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It's become my new motto, 'take the plunge.'

I've been saying it every day recently as a reminder to myself that I have to throw myself into the day. I have been far too passive of late, letting things happen to me or waiting in the background. By telling myself to 'take the plunge' I allow myself to become immersed in the day. I dive in to it and deal with what needs to be dealt with as it comes. I'm aware that I spend far too much time worrying about what could be. It's wasted energy. By taking the plunge, I live in the moment and the results can be surprising.
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It begins with a sensation.

Like a fist to the stomach, an ice cold bath, a paper cut. Sharp and fast.
I'm standing at the top of the stairs and the sensation arrives, swift and direct, and the blood surges through my veins like lava and yes, I am ready to erupt. I am standing at the top of the stairs and the overwhelming urge to throw myself down its short flight of twenty steps grips me. Yet, these steps are not cushioned with linoleum or carpet, these are hard, cold concrete slaps and I want my skull to greet each one with a sickening crack. I want my bones to twist and snap and bend and break. I want my spine to shatter like peanut brittle. I want to feel each moment as I break and lose my shape. I don't want to recognise the reflection.

I've been here before.

Standing on the curb edge, waiting for the three tonne lorry to pass. Imagining what it would feel like to marry my flesh to it's hot metal. Or walking by the river, I wonder what it would be like to try to swallow it whole. The bubbles escaping from the corners of my mouth as I submerge further. I let it all in. Sinking deeper into the abyss.

Yet, it is fleeting. As quick as the sensation takes hold, it releases me from its clasp. Offering me a moment to look inside the cacophony of madness. It's like looking inside a large shell. The softest whisper is transformed in to a vibrating pulse that can not be escaped. It rings in your ears and the claws slide in.

And then it's gone.

Like a hypnotist snapping his fingers, his volunteer is brought back from the trance. He may be slightly dazed, bewildered even; what did he just experience? He's not quite sure but he knows it was fraught with danger. There's a relief afterwards. Thank god that's over with. Whatever that sensation was, whatever it meant, it's done with. Except as the willing volunteer stands up from the hypnotist's chair, he realises that he was not so willing after all and he's signed a contract with that sensation now. As sure as the sun rises each morning, that sensation is set to return.
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It's a strange feeling when you come to the realisation that nothing will ever be the same again. We might think things are constant, we might even indulge in the same fruitless activities day in and day out with the preconception that it's ALWAYS THE SAME. But it's not. Somewhere, clock hands are turning, seasons are making their small changes daily, cells die and replicate. They are all making their subtle changes. As are we.

As I sit here on a cold Sunday in July, listening to the rain which hasn't ceased all day and Beach House's 'Apple Orchard' on repeat, I realise that I'm clambering to hold on to the things I've lost. Those seemingly endless hours of youth where adulthood felt as though it was an alien life-form living in a far off galaxy.

This was the moment the mild epiphany (if you can really call it that) occurred.

And you will have to forgive me for indulging in one or two clichés here, but sometimes they convey the idea in the simplest manner. Why spend time looking backwards when it has no use anymore? The past is the place we have come from but it sure isn't where we are going (unless time travel is discovered to be a reality). It's like being stuck in mud and you're facing the wrong way. You are not able to see any of the opportunities in front of you because you're fixed in one position, looking in the wrong damned direction!

I guess, I am a creature of habit and there's a certain security in looking at the past. It can't have any immediate effect on you. It's all over and done with and all you have to show for it is are a few fragmented memories, a bunch of scratches and scars and a little/infinite knowledge firing its way around inside of your skull. We may have collected all these things from the past and carry them around with us on a daily basis but there is no point in utilising them only to study how they were obtained back in the past and they may not even serve any purpose in the years ahead. However, one thing's for sure, the things coming at you, from this illusive concept we know as 'the future' sure can.
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Life is a delicate architecture and each day presents it's own earthquake. The foundations we have laid may not be as strong as we may think and sometimes we need to re-build. It could be one or two rooms at a time and sometimes you need that earthquake to bring the whole goddamn thing down so you can start again.
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I will be frank.

- There are days when you don't wake up because you haven't slept all night.

- You've lost track of what day/month/year it is and all you can feel is a sense of dread as you try to systematically recall what day it was yesterday.

- You wonder if the thud in your chest is caused by your heart beating or your soul trying to escape.

