Tuesday, June 02, 2015

three things i've learnt to be true

Life is incredibly busy at the moment.

I know everyone everywhere always says, "Oh you know, I'm so busy." "I'm just so busy." Oh honey.

But I actually mean it. I'm going to pretty much bet you're not as busy as I am right now.

I have taken on a bunch more things at work - projects are falling from the sky like drones -  and I am just about managing not to drown in the tidal wave of work completely. When I say every hour is accounted for in every day, from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay my head to to rest at night, I am not exaggerating.

"But you have time to write this blog post," you're thinking. "Clearly you're not that busy."
Make no mistake; I have had to account for this, by clearing time in my diary and entitling it, "Personal creative outlet meeting" in my corporate calendar. 

So let's crack on.

Life is one big ball-busting learning curve of fuckery, and now is as good as any other, to realise the following:

I wish I was better in a [medical] crisis

I'm not naturally good in any crisis, if I'm honest. Medical aspect to the side for a minute, I've really had to work at this, especially in my job. It's taken a good few years to approach and manage a crisis situation with cool, calm grace. I have to check myself. Take a deep breath, put down the fire extinguisher and remember that there is other more crazy stuff happening in the world than the seemingly small thing happening in in my world at that moment
It's the part of my job I find challenging and interesting, and it keeps me on my toes.

But I always thought I'd be better in a medical crisis. That I'd down my tools and attend to anyone who needed help with solid, thoughtful dexterity; that I'd be a fucking amazing doctor [had I only had the grades to study medicine.]

The other day, while 8 000 of us were piled all but in each other's armpits on my tube journey to work, a woman, standing within inches of my face, started to fall forward - all in slow motion - and land on me, then kind of slide down, using my body as a human slide.

A normal person would've thought, "Ooh, I should catch her! She's falling/fainting!" No. I stiffened up, leant backwards to avoid her crushing me, all the while thinking, "SHE'S DEAD. OH MY GOD. THERE'S A DEAD WOMAN FALLING ON ME."
I don't know why it's the first thing I thought of, but I, in 0.02 seconds had convinced myself this was a dead person. She looked a bit stiff and her eyes were open, so maybe I wasn't totally bonkers for thinking so. It also took her 5 minutes to come to, after someone had pulled that big red alarm.

"Is there a doctor anywhere?" one lady called, while another simply gave her some water and stroked her hair.

I wanted to be the person who thought quickly to ask if there was a doctor on board and give her water and tend to her like a normal, rational, quick thinking Crisis Manager.

Instead, I burst into tears because I immediately thought she was dead.

So. A few things to deconstruct there....

One has to get out of the city even when you're so busy you can't see beyond the front of your nose
 Actual. Flowers.

We headed to Devon on the weekend to attend a friend's wedding. It was beautiful. So green your eyes literally sting when you look around you. Fresh elderflower grows in wild flowers along the country lanes, and buttercups fill the fields with yellow.
To top it off, the wedding we went to was of a wonderfully informal, hippie nature - with yurts and camp fires, in a field, with the lovely bride running amuck barefoot, children playing, food made by friends, bunting, daisy chains, and I'm sure I saw a ukelele somewhere.
Sebastian was with us during the day, and we got a sitter for him at night.
It was lovely to just get out of London. We stayed on a farm, right on a paddock, in a small wooden hut.
Dreamy, really.
Citizenship really comes down to whether you can buy it/afford it

I officially have Indefinite Leave To Remain in the UK! I was very lucky to have my company foot the hefty bill for this (about £3 000 all in), but the race isn't over yet. Having ILR doesn't really change anything, it just means I can live here forever now.

This is half the race. The prize for me [and South Africans in general] is citizenship, because 1) we get a better sense of belonging in a country we have made home; and 2) Travel is easier because you don't need a visa to visit other places even fart in the direction of Europe, America.

But what immediately strikes me is if I didn't have savings, there is no way I'd be able to afford, once off, to essentially "buy" myself a passport, given the fees. All in, it'll cost me about £2 000 when all is said and done.
And probably the most ridiculous, is the first step: retaining my South African citizenship. It is the only country that insists that you need to apply to stay South African. And before you become the citizen of another country. If you want dual citizenship - which is what most of us want - you need to do a lot of form-filling-in and fannying about, while throwing about a few hundred pounds in the process.

Just yesterday, I had to send a letter to the Home Office to state that I wasn't a British Citizen...in order to become a British Citizen. This is an SA requirement.
And for the privilege, they charge £168.
It all really comes down to whether: you're happy to jump through a mound of pretty meaningless, ridiculous bureaucratic hoops; and kiss goodbye to thousands of pounds.

I'm sure it'll all be worth it in the end, but they intentionally make it fucking difficult on all levels, lemmetellya.

PS: Please donate to our cause, which we will be running for in July!

No comments: