avatar_1: (Uplit)
You aren't affected by what is going on around you. Your journey is set and clear and presently full of positivity. Don't think you have to have a problem just because everyone else has one. Give yourself a gorgeous break.

Yesterday's horoscope. Wildly accurate, just like today, and every other day. My adaptability is both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I think too hard and it feels like understanding less would be a whole lot more fun. And sometimes, I'm even lucky enough to get my wish.

Today was the first day I got to go home from work after gym since I switched to 9 to 5 shifts. I left the gym at twilight and everything everywhere looked amazing. It would have been nice if I'd taken photos that wouldn't do it any justice, but after my cardio-wracked workout, the only thing on my mind was getting home quickly so I could get to the lemonade stand before they closed at 7.

The best thing was that I got to see the fade to night 3 times: when I left the gym in the city, when I got to Richmond station overlooking the city, and when I was walking home. By that point, it was almost completely dark. Almost completely, because if you looked west, it was completely dark; if you looked east, you could definitely see there was still some patches of light left. It was completely dark by the time I got into my car to keep going, and I know this because I had to drive in the same direction I saw those patches of daylight.
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
I put off going to the gym as much as I could tonight. My trainer recommended I grab some food before I go, which I usually don't do since I finish work late, but I grabbed some KFC for tonight. Then went to Baskins for a thickshake. Drank it, and went and had a few games at Barcode. THEN I went to the gym, and managed to do more than I expected to, which I was quite happy with myself for. A lot more cardio than I'm used to, and I was quite wrecked by the end.

For those of you not in the know, I work, eat, and go to the gym in the city. After work I always go home on the train which, for most of the city - and all of the city that I go through to get home - is underground. As a result, after exiting the tunnels as I leave the city, I'm usually greeted through the windows by either too much sun just before sunset, or a very comforting twilight. I'm most on a side chair, facing those windows.

Tonight, it was later than usual, and I kind of expected it to be pitch black outside, or a complete reflection on the windows. It was sort of half way - sort of reflective, but not enough to stop you seeing Melbourne city by night as I went further away.

Something a little different happened tonight though. As I was looking out the window on the other side of the carriage, my view was replaced by another train. Since it was night time, the lights were on in both trains, and you couldn't see much of anything else. My train was going slightly faster than the one next to me. It was kind of cool to see the other one slowly leaking behind, and every now and then you'd see someone looking back. This view was covering the entire length of every window from where I was sitting.

We were coming up to the station I had to change trains at, and then it dawned on me.

I got up, turned to face the door I had to exit from and looked behind me at the other train as we were approaching the station, waiting to see what the line was on the front of the train. The show had lasted long enough that the first carriage in my train was now right up to the first carriage of the other train, and slowly passing it. And then I saw the name.

It was the train I had to change to.

I didn't have long to open the door to my train, run up a very long ramp (after doing running at the gym, which I'm not used to), turning a corner and moving past people who couldn't think quick enough to get out of my way, and all the way down another very long ramp, hoping the doors wouldn't close even though by now they certainly should have. I got in, and they closed behind me. Between the time the door to my old train opened and the door to my new train opened, I had maybe three seconds of a headstart.

I caught my breath all the way to the next station.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I keep thinking something's going to change. Today was a bit of an odd day.

After going to gym yesterday, I was sore as hell. I woke up and went to work earlier than usual, not feeling as tired as usual. Someone was away in our fairly small team that I didn't notice until later that day, and nobody told me why, which was unusual. We had a birthday and a few cakes, which we said we'd no longer do when somebody's birthday came around. The birthday boy did a speech, which, although it does happen on occasion, isn't usual when a birthday comes up.

I went into a meeting with my manager and someone from IT to put in some changes I've been dying to get put in for months, as soon as possible. It seems like things are finally getting somewhere now that I have some support, even if it does still feel like it'll go slowly - considering history. It had me excited enough to get into a bit of a fight with my supervisor, which is extremely rare. We usually agree or find some common ground even on issues we completely disagree on. In the end, he makes the call, I know he makes the call, and he knows I know - and even if we're short with each other, we're quickly back on track.

I had one customer I had to give good news to that I couldn't get in contact with, one customer I had bad news for that was a call I didn't want to make - and now have to follow up on, and one which is serious enough to look into that I can't even talk here about what it is, that's giving me grief that I don't even need to give myself but feel morally obligated to.

During my breaks, I'm reminded how sore I am as I drop out of thinking mode and move into relaxing mode. It's not uncommon for me to take regular long walks/tram rides/train rides around the city to see if I can find new places, or just to go to ones that I'm used to that I like, or even just the half-thrill of being on a goddamn train.

