April 1st 2017

I, like many people I’m sure, went straight from secondary school, to A-Levels, to university, to full-time employment, without a break to stop and evaluate what I want to do, and how I will do it. So, as I approach my final weeks at a job I’ve had for the last four years, I am now entering unknown territory. For the first time in my life I might not be doing anything, like at all, which is a scary thought. However, what’s more scary is that I’ve been contempt for the last couple of years staying at a job I have no desire for. I’ve procrastinated for far too long, and I’ve finally taken action.

A full-time job with little-to-no responsibility and a steady pay cheque is a procrastinator’s worst nightmare. I’ve always been a procrastinator; I procrastinated throughout the entirety of school years, and after my results I promised myself I would change, only to procrastinate just as much throughout my A-Levels (although I somehow did better – no lesson learned there). This continued throughout my degree as well, to a certain extent, and overall I graduated with a 2:1 in music, and a 1st in procrastinating.

However, the things I procrastinated whilst at school or university all had deadlines, and when these deadlines approached like a steam train and I realised I had wasted two weeks watching three TV shows on Netflix, the fear would kick in and I would do the work. This worked for me very well at school and university, as I still achieved good results. Well, good enough that they didn’t alter my work routine. But what happens to a procrastinator when there are no deadlines? Well, if you’re like me, you stall. I have learnt the hard way that there is no deadline for pursing a new career or a passion; I have to do that myself.

When I graduated I struggled to find a job that related to my degree, so I opted to continue working as a waiter. My initial plan was to work there temporarily, just until the new year so I could save up some money, whilst simultaneously looking for another job. New year came and went, nothing changed. Then a whole year had past and I was certain I would leave, adamant even, but then I was offered the role of supervisor and I accepted. That was six months ago, and last week I finally ignored and said no to the fear of leaving a steady job for the unknown and handed in my notice.

I can honestly say I do not know what I’m going to do next, but it’s nice to know in a way that it can be anything, and as a procrastinator, having no job is definitely the motivation I need to find a new one.

P.S. Firstly, the image at the top is known as a ‘Life Calendar’. It’s something I came across whilst watching a TED video on procrastination whilst simultaneously procrastinating (no seriously), and essentially every box is a week in the life of a 90-year old. My initial reaction was “Surely that can’t be correct? That can’t be 90 years worth”, but it is (trust me, I counted). But that wasn’t even the scariest bit, as a lot of the boxes have been shaded in already. This image really put it into perspective for me, and if anyone is like me and struggles with procrastination I would definitely recommend watching it. It’s titled: ‘Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator’.

And secondly, I would like to apologise to each and everyone I work with who is finding out about me leaving this way. I didn’t know how to tell you guys; it’s honestly one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. In the past, if I ever thought about leaving, just thinking about you guys made it incredibly hard for me to leave, and without you there I would have left a LONG time ago, trust me. But I soon came to realise that even if I did leave that I would still see you guys all the time, which gave me the confidence to pursue something different. I hope you can understand. (Plus, I’m not getting any younger!)

If I was ever having a bad day, you guys made it better. You made work fun and you made me laugh every day. I just hope I returned the favour. Working with you was by far the best part of my time here, and I really do appreciate just how lucky I’ve been to not only work with you, but have you as friends. I know there’s still a few weeks to go, and I know this isn’t the end, but thank you for everything, truly. You guys are the best!

Yours sincerely,

Will Heather

GBK Hoe

 

 

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The wet, yet wonderful city of Naples.

So I’m back from Naples, and after a good night’s sleep, I have mixed emotions. Firstly, I’m glad to be home and back in my own bed (I assume most people are when returning from abroad?), but I simultaneously want to go back; to see more, do more (and of course, eat more!) Four days really isn’t enough.

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The Theatre of Pompeii.

Despite leaving Naples with a larger list of things to do and places to see than when I arrived, I’m grateful that I managed achieve two of my three personal goals for the trip: visiting the ruins of Pompeii, and reaching the peak of Mount Vesuvius. However, for some reason the National Archeological Museum of Naples is closed on Tuesdays? No idea why. So we just didn’t have the time. Anyway, I digress. The ruined city of Pompeii was everything I thought it would be and more. A lot bigger than I expected too. I could have easily spent all day walking through the streets, reading all the information, indulging in the architecture, and just appreciating the shear mass destruction that occurred nearly 4000 years ago. However, due to unforeseen torrential rain (and I mean torrential*), hail and thunder and lightening, we probably only saw about half of the city before we were completely drenched. Having said that, it did make the experience even more memorable.

