How Many Times Do You Have To Start Again, Again, Again…?



Tis the season to be jolly, dear readers. To wind down, to relax, to attend parties and drink and eat and be merry. To look back on 2016 with a sense of accomplishment, or perhaps relief, that you have successfully made it through a particularly trying year. Let’s face it, 2016 has been a year that will not easily be forgotten. Brexit, Syria, Clinton, Trump, Bowie, Rickman to name but a few disasters. And, naturally, you will have your own personal triumphs and disappointments. Lost loves, found loves, new jobs, money problems, car troubles, your cat being sick on your bedroom floor again. So, I completely understand the undercurrent of excitement that a new year brings. What will happen? Will you get that promotion, finally go on that dream holiday, get married? Who knows?!

Whilst I do appreciate this shiver of anticipation that I hope you are all feeling (it’s a good feeling – embrace it!), it seems that, this time, I don’t feel it. Gutting, I know. Although not altogether surprising, as I have hit somewhat of a wall this year. Unfortunately, this is the not the first time the wall has been hit by my face and stopped me dead in my tracks. This is actually the fourth time. Not quite following? Yes, I am being a little obscure. Sorry. Let me explain.

I’ve been diagnosed with a lot of variations of the same name, but it’s essentially that old chestnut, depression and anxiety. I can, sadly, imagine that many of you have suffered from one or both of these in your time. If you can relate, my heart goes out to you. If you can’t, I am so pleased. My symptoms have never been particularly pleasant, and have, on three previous occasions, forced me to leave my employment, give up my flat, and return to my parent’s house with my head severely low and my heart painfully anguished. However, I could always manage to attribute my suffering to something in my life. Usually dissatisfaction in my work that I never seemed to notice, until the greyness had ambushed me and there was nothing I could do but go. Then, along come the standard remedies: pills and therapy.  And the rebuilding of my life. Find a new job, find a new flat, make new friends, try new things. Start again. And start again I did; three times. Each time got a little easier, as I remembered previous mistakes and learned from them. And, you’ll be delighted to know, the last time was the time I cracked it. Smashed it! Made it! Got it right!

Finally, after eight years of living with the greyness that always threatened to envelop me, and at times did, I had found what was missing. The Job For Me. No more jobs just to pay the rent, no more living to work! I found what I could actually do, and what I really loved! Hurrah! An EFL teacher! Lets go learn them kids some English!  And that should have been that, shouldn’t it? But, ah, our old friend, the greyness, doesn’t give up so easily. Knowing that I wouldn’t be so easily defeated now that I had found The Job For Me, it waited patiently for a weak moment, and then struck in an entirely different manner.

Happily teaching for a year in Poland, I returned to England in June to work at a summer camp. Stress levels were through the roof, work was manic, and although I was still doing The Job For Me, the greyness went for the throat. Quite literally. One day, sitting in a meeting, something clicked in my brain. This was followed by a panic attack and, two days later after returning to work, an anxiety attack. And then my voice stopped working. Having never had one in my entire life, I was suddenly the disturbed owner of a stammer. A stammer?! Are you fucking SERIOUS? It didn’t go away, or get better.  I had to leave the summer camp. The first pang of fear gripped me: had the greyness come back in a different form? How could I teach if I couldn’t even speak?

I stammered for eight days until, whilst talking with a friend, my voice came back. OH MY GOD THE RELIEF. I love my friend for that conversation; I can’t even remember what it was about, but one minute I was stammering and the next, boom! Amazing! I was free! Happy and furiously ignoring the insistent ache of fear, I enjoyed the rest of the summer and prepared to go back to Poland for more teaching, learning and revelling in The Job For Me. Sure, I stumbled into the greyness occasionally; stammering for a day here and there, but it didn’t hold. ‘Screw you, greyness!’ I thought smugly, ‘You can’t touch me!’ It didn’t touch me, it punched me squarely in the face.

A mere two weeks into the term and my stammer returned, more vicious and debilitating than before. As if that wasn’t bad enough, along with it came another symptom which I can only describe as ‘the shakes’. Not only could I hardly speak, but I could hardly pick up a cup of tea without spilling it, could barely walk without the support of a shoulder. And I sure as hell couldn’t teach. My fear realised.

