Another Brick In The Corporate Wall

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It seems to me that my new-found path in life never fails to leave people with endless questions, mostly with a regard to my mental health and whether I have lost the plot. Take for instance a repeated conversation with my brother.

‘So what are you going to do with your life?’

‘I’m going to teach English as a foreign language and travel the world….’

‘Yes but…..What are you going to do with your life?’

This seems to be the reaction from most people. A mixture of envy with a dash of cynicism topped off with a large dollop of disappointment. I get it. For years after my first TEFL contract in China I swore I would never dip my toe into the world of teaching again. Fuelled by the various comments bashing English teachers as ‘avoiding responsibility’, ‘unaccepted by their own country’ and ‘wasters and hippies with no ambition’ I gave up on teaching altogether. My 20-year-old mind had been firmly polluted by the endless jibes that come hand in hand with TEFL. Instead, after completing my degree, I pushed myself into the corporate world with dreams of a flash wardrobe and an even flashier car. And this is where I lost ‘myself’.

Hired and jumping up and down in my parents kitchen I thought my new-found success would pave the way to management heaven. Having received my contract and welcome letter as a new employee of a global IT company I could not conceal my excitement and satisfaction. The girl from the bleak council estate was well and truly on her way to success. I began my role with the enthusiasm of a new puppy, all wide-eyed and bushy-tailed but still shaking in my boots at the thought of using Excel and numbers as they certainly weren’t my personal strengths. I got to work an hour early, always first to arrive and usually last to leave. Lunch times would be spent at the desk trying desperately to hide another Excel formula fuck up as I watched the days pass in a blur of pivot tables and numbers, adding and subtracting. Sometimes I would bound out the door, satisfied that my day was full of small successes. Other days I would cry at the thought of messing up another report. A report that barely anyone ever read.

You see after a few months in the role I realised that no one cared. Reports and new websites that I fawned over and spent countless hours trying to perfect were pretty much irrelevant. I realised that I had become part of the furniture, another brick in the wall of a massive corporation and that no amount of trying was going to get me anywhere. Hushed discussions with other disgruntled employees furthered my suspicion that I was going nowhere fast and the only way up was to leave and reapply for the desired new role. When I was a fresh newbie I listened as my trainer spoke about a woman on another floor who hide all her ‘to do work’ under her desk. This woman did sweet f.a for 6 months before she was caught out from the growing mounds of paperwork forming under her desk, trying to escape. At the time I was horrified. How lazy and inconsiderate. Now I realise that no one gave a shit, and for her laziness (or cleverness) to go unnoticed for that amount of time must have meant that she was both invisible and irrelevant. Something I was to become familiar with.

Once the rose-tinted glasses had been removed and I was no longer breaking into a cold sweat on report days, I found myself slipping into a cubicle coma. For 8 hours a day I sat, clicking on the mouse creating documents that would be sent into the black hole of cyber space. I had mentally left the building. The silence would descend over the office as each of us punched in numbers and wrote out endless emails, while I tried desperately to find some sense of fulfilment in a job that I should not have been in. A job that I had no natural talent for. But that didn’t stop me from pushing and forcing myself to fit the mould, unaware that I was depleting my spirit with each day that passed.

After I ‘woke up’ and realised that I had no business being in IT, never mind an office, I slipped out unnoticed. No one saw me place my plant in my bag and forage around for my shoe collection that had been gathering under my desk. I cut my notice short and left, walking out into the grey sky and damp air without (so much as) a backward glance. Now I look back at all the years I spent chasing the money signs and all I see is someone wanting to conform. Someone desperate to have a desirable CV and endless Linkedin contacts. Someone who wanted to go to work in smart clothes, reeking of success. Someone who wanted a nice monthly wage, with an even nicer bonus and a mortgage to boot.

Now I’m no longer that somebody, but it took me years to wake up from wanting that dream. I now wait to begin my English teaching role in Bangkok where I can go back to the hustle and bustle of the uncomfortably humid streets. Where the various smells of the street stalls attack my senses and where everyone seems to be on ‘Thai’ time, walking at snail pace and coming to classes late. And as for people who question my dreams and ambitions I say simple to mind your own. My dreams, wherever they may lead, are none of your concern. Let me enjoy the fact that at nearly 29 years old I may have found my calling and thank fuck for that as it has taken me to hell and back trying to find it.

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Through the eyes of a Psychopath

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She wants to leave? She wants to leave. She can’t leave.

“So I will go back to the UK and find some job I suppose…” She trails off. That means she must be unsure or lacking confidence in her decision.

