Let me introduce myself

A little about me

“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.” – George Carlin

So, I feel its time to get to know me a little better. I am, as many of us claim to be, appalling at writing about myself (see unfinished CV, even though I am leaving my job in September, a story for another time). What is it that we all struggle with? I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but there is a certain pressure when we try to define and summarise ourselves down to a page, or a snappy, witty paragraph in the ‘about me’s of our blogs.

I for one get mental constipation just at the thought of it. I don’t particularly want to put myself into a self-defined box.What if I leave something out or the phrasing makes me out to be something I am not? Surely I am more than a page of self indulgent chatter, I must be more complicated!

Part of the reason I feel, is these sorts of self summaries are always for someone else, a potential employer or potential readers out there in the internet ether, so inherently susceptible to approval or rejection.  Also, what if I don’t actually know myself very well yet, what then? I can feel the anxiety bubble up already, just thinking about it.

So a slightly different approach is in order perhaps. I am going to interview myself for you all. Wait.. before you click away.. I get that it sounds a lot like I will be talking to myself, oh wait it definitely is exactly that. So click away if that’s not your bag. I tell you for why I’m doing it this way. 1. I hope I’m not alone, but often I feel very much like I am 2 people. So why not get one to interview the other? 2. When thinking about what I’d write, it seemed to flow far better than just trying to write a traditional ‘about me’. 3. It leaves it open to conduct further interviews to delve in a bit deeper. 4. I’d like to get to know myself better too! So, why not try it ey. Here goes.

Me: So who are you then?

Metoo: Hello! I’m Rima, 24 years old, soon to be ex-accountant, living in London.

Me: Ok so, pretty standard stuff. Why ex-accountant?

Metoo: Ahh its all a bit cliche to be honest with you, but I pretty much fell into this job, and now I am fully qualified, surprise surprise, It’s dawning on me that being an accountant/auditor is not really my life long ambition. I’ve tried the corporate world and you know what, its not for me. I don’t fit in here I don’t think.

Me: I hear a lot of this kind of chat from people in your position. People don’t seem to be content with the well paid, but high stress lifestyle so much anymore.

Metoo: Yea, agreed. We all wanted the money and the power and respect, and now we have a slice of it, not really sure it’s what we wanted at all!

Me: This blog seems to be a fairly new project (June 2014), what made you start?

Metoo: Well part of being in a job like mine is that you feel quite trapped by the skills you’ve acquired thus far and feel that you can’t do anything remotely different. Also, it seems to sap all creative energy and will from you so you both think you can’t be creative and also don’t feel you have the time or energy to even try. So I thought a blog would help me flex my creative muscles, and prove to myself that if I put my mind to it, I can 100% do it.

Me: Nice. But what is the point of your blog?

Metoo: What do you mean? Why do I write it? Or why do I think people should read it?

Me: both!

Metoo: Well I write it to practice writing, to record my memories and thoughts and feelings at a point in time, to share cool things that I think others may enjoy, to question my own opinions too perhaps. As for readers, I include a lot of reviews of stuff that have particularly enjoyed so hopefully others can get inspired to experience similar things! I’m a sharer! I’d like to also dissect some philosophy here too at some point. So would be cool to interact with folks.

Me: That’s a lot you want to do there bud. Anything you think will be a barrier for you getting this done?

Metoo: Erm… myself! Probably the biggest stumbling block of all. I guess until September time is a little limited. Work is a massive part of life at the mo. Honestly though, its only really me that will get in my way, if for some reason I lose the drive/motivation to keep going. Other than that full steam ahead!

Me: Well my advice would be to just do it. Start and don’t stop. What sort of things are you interested in and may write about?

Metoo: Simple enough advice to give ey! Interested in.. hmm…too many things!! By that I mean that there is a lot that excites me. Including travel, philosophy, yoga, mental health, books, art, film, music, poetry, business, sanskrit, dance, languages, people, food. Most of these I am a complete novice at, so am aiming to get a better understanding of all of them over time. I will post my bucket list up here at some point maybe. Give you a better idea.

