jenepel: (GoGi: Blair "alone")
[personal profile] jenepel
I don't know why, but I'm all worried this week. There isn't even one particular reason or anything bad happening, I just seem to have this general feeling of unease. It's very strange. Partly it might be the upcoming US trip, which I am in no way ready for, and yet I leave in just over a week. I don't even know what I particularly need to do to be "ready" for it, other than the usual nonsense of packing and sorting out computer backups and such, but somehow it just seems to have snuck up on me. Maybe because it feels so soon after I got back from South Africa? IDK. I guess it is a bit up in the air in general b/c I am flying standby and still don't have the dates quite set, and also my friend Drew (who is giving me the AA pass) will not answer his freaking phone so that we can plan some more. Argh.

I've been worrying a little about money too, mostly because I seem to be spending a lot of it. I think it's just coming on the heels of the World Cup trip, and now planning my US one. Hopefully it won't be super expensive, but three weeks away (without pay) is just that, and you can't deny it. And then I've been looking at iphone plans (thinking about getting a business plan actually, since I'll be using it for that too, we'll see) and telling myself how it really is a complete and total luxury expense. Then there's the fact that I really want a new computer, but can't really justify that considering mine is only 3.5 years old and still works. Tom (current subletter) actually offered to buy it the other day. I don't even know how we started that conversation, but the possibility now will not leave my head. And I have shopped a bit lately (I NEVER SHOP) and got some new shoes for the wedding, and some other bits and pieces of things that I kind of needed but that still felt a bit decadent, b/c, IDK, spending money or whatever.

And then, on the subject of subletters, we have house type worries. Our lease is up in just seven weeks, which is really an outrageously short time, especially considering I won't be back until the last month of it. We have no idea what Amy is doing, thus we don't know if we need to fill one room (if she stays) or two (if she leaves), and whether one of those will be sublet for a while (if she stays to November) or filled completely. And there are other possibilities for people who might want to move in, but at the moment I kind of feel like none of them are actually going to happen, so we're gonna end up scrambling for strangers. Either way, we have at least one room to fill, and there is no way Claire and I (and Sarah) can cover rent if we don't get people in both of those rooms, so that NEEDS to be sorted soon so that we can put up ads or whatever else. In general the whole situation is FREAKING ME OUT. I am just so tired of continually having to worry about moving, or finding a new place, or finding new people to fill our current place, or whatever. I really just want to buy something and live there for ages. But again with the not so financially viable or sensible yet. Maybe in a year or so? (So yeah, anyone know someone looking for a room in London starting in Sept? It's an awesome house, really.)

Plus, on the incoming money side, B keeps cutting my hours at work since we're not too busy at the moment (off season), which is just really frustrating. I know it's essentially what I agreed to when I said I would be a contract employee (and there are other benefits), but I also remember at the time being worried about this exact thing and him reassuring me that it wouldn't be a problem because "there was always work to do". Yeah, so we see how that turned out. So mostly, working less hours but still coming in every day sucks, although it makes me feel a lot less guilty about extending the days of my US holiday even more. It also makes me feel bound and determined that I need to be set up SOON with a website and email and etc so that I can properly start advertising on my own. I'm just so sick of depending on B as my main job, I'm antsy to get more freelance. But then I start worrying about my EA exam, which I have not scheduled and am not doing a very diligent job of studying for, and I freak out again. It's a vicious, evil, and stupid cycle.

