Monday morning thoughts 

  • Is it acceptable to be a Beliber now?
  • Is Adele going to wait till she’s 30 for her next album?
  • Why is the man near me talking so much so early in the morning?
  • How on earth will I get out of the Christmas party to make it to an event I’m speaking at? I shouldn’t have pulled a sickie last week – would have been useful this week!
  • Will I survive another week with no coffee? (I don’t usually drink coffee but this is getting more and more difficult with each passing day)

And the Monday morning pickup:

Britney Spears got through 2007, you can get through today! – Unknown

Being ready

She wakes up ready.
Ready to take on everything she is not ready for.

As her kettle brews she brushes her hair. She irons the clothes that fit too tight and don’t fall right. She lines her eyes, applies mascara and taints her lips. She wraps her scarf around her head and pins it into place. She drinks her tea. And puts on plasters before wearing her heels. She is ready.

Ready to pretend she understands the capitalistic world she’s thrown herself in where the corporate call themselves the alternative. They pride themselves as diverse and inclusive yet she sees no one like herself and does not fit in. She pretends she does not mind that they get drunk and speak too close, spewing horrible fumes and dropping alcohol onto her beautiful gown. She pretends she does not feel offended when they assume she is against LGBT rights. She tries to laugh as the scoff at “chavs only buying clothes from Primark” whilst she is dressed in mostly Primark clothes and lives with her mum in a council house. She is patient when they ask “are you Islam?” and “so what are you doing about ISIS?”. She hides her offence at the “I volunteered in Africa (because obviously Africa is a country to them). It was weird because I was the only white person in the village”. She goes along to yet another evening of networking with the same clones and the same stench of wine.

And when all is done, she can come back home. She takes off the heels at the door, unwraps her scarf, wipes off the black around her eyes and changes into her mexi. She does not have to be ready anymore. She sighs with relief and gets ready for bed, dreading the morning ahead.

Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman. – Maya Angelou

Dear future me 

In just a few days I will enter a world I don’t know. The corporate world. And I’m terrified. Frightened of the place, the people, the money, but more so of what I could become. So here’s a reminder to future me, for the times the present me is not so familiar anymore.

Be You

You’re adaptable. You’ve been able to fit in your whole life, being in but feeling out. But you’ve found who you are now. Know the world you’re entering and know that it is not you. So when you’re trying to mix in, don’t forget how happy you felt to find your cause and faith, how much you care and how important your values are to you. Continue reading

Formal wear

In a few weeks I start my graduate scheme in the corporate world. I don’t want to name the company but it is one of the Big Four. Now there are many fears – will I be able to make friends, will I be able to handle the workload, will I fit in? But the one that’s at the front of my mind: what will I wear?!

What I look like – trying to look serious

I wear a hijab and long flow-y clothes. This includes jilbabs, maxi-dresses and skirts. That makes things tough but doable – I am just continuously stocking up on suitable items as and when a store adds them to their line. Except I am also petite. And I mean really petite. Size 4-6 (UK) and 5 ft. Many stores don’t even stock that size and when they do, they’re too long. Skirts are easy enough to tailor. But what about shirts and blazers? I am forever looking like I’ve been engulfed, like a child trying on her daddy’s suit. My only solution is to fold in the sleeves and opt to buy fitted styles – which are still big but I think I can pull them off.  Continue reading

So it ends, so it begins

Feels like the last scene of Friends. Yes, it’s that sad.

And it’s over – handed back my keys, wrote down all the social media passwords and we’ve held our last meetings with the managers. All I have left to do now is enjoy the leavers do and cry.

Well maybe not cry. Or perhaps I will. This has genuinely been the best year of my life: I’ve found myself, I’ve found the people I want to be around and I’ve found the cause I want to fight for. And I’m not sure I’m ready to leave.

I (mis)used my last access to free colour printing to print out pictures, tweets and statuses from the past year – all ready for my scrap book. So many memories, so many times I felt vital and alive. And really – how many jobs are there that make you feel like that? Vital. Alive.  Continue reading

Giving too much

I give too much of myself.

I give up too much of time – checking emails whilst in bed, writing press releases on the train, meetings during the day, attending events during the evening and planning my own late into the night. I take on new projects others have little time for. And I mentor those who care, helping them focus their energy.

I give up too much of my love – continuing to help even when they’ve turned away before, remembering to forgive and give ‘just one more chance, just this last time – I promise‘. I prioritise the feelings and happiness of others above my own. And I will put myself on the line for the people and causes I care about.  Continue reading

Handing over 

Today I begin my handover period – a few weeks where my team show our successors the ropes before we move on with our own lives. (I work in an environment where people are elected into their position, so there’s an annual handover period).

I packed up my desk – all the postcards I had received full of encouragement and wisdom, books I had collected, ticket stubs and event brochures, photos, and my slippers. Memories I had forgotten about resurfaced and I felt my first all consuming sadness to be leaving this place. A place where I had learnt so much, grown so much.

Continue reading