Things I Want To Do With My Life

Door... Oh symbolism!!

Door… Oh symbolism!!

Trying to organise my thoughts and life plan here… So many ideas but there’s this whole time/money thing that I have to figure out.

So here are the parameters that I have to work within:-

I am 24 years old and basically would love to do MOST of this before I am 30…

Please don’t ask me about money… We could talk about that another time!

Here goes…

1. There was something here but I am now leaving it blank… Too personal even for an anonymous blog! Meh :-p

2. A good few trips around this country so that I can photograph all the beautiful, strange, dark, and unique things there are to see.

3. A good walk around all the parts of London that I SHOULD HAVE photographed while I lived there, but hey you don’t ever realise what you’ve got til it’s gone! Specifically, Hammersmith, West Kensington, Camden and Fulham. All of those areas have a special place in my heart. Oh yea and Shepherds Bush! Yep I said it. I WANT TO photograph random normal places (said with the exception of Camden which is known universally amongst Londoners as a little quirky/strange)

4. I want to take my husband to my hometown in Scotland so he can see where I spent the first 11 years of my life. It really is beautiful.

5. I also want to take my husband to Singapore and Malaysia to meet more of my family.I have gone there for at least a month every 2-3 years my entire life so even if I’ve never actually lived there it is still a big part of me.

6. Australia… Cos husbands friend travelled all the way from Australia to watch us get married and its only fair we return the love!

7. So just combining numbers 2-5…. Basically one huge mega trip because it doesn’t make sense to travel all the way to Australia without making a few stops on the way!!

8. Buy a car

9. Buy a house… Combining incomes, not wanting to waste another penny on rent.

10. Decorate said house… gradually while spending as little money as possible! Might be kinda hard to do with all this other stuff on the list…Hmm… Just a distant dream this one!

11. a) Get an MA in Construction Management or become a fully qualified archieeaAAaasjfmcndkakrncnglll!!!!

OR

11. b)  SCREW COMBINED INCOMES and become a blissfully happy and hardworking housewife!!!

Ugh…. This list is giving me a HEADACHE!!

What world am I living in? Seriously!!

Why can’t I just be a Disney Princess????

This Time Last Year + 40 Days and some

I’ve been hiding for a while because sometimes in this world… you just gotta hide! Nuff said.

So last year was such an experience!

I love looking back on it, remembering where I was at this exact time and seeing how far I have come. Especially since this is an amazing Lent story for me!

Remember that job I wrote about at Christmas time?

Well, I resented that I had to commute to North London every day when the job I had applied for was supposed to be just a 15 minute walk from my flat! They coaxed me in by saying “Oh just a couple weeks in North London while we get the Hammersmith site set up!” and then a couple weeks turned into 5 months. I almost quit the job but after having a rant to my employment adviser at the agency, then announcing my plans to move abroad she exclaimed how happy she was for me, and that it is probably best I just stay in the job she got me until it’s time to leave! Yea yea, it’s her job to say that but she really did cheer me up that day! What can I say?

So I reached February and it was Pancake Day, the day before Ash Wednesday. I got home after 7pm every day so was not sure how to go about asking my “temperamental” boss to let me leave early to go to church. I got to work and he was not in for the whole morning. I kind of resigned myself to just end up missing church on Ash Wednesday and finding a way to make up for it in my own small mind….

Then I hear some employees say “Code red from Hammersmith!” which basically means the guys at the Hammersmith office made sure to let us know that the boss was heading over to us and he was not happy!

I walked downstairs to get some tea and look who it is! The boss! He says “I’m moving up your date to start at Hammersmith.” I said “Oh really? To when?”

“How about tomorrow?”

Yessss!!! I moved to the Hammersmith office on Ash Wednesday and finished work with plenty of time to go get my ashes at church!

It felt sooo perfect! Waking up at the exact same time every day only to get home a whole 2 hours earlier! Walk 15 minutes to and from work, have lunch at home, return to day light… perfect!

And on the exact day that I started my secretarial work in Hammersmith my colleagues and my new boss start saying “you should apply for our architectural position!”

OMG!!

I had sent out at least 200 applications for architectural jobs and with no more than just one unsuccessful interview which I had managed to fail nearly 2 years before…. and now this opportunity just seemed to fall into my lap.

