Money, Thanksgiving, Soul Train Music Awards

I’ve never quite understood why among my group of friends, I always seem to be the only one (visibly) bothered by money. Maybe I process things differently, but when someone invites me to a random thing, like brunch, I have to think about it. And whereas (I think) most people who pause to think are trying to see if the invitation fits their schedule, I’m thinking about whether my account balance is padded enough, and if the experience is worth it. I’m ALWAYS here for new experiences, and I don’t mind being a bit broke for a while because I spent my money travelling to a new country, for example. Thankfully, I’ve never had to be extremely broke, because my daddy is too kind. However, I need time to mull things over, to see if I’m flush enough or if I can spare a few coins – and it’s not like I have a budget. I don’t think budgets work for me as such, so once I get money I just move 20-60% into a savings account because I usually don’t know if I’m going to be able to save anything next month. Why am I not sure? Because my life is unstable. In one month, I might have to travel like 5 times, and when you consider that flight tickets cost €70-120, consider that I have to factor in costs of transportation in these cities, consider food, etc., you might appreciate why I have to save in advance. Also, I’m looking for a house and my parameters are really stringent so I have to save for what I want. Then I need a new computer. Etc etc. Sigh.

{Break in transmission: I’m watching the Soul Train Awards on BET and Erica Campbell (one half of the Mary-Mary duo) is on. It’s very interesting to see how black people can turn spiritual in an instant, and this right now, this might as well be a church service or church concert. Tasha Cobbs is on now. Babyface was being honored earlier and they played some of the songs he wrote, with the artistes. BoysIIMen featured then, and that was the best bit of things for me because they sang End of the Road and I got really nostalgic. My goodness, I love Janelle Monae’s voice. I’ve been trying to get rid of the nasal tinge to mine and now I think I want to sound like her; only problem is everyone who knows me will look at me askance like “have you come down with a cold? You’ve had this cold for months now though”. R-Kelly has come on now to sing Step in the Name of Love and I’m dancing along because nostalgia, but I’m also making a weird face because I just remembered this article I read recently. That also just made me think about how the media shapes our perceptions and influences our behaviour. Hmm. Eyyy he just started singing Ignition Remix and I remember how my best friend in high school loved that song.}

Right, so we started with how I seem to be the only one who doesn’t outwardly worry about money. I don’t know how to pretend, so I usually just say how broke I am. I think I’m poor 😦 and I wish I could just not worry and spend all the money. I need more hustles. And more stability. Oh well.

How was Thanksgiving weekend for you? I liked the hashtag #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies – another insight into the lives of black Americans, seeing as I’ve never lived among them and all I know is from TV and maybe books. I’m grateful for my parents who have done their utmost best to raise us, and I’m a bit happy that I’ve come to see them as human beings who have emotions and are just trying to live their best lives, rather than just ‘parents’. I’m thankful for my edges, because they’re full and don’t look like they’ve been ‘snatched’. Thankful for red wine (which I used to hate) and cider, because those are awesome. Thankful for self improvement, and love. Thankful for relative comfort, and for my career because my current job is almost the literal illustration of “life comes at you fast”. I’m learning a lot though, and hopefully not falling on my face too many times – AND I get to work from home 🙂

I have work to do and a work phone call to make at 10pm (perks of working from home, eh?), so I’m gonna go now.

A bientot.

Tidbits while I write my thesis II (Or: Mini quarterlife crisis, if there’s such a thing)

5. I went to the UK about 1 month ago. My visa was about to expire and I thought to use it one more time, so I booked 2 tickets on 2 different airlines: Ryanair to go, Jets2 to come back. People, I missed my Ryanair flight by 1 second. It was a morning flight, and there were so many people on the queue. I asked to be moved forward but they told me “don’t worry, the plane won’t leave without you”. Well, it did. And then, just as they were closing the gate, I ran up screaming – okay, well, whispering – “nononono!!!” and they just said “sorry, can’t let you through, you have to go back to the service desk. Sigh. Off to the service desk I went, where they told me (a bit too cheerfully) that I’d have to be put on the next flight (21:20), and I’d have to pay an extra 110Eur. Aha, so that’s why they were so cheerful. LOL. Screw you. I went and sat down, took out my computer and booked a flight on British Airways. But then I had to fly to the train station and get to Rotterdam (as I was in Eindhoven) airport. Luckily for me, BA was flying straight into London City, so that was just perfect. Well, I got to London safe and sound, then began the arduous journey to Leeds (someone should look into making daily small-plane services a thing. Like between London and Leeds. I’d pay 50 Pounds if you could get me there in 10-30 minutes instead of 4.5 hours. Sheesh).