Me: What is the dream?

Metoo: Arghh big questions dude! Well this is what I am in the progress of working out. However, I listened to some sound advice recently, to be micro ambitious. So, I think I will set myself varying small and medium sized goals regularly. At the mo, yoga, reading, travel plans, learn Spanish/German are high up the list. Also, finding a source of income for when I am unemployed in Sept!

Me: What are your greatest fears?

Metoo: oh man. really, enough with the personal questions? I guess a couple of things. 1. I am a serious people pleaser! So a fear of being disliked. I like to be liked. I’m not particularly ok with people just disliking me. I’m pretty annoyingly positive and enthusiastic sometimes and worry that people think to themselves.. ‘omg.. seriously just pipe down.. no-one cares’. 2. Being a burden on anyone else. I am fiercely independent so would hate to have to rely on anyone else. 3. Seriously FOMO. I know, I’m sorry, I said it, I had to. Its a frustratingly appropriate acronym and I hate myself for using it. I just do worry that life is so dam short, if I spend a single minute, hour, day not in the pursuit of my many, varying passions that I will miss out on the wonders that our planet has to offer. One reason I must quit the corporate milk round. That about covers the main ones.

Me: I feel that we have learned a fair about about us. A lot still to go, but a break perhaps. 20 year old us would have been astonished at how easily and quickly we just managed to bash out 1218 words.

Metoo: Yea wow. Fair play. A fan of this interview style, as crazy as it makes me seem! Until next time!

RP

@rimapatel7

Ruby Wax on Mental Health

Books, Events, General ramblings, London, People

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‘A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?’ – Albert Einstein
(runner up for quote for this post- ‘One is very crazy when in love’- Sigmund Freud, I’m not sure that there has ever been a bigger understatement made in the history of mankind)
Mental health and well-being is a subject extremely close to my heart. I have seen the devastation and debilitation that mental illnesses and also less severe mental stress/pressure can have on an individual and their lives. From acute stress and anxiety on a day to day basis in the workplace to depression, eating disorders and mood disorders in my circle of dear friends, to the full spectrum in my volunteering with the charity The Samaritans.
I had the privilege of attending a panel discussion held by my workplace, at which the fabulous Ruby Wax was a guest panelist. She spoke honestly and fiercely to a room of eager listeners about her experience and her work into understanding mental illness. I hope that there was plenty of food for thought for the decision makers in the room, because there is a vast divide between the ideal working environment which is truly inclusive and supportive of all and the corporate machine that is in place currently. Change is hard, but I hope that the event really inspired the leaders to lead in this area, where so many big companies are woefully behind.
I’m keen not to waffle on as I am no expert here. However, I want to raise awareness and understanding so here are a couple of things that I think are key and then some places I know where you can get further information for yourself and for others you are worried about:
1. Mental illness is not the same as general day-to-day stress. Of course this is still not great and we should all endeavor to minimise this, but there are medically diagnosable mental health issues which cannot be treated without the help and support of medical professionals
2. Illnesses that fall under mental illnesses: Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, impulse and control disorders, personality disorders, adjustment disorders, dissociative disorders.. the list goes on.
3. 1 in 4 people will suffer with some form of mental health disorder in the course of a year
4. The economic cost of mental illnesses is estimated to be £62 billion each year
5. When you have a illness of any other region of your body aside from your brain, it is your brain that identifies a problem and tries to respond. When your brain is suffering from some form of illness it is unable to identify this, there is no brain to monitor the brain! Which is why suffers may not recognise the symptoms for long period of time or not thing there is anything wrong with them
6. To treat a mental health condition, a professional should be consulted, it is virtually impossible to treat otherwise
Please find support in the following places:
Mind:
@MindCharity
Samaritans:
Mental Health Foundation:
Ruby Wax:
@Rubywax
Ruby Wax- Sane New World (seperate review on this fantastic book to come!)