No matter how hard my bosses and colleagues rallied round to help me, how many doctors I saw, how much rest I had, how many ‘good’ days I had with a stronger voice and a surer hand, the greyness had done its work. I left Poland, left The Job For Me, and continued to stammer and shake.  And here I sit now, reflecting on the year that is 2016.  My stammer now comes and goes, the shakes come and go, and the greyness hangs around, marvelling at its cleverness.

Perhaps I will be able to teach again (I cross all my fingers and toes), and perhaps after this, once I find a job, and find a flat, and find a new life, I won’t have to start again anymore. But after the fourth time of starting again, I’m starting to wonder if I will ever feel the excitement of a new year, or if I will always be waiting for the greyness to weave its dark magic.

Despite the low tone of this piece of writing (I promise my next one will be injected with all manner of hilarity!), I am absolutely going to enjoy this Christmas and New Year, and if I can’t feel excited for 2017, I can at least feel determined.

Have a bloody merry Christmas, and the happiest of New Years, and grab 2017 by the balls!



How To Survive The IHCwhyyyLT.

stressmeme Don’t kid yourself, dear readers. Doing a course as an adult, be it to enhance your career, or to change your career, or even if your career is fine but you really like plants so why not?, may be one of the most stressful things you can do. In my humble opinion, anyway. No longer are you that carefree student who enjoyed day drinking before a seminar (rum and coke), or who accidentally went out the night before an assignment was due (it seemed like a good idea at the time), or who spent more time shopping than studying (that sweet sweet student discount). Look back upon your reckless, debauched, recreational days with a bittersweet nostalgia, my friends, because those days are OVER.

Cue the beginning of September 2016. A 27 year old, 2nd year EFL teacher, with a fear of small children but a desire to teach them, and teach them well, walks into her first session for the IHCYLT (IH Certificate in Teaching Young Learners and Teenagers, fyi). Five other teachers, all of different ages, teaching experiences and motivations, sit waiting with anticipation for the course to kick off. Would it be as intense as we’ve heard?

“CELTA condensed into two weeks”, someone said.

“I was told the tutors push you to the limits”, one chimed in.

“Say goodbye to free time”, another fretted.

“I’m going to need another cigarette”, I thought.

And kick off it did. Fast forward to Friday of the first week. Ten sessions, four portfolio tasks, one assignment, more than I can count observation tasks and two feedback sessions trying to answer that most frustrating, aggravating and painful of questions: Why? Why don’t you think it worked well? (I don’t know). Why did you choose this activity in the Remember Stage? (I don’t KNOW). Why do you think the students were unresponsive? (I DON’T KNOW THEYPROBABLYHATEME). I’d already had several weepy moments (at home, I’m still British) one meltdown (no hot water, mosquito bite on my face, exhaustion, plus screwing up a teaching practice, made for a very unhappy me). Friday evening, sat at home with papers unhelpfully askew, laptop glaringly open and mind clearly unfocused, and all I could think about was this: Should I Quit? I’ve only been teaching for a year. What if I need more time? Perhaps I’m not even cut out for this teaching malark. I clearly know nothing about it, so what’s the point?

I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one thinking these undermining, persistent thoughts. They were infectious, pernicious and UTTERLY WRONG. Sure, I had no idea what I was doing with 10 year olds. They were, and still are, a bit of a mystery to me. Absolutely I’m shit scared about going into this academic year knowing I’m going to be teaching little people for considerably more than three hours. Without a doubt I had a lot to learn and do on this course and a very short time in which to learn and do it.  But isn’t that the frustrating beauty of doing a course as a realistic, mostly sensible adult who knows what they want and what they need to do to get it, and not a starry eyed youth doing a degree in Eng Lit simply because they like books?