I look at the red wine in her glass, barely touched. It’s not like her to leave the wine untouched and this frightens me more. Any action that I can’t predict leaves me feeling slightly nervous. I need to change tactic. You’re losing her. I down the wine in one gulp, feeling the acidity trickling down my throat. I notice her judging me. Or is that fear? Oh I do hope it is fear. I refill my glass and her words of encouragement wash over me.

“So” She continues nervously “I will see you in the UK, like we discussed. Like we planned”. Yes three weeks alone time. Who can I fuck in that time, who can I…Stop. Focus on the energy source in front of you. I down the glass of wine again. Again there is fear in her eyes. I love it when her eyes widen in fright or when I feel that nervous energy she gives off when she has no idea what she is doing. She gives of such a delicious vibe when she is frightened, like Bambi caught in the headlights. She becomes something soft and moldable, putti in warm hands. She is so easy it hurts, but sometimes she closes up and puts up these invisible barriers. That’s when I become overwhelmed with anger. She is mine after all.

I top up my glass again and think about her leaving and possibly escaping. Women can’t be trusted. I hate her. I want her and I hate her. I have yet to break her but it is not for lack of trying. I try everyday. The light is a lot less bright in her eyes. I can see by the way she walks that the confidence of being young and careless is becoming less visible. I don’t know whether I want her less now. What else can I emotionally beat from her? Yet she may realise what I am when she leaves me to visit family and friends. The people I hate the most as they are constantly in the background, giving her advice and warnings. Warnings against me of course. I hate them.

My mind is running wild. I don’t know what to do first. The sympathy plea? The crocodile tears? The threats? Scare tactics? Love bombing or drop the crazy bomb? Threaten to kill myself? Threaten her? Oh there are just so many options. Fuck it, I’ll do them all.

“Your going to leave me, I know you will. You say these things but you will get home and meet someone else” Accuse! “There’s someone else…There must be”. I feel the ice prickle my heart and I watch her as she defends herself. I know she is telling the truth but to see her emotions spill onto the restaurant table is a treat. That’s it, tell me how much you love me.

I am suitably drunk right now and I am thinking of who I could be screwing. My girlfriend is a cockblock. I want to leave and practically snap my fingers, making her jump. I want to drink more. I want whisky. I make her walk quickly back to the flat. I do not notice my surroundings only the hatred that keeps building. It’s not a far walk, thank fuck, as my throat is dry from the desire of whisky and the copious amounts of cigarettes I have managed to inhale on the short walk. When we arrive I rush towards the Red Label whisky and drink from the bottle. I look at her and feel nothing. Never have and never will. Her very being irritates me and I hate how much she feels. Her sympathy and compassion for others makes me sick and her femininity makes me gag. But oh she is so easy to destroy.

I do it all that night. I drink and cry. My performance is Oscar worthy and for a second I am confused by my act. I can’t remember if this is the part I should cry or get angry? The whisky is hindering my performance. I decide to evoke sympathy from her first but she just looks blankly at me. She has seen this performance before. Changing tactics, I smash up the DVD player and some plates for added effect. The DVD player came apart quickly but in the process cut my hand. I watch as the blood trickles down the side of my palm. I look at her sitting in bed with the white sheets up to her chest. I walk over and wipe the blood in her face, smirking as she flinches. The reaction is just what I needed and I want more. I walk into the bathroom to get a razor blade and scratch her initial into my cheek. I continue to threaten her with promises to kill myself. I can’t get enough of the attention. I want more, more, more. Alcohol, pain, control, reaction.

I do not remember what she said to me as her facial expressions changed from love to hate, fear to pity, sympathy to disgust. I do not remember as I do not care to remember. She gave me what I wanted which was an audience. Plus her feelings for me are real which put me in a position of power. You see, I feel nothing for this woman who I made fall in love with me with false promises of love and protection. I enjoy watching that sparkle of innocence in her eyes when we first met, diminish as each day ends. I can see she is dying inside, sluggish and slow and it fills me with excitement. If I could suck anymore life out of her I would but she has little to give now. So very little that I should look at something fresher, newer. All in good time.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/writing-challenge-shoes/

In bed with a psychopath

I can feel your eyes upon me. I glance at you, savouring the moment. Believing that you are devouring me passionately and lovingly with your eyes. Those, piercing green eyes. But it wasn’t love in those eyes of yours. How foolish that I could be so self absorbed that I did not notice as you gorged on my soul. Tearing a piece here and a piece there as I silently basked in your fake glory. I always wondered what you were thinking as you watched me intensely. I now know that you wanted something of mine. You got what you wanted as day by day you sucked the life out of me as I cuddled up into your arms, a false sense of security enveloping me. You said all the right things. Words of encouragement followed by words of criticism. A steady stream of mind games to make me lose track, stumbling under your watchful gaze before losing my balance.

