The Stress of Expectancy

It’s 2017, I’m 24, a graduate living abroad and still feel the pressure of society bearing down on me.

Millenials are lazy, millennials are spoilt, millennials don’t work hard enough. That’s all we hear from the older generation, isn’t it? “They don’t know what they’re doing with their life”. Well.. Yeah, cause I’m 24 and I don’t even know what I want for dinner yet let alone what I’m going to do the rest of my life.

Interviewers ask you where you want to be in five years time. What? Do you know? Isn’t this a bit of an outdated way of recruiting someone? I have no clue where I’ll be in a month or a year unless you employ me. Five years? You’re kind of pushing it there buddy.

We all obviously want to be in work, getting money and being happy. But how realistic is that? Employers expect you to be happy when they never listen to what you need to say. They expect you to work and dedicate your life to a company that could blink and replace you.

Our generation isn’t lazy, we just don’t have enough jobs to apply to even if we have a degree. We’re not spoilt, we’re scared. Scared of being made redundant for no reason. Worried because housing prices are up but wages aren’t. We don’t work hard enough because we’re not all inspired to.

It would be lovely to be self-employed, but how many people manage to make that work and still pay for bills?

I could never be ungrateful for any job I got, because who’s stupid enough to do that? But sometimes it would really help if society stopped expecting us to know what we’re doing the rest of our life, or to not call in sick, and to want to leave the office on time and not work unpaid overtime.

We’re not the baby boomer generation and never will be.

Millenials strive in adversity and try to find hope when there isn’t any. Brexit and Trump are a clear example of that. Our voice was not heard when we advocated for unity, peace, and diversity.

We may fail, but we strive. We just need you to stop expecting us to be perfect.

One Year Later..

25th September 2015.

It’s quite an important date in my calendar now. It’s the day I finished packing my bags (in true procrastinator style) bid farewell to my family and friends (many tears were shed), and got on a plane to the unknown.

Yes, I love a flare of the dramatic if you can’t already tell.

I quit my job in Malta and moved. Unemployed and without the tiniest clue of what Sheffield even looked like, except for the nice images on google, I started my adventure abroad.

It might not sound scary now as I sit on my nice and comfy sofa, with my nice new Macbook, but I was fucking shitting myself this time last year.

Apart from this boy I loved who lived here, I had no idea what else was going to happen. I moved in with him and started applying for anything and everything. Getting advise from everyone who wanted to give it to me, I tried hundreds of sites, recruitment agencies, temp offices, bars, ANYTHING.

I had (and still do not have) any idea what I really want to be doing with life, so anything at the time sounded appealing. Sure I wanted to work in the arts, but fuck fuck fuck is it hard to get a job with the theatre anywhere.

In my second week, I got robbed very nicely at dinner as I met a group of my boyfriend’s friends. I was devastated. It’s the most horrible feeling ever to have everything that you tie to your identity taken away from you. My ID, drivers licence, MONEY (so much money), visa, cards, e11, etc etc.. You get the message!

Anyway the cliche moment is here, looking back at this year, I can’t believe how lucky I have been to go through the experiences I did. I had a shit job with a good company for 8 months, which was demoralising but paid my rent. I cried a lot and didn’t feel very confident, but now I’m three months into a job I love with colleagues who couldn’t be more amazing to me.

Yes, I miss my family every single day and knowing I’ve been away for a full year is weird, and intimidating, but I’m so proud of what I’ve managed to accomplish. Big headed? I think I’ve earnt it after this year.
I’m the same yet I’m a whole different person, I have the same morals but my outlook on everything is so much more different. I’m grateful for all the people I’ve met in the past year, grateful for all the experiences I’ve had to go through, good and bad, and forever grateful to Dec and my family for supporting and lifting me up when I thought I couldn’t possibly keep going on this journey.

I could rant on forever about the different things that have happened, but I don’t think you care about them all so I’ll stop here and save your eyes the screen time.

Thanks for reading and supporting me just by being there, to another great year 🙂

Ciao,

Zoë

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Operation Crucible

I definitely judged this play by its cover. It was the poster that had initially attracted me to want to buy tickets. As our lovely Sheffield Theatres offer £5 tickets to people under the age of 26, and I’m always poor, I thought this would definitely be worth a watch.

And I was right. What a performance!

“Sheffield was on fire. It was glowing orange, like hell, like a furnace, like steel.”

That is the quote displayed on the poster, intriguing is it not?

The play itself centres around 4 men in WWII, producing steel, and experiencing the war. Now, not only is the dialogue witty and hilarious, but the story takes you on a literal roller coaster ride.

As the audience laughs ebb away from a joke shared, bombs and screams startled us back into the reality of the time these men were facing. The problems. The fear.

It’s crazy how it sucks you in, and the lighting was also a fantastic contribution to this. Dim lights, switch instantly to bright factory working lights and quickly back to darkness as they’re found trapped under rubble after a bomb hits the building they’re hiding in.

It was fast-paced all the way, with a very clear study of how steel work was produced in the 1940s. Kieran Knowles created this play and hats off to his creativity.

Definitely worth 5/5 in my eyes (if my reviews actually counted for anything!)

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Sorry for the blurry image but I had to wait till everyone left to take a picture without looking like a total idiot!

Ciaoo,

Zoë

 

Morning thoughts

I’m grateful for the job I have. Really. But I guess something I took a lot of time to adjust to is my morning commute. 

Three buses. Two towns. One destination. 

It’s like a cheesy movie tag line isn’t it? But anyway it’s still hard to wake up at 5.45 to travel that far for work but I’d rather that then be unemployed, obviously. 

Adjusting meant I had to learn new skills to help me remain sane on a 90 minute commute. 

