Extracts from my Teenage Diary 

Hello darlings!

Lately, I was cleaning out our attic space (which was so messy I’m surprised I didn’t come across a family of raccoons living in there) and I found a couple of diaries I had kept during my teenage years. My initial reaction was delight; I had completely forgotten about them. After reading only a few pages of the diaries, however, my delight was quickly replaced by a sense of MORTIFICATION. Sweet Simon Cowell on a bike, they are cringe-inducing. 

Because I love you all and want to make you cringe as much as I did, I am going to share with you some excepts from some of the worst entries I found. Welp.

13/3/00

Dear diary, 

It’s hard to believe I’ll be finishing primary school soon! I’m kinda sad about it and scared to start secondary school. I know K**** will be going to the convent with me so I don’t feel too bad. I’ll miss my other friends so much though. It will be weird going to an all-girls school. And I have to wear a UNIFORM. It looks like a kilt, I HATE IT. 

I was fighting with my sister yesterday because she said I took her purple top but I actually didn’t because I don’t even like it. Anyway, where would I wear it? I was on the roof of the school with the lads which I’m not supposed to do but I did it once. J**** had to help me up because I can’t climb like the rest of them. Sometimes I don’t want to do those things because they get us in trouble but they are fun. I can’t wait for the summer. I got new sandals and a top from Extrovert. I cut my hair too but it’s a little short. I look like a fella. Mam tried to convince me that it’s all the rage at the moment but I can barely tie it up and it’s all bushy. I got butterfly clips for it and they are soooo pretty. 

Me, J***** and F******** went for a walk the other day but we got lazy so had a big water fight instead. 


Okay, so that entry was petty innocuous but it sets the tone for my ridiculous lack of concentration and coherency. I was only twelve here, bless my cotton socks. I’ll skip forward a bit.

4/12/01 

Aargh! Christmas exams soon. I feel fine about English and history and maybe Irish but the rest are so hard. My business teacher is so scary. I feel like I can’t even look at her and she gets angry. She randomly put on a Shakira song the other day and we thought it was a trick so we all just sat there, staring at each other. I like science but A**** makes me laugh all the time and I can’t concentrate. I’m not even going to talk to you about maths. Some of our teachers are already talking about the junior cert and I’m just not listening. It’s a year and a half away for f**k’s sake. Take a chill pill.

My family are driving me crazy. My sister has a boyfriend…think I told you about him?? My brother is away and my parents are just sooooo annoying right now. If I didn’t have the pets, I would probs run away and be a hippie. 

P****** asked me out again. I don’t really like him but all my friends think I should say yeah to him. I don’t know….

Oh, R**** came over and stayed the night the other day! We just messed around the village with the lads. R**** got freaked out by the peacock. 

Me, F******** and J***** have just been playing PlayStation all the time because the weather is so sh**. I wish I had more news, but things are so boring right now. I’ve just been listening to BSB and I put up some new posters. 


Okay, so this one is a little more action packed. You can see my love for English and history goes back a long way. I didn’t know then that I would be teaching it myself one day. That business teacher was indeed a tyrant and I’m still frightened of her. Maths was never my strong suit. Ooh, I swore. So much sass here! 

That P guy was my first boyfriend. And BSB is…you guessed it…Backstreet Boys. BSB TILL I DIE. Oh, and I never did become a hippie. 

Also, bonus cringe points for the out-of-nowhere peacock reference. 

11/10/03 

Dear diary, 

I know it has been forever. Things have just been so crazy, I don’t even know where to start. So I did the Junior Cert and weirdly, I got on really well. I got 4 As and 6 Bs…I even got a B in maths…pass maths, but maths…and an A in music…like wtf?! And English, history and CSPE (but everyone gets an A in that so…) Fifth Year is actually great so far. I feel a lot more mature even though I still play games with my friends haha. 

The biggest thing that has happened is that I met someone and….well I’m in love. I know, I know, it’s sudden. But I love him. His name is J and we talk all the time. I met him in January but we didn’t start going out until May. And I love him. It was really sudden, but I just know. He is so lovely and he treats me so well. We have so much in common. The only problem is that he lives in Dublin and I don’t see him much. We talk every single day on the phone and we text all day long. He’s like my best friend. 

