The Quest for Employment

As I’m sure many of you have experienced, searching for jobs is a daunting and precarious task. In the past few weeks that I have been looking, I have applied for over twenty jobs, and possibly heard back from… three.

The fact that plenty of potential employers do not even have the courtesy to inform you they don’t want you (or write something diplomatic like “we are sorry, but we have already filled the position”. It’s not that challenging, is it?) is what really grinds my gears.

I heard back from a bar job (not one I was ecstatic about possibly having, but a job is a job) who called to say “are you still interested in working for us?”.

Obviously, I replied with yes (though, I like to think I phrased it to sound a little bit more excited). They then, equally positively, said “great! We’ll call you tomorrow to sort out when you can come in for a trial.”

And guess what? I never heard from them again. I feel as though this sums up most people’s efforts to find a job.

Now, I’m going to be honest, I’m hardly over-qualified. I have limited experience, as travelling is not the best time to launch a career. For someone my age (nineteen), having previous experience in certain areas is extremely unlikely. Actually having your CV (or resumé) chosen to be looked at is equally unlikely. So when potential employers advertise employment saying “experience required” it makes our lives exceedingly difficult.

How I feel most employers really are...

How I feel most employers really are…

I feel as though this is a bit too much of a rant, but truth be told it is the only interesting thing happening in my life right now.

Coming back from travelling and returning home, actively searching for a job (and trying desperately to make sure it is not a job I will detest) is a serious blow to the feeling of “freedom” that I acquired on my Gap Yah (I swear, it sounds wrong to simply say gap year. Though, technically, it wasn’t a gap year… it’s more Gap Yahs than anything).

On the positive side, I do have a job trial tomorrow working as Front of House at a Greek restaurant, so we’ll see how that goes. Luckily, that place did not insist on previous Front of House experience.

Working in a pub sounds like the way forwards to me (I’m not sure if “pub” is a universal term or not… to you Americans, a pub is more or less a bar, but tends to have a very relaxed vibe (obviously where we all speak in our traditional English accents and guffaw at silly things that Americans would find tedious). They also tend to have fireplaces and a low buzz of conversation opposed to LOUD MUSIC). My hope is that when everyone leaves for university, all the jobs shall open up and they’ll have no option but to employ me. Yes, this would be good.

As an end-note, I seem to have delved back into a teenage angst lifestyle and have discovered the delight of Halestorm. Who rock. Thought this would be worth mentioning for no reason. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGchlqCjj8A

Also, this Tumblr post cheered me up after so many… I was going to call them rejections, but they weren’t even that. They were ignores. Goddamn word-that-doesn’t-exist.

I'm going to try include a Tumblr picture in every post. Because it makes me happy.

I’m going to try include a Tumblr picture in every post. Because it makes me happy.

Fictitious Emotions

I’m back, and a lot sooner than I was expecting. Things are looking up!

So, due to being unemployed and having very little to do, I have either been gaming (something I hadn’t done for a year so I have to make up for lost time, right..?), or watching films/TV series.

Yesterday (obviously this time will change depending on when you read this), I finished my old TV Series (Daredevil – came highly recommended, ended up being slightly disappointed), and moved onto my new TV Series: Broadchurch.

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Broadchurch, starring David Tennant (yes, this is what influenced me to watch it) and Olivia Colman, not to mention numerous other people of note (including Rory from Doctor Who! Though, he’d probably prefer to be known by his real name, Arthur Darvill), is a crime/drama/mystery set in the small coastal town of Broadchurch (Dorset, England), where a young boy of eleven is found murdered.

There are three main reasons I can think of for why I am enjoying it thus far (I am two episodes in as of this post). The first being David Tennant. Because Scotland… and Doctor Who. The second reason is that the Dorset accent (or the West Country accent) is one of the most joyful accents one will ever hear. In fact, I have looked up West Country specific phrases just for you guys (and for myself):

“Gurt” means “big” or “very”

“Spuddling” means “to cause trouble” or “to bicker”

“G’woam” means “going home”

I think I need to start using G’woam more.

Either way (getting off track. Nothing has changed in the past year (…on my Gap Yah. I HAD TO, I’M SORRY)), the third reason I am enjoying Broadchurch is that it is tense and full of mystery. And actually emotional, which is the main reason for this post actually. First episode I felt myself welling up. This has happened very rarely to me in regards to TV/films.

Though I hate to bring it up (complete lie) Lord of the Rings always gets me. When Boromir dies with defending Merry and Pippin? Yeah, sacrifice doesn’t get greater than that. But I have never cried. Tears have never been shed for a fictitious person.