On top of that, I've just been feeling really alone. Mostly I just kind of float along, and to be honest I've been single for so long that I'm pretty independent and not so good at dealing with giving over control to anyone else. (This may have possibly tanked potential relationship in the past - I can be super stubborn.) But with all these worrying feelings, sometimes I just want someone else to kind of take over and tell me that it's okay and I'm being silly or whatever. Because in my head I know that there is nothing too bad going on in my life right now, but that doesn't really help on an emotional level. I just kind of wish I had someone to relax and let go with, and just snuggle and be calm. I have more specific feelings about it, but they just make me berate myself for being an idiot in various situations, and not knowing my own mind, so that's not helpful. I'm not sure all of this even makes sense? Maybe I just miss my mom (in the US) and [ profile] lazyclaire (in France)? I certainly seem to have gotten pretty emo now that Claire isn't home to take care of me and give out her (really fantastic) hugs. :)

Wow this was a lot of whining. Sorry about that! How about some pictures to take our minds off it all? It's not my July 12 of 12 (coming, maybe?) or even the World Cup pics (still haven't gotten them onto FB), but instead a link to pics some other people kindly posted. :)

I spent last weekend in Devon at Beth's parents' house, at a kind of bonding/goodbye extravaganza for Nick and Julie. It was pretty wrenching for them to actually be leaving (back to the US) for good, but the weekend was, frankly, pretty idyllic. See for yourself...

Amy with flowers, their garden (which is kind of insane and HUGE)

Beth's mom, plus donkeys, in their garden

Walking, day one

Devon countryside

Along the shore

The city kids stare at the *nature*! (We were feeling limpets to anemones - very fifth grade science class of us, huh?)

Me watching limpets; I kind of love this one, despite my hair being a mess.


And sudden hills. This is what happens when you let Beth lead. (This was much steeper then it appears in this picture.)

Shore view

Nick and I

Walking, day two

Bridge crossing

Sitting on rocks :)

We did this for a few hours, plus beer.

None of you guys know her, but I just really love this shot of Gloria.

Boys. Andy is so Tom Sawyer here, I love it!

These pictures were all taken by Amy and Julie, both of whom have really nice cameras. (Yet another thing I covet, but do not NEED!)

Date: 2010-07-30 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
VERY LARGE HUGS! Also, if I didn't have a year of college to finish over here, I would totally drop everything and go back to London and live with you and Claire and other awesome people! My visits with you guys are still some of my best memories of London and I can't drink Lady Grey without being momentarily transported back to your kitchen or living room (which kinda sucks sometimes because then I start to miss it, but I just have to keep telling myself that's part of what I signed up for when I decided to spend a year away).

I've been feeling that strange lonely feeling since moving back to Berkeley, since I don't really know the girls that I live with now and they've made no real efforts to include me in their doesn't help that, out of the three other people who live in my flat, only one is actually in Berkeley for the summer, and she works 9-5 on weekdays. I spend a lot of time alone working on my research and talking to myself...which is not healthy, or so they tell me. At least Claire will be coming back? (And you have the cats. I'm not sure which is worse, talking to yourself or talking to cats. But the cats are fuzzy and occasionally cuddly, so I'm going to say that overall cats are better than no cats.)

And I can definitely understand the money worries. When I was having a moment of self-doubt over my ability to get a scholarship to return to London, I did a little math to see whether I could support another year there on my own without getting massive financial aid -- and I simply can't. But you seem to have a handle on this, and you know what you need and what you don't and you're being extremely good about not making unnecessary purchases, which is something I might need to get better at.

Finally, I am jealous that you got to go hiking in Devon because it looks absolutely GORGEOUS and I wanna go! :)

Date: 2010-08-02 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, thanks for the long response - it helps, really! And you know we would LOVE to have you come live with us. Maybe next year? At the rate we go, with this house we'll always have new open rooms coming up. If you do get your program stuff sorted out, when would you be coming over?

You should email me your address and tell me what you miss - we could put together a London care package. :)

I'm fine on everything else, but once it gets to either travel or electronics, my whole "necessary purchases only" thing goes RIGHT down the drain!

Date: 2010-08-03 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Um, so *if* I'm coming back, I think I'd be moving over in the beginning of September 2011. But if I'm moving back I'll probably be at the same uni I was at this past year, and so will probably look for accommodation closer to that, since it took me like an hour to get to your house from Queen Mary. But it's always nice to know I am wanted. :)

And the things that I miss aren't really things; they're people. Or they're not things you can really put into a box -- like the ability to watch Doctor Who live, or go explore the city on a whim if I want to. (Well, and I would miss the tea if it weren't for the fact that I can buy it here, albeit at increased prices.) But I am a fan of letters and/or postcards and will always write back if I am written to! :)

Date: 2010-07-30 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

And those are great pictures!

