Friday, October 21, 2011

No expectations, no disappointments?

Bit of a mad week, but good to know I've still an ok head on my shoulders (albeit a hot-tempered one)

I had a bit of a..disagreement.. with a lecturer regarding a grade (lost that one, which I've!)
Then I accidentally got "elected" as class rep after a ridiculous row broke out between a different lecturer of ours, and a different class group with which we share the lecture.

Lecturer walked out; other group made a plea for us to join their crusade; my classmate who objected (well, mainly just questioned!) and was shouted down....

I said, let's get out of here and chat, just to stop the aggro, stop things escalating, and save my classmate (who was jeered on exit!)


We agreed to stay out of it, and to appoint a class rep.

Shite! Bit of a shock, but I don't mind. Someone must.

The good news?
I'm not on my own in this! Another lad's sharing the position. (I'm very thankful for that! He missed out on the drama, and wasn't around for his "nomination", but was happy to help!


The stress of the week has gotten to me, though.. And this afternoon I had to leave work (with less than 4 hours left! I really tried..) Due to an aggressive, slow-building migraine that, despite my valiant refusal to go home all day, forced me to (eventually) give in.

And it drove me crazy. Shaking, and tearing up with frustration, I prayed for the wave of vomiting to hold off until I got off the jerking, lumbering, stuffy bus...and home.
It did. (For the most part)

But, instead of going home, I swallowed defiantly and stormed into the local doctors.
... Who were full up..
...Then to my local pharmacy. A very nice young pharmacist gave me some great advice and was very kind, recommended a doctor, and even gave me his name and promised to help any way he could.

My enquiry was about preventatives for migraine. Tried sanomigran as a teen - no noticeable change.
Saw the UCC Dr King of Migraines, who was very helpful, but provided a prescription for:
-a painkiller
-a triptan
-a preventative.

I already have a painkiller that, when I can keep it down, works fine. Unless the new one's impervious to being thrown up, it's no better.
Couldn't probably keep a triptan down either.
And preventatives...? First, they let me down before. Second, I hate, HATE the idea of being "on" something; on medication, daily, for life.
Third, if they don't work, the disappointment would kill me. They're only thought to help 50% of the time in 50% of the people. Plus, my trackrecord shows, time and again, I'm usually in the 50, 20, even 5% that get the dodgy side effects and minimal success. (Generall pattern in my life! Ha..)
.. It just feels weird.

But.. Enough is enough. I have to try these yokes again. If they fail me, at least I've seen it coming and won't be too heartbroken.

And I shouldn't be ashamed of going on medication. Sure, fuckin' hell, how many times have I said to other people: it doesn't change who you are, it's something you'll need to accept to be happy...
(Or stuff along those lines.. Loads!)

Why are we always more critical of ourselves?

Time I woke up to that myself. Migraine is said to be almost on par with epilepsy, in some ways, in terms of how disruptive it can become. (Well, I'm just quoting that... Personally I'd say epilepsy is FAR worse)... It ISN'T something I can pretend away anymore. 10-13 years of this! I'll still be the hot-headed, accidental achiever I've always been. I'm gonna have that 2year old prescription re-issued and, for the first time, FILLED.

I just hope I can find a good one, and.. MOST importantly.. remembering to take'm every day!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Down.... Get out!

I shouldn't feel crap right now, but I do. So much so that I have one of those stressy headaches. The ones that, at first, feel like a migraine (scaring me silly) but turn out to be just a reasonably bearable nuisance.

Technically, I'm more "happy" than I've been in a long time. After a year "out" (working), I've returned to college for a postgrad. And in IT, of all things! It's fantastic, very interesting so far, and full of nice people. Great Modules: Java Programming, a bit of Web Design, and - who knows - might be sucked back into the online world and start tending to this poor aul neglected blog again.

We'll see.

And I have a lovely new home, lovely new area, lovely new leather boots... Lots of "new"-ness. Fresh - exciting - hopeful - engaging - refreshing - etc. I feel like things are finally moving again. A stagnant year is over, and I only realised how discouraged and defeated I had been feeling when it hit me that I didn't have to wake up for WORK on Monday mornings anymore... but something far better.

Day 1 Journalism:
"50% of you won't make it to final year"
"Of those that do, most will have to move abroad for jobs"
"Of those that even get into journalism at all, very few will ever make a living wage on it alone"
(^pre-recession, btw!)

Day 1 Grad Dip in IT:
"Most of you might get offers before you graduate. Employers come to the graduation too, looking for CVs, but by then it can be too late."

