31 Jan 2018

The January Edition

Last year I had my little nerdy document that detailed everything I watched and read, and every place I went to, in each month. There was little point to this, other than a interest in how much I was consuming and how many new places I was visiting in any given month.

I like having no-pressure, not-unachievable personal projects to keep me going throughout the year. I get bored and I can’t sit still, so here we are with this year’s project: round-up-of-the-month blog posts. Spoiler: I’ve just got myself a shiny new full-time job, so I figured doing this would make me still regularly blog, otherwise that’ll fall off the wagon and I’ll be pissed off at myself.


What I did

I WENT AND DONE GOT MYSELF A NEW JOB. What can I say, I’m a new year cliché. From the end of February, I’ll be working for Anthony Nolan. Yes, the same Anthony Nolan that called me up last year as a potential match for a little girl who needed a stem cell transplant. There ended up being a better match, but no way could I have imagined that less than a year later I’d be offered a job by the same charity. I am ruddy bloody chuffed and extremely proud of myself. I’ll be working full-time, instead of part-time and freelance, so I’m sure it’ll be a challenge to get used to. But it’s time. I’m ready. See you in March’s post when I’ve inevitably had a wobble, yes? I’ll put it in the diary. Bring gin.

I had my heart screened by Cardiac Risk In The Young (CRY). They're a charity that offers free public cardiac screenings for 14-35 year olds. 12 young people die a week from undiagnosed heart conditions, so it's well worth having an ECG and consultant appointment by these guys.

I signed up to two new races for February: The Race Organiser's Victoria Park 10k and RunThrough’s Lee Valley VeloPark 10mi. I really can’t be arsed to do half marathon long training runs on my own, but I absolutely can be arsed to spend my monthly wages on race entries for training instead. 

I got sub28 at parkrun! Not only that, it was seconds away from sub27. Seriously. What on earth. That’s a whole minute off my PB! I have no idea where that came from and I was gagging up phlegm towards the end, so I don’t think it’ll happen again for a long while.

I saw Amy. Amy is my tiny friend from North Wales who I met on Twitter when I was 16 - eight years ago. We manage to see each other about once a year so we always spend about the first 20mins going oMGIT’SYOUYOU’REHERE etc. 

Similarly, I saw another friend, Carrie and my other friend Amy twice (the second time I took her on her longest ever run along the Thames in prep for her first half marathon - I'd make a solid personal trainer). I’m pleased I’m starting the year well by seeing friends I usually only text. It’s often a challenge. 

What I thought

Variations of: WHY IS IT STILL JANUARY? Does January always go on for this long? It feels like years ago that I was playing Cards Against Humanity with family friends in the early hours of New Year's Day, having the surreal experience of their 13-year old saying terrible, terrible things in his unbroken voice. 

I’m sure January has never EVER felt so long before. Maybe I’m just more impatient now? Maybe I’m just desperate for warmer weather? Maybe we’re all just wishing away the days and can’t wait for the sweet release of death? Idk.

I’ve felt pretty settled this month. I’m sure the good news of the new job helped in that, but I felt it even before. I’ve not just felt happy and chilled, I’ve felt settled in myself. I’m not sure if it’ll last but I like it a lot.

Where I went

Quick and cheap: Lumiere London. We'd never seen the lights before and it was a lovely way to spend the evening. Ooooh, pretty, shiny.

I volunteer for Brook, the sexual health charity for young people, and I get to be involved with a lot of cool shit as a result. This month a group of us went to a photoshoot and interview session with a journalist who wanted our thoughts on RSE (Relationships & Sex Education) in schools. You can imagine we had a lot to say, and it’s just bloody great to be surrounded by like-minded people and share opinions and passions on a subject. The best line I came out with was: 

We need to start opening up conversations with children now so they’re protected in the future, instead of protecting children now so they feel unable to have conversations in the future. 

Boom. I’m available for bookings.

What I read

I finished reading If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo. It was so great to read a book about a transgender young person written by a transgender person. It was so authentic and beautifully written. 

I started reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick and so far, I love it. Definite four stars, possibly five.

I’ve read a lot of pieces around the Aziz Ansari topic. Daisy Buchanan’s on going through a damaging experience that wasn’t necessarily illegal is one that really resonated. [content warning on that one for sure.]

What I watched

Friends mostly. I never watched Friends growing up. Ever. I didn’t get the quotes, I never understood the references, and I barely knew their names. Then when it turned up on Netflix, I felt it was time. I’m loving it. I’m halfway through season three and Ross is terrible. Chandler is great. They are my main opinions. 

We went to see Paddington 2 just after New Year and I cried. We live a bus ride away from Peckhamplex with its £4.99 tickets (don’t, honestly, I still can’t get over it) and are still planning to make sure we go at least once a month this year.

We saw Sara Pascoe! Ryan got me tickets to her show for Christmas and she was brilliant.

What I was thankful for

I want to include this wanky cheesefest at the end of each monthly post like a mindfulness tactic. A bullet journal thing. Y’know, whatever. It’ll be nice. 

I’ve been very thankful for friends for rooting for me when I interviewed for and got my new job. I really believed their pride and love and happiness, so that felt lovely. 

I’ve been thankful for my own strength. I’ve been working full-time for the past month after getting an office-based freelance gig, which sounds incredibly standard for most people, but I never thought I’d be capable of it even a year ago and I’ve been fine. Great, in fact. I’ve thrown myself into two jobs so feel secure in the knowledge that I can move to Anthony Nolan full-time too. 

I’ve been thankful for coriander and pizza. Not together, but never say never. 

I’ve been thankful for the 07:58 train to Victoria which is always beautifully, bafflingly quiet so I can sit and read for half an hour.

Now excuse me while I drink to the fact January is finally, FINALLY over. We did it, guys. Respect.

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