Date: 2010-08-02 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks! I can't take credit for them, but they do make Devon look lovely.

So I saw this comment and noticed I hadn't read anything from you for a while, which seemed strange b/c you usually post a lot. LJ seems to have mysteriously deleted you from my flist, so I'm adding you back, just wanted to give you a warning so you weren't all :0{ when the notification came!!

Date: 2010-08-03 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
*HR nods* 'Kay, 'kay...

Date: 2010-07-30 08:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh, honey *hugs* want me to stay over after karaoke tonight? Since I'm promming with you guys on Sat anyway, I can just bring my stuff? We can drink tea and geek out over tv :D

Date: 2010-07-30 09:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Really? That would be extremely awesome of you. I feel like we haven't talked in AGES!

Date: 2010-07-30 09:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
sweet! shall I bring popcorn?

Date: 2010-07-30 09:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Popcorn would be awesome!

Date: 2010-07-30 08:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The pictures are amazing, so colourful, all grass I've seen in England lately has been brown, due to no rain EVER. (London & Sussex, it's been two months with no rain, no kidding!)

Seems like I could have written this entry, lol! No money (due to not working), housing problems (due to being homeless) and being lonely (my heart and who's in it are so annoying).

Have you considered moving out of the city? You could get good deals on flats of your own if you can consider commuting 30 mins or more. And then take into account all the times the trains are on strike (maybe not the trains in themselves, but ppl working with them). Things are much cleaner out of the city too, and they have this thing in the shower called water pressure. Says the lady who just agreed to stay in Clapham for at least 6 months.

Date: 2010-08-02 09:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Devon was totally lovely - the weather was so nice and you're right about the green. It's actually one of my favourite things about going up to my parents' house in Norfolk too, it's such a nice break from the city, and everything looks so different.

Well, currently I commute 50 mins, so I don't want to add to that at all! As long as I'm renting, I'm happy to be close-ish to the city - and to be honest, our rent is really reasonable compared to other places I have lived. However, if I was looking to buy (and I'm not *quite* there yet) I would certainly consider farther out. For one thing, I'm hoping to get more freelance work and thus work from home more in coming years, so that would help with the commute. So yeah, thinking about it all...

Date: 2010-07-30 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The bit about being single all the time and sometimes not wanting to be? I get that 200% and have been feeling that way quite a bit this year. I love my life and overall it's going how I want it to be, but at the same time, I keep worryng and freaking out and getting upset over such small things. And I go "Lindsey, you are being absolutely stupid about that" and I know it's true, but can't stop the feelings. End up wishing I had someone around who could go "Yes Lindsey, you really ARE being stupid about that, cause of x, y, z!" So everything you said made total sense.

And fyi, house worries and money worries are 110% legitimate. *hugs* Have a great time in the USA, when are you back in London?

Date: 2010-08-02 09:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, I know I'm not the only one, which does help. (Not that I want to wish the misery on others!!) It's just hard to watch other people interact as part of a pair and feel that you've never really had that. And mostly I get along fine, but I'd also like to know what it feels like, you know?

I'm back on August 30th. When are YOU back? Hope your time with the nieces is going well. :)

Date: 2010-07-30 10:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from
aww... don't worry! I'm sorry our shopping trip didn't de-stress you

lovely pics!

Date: 2010-08-02 09:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh it did destress the time! Then I got home and had this weird mini-freak-out. Who knows, my mysterious and weird mind.

Date: 2010-07-30 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Very quickly as I'll catch up properly when I've slept...

You asked whereabouts in Devon I was - Liverton. Really close to Lustleigh as it happens, I think they're on the same BT phone exchange or something (or else we share with Ilsington).