- You find yourself going through the motions despite not knowing how you got from point A to point B because you were internally scolding yourself for not sleeping last night. This is then proceeded by you being mad at yourself for 'self-scolding' because you know it can't be helped.

- You successfully manage to make it out of the door and you wonder 'now what?' and 'is this it?' The best questions seem to consist of two or three words. Each word resembling an injection of antifreeze, a piano falling on your head, a second lost.

- You try to conclude whether you are 'wasting time' or 'losing time' and what the difference is between the two.

- You realise that these were some of the thoughts plaguing your bed the previous night so you try to distract yourself.

- You read a newspaper but each story takes you from one horror to the next and you scour the pages attempting to find something they call 'good news' but you're suddenly at the obituaries and it all seems crystal clear now.
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"In horoscopic astrology, a Saturn return is an astrological transit that occurs when the planet Saturn returns to the same place in the sky that it occupied at the moment of a person's birth." *

So here I am, slap bang in the middle of my first Saturn Return and it sure does feel confusingly turbulent. Theoretically speaking,'adulthood' should be the period of our lives when all the pieces start to come together; we develop a greater understanding of who we are and what role we play in society. The last threads of childhood should be cleanly snipped away and we can finally inhabit the adult skin we've harvested on our bones for all these years.

Throughout my early twenties I was convinced that as I began to reach the next decade (I still struggle to accept the word 'thirty'), everything would start to make more sense. The truth is, personally speaking, I've never felt further away from that ideology. The world is even more confusing, I will never understand a planet that harbours war, famine, murder, prejudice, animal cruelty and all the evils we see gracing the newspapers and magazines on a daily basis. My own personal world is just as confusing; I see people creating their own families and I am forced to accept that the prospect of doing the same is very unlikely. The idea of a career is a fallacy and I find that my greatest achievement is knowing that I have been able to make it through the day.

This is beginning to sound like 'Oh, woe me.' - However, this is not the case. I'm grateful for being in the position I am. It could be worse. We are the architects of our own future. We are solely responsible in shaping our own fate and we do this by making the most of what we have. In saying this, I'm still awaiting that 'Eureka!' moment. That soul-tingling, bone-shattering, mind-imploding instant where suddenly everything makes sense and you abruptly find yourself hurtling down the right path and you kick yourself and laugh because you 'knew it all along'.

I'm sure it's coming.

I guess most of us are looking for a similar thing and by this I don't mean having lots of money or owning an expensive house or being made 'top of the class'. It's beyond possessions or any other material object. It is about finally having that knowledge of where you fit in between the land and sky. It's about understanding how your actions are contributing to a greater use, therein attempting to create a better world even if the action is small in nature. It's about contentment, fulfilment and connection, however you may find it. I guess some people spend most of their lives trying to attain even a pinch of these things. It is a journey and at this moment in time, I have no idea of the destination. I can only hope that by the time of my next Saturn Return, I will have made a little more sense of it all.



*Source [Wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturn_return]
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Breaking out of the habit is the hardest thing you can do. Leaving the comfort and safety of what you already know is not an easy feat. But this is the only way to truly live; to drink up the new and open your arms to opportunities before they perish on the vine. Grow wise and be cautious but walk on that ledge and immerse yourself in the sights. The bright, bright lights and the biting breeze. The raw freedom that comes with taking a risk.

This is how life should be.

Shatter your preconceptions and never assume anything. Never take anything for granted and love like it will never last. Because it never will. Celebrate the small things and take time to look up at the stars and the sun and the moon because the answers come when we tilt our heads upwards. Connect your feet to the ground and walk wherever you can. Make that connection between your body and the land, like it was always meant to be. Be outside and live outside of yourself. The truth will come to you that way. Stretch away anything that holds you back and learn to let things go.

That is how it needs to be.
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'Give me life. Give me pain. Give me myself again.' - "Little Earthquakes" - Tori Amos (1991)

'I'm so happy because today I've found my friends. They're in my head.' - "Lithium" - Nirvana (1991)


This won't be another tirade about managing to make it to the end of the day. Nor will it be an excessive list on survival tips. Instead, this will be about waking up each day and knowing that you're still alive and functioning... Barely. However we'll choose to focus on the operative word here: 'functioning'. From this point, it's uphill. A rucksack ladened with enough bricks to build a small house is firmly strapped to your back. Your feet are covered in red-hot weeping wounds which are sandpapered down to the bone by a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Your chest is caught in a pulsating death-grip by a python the size of a swimming pool and you can barely make out where you are going through bleary eyes.