In fairness, those journalism "facts" didn't turn out to be very accurate (we pretty much ALL got to final year, and a good chunk of my ex-class are working in the media and doing pretty impressive stuff. I'm not, but I was always a bit of an oddity.)
But, all the same, isn't that a reason to be happy? Isn't that enough to reassure me that I won't be an aimless drifter forever? That I can play it by ear, with confidence, from 'ere?

I read somewhere (?) that people have a certain "happiness level" that they default to, regardless of whether they win the lottery or land their dream job. It explained why money doesn't make people happy, etc. I worried about that for a while.
But... it's not exactly true. So, I stopped worrying about that, and started wondering why exactly it is that I'm unhappy now.
  • It's not work. (My reduced hours have helped me find a new enjoyment for the job)
  • It's not college. (It's only week 2 - but I love it)
  • It's not fear of not getting a job. (I'm on a good track)
  • It's not my relationship. (well, I hope not. We have little things to work on, but they're little. And nothing a good aul pow-wow won't fix next time we've a free evening.)
  • ...?
But... my friends are all leaving the country. (Those that haven't left already, that is) My brother, and sister, and oldest friend, are gone now too. My other best friend's been gone over a year.
Those left in Limerick? I never see'm. I'm working every weekend.
I miss them all, terribly, and maybe that puts strain on my relationship, too. Suddenly, maybe, it feels like he's all I have; I'm putting more pressure on things to be "right"; I'm scared more when things aren't.
But it's more than that...
It's that I can't go!
The promise of a sure-thing at the end of my IT tunnel is both a huge reassurance, and a very, very scary realisation:
I never got my year out.
Never lived or worked abroad.
Never even went on Erasmnus ffs! Or J1. Or Interrailling.


...Oh COME ON.

I've moaned and panicked for years that I'll never have a career, never decide on something cos I enjoy so many different things, study forever and try loads but never realise my potential, etc etc.
Now that there's some hope I'm moaning even more? Job = money. THEN I can travel. New career = new friends AND money, AND holidays I can use to visit my old ones.

Snap out of it!
Time to get out of the house. the very least... out of my jamas.

Monday, September 12, 2011

New, and altogether different

Broke. Scraping by. Over-worked. Stressed. Sick. Chain-smoking. Living on caffeine and 20min naps in the (less interesting) lectures..... Some of the many things I DON'T miss about being a student.
(well, the naps were pretty nice, actually...)

And yet, this day two weeks, that's exactly what I'll be once again.

One of my old DIT lecturers popped into my shop the other day, picking up a repair for his wife, and smilingly said, "Studentdom is wasted on the students. You'll appreciate college so much more this time."

Hope so.

The course I'm doing is open to all sorts: geeks who fell into jobs and finally want formal qualifications; geeks who've been fiddling with their own computers for years and finally decided to study IT formally; and geeks who were a little misguided on their choice of undergrad (i.e. me) and want a chance to ctrl+y the whole college thing... Like any postgrad, and unlike an undergrad, we're all going to be at different ages, stages, levels of experience...

I just hope I'm not gonna be the dunce in the corner! Much as I've always been interested in computers and all that, tbh I'd be exaggerating to even call it a hobby. Hell, since teaching myself quick, proper typing as a kid, and then basic html in my pree-teens (to build fansites for pokemon, etc, that never made it online..!), I haven't done a damn thing. That's over a decade. My myspace page, a brilliant practice-ground, has been gathering dust for what feels like millennia, and this blog? Well. You can see how often I update the content - let alone the decorative script. Tech-Aoife is someone I haven't seen in a LONG time. She's more than just rusty, she's practically fossilised.

So, I'm worried I'm too out of touch. Too far behind. I don't want to be slower than the others. I don't want to be blatantly struggling. I'm usually "the weird, slightly cold-at-first, nerdy girl"; I don't want to be "the weird, totally in-over-her-head, ditzy girl". Christ. Not in a classroom full of people who could've fuckin' written the course itself (and just need the cert. to prove it...) I feel inferior, hugely inferior, to people I haven't even met yet.

This is stupid.
What am I on about?
Like everything new, this is daunting. Even... scary. But I pick things up quickly enough, I'm interested (I must be - I chose it over every other course i could find - not for the title, but for the modules themselves), and being interested means I'll be at an advantage straight away. It's something I've always been interested in, and faffing around with journalism for four years doesn't make me an airy-fairy arty type who won't be able to grasp the tough stuff. On the contrary, I'll be shorthanding my notes and kicking ass with my essays and finding the theory-side a piece of cake, leaving more time to study and absorb the more alien info. Yeah!

