Let the journey end here

When I started this blog, my purpose was to discover who I really was. I knew I was somehow stuck in second gear, occasionally revving my engine and inadvertently annoying other road users. I had hopes and dreams but I couldn’t see a way to frame them so that they made sense in relation to where I found myself at that time.

Don’t get me wrong. My life was good. I had a promising career, kids, a solid marriage and my health. But I was looking to fulfil higher needs, as Maslow would have put it.

This blog started with my MBA journey in 2010, going from engineering to business and picking up other interests along the way … like photography.

I’m pleased to say I think I’m figuring it out. I’ve decided to step out of a corporate career for now. I got an offer to do a part time doctorate and I have taken it. I’m relieved and nervous at the same time. I know teaching and learning have been passions of mine since…well, as long as I can remember. I’m excited about the possibility of an academic career and about having more time to influence my kids. Like I said, I relieved. It’s been a long and confusing journey but I finally feel like I’m on a platform that feels right. Indeed, it’s the first time that I’m not thinking with my head.

I’m not sure what more I’ll have to say on this blog. It appears to have served its purpose although I know I’m at the beginning of a different journey. I’m thinking, “different journey, different blog?” It would be comforting to write about my nervousness with the change I’ll no doubt undergo. It won’t be easy, and it won’t always feel epic. Without taking this leap, I’ll never know.

This is not goodbye blogging. It’s goodbye to the journey that brought me here. It’s hello to a new world, a new journey where I’ll feel more like me…

Lights of the Quay side: Photography on my mind

In the past year, I have visited Newcastle at least once a month. There are breathtaking views to be seen. I have said that I need to be in the city with my camera one day. The day finally came last week. Here are the best shots of the Quay side area where I normally stay.

Amazing view on the Quay side (Newcastle, UK)

I don’t really know what people do in this building but there were many heads moving about….this was around 8pm at night. I hope they weren’t working!

Looks so ancient! Perhaps how the Quay side would have looked to Dracula...

This picture above is grainy but I’m pleased with the 1800s feel to the view. It is perhaps how Dracula would have seen the Quay side back then…

Baltic, Quay side

One of the popular places to go along the Quay side in Newcastle. I love the lights and the “calling” of the sign: BALTIC. Baltic is the biggest gallery of its kind in the world. It is located on the south bank of the River Tyne, where the Quay side faces. https://www.balticmill.com/

Photos taken by Yekemi Otaru (aka the Task Mistress)

Yellow as a viable favourite colour

A yellow dress normally catches my eye in a shop. Then I notice there’s load of yellow dresses on the rack and only a UK 6 (US 2) and perhaps a UK 20 (US 16) left of the blue or black version of the same dress. My reaction to this worries me. And it might worry you…. My reaction is to stand confused for a few seconds, maybe even minutes – my mind in deep deliberation. I ask myself if yellow is really the “right” colour. Obviously other shoppers have turned down yellow in favour of black or blue.

I spend some minutes looking at the blue one. I don’t really do black but blue? I could probably stand it. After all up till my mid 20s, I pretended that blue was my favourite colour when folks asked me. I could never say yellow. I vaguely remember “confessing” when I was roughly 19 and the hearer had the strangest facial expression. I think they proceeded to say something in between chuckles like, “that’s unusual” or “go figure”. The truth is I don’t really recall. It was probably traumatising letting it slip because I vaguely remember needing to sit down with a glass of water. I never spoke of it again.

At a certain age, I think your soul just goes rogue and begins to expose you. For me at least, I have bought a significant amount of yellow things over the last 10 or so years and it’s pretty much public knowledge that I would so drive a yellow car if I found a dealer non-conformist enough to sell one.

My friend, Paula, even said to me at church the other day that she didn’t recognise me because I wasn’t wearing yellow. I’ve finally managed to brand myself yellow. Yippee!! Not excessively yellow though. I don’t want you to worry. You’d be delighted to know I’ve found a balance. Sometimes, I wear grey, blue and most recently black. It’s mostly experimental – testing myself on prejudice to other non-me colours. I’m doing well.

There’s masses of pressure that society puts on us to be like everyone else. I still feel it but I guess there’s a courage to draw from. Just the other day I was on my way to Newcastle and wanted to buy a non fiction book at the airport. Unwittingly, I looked at the non fiction book chart but couldn’t really engage with nos. 1 to 5. I ended up buying one that wasn’t even on the charts. What mattered was I engaged with the book and looked forward to the read.

Who votes on this non fiction charts anyway? Certainly not me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Achievement

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“The Young Shall Achieve Greater Things” (Taken with Nikon D5200, 18-105mm lens)

Photo taken by The Task Mistress

Novel Writing: NaNo, No NaNo

I clearly had no ideaParticipant-2014-Web-Banner what I was doing when I signed up to NaNoWriMo this year. For those of you that don’t know NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and runs from 1-30 November. The goal is to write a 50,000-word novel in one month.

In 2010 when I first participated, I wrote everyday. I remember it being really stressful but I had a novel on my head and I was stubborn. I got to 50,000 words by 28 Nov and that was that – I won!

This year I’m struggling. It’s my second attempt. I put it off each year since 2010 and now I’ve jumped in. The problem is I’m meant to be at 18,000+ words by today and I’m only at 8,000+. At this rate, I won’t reach 50,000 words till the first week of Jan 2015! It’s a mess – and totally unlike me. I don’t write everyday, which is a major cause of the lack of progress. When I do write, I feel like I’m writing pages and pages but when I look at the word count, it says I’ve done only 123 words. What??!

Anyway, I was hoping for some help. I have put to paragraphs here in the hopes that you will suggest how the story could go for a paragraph or two.

Excerpt  1:

“Why do you tolerate it, Mama? Why?” Gina felt her heart pounding and her hands shaking. She continued before her mother had a chance to respond, “He treats you so badly, Mama! I don’t understand…” Tears ran down Gina’s face. She had had enough. This was why she left home. “Gi, you will understand with time. Where we come from, women don’t just leave their husbands…” Her mother’s voice was gentle. “We women stay and fight.” She concluded. That was the day Gina swore never to marry anybody. She would rather die than live a life sentence.

Excerpt 2:

Bea and Beth sit in silence for a little while before Beth says, “if it makes you feel any better, I haven’t had sex in months!” Bea smiles and then starts to laugh. “Yeah it does make me feel better…” Bea reached for Beth’s shoulder squeezes it and says, “Thanks for being there for me. I have no one to talk to and with Gavin out of town…,” Bea cleared her throat, “I got a little overwhelmed with everything.”

“Any time, Bea…you know I’m here any time,” Beth says as an unpleasant memory flashes through her mind. She reaches for her cup and finally sips her lukewarm latte. Everything is almost OK in the world.

Can anyone help? What could happen next in either of the paragraphs? There may be prizes ;-)

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