My sister, on the other hand, cries probably more at fictional characters than in real life circumstances. Something I have never understood. In fact, I believe she owns a t-shirt that says “Leave me alone so I can cry over the deaths of fictional characters” (which is where the picture header came from). This pretty much sums up the difference between me and my sister. That and the fact she’s the academic one, I’m the sociable one, and many other things but yeah… emotions are one of the differences.

The only time I have come close to crying over a fictional character was when I was about twelve. I went to go see the film Bridge to Terabithia at the cinema.

bridge-to-terabithia-hero

I don’t know what it was, but that shit was heart-wrenching. Yet re-watching it, I felt none of the same pangs. I mean, I still realised it was upsetting (my sister cried… again), but I didn’t feel any need to well up. Perhaps I am influenced more by shock than anything.

Game of Thrones Spoilers ahead. Stop reading here if you haven’t seen Season Five.

Also: rant ahead. Sorry.

Actually, as an after-note, let us discuss Game of Thrones.

Filthily riddled with death and surprising moments, it has caused many generations of the past few years to watch the show with a mixture of fear, hate, love and adrenaline. Then season five happened, and Jon Snow is apparently dead.

jon snow

Now, I am a book reader. I watched the first season, then read all the books before the second season came out (still waiting for Winds of Winter Mr. Martin, just saying). So I knew the majority of deaths were going to happen. Including Jon Snow. And his “death” has led to WAY TOO MANY RUMOURS AND PEOPLE ANALYSING EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING THAT THE PRODUCERS/CAST SAY AND IT IS DRIVING ME INSANE. Seriously, these “Kit Watches”, as I believe they are being called are getting ridiculous. “Oh look, he still hasn’t cut his hair.” “Oh my God, he’s going to Iceland. He’s still in the show!”

WHO CARES. Yes, he is one of my favourite characters, and yes, Kit Harington is attractive, but please stop. Just watch for the next season. Now let’s watch some goddamn TV.

IN PEACE.

A Fresh Start!

*Pictured above: a happy Richard (that’s me, just to clarify – I refer to myself in third person after my Gap Yah) at Hobbiton, New Zealand.

Well.

How do you start a blog once again that you haven’t put any effort or input into for the past year? With difficulty.

I need a clean slate. Something fresh to start on. Yet for that, my life actually has to have a heading, something to aim for.

I just spent ten amazing months of my life travelling and working, meeting fantastic people, and gazing upon spectacular sights. Now I’m back home, not travelling, not meeting people, and not seeing sights. It’s certainly a change.

People (you know, the new people you meet travelling) say that travelling is addictive, and when you’re not actually living a life like they are, you can’t really accept these words as a possibility. But now that I’m back, I’ve realised that they are entirely right.

Don’t get me wrong. Being home is wonderful. Seeing family and friends after almost an entire year of being apart is marvellous. Plus, having my own room (and own bed), alongside having a kitchen I don’t need to share with thirty other people is equally wonderful.

Yet, there is definitely something missing.

Not that I like being a cheesy, predictable guy but I’ve changed travelling. Hopefully not in a bad way (for one thing, I haven’t come back from my travels saying “Gap Yah”… except then, and earlier (if you haven’t seen the video, please go watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKFjWR7X5dU), and secondly I don’t manage to connect everything I say with what I did whilst away)), but I have most definitely changed.

For one thing, I’ve been inspired to be more independent. Which is why living at home with family is a strange experience. Though, I haven’t seen them much as I was home for three days then my mum, step-dad and sister left for France. I’m well loved, you see.

I think the reason for a post entitled “A Fresh Start” is partially due to the fact I just finished the novel “How to Build a Girl” by Caitlin Moran. Not that I really want my life to be drawn in comparison to hers (those who have read it will understand), but it does get you thinking. It’s a semi-autobiography, and the narrator re-creates her image several times during the novel, ranging from a goth, to a prolific writer, to a raging sex-demon… You can see my point. Still a good book, though.

Not that I really have any desire to re-sculpt myself (after all, I have spent nineteen years of my life getting to this point!) but my life does lack motivation at the moment, something I intend to change. There are two ways I want to do this: find a job, and finish my own novel.

A job should be simple. Apply and wait. Go to trials, amaze with my amazing talents, get hired, worked. Tada! Truth be told, the job is more to stave off boredom than an actual necessity to have one at this point (after all, as I have discovered after my Gap Yah (and again), not paying for food or accommodation saved you a FUCK-LOAD of money).

In terms of finishing my novel, things are going… slowly. It’s my own idea, and it is taking shape, just it’s taking a while. I’d say I’m about a third way through of the first draft. The issue is that my motivation is at an all-time low, and even the smallest writers’ block seems to influence my hand to move the mouse/cursor to hover over the X in the top-right hand corner of the screen and left-click. Usually I manage a sentence then decide that’s enough. This needs sorting.

