Normal is Coming

I have to go back to work on Monday…

Granted there will be no kids in sight until the 10th but reality is coming up fast. Or the Dubai equivalent of reality, whatever that is. I’ve been back a total of two days, the heat is unbearable, but I am determined to live up to promises made in my previous post.

I don’t know how many times I’ve “gotten my life together”, I even give up trying to count the number of times I’ve posted about how I’m getting organised and this is is totally the time. But here I am again.

I’ve always really liked the “One day or day one” quote, but my day 1 usually gets as far as day 6 and fizzles out because I stop caring. I consistently start large scale projects and abandon them because I don’t hold myself accountable. I have no shortage of motivation, but I lack anything even resembling self-discipline. I don’t have anything different I’m doing this time, in fact I just edited charts and calendars I still had saved on my computer to line up with my new plans. Try and try again.

My new elaborate plans are three-fold:

    1. Financial – I make a lot of money. Apparently I also spend a lot of money. I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to stop spending, one of the deciding factors in taking this job was being able to own my first pair of Louboutins before I’m 25 (the plan is December), but I have set specific and reasonable savings goals so that I come home with something to show for my two years of dealing with little monsters.
  1. Fitness – I have wanted to gain weight for the past three years, for the past two I’ve been moving backwards. I essentially quit exercise in 2014, and lost any muscle I ever had. While using cookies and alcohol as a coping mechanism kept me in the high 40’s through my FYP, my masters year and in particular the stress of teaching has made me skinnier than I’m comfortable with. I need to start repeatedly lifting heavy things and for the first time in my life, paying attention to what I eat. I want to weigh 55kg in 12 months time, roughly 10kg heavier than I am right now.
  2. Career – I want to work in a freelance/consultant capacity. I want to work with fashion tech. I need to make these things happen.

These are all incorporated into a five and ten year plan, along with some personal life goals, with shorter term targets along the way. The first of which is a 90 day check in. From 1st September to 30th November I am making a concerted effort to as disciplined as possible.

I do think my continued faith in my self-discipline is quite a positive character trait. I am eternally optimistic.

More

Three posts in one year? Slow the fuck down.

It is August 2017 and despite only working about 30hrs a week (and only 10 months of the year) I have been greatly neglecting what I see as my best bet for stepping into freelance/self employment. That’s you, blog.

Teaching was never the dream. But I panicked at the idea of being unemployed after 23 years of parental-ly supported education and here I am. Long term employment was never the dream. My short attention span and issues with authority don’t mesh well with it. If I want to get out of it I need to build up a portfolio and a network to be in a position where I can support my self. The blog and social media are the most effective way of doing that. Even if it weren’t reaching any audience, writing has been very good for me mentally in the past two years, but lately, (read: since last November) every time I sit down, open that “add post” page and look at the little cursor blink, I’ve got nothing. I haven’t done anything remotely creative in almost a year and I can’t tell if it’s because I’m stressed or why I’m stressed.

I need a project.

A post shared by Unspirational (@unspirational) on

If you don’t follow Unspirational on Instagram you totally should. If you’ve got me on Instagram (you totally should too) you might have noticed it sort of came back to life recently. I’ve been travelling and honestly my favourite part of the trip has been photographing it. While not everybody would consider Instagram a good motivation for experiencing the world, I have really enjoyed the challenge of getting a great shot from every location and I like having my success measurable via likes. I am very slowly realizing how much I love photography and questioning why I don’t do more of it.

I’m back in NZ right now for the actual holiday part of my summer holidays and I intend on spending it relaxing, but as of September…

My Autumn semester is going to be one with a routine, a routine where I make more time for creative projects and less for bingeing TV series and feeling sorry for myself because my phenomenally well paid job is a little tough. This post is, as so many of mine are, a declaration that the future will be different. I want to do better with the second half of 2017. Take my photography more seriously. Design more. Make more. Build more. Paint more. Post more. DO MORE.

Money and holidays or no, I can’t stay in my current job for longer than another 18 months, I don’t want to. By next summer I want to be in a position where I can be working for myself, even if I don’t make the jump right away, I want it to be an option, so that’s my first 2018 resolution down.

I swear to God I mean it when I say,

Write soon,

Clodagh.

Oh right, yeah…

…this is a thing I do, completely forgot. Only that my domain name renewal is due this week and they came looking for money I may never have remembered. Today is day 65 of my time in the Middle East, so it’s probably about time for an update.

It’s been a very quick 2 months, and I can see the next 22 going just as quickly. Is teaching my calling? No, 7 hours a day surrounded by children has not made me any more enamored with them than I was 2 months ago, but I can definitely think of worse things I could be doing, and as agreed, I have not slapped any of them. Snaps for Clodagh.

Snaps also for Ras al Khaimah, which has proven to be the much superior choice of city. From the rebel county to the rebel emirate, I’m very happy call it home. Dubai must be the Dublin of UAE, because like my experiences of Dublin, only bad things happen in Dubai.