But you're alive, you made it to this point and you tell yourself that you can get through it. One day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time and hell, if needs be, one second at a time. Sometimes you stumble and sometimes you can't find the words. Those are the bad days. When the words won't come and you end up resembling an inarticulate ventriloquist dummy and wonder if people notice. You know that they notice.

It's like you're caught in perpetual exorcism with yourself trying to free your mind from those entities that clog and perverse the functions of a normal, healthy brain. 'But that's okay' you tell yourself. What 'doesn't kill you makes you stronger,' right? It's about feeding yourself moments of hope. It's about having the shield up when those arrows come at you from all directions. It's about allowing yourself to run away even if it's in your mind and finding those moments to appreciate a spectacle such as a setting sun or a blinking star.

Sometimes that's all you need.

It's not easy when people expect more from you especially at the point where you feel a little bit triumphant because you've managed to make it through the day without completely losing it. Yet of course they don't see that. You know it's not their fault and you have to suppress the ideas of screaming at them how proud you are that you made it this far. That something that might seem mundane and down-right easy to them is not always that easy for the rest of us. Cut us some slack.

There's a quote from Plutarch that I often think about, 'what we achieve inwardly will change outer reality'. It's a simple concept and yet it's probably one of the most difficult theories to adopt in our everyday life, especially when our instincts may default to pressing the big ol' 'self destruct' button with a furious temper. It starts from within. We have to learn to make friends with those demons and then politely show them the door. Banish the free-fleeting thoughts about what other people might think and look after ourselves. It may sound selfish and self absorbed but battles can not be won when we are still waging war with ourselves.
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I'm disappearing and they never warned me that it would be so difficult to remove red wine stains from the rug. A scar upon it's surface.
I'm disappearing and they don't tell you what decay smells like until you have experienced it for yourself. Skin blackened and ready to burst from the lightest of touches but you just can't bring yourself to lay your fingers upon the rancid looking flesh.
I'm disappearing and I've forgotten what it feels like to not have to worry about the undefinable future. To see through it's deceitful veil and know not of what it brings nor be affected by it's endless outcomes.

I'm disappearing and I know that they look upon me with fear in their eyes. Maybe it's not fear, maybe it's something rooted a little bit deeper. Of contempt. They do not wish to allow that sort of torture unsheathe inside of them. To feel it's pin prick as it begins to unravel and systematically shut down each of their functioning body parts. It's not your problem, it's someone else's but therein lies the problem. Not a singular person to surrender and suck the venom from the bite.
I'm disappearing but I guess you knew that already.
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It must be because I am a Libra. Indecisive and eternally seeking balance in everything I do. When the truth is, the scales will always tip one way or another. The concept of the perfect balance is merely a mirage. We juggle our daily lives as best as possible and the more organised individuals may even be able to plan and juggle the events of the next few days or weeks. And then life decides to throw you a curve ball. A huge whacking asteroid-sized curve-ball that is coming straight at you full force. You suddenly find that you are now no longer juggling those elements, you're sheltering yourself from being pelted by them.

Those of us that are better equipped may just open up their arms and embrace the collision and deal with damage-control later on. Others may have refined the use of the elegant side-step approach and manage to avoid the majority of the debris. There is a third type, the ones that stay catatonically frozen in fear; desperately hoping that the laws of gravity will suddenly change and the impending damage caused by these falling parts is inevitably spared. The chances of this happening are relatively slim.

You'll notice how I mentioned that the better equipped individuals are the ones who embrace the downfall. They don't mind the cuts and the bruises caused by all the pre-juggled life shrapnel because they know that there will be plasters and splints to help repair the damage later on. Life is messy. It's complicated and downright difficult. It's also surprising, unpredictable and beautiful. Some of us have mastered the technique of keeping things going when that curve-ball is coming at you faster than a chased gazelle. These are the lucky ones, the rare breed. They can even keep a smile going at the same time and these are the true heroes, the life warriors. The ones that I have much to learn from. For now I will have to learn to ride the wave, endure the impending impact and try my hardest to make informed decisions and maybe, just maybe keep a smile on my face.
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The world comes at you a little differently when you're tired. It seeks to get under your skin and whisper in your ear clambering seed-sized phrases of regret, of washed-up lies and misguided flakes of advice. It will proceed to pin you firmly against the wall and take a balled-up fist to you whilst you try your best to recite a prayer you remember learning in school. The fatigue seeps through each and every muscle and you know that it will do no good to fight back. So you take each hit as best as you can.
One - for the time you stayed up all night trying to find the words to say that you're not as strong as you might believe.
Two - for the day when you wandered the streets relinquishing the thoughts of stepping out into a busy road.
Three - for the time you drank yourself into an abyss and awoke to find yourself in a strangers bed.

