2019 – I’m coming for you!

After months of waiting, we’re entering into the week of the dreaded Visa Appeal. I feel like the last year has been focused on this moment. And now it’s here, I’m not sure how I feel.

Going through the application process was hard enough. Finding out the application had been rejected was tough. But the thought of having to go through court proceedings in the hope that the rejection will be overturned, has been an experience that has quite frankly drained me on every level.

It’s not even my appeal.

I can’t begin to comprehend how Ali must feel.

I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t impacted our relationship too.

Neither of us have been to court before. We have no idea what to expect on the day. I have never felt so underprepared for something in my life.

I have tried really hard to keep my emotions together over the last few months. I’m terrified that on the day I will become far from supportive and turn to a blubbering mess, when what I really need to do is to stay strong for Ali.

My family have been ridiculously supportive over it all, even offering to come down to support us on the day. But I know if they are there, all my emotions will come out and I will be no use to anyone.

Whatever happens this week I know I need to make some changes moving forwards.

Somewhere a long the way, a part of me has got lost. I need to go find that piece of me and get it back.

I also need to find my Christmas spirit! Normally I’m well on my way to feeling Christmassy by now. This year however, it doesn’t seem to matter how many festive markets I go to, I’m just not feeling it right now.

I need a holiday too. As soon as this week is out of the way I’m going to book myself a few days away at the start of the New Year. And a Spa Day.

I need to spend more time in my happy place too. I know where it is. Thankfully, it’s never gone away. It’s the one true place I can just be me.

 I’m going to make a commitment right here and now…

In 2019 – I’m going to focus on me. Not in a selfish way, but in a positive, much needed way. I need to spend some time focusing on what makes me happy. I need to get my energy for life back. I need to say yes to more exciting opportunities. And if I don’t?

Well, quite simply, there is no alternative. I am going to get me back. Whatever it takes. 2019, you better watch out…I’m coming for you!

To Plan or Not to Plan?

I’ve never been very good at making plans.

Ok, so that’s not entirely true. I think I’m actually pretty decent at making plans, and usually stick to them. That’s if you take social plans, holiday plans, day to day plans into consideration.

Why is it then that I find it ridiculously difficult to make life plans and career plans?

I guess first of all we should unpick what I mean by life plans.

What I mean by this is, and I’ll refer to one of my dearest friends, who has always known what she wanted from life. All she ever dreamt of was finding a husband, buying a house, getting married and having children. And she’s achieved that.

I got as far as buying a house once. With my ex. We broke up. He brought me out. And I no longer own a house.

I’m actually quite comfortable with not having achieved the things my friend has achieved. What’s right for her, isn’t going to be right for everyone. But I guess my point is, she had life goals. She knew what she wanted, when she wanted to achieve each of these goals, and she’s just cracked on and done it. Job done.

My current life plans go as far as supporting my boyfriend through the visa process. But after that? Who knows! You could say its hard to make plans when we don’t know what’s going to happen later this month with his visa application. But the realistic part of me knows that this would just be an excuse. In reality, I am confident I wouldn’t have a plan regardless of the circumstances.

I have no plans to get married yet, and as you may’ve read in my previous blog ‘Kids’ I’m not desperate to have those either.

However, I don’t just bumble around aimlessly either. I like to visit new places, try new things, meet new people. I’m just not very good at planning these things. And maybe that’s ok.

My working life is similar. I have never had the desire to be a career person. All I ever wanted was enough money to live and enjoy the odd holiday.

Even as far back as my school days, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and which direction to go in. Up until 6 months before my A Level results, I had no desire to go to university. But I didn’t know what job I wanted to do either. So I decided that maybe I would go to university as that might help me to decide. Choosing the subjects to study was easy. I loved Human Geography and I had an interest in Africa.

So a few months later, I found myself standing at the entrance to the University of Northampton (or the University College of Northampton – UCN – as it was known back then) registering for a BA Course in Geography and Third World Development. I loved everything about my University experience. I developed an even greater love for Geography and the Third World, but I knew that my career choices in these fields were limited. It was either continue to study and become a teacher, go and work for the local council (who were making hundreds of job cuts at the time), or go and work for a third world charity. None of which set my world on fire.

Whilst at University, I had a part time job working for a gift card shop in the town centre. I loved my time there, but there was little money in it (not that I was money orientated. I’m still not today, but there were things I couldn’t do if I didn’t look for something that was a bit better paid). I increased my hours slightly after Uni, and also gained further responsibility moving up from Supervisor to Assistant Manager. Whilst there, I saw an advert in my local newspaper for a job in sport. I applied, interviewed and was called back within half an hour to say I had got the job!

I stayed with the company for 9 years, before I made the move to London. Even that move wasn’t planned. I had been comfortable in my job, but there was little opportunity for growth or promotion. So when I was effectively head hunted for the London opportunity, I grasped it with both hands.

I worked with some great people in that 9 year period. I remember one lady saying to me that if I got too comfortable there, I would never leave. I was comfortable there. 9 years comfortable.

I get a weird sense of enjoyment out of proving people wrong though.

Although I don’t have a career plan, what I do have is a burning ambition to do well in all that I do. I am constantly seeking ways to improve myself. Whether it was when I had my first ever part-time job in a supermarket, my part-time job in the card shop, or my job in sport, I have always pushed myself to learn as much as I can, so I can do the best possible job in the role I am in.

I guess my next question is, do you really need a plan to be successful?

I don’t have the answer to this question, but I would love to get your thoughts on this.

What I do know, is that for someone who had/has no plan, I seem to be doing alright at this career malarkey.