Smells Like Teen Angst

Communicating my thoughts and feelings through writing has not always been my strongest skill, but it has been a cathartic release for me from a young age.

While packing up my bedroom at my parents’ house over the Christmas break, I came across an old notebook I’ve owned for years.

It’s a pretty little hand-stitched number from Paperchase that I bought many, many moons ago.

As teenagedom hit with the subtlety of a sledgehammer and the emotions began running amock, I took solace in the pages of this notebook.

I always fancied myself as a poet or novelist, and unfortunately I was less than talented in the poetry department.

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I thought I’d share some of the greater works (and by greater I mean those that induced the most stomach-churning cringe) of my adolescence.

Fact and Fiction

Sometime I feel like a character from a book
with no choice of path.

It seems to me that
we are all characters from God’s latest novel.

It seems to me
that we are all characters from God’s new best-seller

Apparently I was struggling with religion…

Act I Scene III

You’re the Lady Macbeth
of today.
Your tongue is your dagger
You seek revenge, need to
satiate your thirst.
Your anatomic sword pierces
hearts; spilling tears and
killing dreams.
Bloodlust courses through your veins
and yet you lie
ever silent, ever dreaming,
until the day the dagger
plunges.

It would also appear I was both ridiculously pissed off with someone and had a flare for (what I considered at the time to be) dramatic structure. Thank God there are no rhyming couplets or I’d be at this page with a rubber and a lot of elbow grease…

And, God Almighty, I seemed to think I could write humour into my ‘poetry’:

Optimism

My glass is half full
of an exciting new drink
that colours my day.

Optimism is
the new pessimism but
more optimistic

Give me strength.

One of the final entries in this notebook is also a short one, but it has a lot more meaning to me. And yes, this one rhymes:

Roses are red
violets are blue
I cannot fathom
this world without you.

Yellow’s for daisies
purple’s for heather
I’ll love you and miss you
forever and ever

I wrote that in 2012. It was the first Valentine’s Day after one of my dearest friends died in a car crash. It was such a devastating time for me. Probably fuelled a lot more angst, but fortunately I stopped writing so much poetry and focused my energy on journals and fiction. I can assure you they were better.

So, there you have it. I was an angsty wee thing, but God loves a trier.

There are still empty pages in this notebook, as time and other distractions left it sitting on the bookshelf for years. I am going to attempt to fill them all. No doubt there will be some angst still there – gotta get it out somehow – but I’m determined to finish this book on a happier note (and maybe without so much terrible, painful poetry).

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My 2017 To Do List

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I love a list.

Seriously. I write lists for everything. Work, Christmas presents, project ideas, clothes to pack for going home at Christmas. I’ll even admit to having written one or two lists of lists. It’s never-ending.

We’re now in December, so naturally I’m planning ahead.

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Making lists calms me when I get overwhelmed (and the future is a rather overwhelming concept at the best of times, so obviously planning-the-future lists are a common occurrence in my life).

I have come to realise that a lot of the things I want to learn and do get sidelined or forgotten as time passes and life happens, so I’m making a bigger effort to help myself achieve more of my goals.

As such, in no particular order, the following are skills and projects I would like to have accomplished (or be working on accomplishing) in the next year:

  • photography and photo editing
  • calligraphy – when I was younger I loved using my calligraphy set and it’s something I’d like to take up again
  • knitting – my friend Sarah knitted me a teddy for my birthday (I named him Alfred and he is amazing) so I’d like to get back into knitting. It’s a really productive way to spend my time – and key for justifying my occasional Netflix binges.
  • reading – my mum used to take my sister and I to the library just about every other week. I devoured books and I miss the excitement of finding a new book series or author to get stuck into.
  • graphic design – I downloaded the free trial of Adobe Illustrator and fell in love. My unicorn and camera were beasting and I want to get better. Working in social media and the digital world more generally, it is a great skill to have.
  • video editing – like design, video editing is a crucial skill for working in digital with so much of social media content being video (FUN FACT: it’s predicted that by 2018, 69% of worldwide internet traffic will be video!).
  • travelling – this is more of a dreamer’s ideal, but I would love to visit 3 new countries next year. My trip to Lisbon in October sold me on city breaks and how much culture you can soak up in just a few days, so I’d love to be able to explore a couple of new places over the course of the next year (pennies permitting, of course).

It might not be the longest of lists, but it should keep me plenty busy and hopefully out of trouble(?) as I head into the new year and beyond.

Another plus is that I have been inspired for my Christmas present from my parents which is always a good thing!

I guess I can only end with watch this space.

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The Key to Happiness

I have a morning routine. I check for my purse, phone, keys and bus fare every day before I leave my flat. It’s a slightly obsessive routine, but it gets me outside without continuously worrying whether I will be able to function in the world.

I have successfully done this every morning without fail – except Friday.

My flatmate was going away on holiday on Friday so I’d asked my boyfriend if he wanted to stay at mine so I wasn’t all alone in the flat (I scare easily in this old, creaky building). We were looking forward to a weekend of home cooking, some baking and visiting friends.