I haven’t seen F******** in ages and I miss her! R***** comes up to me every evening after school for a chat. I love my friends. I’m lucky to have them and J… I’m even getting on a little better with the family. 

HOW COULD I HAVE FORGOTTEN?! My sister is PREGNANT! I’m so excited to be an auntie. I don’t feel old enough to be one but I’m sure it just involves having sweets on you all the time, right? Haha. 


This is my first entry where I reference J, my ex boyfriend! Did I mention I love him enough?! My sister now has three wonderful kids and her daughter was born that December and is now….almost 14 OMG. Being an aunt definitely imvolves more than carrying sweets around with me, but it definitely helps! 

So I was no Anne Frank. What about you? Did you keep a diary in your youth or do you keep one now? Confess in the comments! 

Own Your Introversion 

“Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.” ~ Michaela Chung

I’ve always know that I’m an introvert. So when I took the Myers-Briggs questionnaire as part of a work-related exercise, it came as no surprise to me that I am classed as an INFJ personality-type. This table should explain that term to anyone unfamiliar with it: 

Source: Wikipedia

I didn’t really think about it until lately, when a former college classmate had taken the questionnaire and asked me about my results. I told him that I was an INFJ and that I fully accepted this description of me. He seemed surprised, as an extrovert himself, that I considered myself introverted. I suppose, on the surface, I appear very comfortable in company and I am able to make idle small-talk with the best of them (topics of choice: the weather, whatever Trump has done this week, the rising cost of saffron), but I know myself that I am much more comfortable either by myself or with a small group of people whom I know well. It was what he said next that really sums up the misconception about introverts: 

It’s just… aren’t introverts…like…a little weird and awkward? 

Full disclosure: Yes, I can be a little weird and awkward. And there’s nothing wrong with that (okay, so I probably should be supervised using adult scissors and I definitely shouldn’t be left alone with your boss, but that’s just common sense). But come on, I’m not some bumbling Hugh Grant archetype who can’t string a coherent sentence together without peeing myself.

Although I can relate to this so much. Dammit Hugh.


Introverts aren’t socially inept idiots. While we may not embrace social gatherings with the same enthusiasm as our extroverted counterparts, it doesn’t mean we don’t like or even enjoy them from time to time. It also doesn’t mean that we’re incapable of conversing with others in a meaningful way. Introverts tend to listen to and really think about what you are saying. It is only when one is quiet that you can really listen. We are contemplative and reflective. That is not necessarily a sign of shyness and most definitely not a sign of weakness. 

I want to banish the misconception that introverts are somehow ineffectual loners who loathe human contact. You can be introverted and lead a fulfilling, successful life. You can work and socialise like any other person. You value your own company because it allows you time to think, to reflect, to create, to be.

Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. Sometimes, I feel most lonely in a room full of people because a situation like that often prevents deep, meaningful communication. Conversations at social gatherings can be inanely superficial. 

I’ve grown to love my own company. I love the silence of it (well, I’m sometimes silent… there are those days I get my Celine Dion on…). I love listening to my inner voice in that silence… although she’s usually telling me that she wants fro yo and a Storage Wars marathon. 


So I’m choosing to own my introversion. I’m not ashamed of it, and you shouldn’t be either. In fact, without this aspect of  my personality, I don’t think I would be blogging. It’s allowed me to be a much more introspective person and that’s key to personal blogging really, isn’t it? That and cats…lots of cats. 

So tell me about your personality; are you an introvert? Or are you more extroverted? (nothing wrong with that, of course *awkwardly bumps you on the arm*) 

Come tell me in the comments! 

Dear Future Me

Dear future me,

Have you seen the movie Tractor? No, me neither, I’ve only seen the trailer. Har har, get it? You always say open with a joke sooo…

Moving swiftly on. I decided to write this because I wrote a letter to fifteen year old me who obviously can’t read what I wrote because she’s in some 2002 time warp wearing combat pants and drinking vanilla Coke, but you can. You, future Jane, or present Jane by the time you read this (my braaaaain), you can read exactly what I wrote to you and heed my advice. Just because I’m younger than you doesn’t mean it’s going to be bad advice. I just want you to still have fun, even if you probably can’t drink tequila and put your foot behind your head anymore.
I reeeally hope you’re thinking:

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Source

I hope that everything is going well for you. If you are healthy, have a home, still have Jack, have a son or daughter and a steady job then I want you to know that you are very very lucky. Because you’re me, you probably complain, even when things are going well. But listen- you need to quit it and appreciate what you have. Don’t make me jump into my flux capacitor and come get you.