Four, five, six.

You take them all and you swallow each association and you turn them into hard little stones that will forever reside within your physical body. They are part of you now and those stitched-in wishes that you created on your eighteenth birthday have now fallen to the wayside. You remind yourself that it is okay. You're tired, the world is coming at you this way because you're just a little weaker today. Nothing is permanent and this too will fade away as you learn to stop counting the hits.
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1) Imagine that your skin is as delicate as egg-shell and your bones are as brittle as sticks of cinnamon. Smash and scratch your way out of them, break through the common form for it is not your own.


2) Exhaust yourself. Run until you fall to your knees and your eyes sting from the beads of sweat being exorcised from your pores. Crawl until you cease to bleed anymore. It is at this point that you know you are nothing but truth.


3) Lose all your memories so that you can start again.


4) Spill your words on the page, even if they make no sense. Articulate that which the voice can not. Coherence does not matter since the world doesn't follow the same rules.


5) Change your scenery. Take it in. Remember how the pieces fit together but don't apply them to your life.


6) Remember your dreams but most importantly, remember your nightmares.


7) Death is merely the end of one of many processes.
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We're all just human-shaped balls of energy zipping around the planet, some of us destroying stuff, some of us creating stuff. Taking, giving, stealing, losing, consuming, purging. Needless to say, it's all an exchange. Taking or losing, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes over long periods of time. In one hundred years it won't matter anyway and yet it still baffles me at what lengths some people will go to in order to accumulate that little bit of extra energy for themselves; whether it be in the name of money or power, it doesn't matter. It's a loss for another person. It's an exchange, for those that receive, someone has to give, whether voluntary or with no choice at all. Some of us have understood the concept of trading, an equal exchange. I will give you something and you will give me something in return. I scratch your back and you scratch mine, or insert whichever metaphor you prefer to use. There's too much focus on what one can accumulate over time and less focus on what can be done in order to help each other. With this mission statement of 'Accumulate. Gain and Conquer' there is only one future direction.

Implosion.
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It's so easy to come undone. I need to carry some old string on me at all times so as soon as I start to unfold, I can tie it all back up again. Secure it with a double knot and hope it holds until at least the end of the day. I'm talking figuratively of course, I've not contracted a pesky disease that causes body parts to fall off on random occasions. That would be suitably annoying, of course, but I talk more about those events or situations that push us to our limits and cause us to re-evaluate the direction of the way we live our lives.

Personally it can be one little thing that sets me on the path of 'unfolding', so being punched in the face by a couple of bad days is enough to make me want to retreat and build myself a life living in the woods. See, I did say it doesn't take much. A few years ago, I probably would have done just that but I now have to remind myself that what might seem like a 'big deal' at this present moment will mean absolutely nothing the following week and by next week it will not even be a blip on my radar. It is difficult to always remember that, especially when caught up in the moment and all you can think about is either setting off on a murderous rampage or taking to the streets singing protest songs whilst simultaneously hacking off your own body parts and throwing them at passer-bys. What can I say, I have a thing for symbolism. Seriously though, don't sweat the small stuff. It's not worth it. Save it for the big stuff and when that big stuff happens, remind yourself that it won't always be this way. Things change, time passes by and we all know what happens in the last chapter in the Book of Life. We have to remind ourselves to focus on the good stuff and there's always at least something remotely positive to cling to and better yet, attempt to create some good stuff. The perfect distraction. It's not easy. In fact it's down-right tough but it's not impossible. And it beats hacking off your own limbs.

[M]ANxious

May. 8th, 2015 06:00 am
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The shakiness of my hands matches the tremble in my voice.

I am the walking stitched-up skin-sack filled with hollow brittle bones you see walking on the street. The flimsy bamboo shoot melody as they clink and clank with each forced footstep.

Heart as large as the moon. Gulping bowling-ball sized mouthfuls of air except it no longer tastes like air any more. Surgical. It is merely a desperate clinging for survival and my god... why is my heart racing so much? 'You're a man.' He said, 'men don't behave like this, quit complaining, snap out of it and get back in the game.'