But remember, I had already made the plans to move abroad with my the boyfriend that year. Would he or any of his family expect me to stay true to my word if I take the job? But look how long and hard I had worked for it! Everything had come together for that exact moment!

And then I remembered:

It’s Ash Wednesday.

God had put me in the perfect position to go to church and get my Ashes exactly when I needed to, and then says… “So… here is your life. What’s it gonna be??”

I was at a fork in the road that began right on Ash Wednesday and went on for God knows how long, and I can’t say if the two paths would have ever merged again.

So I had to give up something right?

I remembered that God is Love, and went on with my life.

Here I am now :D

Happy Easter!!

(I know this is late… but it’s still the Easter season!)

My First Grown Up Christmas :-D

* started writing this Christmas Eve… got half way then had to finish the rest today!

Our very full Christmas Tree!

Our very full Christmas Tree!

*Oh my gosh I have SOOOO much to rant talk about!!

But it’s Christmas Eve.

I have today off!

And everyone else has work :D so it’s just me, Bob Marley and my laptop :)

And rather than rant today it would probably be much better for me and my wonderful readers to reflect upon the importance of this season and what it means to me.

First of all, what this means to me :)

The first time I really discovered Bob Marley was Christmas time when I was about 15… So now Bob Marley never fails to put me into the Christmas spirit!! Is that weird?

Some other “Christmas” albums for me include:

Usher Raymond – 8701

Destinies Child – Survivor

Miseducations of Lauryn Hill

Wale – Ambition beautiful song, but I decided to link to a clean version for the sake of the internet!

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story

Drake – Take Care

Note that the last three were all out before last Christmas and always take me back to my days sitting on the tube on the way to work in North London….. I know that NONE of these tracks actually have anything to do with Christmas!! But it’s the memories I associate with them! There’s more too but I guess these will do for now :)

My job in North London wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for as an architecture graduate. I was a site secretary (a.k.a. secretary in an office on a construction site) and there were many days that I really had to draaag myself out of bed and into the 75 minute commute to work. But in this world there is beauty that can be found in everything. Looking back I am VERY happy for my experience there and the many fun/different/annoying/happy characters I got to work with. Even my daily commute provided much needed time for prayer, contemplation, reflection, people watching, entertainment and observations. I tried to make sure I always had a rosary in my pocket :)

One moment of beauty was when I was sat on the tube and the last view I had before going underground was a wet and grey Hammersmith… then about an hour later I came out from the tunnel and was greeted by a wonderful snowy white view of the park, roof tops and trees! It brought a smile to my face, it was beautiful!

There were other funny/awkward memories, like when I was rushing into the next tube in the middle of my journey and was elated to find a carriage with THREE free seats all next to each other! So I rushed in and sat right in the middle, only to notice everyone nervously staring next to me. I looked to my right and, yep, I was sitting next to the crazy person! Changed carriages at the next stop :-p but not before he had time to stare in my face and proclaim to everyone that “she must be in love!!”

* So I have just spent my very first Christmas with the fiance.

He is amazing.

I really do miss my family a lot. They went to visit my Granny and Uncle in Wales, and are now in Switzerland for a week as has been the tradition for the past four years… I know… lalalaaa the life of an expat brat!

This is also the first Christmas I have not taken time off for. The office has been closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Today is a half day and tomorrow of course I have off again :) Last year I took two weeks off. The year before that I was free as a bird (a.k.a. unemployed/volunteering :P) and before that I was a student….

My first GROWN UP CHRISTMAS!!

And despite my little emotional outbreaks I get from time to time, especially when I miss my family but am trying very hard not to(!) my fiance has been wonderfully supportive and I am very happy to be with him this year.

This little reflection I am doing right now on where I was this time last year in relation to now is a wonderful perspective to view the past from… So although I have things to rant about at the moment and probably always will, a year from now these inner rantings will probably cherished memories. Why? Because it is all part of making me who I am… dare I say that in the past year I have (gasp) become me again?

I cherish the memories I have of being miserable on the tube for two-and-a-half-hours a day! It makes me appreciate my current position even more!

I wasn’t always, but I am now VERY grateful for all of it :)

Now on to the next part!

Christmas in this country is certainly different e.g. NO SNOW! It is warm and sunny at the moment, which kinda adds to the reason why it took me ages to realise we are actually in December. Christmas music is Parang (Spanish instrumentals, usually English lyrics these days) food is more ham and pastelles than turkey with brussel sprouts and yorkshire pudding… similar but different! No one really stays home either, everyone is driving around to say Merry Christmas to all the different family members and friends.

