Second Annual Review

19 Apr

Hello all!

Bit late with this years edition of my annual update on how I’m doing and all that. Sorry; I’ve been letting the blogging go a bit (which, in a sense, isn’t necessarily a bad thing), truth is I don’t really ever find the time. I felt bad about not updating you all on my Netflix usage over October like I said I would; turns out Breaking Bad is very good, but I found it a struggle to just watch telly all day, so I just gave up. I envy telly critics – they seemingly have the easiest job in the world, but watching any serious amount of TV must send you totally fucking crazy.

This being a second annual review, stands to reason there must have been a first at some point, roughly a year ago. And indeed there was! You can read it here. Not a very long post, and remarkably difficult to write – I was very emotional, possibly even crying at points when I wrote that. However, I set myself relatively low standards for the year. Let’s see how I got on…

WORK: “Well, compared with two years ago, I am happy enough in my work. I now work with people of roughly my own age again, the job is tolerable, and I can survive on what I’m paid. This said, compared with last year, it is a huge step back, and I would like to continue the forward momentum I had built up at some stage… I expect to be in a similar job (or worse, or unemployed) for at least the next twelve months.”

I’ve pretty much nailed this one. At time of writing, I have avoided unemployment. I went for internal promotions, and a few other jobs, all knocked back, but I’m still in the same job. For someone who (unfairly) has a reputation for changing jobs on a regular basis, it’s encouraging. The company I work for have a career development scheme which they’ve put me on, which is a positive. I hope to make the best of this over the coming year, and move on up within the company rather than look for work elsewhere.

Hopefully a pay rise will follow in the next year; I won’t disclose precicely what I earn, but it’s less than the first ever job I had after university, and that wasn’t a lot.

Taken about an hour or so ago (April 2014). No beer :-(

Taken about an hour or so ago (April 2014). No beer 😦

Out at the Bier Halle, Gordon St, Glasgow, with some pals from work

Out at the Bier Halle, Gordon St, Glasgow, with some pals from work. June 2013

On the plus side, not having a lot of money has it’s fringe benefits (see right):

Work was only one worry I had back in 2013. At time of writing, I’ve been single for I forget how long. Scarred mentally by previous relationships, last year I was as pessimistic as usual. I done wrote this:

FRIENDSHIPS: “Well, I don’t honestly see a difference really in the last two, or indeed several years really. I am fond of a lot of people, just as I hope they are fond of me, but I am not particularly close to anyone. This does seem to be a continuing frustration in my life. I hope this gets better. Love-live is still zero, and sadly I forecast that to be the same over the coming year.”

In a sense, I fear that this has gone backwards in the last twelve months. I don’t see my pals as often as I used to, and I am, in a sense, spiralling into the same old depression that has plagued me over the years (see blogposts passim, and my twitter feed on a drunken Friday night). I would say that I literally do not know how to make friends. Over the last couple of years, I have joined a couple of organisations (namely the Lib Dems and CAMRA), primarily with the intention of meeting people with similar interests. I don’t think I’ve made a single friend whilst being a member of the Lib Dems, likewise CAMRA. (Important caveat here: Most people I know in ale drinking circles I knew prior to joining CAMRA; If you’re reading this then you’re more than likely one of them, and I don’t mean you!). Now, one could be cruel at this point and state that membership of Britain’s least popular political party, coupled with membership of a very narrow-focused consumer campaign was never going to be a winner as far as popularity goes, but at the moment it really does feel like I’m going backwards when I didn’t think that was even possible.

As for (sexual) relationships; I won’t be in one over the next twelve months. That’s a cast iron fucking guarantee right there. No point in analysing the last twelve months because nothing happened, and nothing will. So let’s move on, shall we?

FAMILY: “Compared with a few years ago, my relationship with my own family has improved slightly; though with the exception of my mother, I don’t really speak to them all that often. In fact, the primary communication tool these days seems to be game requests on Facebook games. This is a definite area for improvement in 2013.”

There was no improvement in 2013. Me and my mum still speak once a week on the phone, I may occasionally get a text message off my eldest younger sister, a facebook message off my youngest sister, and hardly any communication off the other two. Me and my dad will email each other occasionally… that’s about it. That said, looking back on what I typed up last year, my relationship with my family must have been a bone of contention – I’m not sure that it is now. I love my family dearly, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never been all that close to them, and I can’t for the life of me think why I put this down. Naturally, I hope that I am able to continue cordial relations with my parents and siblings into 2015, but I don’t necessarily want closer ties. I like that we are a relatively independent, free thinking bunch. Closeness will just lead to unnecessary drama and squabbles, and I’m best off out of that.

Lastly, but by no means leastly, was the vague category of “Hope”.

HOPE: “Unfortunately, this is the one area which scores particularly badly; unfortunately, having considered all things, I see last year as a bit of luck coming my way for once; sadly, I see my general trajectory heading south.”

HA! Boy, was I wrong on that one?! I was overly pessimistic last year. All in all, it’s been a mildly positive year – the job I do, due to an organisational change, became a lot more tolerable. I have lost a lot of weight which I wasn’t expecting to do. My health has probably never been better. However, it’s not all been a positive year. I feel a lot more fragile than I used to. One of my favourite character traits is, as a kid/teenager/young adult, no matter how many times I got knocked down, I would get up again. I had a bit of fight in me. Not any more. These days I just want a quiet life. I avoid conflict and, in doing so, people. I’m a lot lonlier than I was last year, and that was an area that I thought I’d hit rock bottom.

So what for next year? Well, again, I’m going to end on a pessimistic tone, sadly. I think my job (touch wood!) and my health will continue to improve over the coming months. I am aiming to have a size 32″ waist by June the 25th (my 32nd birthday) – I am currently a size 36″. We will see how that one goes. If I am successful, I will have gone from a size 42″ to 32″ in twelve months. Still, I’m not going to starve myself. My health, as it were, is the most important thing; there’s no point in wearing smaller trousers if I’m in a fucking hospital.
However, I don’t envisage 2014 being all plain sailing; even if I do lose further weight and get a better job; this is all about my overall quality of life, and I fear that I am not far off rock bottom at this point. I fear that I am in danger, a real danger, of relapsing into the mindset I had late 2010/early 2011 (see earlier blog posts) – and that’s not somewhere I want to be. 2014 will be a year where I perilously straddle the tightrope of having suicidal thoughts and not succumbing to them. I hope I remain as successful in the year to come as I have been so far.

And don’t mention the fucking football.


2 Responses to “Second Annual Review”

  1. Jan King April 19, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

    Will, you look fantastic! Keep up the good work on the weight front – wish I could do the same. I felt very saddened reading your two blogs and do trust that things will improve for you very soon. Jan and Rob King


  2. David Gallagher April 20, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    Will, I don’t have anything profound or insightful to add but thought it would be rude of me, after having read that to a) not point out that I had done so and b) consider you a truly unique friend.

    Some positives and some negatives in your review for sure but the talk of suicide is troubling. I think the only time I’d ever feel suicidal is if I had nothing in the negative column at all – what is life if not the constant struggle to move on to something better? I can’t think of anything more tedious than getting everything I’d ever dreamt of. Tomorrow is always full of bluer skies and that’s the only way I’d have it.

    “You can’t have it all, where would you keep it” – Stephen Wright.


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