands both beautiful and as creative as you can get? Actually physically interacting with the objects/materials around us? Yes I know I am being awfully and ridiculously romantic at the moment considering human beings are no longer living in small societies and are interacting on a global scale with complex systems of trade and capitalism in place. Things are no longer 'small'. And is it still the case that 'small is beautiful'? Discuss. (See Schumacher's 'Small is Beautiful': Economics as if people mattered)

The point I am trying to make with my rant is that we should take some time during our day to day lives to just stop and 'be'. We are constantly concerned about the future or the past, and as cliche as this may sounds, it is true. Take some time to be on your own, take a walk, maybe make something with your hands - they are not just there to type away on a computer (...). People constantly say "I don't have the talent to draw, paint, play guitar, learn an instrument, carve wood, make potterty etc etc." I think that isn't necessarily true. It only takes a bit of determination and desire to get better at something. Go into an arts and crafts shop buy some random supplies and try! Or just cook a decent meal from scratch for Ford's sake!

Yes, you might not be the next Rembrandt or Bach but once you've painted even the worst of paintings you will feel some sort of sense of satisfaction or release (I promise - I have friends to vouch for this). To avoid February or in fact any month being a depressing month try and find new ways of releasing, expressing or even perceiving the world - yes it may not be easy, but that's the point. Read books you never would, go to music gigs you don't generally like, be vegetarian for a week. Even small differences I reckon can help people look into themselves and see the things they want to change or keep.

I know you've probably heard all of the above before, but I felt like releasing and so I did, and sometimes it's important to have little reminders to tell us that there actually is a world of opportunities out there, not just the little bubble we are a part of!

Thanks for reading this long if you have, leave comments if you so desire!