Right now, I’m happy…but there is so much more that I want. And I am hoping that you have some of those things. Of course, you’re not going to have them all. I doubt you’re best friends with Jennifer Lawrence, living in Aruba and hosting Letterman. But if you are happy, healthy and secure… Well, that’s all we’ve ever hoped for, right?

I want you to know that this Jane loves to laugh. She loves Jack very much. She loves the countryside and the sound of laughter. Her family are everything to her. She helps young minds open up to the world around them. If, for any reason, something has made you forget all of this, then I want to remind you: your life has meaning. You were happy. You can be happy again.

If your life is going dandy and you know it, then swell. It would be really great if you could master time-travel and come back to give me some dough. Come on Jane, I’m waiting. No? fine, I’m so putting you in a home.

Let me just end by reminding you that you once touched Nick Carter as he was thrusting in leather and covered in sweat, just incase you forgot. Who am I kidding, of course you didn’t forget. I just wanted to revisit that memory. *goes to dark part of mind*

Also, I’m dying my hair already because I’ve spotted a grey hair or two. If you could keep that up so I don’t resemble a Shakespearean hag, that’d be great.

I’m going to go do handstands while I still can, don’t be too jealous. You’re still a total catch.

Yours (literally),

Past Jane (creepy smile) x

My First Poem

I have never written a poem on my own before and I don’t know how this happened. I wrote this, on my phone (which is very unpoetic of me) and in less than ten minutes. It just poured out (probably because it’s not very good, but I suppose you should never ignore what your mind sends you). It is dark and personal but I felt like posting it. I teach poetry comprehension on a daily basis, but I have always struggled with writing it. So here you go guys, my first poem:

Mother

I couldn’t have known when in your arms
That you were longing for something else, somewhere else
Away from my cries and outstretched arms

I couldn’t have known why the tears in my blue eyes
Mirrored the tears in your blue eyes
I couldn’t have known how my screams echoed around an empty room
Bare
The pictures of faraway places ripped from the walls
You would never go there

When I laughed it broke your heart
I didn’t understand, you thought
I didn’t yet know pain, yet I saw it everyday
In your white knuckles and your strained smile
Assuring visitors of my placidity

Now, a woman, I see you smile
Sometimes you laugh
But she knows the pain you harbour
She remembers the tears
She remembers studying your face, searching for comfort and hope

The baby
The girl
The child

Don’t worry guys, I’ll be back to my weirdly humourous self soon.

Being a Teacher

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Source
Teachers in Ireland (and indeed in many countries) get a really hard time. In terms of public perception, we rank somewhere between politicians and circus clowns. Many people assume we are greedy, lazy and that the interests of the students are the furthest things from our self centred minds.

I’m not writing this piece to defend the teaching profession, per se. I’m writing this to frankly and honestly discuss my personal experience with teaching and what being a teacher means to me. It is an incredibly difficult and challenging job in itself, and the constant public derision certainly does nothing to help. I would love to say that it doesn’t bother me; that the most important thing is my own dedication to the profession and that baseless criticisms from people ignorant of the career shouldn’t matter but…well, after a while, you start to have doubts. When people say teachers are lazy, you start to question your own work ethic. When people say teachers are only interested in their pay packet, you start to wonder if maybe there is some truth in that.

I have been guilty of previously making these assumptions myself. When I was in the early years of secondary school, I had little respect for the profession. Like many students, I had good teachers and bad teachers. Unfortunately, it is the “bad” teachers that stand out. When I say bad teacher, I’m referring to those who act unprofessionally and who have little or no passion left for their job. I’ve heard of teachers who didn’t know their students names after two years, who smelled of alcohol in class, who had little knowledge of their respective subjects or who flew into unprovoked and scathing attacks on particular students in my class. I’ve spoken to many people who were only too happy to regale me with tales of incompetent teachers. I’m sure you too, dear reader, have experienced teachers whose methods left a lot to be desired. But we can also agree that we have all had motivational, inspiring and capable teachers who have invested their best efforts and time into helping us to realise our full potential. I also think it’s fair to say that every school I have been in, either as a student or as a teacher, has had a large majority of brilliant and dynamic teachers. There is a rising standard of professionalism that ensures the very best teachers are emerging from training courses. The problem is, we tend to focus on the minority that bring the profession into disrepute.