Your laugh was forced, your ways were calculated. Nothing, not anything was done out of love. Everything was payment. You were everyones knight in shinning armour. You made dreams come true but were quick to dash them.  You always wanted something. No one does anything for free do they? You deeply hated being questioned and so compartmentalised your life. ‘I box everything’ you commented once. Family, friends, co-workers all remained separated. You never mixed us together as that would be the time your lies would be exposed, the game given away. It was far too risky. You kept me to yourself. Friends became a distant memory as you inhaled my soul that I so willingly and naively gave. I gave it to you on a platter, handed you the carving knife and let you get to work.

I walked away deeply afraid that I would not make it in the ‘big bad world’ as you would often say. Holding me and brushing away my tears of confusion after another game of gaslighting, you would whisper that you were afraid for my safety should I go alone. I could never do better than you and that indeed I may very well be losing my mind. You would love bomb me to dry up the tears and bask in the glow of my hopeful love.

After years of living with someone who just wasn’t ‘there’ I escaped. You watched me board the plane. I bet you were glad to be rid of me so you could ‘play’. I bet it was tiring keeping me hauled up in that flat, watching my every move. You watched me walk through towards customs and I didn’t look back but felt beaten and raw. I bet you thought I would be back, that I would run back into your arms, so deeply afraid of the world in which you described. Then I woke up. I awoke from the nightmare of your company. I opened my eyes to a world of opportunity that had been waiting for me, wondering if I was ever going to make it. I know you waited, becoming angrier with each email and call ignored. How dare I slip away like that. Slip away to freedom without so much as a backward glance. If it wasn’t for that fateful evening where you left this world you would still be hot on my heels. I know. You bought the flight ticket in high hopes of tracking me down to continue the game you so thoroughly enjoyed playing.

It was a horrible way to go for you and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy (you were my worst enemy). You were foolish and should have know better but that is neither here nor there now. I hope you find peace and heal from the hatred in your soul. I have never known anyone to hate themselves quite like you did. May you rest in peace but I’m afraid to say it is indeed Game Over.

Reviewing the suitcase

I have temporarily put a pause on my wanderings in order to obtain the documents needed to teach in South Korea. Filled with promises from various people claiming South Korea to be just ‘awesome’ I have decided that’s my next port of call, even though it looks colder than anything the UK could possibly fling at me. My partner in crime (well, my gay travel partner) could not stop going on about his obsession with k-pop and his need to find a Korean husband….Immediately. Not one to interfere with such a fab goal, I have decided to help him in his quest for love, and maybe find a hot guy in the process myself. So as I unpack, back with the parent and the promise of Tesco’s delights, I have decided to review my suitcase, mainly the ‘what was I thinking’ items.

Shoes

After spending the entire duration of my trip in either flip-flops or canvas trainers, it is a fact that I really did not need to be lugging those wedges and black work high heels around the world with me. Did I throw them? Hell no. Once you find a good pair of shoes – especially the wedges – that are pain-free and go with anything, they are with you for life. Or until they fall apart in over wear which doesn’t bear thinking about. I did, however, wear the wedges once. This was purposely so I could justify them taking up room and weighing my suitcase down. And no I did not care that the roads in Hanoi do not cater for wedges.

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Bikinis

I took four and wore none. Dreams of soaking up the sun on a Thai island, sipping cocktails were non-existent. Being a person that tries to ‘go with the flow and just see what happens’ I just seemed to travel north throughout the duration of my trip. My shorts, bikinis and summer dresses didn’t get a look in. Instead I wore the same grey jumper for the entire trip as this was the only ‘winter’ wear that I had managed to bring. By the end of the trip, I was sure it was ready to sprout legs and make a run for the door.

That dress

I have a lacy little number that always makes me feel good, covers enough whilst sucking everything ‘in’, sexy but classy. That too came along for the journey, never to escape the suitcase. Thoughts of great bar scenes, eligible gentlemen and fancy restaurants was replaced by chanting in a Temple, shivering from 4.30am winter mornings starts, 21 hour bus journeys amongst questionable body odours and dribbling noodles over myself. Wearing every layer of my suitcase to shield off the cold ensured that not only did I not bother with any beautification ritual or fancy outfits but I also didn’t want to. You could barely get me change out of my multiple layers.