Such as my second Paddy’s day abroad. Unlike 2014 where I was the only Irish person around and I went through all the plastic Paddy nonsense cheerfully thinking “This is wrong, this is all so wrong, you people are ridiculous”, Dubai put on a proper Paddy’s day, because Dubai is full of Irish people. Loud, messy, irritating Irish people. There were some brief shining hours early on where it was wonderful to be around the accents and the singing, but give it a couple of pints and I quickly remembered, “Oh right, we’re the worst”. We are the actual worst. And it wasn’t that I was too sober for it, because believe me, I wasn’t.

 

RAK has beaches, malls and a healthy dose of mountains thrown in too. It is the most ridiculous place I have ever been in my life and I love it for it. Should you ever find yourself here, my advice is to give up on logic early and save yourself the headache. Because no one else gives a fuck. When people U-turn or randomly reverse in 4 lanes of traffic, just go with it. When people refuse to let you open doors or throw anything in the bin yourself, just go with it. When the restaurant is “Italian Salsa”or “Canadian Pizza”, just go with it. When you go to open the door of a taxi and 8 taxi drivers pile out, just go with it. After 2pm on Thursday? Sorry hun, that’s it for the weekend. This place is everything.

Weathers been shite though.

I mean…mostly

Making a Move

Hello, and if you are one of the new followers I acquired yesterday thanks to a lovely write up by Alex at the Raspberry Pi Foundation, welcome. I like to think I post a pretty good account of what I’m doing with my life. In reality I post very short updates, very infrequently.

 
You join me on an announcement day. Last week I mentioned something about landing a job. What I didn’t say was that I’m pissing off around the world. Again. Not quite as far away as New Zealand this time, but far enough that I won’t exactly be making weekend trips home. Somewhere where the weather is going to be just as awful as it is here, but for totally different reasons. Somewhere where every culture of the world is represented and petrol is cheaper than water. Dubai, I’m moving to Dubai. Well, technically I’m moving to Ras Al Khaimah, which is an entirely different Emirate to the North of Dubai, but if you say United Arab Emirates, which is the country Dubai is in, people don’t know where you’re talking about. Either way, the Instagram game is going to be amazing. This was one of those things where I “wasn’t really telling people yet”, but have proceeded to tell basically everyone I’ve spoken to in the last month since I got the offer, so you might as well hear about it.

 

I’m going to be fulfilling some kind of life long prophecy and becoming a teacher, a “Creative & Innovation Design Technology” teacher. Don’t worry there aren’t any innocent young children involved, they’re secondary aged. I may end up teaching anything from sketching to coding. Regardless, it is unbelievably nice to have a life plan for the next two years. Two years in a disgustingly hot country, being paid disgustingly well to teach teenage girls how to build robots. I genuinely cannot wait to start.

 

Which brings me to my second announcement, in an effort to reassure my mother that I am consistently still alive, I’m going to start vlogging. Eventually. Youtube videos are something I’ve wanted to start for a long time now, something I’ve been thinking seriously about for around a year and have been talking about for months. I had it set in my head to start vlogging once the blog hit it’s one year anniversary. That was last May. But I had college, and not a whole lot else, so I didn’t have the energy or the subject material. The day-to-day of my thesis was not as fascinating as you might expect. I still wouldn’t expect anything anytime soon, but it’s in text now so it’s happening.

A Word on Rejection

 

Dedication was never something I was good at, and unsurprisingly I’ve broken the chain by week two. I spent the start of this week being mopey, and therefore not “doing stuff”. Frankly, for the first 21 years of my life, I experienced very little rejection. I get things that I want, almost all the time. This past month however, has felt like a final destination movie, where rejection realises what I’ve been getting away with. The idea that no one is jumping at the chance to hire me has been very difficult for me to come to terms with.

It’s wrong to say that my life is a mess, because a mess requires things. My life is more like a big, empty, white room and as much as people would like to tell you how exciting and freeing that is, it’s not. It’s empty, it’s not going anywhere and I don’t like it. I am contributing nothing to the world or anyone in it right now and it’s not a comfortable place to be. I just need someone to tell me, “THIS, this is what you do now” and honestly, regardless of what it was I would be happier than I am doing nothing.

Friday: I decided to get my head out of my ass and do what I always do in times of disorganised crisis, I made a calendar. Something about the sharpies, post-its and colour co-ordination soothes me.

Saturday: I finally applied for the masters program I’ve been talking about since last November. A back up plan that is fast becoming plan A. Provided I get it of course, something I really wouldn’t of considered up until a few weeks ago.

Sunday: I’ve been playing around with a couple of different online print services and I want to do a post on all of them during the week, for the time being I’ve settled on Redbubble, a link to which has been added to the side menu under “Shop”.

#do-over

I don’t  like micro-posts, and that’s what a daily would be, because as interesting as I may think I am, my life is very slow-paced and routine (for now)

So, Sunday nights, #dostuff will be posted in a sort of “week in review” format. Enough to keep me on track with the whole “no zero days” attitude, but without asking people to click a link every goddamn day to two lines of text that are just rephrases of “Look at this pretty picture I made”

To business, this is week two of my life as a very bored graduate

Monday: I rejoined the world of the barely fit a went for my first run since August. I think I nearly died and my legs hurt for three days afterwards, but the the views were good and I remembered how fun it is to obsessively track progress on Runkeeper and Fitocracy.

