Touching the stars.
April 2015 will go down as one of the most life-defining for me. The sheer progression made in this one month alone dwarfs that of all preceding. I have all but lost touch as to how unbelievably driven and positive it has been. Praise from every corner and has allowed me to, if anything, release stresses and strains; humbled by those appreciating what I’ve accomplished.
Treading Water showed very much what was on the horizon, closing fast. The pieces were all in place, it was simply a matter of all of them moving in sequence. So to kick off April, a series of meetings were planned with Human Resources at placement. Yes indeed, these were the meetings hoped for following my appraisal from months prior. I had everything prepared, a defence and pitch for every eventuality – a draft job description, positive mentions directors and higher management had mentioned me in, 3 possible directions and “rungs of the ladder”. I hope at the very least to climb all 3 – continued contract, part time work during my final year at University and a prospective position on my return in 2016. So we all sat down for the kick-off, niceties exchanged, and then completely out of the blue, Human Resource struck the first question that completely derailed me.
So the placement is going well, that’s fantastic, did you have a contraction completion date in mind?
Not three minutes in, and that 1st rung was not only achieved, it was just handed to me straight away without even a need of a defence, or a pitch to sell myself. Not 5 minutes later, the next 2 rungs were whole heartedly agreed, on the basis of speaking to my line director. I was speechless. Was it truly that much hard work that had allowed me to really request this from this incredible IT Company? Not only to secure my future, but a future is that 18 months away. I was almost in tears of joy when sitting down with my line manager, he agreed and nodded towards the same discussions as those with HR. So it is, that I have secured my future for the next 2 years, then who knows? My career now has such a bright light at the end of this tunnel of uncertainty, I can barely comprehend.
With a spring in my step, someone unexpected entered my life. Admittedly I didn’t mention him in Treading Water, at that stage, exchanging thoughtful messages across websites and relationship applications was nothing new. I don’t mean to sound cold and clinical, but this has more often than not lead to a figurative brick wall. The difference with this guy, not only in him making the first move, was that of a connection – a strong one at that. Online websites were dismissed in favour of daily video calls, lasting up to 3-4 hours each. I was smitten, enough to warrant a surprise trip down to the south coast to see this new-found joy, and for only the second time in my life, was met with a pure connection. I have since dropped almost all instances of dating accounts online since – something I haven’t done ever before. We embraced on meeting, we held hands as I drove down to the coast to spend the afternoon with him, we lay down in the park together and took in each other’s company and physical belonging. While I have very much adorned this new-found joy with the nickname of “Tiger”, this has become more a name for people I associate my closest feelings towards, as this blog has lengthy details of. He is more than deserving of this title, if this anthropomorphism is anything to go by. Energetic, beautiful, bright eyed and a rare breed. For sake of this blog and recollection, he is “The Affectionist”. As with anything in life, if you wish to grasp and hold onto the brightest of gems, and look after that which you have found so wonderful, you have to work hard and know that goals may be difficult to reach, and in this case far away, on more than one sense of the term. So it is with The Affectionist – we can make it work, but will take a lot of time, and a lot of patience. We both know how we feel about each other. There are large hurdles to clear, and more recently we’ve both gained far more appreciation of what that really means. I have hopes, we both do, of heart-felt desires becoming reality…driving into the sunset. Indeed, a loved one by your side with an eternal sense of happiness between you feels amazing. Logic and the mind make sure these do not run away into fantasy. Balance is always needed,and hopefully, that is what we have found; at least for these next few seasons. I have every hope this will work for the both of us.
So as if progression could not extend any further for me I attained that which I had sought for myself ever since I started a rigorous diet and exercise programme almost 3 years ago. The 35th London Marathon beckoned me in. With registration made and secured back in December, I undertook 4 months of training long distance running the like of which I had never attempted before. It was a long shot by any standards, but as time went on, my confidence grew, and my pace became regular and determined. So on the 26th April, I made that which seemed impossible 3 years ago, to an overweight unfit and unhappy soul, a reality defined in a finish time worthy of respect. Putting me square in the middle of positioning for the mass race at the finish line, I felt every emotion as the 26.2 miles of London road and park was taken in around me; the crowds pushing me and some 40’000 other runners on to the next mile, and the next mile. So a medal worthy of a marathon’s size and undertaking now sits proudly on profile pictures across the Internet, the medal itself adorns my home office desk next to the 50-mile cycle challenge of yester-year. It has without doubt finally proven to me this; I can and will do what I set my mind to doing. Be it losing 20 kilgrams in weight and shaving 5″ off my waistline, cycling 50 miles, or running a full marathon.
April has been a completion of goals the like of which I will not see until this time next year with the closing chapter of University. The time I have between now and then will be one of pure determination and courage. I can -and will- see through to the other side. It is within reach.