I can see my atoms structured only with empty vessels of frenzy and perspiration. Molecules weakened by years of thinking a particular way. There's a heaviness pressing down, pinned by a shadow with a body as strong as ten men. Why is my heart battling my ribcage like a child kicking a ball against the wall? Thud, skid, thud, thud, skid.

And with each breath, the world collapses in on itself and the electricity that surges through my nervous system causes nothing but convulsions and shivers of biblical proportions. I've never felt so hot and so cold at the same time.

Walking like a drunk through the streets lined with litter and decomposing broken hearts.

You stole my voice yet again.

The words will not form. Not today. Maybe tomorrow. Except you stole the concept of hope a long time ago when you first wrapped your wrinkled, bony arms around me that time I could not scrub myself clean. The water ran red.

I thought you were a lesson I had to learn but I now know that you are just a curse I need to bury deep down in those fields of grey. The 3 am whispers must be put to bed and your clinical clawing has to cease.

The battle must be won.
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They chew you up and spit you out and you're left to face the rest on your own. So don't let them. It's often difficult to face the daily battles especially when the world is drained of any colour and all you can see is various tones of grey and the drizzle clings to your pale, clammy skin like unwanted kisses. But you have to dig out that old battered rain coat and wear it with pride. You've got to manufacture your own sunlight and you've got to learn how to pulverise that grey sky until it gives you a little colour. Even if it means beating the absolute shit out of it. It has to come at all costs. They might not know about the turmoil and they might not understand that the prospect of putting your shoes on and greeting the day comes with its own challenges. It isn't their fault. It takes a little time to solve the crossword puzzle especially when you are aren't given any clues. Three across: A bitter pill to swallow. Nine down: Another word for dusk. We're not machines, we're not programmed to react and respond in a particular way. If you hand me a pen I can't guarantee that I won't write a love note or an instruction manual on how to fool the world. Maybe I will just settle with a list of apologies or I will tell you about the time I hid under the bed for three hours too afraid to move. The ones who wait are the ones you should keep. Remember their names and remember their birthdays, the small details are often the most important. And if you can wait for someone else then they will remember your birthday too. It's all about the details, the simple things, the way we connect. And if we can apologise to the world and know that it's true, then let it be. Let it swallow you whole and rock you to sleep. Let it consume you even if it is just for one brief, sweet moment. They might not notice that you left the room but they sure will notice when you make your return. Don't forget their names. They won't forget yours.
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I find myself residing here, in the mouth of the monster. Ready to be swallowed whole, ready to navigate the messy, acidic belly of the beast. Ready to be slowly digested, guts exposed, bones brittle and weathered. At least it is warm here. At least I am sheltered from the elements.

Relic

Oct. 18th, 2014 02:00 am
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There are days when I am convinced that I am the relic of the person I used to be. The teenager with the naïve heart and wilful tongue. The restless spirit that clung to the electric impulse of adventure, readily absorbing stories with never-ending eagerness, eternally unsatiated and unsatisfied with the idea of finality. I am not that person anymore. I am not quite sure who I am. It was with that very statement that I set about my journey of self discovery. I was unprepared the unfolding of events that transpired during my voyage.
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Change. Change. Change.

It is inevitable and as irreversible as an oncoming train. It may take a little longer sometimes to take shape. It might feel like nothing changes but each day, something is eroded or re-moulded. It may be something we have control over or it may be something that takes the reigns and throws us off the cart. From the smallest of matters to the world-shattering 'breaking news' matters. Change will happen and change does happen. You just have to sit back and ride the wave.
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Have you ever not been good enough? Have you ever felt as though everyone around you has a plan and a direction in life? Have you ever drank too much in the hope that it will unlock some unconscious inspiration or at least squeeze out an ounce of self confidence? Have you ever doubted yourself? Have you ever been afraid to relish the chance of taking a risk or declined an opportunity of doing something that might make your heart beat a little bit faster? Have you ever bit your lower lip to prevent yourself from saying something that might cause conflict? Have you ever been terrified that you stand too far out from the crowd and that you can not relate to the 'general public?' Have you ever not been able to articulate what it is that you really want to say? Have you ever tried to sleep your days away? If so, I think you and I could be friends.
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Sometimes just moving forward is good enough. There is no competition for air or to be first, to be acknowledged or to have your voice heard. Sometimes putting one foot in front of the other is enough. It takes you through to the next moment and from there you move to the next. Sometimes that is the only way you can live. It is the instinct for survival.