I get to think, and I tend to forget. One of the things that pops into my head today was how the hell I've managed to come this far without many people being around to help me out. A lot of people are just there, but I only know a few people here. The chances of getting into a relationship anytime soon are not even worth taking time to think about. But there's something there.

I don't want to fool anyone or myself into thinking that I just don't have the need. It's a sort of control, but it's the same reason that even though I can control my depression for the most part, it's good to be depressed sometimes. It might sound unrelated, but it's not really. I don't know why this popped into my head, but for a little while waiting for that lift, I let some of that depression set in. It would be nice, if.

So today, on my break, I decide I'm going to walk to the (second) nearest train station. I work right next to a train station, so it's a fair walk. Now, I remember the last time I went to this particular train station, I got disgruntled, and I think I got a bit lost from what I remember, and the train ended up being a bit late, so I got back from my break quite a bit late. Today I felt that I knew the streets a bit better, and I was making good time. I made my way to the station.

I'm a block away when I see the scaffolding around the entrance stairs. Then it hits me. The reason I was late last time was because these stairs were blocked off, and added a good 5-10 minutes to my journey, which forced me to walk the extra city block to the other side of the station, miss the train, and run back to work. My damn memory had failed me once again and I'd fallen into exactly the same problem as last time.

Being so sore, I went straight home tonight. No gym means no dinner - which is unusual these days. I get home fairly quickly and almost walk in, but turn back and check my mailbox, since I so rarely check it. There's a bunch of junk mail, a bank statement, something else I haven't opened yet and one envelope with my name and address in pencil.

This last letter held my curiosity. It looked like someone had written a personal letter. What's more, my name was there as "Tony" without my last name, meaning it was probably someone from the internet.

I got inside, and opened it. Inside was just a sheet of notepaper, torn at the top. On it, in handwriting, was a message I needed to be reminded of.

You're never alone.

I couldn't believe it. The ironic part is that I knew who sent it, too. A few weeks ago, I sent it to myself.

And I'd completely forgotten.
avatar_1: (Aged)
A quick background: 9.30. Either I could wait an hour and watch stargate on TV between 10.30-11.30, or I could go grab pancakes, before they closed at midnight. I was positive I couldn't make it there and back in an hour. I eventually decided on pancakes - with a bit of subtle encouragement. Getting to pancakes isn't exactly walking distance, and I still don't have a car, so I would either be taking a taxi, tramming it or training in.

I had 60 minutes.

Getting a taxi wasn't preferable, since I'm already spending far too much money on pancakes lately, and frankly, there's better ways around. I could take missing stargate for certain if it meant saving another meal for another day.

I'd planned to take the train because when you're rushing for a tram that you need to take now, they're unpredictable and tend to make you wait five minutes before the scheduled time and then a few extra to a lot extra after the scheduled time. Trains, on the other hand, while taking more time between trains arriving, are far more likely to arrive on schedule. It wouldn't take me to the front door, but they're faster than trams. If I ran to the station, I was more likely to catch the fastest possible route.

There's several tram stops between my place and the train station, so after running across the 8-lane road toward the train station, I stopped quickly to check when the next tram was coming. Conveniently, there was one due in one minute. It arrived two or three minutes late, but that was still far better than the two or three minutes it would take to get to the station, plus whatever I had to wait for a train to get there.

About half way on the tram, a taxi with three chicks were blocking the way. Just before that, it stopped at a green light and didn't continue forward after people had got on the tram. My mind kept screaming move! 50 minutes to go, and it'd be about 45 when I got there.

Eventually I did get there, ran up the road, ran across the road, misjudged a light turning red a little bit too quickly and ran in front of a car, and got there. I went in, ordered straight away, waited for the meal and ate it like I'd never heard of hiccups. But just enough to savour every bite. Hello cheese and potato. Yummo.

I took in the last bite and went straight to pay. Ran outside. 20 minutes to go.

I ran in the opposite direction from my house, back towards the train station. The trams down this road are notoriously unreliably off-schedule, and it's not unknown for me to wait more than twenty minutes before and after their scheduled times. I ran about two blocks when my stomach made me realise that gulping down a plateful of food and then doing a sprint is probably not the greatest idea. I got a stitch real quick and had to stop and rest for a minute. I got almost as far as the corner I had to turn to get to the train - when I saw the tram coming in the opposite direction.