Tuesday: I put my newly acquired stick-man-waving capabilities to use, along with some also newly acquired After Effects motion graphics skills and started a video for my entry to this years Dyson award.

Wednesday: I applied for my first big girl job. Well, graduate programme, but they needed a CV and everything!

Thursday: I finished my print portfolio for interviews. 24 pages succinctly illustrating why I’m fantastic. It, along with my CV are available on request.

Friday: I won’t lie to you, I binged OITNB. I’m so happy to have Red back in my life. Also, How hot is Ruby Rose?

Saturday: See above.

Sunday: I left the house and saw people who weren’t in my immediate family for the first time since I came home from college. I went to Lidl and it’s making my weekly highlights.

Truly living the dream.

Do Stuff

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Welcome those of you now joining me through the Facebook page. Incidentally, it’s much harder to write these when you know people are going to see that you wrote it. I like a “Dance like nobody’s watching” approach to blogging.

The page was started under the suggestion (instruction) of my new New Zealand based life coach, who had to listen to me have a Skype breakdown about how my life has no direction and I have less than €10 in my bank account. My wise woman on the other side of the world told me I’ll be fine as long as I “do stuff”, which is what I intend to do. Precisely one “stuff” everyday. And lo, my new daily hashtag project was born.

#dostuff

Because if you put a pound sign in front of something you have to do it.

Space

Since I didn’t really live at home 10 months of the year, my room here made the jump from liveable to storage container pretty quickly. My plan to work independently from home until a job drops from the sky is currently hindered by the fact that what used to be my desk is not an unstable pile of everything, and yet nothing. The people from Pawn Stars would probably spent big money on my room. They’d also lose big.

Reclaiming the desk and space around it is forcing me to face the harsh reality of getting rid of some of my precious, precious stuff. This is hard for me, and has led to much internal argument. You never know when you’ll need small cut-offs of modelling foam.  What if my other two black cardigans are in the wash? THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY SHOES!

A decent workspace, for me, is going to require quite a lot of space, and quite a lot of storage. And room for my sewing machine. It should have space for my dremel set up too, and it’s basically worthless without a glue gun holster. Maybe a cup holder.

Summer design project 1: Create that.

Oh studio, how I took you for granted!

#theend


I started my #fypcountdown project on Instagram back in February as a way of motivating myself to no more zero days on the work front. It didn’t entirely work but it has given me a pretty decent recording of what I did for the 100 days from 17/02 to 27/05/15. Not to mention provided me with the precious social media likes on which I base my worth as a human being. Today it ended.

Through the good days and the really, really bad ones #fypcountdown was a way of showing people outside of the PD bubble what the hell it is I do everyday. Which was nice when for the first three years of my degree it was all: “Why are you digging through the recycling?” “Why do you carry so many knives?” “Is that a creepshot of some guy buying coffee?” “Where are you going with all that glue?” “What did you break [disassemble, I disassemble things] NOW?” And they don’t even know about the weirder stuff that happened in studio, and they never will. What happens in studio stays in studio.

I kinda wanna start a new hashtag project, suggestions?

The full 100 days are on my Instagram (link in the side menu)

Wondering How I Spent 2 Years

In my CAO, I specifically chose courses that didn’t require it. In second year, I scraped a bit together to get my study abroad placement in NZ. But I’ve never sat down to put together a proper, professional, please-consider-hiring-me-so-that-I-don’t-starve PORTFOLIO.

The job, in my head would involve going through hundreds of pages and thousands of files to determine what I was most proud of. Not so.

It turns out all the work I’ve been bitching and moaning about since late 2011 may never have happened, because I’m coming out of college with not very much to show for it. My Final Year Project is is there in all its 200 sketch pages, 4GB of data glory, but that’s one project. I feel like a portfolio should be more than that.

The major project from first semester of third year is reasonably well recorded too, but  it’s like the first two years never happened. I have all the folders set up nicely, but they’re empty. I can’t even remember how we filled most of the time. I know I complained a lot about how busy I was…but was I?

Was I really no busier than any college student? Was I just being a whiny teenager? Am I still being a whiny post-teenager? Am I being melodramatic? Am I having an existential crisis? Can I ever come back from this?

My portfolio is now live on this site, please-consider-hiring-me-so-that-I-don’t-starve

Saying No to Adulthood

I currently finishing up a degree in product design, and for the first time in my life I don’t don’t know what comes next. 8 years of primary school, 6 years of secondary, 4 years of college… and there my life plan ends.

I possess neither the money nor the class required to take up my preferred career path as an it girl. What I do have is sarcasm, exceptional taste and a reasonable command of the English language. My cruel parents have informed me that I cannot swan around living parasitically off them forever, so I decided to take the tiniest step I could think of and start a blog. Unreasonable as they are I will probably have to get some kind of job anyway.

This is my life-quest to become a full time “swan around-er” (told you I was good at English). I intend to finance this quest through design and illustration work. If you would like anything designed or illustrated, let me know.