Memories and triggers

I was listening at work today to some music by Meg Bowles. It’s not really ‘music’ as you think of music, it’s more a very ambient sequence of sounds. In theory it’s soft and relaxing, but music can be a powerful trigger of memories and it put me back to where I was in January, when I first started listening to it… because I really needed something soft and relaxing.

Back in January I was anaemic, I had just come back to work after quite a few weeks off sick because I’d had a breakdown (and was anaemic) and I was trying very, very hard to block out any kind of negative stimulus at work.┬áBut that was all pretty much inconsequential next to the legal stress I had hanging over me, which I’m fairly sure would have ended my life (literally) if it had gone anywhere (it didn’t). Life wasn’t good back in January, and Meg Bowles’s soothing ambience was just part of my coping strategy to get through life one day at a time.

Listening to it again today was strange. It instantly took me back to where I was in January. In some ways it’s a good thing to realise how far I’ve come since then, and although some days I still feel like I’m struggling, it’s good to put that in context. But it’s a bit sad that I’ll probably never be able to enjoy Meg Bowles’s music.

Time dilation

It’s been amazing since I handed in my notice last week just how slowly time is passing. It’s Thursday today but it seems like it should be Friday.

My new employer contacted me on Tuesday to ask for reference contact details, which unsettled me a bit. I omitted the exact dates on my CV of my employments, so my previous job said 2011-2012 which made it look slightly more impressive than November-June, and it also hid the gap between that and my current employer. I don’t see why it would be a problem, but I didn’t actually expect them to pursue a reference from 7 years ago. I pretty much catastrophised this into thinking they’d withdraw the offer, but then I realised I was catastrophising and felt a lot better. And I also realised that the likely worst case scenario is I get a few months ‘holiday’ instead of working.

Work is tedious. The time is dragging so much. It’s not helping that I’m essentially trying to solve artificial problems caused by a lack of appropriate equipment. When you read about productivity in the UK being low there is always an explanation saying that managers in the UK are unusually resistant to investing in equipment or technology. Look no further than my office, where we try to develop and deploy iPhone apps without a Mac, because they’re “too expensive”.

I’m spending most of my time listening to music to block out the office. I’ve mostly been listening to black metal, which apparently works really well sonically to mask sounds while also not being distracting. It’s basically white noise with rhythm and occasional melody. I’ve really been enjoying Darkspace and Batushka and Drudkh. It’s weird how it’s very harsh and extreme music, but it also has a calming softness to it. Drudkh especially is hypnotic.