The concept of next week or tomorrow becomes a faded premise; an idea that can not be fully understood like gravity or why some people like coffee flavoured chocolate. You do the best you can with the present moment and that is enough to allow you space to breathe. Sometimes, the very thought of 'next week' or 'next month' fills you with catatonic dread that it blocks the present and poisons it with its toxic intentions. So you don't flip the page on the calendar and write down what you plan to do three Tuesdays from today. You don't buy the winter jacket while the summer sun is showing signs of fatigue or make a list of Christmas presents whilst carving pumpkins on Halloween. Sometimes, just moving forward is good enough.
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Life can be pretty horrifying. That's what they refuse to tell you when you are small and fresh from the womb. Some of us learn pretty quickly just how horrifying it can be, whilst others glide through life blissfully unaware with the blinders securely fastened in place. Some days provide more challenges than others and require patience and casual reminders to yourself that there can be more beyond the superficial cuts and grazes. But it is never going to be easy. Especially, not for the ones who learnt those prickly lessons earlier on.

Forward can be a difficult direction to take but you bite the bitter fruit and you squeeze away the tears and realise that it's the only direction to go. You realise you learnt those lessons for a reason. They became your armour and they became your motivation. You use what you have and show them that you are still in the game and even though those scars still sting, you don't show an ounce of pain on your face.

Burdened

Mar. 18th, 2014 04:30 pm
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It's so easy to feel burdened. We go day-to-day carrying the events from the day before and the day before that with us. If we are not careful with what we pay attention to, these things become our burdens and serve only to hinder us and hold us back. The key is paying attention to the good experiences and the positive events. These are the driving forces of the human spirit and keep us grounded. The odd negative or constructive criticism can also provide fuel but we must learn to let the majority of negative events go. Situations take place, bad things happen, the trick is acknowledge it and then dispense of it. The greater the weight of these past events, the harder and more challenging it is to move forward. It's like they say, 'the past is the past for a reason'.

Belongings

Mar. 16th, 2014 09:30 am
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The hardest part of all is claiming something of your own.
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I'm taking up the spare seat in the confessional box and hiding that beaten old copy of the Bible under the threadbare cushion. I'm not a religious person but there is something that I have been hiding. I thought I could neatly fold it up, seal it in an envelope and place it in a box which would then be buried twenty feet underground in an impenetrable safe with no lock or key. Unfortunately the secret is already out to some people and I fear it will only be a matter of time before everyone else is made aware of this piece of sensitive information.

Okay, so here goes...

Ready?

Okay...

I am turning thirty in a few months.

There I said it.

Thirty.

The number three followed by a perfectly circular zero.

Thirty.

One big flashing number painted in red and projected in to the sky like the Gotham's bat-signal. I might as well get used to saying it.
The 'getting older' part is not the issue. I have somewhat accepted the ageing process despite the seemingly increasing cons of spending more time on this planet. I guess the issue is this; I expected to be at a position in my life where things were 'in place'. I would have made a career breakthrough or at least be on the beginning rungs of a some form of successful profession. I would have a house and children... Actually thinking back, I may have also expected to be married to a beautiful wife too... Evidently things change.

Thirty was meant to be the secure age. The age when things made sense and life was would start to bear fruit. The truth is, it never felt more terrifying and more confusing. It seemed to make more sense ten years ago. Maybe I should have had a plan? Maybe I should have made more changes? As more and more of my peers settle into marriages and begin picking out colours to paint their children's bedrooms whilst accepting employment promotions and hosting barbecues in their perfectly preened back gardens in the summer months, I guess I need to ask myself the question: is this the life I wanted?

We all have different expectations and nothing is ever permanently formed in stone. People change. Events happen. Lessons are taught. Realistically, it would be impractical to ascertain every goal by a particular age. Or maybe it is completely practical, maybe the goals have to be better formed? Whatever the answer, there is no changing the inevitable journey of getting older. Wrinkles will form. Weight will cling to the bone. Hair will be peppered with white and silver.

Inevitable.

Why resist?

I am just going to have clench my teeth, I will grin and bear it. I am good at doing that. There is still time yet. Right? I have to learn not to subject myself to this notion. All things happen in time. It takes longer for others. Every day is a new journey. See... I am already reeling off the generic, positive affirmations that become more prevalent with age. It is already happening.

