Saturday, 16 July 2011

Handshake


I am a City Girl.


I work in the City of London, in the hub of the financial district, out-striding traders and stockbrokers in my patent heels. I don’t work for a bank so maybe some would say I’m stretching the definition of City Girl slightly here, but I’m a money-maker in a business that sits like an octopus in the centre of the financial and business worlds.






I’ve been on a long and dramatic road to get here. I’ve lived my life to the full, I’m not afraid of any conventional fears and beneath my smart office suit and neat office hair I’m as wild as they come.

I started my new job on Monday. Monday 11th July 2011. I'd been counting down to that day for the past month. The initial delirium when I received the job offer quickly turned to dread once I received the employment contract in the post. You see, I’d done the daily walk across London Bridge before and it had sucked all the life and happiness out of me. I was afraid of going back and feeling that depression again.






I needn’t have worried. My new office is sleek and shiny, vast and filled with brains and balls. The incredible pace of work, intellectual challenge and constant hammering pressure is what I want, it’s what fuels me and it’s what makes me smile from ear to ear. I didn’t have that in my last job.






This blog is a commentary of my return, or rather, my new beginning. You see I graduated two years ago now in June 2009, but I graduated with a uncontrollable eating disorder which I had agressively developed during my time at University and which only continued to rage and burn and consume me completely. I went on to Law School and dropped out, then took a job in the City and crumbled. So in the Autumn of 2010, at the absolute peak of my despair and illness, trampled and empty, ripped apart by a boy who couldn’t face my sickness, consumed with thoughts of suicide, I decided the only way I could save myself was to burn all my bridges and run.






I left my job, I left London, I cut all ties with the people I used to know.


I started weekly psychotherapy sessions at hospital.


I took an easy assistant job in a school in another part of the country.


I didn’t focus on anything apart from getting better. It took the whole six months to find the strength to hold my head up high again. The truth is that I still have an eating disorder, it’s just not the aggressive, possessive monster that it used to be. A year ago, my eating disorder was ALL I had but now it is just a thing in the background, a part of me yes, but not the defining, disabling thing it used to be - and I can live with that.

I was totally honest about my eating disorder with all the people who interviewed me over the stages for this job (I had to justify why the hell I've just spent 6 months in a school...) and they were all unbelievably accepting. I was ill, I went to get better, and now I'm back with hunger in my eyes and fire in my belly. And what I said was very true:
"I've always aimed for the best in life, I've always pushed myself to be the top. In fact, that's where my eating disorder stemmed from to a great extent. I set myself a goal and I pushed and pushed until I could reach it. But obviously that was something that got out of hand and I had to learn to reign in and control...but that's me - I work hard to be the best in everything.”






I will never stop being ambitious. Most jobs won't give me the adrenaline and pressure that I need. My job at the school made me realise that content, comfortable, relaxed and average isn't what I want. Ambition, competitiveness, drive, pressure, hunger, materialism have always inspired the best in me, and you know what? Being those things didn't make me a bad person. I believe in hard work and I believe in striving to be the best. Outside of The City, people think that ambition is a terrible thing. Why put so much pressure on yourself? Why not just be average and content? But for me, being a nothing, being a nobody is the worst thing imaginable and being recognised for my success means everything.






I’ve been blogging in another blog for two and a half years, and although that blog charting the hell of my eating disorder has now come to a close, I still feel that I need a voice. In the real world I am completely mute. There is no one I can speak to openly about what I feel and experience – perhaps because what I feel and experience is often very extreme or contentious. Blogging gives me a voice that I don’t have to censor for fear of upsetting people I know or having them judge me.


In my job I am polished and corporate, bright, confident and self-assured. I am The City Girl Image my company and clients expect. Here on the pages of this blog I am The City Girl Made of Glass – fragile and transparent.


Come and see what it’s like on the inside....

6 comments:

  1. I just logged in to Blogger and was very excited to see a link to this!
    I literally said aloud to my computer screen, "Oh, sweet!" (My SoCal roots are showing...)

    I'm going to be pathetically honest... since your goodbye post I have thought of you quite often and smiled to myself knowing that you're moving on to something so new and exciting and different... to see Ophelia emerge from the depths of the brook and breathe again.

    I look forward to reading more of your wonderful posts. So many blogs are full of so much trite, inane, rambling bull shit... but you are among the handful of others that keep me on this site and make my enjoy it so.

    xSummer

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  2. I didn't hesitate to click the link on your old blog that redirected me here. Same person, new blog, new mindset. I really like it. I hope that all treats you well at this job, and I'm sure we'll all come back around to follow you and the stories you share with us as your life unfolds.

    I'm really happy for you, happy that you took control of your life right at the roots and you know exactly what you want. That's admirable, to be able to be in such control and be able to maintain a competitive, fast paced life that you described. If that's the kind of lifestyle you dig, you'll be kicking ass in no time.

    Can't wait to hear more <3

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  3. I was so glad to find you have rejoin the blogging world. I missed your updates and looking forward to hearing more. Congrats on the new job!

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  4. Omg the feeling i got from seeing you post was so silly lool i felt like christmas came early lol so lame but im so glad you came back i love your blog and hoping to read more..new blog new mindset :) good luck hun xxx

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  5. :) I'm so glad you're still blogging. I would have missed you quite terribly if you weren't. It sounds as if you're doing really well, and i'm very glad of that as well. I love you bunches! And i hope that everything continues to go well.

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  6. when you said goodbye on your other blog i was super sad! thankfully i just found this one :) i'm glad you're doing well!

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