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Thursday, July 13, 2006
A Little More

I crept out of bed at 4 a.m. and whilst Alex was asleep, I drove towards Standsted Airport. I was not alone though because Kat was there with me. The last two days were brilliant, with the two of us girls zipping our way through the deep bowels of London. It was extremely warm, especially on the Tube and I was not sure if I was terribly happy about it. Thankfully I wore a short lace dress to the Sotheby auction and a white lacy top with a pair of deep blue trousers yesterday when we went to sightseeing (London Eye, Oxford Street, Trinity College).

“I am thoroughly amazed,” Kat said. “You walked the whole day through Oxford Street, to Heathrow and back and all the way to Orpington on THOSE heels!”

I smiled. My pet peeve and manic obsession with shoes would put me in the same therapy session with Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in Sex And The City.

The Sotheby auction was fascinating. It was my first auction experience and it was quite remarkable how violins were auctioned at the speed of light! And the most expensive violin? £55,000! I am beginning to wonder who would have £55,000 (approx. RM368, 500) in spare change to purchase a violin.

“A rare collector’s item,” Kat explained.

Ok. I shall pretend to understand how a violin can cost that much. According to Kat, £55,000 was a modest amount. The last auction had one that was sold at more than £120,000!!!

Anyway there was this cute guy who was working for Sotheby. He stood next to the auctioneer. He was really tall, slim and had really beautiful eyes. And he was looking straight into my eyes.

What does a girl do when a dashing Mark Darcy look-alike looks at her? She looks back. Well at least that was what I did. And oh, I smiled. You know, that room was filled with men and women who most likely kept thousand pound notes in their coin purse and I had to like the one who worked in Sotheby. Any smart girl would be working the social circles in the room, among the Sotheby customers, not the staff. No wonder I do not have luck riding in fancy cars. I keep going for the bellboys!


This morning’s drive to Standsted is the furthest I have ever driven on my own. Kat had a 7 a.m. flight to Sweden and I decided to fetch her there. Okay, the truth is Alex instructed me to do so because Kat would be able to save approx. £200 in lodging and transport. To be perfectly honest, I was nervous. I was nervous because I have never driven on that stretch of motorway on my own. It is compounded by the fact that I cannot pull over on the side of the road, to check the map if I was lost. It is illegal and unsafe. The one saving grace was that I drove the Audi instead of my measly Proton.

The sun rises earlier all through summer and today it broke dawn at about half pass 5 a.m. By then, I was somewhere near Dartford’s Crossing on the M25, famous for its traffic and notorious for its accidents. I was trapped at a gridlock for an hour. Finally I passsed the cause of the traffic jam - a totally burnt trailer. Two out of three lanes were closed down to facilitate the clearing up of the accident. Two fire engines and some firemen and policemen were there to control the fire and to contain the accident.

My mind wondered while I watched the sun climbing into a new day. That is the beauty of our minds, isn’t it? Our minds can wonder and be far and away, even when our bodies are stuck at the worst traffic jams.

The phone rang while I was busy chatting with Kat. We were both standing by the grill and watching the mushrooms and sausages sizzle. I rushed to the phone. I knew who it was on the phone. It was the lady whom I emailed my CV less than thirty minutes earlier. She sounded so optimistic and that optimism sparked a little flicker of hope within me.

I have an interview on 24th July. Don’t get too excited, dear readers. It is not a company planning to hire me. It is just a company, which helps companies search for a suitable candidate for their vacancies. But I did feel excited. I felt so excited, I emailed Alex with the details. The lady said that she was condifent that I would be hired by end of September!

“It’s just a HR company vetting and making sure that you are not a crazy person,” Alex replied.

My heart faltered. It was not the thing that I wished to hear. It was the truth but it was not necessary. We were looking at the flowers in the garden while Kat was cooking us dinner last evening. I sulked all the way to the kitchen after he said that.

I have struggled with my own insecurities for the past month. Are you surprised? I don’t know about you but I wasn’t too surprised. It is an amazing thought seeing that I actually do possess a really huge ego. But yes, in my quieter moments, I actually do feel small and self-doubting. I just do not let many people know this part of me – the lost child who is apprehensive and timid. (That’s why I need my high heels, you see? Higher heels means taller in height and taller people can see futher.)

I felt defeated before I even began the war. I was trying to garner courage to go for interviews and talk to prospective employers and I was basically left alone to these on my own. Everyone around me keeps asking me, “When are you going to work?” but no one understands how difficult it is for me to actually find the courage to go out and look for a job. Everyone just assumes that I am like them, that I had experience like them when in actual fact, I was a nervous wreak!

I was not sure if my experience and qualification would translate over here. I felt apprehensive whenever I thought that I would have to work under another huge ego. Ego and ego does not agree, you see. Some people are able to mask their intentions very well. I am not one of them. I am quite transparent and most people around me know instantaneously whether I liked them or not.

All these years, I never took shit from anyone other than my clients. There was no office politics as I do try to be fair in the office. But now I am s-l-o-w-l-y accepting the fact that I will have to be more diplomatic and compromising. Perhaps be a little more cheerful and friendly, smile a little more etc etc.

As the car ahead moved a few inches forward, I shifted into gear and moved mine the few inches closer to home. I was having a conversation with you readers. At 6 a.m. I knew that I had to write something and my mind was determined to resolve itself. I hate mopping around the way I did in the pass few weeks. I hate being dependent on Alex for everything. I hated everything and I hated myself.

I have always been independent. I was a strong willed child and a little rebel when I was a teenager. I heed my parents’ advices but I am not one who would do something just because someone in authority asked me to. I was extra clinging when I arrived here, mainly because almost everything was new to me.

As a result, Alex and I were having a power struggle. I understood why he was pushing me but he did not understand why I was clinging. This underlying tension caused a lot of mini lash outs, where I put my English vocabulary to good use. I made him understand why I am feeling this way.

There will come a day when I will no longer feel so anxious and I will feel that everything is under my control once again. A drive to Standsted will not feel strange anymore and the restaurant down the road would have been visited. I would have my own life, with my own friends and work to do.

I will not have time to cook like I do now. Neither will I have time to do the laundry or iron the clothes the way I do now. Last year I was just in charge of housework but this year comes added responsibilities in the form of freelance writing, blog writing, the book project and work trickling from my business. I have not found a fulltime job here yet but I am already feeling the stress.

Sometimes I feel like telling Alex, “Appreciate my neediness for this second. It does not last long. Soon I will find my own friends and I will no longer depend on you for my socializing. I will my own means of escape from the house and from the relationship. On that day, you will wish that I would cling to you a little more.”

I determined in my heart, in the middle of the traffic jam this morning that I will sign myself up for pilates and another dance class. Those classes will be the start of my socializing here in Sevenoaks. Hopefully I will find some new friends and I will not need to keep pouring everything to Alex. I will have a new bunch of girlfriends to have coffee with. I determined in my heart that I will find myself a job by this September and I will work hard to adjust myself better. I foresee that I will be busy with new activities in London as well as Sevenoaks.

I am smiling thinking about it. No more pity parties. No more feeling glum that I am stuck at home or that I have nowhere to wear my cute clothes. The girl in heels is back and she is in control.

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Hi, Would you like to meet up? I'm Msian married to a Brit, living in SE London. Like you I'm also looking for a job ...!!!
My email:

9:44 am  

Hey there! Thanks for dropping a note. I shall get in touch with you shortly, once I am done with the Tatton Flower Show =) Maybe we'll catch up when I get back?

6:08 pm  

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