And yeah, I get a lot of what you were talking about. If we meet up before you go, I'll bring lots of hugs and a shoulder to lean on while you talk and I listen.

Date: 2010-07-31 05:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know the feeling of worry that keeps creeping up and settling in your stomach - you can distract yourself, but it comes back. I had that a lot with the mould in the last flat, and to a certain extent, with the ants in this one. And if you're anything like me, you need to talk and get the worry and ridiculous over worrying out, but you don't want to sound like a broken record - well maybe that was just me, I don't know how successful I was about it, but I appreciated everyone who listened.

I get the money thing too. I was doing so well last year with a spreadsheet budget - putting each expense in and seeing how much was left (so if I ever said I couldn't do something because of the cost, that's why - I wasn't getting ahead of myself and borrowing from the next month). This year, I'm not sure why, but I stopped that. I don't *think* I've been spending too much, but given there is bonus money in my account, it;s not as high as I think it should be. So I'll restart the spreadsheet budget again come next pay day - can't do much about the 7 months gone this year, but I can start new in August and try to save some.

I hope you sort the house things out too. I know you guys are all close, but maybe you need to give Amy a deadline for deciding? It's going to stress all of you out otherwise, and if she moves out, she won't have to deal with the problem that's left behind. I asked a girl I know at work, but she's found somewhere now. And although I've done my minimum let period now, I really do like living on my own too much (even with the ants and stuff). The commute would be an issue for me too. But I will let you know if I hear of anything. If you have a poster, send it through and I'll put up posters at work. The commute's not that bad I guess, I think there's a bus from Finsbury Park to Canary Wharf, and then it'd just be a tube to Manor House. But I've got a short and cheap commute now.

Sorry, rambling... but I will keep my fingers crossed. Let me know if you want distraction/hugs/a chat. You know where I am :-)

Date: 2010-08-02 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just google-mapped the two Devon places and you're super close! How crazy. It's really a gorgeous area.

The worrying thing is genetic I think. Either you have it or you don't! And those of us who do need to stick together. :)

given there is bonus money in my account, it;s not as high as I think it should be
THIS, EXACTLY. I feel bad complaining about money b/c everyone responds all "oh, I get it, I'm broke too" but that's not what I mean. What I mean is that I worry about how much I'm saving and what amount of money should be considered off limits and all that. I guess I need to figure out a certain amount to set aside each month or something? And then not touch it? Mostly I just try to be smart about how much I spend, and transfer money into my savings whenever my current gets a bit too high. So, not the best method really!

To be honest, I had considered asking you for the house but I think we might drive you crazy. We're really not the cleanest of households, and I know that you're super neat just from reading your LJ. Of course we would love to have you, but I think that plus the commuting issues might make it a problem.

Date: 2010-08-02 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's not the first time... I remember seeing a guy a few years back, and he mentioned he and some Uni friends had rented a cottage in Devon for New Year's. I mentioned I was on the edge of Dartmoor, and where was he going to be staying? Finally, he found out and it was literally 2 miles down the road - yet I think someone else had done the booking, and before I started seeing the guy.

Yes. I get it from Mum. I ring her for emotional support and to check I'm doing something right, and I tend to ring Dad for the practical support, advice and straight talking. I can get those things from both of them, but they have their specialities ;-)

Yep. I feel bad when I check costs with people (like before a meal, asking if we're paying for ourselves or splitting equally), but I've learnt it's worth doing - with our NaNo crowd, we earn wildly different amounts given some people are looking for jobs, some are temping, and some are permanent. At work, we split equally which is a pain because I'd have just had a pizza and water and paid £10, but because I know I'll be forced to pay an even split of £20, I then think I might as well get something for the money, and take a share of the wine the others order. And I do worry people at work get tired of me saying I can't afford something, but argh - not all of us are on their salary (and I know how high several are). So to me, saving £20 is a big deal. I want to save enough to maybe replace my camera, or at the very least, get a new lens and a Speedlite flash. I want a nice holiday. And for that, I have to save £20 here, £50 there.

