Blog Archive

February 2022

All blog entries posted in February 2022. Copyright rules apply to all of my written content and cannot be reproduced without permission.

Thoughts whilst oversleeping

Posted at 13:53.

(TW: mental illness, death) // I find myself going through a new 'future career' crisis almost weekly. It's something that came up a lot in OCD therapy and I think a lot of it comes from me feeling like I have to do everything I can as soon as possible to prevent all potential problems I might face. If I don't, it feels like I'm inevitably going to be faced with those problems and have a very distressing existence, destroy the things and people I love, or even die.

I have come to realise I've always been very scared of death/dying and the thought of never being conscious again. The loneliness, the nothingness. But I do appreciate that I wouldn't feel lonely or lost, quite so because of the nature of nothingness. The concept of a completely loveless existence (or lack thereof) is very bleak though and I get very sad at the thought of this being possible for anyone. Additionally, personal loss, others' loss and others' distress feel like something I should always try to prevent. This actually feels like a compulsion a lot of the time, and can seem as if it's something that stems from deep in my gut.

Perhaps that's why part of me often circles back to the idea of switching careers and becoming a healthcare professional. I definitely do want some form of career in healthcare (which is already kind of in the works) but I often get the overwhelming sense that I want to be doing practical things to help people. I also work well under pressure/adrenaline type situations and I feel like a healthcare role would allow me to harness this for the benefit of others.

For quite a while after graduating, I wanted to become a paramedic. If it was a more accessible career to get funding for in my situation I'd probably still consider it, although I'm currently learning to drive and I think my ADHD would mean I wasn't the best ambulance driver. I am usually quite good in a crisis though and have been able to step up when people in my life have been in serious emergencies (I'm definitely no stranger to the ambulance lines). I also like the idea of working in an emergency department or surgical theatre setting but I'm not sure. There are lots of different pathways into nursing and there are many development opportunities too. Especially in advanced clinical practice or ward/service leadership. In my current employment I could definitely work towards service management, health policy or project work - these things all interest me greatly. But I am at times concerned that this pathway is too desk-based and involving too little patient interaction/actual practical care delivery. On the other hand, I'm not sure if this is because I actually dislike office work or if I'm just worried I'll grow tired of it when it's too late to change.

I worked in adults' mental health for a while and delivered groups/workshops for people in recovery. I liked some elements but the job overall was too slow paced and I found myself wanting something more challenging, fast as well as with more responsibility. I almost felt that the lack of tiring work was quite draining for me, and I wasn't able to be an empathetic leader. This is something that colleagues in previous jobs (where I've supervised them) have often found me to be - I'm told this actively made their working day more positive, which is my foremost intention. I'm hopefully going to be training as a mental health first aider soon, though, which might be a nice way of exploring whether the psychological side of healthcare is still something I'd like to pursue.

In some ways following a healthcare career path would align with my political values (my undergrad is in politics) in that I would be helping the health system by training to do roles that are underfilled. I wouldn't want to do something just because there's a lack of people doing it, but at the same time I know I would feel like my work and decisions actually matter in the struggle to improve collective material conditions. Regardless, I do love the idea of working within the sector (even in the administrative/managerial part) and I do genuinely want to be able to improve people's lives as a priority. I am somewhat comfortable with difficult decision-making and have definitely become better at doing this in a way that prioritises those most in need. I just wish I could see things a bit more clearly in a way that's also self-aware. The worst thing to do would be to go into a caring role just for my own selfish reasons and end up causing harm to myself and others as a result.

posted by cepheus

Labels: life, mental health, musings, OCD, work

Baked goods + cold winds

Posted at 21:46.

I've been putting off updating my blog for *whispers* two months but I've finally dragged myself back online. I have actually been doing some other work for a housing project (helping with their website + some marketing graphics) during my spare time. I also bought a copy of Affinity Photo as I was getting pretty annoyed with GIMP running so slow and being less than intuitive compared to PS. It's a lot better and much smoother with more up-to-date features, including some vector tools. You can see some of the results of my playing around below. I would still love to have access to Adobe Illustrator, however. If only I were rich and could justify buying the creative cloud subscription :/

click to view click to view click to view

Christmas time was nice and I visited my family for a while (they live in a different city to me after I moved away to study a few years ago). I do really miss having them close by and would definitely move back to my hometown eventually but I don't have the financial means atm and in terms of job projects/grad schemes, the place I live now is slightly better. I'm learning to drive though and coach tickets are cheap enough (the drive is usually less than 2 hours) so I'm at least able to visit more often.