It'll be fine.

All I can do is my best. And it'll be grand. (So long as the money doesn't run out...) Roll on studentdom, brokedom, over-workedom, stressdom, (and all the other doms)... Things have been static, stagnant, for too long. At least this is a change. And, whether change is good or bad... at least it's something.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Burgled! (also hello hello, been a while, etc)

Nothing major stolen from me. I haven't much worth stealing, it seems... An unopened perfume/make-up gift set I'd just gotten that looked valuable, some electrical items.... And a hat. (Which I imagine was used to prevent leaving prints as it was tossed outside by my back door). My housemate, however, lost laptop, camera, etc... Poor guy.

Landlady got an earful (seeing as it was entirely her fault) and agreed to take a chunk off the rent to make up for the fact I've been (a) robbed and (b) essentially been homeless for a week and a half. BUT my window's now been fixed, and new more secure bars go up tomorrow. I may then feel comfortable staying here again. I miss my room, but couldn't very well expect to sleep soundly with my window hanging by one hinge and only a bike-lock between me and the burglar's return.

The gardai who came to have a look around and take fingerprints gave us one piece of advice: Move.

Evidence of rats (and human-rats) hanging around outside our back door, bad plumbing (filthy)... But mainly because we are so completely exposed at the back of the house. The bars will help make the place more "secure" but, 'though we won't have another break-in, they will hinder a speedy exit in case of fire (actually, they'll make it near impossible, but that's a worry for another time)

So, move I shall. Not right now, but soon enough.

But where to? This prime-positioned but grotty home of mine may be convenient for work and everything but, come late September, Northside may be a better location as I'll be spending most days of the week doing my new course.
Yes. After a year working aimlessly, I'm going back to school again. I.T. this time. Should be fun!

Why I.T.? It just happened that way... I finished my thesis, FYPs and all the related rubbish this time last year. Done. I then went into a kind of hibernation - working away, minimum wage, pretending the epiphany would strike any minute and/or I'd be poached from my shop and whisked away onto the first rung of the career ladder of my dreams. Any minute now...!

I just went to work and wasted the months away; daydreaming, but not doing. Once fed up with that, I started trawling through course after course online...
Masters, Post-grads... Even brand new BAs... Evening courses, Part-time courses, Internships, Everything. I even looked into the possibility of packing it all in and going back to study Art! (Which is what my very talented little sister is doing, despite the fact I was the more "arty" child...)

I don't envy her achievements and plans; I chose the path to here, and am happy with that. What I do envy, however, is her certainty. She knows what area is hers, and even where within it she'd like to get to. A talent I lack.

I decided against the art thing. I didn't want it badly enough first time around, and I don't fancy investing another, what, 3-4 years in something I'm just doing for the sake of a pre-teen whim I've long grown out of. Once upon a time, it was my "thing". Not anymore.

I looked at courses in publishing, media, script writing, editing, radio, tv production, and all sorts of semi-related crap. Most seemed interesting. None seemed right.

I then saw an article on a website praising conversion courses - the handy way to re-route your studies with a short, practical, graduate-only course.


I.T.? Hmm... ok... just to see...


When the page loaded up, a list of modules appeared. All were subjects I've often wondered about, always wanted to learn more about, but never did. All were covered in one, fabulous year. I sent the deposit away today. It's official.

As for moving? The bars will buy me some time. I've been asking myself whether I'm ready to move in with himself yet or not. The dust is settling here, slowly, and my room and home will be my room and home again soon enough. When I can think straight once again, I suspect it won't be a tough decision.

Let's hope I don't procrastinate long enough to burn to death, 'though.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


So, was away in Kildare on a training day today for work. Interesting, I guess.
No, I liked it.

On the train there, 'though, first thing this morning...

Well, firstly, I have a bit of a cold. A nasty sort of one where your nose just...doesn't...stop...running...

I took a tissue from my bag and, discretely as possible, in my own empty train booth, blew my nose.

A "lady", in the booth across the aisle (about a meter away), bowed her head, held her hand to her face, winced in an OTT dramatic way, and then returned, frowningly, to her reading.

I thought maybe she had a headache...?

Minutes later, I started quietly honking again. Low and behold, she repeated her ritual.

It struck me... about the difference in opinion on what constitutes ignorance/rudeness.

We were equally appalled by each other.

Her, by my audible illness. Me, by her very deliberate display of disgust at something I couldn't help.

The training day was nice, 'though. Jotted down a few interesting points that came up so I could share them at work. Hope they're helpful to others too.