Moving away from life plans, I have just looked back over my old posts on here, and have realised how much (and how little) I’ve changed since writing them. For one thing, I like to think my writing is slightly more engaging now. Secondly, most of my views remain the same (for instance: I am still obsessed with Lord of the Rings and Pugs; I still strongly detest smoking; and Fantasy is still my escapism). I think this is a good thing.

I think I’ll wrap up there and take a break from writing (perhaps I’ll go write some of my novel?! No, don’t be silly). My intention is to get this up and running regularly again. We’ll see how that goes.

Following Religion, Comes Death

I like to tell myself that I am not afraid of death. I think that part of me believes that as well. Yet this nagging sensation, hidden deep within me, tells me that I have tricked myself into believing this. I want to believe it so badly, that I have lied to myself, so cleverly, so convincingly, that part of me has started to perceive that I am unafraid. That what comes After is not something to be afraid of.

What comes after is a question I have forever questioned, ever since I was first confronted with death. This first time, must’ve been when my Grandmother died. I was young then – five, maybe six years old. I think I was too young to truly feel the emotions you’re meant to: shock, sorrow, anger, even manic feelings.

I was still too young when it came to her funeral. I was sat in church, listening to the priest rattle on. But I wasn’t really listening. I was a child, more intent on the people around me. And they were all crying. And I wasn’t.

I remember turning round to my cousin – merely a month older than me – to check if he was crying. If I should be crying. I can’t even recall if he was. I just remember I wasn’t. Saved by my child-like innocence.

I don’t remember my mum actually telling that my Grandmother had died. That is a benefit of being an innocent child. Your mind blocks out all the horrors that you experienced. My only memory of seeing my Grandmother in a state of near death, was when we visited her in hospital. I think she was asleep, or was on some heavy drug. I can’t even remember what she died from – I think it was cancer.

Either way, that is my only memory. I have few other memories of my Grandmother truth be told. My abiding memory is one where she taught me about etiquette. As a kid, I was always in a world of fantasy (nothing has changed). I suppose most kids were, but still. I had a plastic Zorro sword, one which I carried everywhere. One time, my grandmother asked to see the sword, so I handed it to her. She shook her head, taking the sword as she did and gripping the handle.

“You should never hand someone a blade with the sharp end pointing towards you.”

So she turned it back round, and gave it to me, handle first.

And you know what? I have never forgotten that lesson. I always hand people sharp objects blade first, be it a kitchen knife or a screwdriver or whatever. Handle first.

Yet then she was gone, with only pictures there to remind me of what she looked like. And I never remember feeling sad. Sure, I felt sad once I came to grips with the concept of death. But never before. Never when it mattered most. When I should’ve been mourning.

It was like this when my parents got divorced. I was nine at the time, possibly ten. I remember walking into my dad, sitting on the end of the bed, crying, with my mum stood up. My mum said that she was no longer happy and wasn’t laughing as much with him. I don’t remember feeling anything. Perhaps I was too young to. Spared those emotions by my age.

But my sister. My sister was at the age where children just start to understand how the world works. Love, death, all those sensations that I was yet to fully understand – to appreciate. She was almost two years older than me and must’ve been upset for weeks.

Later on, I was told that she wasn’t only upset at my parents, wasn’t only upset that the divorce, or the world, but was upset by me. By my lack of emotion. Perhaps, in some ways, she was jealous. Jealous that I had been spared the pain and suffering that comes with a broken family.

I never remember feeling upset about it. They both moved on. A few months of mourning for my dad, but soon he was happy. It didn’t affect my life, save for that I now visited London every four weeks for the weekend.

Now I’m at the age where death and loss would affect me. Reading Pet Semetary (Stephen King) got me thinking about death. I had a neighbour – not quite a friend, but someone who I was close to – who died when I was in year nine (around the age of thirteen). He was about six himself and he died of meningitis. That I remember being distraught about. Longest day of school I remember, constantly close to tears.

I wasn’t even close to him. I had played with him maybe twice. Yet it hit me: that death can come snatch people away at any moment.

When my thoughts turn to this, my mind becomes depressed and sullen in itself. It starts to think what if. What if my mum died? Or my dad? Or even my sister? And I feel the emotions rise up, the emotions I should’ve felt when I was young, when my grandmother died.

Then I snap myself out of it, realising there is no need to think about it.

But what comes after?

When my grandmother died, I did not know what came after. I had been told before – whether it was at school or family, I do not know – that there is nothing after death. Nothing. Just nothing. Blackness so absolute that nothing can exist. But, as a child, I could not imagine there being nothing. Children have so much life, so much energy, that the idea of everything stopping is far too foreign to them.