It wasn’t until I was nearing the end of my time at school that I began to really appreciate my teachers. My worst subject, without a doubt, was maths. I lacked motivation and I didn’t really care if I did poorly in my final maths exam, as the outcome of that particular exam wouldn’t have affected my chances of getting into university. My teacher had other ideas. She didn’t care that I wasn’t aiming high. She refused to let me fall behind or slink to the back of the class and secretly read Jane Eyre. She was on my case day in, day out. If I didn’t understand something, I couldn’t pretend that I did. She knew I was lying. She would keep repeating the methodology of a sum until it clicked with us. She would give up her breaks and her free time to offer us free tuition. And in the final exam, I got an A. An A in a subject I had previously despised and feared. That grade made me realise that hard work and effort does pay off and it gave me a confidence in my own abilities that I have never forgotten. I also haven’t forgotten that teacher; a woman so dedicated to her profession I’m sure she must suffer from a permanent exhaustion that is only challenged by her unwearied assiduity to her students.

There were other good teachers too. There were those who made me laugh and who sparked interests in me that I don’t think any book or film could have. I started to realise that my teachers were having a massive (and very positive) impact on my life and were helping to shape my future in a way that I could never have imagined. That’s when I decided that if I could have such a positive impact on someone’s life, I would have found my dream career. I knew teaching would be a challenging career, but I also knew that it would make me happy, and that I could help students to learn new things every day, not only about the world around them, but also about themselves. This may sound cheesy, disingenuous even, but it’s the truth.

I studied hard to become a teacher. I did a three year degree course in my subjects. I then studied for a Master’s Degree. After that, I studied for my teaching diploma. During this time, I was supervised in my teaching by a former school principal who critiqued my methods with honesty. It was a very intense year, and I can safely say that it was the most challenging experience of my life (I also had to contend with a lot of personal and medical issues).

At the moment, I have been qualified for three years. I’m working in a sometimes difficult environment, where many of the students are unmotivated and ill-disciplined. I like the school I am in (the management and staff are superb) but I have shed tears, I have been ill from stress and I have had many sleepless nights. I have mounds of paper work to contend with, difficult classes and demanding parents. I’m not just speaking for myself here, I’m speaking for all teachers. Yes, classroom engagement time (contracted hours) might be minimal when compared to other jobs, but there is more to teaching than that.

The preparation that goes into a week of classes is immense. There’s also the assessment of our students’ work which takes up much of our evenings and weekends. All of this I can handle, as it’s part of the job and we must accept that. In Ireland, we are also expected to do unpaid overtime, thirty three hours a year to be exact (depending on your timetable), which had led to feelings of resentment surfacing in many teachers. We are also routinely inspected, which is fair and of course standard practice in many jobs, but it just adds to the pressure that is already placed on teachers by society at large.

This week alone, I’ve had a student run out of my class sobbing (a close friend of hers died and she’s finding it difficult to cope), a student get injured in the hallway, given detention three times, met a concerned parent, have a difference of opinion with a colleague about a particular student, refer another student for counselling…I could go on. What am I saying all this for? What am I hoping to achieve? I understand that there are many jobs where employees experience far more stress than I do. There are amazing doctors, policemen and women, firemen and women and nurses that provide such important and potentially life-saving services everyday. The thing is, I would never think of denigrating any of these careers. I know that teachers don’t save lives (usually), but I would like to think that we influence the outcome of some lives in a positive manner.

Despite all the disparaging comments that I hear (by the media, but also by people I know quite well), I wouldn’t change anything about my career. The other day, a student I have was struggling to understand what the different poetic terms were (alliteration, onomatopoeia, simile, etc). I spent two classes explaining until finally he excitedly exclaimed “I get them, I get them ALL!” Seeing that “eureka” moment in a student is truly rewarding and it makes everything worthwhile. It makes me realise that the profession is bigger than my insecurities. It’s about the students. It’s about their potential. It’s about guiding and helping and being a positive influence. I’m learning to deflect the negativity and to remember why I decided to peruse this career: I wanted to make a difference to someone’s life. Even if it’s just a handful of people over my entire careers, I’ll still be proud.