Cut to Sunday, the course has finished, and yet I (and most of my peers) are still sat in front of our computers, writing up our final assignments and tasks, hating our lives, wishing we were doing literally ANYTHING else (but mainly drinking) in a place far away from screens and notes and piles of paper (the pub). It didn’t register at the time, not properly at least, but we had all made it. We got through the course. Two weeks of being constantly pushed, questioned, observed, challenged, baited, exhausted, sober, and we MADE IT. There were tears, rants and raves, meltdowns, and even some anxiety induced stammering, but through it all the tears were shared, rants and raves reciprocal, meltdowns were mended, and the stammer…well, that’s another story, but it’s gone for now (yay!).

In a way, doing the IHCYLT for two weeks has meant more to me than doing three years at university. The CELTA put me on the right career path and the IHCYLT made me seriously question that career. But had I not questioned it, I wouldn’t have come up with the response: “Fuck you, brain, I’m a damn good teacher, I work hard and I deserve to give this my best.” Not the most eloquent of replies, but it did the job.

So, for all you out there considering doing the IHCYLT: do it. Simple as. You’ll learn more in two weeks than you imagined. Not just from the sessions, but also from your peers, and yourself (CRINGE). And how to survive it? Do yourself a massive favour and resign yourself to the fact that you will have no room for fun, socializing, or anything related to having a good time. Don’t leave all your tasks and observations to do at the weekend, because you’ll hate yourself with a passion. Don’t do what I did and write observations by hand, only to then have to type them up: use a computer and love that computer with all you have. Stock up on food: you’ll barely have time to eat, let alone shop. Most importantly, don’t think you’re alone. You’re not. And last but not least, if in doubt, ask yourself WHY??? Why are you doing the course? Why are you questioning yourself? Why has all the rum gone? You will come to love and hate that question, but use it right and it will get you through.

Best of luck, and see you on the other side.



How It’s Probably Gonna Be Fine.


The transition from a mindless, unwanted job in visitor services to a challenging, developmental career in EFL was a speedy one, to say the least. Having been interviewed for a position one Friday in September last year, I was offered the job the following Monday. By Wednesday morning I was standing in Bydgoszcz airport, wide eyed, not so bushy tailed, and feeling rather like a small fish in a cavernous ocean.

By midday, I had joined the induction class and was sitting with two teachers, discussing how best to teach the present perfect to pre-intermediate teenagers. Believe me, I was a mess. My head was spinning. All I could think was, “What am I doing in Poland? Present perfect? Pre-inter-what? Teenagers?!” In less than a week, I had somehow managed to become gainfully employed, move out of my flat, leave my friends and family behind with only a rushed farewell, and fly out to a country, before which I had never even considered visiting, to live there for nine months. And suddenly, there I was, in a room with a dozen other teachers, all talking about the best way to approach grammatical points to students. This may be aptly described as ‘a shock to the system’.

During the first teaching week, I think I cried about three times. By the first month I was averaging once a week. Not in front of anyone, of course. I’m British. Everything , and I mean everything, that I was experiencing was completely new to me. Teaching teenagers, teaching 1-2-1s, teaching business classes, observations, the correct way to fill out registers, classroom management, AFCs, time management, how to use the printer. I could go on, but I imagine you can think of more yourself. I had never been under such pressure before, and the strain of it was, at times, almost unbearable.

I use ‘almost’, because it is a significant word in this context, and we all know how important context is. Had it been so unbearable, I would have left. The reason that is wasn’t is because of the unwavering support and encouragement of the people with whom I work. With the new teachers, who I think all felt as bemused and teary as I did, we had each other to console, to cheer on, and to assist when we felt too stupid to turn to anyone else. The more experienced and senior teachers, and Director of Studies, showed not one flicker of irritation when they were asked, for the tenth time, the difference between ‘been’ and ‘gone’, or where an activity could be found. They were always ready to check a lesson plan you were unsure of, or help you identify the best CCQs. They would give advice on how to control unruly children, and would patiently let you display a range of emotions before pointing you to an idea, a textbook, or a bar, and making you feel a million times better. And the best part? This is still going on.

Despite age, experience, ambitions, or anything else, for that matter, there is one overriding point to this rambling. In this job, you’re all in it together. You cry together, work together, whine together, and you most definitely drink and play ridiculous card games together. Since starting this crazy ride, I have grown into a person I wasn’t sure I would ever know. Excuse the cliché there, I promise it won’t happen again! It’s been four months now, and senior teachers have been known to ask ME for ideas or advice! Me! The one who didn’t know what the present perfect was! The one who freaked out because she couldn’t see past the end of next week! I think back to Past Me now, and smile patronisingly. Now, I remember how good I have it, and I remember my mantra: It’s probably gonna be fine.