I'm not sure how much this will last, though, as energy bills are set to skyrocket later this year. Our government (who I am no fan of whatsoever) decided to raise the existing energy price cap in a move that purely helps the super-rich to increase their profits. This is despite the ongoing pandemic and already fast-rising costs of living where I'm from. Can't say I'm looking forward to having even less money than I do now! (my rent is already ridiculous for the crappy, poorly insulated house I live in)

I've been really enjoying my job, although it has been very stressful. The sector is hard hit every winter but the Omicron Variant and major staffing problems this year have forced everyone to work twice as hard. We're all very stretched and although we are all committed to the people we provide services for, it's been a difficult period nevertheless. I've booked a few long weekends off over the next few months though and things are starting to calm down. I did fail to get onto the grad scheme I wanted but I'm going to apply again next year so that's not so bad.

It's been very cold and windy where I live, with a wind storm even causuing a few deaths elsewhere in the country. I think we're through the worst of it now but it's still absolutely FREEZING. At least I have my trusty North Face puffer to keep me toasty for now lol. The meds I take have slightly affected circulation in my hands but wearing gloves indoors sometimes has helped a lot.

For my partner's birthday I decided to bake a cake. I haven't baked in ~8 years but my chocolate orange drizzle sandwich cake (topped with orange icing, Maltesers and orange peel) turned out really nicely. I seemed to catch the baking bug temporarily as I ended up making a cajun-spiced chickpea & vegetable pie the next day, even making my own pastry flavoured with ras el hanout. I also cooked bean burritos, lentil curry, lentil dahl, egg fried rice & spicy vegan chicken pasta this week. I even brought out my big deep pan and made soup with roasted vegetables and sweet potatoes. Nicely spiced with cajun style ingredients and a great way to keep warm during our newly freezing winters.

Earlier today I watched the first round of Ice Dancing at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. I love watching figure skating and do wish I'd learned when I was younger (we didn't have an ice rink nearby unfortunately). There's one in the city I live in now though so I'm eager to get down there and start improving just for fun. I'm not the worst and find it easy to go round on one foot/switching and can do different stops. Don't expect perfect stability all of the time though!!

I've pretty much finished setting up the main parts of this blog. My plans going forward are adding any artwork/graphics I make, continuing to upload interesting texts and tutorials I come across, adding links to some of my favourite online media/videos and writing some tutorials for basic site building. I always like to have some sort of useful visitor content on my site, especially anything that helps people get started on neocities, which is a much nicer environment than most social media (*ahem* 5 hours of instagram per day? not sure what you mean bro x)

Entertainment wise I've been listening to some new albums. I really enjoyed Yard Act's latest LP and FKA Twigs' new release, "Caprisongs" has had several repeat-listens. Definitely check it out if you haven't already. I also finally set up a letterboxd account to try and encourage me to watch more films, as well as being able to document what films I've seen and actually like (I'm useless at remembering things I like). I watched Midsommar for the first time last week (very unsettling but I love that sort of slow atmospheric horror) and then Little Women (which is finally on Netfl*x). I really enjoyed the latter and watched it with my friend who is a literature grad (and thus knows a lot about the book), and I tend to like a lot of films starring Saoirse Ronan. I also love this song that she's the vocalist for - yes ok you caught me, I still watch Riverdale lmao. Even after the time jump. What can I say? Always love to feed my Cole Sprouse & Jordan Connor crushes. Plus who doesn't want to watch any scene containing stolen by Cheryl.

I'm going to make some food now (didn't mean to leave cooking till almost 10PM but it's my holiday time so boo hoo). I've been visiting other people's sites even when I've not been updating my own, and I added a link button rotation to the left sidebar, just like the 2000s blogs of yore. As ever, let me know if you'd like to swap links. Au revoir for now.

posted by cepheus

Labels: design, films, life, music, site updates, work

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