A LETTER TO MY FIFTEEN YEAR OLD SELF

Hey fifteen year old Jane,

It’s twenty six year old Jane. There’s probably lots of things you’d like to know, like which Backstreet Boy you’re gonna marry or how the career of that cute girl from ‘The Parent Trap’ is going. It’s bad news on both counts. Don’t sweat though, I’m not writing this from the maximum security wing of some futuristic women’s prison. That’s all I’ll say about where I am, I remember how much you like surprises.

So you know the way you’re the bane of your teachers’ existence with your constant chatter and witticisms?(In your head, anyway.) Well, GUESS WHAT? You are now the recipient of this behaviour; you decide (I think you’ll be around seventeen) that it would be just WONDERFUL to become a teacher. And you know what? It is wonderful. You’ll have a pretty stressful few years in your career (you’ll be thrown in to teaching a maths class and you know how crap you are at maths), but you’ll love it and you’ll even get gifts from your students from time to time (as well as grief, but it’s all part of the job). Remember this one tip: teenagers will work insanely hard for rewards of a chocular variety.

Also, stop messing with your hair. At the moment, it’s a very bright blond and you look RIDICULOUS. I’m sorry, but have some sense woman/girl. You’ll get to eighteen and you’ll realise that being a brunette suits you so much more. And also, the bleach will actually result in some of your hair falling out when you’re seventeen. I’m sorry, ok? You were going through your obsession with The Simple Life and it got out of hand. But right now, I have very long and thick hair (I don’t really care anymore but I know you’ll appreciate this). Also, an amazing invention known as hair straighteners will mean you won’t look like Melanie Griffiths anymore #winning (sorry, a little futuristic humour for you there).

Now, you’re gonna need to sit down for this one (maybe on that really cool bean bag that you end up losing in college). By twenty six you still won’t be married. Or have kids. Or a very stable job. But hear me out.

Soon enough, you’re going to meet the person that will change your life. You won’t know it at first but he will make you happier than playing snake (which I know is totally your thing right now). He’s handsome, funny and intelligent and you’ll even start a little pet family together (really, you could open a petting farm). I won’t tell you anything else because the journey you’re about to take is the best thing that will ever happen to you so just act surprised when you meet him, okay?

You will think about marriage and babies for a long time, but then you’ll realise that you’re happy just being in the moment and going with the flow. The moment is pretty great.

You have some tough times ahead. You know Mam and Dad? Yeah, they split up. And you know the way you faint sometimes? That’s not low blood sugar like you self diagnosed (thank you, dial-up Google), it’s epilepsy (but you kinda kick its ass so don’t worry). You’ll be in a car accident. But look, you’re still here. You’re alive, you’re relatively healthy, your family are safe and you currently have a cat sitting on your shoulder…how cool is that? (Just to clarify, you have the cat there by choice, you’re not in some dingy alley way somewhere surrounded by stray felines.)

The friends you have now? You keep lots of them, but you also lose a few. One of your male friends will profess his undying love for you and you’ll both laugh about it years later. Try to guess which one.

You’re gonna end up moving around a bit, but strangely, you’ll enjoy it. You’ll end up far away from home (and so will your brother, who you’ll miss terribly) but you’ll be okay. In fact, you’ll thrive. You gain far more confidence in your early twenties and you will learn to be more assertive. It won’t be an easy process but you become a person that you finally feel proud to be and because I know how low your self-esteem is right now, that’s pretty amazing.

Your sister (who you’re probably squabbling with right now, HEY PUT HER HANSON CD DOWN) will become one of your best friends. I know you don’t believe me now, but no one will ever make you feel as loved and protected as she does.

I want to say one last thing: you’re a teenager which means you’re…well, you’re kind of a bitch sometimes. Stop pouting at me, we both know you’re not scary. When you get to my age, you’re going to really regret how shabbily you’re treating Dad. I know you find him annoying and embarrassing now, but you’ll look back and realise that he loved you and nurtured you in the most selfless of ways and you were just a big bag of nasty hormones. Go hug him right now.

