Becoming Bulgarian

Posted on: December 17th, 2017 by admin No Comments

You know when you get a bee in your bonnet and then you can’t focus really on anything else until you do something with that bee?

Well this is me addressing a bee.

I’ve been reflecting on the last 12 months and how it has affected my mentality. Who I am now, because of this year.

I’d be lying if I said this year had been bad all round, it hasn’t been. I’d also be lying if I said it had been an easier year this year. It hasn’t been.

Here’s some of the highs:

  • I got citizenship for Bulgaria. This is by far the best bit of my year.
  • I paid off one of my mortgages and am financially a bit more comfy as a result.
  • The work on the basement started.
  • I secured some big contracts at work.
  • I did great work in schools.
  • I decorated the lower landing of my house.
  • I overcame the gym fear and got back into it for a good stretch.
  • I found a new hobby.
  • I almost got rid of my melasma.

I couldn’t honestly say there have been lows, it’s been more like challenges.

  • I sorted out my mums finances and saved her 60% of all of the debts she had with some hard core, relentless negotiation. This was the most exhausting.
  • I completed 2 power of attorneys and 2 deputyships for my mum and sister.
  • I worked in 4 schools – meaning I’ve been away for 4 months and still ran the office admin work in the evenings and at weekends.
  • I dealt with a tricky employee situation at work which lead to a disciplinary and dismissal but took months to resolve and subsequently recover from. This was horrible and I hated every minute of dealing with this.
  • My melasma kicked off big style and sort of p**sed on my confidence but only a bit.
  • I got sick 3 times but worked through it. Not cool or clever.
  • All of the work I’d normally have prepped for 2018 didn’t get done because I was sick or in school. This lead to the feeling of not quite being on top of things which is how most of the year had already felt.

So where am I now? I feel like this year has changed me. I feel like some of my patience and softness has gone. This may or may not be a good thing, time will tell.

The best way to describe it is I feel like I’m not going to tolerate any s**t anymore and I shan’t be ignoring the gut feelings I have.

An example is that I recently needed to buy new curtains for my apartment in Bulgaria. As I’ve not had the time this year to scrub up my Bulgarian conversation skills, I decided to get this job done in the UK. When I went to Dun Elm, I had a feeling that the lady serving me was a bit of a dippy wally. She was lovely, very chatty, but kept getting the measurements wrong. My gut feeling was I should have said “Can someone else take over?” but I was worried about offending her, even though I knew there was a high possibility she was screwing up the job.

I got to Bulgaria with the new curtains that I’d had to pay a fair bit to take with me (I don’t normally check in luggage) to discover that she had screwed up the measurements. I wasn’t mad at her, I was mad at me because I knew there was going to be a problem but was too British to do something about it. This has to stop. It has stopped already. Already I am being less polite and more direct. I don’t care if people think me rude, I haven’t got time to take responsibility for their emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to deliberately upset anyone. Laughter is still my favourite state and default setting but I’m not holding back when I’m not ok either. Because it’s dishonest if I do. I’d be being dishonest to myself if I covered up my real thoughts and feelings with the gentile politeness I had convinced myself I should demonstrate.

I’m off sick at the moment of writing this. I’ve been sick for about a week and two of my ‘friends’ knew about it. One of them also became sick in the last few days too. I just had a call from the non-sick one in which she said “How did you get on speaking to <insert name of sick friend>?”

I was confused as I haven’t spoken to that friend since I saw her earlier in the week. I explained I haven’t heard from her and was unsure where the enquiry was coming from.

Friend on the phone says “Oh she’s really not feeling very well. I just thought you might have been in touch with her to see how she’s doing.”

To which I replied “Why would I? I’ve been sick myself. All week. She hasn’t once contacted me to see how I am, only to tell me that she was feeling sick, so it works both ways doesn’t it? If you don’t care for me, I don’t care for you.”

I was extra annoyed because I know this friend has parents at home who are probably running out to get her Lemsip. I don’t know if you know what it’s like to not have parents, no siblings and no partner simultaneously. It means that when you’re sick you warm up your own chicken soup. That’s totally ok until someone implies that you didn’t care enough about them when they were unwell during that same period. What is it about being self sufficient that makes other people think that you should take care of them too, because you’ve proved that you’re good at taking care of yourself?

I think that in the past I’ve been a bit of a marshmallow. Absorbing the blows and bouncing back. And people would say “Wow you’re so resilient.” Now I’m going to be a mirror. I’m going to reflect back what I’m seeing and say something if I don’t like it.

My bumbling polite Britishness is annoying me and I’m just going to say it like it is. I think on the whole what’s happened is – I’m becoming Bulgarian!


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