Even now, I do not know what comes after. No one does. But what people believe is key. My belief? I do not believe in God, therefore I cannot rightly believe that heaven or hell exist. As comforting as the idea of heaven is, I cannot bring myself to believe in it. Yet I do not believe there is nothing after death, either.

The idea of reincarnation fascinates me. Coming back to life with no memory of previous life sounds plausible. I do not know if I believe that a good previous life leads to reincarnation of good fortune, or vice versa, but I think I could believe that we are in a never-ending cycle of life – always forgetting; never remembering. That could be plausible.

But you see, could. Could is the word that makes all the difference. Anything could be, but nothing is known. Nothing is certain. And so I carry on guessing, never sticking with a belief, for the more I think about them, the less likely they seem.

That is the point though: life after death is something no one can report upon. It is a myth about what happens next, much like the story of Christ. Belief, much like religion, is what keeps the idea alive.

I suppose one day I will find out what comes after life. But not for a while, if death is kind. No, not for a while.

Religious Views For a Second Time

Sparked by a recent article I read about the Pope stating that the scientific creation theory and the religious creation theory walk hand in hand, I thought I’d best try and tackle my views on religion (again… one of my earliest blog posts was about it – almost a year ago, Christ – and you can find the post here). Looking back on that post, my thoughts haven’t really changed much!

When people ask me whether or not I believe in God, my answer is usually just a straight and definitive no. In other words, I say I am an atheist (just I usually state it in a less eloquent way). However, truth be told, I actually believe I am open to the concept of God. Oddly enough, it was Hot Fuzz that introduced me to the word: an agnostic:

“I’m open to the concept of religion, I’m just not entirely convinced by it.”

“You’re an agnostic, then?”

“I think I have a cream for that!”

 

After researching the term, I quickly found the dictionary definition: “A person who holds that the existence of the ultimate cause, as God, and the essential nature of things are unknown and unknowable, or that human knowledge is limited to experience”.

This, I entirely agree with. How can anybody know whether or not God truly exists? Stories and myths have been passed down and down and down, most likely distorted and changed to suit the needs of each individual story-teller. True, you can believe and the person who best sums up religious belief (you can tell I’m a wannabe writer), is Terry Pratchett.

Within his book Small Gods, he talks about the Great God Om, who, much to his/its displeasure, has been transformed into a tortoise (or is it a turtle… truth be told, I’ve never known the difference). Normally, Om has some giant manifest that currently escapes my memory, and is also omnipotent and omnipresent (I think). Yet, due to a lack of belief by his followers, he has been reduced to this tortoise. As the Discworld Wiki states: “Om becomes a tortoise as the religion becomes more important than the faith.” This, is what I believe all religion is.

God only exists because people believe. They believe that each ‘miracle’ is a work of God. If they did not believe in God, then what would they blame the ‘miracles’ on? He is brought to life, in their eyes, by their belief. If they did not, if they found some other thing to find solace in, then He would cease to exist.

It comforts them, comforts them when nothing else can. If there is faith or belief, then they have something, or someone, there for them. Not someone temperamental, like a partner, but someone who is omnipresent, and can forever comfort them.

Reverting back to my views, that is what I see. I, for one, do not have faith in God – I find that there are several other explanations for these ‘daily miracles’ that occur, and though I do not like science (I was always bad at it, and therefore severely disliked it), I accept it as a possibility, perhaps more of a probability.

I welcome people with religious views – they are more than welcome to them, in fact – but I for one do not believe. I also get extremely aggravated by it when they try force their views upon me, as though they believe that it is the correct belief, and you are a sinner if you do not.

This could bring me onto my thoughts about the afterlife and heaven and hell, but I think I will leave that for another blog.

As an after-note, I shall include my picture that perfectly sums up what I think about religious people.

Religion.

Please, I meant no offence by this picture, I just found it highly entertaining and, in a way, correct.

Anniversary (apparently)

Now, according to WordPress, today (or possibly tomorrow – not sure whether my computer is set to New Zealand or English time) marks exactly one year since I first created this blog.

Though I do not actually have a lot to say about this year, I still thought it was a historical day, and therefore worthy of a post.

I do also feel as though this blog, along with my excessive and poor attempts at writing, have improved my writing considerably. Therefore, I concede that anybody who enjoys writing, should try their utmost hardest to write as much as possible, be it a blog or stories or poems or whatever you wish.

As ever, if you are interested in my New Zealand travels, have a gander at my New Zealand blog:

www.nzmeandering.wordpress.com

New Music

Hey guys, been a while since I posted on here.
Basically my main blog for the year is now my travel blog: www.nzmeandering.wordpress.com

Anyway, if you have any free time, please give this song a listen: https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=UUcvCA_yqrLT1Dxwpy7177Dw&v=xwXjKmTFY2c – it’s my friend’s bands and it’s actually a pretty good song 🙂

Over and out.