By this point you may (or may not) be wondering who I am referring to in regards to “we”. I went to Naples with my dad. I initially planned on going alone, for some reason, but I’m very glad he decided to join me. It was a better trip because of it.

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My dad. 35mm.

The next day, however, it was all sun (thankfully) as we climbed Mount Vesuvius, which was perfect, allowing us to see the beautiful landscapes of Naples. After getting a minibus to roughly 1000m, we walked the remainder, reaching the peak and looking into the pit of this still active volcano. The views were incredible. Plus as we began our descent, the sun began to set over vast hills and coastline of Naples. To quote Bruce Nolan: “B-E-A-Utiful”.

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Climbing Mount Vesuvius.

Despite these two unforgettable experiences, there is still so much more of Naples I wish to see and experience, and it was only once we were there that we truly learnt about what Naples has to offer. Research and planning can only take you so far, you learn more by doing.

Firstly, the Ruins of Herculaneum, another fascinating, yet haunting sight, is located in Ercolano; a beautiful and colourful town along the coast of Naples, and is only a few stops outside of the city. Herculaneum, like Pompeii, suffered the same of Vesuvius, but isn’t as well known. We only discovered this because we decided to take a walk whilst we were waiting for our minibus. Additionally, Sorrento in still on my list of places to see, and is on the same line as Ercolano (home of Vesuvius and Herculaneum) and Pompeii, making it a very accessible and desirable destination.

I’ve done two of the main ‘touristy stuff’, but next I want to see more of the city and experience more of the Neapolitan culture, eat more of their wonderful food, and of course, take more pictures.

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Ercolano. 35mm.

What else can I say. Naples is a beautiful city, with lots to offer. I’ve only experienced a glimpse, and I wish to return as soon as possible, preferably in the summer though! This will hopefully be the first of many short trips this year, and if I do, you know where to find me.

*The rain was so heavy that my so called “reliable” Olympus DSLR of eight years (my words, not the manufacturers) has ceased to exist. RIP. The silver lining is, however, that as anyone who read my first entry knows, I am terrible when it comes to buying new things. This buying-a-new-camera-saga has gone on long enough, and mother nature has clearly made the decision for me. If this isn’t a sign to buy a new camera then I don’t know what is. Moreover, my dad oddly enough also broke his camera. He slipped as we were coming down Vesuvius. Don’t worry, he’s fine. The camera is not. RIP. Fortunately for both of us, we were able to retrieve the images from both cameras, and I used my phone and my 35mm camera for the remainder of our stay.

“How do you like them Naples?”

So yeah, I actually booked a trip somewhere, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time; Naples. Ever since sharing a house with an Italian student at University, and hearing about the Neapolitan culture and the beauty of Sorrento (as well as being interested in Archeology as a young child*), I decided that Naples was a city I would definitely visit in my lifetime.

Start blog: -check-
Visit Naples: -check-
Find rewarding career: -pending-

A rough itinerary for this short visit includes, but is not limited to: the Ancient Roman City of Pompeii, the Vesuvius National Park and the Naples National Archaeological museum. You know, the typical ‘touristy stuff’. The outbound flight is at 13:15 tomorrow (Monday, 2nd) and I cannot wait. Hopefully the weather holds up, especially upon top of Vesuvius; a sight I would not like to miss.

Despite leaving it late, I achieved what I set out to do in my last post. Well, almost everything. I am still yet to buy a new camera. After weeks, possibly even months of being indecisive and talking myself out of buying every camera I look at, letting each minor flaw disrupt my decision making, I finally decided on a camera! So I’m standing there, in a certain electronics store/ Indian takeaway, and I’ve made up my mind. I approach a member of staff, point out the camera I wish to purchase, only to be told it was out of stock. The moral of the story is: if you want something, do it right away, don’t hesitate, as not all things can be restocked. (Too cheesy, or surprising philosophical?) Anyway, so long story short, I’m taking my old, yet reliable Olympus DSLR, as well as my even older, but unreliable Olympus SLR 35mm camera.