5:30pm arrived and I went to meet Tam. It had been a fairly busy day and we’d decided to make curry for dinner. I was really looking forward to coming home, filling the flat with delicious spicy aromas, munching on poppadoms and skyping my dog-I mean my parents.

We shopped in the big Tesco in Leith, failed to pick up an aubergine and decided to nip into the Sainsbury’s round the corner from me after we jumped off the bus before getting settled in the flat. Easy peasy.

We were standing at the traffic lights, laden with shopping bags, laptop bags and handbags when I reached into my left pocket for my keys. Keys which weren’t there.

What followed can only be described as a tantrum.

Yes, I – 21 year old bill payer and working woman – stamped my foot and wailed. In public. I was tired, okay!

You know when you’re ill and you contemplate all the times you weren’t feeling rotten? That’s how I felt without the keys to my flat.

We got a taxi back to Tam’s and ordered Chinese food to soothe my soul. My boyfriend knows me well – food solves all problems.

The next problem was clothes. I had the clothes on my back and that was it. So a Primark trip was in order. I picked up underwear, tights and a cosy grey jumper for work on Monday (see pic) and stole one of Tam’s tees on Sunday. While this was supposed to be a frugal month, even slipper socks became a necessity. Shopping is good for me in the same way chicken nuggets help King Curtis through life.

I did also introduce Tam to the Men’s section of Zara and helped him buy a new pair of jeans and the cosiest coat I’ve ever seen (but unfortunately couldn’t steal because it’s so long it would probably end at my ankles – sad times).

Retail therapy and a soggy Sunday wander around Edinburgh certainly cheered me up and prepared me for work today.

To improve my mood even more, my flatmate and most favouritest person ever managed to find my keys as she dropped off one suitcase and picked up another to continue her holiday, so I was reunited with my silver and gold beauties this evening and can happily report that this is being written from my own bed!

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🎵 Reunited and it feels so good! 🎵

Moral of the story: ALWAYS check your pockets for your keys. And look into getting a spare set cut. Because it’s Sod’s Law that you’ll only forget them when there’s no one in to help you out.

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Life Update

It’s been a while, so I’m back with a wee life update.

Signed my new contract today, they’re stuck with me until the end of October!

Over the past 10 weeks I have learned more about the inner workings of digital and social media planning than I could ever have comprehended existing. My fountain of near-useless knowledge shows no signs of drying up because I’m continually reading articles about the future of social media, how businesses can monopolise Facebook, Twitter trends and the history of Snapchat (did you know it was originally called Peekaboo, which is the reason behind the wee ghost? Neither did I).

10 days I’ve been left in charge of the department and I didn’t break anything except a pen I stood on. The social world continued on, none the wiser to my internal panic and flapping that one wrong Enter could bring Facebook to a halt. It didn’t happen. We’re all good.

People actually asked for my help with digital things. I was the go-to gal in the office. That was exciting. And terrifying. And exhilarating when I knew the answer.

The next 10 weeks are shaping up to be full of exciting new things including campaign launches, daily tweeting as anthropomorphic cans and a fair amount of time debating hashtags and emojis. And that’s when I’m not converting people to the world of PokemonGo for “research”.

The highlight so far though? Getting 2 phone-calls in a week from the lovely people at Facebook. Being able to sit in meetings and say the sentence:

Well while I was on the phone with Facebook I asked them and they agreed with my assumption that we can go ahead and it should be a success.

People regard you as knowledgeable and well-connected when you are at a level of phone-call friendship with Facebook.

What’s that, adulting? I’m owning you? You bet your ass I am!

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Mastering the art of crossing that stage without falling over

Sometime between 11am and 1pm today I was donked on the head with a bonnet symbolising my freedom from the enslavement of education. I was then handed a certificate and scroll and there marked the official end to my undergraduate degree.

Amy Charlotte King: MA Hons Linguistics.

Holy cats.

A few short months ago I wasn’t sure I would be walking across that stage, focussing intently on ensuring one foot did in fact go in front of the other so as not to end up on my backside in front of hundreds of people.

A few short weeks ago I never would have dreamed that my face would be splitting in two with a wide smile and a tear in my eye.

A few short hours ago I did both those things. My name was called, I crossed that stage and with that I gained my degree from the University of Edinburgh.

Again: holy cats.

I couldn’t have done it without the most amazing support network of family, friends and university staff. If I was to list them all I’d be typing well into the night, but I am so very thankful to have had their support, advice, shoulders to cry on and shot glasses to fill next to mine.

To continue the good news, my manager told me on Friday that I have had my contract extended for a further 3 months probation!

All the celebrating will be happening, but not right now. The excitement has gotten to me, as has standing for multiple photographs and the most delicious seafood platter from Fishers in the City (highly recommended) so for now I think I’ll go for a nap. Because now that I’m a graduate I decide my own future, right?

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