I now know how to sleep on a bus with ease. Wrap your bag around your hand, wear your biggest scarf and nod off with your feet uncrossed or you’ll wake up with a cramp. Trust me. 

I still can’t fully read on a bus, motion sickness is not really a skill I can master easily. Especially on an empty stomach.

Lastly, it’s my thoughts that keep me fueled for the day. I try to think of ideas for blog posts, activities I can do after work, or maybe even just trying to organize my days mentally so I’m prepared to start the week off on a positive note. 

Learning how to be by myself in silence was definitely my biggest accomplishment. Sometimes it’s so easy to get lost in the world that I forget to just stop and empty my mind to just observe what’s happening around me. And although this commuting distance won’t last forever, I know that I’d like to keep this aspect going in my life. 

Don’t forget, if you can’t love your own company how can you appreciate someone else’s? 

Much love,

Zoë 

Half way there

BR: Before the Fire

I’ve put off writing about this book for three weeks now. Before I get into the details, I have to admit, I only read half this book and scanned through the rest.

Why? Cause it was just that bad. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve read a book I didn’t enjoy from start to (semi) finish.

The book is the story about two boys in Manchester who want to escape to (surprise surprise) Spain, which was already very stereotypical to me, so I was like she couldn’t have made their adventure a bit less normal? Maybe they wanted to escape to another country that doesn’t already house about 1 million Brits..

Anyway, I could have forgiven that if the book wasn’t filled with such foul language. Hypocritical coming from a girl who swears like an old drunk truck driver. BUT a lot of the swearing was so unnecessarily used. It’s like when you say a joke and keep repeating fuck in the comedic spaces. Just, no. Over doing it is just not entertaining.

Then, one of them (this isn’t a spoiler) gets killed after a night out… How random! I understand stabbings happen quite often maybe in a big city.. But it was so unnecessary.

Although, the feelings of losing a friend can send many into a spiral of grief… This just sent the main character into a spiral of asshole. Again, it happens when uneducated, immature people cannot cope with their emotions. (Not a bitchy comment but he was described to be exactly that).

A love story then grows, and it’s even weirder so I’ll spare you all and stop using negative words. Ultimately, the story revolves around the rebellion that happened a few years ago in the UK were people went crazy and started looting stores, putting things on fire, and just running around acting like hooligans.

It could have been so interesting to see it from their side, see the mental state they were in when committing all the crimes. Understand why things happened. But I just feel like this was a teenage romantic story gone very wrong.

 Score: 2/10

 
Love,

Zoë

The Nap: Crucible Theatre

Set in the world of snooker, I had no expectations for this play. Despite it being full of A-Listers, I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny.

Although it had a serious theme running throughout the play, Richard Bean managed to add a hilarious twist to every situation. I have to admit though, if I watched this play as soon as I got to Yorkshire I wouldn’t have understood half the references in the play, but thankfully I’ve gotten used to certain areas in Yorkshire and got the enjoy the jokes in the play fully.

The play itself is based upon the life of a snooker player from Sheffield, Dylan, played by Jack O’Connell. He’s a typical Yorkshire lad with an extreme passion for snooker.

In the centre of the Crucible’s big stage, for many of the scenes, stands a snooker table, constantly drawing your eyes to it, even when it’s not being used.

Throughout the play you see the purity of Dylan’s heart as he’s pushed and pulled around by the corruption of con artists who just want to make money off Dylan by forcing him to lose a frame in snooker. After realising he was tricked he feels tainted and calls himself a cheat but still manages to make it through to the World Championship.

The love story twisted in the middle of the play wasn’t entirely convincing, but the actors carried out their roles passionately. And so although some parts of their love seemed random, and too hasty, Jack O’Connell and Rochenda Sandall were fantastic in their roles, despite the weird love story that grew between them.

The only parts of the play I didn’t enjoy was.. shocker… the part were they played snooker. Ironic to say for a play that was solely based around that. But it was shocking to see how good they played especially in a play, that has to be repeated night after night.

The director of this play Richard Wilson, definitely had an exceptional cast made up of Mark Addy (Bobby, Dylan’s father), Chris Brailsford (Seth), Esther Coles (Stella, Dylan’s Mother), Dermot Crowley (Danny, con artist), Louise Gold (Waxy, the Transgender gangster), Youssef Kerkour (Mohammad, con artist), Ralf Little (Tony, the hilarious manager) and Rochenda Sandall (Eleanor).

If you’re in Sheffield and get the chance to go, it’s definitely worth the money!

Score:4/5

   

 

A very badly lit photo of my friend Caitlin and I before the play started 😁
 
 

BR: Where’d you go Bernadette?

This book was a delight. I finished the book about a week ago, and usually I like to write things down straight away so that it’s fresh in my memory but this book left an imprint, and it’s very hard to forget how satirical it was.

Again, I don’t like posting spoilers, but this is definitely a book that’s worth reading.

It’s a funny, love story, but the love is between a mother and her daughter.

Bernadette Fox is a hilarious woman, who hates people. Many people can relate to that. Although hate is a strong word, sometimes it’s just easy easier to close yourself off to a society you don’t fit into.

It’s hard to fit in sometimes and Bernadette is the best example to how society rejects you the second it realises you’re different.

Although for others Bernadette was an annoying woman who didn’t try to fit in with the other housewives of the neighbourhood, to her daughter she was a loving a caring mother.

Maria Semple, manages to show how easy it is for people to misinterpret situations and jump to conclusions. Although there were crazy moments in the book, I never felt like there was a tense moment. Semple kept things light and satirical, definitely an enjoyable book that kept you on your toes throughout.

Score: 9/10

  

Zoë x