See ya in a couple of days!

*I’ve always had weird hobbies and interests, from stamp collecting, to timing myself solve a Rubik’s cube.** But one of my earliest passions was history, specifically the study of the Egyptians, which may or may not have stemmed from watching ‘The Mummy’ (1999) a million times***. Irregardless, I had a fascination with all things Egyptian, most particularly trying to read and write hieroglyphics. I loved creating my own phrases and attempting to read old Egyptian passages, believing that I might one day solve a 5000-year-old mystery hidden in the text. Moreover, I loved the idea of going for walks with a metal detector (but in reality, more often than not just in my back garden) hoping I might find a priceless artefact that would cement my name forever more in the history books.

**Note: My quickest recorded time is 41 seconds, a mere 36 seconds slower than the world record.

***Disclaimer: I have not seen ‘The Mummy’ (1999) a million times.

 

“Is this thing on?”

-taps microphone-

“Is this thing on?”

So, to my utter disbelief, I have been given the first week of 2017 off. This calls for a celebration, right? Wrong! When your job typically requires you to work weekends and evenings, with your shifts changing every week, you tend to lose sight of how to have a social life and interact with people outside of the work place. Moreover, you tend to give up on making any future plans or living life in a spontaneous manner. The idea of:

Friend: “Hey, we’ve just decided to go out tomorrow to this super-awesome-
thingamjig. Wanna come?”

Me: “Oh sorry, I’m working.”

becomes all too familiar.

I currently work as a supervisor in a restaurant, so basically, a glorified waiter who gets to wear his own clothes, and this is my first real opportunity since last January (has it been a year already?) to have some significant ‘me time’. However, the problem is, I’m struggling to fill this oh-so-precious time* with something memorable and fulfilling. Would it be a crime against all who wait tables if I just sat at home in my PJs, playing xbox, eating junk food and catching up on Netflix? Most likely, however tempting it may be. So I came to the conclusion that I would go somewhere; somewhere I haven’t been before, and see more of the world. Although, at the time of writing, it is Wednesday, 28th December 2016, T-minus 3-days until my designated time off, and I have yet to book a plane ticket anywhere.

So what is stopping me? The fear? The fear of the unknown? I am a very organised person, someone who plans everything to a tee, even something I’ve done a million times. So to do something like this, travelling to another country on my own, and at such short notice is a huge step for me, irregardless.  I cannot begin to tell you the amount of times I have planned something, and then at the last second talked myself out it, for whatever reason I tell myself is true. For example, I’m currently looking to buy a new camera. A normal person will probably go to a shop, look at all the cameras on show, maybe even play around with one or two, and then buy one. Not me. For some reason I cannot just buy something. I have to research it so much that by the end I’ll convince myself I don’t even need or want one. I must have researched about 20 different cameras, and by researched I mean reading articles online, comparing specifications, watching YouTube videos, looking at cameras in stores, reading customer reviews and so on. And that was just yesterday! It’s that over thinking, the analysis of every small detail which blurs the bigger picture, and stops me from experiencing new and wonderful things.

Anyway, I’ve waffled on enough for today. There are only two outcomes after this is published: 1. You never hear from me again, meaning I in fact did not follow through with my desire to visit a new country, and am now wallowing in my own self pity. Or 2. I’ll be posting an update next week, talking about how wonderful my trip was, and sharing a bunch of photos documenting my travels. At the moment, it’s 50/50.

*Time is precious, and should not be wasted. However, to worry about not making the most of your time is not healthy either. It’s a debate I often have with myself. Am I doing this because I want to, or because I feel pressured to maintain a certain ‘online persona’, forever documenting how ‘awesome’ my life is, where I’ve been, and who I’m with. I’m not saying it’s bad to share your life online, it’s great in fact, social media is a great tool to connect with people, however, you can just as easily disconnect from people, and I believe everyone should reevaluate why they are sharing something. Which begs the question: why am I uploading this? Truthfully, this is for me, as motivation. As I previously stated, I tend to talk myself out of doing things, I tend to over think and analyse. I don’t want to anymore. I want to just do, and hopefully share my stories with other people, like me or otherwise.