How Living In Poland Is Exactly Like Living In England, But At The Same Time Completely Different.

abroad meme

My alarm screeched at me this morning and, without bothering to open my eyes or lift my head, I stretched out an arm (the one I wasn’t lying on), felt around for a couple of seconds until skin contacted phone, and swiped my fingers around on the cool screen until the noise desisted.

When the incessant whining returned again five minutes later, I was marginally more awake to realise that I had failed to swipe ‘cancel’ and had instead selected ‘snooze’.  Turning my head and opening one eye this time, I again reached out and aimed for the correct side of the screen with which to make contact.  This dramatically increased effort resulted in the successful shutting up of the alarm, although my arm was left to dangle over the side of the bed, all energy having been used up.

Not satisfied with my desire to remain asleep, the alarm once again resumed its ‘meh meh meh MEH MEH MEH’ barely a few minutes after my false success.  Both eyes shot open, my head revolved sharply and I glared at my fucking phone.  It was no use: I was awake.

Resigned to my defeat; I sat, swung my legs out of bed, picked up my phone and imagined throwing it against a wall, before correctly swiping and shutting it up for good.  Yawn, rub eyes, feel for glasses, find glasses, put on glasses.  Coffee.  A routine perfected and performed everyday for as long as glasses and coffee have been a necessary part of my life.  Following that, a shower was optional, clothes mandatory.  I was then having a nice time deciding what to have for breakfast when…

Ah, shit, I have to do washing.

Huffily dressing (shower negated), I scrambled for clothes strewn about the bedroom, reminding myself yet again to buy a clothes basket, and practically ran to the washing machine, arms loaded, hoping that the faster I carry out the chore, the sooner I will have time to do something more interesting, like sitting down.

Clothes in, tab in, door slammed, slammed again (they never like shutting the first time, do they), dial turned (click click click click click), and the satisfaction of hearing the machine fill with water to begin its miserable task.  Breathing a sigh of relief, I turned back to happier, breakfast related thoughts, when…

Oh, crap.  I need to wash up.

I was starting to feel betrayed, as though Sunday had it in for me.  All I wanted to do was sit, drink tea, eat food and watch QI, and I wasn’t even allowed to do that in my own flat.  My hands itched to find my phone and throw it against a wall as punishment for starting all of this.  Instead, I put them to work in the kitchen.  Bowl, hot water, fairy liquid, glass first, then cutlery, then crockery, pile up, air dry.

It took me an entire hour this morning to remember that I was in Poland, not England.  The giveaway wasn’t the flat itself, in which I have only lived for two months, or the views outside the windows, or even the writing on the washing machine.  It was the fairy liquid, because I noticed it wasn’t green.  Nor is it technically fairy liquid.

Having finally succeeded in making breakfast (tea, muesli, yogurt, in case you were interested), and sitting down to watch Stephen waxing lyrical, I realised that I would probably be OK wherever I was in the world.  Being unable to predict the future (like most of you, I’m sure), I naturally can’t be positive about this.  But if I’m waking up in the morning, hating my alarm (MEH MEH MEH), following routines, cursing over chores, and generally living my life, then I suppose things must be alright!  Granted, I’m aware that this doesn’t sound particularly interesting or exciting, but, guys, I’m living in a DIFFERENT COUNTRY.  For me, and for those who know me, this is certainly excitement enough for me right now.  If I had anymore I would probably explode.  And I can’t be bothered to clean that on top of my other chores.

How To Remember That You’re An Achiever, Not A Loser.

