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Hello.

It’s me again, I’m sorry I’ve been away but I will try and write a little more often.

My new job has been all-consuming, I’ve been trying to have more of a social life and I’ve got a lot of stuff in my head that just seems to plague me on a daily basis. I’ve also been unable to write. Not like a physical disability, but more like a mental one. I literally talked myself out of writing, managed to convince myself that I was a terrible writer and no one ever read my drivel…so I stopped. Just like that. I found other things to do, I bought an iPhone 4S and began to text message my friends again. I bought SWTOR and started to play that. I stopped going to the gym and stopped obsessing about fat I am. I mean, I know I’m not skinny but I’ve come to realise that maybe I was never meant to be in the first place.

My thoughts have been consumed by technology, customer service and making money through sales. I check technology websites daily, I am constantly trying to improve myself at my job and I am trying not to give my new managers a reason to grab me by the collar of my shirt and throw me headfirst out of the front door. I know I can do this job, but sometimes I chew myself so far out of shape that I sit there crying over the tiniest thing that I got wrong. The most embarassing thing recently is that my manager asked me some simple maths problems like 27×5 and I literally PANICKED. It was like the worst kind of white hot fear you experience like being faced with a man eating lion. I fear nothing in life, I don’t fear dying or being lonely or homeless or penniless. Because I’ve pretty much experienced all of those (the almost dying thing scared the shit out of me then but I don’t fear it now). But being exposed for my shitty math skills is terrifying. I literally struggle to do it without a calculator, and it’s so embarassing. I’m 30 years old and as I sat there with him in his office, I could see him looking at me in wonderment why I couldn’t seem to do it. And I burst into tears at the shear fear of it all.

I’ve always found it so hard to understand numbers, you can give me a book about complex history facts or how to read maps and I can do it with ease. I can paint blindfolded. I am a whizz at chess. I can outread most people I know. But give me a sheet of numbers and it’s like they swim round on the page and blur into each other. My math teachers at school were hopeless. They were happy to help out the people that didn’t struggle but people like me who sat there for extra time at the end of the lesson, even after school when I can remember it being dark outside and I sat there with lists of long of multiplication thinking that they were quadratic equations. And as soon as I left secondary school, I was happy to leave it all behind. I am seriously crossing everything I have in the hopes that my shitty skills dont lose me this job, I need it so bad and I would never ever forgive myself to lose it thanks to something so basic.

I would send myself back to school to try and improve my numeracy skills, but at my age I think I’m a bit old to change my mindset about something that has been festering for over 15 years. I know as well that I would be sitting with a bunch of people double my age and I’d feel like a bit of a moron sitting there trying to think I can better myself. But that’s me. I’m a jack of all trades and a master of none. I’m always trying to better myself because I believe that I’m pretty shit at most things I try. But I never know until I try…

One thought on “Return

  1. I can’t do math if people are looking at me. I can’t even figure out what change to give a customer if I screwed up on the till. As soon as I see eyes on me, my brain goes blank. I know that’s not exactly your case, but you can use it as an excuse to get away. It works pretty well for me, apparently people are very empathetic about numbers stage fright.

    I also have a terrible time translating words into numbers. The word “two” doesn’t automatically mean 2. Which means that when people start talking about quantities, distances, sizes, serial numbers, I’m lost. So I tell people I’m visual and have them let me write down the numbers. They usually find it intriguing, but let me get away with it. It’s another excuse you could use ^_^

    As for being good/bad at things, it doesn’t matter much in life. I was always average at school. I’m average at my job. Yet I graduated and get paid the same as those who were really good at pharmacy. (I might even get paid more because I don’t mind working in the middle of nowhere.)

    When it comes to writing,

    1) I find your writing very good, especially considering you didn’t get a lot of extra training. You’re very organized, you’re sincere and you can conjure images. And the only way to refine your skills is to read, read, read and write, write, write. If writing becomes difficult for you, that’s a good sign. It means your brain is trying a new pathway, which means you’re learning something. If being a student until the age of 26 has taught me anything, is that learning is always effortful. If it’s easy, you’re not learning.

    2)Most bloggers aren’t very good writers. And that’s totally ok. Your blog is your property. You’re allowed to write badly on it if you want. “I don’t like my writing” is NOT a valid excuse for not blogging. “I don’t have time”, “I don’t feel like it”, those are ok, but not “I don’t like my writing.” (And, actually, it seems that a lot of professional writers don’t like their writing either. Writing is so personal that it’s hard to be an accurate judge of your own skills.)

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