Lately

graphIt’s easier to post a picture than try to explain the past couple of weeks. Things really hadn’t been going my way and money has been a worry. And a few different events knocked my confidence.

Then this week my department director asked me if I wanted to increase my hours at work and go on to a fixed-term contract. There is also a slight change of job role.

I start my new role mid-May so this week I calculated my unclaimed holiday. I’m going to be getting a big chunk of cash! I’m so relieved.

I also found out (exactly) a week ago that I had been shortlisted to be interviewed for the museum mentors assistant role at Brighton Museums.

 

Bright

I keep planning to take better care of myself. It really hasn’t happened this weekend. Self-care often goes to the bottom of my to-do list. I planned to do research and work yesterday, then spend this morning going for a long walk. I need to focus on minimising distractions. I’m failing at that.

I am also expecting some disappointing news this week so I need to up my resilience sharpish!

On the bright side, my #4brightideas is in!

I went out for a walk this evening. I ended up near Moulsecoomb so I decided to visit Aldrich library (and write this).

I’ve been reading Inclusive Arts Practice and Research today. The more I read it the more I hope to do MAIAP at some point in the future.

Since leaving PPA I have been trying to figure out if there’s a way to incorporate everything I enjoy into one project. Hopefully, a project that doesn’t require public speaking. I keep seeing overlapping areas but I’m reluctant to make any decisions because I don’t feel ready yet.

I’m just trying to assemble my thoughts here. It’s not going well so I’m going to head on home.

Expression

I had a job interview yesterday. My first job interview for over two years (excluding the times I had to apply for jobs internally). I think it’s a testament to my current mindset that I felt able to ask for time to think about answers and I was able to talk about mental health. I do wonder if I’ve become an oversharer. I feel like the answers I gave to the questions were not suitable for a candidate to say, but they felt right for me to say.

I realise I cannot change myself for a job, rather I need to be myself and find a job that fits me.

I also threw out all the advice you hear from people about ensuring you don’t fidget (I’m nervous – I can’t help it!) and clichés like don’t sell yourself short (I have weaknesses; I feel like a liar if I pretend I don’t).

After my interview I rushed to the theatre where I spoke to families about Anglo Saxon and Roman artifacts in the foyer prior to Horrible Histories. I even handled the Anglo Saxon skull!

The excitement of the day knocked me out for five solid hours, but then I woke up early this morning and couldn’t stop reliving yesterday in my head. I worried that I hadn’t explained myself well. Words kept flowing through my mind faster than I can speak. And they haven’t stopped all day.

 

Week

Today is my two year anniversary as a member of staff in University of Brighton! My team celebrated yesterday with a mini-fun fair in the office. It was a great end to a tiring week. It was made even better by my finishing my March backlog on Thursday. Yes! I’m doing OK.

April has been the most up-and-down month so far this year. That’s saying something. I’d been feeling run down for quite a while. I picked up a cold/bug a few weeks ago and just when I thought I had shook it off, it came back last weekend. At the time I was visiting family back in Dorset. I spent that weekend sweating and coughing.

I travelled back to Brighton on Sunday and then I had to get up early on Monday morning to get to the British Museum for Objectively Speaking. Even though I felt like a steamed dumpling, I had the best time! I particularly enjoyed meeting the staff and seeing the activities in the Samsung Centre (I bet you knew I’d say that).

The day felt really surreal. Part of it was my ill head, but another part is that I still cannot believe I get to do fun things and spend time in museums. It feels too good to be true.

Mental

My depression and/or anxiety (I can’t seem to distinguish) has been giving me a kicking lately. I had planned to apply for my previous job in my office. The role has been regraded and now encompasses more challenging data-y tasks. In short, it would’ve been varied and rewarding. But my depression thought that I just don’t deserve the role. My anxiety thought that I’d be rubbish in the role.

Edge

As a result, I have been feeling a bit on edge. The job application procedure was making me tearful and jittery. I retracted my application and just focused on getting by day-to-day. My coping mechanism, in times like these, is to run away. If I feel afraid of failing, I quit – I just get a sense of jump before you fall. I know it’s not the best coping mechanism and I’ve sure some of you would argue that it’s not coping at all. But my mental is trying to protect itself in some weird way and I’m thankful for that.

University

Thoughts of going back to university have been going through my head. I think it’s just because deadlines are coming up and I’m getting emails about museum-related courses. I still need to research so I am pretty certain I won’t be applying any time soon. But it’s there in the back of my head, lurking behind the projects I keep throwing myself into.

Digital

Last week I discovered digital.unison.org.uk – I’m happy because I had been wanting a resource like this for months. My dream is to meet other members who like experimenting with digital technology and share skills. I already contacted other HE branches who have access to Mahara – so far none of them are using it, but I’m testing it and Kent said they’d be interested in my feedback.

Talking

Two events are coming up this month where I’ll be talking to a group of people about something I’m supposed to know stuff about. Both events are informal and my role is primarily to encourage interest, rather than teach. Nevertheless I’m incredibly nervous.