Spring is almost nearly just about here, and it does tend to put you in that bouncy mood of optimism.  Not to say that there aren’t going to be days, during the warmer weather, that will make you want to hurl your phone at a wall, or curl up in bed at 2pm and forget there’s anything shiny and sunny in the world.  Today, I am feeling mixed emotions.  This is not unusual for me, and I am sure that many of you flit through the day with a jumble of thoughts and feelings that take you from happiness to despondency in a matter of minutes. However, the overriding thought that I have today is that I am, and will continue to be, an achiever of life.  This thought has, in part, arrived through a mini reflection on my first boyfriend.  Not normally a pause for thought in my mind anymore, since I haven’t seen him in almost 10 years.  It started with some milk.

Breakfast can be a tricky meal for me, since I normally struggle to eat so early.  But, as I have been continually told since I can remember, it’s the most important meal of the day, so the conformist in me always tries to have a go at it.  This morning, I failed tremendously.  I played it safe with cereal which, you must agree, is an easy, uncomplicated, crunchy to soggy mix of two ingredients, accompanied by bowl and spoon.  Small children can handle this concoction, so hey, no worries, right?

Blanket on knees, bowl settled in between, spoon at ready…oooh, I’ll just grab that to read whilst I eat.  Enter mistake number one.  Out pours the milk, collecting into a creamy white pool in my lap, along with five or six crunchy, not yet soggy, morsels.  Crap.  Followed by mistake number two.  Instinct takes over; I stand up, still holding the bowl in one hand, and with the other frantically trying to retain the puddle of milk and rapidly sponging cereal.  This cannot be done successfully with a/ one hand and b/ expecting a liquid to behave itself in its self made swimming bath for, now very, soggy squares of edible cardboard.  Double crap.

As I washed the blanket in the sink to prevent potential off milk smell later (the worst of smells), and threw away the remaining cereal that hadn’t escaped the bowl (by now an unidentifiable looking paste), I felt more than a little like a loser.  Here I am, 25 years old (nearly 26, cry), and still incapable of grasping the very simple concepts of gravity and breakfast.  It was at this moment that I wondered how Pete was doing.

I shan’t try to explain why my brain decided to connect an embarrassingly ruined breakfast with a first love.  I don’t really want to know myself.  But, here we are.  Following the clean up, I did what any person connected to social media would do; I checked up on him.  Don’t get all uppity about it now, we’ve all done it.  And if you haven’t, then you either don’t have access to the internet, or you’re lying.  So, you’re probably lying.  Really, though, is it so bad to check on an old flame?  As long as you’re absolutely, definitely, positively over said flame, then there’s really nothing to hurt either of you.  Just a thought.

Turns out he seems to be doing very well.  Looks happy, has a pretty girlfriend, lots of friends.  I smiled upon seeing this.  Good for him!  I was genuinely pleased for him until I realised something.  What if he, one day, took it upon himself to check up on ME through the two way mirror of social media?  I had a minor freak out.  He’d see the last 10 years through photos of me looking fat, fatter, with failed relationships, ridiculous hair colours, probably drunk half the time, not going anywhere, and nothing to show for myself.  A loser, essentially. My minor freak out escalated to moderate.

I turned to my own page, scrolled through my photographs, and saw exactly what I was expecting.  Moderate began knocking on the door of severe.  I didn’t want to be a loser.  I didn’t plan to be a loser.  My five year old self did not write LOSER down as an answer to the teacher’s question ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’  So I will be damned if I am going to be a loser now. As I scrolled through the pictures, my almost severe panic reverted to moderate, and then slunk back to minor before sulkily returning to its own room in my head and slamming the door shut.  I saw pictures I didn’t like of me, sure, and pictures where I questioned my sanity (seriously, bleached blonde hair?? Did no one want to stop me on that one?!).  More importantly, however, I didn’t see a loser.  I saw an achiever.  Sure, perhaps not financially successful, or stunningly beautiful, or with the dream career, but dammit, I’m still here aren’t I?

In a perfect world, I would have all those things, but perfection is overrated and boring. And there’s no such thing, anyway, so pah to you, Perfection!  I think it takes looking at yourself in a more forgiving way to realise that you have a lot to give, and a lot to be thankful for.  Apologies for the cringe, dear reader, but don’t expect me to believe that you’ve never felt like a loser after seeing an ex move on, or noticing you’ve put on a few pounds, or not getting that job you really bloody wanted. Or spilling cereal in your lap.  Don’t go beating yourself up for feeling  like a failure.  Take a second, have a look around you, check out old photos, and remember your five year old self, who wanted to be an astronaut, or a princess, or a cookie.  Where you are now proves, by the very fact of your existence, that you have achieved.

