The infinite possibilities of London

The infinite possibilities of London

It’s the third of August, my friends in Italy are boiling and complaining that it’s too hot (about 38 degree Celsius) and I am here, wearing a jumper. It’s not even 20 degree in London. Really feels like November.

Anyway, this is not a post about the weather, or about me complaining about the weather. This is a post about my slow fitting in the new neighbourhood. I like St John’s Wood. It’s posh, but nice.

I like the fact that everything is so close. After having lived in zone 3 for years, it still amazes me to realise that it takes me 10 minutes to get to the centre. And I can walk to Regent’s Park everyday.

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Yesterday I went to speak to a career adviser because I want and I need to go back to work, but I want to find a job that doesn’t kill me and where I don’t have to sell my soul. Of course, I still want to translate, but let’s face it: the translation industry is not going well for freelancers, it’s going well for big agencies that pay linguists close to nothing, and I didn’t spend years and money in education to get paid some insulting rates. So, I will keep that on the side for now, doing some volunteer translation to keep active. Anyway, back to the career adviser, it was a very inspiring session and I don’t understand why these services aren’t advertised more! I didn’t know about it, until I found a leaflet in the children’s centre where I take my son. I booked an appointment and yesterday I met this very nice and competent man who gave me plenty of advises and links to useful websites to help me in my research. He said there may be some training courses available for me, too.

My dream job would be speech therapist, but I would have to do it in Italy and it’s 3 years of university degree, so for now I will have to focus on something else, perhaps something similar. I was thinking of getting a certificate for teaching learners with dyslexia/specific learning difficulties, but it’s still unclear whether I qualify not being a teacher…

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I love being able to sit here and write about these things, sipping my coffee, it helps me putting things into perspective and making a bit of order in this mess that is my life at the moment.

xx

Gloria

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Sometimes being irresponsible is the most responsible thing to do

Sometimes being irresponsible is the most responsible thing to do

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(Picture: Charly Clements for Metro.co.uk)

I am 31. Soon to be 32 and I haven’t been able to hold on a job for more than 10 months straight. Yep, less than a year.

I was used to feel bad about it, to feel as if I was to blame for it and to be ashamed of it, but then I spoke to a girl who hated her job (as much as I hated mine) and didn’t have the courage to quit. She was miserable, and so was I sitting 9 hours in front of a computer screen.

When I was working in the office, I was used to wake up every morning and feel desponded about my job life: I didn’t like my job, I didn’t like getting on an overcrowded train every morning, full of angry/sad looking people, I didn’t like feeling useless.
That is how I felt, useless. I know what I did at work didn’t make any difference to anyone. The worst thing that could have happened if I was distracted, was a spelling mistake on H&M underwear labels, because that is what I was in charge of. Seriously. I was a Project Manager for a marketing company and I was in the H&M team.
You probably don’t know, but I couldn’t care less about fashion and everything related to it. I find it a complete and utter waste of time/energy/resources. I like to go shopping sometimes, but I really don’t care about the latest “trends” on glitters or whatever it is that is considered “in” at the moment. So, that was one thing. I also discovered that office job is not for me. I honestly enjoyed more serving coffee at Tulse Hill cafe on platform 1 at 6 in the morning. I got to greet people and talk to them and I knew that a smile or a nice word from me could make someone’s day, so I felt much more appreciated there that in that gloomy office in Clerkenwell. Too bad working in a cafe paid only £6 an hour that, for London life, doesn’t even cover toilet paper stock.

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Sketch from the amazing Liz Watkins

And then there was the Christmas holidays’ fight. For who’s not from London, you should know that many companies are mostly made of foreigners-living-in-London employees. This means that everyone wants to go home for Christmas, and home being a plane trip away, we all need to take days off. There are rules: if you took days off at Easter, you usually have to work during Christmas time, if you started working in June, well, too bad, you will probably have to work and so on. The Christmas holidays’ war is a very stressful event Londoners working in office have to go through every year. I couldn’t bear the pressure.

I can’t stand people who complain and don’t act to change the situation they complain about and this is why I decided to quit. I wasn’t happy there, I was complaining all the time, so I acted to address the problem. Perhaps I’ve been a bit drastic, but I’m Italian and I live on drama!

All this to say that I resigned not from one, but from two jobs (including the last one) to be able to go home and spend Christmas with my family.
In that respect, I am the typical cliche of the Italian too attached to her family. I will not miss Christmas at home, not because Caroline had to work at Easter, so I’m stuck. Not because I was too busy working to reply within 10 minutes from receiving the email and so there aren’t days off left for me to take in that period.

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Clerkenwell

When I told my friend I was going to quit my job because I hated it, she said: “Great! Did you find something else?” And she was astonished when I replied “Nope”.
You see, I had a plan. In the 10 months I worked, I saved a lot of money and this wasn’t because my salary was high, but because I am very good at managing my expenses. I saved like a little ant that stocks as many crumbs as she can during summer, so she can rest in winter and not starve. That’s what I did. I stopped eating out for a while, I limited my compulsive Amazon browsing-that-leads-to-buying and I saved money.
Was it irresponsible? According to basically anyone, yes it was. Do I regret it? Not at all.
I went home for a month and once back, I was going to look for a job that was right for me, a job where I would feel appreciated and where I could make a difference.

Too bad I found out I was pregnant two weeks after leaving the hated office, but that’s a story for another day.

Gloria