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Nail Varnish

Taking at least 5 bottles in my favourite colours, I assured myself that I would mix it up, colour coordinating and generally making my nails look pretty. No need to be a rough and tumble traveller, I said to myself. Just because you are ‘backpacking’ does not mean you don’t put effort in. Bahahaha. Oh the lies we tell ourselves. The majority of the journey was trying to get the damn stuff of my nails, particularly when I was living at the temple. Forgetting the nail vanish removal, I spent my time picking at the colour in a bid to rid myself of any sign of beautification (which was not allowed). Finally I manage to use some removal at the monks wife’s home and breathed a sigh of relief to finally be rid of it. Moments later M looks at me all excitedly and tells me she wants to paint my nails. Not one to dash someone’s delighted and hopeful expression, I proceed to let her do her worst, which was to paint my nails in garish colours with added flower prints. So much for looking natural.

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Ah, I said natural….

Those skinny pants

Yes, I admit it. I took my skinny trousers in the hope that a few months hauling my luggage around South East Asia would melt inches from my thighs. Who knows when I would have the opportunity to eat, therefore bring the pants! Well its true, I managed to get into them and apart from being a bit snug, they did fit. Although by this time in my travels and with a whole new perspective  to boot, I suddenly thought – arse catapulted into the pants, why the hell am I doing this to myself?! Yes life is far too bloody short to spend my time wanting to fit into a pair of trousers! How absurd that a piece of material could have such a hold on me. So I bravely left them behind – to be donated of tossed, free to make someone else just as miserable with their unforgiving lack of elasticity.

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They fit!!!

Now, I am back to parents house with all its questionable odours such as mould and dog farts. My days will be spent curled up on the sofa, devouring Netflix like a pro and in the process observe my mind as it turns to mush. I will indeed relish the art of doing nothing.

The moment I ‘weally’ knew

When I think about it, I know I should have done it sooner. It was always meant to be but something I shied away from for a long time. Reason for this is I always thought I would never be any good at it, with my past experience leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. I believed that I would not be able to make any difference, however small.

At 20, I made my escape from the UK to the smog filled Beijing. I was running not from home but mostly myself, not wise enough to realise that wherever you go there you are. I was riddled with loneliness and culture shock that gradually became worse with each day that passed. My days were filled with DVD’s in a bid to escape my reality and I slowly but surely lost my mind. I was also a terrible teacher. So completely absorbed in my own pain and misery that I could barely fathom a smile, never mind provide entertainment at a school that relished an all singing and dancing foreign English teacher. The grey sky and the sun – which was barely traceable through the polluted air – added to my constant state of melancholy. I tried desperately to ‘stick it out’. Ashamed to admit defeat and have family view me as some sort of disappointment, I continued to go through the motions, teaching a few short hours a day and rushing back home to climb back into an unmade bed. As one of the only foreigners in the entire area, having any social interaction was difficult and as the days went by, the urge to meet people diminished. I finally cracked and went back to the UK – tail between my legs – promising myself that I would never go into teaching again as I was awful and no student should have to suffer having a teacher like me.

Fast forward eight years and I am sitting in the ‘farangs’ Temple living room area. The table we sit at is made of solid wood, carved with various elephant figures wandering the Thai jungle. The seats that we sit on are so heavy to move that usually I don’t bother, and merely slide myself between the table and chair. They are solid and are also carved into elephant heads, each detail finely perfected. It is bitterly cold and we are both wrapped up in our scarves and woolly hats. I – with my great suitcase planning and bringing mostly summer wear – am wearing every layer, including my pyjamas under my 8 precept whites. Nursing my coffee to counteract the cold we begin our lesson. It’s all about grammar and today is all about the should, shouldn’t and couldn’t. I had managed to scrape together some sort of lesson from the paperwork I had lugged from Bangkok to Fang. Using this we sat, starting with general conversation before getting into the nitty-gritty.