We gotta keep moving forward, people!  Looking back helps ground you, and remind you how far you’ve come.  Also it reminds you which hair colours suit you, so bear that in mind, too.  So, the next time you’re feeling a little less than awesome, perhaps it would be best to start by social media stalking yourself, and remembering how far you’ve come!Breakfast Meme

How That Friday Feeling Can Become That Whyday Feeling.

Friday.  Don’t you just love that day?  Doesn’t it fill you with relief and joy, knowing that you’ve slogged through Monday and Tuesday, blurred your way through Wednesday, tingled with anticipation Nearly-Friday-Thursday until, finally, FRIDAY?!?  Oh man, it’s like that sweet sweet sensation of climbing into a freshly made bed, or getting your key into the lock on the first try.  Friday almost doesn’t count as a part of the week, because you’re so looking forward to the plans (or, heck, no plans) you’ve made for the weekend that it just sort of blinks and then, 5pm, hello!  You trip merrily across the office/library/enter yours here, and race home and jump on the bed in happiness or open that bottle of plonk early in a bar with your friends (or by yourself, no judging), because YAY IT’S FRIDAY.

I work weekends.

So, therein lies that awful disruption to a familiar routine that you have known and loved since before you can really remember.  My Friday has become a Whyday.  Imagine a toddler, who has just been told that he/she can’t stay up late/eat anymore chocolate/put their baby sibling in the toilet, see their face in your mind’s eye, watch that little bundle of joy scrunch up its eyes, turn red with rage, open its mouth to the fullest, and yell out “WHHYYYYY???”  You’ll have an idea, then, of what working weekends is like, when your friends are texting you to see if you’re EVER going to make it out, or watching Facebook feeds filling up with statuses announcing to the world that they are “going out drinking and dancing with my peeps tonight whaaaaa???!”  My dears, it’s deplorable.

I can well assume that most of you who read this have had, or still have, a weekend job to look forward to, and can therefore understand my twinge of envy with regard to the inevitable Whyday.  And, let’s face it, it’s not always through choice that people work weekends.  Sometimes, there just isn’t another option.  If you work weekends and your Friday isn’t a Whyday, then sir/madam, I salute you, and would kindly request that you pass on your wisdom regarding your feelings towards this particular time.  Because I am sat here, in bed, on a Friday night, feeling very much like the whinging toddler previously described.

No doubt, however, that when the day comes when I am once more a 9-5 working gal, living it up for the weekend, then I will truly miss the Sunday nights, when I have my own little ritual of kicking off my work shoes, shedding my work clothes for something comfier than work clothes (which is practically anything else I own), and popping the cork out of the bottle, knowing I don’t have to be up early on Monday.  I guess, really, my Friday nights are many of your Sunday nights.  Only you win, weekday workers, you win, because I just can’t shake that special feeling that a Friday brings.  Even now, having been a weekend worker for a solid six months, it’s just not something I can seem to shake off.  I miss my Friday Feeling, so you all make damn sure that you enjoy yours whilst you have it!

One more thing: If you’re ever having a WHHHYYYY?? moment, whether you’re a weekday or weekend worker, just think of a friend of mine, who goes to school AND works all weekend, and quit whining.  That girl is FIERCE.Friday Meme


How To React To Passive Aggressive Abuse From Someone You’ve Never Even Met.

My friend got engaged the other day (hurrah!), so I took the opportunity to visit her yesterday.  Naturally, I decided to try and avoid the treacherous rush hour traffic (boo, hiss), but of course got stuck right in the middle of it for the entire course of the journey (moan).  You can, therefore, imagine my shuddering relief to finally reach my destination.  I pulled up and jumped out, happy to have survived my ordeal, and went into my friend’s house to enjoy an evening of merriment and wedding planning.

The End.

Well, it would have been the end of a perfectly wonderful evening, and I was much more relaxed and prepared to make my way home in my little car, had I not discovered a note that someone had put under my windscreen wipers that completely threw my calm into the proverbial wind.


