The 30 year old Runner

It may seem like I have had something of a blogging hiatus of late but in fact I have been blogging often, just in other places like here, here and here.

Last time I posted I was nervously awaiting my 30th birthday which I had been dreading for a while. I’d been having a bit of a tough time, unable to get even an interview, let alone a job and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. My birthday itself, despite the best efforts of dear friends, was a fairly sorry affair culminating in my phone being stolen in Shoreditch at the end of my big night out. To paraphrase a well worn saying, woe was most definitely me. I had just about had enough. After wallowing over the remainder of the weekend and worrying my poor mother half to death in floods of tears I decided to give myself two more weeks in London and if I hadn’t found work by the end of that time I was going home.

It turns out that was the kick up the backside I needed. I knew I had a week’s work experience coming up which I had been looking forward to for ages but beyond that, nothing was set in stone and I was pretty on edge I wouldn’t find something. I had the best week work experience I could have hoped for where I got the opportunity to help out at a production company that makes some of my favourite TV shows. I got to try my hand at researching potential contributors for a show in development, organising contributor release forms, (the forms that give production companies contributors’ express consent to participate in the show) and organising props for a weekend shoot. At the end of the week I amazingly got invited to work on location at the very same shoot I had prepared the props for and it was brilliant! It was a super long day but I got such a buzz out of getting up early and helping out wherever I was needed. I really felt like part of the team and I can’t wait to see the end result when it is released.

On the day before my disasterous birthday I had had an interview for an internship with a documentary filmmaker I really wanted to work with (whose website you can visit via the first link at the top of this post). Interestingly when I applied for the job back in January I didn’t hear back for rather a long time. I knew Helen, the company Director, was filming in Ghana at the time so a few weeks after she returned to London I gave her a call to follow up. No answer. I left a voicemail. The next day I tried again and didn’t get through for a second time so I sent her an email. Fast forward a month later and after two interviews I was sitting in a coffee shop in Dalston with Helen on my first day of work. She told me then that she had received 100 applications for the post and missed mine by accident when I submitted it initially. It was only when I followed up that she decided to give me an interview because she admired the fact I followed up. Thank God I did! I started working for See Change Films on the last day of my two week deadline. Talk about cutting it fine!

After a wonderful 3 months writing and implementing a communications strategy and helping train inspiring young people with stories to tell through film it was time to move on and I finished there just over a week ago. I managed to get an interview with a post production house in Soho as a Runner / Receptionist but alas it wasn’t meant to be and I received the ‘thanks-but-no-thanks’ phone call a few days later. HOWEVER… even though I wasn’t right for that particular job the panel saw something in me and invited me for a trial shift as a Runner. That was last Thursday and at the end of the day they offered me the job. So that’s us up to date! I’m now a 30 year old Runner and I’m having the time of my life! ūüôā

Reclaiming Monday!

Urgh. Mondays are the worst. Not content with ruining the start of your week they steal part of your Sunday night filling you with dread at what might already await you in your inbox the following morning. Or in my case what doesn’t await you. What a shitter. Here is a nice picture to sweeten the crappiness of Mo(a)nday:

baby-sloth-is-content

But what if Mondays didn’t have to signal the beginning of the end? What if they could be the beginning of something great? My friend Mairead is bit of a wise one. We went for coffee yesterday – I drink a lot of coffee! – and she let me pick her brain about moving to London, which she herself did. She asked me a very simple question: What do you want to do? I prattled on about lots of different things and it turns out I want to do EVERYTHING! When I was wee I was the same. My dream jobs varied from hairdresser to astronaut, wildlife camera(wo)man to musician to high powered business owner. Not a lot has changed. However, thanks to a few disastrous hair experiments I carried out on my friends in Uni – sorry Manus… and Jenny… and Laura…and Sophie…ok, you get the picture! – I think it’s safe to say I can put the notion of becoming a hairdresser to bed. As for astronaut, well that’s another sorry tale! Failing astrophysics not once but TWICE at Uni put paid to that. (FYI it was a module for Arts students and I was more captivated by the tutor’s impressive beard than the science of the stars. Incidentally he showed us MANY pictures of the aurora borealis in lectures yet no pictures appeared in the exam. I felt cheated.)