Hahahahahahaha oh man, I am so NOT super neat! I'm just used to being (for want of a better term) the lowest common denominator of cleanliness. I can live with neater people, but not people who are messier/clean less often than me. Seriously, until I had the ants and spiders, I would hoover or dust every 2-4 weeks (it helped not being in much, so a) didn't cause much dust/crumbs on the floor, and b) didn't see what was there). Bathroom I cleaned weekly when I could, I admit. I'm untidy naturally, even though I want to be tidy and minimalist. It's just my natural state.

My LJ's possibly skewed perception a bit, because I had the ants only a few months after moving in, and that pushed me to try and be much better about weekly cleaning, keeping things off the floor, etc. And it's the first time really living on my own (landlady excepted), so I can be as clean and tidy as I want, and not get frustrated by someone else being a slob. So I've been more clean and tidy as I've grown up a bit more being on my own.

I would love the community aspect of the house, and I gave it a good think, believe me. But I wouldn't want to move in and then move out again fairly quickly, because I'd much rather you have someone likely to stay, so you avoid this. And although the community would be a plus, I've had that intoxicating taste of living by myself, and I'm not sure I could go back now - or at least not to such a big group (MAYBE with a close friend). Shared cleaning, communal areas, noise levels... I'm not sure I could give up solo space and quiet, even for the bonus of company. And it wouldn't be fair on you guys to come in and then leave. It's a good house and you're great people (and the idea of no late night commute home from seeing you is another bonus), but I think I've made a kind of one way move into solo living now. And I've done the long commute, I'm not sure I could go back to it.

I'll just have to travel to see you all, because I do enjoy spending time with you all! Let me know if you want a poster going up at work, btw - the offer stands.


Date: 2010-08-02 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I replied from the link in the email and it didn't sign me in!


Date: 2010-08-02 11:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hee, I knew it was you. (Your style is unmistakable!)

I am all about properly splitting checks. I don't even mind being the one who does the math - I'm always happy to. If not, my mind will drive me crazy telling me who had what and who it wasn't fair to. And you're definitely right about the varying incomes in our group, which is also one more reason I feel bad complaining. But saving is important too! And I'm older then a lot of them, so I feel more need for fiscal responsibility, or something.

I maintain that you are neater then us. Have you seen our house? We're okay with day to day stuff (dishes, litter box) but the things that only need cleaned once in a while often never get done. Or it takes us ages to get to it. The dust bunnies in our place! Scary! But I definitely understand about getting used to living on your own - probably hard to go backwards there.

IDK about a flier. We don't have anything yet, but I'll think about it if we do.

Date: 2010-08-01 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I am just commenting so you don't get worried no one loves you. ;D

*hugs though!* I'm glad you talked to your mom (and yeah, I think it's ridiculously sweet she reads your LJ when on holiday! :D) and I find when I'm worrying like this that reminding myself ad infinitum that all of this will resolve itself and then I'll feel silly for worrying always helps. :)

Also, the pictures ARE lovely and surely the point of having money is being able to have things you want but do not need? ;D


Date: 2010-08-02 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, yeah thanks for that. Obviously I shouldn't tell you things!

Oh my mom! She's such a dork. She just randomly called - we haven't talked much while they've been away - and was all "I read your online journal thingie and I got worried" and I was like *headdesk*. I guess I could lock things, but I never seem to want to bother. I had to reassure her that I really was okay, I promise.

I have many many things that I "want but do not need"! On the subject of money, I think my reply to Helen up above really sums it up better.

Date: 2010-08-02 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, I was actually being sort of sincere! It's just we wound up talking about a lot of this in person but I still felt the need to comment. (OMG YOU'RE CATCHING ARGH. ;))

Awww! Seriously, that's so sweet. :)

Yeah, I had a look. I think Hannah is in a similar boat to you, money-wise, actually. Like, just because you have more money than say, me, doesn't mean you should automatically spend it, you don't stop worrying about it. (Even people other than you and me and Hannah, I mean. ;)) Does that make sense?