I looked at the intersection, the light was already green, and the tram stop was on the diagonal opposite side of the road from me. I couldn't make it there in time. I crossed the road and ran back the way I came to the next tram stop, now with a burning stitch in my stomach.

It didn't matter. I had to ignore it. This was a free trip that would almost ensure I got home in time. The traffic light ahead of me turned red, the tram slowed, and I got on. And I felt like collapsing on myself. The trip home felt great.

I got out of the tram with 10 minutes to go and ran to the main road I had to cross. Black Betty came on my iPod, and the first four lanes of cars blocked my way across just in time. I didn't care. It was just for the sport of it now. I could see my place across the road. The traffic passed, and I walked across as the tram in between the two sets of four lanes went past.

And I ran the rest of the way upstairs. 5 minutes to go.

Maybe I should see if I can make it across the country in an hour.

There's gotta be more to life than chasing down every temporary high to satisfy me...
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avatar_1: (Invincible)
Only I could get lost in Melbourne during a lunch break away from work.

We've had extended lunch breaks all this week. A meeting turned into heated discussion earlier this week which left us with not-as-much-work-as-usual to do. I've had to catch up on last week's work, which meant me coming in an hour earlier every day this week anyway. But I'm getting off track. I've been going to St Kilda Beach everyday. I don't go there very often, and I still get overwhelmed by the feeling that I've just stepped into Mackay temporarily.

Today, however, was different.

When going to St Kilda Beach, I noticed something today that I hadn't noticed earlier in the week. There was another set of tram tracks coming from the direction of the city. Strange, since I thought my street at work was on the edge of the water. A building next to it had an olden-day sign saying TERMINI, and I dismissed the 'street' that the tram seemed to be coming out of as a tram terminal.

I went and grabbed a coffee and a parcel I had to pick up at the post office, and headed back to work early. I got on the first tram towards the city, not-so-eagerly awaiting my early arrival back from lunch, but I already had a lot of work to do.

Then the tram turned into the TERMINI building. The building wasn't actually a terminal. I don't know what it was. But the tram went straight past it, and the buildings alongside the "road" disappeared, replaced by bushes with fences behind them, and eventually open grassy fields. I had never seen this area before, nor known that it existed. Now there were no roads, no streets, and the tram came to a stop only at what looked like a train station.

Now busting to go, I had to decide whether to go down to the street and wait for a taxi in the middle of godknowswhere, or wait for the tram to go back the way I was coming. I had, coincidentally, taken a pamphlet from the tram I was on which, coincidentally, had a map of the tram routes on it as well as the rest of the information I initially needed. I decided to wait for the next tram which was meant to arrive in five minutes. I could still get to work on time.

After seeing two taxis pass down at the road, fifteen minutes later the tram still didn't arrive. I eventually gave up and went down to grab the next taxi. I crossed the road, to be ready for a taxi that was willing to come either direction. As I did, the first wave of traffic started to surround me. As if on queue, the tram started to pull up. I waited for a quick lull in the traffic, ran across the road, ran back into the tram stop, across the tracks, and toward the tram doors.

The doors closed.

I kept running to the front door, but I couldn't make it - the tram was already starting to pull away, and the driver was obviously ignoring me in his side mirrors. Thankfully, I was oblivious to the tram coming up right behind it. I got in and got back to the road, then got out and got a taxi the rest of the way. I ran into the building, up to my floor to see my recent coach, my team leader and my manager right ouside the lift. She asked me how the training was this morning. I ran past with a quick "overwhelming" before heading straight into the toilets.

That was just my lunch break.

This morning Leah and I were called upstairs for training in the company's new system. This morning, as soon as she came in, and not long after I came in. It seemed normal, if somewhat impromptu, as I knew everyone had been going through some sort of training at some point recently. We went upstairs, and it turned out to be very vague training where the two training us obviously only really knew bits and pieces. Two techs were called in, one at a time, at one point where they got stuck. They explained it all, but it was incredibly hard to keep track.

We went back downstairs after two hours to keep working. Half an hour later, we went for our hour-and-a-half lunch break. I came back roughly an hour and three quarters later. Considering I was running late from the tram, I was still busting to go to the toilet.

I came back in from lunch to catch up on my work which was already behind, to find that we had to go into another meeting about fifteen minutes later. The news was that Leah and I were doing the morning training because we were going to be moving upstairs permanently (yeah, as permanent as anything is in that place) to look after the customers on the new clients and provide training materials for the rest of our team downstairs. Maybe even helping out the programmers make the design of the system more customer service-friendly.

A newbie's favourite word in IT: user-friendly.