I digress. Stay with me. Here’s another picture to keep you going:

funny-cat-became-a-loaf-lolcat-pics

When I was wee I was a real daddy’s girl. My dad was pretty cool. You’ll have to take my word for it. I wanted to be just like him when I grew up. I wanted to do a job that touched my soul and allowed me to be creative. I wanted a career I could be passionate about and proud of. (Don’t we all?!)

What a dude!

What a dude!

My dad was a musician and a composer who chased his dreams and did a job he loved, even though the work wasn’t always in plentiful supply. I postponed the life I wanted to go to Uni – which I loved – thinking that I could pick it back up when I came out the other side. Sadly my lovely dad passed away just before my finals and by the time I graduated the recession hit. Doom and gloom all round. I panicked and took the first job I was lucky to get and put my dreams to one side. A couple of years later I got itchy feet and switched to a career in the charity sector where I’ve stayed ever since. The problem with pushing things to the far corners of your mind is that they always resurface until you deal with them in one way or another. After listening to me prattle on in a million and one directions Mairead told me this: I talk about the things I want to do but I really need to start talking about what I am going to do. I need to stop talking myself down from acting and doing the things I really want: “Be the master of your Universe. Make things happen,” she said. She’s a clever one, that Mairead.

So what has all this got to do with Mondays? Well, what if we made Monday the day to start moving our lives towards the ones we always wanted? Mairead sent me a link to video of a TED talk last night that dealt with the top 5 regrets of the dying. I’ll share it will you here sometime, tomorrow maybe. Among the list people regretted not living the life they wanted, worrying about what other people thought of them and working too hard. Why don’t we use today to take stock while we have the chance? Let’s start a Monday revolution and turn this once loathed day of the week into one to look forward to! Let’s make Monday a day where we promise to do at least one thing that will inch us ever closer to the life we want over the life we have. Today’s post is my first step.

I’d love to hear any tips you have for making Mondays that little bit better! Have you made any changes recently to make your life the way you want it? Feel free to follow and comment on my blog. It’s always nice to hear what other people are up to and since I started my blog back in June I’ve learned about lots of things I would have otherwise missed out on so thank you to everyone who got in touch or liked a post.

Oh, and one more thing…

Can too much choice be a bad thing?

When my mother was growing up career advice¬† was somewhat simple for girls: if you’re smart become a teacher, if you’re a bit thick go and work in a bank.¬† How the ‘dopey’ bank cashiers must smirk now.

Now we have a multitude of options at our fingertips but, for me at least, choosing one to commit  to is harder than ever.  Stronger women than me fought long and hard for the right to be able to do whatever we want and I feel almost obliged to do it all: have a career, have a family, run with the bulls in Pamplona, whatever.

I knew leaving my job with nothing to go to was the right thing for me to do at that time but a month down the line it doesn’t make the situation I find myself in any easier to come to terms with.¬† After submitting application after application and receiving little or no feedback I wonder have I broadened my horizons a little too much perhaps? ¬†It’s embarrassing running into friends I haven’t seen in ages and noting the horror in their eyes mixed with a little glee, (in some cases), knowing that all these years later they are doing that bit better than I am.¬† Long term I know this is the right path for me but I do occasionally wonder, should I have settled for something already?

All I can say for certain is I have less than ¬£20 in my purse and about 200 miles worth of petrol left in my car and I’m going to spend the next few days seeing where both take me.¬† I’ll keep you posted.

In the zone

I’ve been quiet for a few days now and I suppose I needed a few days off from applying for jobs, if anything just to recharge my batteries.¬† It’s funny how draining sitting on your backside form filling can be but it was really exhausting me!¬† So I took a few days away from the applications and enjoyed the sunshine, going for long walks and generally clearing my head.¬† It was just the ticket and now I feel so much more motivated to get out there and seize the day!

This weekend I’m pleased to say that I’ve submitted 2 applications to an amazing charity and am in the process of completing a third, hoping to submit it this afternoon.¬† I’ve set myself a goal of moving to the big smoke by September and I’m going to do everything in my power to make that happen so I had better get my skates on!¬† I’m definitely feeling much more hopeful that I did a week ago when I thought I’d never see the end of these application forms but now I’ve done a few I feel like I’m getting into the swing of things although I’m keeping my fingers crossed I won’t need to fill in too many more before something comes up.¬† We’ll see!