So Jane, twenty six year old you is not that much different to fifteen year old you. You still watch Kenan and Kel. You still wear jeans (they don’t really go out of fashion but they become a lot tighter) and you still love spaghetti like Miley Cyrus loves twerking (I just realised that pop culture reference makes zero sense to you, just take my word for it). Things have changed though. You’re living with a real life boy. You have a career. You drive (you just got a speeding ticket tut tut) and you haven’t seriously injured anyone yet. All in all, you’re happy.

Just please, please don’t get in anymore photos where you’re wearing dungarees. They will come back to haunt you in ways you can’t imagine. And stop over-plucking your eyebrows, you look like a meth addict.

P.S. No, they don’t have flying cars yet but they do have something called ‘Facebook’ which is just as creepy as it sounds.

If you could write to your fifteen year old self, what would you say?

What you’ve been DYING to know

I fear it might be slightly vainglorious to write an ‘about me’ entry but I’ve garnered a few new followers and lets face it, my ‘about me’ section is fairly lacking in information because I substituted an attempt at humour for actual relevancy so…

~Well firstly, I’m a girl. Or more accurately, a woman. But I don’t like calling myself a woman because it suggests that I have to be all mature, sexy and grown up. At the moment, I’m on a recliner, wearing my boyfriend’s jumper and I just giggled at the word ‘horn’ on television, so I’m not sure I can call myself a woman. Maybe ‘old girl’… Nope, that makes me sound like a beat up ’54 Chevvy.

~I live in Ireland. I lived way down south but I moved a long way from home with my boyfriend because I got a job in a school up here. We do love it here, but we don’t know anyone so we are slightly lonely. I may have resorted to doing this last week:

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from timberwolfhq.com

~I’m a teacher. I teach English and history to secondary school students. I love my job but I’m not going to lie, my voice is already hoarse. And yes, it is kinda like ‘Dangerous Minds’.

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~I live with a wonderful guy called Jack who is doing a PhD and is so much more clever than me. No, he didn’t pay me to say that. He’s also handsome and kind (he did pay me for that). We’ve been together for nearly eleven years. Our relationship mostly revolves around us watching tv and making fun of each other.

~We have two dogs: Molly (a Border Collie) and Oscar (a Westie). We also have a cat, Billie, and four guinea pigs: Dolly, Emmy-Lou, Coco and Stevie. I love them all like they’re my kids. Who am I kidding? They are my kids. Get away from me with that giant net.

~I went to college for five years. I have a BA in English and history. I have an MA in International Relations and I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. You would think my blog would be slightly more intellectual but nope, I prefer to write about farting.

~No one, except Jack, knows that I have this blog which is why you won’t see any pictures of me, at least for a while. Just picture Cindy Crawford. Yeah, I look nothing like that.

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from Wikipedia

~My real name is not Jane. Sorry. But you can imagine it to be something much more interesting: like Champagne or Chaniqua.

~I used to suffer from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy which I have to admit, was pretty craptacular.
I experienced terrible bouts of depression, déjà vu and I had a terrible seizure in 2009 that resulted in a prolonged hospital stay.
I’ve been off my meds for over a year and I’ve been seizure free for four. It has affected my memory though, which is why my friends sometimes call me ‘Dory’ (the little fish from ‘Finding Nemo’).

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~I like film, poetry, reading, music, writing down all the weird thoughts my brain sends me and rolling around the floor with my pets being normal.

So now that we’re friends, why don’t you tell me something about yourself?

Sidenote: I know I’ve been producing blog entries at an insane rate (picture me looking like Howard Hughes and laughing manically) but it’s because I’m on holidays from school. Anyone thinking ‘calm down there, lil lady’ don’t fret, I’ll be back to school soon and my posts will be less frequent(ly annoying).

WordPress Vs Facebook

I’m not writing this to be like that suck-up in class who tells the teacher her perfume is nice or that she forgot to give homework; I’m just being honest: WordPress is so much better than Facebook.

Of course, they are very different in many ways and perhaps it’s like comparing apples and oranges but I have noticed that I prefer coming on
and creeping on strangers on WordPress than I do on Facebook, so there’s that.