Date: 2010-08-02 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Like, just because you have more money than say, me, doesn't mean you should automatically spend it, you don't stop worrying about it.
YES. See also: "I am 30 YEARS OLD, I should have lots of savings by now."

Date: 2010-08-02 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
See? I get it. Also you say this but you're still leaning towards doing it. ;D

Date: 2010-08-02 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Shut up! You...are perfectly correct.

Date: 2010-08-02 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know! I usually always am. ;D


Date: 2010-08-02 11:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
IT IS AWESOME, RIGHT? MAC IS AWESOME. (In both senses of the word.)

Date: 2010-08-02 11:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm taking silence for agreement here, btw. ;D


Aww, pretty Veronica! I only have the one. ;D

Oh, also, nosy-ing on your conversation with Helen, I'm just going to throw out there that I know for a fact Cara, Cathryn, Hannah and I for four all madly appreciate when you work out the bill, cuz we would but we suck at it so we approximate. So, thank you. ;D

Date: 2010-08-02 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
What do you mean silence? I said you were correct.

And here, have another.

Date: 2010-08-02 11:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, about usually being so. ;D


Date: 2010-08-05 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hi Jenn! It's been a really long time since I've logged into LJ and I happened to stumble upon your entry... I hope you're feeling better now!! Atleast less uneasy? :-/ I really just wanted to stop by and say that you are an amazing writer! I don't really know what's going on in your life, but everything you wrote totally made sense, was easy to follow, and just made me want to read more (hence I was able to read through your entry 'cuz sometimes I have a really short attention span hehe).

That's awesome you have plans to put up a website! I have no idea how advertising works but I know you'd be amazing at it. Good luck! :D And also, I can't believe you went to South Africa! And now the US?! You are one traveling queen. Also, the pics are gorgeous -- it looks like yall had a lot of fun.

Totally relate to your single-ness -- someone to help calm me down when I stress over silly things would be great... Not really related to being single, but kind of in that complete opposite way -- did you know D is pregnant? I think it's amazing and also crazy that she's gonna be a mom. I still remember our lil trips to Austin, even our trip to Houston to BSB... gosh how time flies.

Anyway, just wanted to drop by and say hi. Hope everything works out! :)

P.S. I'm super jealous if you end up getting an iPhone. They are definitely a luxury but just so darn cool!

Date: 2010-08-06 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, thanks so much for your comments about my writing, that's really sweet! I always feel like I ramble like crazy on LJ, since I don't self-edit much, so it's nice to know it didn't get boring. :)

The website/advertising/company set up is in the works but not happening YET. I just kind of feel the need to bring it to the next level so I can get some clients by something other than just word of mouth.

I can't believe D is pregnant! Somehow I missed that particular fact - I'm a bit out of the loop for TU people really. I haven't even talked to Kristen in ages, and we used to be really good about keeping in touch. Also, I haven't been to Texas in about three years now - crazy huh?

THE IPHONE IS AWESOME! I'm so glad I got it.

Date: 2010-08-08 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eeeeeee, you got the iPhone?!?!!!! Ok, ridiculously jealous. I wish I had one -- I just get to borrow my sister's whenever she's in town :P

Um, so since you have the iPhone, you should totally get the Farmville App! And be my neighbor :D Ok, or not... but I do *really* recommend doing QRANK. It's a quick trivia game that asks 15 random questions. It's funnn...

As for not visiting Texas in three years -- tsk tsk tsk! You are due for a visit. And if you ever feel like dropping by Houston, lemme know! To be honest, I haven't really kept in touch with D -- and we live in the same city! I found out she was preggo over FB, lovely. I mainly just keep in touch with Frannie and Rima. We went to Vegas for Rima's 30th back in May. Good times :)


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