Okay, breathe...

It's just a number. It doesn't mean anything. It's just another year like all the rest.

Right?
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Here's an idea. How about stripping away those conformist ideals? How about we live how we want to; in a peaceful and non-judgemental way. It would not matter that someone dressed a certain way, loved another person of the same sex or followed something they believe in. As long as it causes no harm, why should it matter? Think of the variety, the characters and excitement of knowing that we did not have to belong to a particular social group.

Of course this is just an idea and I am an idealist at heart.

Landmarks

Jan. 11th, 2014 08:50 pm
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
There is very little we can be sure of, we wake in the morning and we sleep at night. We can never be certain of the 'in-betweens'. As much as we try to predict what the next move will be, the game changes and the villain you thought you were fighting turns out to be yourself. You were just wearing a different mask that day. The Earth orbits the Sun. We breathe the air. We run in circles. We make people feel good. We make people feel bad. This is just the nature of the 'great game of life'. The majority is a plateau of running through the motions. For the lucky ones or the ones who make moments slightly more precious, the plateaus are few and far between. It was all a choice anyway, whether we like to believe it or not. We can choose our landmarks, they are ours for the taking. The tragedies and the heartaches do not have to be our landmarks if we do not want them to be. The freedom is in the choice. The smile from a stranger that brightened your day, an act of kindness, the greeting card you chose for a friend's birthday. It is comparatively easier to layer all the knock-backs up in one nice big piece of guilt-cake and make that your foremost landmark. That's just human nature. Unless you are a psychopath, the rules do not necessarily apply if you lack the capability for any sort of empathy and an egocentric drive. The beauty is yours for the taking. The longing, the joy or the tears if you so wish. Our landmarks don't have to be our fault-lines, they don't have to cause a great volcanic eruption or a devastating earthquake if that is what we choose. It may seem far easier to bake that guilt-cake in the oven for another decade or so but we don't have to. Start again. There is very little that we can be sure of but be sure of this: no-one else will live your life, no one else will create your landmarks.
offwiththeirdollheads: (Default)
I was having a conversation with a friend earlier this week and we ended up talking about time travel and alternate universes, which is pretty much bog-standard fodder for us to discuss. She asked me if I could go back in time and tell the younger version of myself one thing what would it be? My first inclination was to advise of either winning lottery numbers or to stop eating meat immediately or avoid getting into a relationship with a particular person. As I conjured up more and more answers, I began to realise that changing one specific thing might sound beneficial there and then but I would have no idea of what the consequences would be. Since I have known only this life, there is no way I could comprehend it being any different. After our conversation and my inability to come up with a solid answer, I began to ponder on it a little bit more. What one piece of information could serve useful to the younger version of myself?

I got caught in a web of specifics. Situations or circumstances that I could either avoid or make an alternative choice but all I was left with was a bucketful of 'what if's?' My focus was solely on changing one event and maybe that is what my friend had meant. Which one event would I change? But what if I was armed with one piece of information that could help not only myself but anyone who may look back on an event and wished for a different outcome. Then it struck me. The one thing that either hindered or caused me to make a bad choice or not act upon something.

Fear.

It is something we can all relate to. The cold grip that grabs by the arms, the constriction in your throat, an overwhelming sensation of turning to stone. Fear is the instinctual emotion that takes over in order to keep us from harm, however it runs deeper in some of us. Fear tells us to run from the axe-wielding maniac or the venomous spider the size of a small cat or alternatively it spurs us to fight against them. The rush of adrenaline persuades either 'fight or flight' and we have no choice but to act. This is fear in the extreme sense. Fear infringes on many other aspects of life; confidence, social interactions, changes. It can make the difference between a good choice or a bad choice. A pleasant experience or a bad one. We have all known fear in one degree or another. When I was younger I lived with fear on a daily basis. The fear of people finding out I was gay and that I was 'different' from everyone else. The fear that I could not relate to anyone else or that they could relate to me. That I was not 'good enough' or that I should be punished. It ran deep and in a way I was victimising myself with these issues. I wish I could have been more fearless. If I could have just banished those limitations that I placed on myself and realised that later in life, those sorts of things would not matter anymore. I would grow to learn that others have had similar experiences and these did not define who we are.
If I could go back in time and tell my younger version one thing it would be; 'be fearless'.

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Not an Oracle

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