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Picture from onlyhdwallpapers.com

Firstly, I find Facebook irritates me more than it provides me with entertainment (which was your ONE JOB, Zukerberg). As I navigate my way through my newsfeed, I find myself experiencing a mixture of revulsion, impatience, weariness, afore-mentioned irritation, downright anger and general face-palminess (which is a term I just invented, believe it or not. Feel free to add it to the dictionary, people from Oxford’s).

I resign myself to the fact that there are far too many people in my friend’s list whom I have ZERO in common with. I suppose I accept friend requests far too readily; I end up friending people I once met briefly at the hairdressers or took a week of Spanish with once (hola, Raquel). I feel like I can’t unfriend these people because of my serious attachment issues. (Curse you, mother. Joking, I love you mom.) The fact is that I’m just too damn nice. So instead I end up muttering all kinds of smart arsed retorts to their gradually more irritating status updates but not actually doing anything productive about it. Oh, Facebook.

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Picture from tkent.com

Those of you who might be reading this thinking ‘wow, she’s sure being mean about her friends!’, I just want to say one thing: I’m not mean. I’m actually very nice, dammit. But I do have a finite amount of patience. Apparently it ends as ‘1 like=1 prayer’ memes. For every person’s updates I hide, more crop up to pester me.
I’ll give you a run through of the worst offenders:

1. A girl from school who posts up every detail of her personal life so that I now know more about her than her actual mother. Who just got a new dog, FYI. I also know that her ex boyfriend cheated on her but ‘he’s an idiot anyway’ and that his mother ‘better stop getting involved’ in all her problems. I’m thinking of buying her a diary.

2. Another girl I know who constantly posts up memes of sick/dying children. I don’t want to sound insensitive but this is misery porn at its finest. I also know that this girl has never done anything remotely charitable in her life.

3. A guy that I once knew through a friend who is the king of passive-aggressive. His status updates are of the ‘SOME people…’ ilk. Shudder.

4. The selfie-queen whose anatomy I know better than my own. Disturbs me greatly, this does.

5. The girl I knew through a college friend who I haven’t spoken to in six years and who is the most aggressive person I have ever come across on social media. Here’s a taster from the other day:

Sooo sik f ur shit. Ur such a spa n no1 act lyks u neway so I cud car lez wat u tnk

Is that English? Or Klingon? Anyway, I did actually unfriend her because she scares me.

So you guys get where I’m coming from. There are lots more of these irritating fiends: the friend who constantly brags about her fantastic life, the friend who gives Plato a run for his money in the philosophy stakes (she actually once wrote “if the sky is blue, why is my heart so black?”…I’ll give you a moment to compose yourself) and the one whose constant check-ins to different places make me feel all kinds of inadequate.

I know I could just leave Facebook. Well, actually I can’t. It’s like chocolate: I know it’s rubbish. I know it’s bad for me and turns me into the worst version of myself, but man it’s addictive! I also have some brilliant friends far away and *grudgingly* I suppose it’s a good way for me to keep in touch with them. But you’re walking a fine line, Zukerberg.

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Picture from weheartit.com

So that brings me to WordPress. One of the many reasons I decided to join was because of my frustration with Facebook. I wanted a new outlet to express myself and I felt that Stacey, the girl whose wedding I crashed on holidays, probably wouldn’t appreciate my random thoughts and opinions on, well, everything. I also felt that I wanted some level of interaction from like-minded people, which I have found here.

I really do enjoy WordPress. When I’m not writing ridiculously silly blog entries and not being judged by people I will run into in the supermarket, I’m scanning through the reader, heartily laughing at the brilliantly witty and wonderfully unique entries from complete strangers. Gone is scarily aggressive poor speller girl. In her place are funny, intelligent and equally unusual people. I say unusual because ‘weird’ might be insulting, but some of you guys even give me a run for my money in the crazy stakes. Which I love, by the way.

I can be a better version of myself here (I know what you’re thinking: “if this is better, what the hell is worse?” A photo of me falling down a mountain is. Don’t ever say I’m not honest).

I also enjoy all the lovely and frankly, random interactions I’ve had. I like to see peoples’ thoughts and opinions on matters, thoughts and opinions that stretch past commenting ‘LOL’ under everything.

