It is so hot at the moment that I am even transpiring at four o'clock in the morning, being catapulted in a mind-set of deep despair and desperation.
And with that, welcome back to Floating the Boat!
I know I haven't really announced a summer break, but it just so happened. I had a four-week job in the UK, which basically had me working 24/7 and I realised updating and blogging was not really within my time management (yeah, right...what time management are we talking about?), so I decided to stop fretting about it every day and give myself a little summer break.
Which is now over. Having come back from Britain with a ton of new thoughts and stories, it is time to steadily take up the reins and write myself in long awaited autumn and my dislike for summer is going to be one of the topics covered in this welcoming-back post, among the daftness of teens and my experiences as a freelancer so far.
I know everyone is, yet again, in a frenzy about summer, but I cannot emphasise my sheer loathing for this season, and why wouldn't I? There are plenty of reasons to hate summer and I can tell you some straightaway:
1) The heat, the unbearably, ever imposing heat. It has up to 36 degrees in Austria and London was the same, so I have literally been sweating for almost three months straight - THREE MONTHS!
2) The summer break. Sure, some people may think, "Oh my God, she is a student and a freelancer, she has a long summer break and can lie on the beach."
Well, it is true, I get a break of three months; however, being a student and a budding freelancer, I am
a) fecking bored out of my mind as there are neither assignments nor uni stuff to do during the break, really and
b) I do not have the money to go on a real vacation somewhere but am stuck in my Viennese flat with well over 30 degrees and no possibility to escape the heat.
3) The summer fashion sucks. Are you familiar with these feelings of flipping through a fancy magazine (OK, I am talking about H&M alright) and you see these gorgeous summer garments of silky dresses, short overalls, linen blouses and weirdly cut-out swimsuits and you think summer could be fun after all, but then you remember you are chubby, white-skinned and your hair bursts into a lion's mane after five minutes in the heat?
Well, 'tis my life and I am simply to fat, cellulite-ridden and pale to enjoy summer and the fashion that comes with it - quite contrary to autumn, that is. Any woman can look divine in tights, autumnal, darker colours and a coat which hides the rest to be hidden.
4) I do not function in this heat, my brain is literally fried and I cannot get myself to doing anything. Doing sports is simply stupid as sweat pearls are already streaming down your back without moving at all, so there is a real risk of dehydration when attempting to do a push-up in this heat. But also baking falls pretty flat during this season, baking cookies wrapped up in Christmas jumpers, Michael Bublé singing in the background is not comparable to opening a pre-heated oven in the middle of summer and fainting from the hot air emanating out of it. Also, cake is far too heavy to eat in this heat.
5) Nobody ain’t got time for that…Previously mentioned people who seem to share the belief students have a wonderful time during the summer due to their long months off are also forgetting that nobody is actually around in summer. Come exam season in June, we are deliriously happy at the prospect of meeting up at the river, playing games and going for a barbecue – completely denying the fact that a) nobody will be here as people go to crappy summer jobs, visit their families or actually have money to go on vacation and all plans evaporate to nothingness, b) you realise that your so-called “friends” you study with are actually only study buddies and you decide you do not really want to see them anyway or c) everyone only has a flat and no barbecue equipment, so barbecuing is ruled out.
And aplenty more reasons, but this should suffice to convince you I am right about summer.
It is specifically hard to endure the heat when having to work during summer and, without sharing any details because you know I do not work and tell, my summer job was quite intense physically as I ran a language and activity centre in Ipswich, England, which required a lot of running around, doing activities and going on excursions – at that in over 30 degrees heat! Additionally – and I do not mean to sound harsh here, it’s just kind of the truth – I worked with teenagers and I never really realised it, but teenagers are kind of daft. Sorry, not daft in an academic sense – I don’t mean to be offensive, bitter or of the kind of old person who goes like, “Oh my God, the teens from nowadays, no respect, blah, blah”, but I have to concede to this fact a little; however with the notion that I do not think it was better in previous times.
So what do I mean? I mean these creatures are so engulfed by raging hormones meddling with all aspects of their brain required to be a decently intelligent human being that they simply cannot be held accountable for their daftness. I can recall myself – vaguely – as a teenager and I was not the best example to be set, simply because I was bookish, didn’t like parties and boys grossed me out (except for Edward, of course, GO TEAM EDWARD). However, I was incredibly daft during that time as well and could be caught giggling to a boy’s stupid joke merely to get myself some boy credit, or dumbing down at school because we all know men don’t like women who are intelligent (is this a sexist notion? I do not deem it to be true for most men I know, but it is spoken everywhere, it seems…).
Over the past years when I worked extensively with teenagers, I realised how pitiful they can be and how I cringe inwardly when the girls toss back their hair, giggling with high-pitched voices, almost giving out their eggs for nothing.
Also, they all look the same nowadays, it seems. I do not know whether that was the case when I was a teenager (and I strongly suspect it was), but especially the girls almost exclusively look the same as if complying with a uniform unanimously agreed upon at some point of history. It is usually trousers to tight you wonder how they can continue breathing or – even worse – leggings. Always up to their bellies, obviously. Then, with that, they would wear belly-free tops, showing off this slice of skin in between their high-waist trousers and their short top, and it is all rounded off with sneakers – always sneakers. Then they always have long, flowing hair as it seems to attract boys the most, and a ton of make-up surprisingly well applied most of the times (I looked like shit when I made an attempt of putting on make-up as a teen). Some of those I have encountered even feature fake eyelashes on a normal day out, it’s alarming.
Boys seem to be a little less constraint in their fashion choices, but are terribly monitored by their crotches. Not much seems to be going on in their brains during their teens and usually when there is something stupid to do, they will do it. May it be riding a laundry trolley down the street, smoking in front of supervisors and then claiming it is an e-cigarette or throwing around food in a canteen populated by grown-ups. Simply stupid.
However, this is not supposed to be an offence at all. Actually, I feel sorry for teens who simply cannot help being confused, sexually aroused and off with their thoughts all the time when their bodies are going bonkers but then are being asked to behave like adults, concentrate on academic progress and being confined in every way possible instead of being given the choice to explore the world a little. I ache for them to live in a world where grown-ups help them learn respect instead of chiding them for not figuring it out for themselves, in which patience and intolerance for their needs prevail and where Instagram dictates how to dress, look or present yourself.
Yet, I feel I am quite happy at this point that working with teenagers is a chapter closing down for now and I can concentrate on other work experiences.
At the moment, I am not writing a lot of fiction but am rather breaking into freelancing as an editor, translator and writer, which is both frightening and rewarding, as I am enjoying this work a lot. I have thought about why freelancing is so rewarding, as actually often it is not. It is a world of rejection, frustration, despair and wasted time on assignments which will never see the light of day; yet, I have determined that flexibility is a key feature of my dream job and defining my own day, work ethic and input rather those features being imposed on me by someone else who requires me to work ten hours a day, merely to keep up appearances. I have recently had a job offer on my desk for such a job and I have to admit declining it was a rather intimidating choice, as it would have been a safe job with a safe salary, yet with the price to pay of feeling unsatisfied, incarcerated and unseen. I am not sure there is a salary high enough to justify that price, is there?
The plan to publish one of my babies one day (of course I mean my books, not to be creepy) is still up there and waiting to be fulfilled but I am sure the time will come and it will fall into place and finally make sense. And until then, happy writing (and waiting for rejection) and I am thankful for all of you accompanying me on this journey.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.