6. 9:47am, 25.04.2014: Mika’s ‘Grace Kelly’ is everything for me this morning. So much so that I want to do a cover (video) of it, set in the 60s, maybe a la TemiDoll’s ‘PataPata’.

7. I turn 25 in a couple of days, and I cannot even begin to describe how or what I feel, to be honest.

I’m writing my Masters thesis, and I shall be graduating this summer. I have 2 years of (semi?)professional experience, and about 21 years of schooling experience. For all of these years, I’ve always known what ‘the next step’ would be. Sometimes, there were crossroads, but there was always a next step, regardless. Now, I’m not quite sure what my next steps would or should be.

Also, I practically stopped living at home when I was 10. I went to boarding school, and my family lived far (like 6-700km) away, so I only saw them at vacations, or the odd visiting day when Father or Mother happened to be in town on business. When I started my first job, it was again, far (4-500km) from ‘home’, so I’ve pretty much been ‘independent’ and nomadic for the past 15 years. One might argue that my family and I have been in a long distance relationship, which I’m fine with. However, these days, I find myself thinking that maybe it’s time to settle somewhere. At the same time, I think I still have about 2 more cities/countries to ‘wild out’ in before I settle.

With the boyfriend, it’s been the same (long distance) thing. Of our ~5 years together, we’ve only ever lived in the same city for 1 year. Some people might read this and think “I could never do that!”, but </shrug> it’s my reality and it usually isn’t something I’m happy or sad about, it just is. my life. And I was happy when he moved to the UK because then it meant we were at least on the same continent.

Today, I’m sad. The boyfriend got a job with a very, very good company (and we’re so very happy about it, you cannot begin to imagine) and he has to move back to Nigeria next month. Because, we’re not going to say “no, please wait for me to enjoy summer, I’ll come afterwards”. Nay. (Not like he didn’t try though. They couldn’t wait. And he couldn’t very well say “well, go screw yourselves then”.) We did have plans for this summer though. Good plans.  Oh and, the way schedules are set up, it appears no one is going to be able to make it to my graduation. Well done, Life.

Now, I do have a vague idea what’s supposed to happen next for me, but then it very much depends on whether things ‘fall into place’, which I hope they do – and in the way that I want them to-. I’m speaking about getting a job, of course. My supervisors here have been pretty pleased about my work and they’re very interested in keeping me on, but it depends on if a vacancy opens up, as they do not have the power to manufacture a vacancy, etc. Fingers crossed then. I think what I’ve just described is my apprehension. Still on apprehension, I have to submit my thesis in 14 days and I’m only 70% ready. Cue panic.

In other interesting-but-slightly-panicky news, I tried to start a 3rd party logistics business (even paid for a logo and got a website and everything), but I couldn’t quite get it off the ground because I wasn’t able to figure out how to make it ‘affordable’ by my standards. Also, I started noticing last year, that a couple of (Nigerian) companies have such piss-poor customer service on social media. You tweet at them to complain about something (because their customer lines are ‘busy’), and they get a bot to respond to you. “Thank you for your comment/enquiry. Please call 1234 for help, or email xyz@abc.com”. It used to piss me off a lot, even when I wasn’t the one being mistreated. So I started ranting about and saying maybe I should start a social media management business, because I want to see how hard it is to treat your (online) customers well. As I said, I was only ranting. And then, a friend took me seriously and sent out a couple of texts, and *abracadabra* we started a business and now we have 3 clients. In 1 week. Well done, Life. We haven’t even gotten a website or logo. [Aside: Thankfully, it is a lot easier for me to figure how to keep this business affordable for clients 😀 ]

I have no plans for my birthday, I suppose I’m going to spend it reading Anne of Green Gables and/or The Perks of Being a Wallflower or something. There’s a barbecue thing tomorrow though, so I shall attend and afterwards, my Spanish friend will make us mojitos and spanish omelettes. Oh and she’s finally moving on Sunday. Too sad.

I want to learn to play the violin this summer. I’m accepting donations to buy one. [Shall I open a Kickstarter/Indiegogo project for you my dearest friends, to contribute?] 😀