My lovely student – a 41-year-old Chinese woman who has lived in Fang all her life – is able to hold a conversation at elementary level and has no idea how to use these words – should, shouldn’t and couldn’t – in a sentence, never mind their meaning. We get to work, with this being the opportune time to put my CELTA training to work. We sit side by side in the cold. Two Temple dogs sit, nibbling their flees at our feet and looking up at us expectantly with their big brown eyes. I hear the other ‘farangs’ chatting away under hushed breath. The sweeping of the hand-made broom echoes through corridor into the meeting area. With each completed task my student looks up at me, needing reassurance. I tell her that she is indeed correct. ‘Weally?’ she asks, eyes widening in disbelief and a glimmer of hope. ‘Yes. Really’. And in that moment something happens. I begin to fill with a warmth that starts from my head and runs right through my toes. I have never felt so good. Better than any night on the town with the promise of more alcohol. Not the dancing or flirting with random guys. Not the belly aching laughter of a night with friends. Not grabbing the last ‘must have’ item in the sale. No, nothing compared to this feeling of knowing that my student was ‘getting it’. Feeling her hopeful energy that lingered in the air. We both looked at each other – glowing – and in that moment I knew that this was what I was meant to do. I am meant to teach.

Next time, travel with boyfriend

This is what I was told by the hotel manager. Obviously the staring and random foreign comments thrown at me were not all in my head. I did believe for a moment that I was being rather sensitive, with my previous post blowing off steam. As it stands, actually I’m seen as just weird.

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Welcome to the world of the single female traveller. Not all places of course but here in Ha Long bay I am seen as something of a rare species. With thoughts of writing, reading and relaxing before beginning my teaching career I thought what better way to spend it than on the coast of Vietnam. Maybe I was just a little bit naïve and failing to really check out the weather forecast – believing anything is better than the weather in the UK, I have found myself wrapped up in a scarf and woolly hat, eyes squinting through the fog.

So after a conversation with the manager of the hotel which involved me being sheepishly embarrassed of my single status, I have decided to do myself a favour and head south for warmth and sangria. I don’t take what the manager said to heart, as when I look back on holidays when I did have a partner, all I can remember are tears, arguments and silent treatment.

Holiday with boyfriend number 1

It was my 18th birthday and my first time on a plane. Me and my boyfriend touched down in Cyprus for a week of dinning, dancing and having plenty of…….cocktails. My excitement and enthusiasm was immediately popped like a balloon when ‘C’ didn’t want to do anything. In fact we barely left the hotel as he was terrified of the locals. Instead we were in bed by eight. This lasted a week and involved multiple arguments and sheer boredom, which lead to more arguments for something to do. Arriving back in the UK we broke up in the car on the way home from the airport (only to get back together and repeat the same shit for another 3 years).

Holiday with boyfriend number 2

Exciting stuff, with a whole campervan to take us through Europe. I painted the inside a ghastly yellow, and hung up flower power curtains. He put up shelves in what would be our new home for the next 6 weeks and off we went. The campervan, the cities, the mountains, the lakes, the beaches, the history, the architecture were all incredibly. Apart from him. ‘T’ decided that the best way to take in the sights and sounds of our adventure was to chase European skirts. He was also something of a ‘cold’ fish which didn’t fill my heart with the warmth and giddiness of young love. The trip itself was amazing. It was just a shame he was there.

Holiday with boyfriend number 3

A trip to Portugal, travelling from Wales by car. I long ass journey but involved rocking to various music and eating baguettes and salami off the boot of the car, Mediterranean sun hot on our necks. It was our first holiday, in which we had only been dating for 4 weeks. We stayed at ‘K’s aunties villa, surrounded by fig and olive trees. It was stunning, except all was not as it seemed with the man in my life. As I observed this new Casanova with all his words of love and affection, I noticed that he would change personalities, depending on who he was talking too. How bizarre, I thought. The holiday went in a haze of alcohol, fine food, walks on the beach and me trying to detach his face from mine. Which was permanently attached, slobbering over me and removing layers of skin away.

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Get off my face already

He would not leave me alone for a second, watching my every move and spraying his territory with every glance from another male. I came away from the holiday mentally exhausted, hung-over and overwhelmed with the ‘love bombing’.

So Mr Manager, travel with a boyfriend next time?

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music

My dad and I were discussing accommodation in Thailand. I told him that I was planning to find a retreat and meditate. You would swear by the face that he pulled that I had just told him I was planning to sell myself on the market in exchange for Thai fish cakes. ‘Ohhh NO. Don’t you bloody be doing things like that’.

Note to self: When dad pisses you off, threaten that you will mediate all over the place. That should sufficiently end any disagreement in your favour.