I think I’ve just given away where I am living with all of those links… oh shucks! Not writing it down here though!

As for the religious part… well this is a Catholic multi-religious/cultural society!

Lots of church! And lots of people proclaiming the joy of Christ without being afraid of sounding over religious or freaking out the secularists :P Haha!

I love it!!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

P.S. If anyone from work ever happens to stumble across this… don’t worry… I LOVED working with all of you!! I didn’t like the commute :P

Cute Angel!

Cute Angel!

Shubh Diwali!

Pretty!!!

Deya’s!

I love living in a country where people embrace the good in all faiths!

I’m sure that anyone from here will be able to guess where I am now, but hey as long as I’m not actually saying it :P

Christmas, Eid Il Fitr and Diwali are all public holidays here. (Yes I know that does not encompass ALL religions, but they are the most prevailing faiths in this culture) That means that multiculturalism is embedded enough into society that decades ago the GOVERNMENT decided to make it official. Think about it!

Multiculturalism is embedded into society at all levels to the point where it is actually official.

I know I can’t say that we are living in peace, or that racism and prejudice are dead and all that… They definitely aren’t. But I trust that we will get better. And I can say that at least I am living in a society where FAITH is respected and not mocked or scoffed at! Whichever faith it may be!

My mum’s side of the family is Muslim, and my Dad’s side is Christian. I grew up celebrating both Eid and Christmas. Merging cultures is a concept that up until I was 11 years old had been ingrained into my family and our upbringing alone, separate from everyone else in our neighbourhood. I didn’t mind, people were curious and interested in my background and I was always happy to share what I knew! My background was a spark for conversation, for learning, for self expression and for my own sense of self, sense of pride and my interest in other cultures. That being said, I was very happy to discover when I first moved here the last time (just over 12 years ago now) that this concept is actually ingrained into an entire society.

I would love to say where I am right now, but unfortunately when I did a search on posts that this country has been tagged in it came up to maybe one or two posts a week… I don’t want anyone guessing who I am! That happens when you live in a small world!

Anyway, for anyone who doesn’t know, Diwali is the Hindu Christmas! As in, it’s the biggest festival on the Hindu calendar. It is known as the Festival of Light and celebrates the triumph of light over darkness. Of good over evil.

To everyone who has decided to stumble across a blog named The Story Of My Dark Side, I believe that this is a concept we can ALL vibe with! That ultimately Light will triumph over Darkness.

Sincerely

Smileyface :)

New new new!!

So as mentioned in my first post I was moving abroad IMMINENTLY. Well that was referring to YESTERDAY.

I am now in my new home! In reality, this country isn’t that new to me :-p. I spent a very large chunk of my formative years here before leaving to start university a whole 6 years ago.

But nonetheless, this chapter of life is still new!

There are a few differences this time around as opposed to when I last lived here as well.

For one thing, my family no longer live here.

Neither do many of my friends although I know they will be back regularly :)

I am now here living with my fiance and his family (parents, aunties, uncles etc.) which is a blessing!

It is beautiful, and although I do have to fit in all the business of new job, new bank account, new phone bills, new stuff (bla bla bla!) all I really want to do is take a nice long walk in the rain forest/beach/town and soak it all in. Note my little clues I’m dropping as to where in the world I am right now! So far: rain forest, beach and town!

I know that this blog is meant to be focused on My Dark Side. But I don’t think she deserves that amount of attention right now.

Of course moving has always been filled with all sorts of drama, EMOTIONS, worries and complications which are littered with all sorts of opportunities for any Dark Side to grab on to and hump away at :-s …. For anyone concerned with the Dark implications of moving, I may delve into those a little later in this blog.

Overall though, I am happy to turn over a new leaf and I am especially happy that for once I really did manage to keep it all under control despite all the opportunities My Dark Side has had over this past couple of weeks. It wasn’t easy but I really do hope I can keep this up!

Anyway, I think I will end this one for now with a key word that I find has been a lot of help to me throughout all the little challenges and successes throughout my life:-

PERSEVERANCE.

Think about it!

Until the next time…

Smileyface!

A beautiful photo my Dad took the last time we all lived here!

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