We were a little bit stoked, and apparently so were the managers involved. Customer service will be increasingly short-staffed, but they'll cope as always. Leah's not real comfortable, but she's been in that situation before, so she should be fine. Oh, the other catch? This starts monday. Monday as in after this weekend. As in four days, as in two working days. Apparently this kind of thing is not uncommon. And I thought having one week to move to Melbourne and get settled in wasn't much time.

Later we had another meeting upstairs with our new manager to explain the goings-on like it was a new job at a new company. The truth is, it will feel like it almost is. While I might be doing a margin of the same work, I'll be doing it with different people - people I've mostly only communicated with by email before. Deja vu, anyone?

To be honest, I'm glad the change happened when it did. There's the issue of my annual leave starting monday, but that's something everyone will have to deal with. A wedding to attend, people to see, and a plane to chase is exactly what I need after all this. I'm surprised at how much of my work I actually did manage to get done today considering everything else.

Tomorrow the rest of the staff on our level are going to be told about it. Should be interesting.

I could lose everything for you.
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avatar_1: (Hope)
So today was my first real tram chase.

As I left work, I noticed my tram was waiting at the traffic lights just to my left. It's a short walk up the road to the tram stop, but across four lanes of traffic during peak hour, you need to be quick if you're going to catch a tram that's just about ready to go through those traffic lights if you're going to get on the tram at the stop.

The light turned green shortly after I started running for the tram stop.

I crossed the four lanes without too much trouble, and while I was still just on the wrong side of the tram as it was pulling into the stop, there were other people at that stop waiting for a tram. I did a semi-hail anyway, despite being in the middle of the tracks. And despite people waiting at the stop and someone else besides me running for the tram, it kept going. I was a little miffed, so I did what any normal person would do. I ran after it, to the next tram stop.

The other woman wasn't quite as crazy, deciding not to do the 100m run after she huffed at the tram driver. The traffic light at the next tram stop was still red, and it didn't look all that likely that I was going to make it. But I sprinted hard, and the tram driver must have seen me; he kept the doors open even though nobody else was waiting to go inside the tram.

When I got inside, I was puffing hard. I am really not fit anymore. I had a game of DDR on tuesday when I was craving coconut juice (my new addiction) to get two bags worth, but it's hard to do the faster songs. It's not like I've just started playing DDR and my only problem is my co-ordination. I just don't have the stamina like I used to. Going once a week isn't cutting it, and I'm feeling exhausted after every game.

This sprint felt just as bad, or worse. When I'm in public I restrain myself, but it feels like I'm stopping myself from collapsing to the ground to regain the energy. I'm not concerned about how much it costs to go DDRing. If I have to budget to do it, I'll do that. My real problem is that I'm exhausted after work.

Everyday that I've had a bad day at work has been a thursday. It carries over into friday, although friday is recovery time, and is not quite as bad. There's no real reason for why this has happened; it's just coincidence.

Still, I like work. It's more challenging than ever, and the support from my uppers is very impressive. I've never had bad bosses before, but my bosses actively encourage me and even push me to tell the rest of the company my ideas, and I do. Since I came to Melbourne, I've been noticably more aggressive at work. Leah's noticed it, and told me about it. It's a good thing, too, because I've been pushed around a bit - unintentionally - and it's not healthy for anyone involved for me to not push back.

But I'm getting off track. Something will have to be done about that fitness level. I've got no plans yet, but I'll do something about that within the next couple of weeks. I'd say days, but I don't want to lie to myself.

The next seven days should be interesting. With tax time, payday, DSL and my monster credit card balance, and probably several other things I'm sure I've forgotten, it's going to be fun to say the least.
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avatar_1: (Downlit)
As I was packing my bag to leave work quickly enough to catch the train I was already running late for, Lynne and Tony (Tony from Jakarta) were in the locker room packing their bags. We were chitchatting about the joys of going home. I said a quick goodbye, and Lynne stopped me as I was leaving, saying Tony was going back to Jakarta. I stopped, turned around, and we did a goodbye that was a little bit more meaningful than the quick 'see you monday'. After that, a few more people started coming in that I wanted to talk to, but they would actually have to wait till monday. I never really get the opportunity to talk to everyone I want to at work, and it continually bugs me. Sometimes I just stop myself because it's never quite appropriate.

I scurried down the stairs, walked over to the red light ahead of me. Still putting things away, I looked over at the traffic. It was a pretty progressive day for me; I had a hitch with a couple of other staff and I helped out a couple of others - one who started at Link the week before me and another who I never thought I'd talk to.

