So, I'm sat on a train, 30 minutes from home, and it finally occurred to me that I could use this free time to do something vaguely useful. I put a stop to that thought pretty sharpish, let me tell you, so I decided to write this instead.
Let's see now... Things have been pretty good, really. Work is busy, and hectic, and yet strangely non-stressful. The people I work with are generally hard-working and committed to the project (probably because the people I work with the most are techies) and I am happily able to treat the dealing with the others as a game. It truly is amazing how much more fun you can have (and how much more effective at getting the job done you can be) when you no longer need to rely on those numpties for your future career prospects.
Seriously, being freed from all that crap is of benefit to me every single day. I have earned, and put aside, enough money to keep me going for quite a while in the event of a gap in contracts, which hopefully will mean I won't have to rush back to full-time employment any time soon. Speaking of which, my contract has just been extended for a month, so woohoo to that.
I've been telling all my friends that they should quit as well - my mantra is that when it comes right down to it, no company or organisation is actually going to show any loyalty to you when the chips are down, so why the hell should you slog yourself to death showing loyalty to them? Business wanted a 'flexible workforce', so it's about time we started showing them that it cuts both ways, buddy. Evangelism over.
A friend of mine has recently handed her notice in as well, to a completely unconnected firm that also was run by numpties. I hereby predict she will go through the same stages I did: righteous indignation, doubt, fear, acceptance, joy, more joy, yet more joy, a deep sense of schadenfreude at those left behind, and finally, even more joy.
The reason I mention this is I am actually working on getting a proposal together to do some work for a University, and think she could be perfect to work on it as well. The right people do sometimes just come along. More importantly, it means I have no excuse not to branch out into this other project - ultimately I do not want to spend my life being a contractor, and that means running my own money making schemes, wheezes, and whatnot.
You know what? This capitalism lark? Piss easy. Just another game with funny tokens to keep score.
Speaking of which, finally stopping playing safe with my entire life and taking the risk of contracting seems to have had an effect elsewhere as well. Trivially, I am more willing to put myself out there in meeting new people, partially overcoming my crippling shyness. (No, seriously). Some of this is because contracting forces you into a position where you have to be good with a lot of people a lot of the time, and my old thespian/political instincts kick in and I can play a room perfectly.
Far more importantly, though, is my new obsession of poker. The idea of risking money, any money, on an evil such as gambling would, in the past, have left me screaming in horror. I even used to feel guilty about the one poker game I played a year - a massive £5 buyin on New Year's Eve with a bunch of friends. Now, however, I am willing to risk a little, based on my own assessment of my skill versus the information I think I have gleaned about other players and what they hold.
Still a bit crap at it, mind.
Anyway. I hereby vow to write something about the joys of online poker for you lot, and something about my deep and abiding disgust for having Tories in a Labour government. Hey, if we'd wanted them, we'd have voted for them.
Crap, I've still got 10 minutes left.
OK, that's the superficial "My life is working out just hunky-dory, thanks" stuff out of the way. Let's get a bit deeper. Let's talk about feelings. In a totally non-gay way.
I look back on how I was two years, one year ago, and can't believe I had actually let myself get to that level. It was a combination of factors, as regular readers may know, but ultimately I let myself be trapped in a bad situation by low self esteem preventing me from breaking out. I sincerely believe that one of my boss's took advantage of me and what I believe was probably clinical depression (though I imagine you can't call it that unless it is diagnosed by a, er, clinician). Every time I looked to be gaining in confidence, he took steps to remove it. Even when he destroyed the final layer of trust by taking a step too far, I doubted myself so much that I moved within the organisation, instead of realising that the fact the organisation was not willing to help, even after I asked for it, meant I should get out of there as soon as possible.
But while I hold a deep and abiding contempt for this man, I can't bring myself to feel hatred for him. The great thing is that he is simply not important enough for me to care about any more. He has gone from being the great dark shadow that clouded my days, my dreams, my life, to being inconsequential. The only times I think about him are now, when I marvel at how much better I feel, and when my friends still in that situation tell me about the horrors he is still perpetrating - and then it is concern for them, not obsession with him.
So yes, as I told TPD a little while ago, I really am feeling happier now than I have since university. Mind, in the 8 years since then, I spent one year in a dying relationship that I didn't want to end, 4 or 5 years mourning the loss (and re-opening the wound over and over) when it did finally die, and most of it getting myself trapped in an awful situation I couldn't drag myself out of. So maybe being happier than that isn't all that much to shout about, but Christ almighty, it certainly feels worth shouting about.
And through most of that crap, I had the wonderful denizens of this place to keep me going. So while I may not talk to you all enough, while I may be lax in keeping you all up to date, know that I am still out there reading about you, that I am still interested in what happens to you, and that having somewhere, and someone, to pour my bitterest thoughts and worst jokes out to means a lot to me, even if you are all duxup's dupe accounts.
Here's to the good ship HuSi, and all who sail in her.
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