I took the liberty of inserting the asterisks into that for you, since the writer didn’t feel that taking their anger down a peg or two was appropriate.  My first instinct, upon reading this, was slight amusement.  “Ok”, I thought to myself, “That’s a bit harsh.”  This feeling was almost immediately replaced by guilt.  Guilt, my friends, is an emotion that I am cursed to constantly suffer from, whether I am actually in the wrong or not.  I frantically looked up and down the road, wondering what the hell I had done to deserve such wrath.  I noticed that behind my car, there was probably only enough space for a Smart car to slip into, and at the front, I had left too much space between my car and the other parked up.  Guilt increased.  Guilt followed by fear.  Fear that kicked guilt out of my head and frantically whispered “Get in.  Drive away.  Right now”.  Suddenly, at half past ten at night, standing all alone in the middle of an unfamiliar street, holding threatening words in my hand, I got scared.  If someone could write so viciously, surely they could act viciously, too?

I crumpled the note, stuffed it in my pocket and hurriedly packed myself into my little car.  Guilt returned.  My poor car.  I felt sorry for my car; ashamed that I seemingly couldn’t park to someone’s satisfaction, and that it had taken the hit for me.  I was feeling guilty for leaving my car out on the road.  I wished I could have brought it in, like a cat.  As you can see, readers, my mind was starting to get a tad frazzled, slightly irrational, and a little cloudy.

What better way to clear your head than to go for a drive?  Luckily for me, I had no other option! (hurrah!?)  I had to take a moment to coax myself out of my tension, with Fear helpfully reminding me that I should probably, you know, get out of there before the culprit of the note, you know, kicks my windows through.  I nervously started the car, hesitantly pulled out, and carefully drove off.  I basically made my car creep out of there on tiptoes.

Once I had made it to the motorway, the quiet monotony of the streetlights pulsating past me, my car settling into the 70 speed limit (yes), Fear having gotten bored and pigged off to harass someone else, I began to reflect on the note.  It was written on a large, bright pink (magenta/cerise/hot pink, you know, some version of pink that isn’t pink) sticky post-it note.  This person wasn’t fucking around with the back of a receipt or anything.  Oh no, I deserved post-it note treatment for my crime.  Secondly, DEFINITE Sharpie pen.  No worrying about whether or not the note would be misconstrued because the ink was running out, or the pencil wasn’t clear enough.  Sharpies suggest purpose, and boy did this person have a purpose.

Finally, the wording.  No holds back sarcasm, followed by aggressive expletives.  I then realised two, no, three, very important things:

One: I can understand that this person was pissed off when, on arriving home from a day’s work, they had to park a bit further away than normal from their house.  They also didn’t stop to consider that, when the culprit (me) had parked up, there was a heap of space free behind their (my) car.  Really, what I am getting at is that the note is really a reflection on them, rather than on me, because:

Two: People Make Mistakes, People!  I hold my hands up on this one, I admit, I should have made sure I was closer to the car in front of me.  I made a mistake.  I can only apologise to the note taker for being A HUMAN BEING.  Seriously, how many reading this, who are drivers themselves, or just pedestrians, have seen other people on the road making mistakes?  Blocking someone in at a car park?  Cutting someone up on a roundabout?  Leaving the handbrake off so the car rolls into the middle of the road? (I have seen that – it was hilarious).  Can you yourselves honestly, hand on heart, say you’ve never accidentally made a mistake on the road?  Things like this happen all the time, everyday, and I refuse to believe that the majority of people are so malicious that they would intentionally do things on the road to inconvenience, even endanger, other road users.  People make mistakes, simple as. Which leads me to:

Three: Sorry, note maker, you made a mistake, too.  I wasn’t a selfish c**t, I was thoughtless.  I thought I had parked fine, and I’m sorry that your opinion on the matter differed to mine.  But the next time you decide to channel your rage using cerise paper and a Sharpie, perhaps just take a step back and have a little think about how your words might affect the person you’re attacking from a distance.  Allow for people to make car notemistakes, because they all do.  Even you.

Now it’s The End.