The light turned green. I sprinted across the road, down brunswick st, through the station. I glanced up at the TV screens. My train was already fucking there. Again. Raced through the ticket check, and the stairs I usually go down were chained off. I took off my glasses, and someone was seriously injured down there; I remember his face being pretty bloody, but I don't remember if it looked like a fall or not. My train was there, behind him. I looked around for the ramp, and kept running. I got about three quarters of the way down, and it started to leave. Too late.

I checked the screens again for the next train. The next one to roma st was in two minutes. Trains usually wait at central for five minutes. I figured I could probably catch that, get off at central and get on my train there. I waited two minutes, and the roma st train came. I got on, and the train felt like it was moving slower than it ever has. I kept telling myself to stay cool, it would get there, there was nothing I could do.

When I finally saw the station come into view outside the window, I got up out of my seat and prepared to take the next run, trying to see which platform it was waiting on. I couldn't see it until I got to the door, which was still closed in front of me. It was on the platform directly across; it was the shortest distance from one train to another as you could possibly get. My train was coming to a complete halt.

Then my train across the platform started to move.

I couldn't believe it. The door in front of me hadn't opened yet, and the train across the platform had already started to leave. I missed my train twice. This time was different from the other times I'd missed a train, however. I missed this train with a bit more purpose. I got to say a proper goodbye to someone I'll probably never see again.

If anyone still believes I don't learn from my mistakes, I hope you're still reading. Last time this happened, I was determined to make sure I improved. This is only the first step. I still missed a few people back along the way. Each choice you make is always a gamble. You could get one result, you could get another result. You'll never know exactly what might have happened if you'd gone about things the other way. Even if you expect something would have happened, you cannot know for certain. You can base a probability on it, but you cannot know.

Whatever decision you come to, there are consequences. Sometimes you'll like them. You'll be satisfied with the choice you made. The grass being greener on the other side often applies, so you'll probably be thinking things could be better If Only. Still, it's hard to tell.

Sometimes, you won't like the consequences. Sometimes things will turn out completely against what you want, whether you expect it or not. You can make a promise to be friends forever, to never let go. You can't know for certain that you'll be able to keep that promise. All you can do is try, and hope you're satisfied with the results and how you went about getting there.

And no matter what happens, move on.
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avatar_1: (Riverlook)
I had a stressful day at work. Since I've moved over, this has by far done it. Starting to take some calls from stupid and abusive people, and just working out how to do everything and take the teamwork on its emotional level is really testing me. I burnt my fingers while I was cooking last night. It was burning like hell last night, so I dozed off early, caught a few extra hours sleep and when I woke up, everything was fine. No feeling in my ring and little fingers though, so typing has gotten slightly trickier since I usually go by feel.

As I was leaving work, I stuck around for a few extra minutes to take one last call since they were queueing up from the lack of staff (due to the meeting we had, which I was completely not ready for, since my accounts and contacts aren't all set up yet) and I headed off. Allison was leaving at the same time, and I had a bit of a chat to her down Brunswick St. About halfway we met up with a few more people from work, and while I was a little more interested in getting to the station than hanging around, I slowed down anyway. I got into the station, leaving the last person behind, did a bit of wandering, and checked the monitors for when my train was due to arrive.

It was already flashing.

I raced through the ticket check, down the first set of stairs, and turned to my right (taking a guess at which platform it was on) just in time to see the train at the platform just starting to move. I'm usually early, but I was really pushing it this time. I sat down and waited for the next train.

An express train was next, then my train; about 15 minutes. I waited, then realised the second train was another express train, and I'd have to wait a further ten minutes. As the second express train arrived, I changed my mind and jumped on. I was thinking about stopping off at Central, but I decided to go all the way to the first express stop - two stations after mine, and then head back into the city from the next train.

Long story short, I got off, and the train back to the city was running seven minutes late. I was getting a bit sick of not having a lot of control over the problems that kept coming up. At least I dug myself into this hole; that made me feel better. Like I could do better next time.

After I moved away from everyone, it felt natural to not have to smile; to not have to think about what to say next. It felt easier to think for myself and to let myself calm down from nonstop moving to dealing with my internal crap that builds up from the bad stuff. Sitting back and relaxing on my own while I was waiting for those trains felt good. Everytime I've had to train for a job (which is four times now), I've been mostly having to do it alone. It's unsettling that I keep having to deal with it all on my own. Help is great, but it doesn't compare with having someone else who's at your same skill level going all the way. I've done it with other things apart from work before, and I know for a fact that it's better.

How did your heart ever get so cold?
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