Harry vs Voldemort and the Art of Waiting

For someone who loathes Valentine’s and all it represents, I have been making an awful lot of Valentine’s-related stationery lately. Buy now to make your friends laugh! Buy now for an alternative Valentine’s gift! Buy now so I don’t have to get another job!

I have spent the last week or so trying to focus on my work in that self-help book kind of way. You know: focus on a task until it’s done, prioritise your goals, live in the moment. Finish those Valentine’s designsTurns out talking to you fuckers hasn’t been a priority. Generally, it works. I can sleep at night knowing I gave my best performance. Except I actually sleep at night beneath three blankets and the weight of no discernible progress, so there’s a chapter missing in those books. ‘What to Do When You’ve Started Implementing Your Plans But the Stats Aren’t In Yet’. I have found that binge reading the work of Maggie Stiefvater helps. So does listening to MCR songs you’d forgotten you’d forgotten.

One of my new year’s intentions was to chill the fuck out, so let’s all be patient, remember that we are only three weeks into 2016 and keep in mind that life could be worse – we could be that bloke they based The Revenant on.

And yet.

Catching up with Blogging 101 tasks, I’m having a bash at writing to a prompt, and one of the Waiting Room ones was ‘“Good things come to those who wait.” Do you agree? How long is it reasonable to wait for something you really want?’ As a freelancer I am my own boss, with absolutely no Monthly Targets or Quarterly Team Goals or Bullshit Exercises To Stop Employees Quitting. One of the reasons I didn’t want to work in an office was the likelihood of Bullshit Exercises – they make me feel the same way as grey suit trousers and nude lipstick does. I have goals with my marketing clients, of course: ‘make them money’, usually narrowed down into ‘build Instagram’, then trimmed to ‘write five snappy posts’, then ‘turn on the computer to write five snappy posts’, then ‘get out of bed because the computer is downstairs’. At the end of all that, the client should have visibility and therefore money, and I should continue my tenure as the Instagram person, and I should therefore have money.

All because I got out of bed, and without a grey trouser suit in sight.

Sometimes Instagram does not build quickly. Sometimes my posts are not good. Sometimes people are tight and refuse to part with their cash despite enjoying a pretty and well-tagged Instagram picture twice a day. These people are dicks.

Back to waiting for good things: with the exception of new Stiefvater novels, I am not content to simply wait. I must be doing something to, at the very least, pass the time. Ideally I must be implementing a scheme to make the good thing happen so that it happens more quickly, more efficiently, and with less time to moan about waiting. It might still take five years, but if I hadn’t made an effort then it might have taken ten. It might not have been as good. Here is a list of good things that came with waiting:

  • I left school (I waited 13 fucking years)
  • The conclusion to Harry vs Voldemort (six years)
  • Danger Days plus Conventional Weapons (four years)

I did very little to hurry those along except exist and bide my time. Probably could have entertained myself more in retrospect. Here is a list of good things in my life that came because I made them happen:

  • I can write without a wrist brace (three years, physio, sheer force of will)
  • A large portion of my hair is pink (a few months, some savings)
  • Doors on my cupboards (a week, a screwdriver, lack of patience to wait for someone else with a screwdriver to do it, especially when that someone is a man)

Here is a list of good things I will also get if I a) wait and b) find a screwdriver:

  • A healthy return on my investment of Valentine’s designs
  • The ability to type on a regular keyboard with a regular mouse, without my fingers and wrists turning numb
  • Money to travel more and move out of my mother’s house and eat well without selling a kidney on the Internet, engaging in prostitution and/or getting that other job.

The question is, how long am I willing to wait. 10 years? Six months? Until my pink hair has grown out? It could take me longer to leave home than it has for Richard Gansey III to find the dead Welsh dude, and I don’t have a Camaro or Blue Sargent to soothe my frustration.*

So, if you are in a commenting mood, let me know: how long is it reasonable to wait for something you want? How long have you waited in the past for something? Are you still waiting? Let’s wait together.

*That is not a spoiler.

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Spring is Springing… or limping towards us, at any rate.

How was everyone’s Valentine’s Day? I hung out with my friends and ate chili, which was more of an event-that-happened-to-be-on-Valentine’s than an actual celebration. It was probably a lot more fun than some people’s though… imagine you proposed and the person said no? Imagine you turned up at their house to surprise them and they were with someone else? Imagine you went out the week after and stocked up on half price chocolates?

I’m heading out soon so might not have to imagine that at all… thankfully I have zero issues with eating confectionery declaring someone’s love. I love me, and me loves chocolate.

God, what a sentence. Still, Valentine’s being over means that spring is on its way! The darkness of February will soon give way to light evenings, birdsong and leaving the house without four layers! The sun’s out today and everything! I’ve painted my nails for the first time in forever, and I’ve been spring cleaning my room. Well, I actually took some doors off a cabinet, put a shelf in then put the doors back on, and haven’t put anything on the shelves yet – but it’s a start, innit.

I must be excited, I’ve overdone the pink again. All I need is to see some lambs trotting about and I’ll explode.

From  yahooentertainment.tumblr.com
From yahooentertainment.tumblr.com

Until the lambs start appearing, Groot will more than suffice.

The Six O’Clock News: a Valentine’s News Round-Up!

Happy Valentine’s Day, unless you’re ill and alone and watching TV this fine Friday evening. Ugh, Valentine’s.

According to The Guardian, in some cultures Valentine’s is becoming synonymous with “my female partner will have sex with me whether she wants to or not” and, despite the small sample size of Cambodian participants, it’s not a huge stretch to assume that for some people, Valentine’s is just an excuse to rape someone. Which for a lot of people is actually just getting laid because even today there are taboos around sex and consent and the like. Gross factor: 10/10 (although I’m not sure if Valentine’s is the actual cause).

Interestingly, in other cultures Valentine’s is becoming synonymous with “massive rip-off”. The Metro reckons that increasing amounts of people are not giving a fuck not bothered. In a fun twist of events, someone printed out a load of Valentine’s Tumblr memes and stuck them around my sixth form block, which simultaneously made my day and, hopefully, emphasised the ridiculousness of centring a day around someone with whom you’re in a relationship all the time. Gross factor: 3/10. Those memes were Tumblr-inappropriate and highly worth Googling.

In assembly, however, we were told that some places view Valentine’s as more of a celebration of love than of romance (Estonia) or is banned entirely (Saudi Arabia, surprise!). Cool huh. Or not, since it would be nice to have the opportunity to get all mushy in front of whichever bad film is out this year with whichever bad choice of life partner you’ve found yourself with that year. Or you could just make friends with a penguin. Gross factor: 5/10. Saudi Arabia’s lack of human rights versus a besotted penguin…

Okay I’m off to make a list of shops that I want to raid when there’s a post-Valentine’s sale on. The mind goes initially to Thornton’s, but there are probably some great deals to be had on clothing, hair products and pink alcohol. And glittery jewellery. And Etsy fandom products. Who needs a significant other when you have the Internet, seriously. No wonder it’s a commercial giant: people don’t want Valentine’s mush, they want cheap booze and chocolate…