Although my parents can test my patience I must say I am grateful for the escape its given me from my bedsit existence near London. I did have some rip-roaring great nights though….By myself…With my iTunes. Who said that single life was dull?! Hell no! With the right wine and headphones (cant piss off the neighbours that live with you) you can really get your groove on. Firstly, you need to make sure that you have enough space for thunderous jumps, extreme hip thrusting and heart-felt miming (which can involve a lot of hand gestures and frightening facial expressions….Remember that expressing yourself is key). Now there is the choice of where you want to end up. That’s right, you read it correctly, music can take you down memory lane (hell lane, love lane, teenage lane etc.) Decide where you want to go pre-wine bottle….I mean glass! Pre-wine glass. Mentally prepare, sip wine, play tune and I will see you tomorrow…..

As sure as I am – Crowded house: I’m in Beijing. A miserable young girl who decided it would be a fabulous idea to board a plane to Beijing to teach English, with little in the pocket and even less in the mind. I am sat with my two flat mates. A guy from Liverpool and a guy from Texas. “I am as sure as I am. I couldn’t care less what might go wrong”. I am home sick and quite honestly being eaten alive by loneliness. The culture shock that I though I would be immune to has quite rightly given me a solid smack in the face. The three of us are sitting together in the apartment – the harsh winter freezing our undies that hang outside on the balcony, drinking questionable wine and stuffing dumplings down our throat. “Make your decision now, rely on no help from above”.

Cry me a river – Justin Timberlake: I’m in the car with my boyfriend. He pumps up the volume to the painful ‘ear shattering’ setting which makes me wince. “You don’t have to say, what you did, I already know, I found out from him. Now there’s just no chance, for you and me, there’ll never be and don’t it make you sad about it”. His eyes are popping out of his head, staring at me menacingly with the idea that I would ever be unfaithful. I know he is creating this movie worthy scene in his mind, me running off with some random lad. “Why are you directing this at me? I don’t understand why you would sing this to me when I barely leave the house, never mind cheat”. “I know princess…I’m not really singing it at you…I’m just singing!” He gives me the ‘I’m watching you’ look. Nothing like a bit of fear and projection to keep a relationship fresh.

Are you Strong enough to be my man – Sheryl Crow and Dixie Chicks: I am sitting on the double bed at a lodge in Sydney. My attention is on the industrial size cockroaches that are scuttling up and down the walls. I have the song on repeat and I am wondering where he is. My face is drawn and my skirt is hanging off my hip bones. I believe my boyfriend is telling me lies. Big, fat, whopping porkers. I choke back the tears and hope that I am wrong “Lie to me. I promise I’ll believe”.

Fireflies – Owl city: I’m walking along Coogee Bay, Sydney. I have my head phones on, strutting to the beat and feeling the Australian sun breathe life into my sallow skin. I’m heading to my see my boyfriend, who is staying with a fellow work colleague. I walk in and the place is filthy. Takeaway boxes and empty beer bottles line the tables and the counter tops. He is there sprawled out on the cream leather couch, naked. My stomach churns when I look at him and I am hit with a waft of whisky, vodka and beer. He has that certain kind of sweat that accumulates with a hangover. The kind that leaves a thick, pungent odour hanging in the air combined with the smell of stale tobacco. He is smoking and I don’t understand how he can smoke with such a painful hangover. He is angry that I have made a decision to leave him. I want him to put clothes on as it seems inappropriate that he is stretching and sweating all over someone else’s sofa.

Mmm mmm mmm mmm – Crash Test Dummies: I’m in London and my flat mate hates me. She is older than I and works as a Lawyer, although this is questionable as I rarely see her leave for work. She takes time off from work due to stress and proceeds to scrutinise my every move. She turns off the electricity at the mains so we cannot have the light on before 8pm. She shouts when I have my clothes hanging in the window to dry. I am desperately unhappy as I did not plan to be in London and miss Sydney so much it hurts. My boyfriend continues to watch me and follow me. Full of empty promises and lies. I can’t live with him and cannot live without him. He picks me up from the flat and I lie in the back of the car crying over the things that I cannot handle, while he continues to run errands. We continue to torture each other.

Life is too short – Scorpions: I am packing the last of my belongings and moving back to Wales. I lip sync to the music, putting emphasis on my dance moves around the bedsit. I ensure that the curtains are closed so poor unsuspecting neighbours do not get an eye full of my “I am a star” impersonation. I feel no regret and know full well that this is another chapter in my life that is fully closed. I have recovered from a toxic relationship and finally feel ready to embrace the world and whatever challenges that life may throw at me. I am ready to throw caution to the wind. I will no longer wait ‘For the time to stand still or all the worlds and stars from turning around’. Yes Scorpions, life it too short and sometimes you have to run for it before you have a chance to change your mind.