Saturday, 23 June 2012

The smile is back

To start with, an apology of sorts. I know at the end of my last entry I said that I was planning to write/publish another entry within a few days of posting the last entry. As we can probably tell, that didn't happen. I went back to Liverpool the day after which meant that I spent my Friday morning packing up about 60% of my stuff to take home and as a result, I didn't really feel like posting anything on Friday. The weekend itself was spent at Rachel's for her birthday and then recovering/catching up on sleep on Sunday as well as watching the Canadian Grand Prix.

After that, I had a fair bit on my mind for the rest of the week wanting to think some things through, figuring out if some of the decisions I'm making in life are the right ones. On the back of these decisions, I went and made a few more completely crazy decisions and judgement calls...and the best thing is that I don't regret one of them. They may have caused me to pull my hair out and get incredibly stressed at points, but everything happens for a reason, and everything worked out pretty well.

Like everyone, I've taken my fair share of crap in life to this stage. Some take far more and don't deserve what happens to them, others are lucky and have very little to deal with. But we all have our problems in life and life is a journey of facing these problems and mishaps, finding ways to deal and cope with our problems as effectively as possible before continuing our journey down the path. Eventually, we reach the next little stumbling block and the process begins again. Sometimes, it can be years until you find yourself at one of these hurdles and sometimes it can feel like everything has hit you at once and you're staring at a wall.

But people are strong. That's why we're all unique, and we find ways to make the most of what we've got. At least, that's how I try to look at things. Maybe I'm looking at things from the wrong angle...but for the time being, it works for me.

I've been pretty lucky over the last 12 months. I've gone from really disliking my university experience (some of you out there in Blogsville will know just how much I disliked my first year) to being happy with life. I've made some really good friends from my course, and of the friends I did have, I'd like to think I've become even better friends with them as I got to know them more. This was helped by having a bit more free time than I did last year, getting more involved with the German society activities such as socials and being more open to talking to people. Maybe I was a bit of a dick, or seemed like someone who wasn't that friendly/approachable, but I'd hope that I've made up for this in the last 12 months.

I've lived with some brilliant people this year too. Whether it was people I've known for years (Rachel), people I met during my first year (Beth, Ben, Hamish and Rob), someone I barely knew (Sazzle) or someone I didn't know at all (Tom)...I've spent a year living with them. It probably seems a really stupid thing to say, but the best way of getting to know someone is by living with them for some time. You find out what their personality and character is like in all of its glory and there's very little in the way of being able to hide something. Yes, there have been little fights and arguments along the way...but it's been a good house to live in.

At the moment of writing this, I'm back in Leeds having come up for a last few days here (mainly to finish off packing up the rest of my stuff) before I spend the summer in Liverpool. It's also been a last chance of sorts to hang out with friends from uni before we all disappear and scatter around the German speaking world over the next year or so. That's a really strange thought...I'm struggling to get my head around the fact that pretty soon, I'll be living in Germany, so will a lot of my friends and we'll be all over the place. It's strange, but like I keep saying, it's going to be really good.

In fact, this will be the last blog entry that I write in Leeds until September 2013. I should think that I'll still be writing on here at that certainly hope so! I started the blog as a means of communicating with the world and logging events in my life as I journey through university (and life). That journey will continue over the next 14 months until I return to Leeds and I'll be sharing some of my experiences of my time abroad with the world on here.

I'm in an incredibly good place in life at the moment. There are those among us who know why I'm in a good place and I'm walking around with a smile on my face and there are many, many more who don't. Those of you who don't know...enjoy knowing I've got a smile on my face and I'm about as happy with where I am in life as I can be. Those of you who do know...well, you know why. I'm sure you understand.

So there we go, I've had a fairly good few weeks. In fact, scrap that. I've had what can probably be accurately described as the best few weeks in the last few years.

Long may it continue.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

What a difference a few weeks makes...

It's been a fun few weeks since I last sat down and wrote something on here. Though I feel I should send out a disclaimer warning to start this one off saying that I'm ridiculously tired, the screen is already blurry despite looking at it for just a few minutes, and there's a solid chance I'll wake up in an hour with a string of letters and "words" on the page. If that happens, I'm still posting it. Maybe there'll be something wise in my sleepy writing.

*I've been writing this in bits and pieces over the space of about a week. A lot has been happening in this time (well, I like to think it's quite a may seem relatively insignificant to you) so please, bear with me*

Also, the last entry ended up being the most-read entry since I started this page. I don't know whether that means you all enjoy reading about my misery, everyone does love me (deep....DEEP down) or, as is most likely the case, people think what happened sucks. It did. It does. But life goes on.

Credit where credit is due to Dr. Harrington, who I've never called by that form of his name before. Seriously, Giles has been utterly fantastic in the last two weeks or so in helping me out and trying to find something else for my year abroad. After initially suggesting that there might be something in Frankfurt, that didn't quite work out and I thought that it would leave me studying for the year. Then in what could be a wonderful stroke of luck, I bumped into him just after he'd got an email from euroShell in Hamburg saying a vacancy had come up.

After a quick couple of modifications to the cover letter and sending that off, I got an email from Giles a day or two later asking if I'd be able to do an interview with Hamburg.


So that means that last Thursday, I spent the day being pretty busy on a day trip to Hamburg for an interview. I may have been feeling a bit worse for wear after barely sleeping during the previous few nights, but that's just part of life. You quickly learn to adapt to these things and get on with what you've got to do. I was still able to grab an hour of sleep while travelling...but by Thursday night I was definitely starting to go a little bit insane from lack of sleep.

Hamburg was pretty cool. Well, what I saw of it...which admittedly wasn't a lot. Still, the interview went well. The conversation flowed, I didn't embarrass myself while speaking German and held up my end of the deal to a level that I wasn't really expecting myself to be able to. I think that's something I've picked up and improved on while not really improving confidence-wise. I can speak German, but I can say a lot more than I actually think I can.

Let's just fast-forward a few days though. That was last week...this is now. And I indeed get offered the job in Hamburg. I'm still waiting for the contracts to come through, but the offer was made and accepted. Obviously, I'm ridiculously happy to have this sorted out, especially since I had pretty much given up all hope of landing a job for September and was starting to put serious consideration into looking at modules. Hamburg will be really good for me too. It's a good job, it might open some doors for me and I'll pick up more experience in a variety of fields than I would have found in my other job.

So things are pretty good. The positive energy paid off and things are starting to pick up. I would go into some sort of huge list of thanking people for helping me out and sticking by me while I was a bit of a grumpy old man (or more of a grumpy old man than usual). The positive energy paid off, whether it was my own view of staying positive or that of friends, teaching staff, family, housemates, people on Twitter...whoever. You really helped me. Thanks.

This is a bit of a strange one...since I started writing this almost a week ago and I've only just got round to finishing it for a variety of reasons, there's already another entry that I want to be writing, so we could be getting two entries in a day. More likely though is that I'll post the next entry in the next day or two. So keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for the support and encouragement, I can't be who I am without you.