My basic point (it’s taken me a while to get here, but it’s been a nice journey) is that we, us, YEAH YOU, we’re INTERESTING. We’re better than just a few words in a status update or a recycled George Takei meme. I know I’ve even put a few memes up here myself, but give me a break, I can’t be hilarious all the time. Hello? HELLO? Is this thing on?

My friends are questioning my more frequent and prolonged absences from Facebook. They no nothing of my double life here on WordPress. That, dear readers, is our little secret. I feel dirty. Dirty and good.

So, continue being great fellow WordPressers. Don’t make me go bitch about you on my Tumblr.

I now have over 100 followers… Huzzah

I’ve made it to over 100 followers and to celebrate this amazing achievement, I’m going to eat Chinese food for us all. Thank you guys! As Tom Cruise says in ‘Jerry Maguire’: You complete me. Am I coming on too strong? Yeah, well you should know that’s how I roll by now. I also may be slightly intoxicated on altar wine, but that’s another story.
Also, Jack is going to write a post for me at some stage soon so you can see that he is not some phantom part of my personality. Or is he? Oh, the suspense.
I’m going to go eat chicken wings and lose any semblance of dignity as I lick hot sauce off my fingers. You can watch me if you like, although it could be weird and uncomfortable.
As the rapper-folk say: PEACE! Xx

I’m being a Personal Polly and not very funny…sorry

Boobies! So I’ve been on a bit of a vacation. And by vacation, I mean I’ve been too lazy to write. Actually, lazy probably isn’t the right word. I’ve been a bit low. I’m currently unemployed after working in an amazing (and well-paid) job for two years. My days are a continuous cycle of dragging myself out of bed, feeding my pets and myself (in that order), applying for work and then watching TV until I feel tired enough to sleep. I often experience bouts of insomnia but after just coming off my epilepsy medication, I have to try to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.
My friends have been great to me. I’m surprised I still have friends as I’ve pretty much been wallowing in self pity for weeks now. I’m not going to go into why, because you don’t want to hear it. See how well I know you?
The weird part is is that I am usually a paragon of optimism and positivity. In a six month period, I endured a diagnosis of epilepsy, the breakdown of my parent’s marriage, the death of my dog after 14 years and a close family member being diagnosed with cancer. Even then, I managed to keep my sense of humour and I was a shoulder to cry on for many family members. I never looked for or expected pity. My friends frequently criticised me for not opening up enough and for appearing ‘too ok.’ Too ok? Is ok an emotion??
Anyway, my point is, that should have been the toughest time of my life. In some ways, it was. I never opened up to anyone, not even Jack. I would, however, often cry when I was alone. I managed to get through that very rough time with the support and love of friends and family.
This past few weeks have been different. I always look forward to the summer holidays but I inevitably end up feeling bored and frustrated after a few weeks. This year, I decided to enrol in a course dealing with teaching kids on the Autism Spectrum. That took about a week. I have substituted for the last two years and I can hand on heart say that I genuinely love teaching. There’s nothing else I would rather do. And I’m good at it. I always care about my students and I want to help them as much as I can. (Yes, I’m aware this is not the stage of Miss World.) I genuinely believed that I would find a job of my own this year. I applied and applied and…nothing. Not even a reply to a single application. This has left me disillusioned and feeling inadequate. I’ve become quiet and detached.
It’s been tough for Jack. I’m usually so optimistic and positive that it’s him relying on me to cheer him up. I’m never this quiet. In ways, we’re experiencing a bizarre and unprecedented role-reversal. Poor Jack finds it hard to cope with. He has been good to me. He bought me tiramisu the other day despite the fact that he hates it. (WHO THE HELL HATES TIRIMASU???!!) I try to put on a brave face because I’m not one for being negative (cynical, maybe, but not negative.) Sometimes though, the pressure becomes too much; the pressure to be smiley, funny, and a constant source of comfort for everyone else. Jack gets this. He doesn’t judge me. If I’m in a bad mood, he doesn’t ask why. He just respects that I need space. He’ll make a small gesture, like make me a cup of tea, that just means the world to me.
So, in summary, apologies for not writing but it would have interfered with my routine of doing nothing har har. in all seriousness, I just wasn’t up to it. I’m feeling more positive now, and Jack’s being amazing. I will return to being funny (my Mom says I’m funny…*tumbleweed*) ASAP. Did I just write ASAP? Yes, yes I did.