Followthrough

So the last post was entitled simply ‘new’ and since then no effort was really made, despite the surge at the time. Bugger. Ah well, habits are hard to form.

But. In the past month I’ve travelled round London, southern Spain, handed in my notice, been offered two jobs (only having attended one interview…200% interview success rate?) and made the earliest steps towards a new little, pet project. More on that later.

So what I’m doing now is just making the attempt to form a habit. I’ve been, for lack of a better term, inspired. By this guy, Jon Olsson. The dude was a pro skier (I love skiing), loves cars (some of these are absolute beasts), is unceasingly positive and upbeat (wish I was) and generally lives the most ridiculous, fun, carefree lifestyle I’ve ever seen. Take a look-

It would be so easy to dislike the guy, but his openness and attitude to everything he does is so refreshing it’s inspired me to put more time into my interests and pursuits, and I wholeheartedly urge anyone to get on board.

 

New

New look. Yay. Nah it’s not about that, it’s about increasing effort. I feel like I can find the inclination to put more effort into spewing more uneducated thoughts out into the world, and expanding them into something  resembling an opinion. Just about. Maybe I’ll even get myself so organised that I can think and write about current events. Christ on a bike, that would be somethin’.

I read a pretty good interview today yesterday with this guy. You can find it here, and honestly, it’s phenomenal. Actual content aside, the tone of his answers give a real sense of the character of the dude; of someone who’s been around and has fully stopped caring about the fallout that may result from what he says. He teases the stuff he knows before coming out with it anyway with a real ‘I don’t give a fuck it’s nothing to me anyway’ style. Absolutely awesome. The casual manner with which he drops facts is frankly unsettling. The implication from that is that he knows even more stuff that isn’t mentioned but just can’t be bothered to mention it. And the confidence he shows! My favourite response;

What was your greatest musical innovation?
Everything I’ve done.

And that is phenomenal. The balls to say that every single thing he’s done in the world of music has been entirely equal as well as being something he is unashamedly proud of. Fantastic. Thank you Quincy Jones.

Image result for quincy jones

Will

I had a conversation yesterday with one of my closest friends, he writes occasionally too, sparked by the famous speech from Any Given Sunday. Goes like this;

Anyway, a bit more background. We’re both a bit dissatisfied with life, for various reasons. Have been for a while. And he makes a good point about motivation. Specifically about how fleeting it can be, how quickly your mood can swing from ready to take on the world to wanting to curl up under a blanket and hide from the world. The point he made was about how useless it is to rely on a feeling, one that is as changing as the wind, to be able to be productive in your personal goals. Instead, he put to me, we should cultivate discipline. Self-discipline. Discipline to form new, productive, positive habits.

It’s accepted there’d be days where the new action (the one to make habitual, automatic) wasn’t done. Fine, everyone slips up. The thing to do was accept it, come back and make it twice as many days before the next slip up. Grow the discipline.

Anyway, I’m not saying he slipped up, but he was feeling lower and definitely less determined. So I sent him the video and said check this out, see if it does anything. So he did. And the verdict? ‘I don’t think it really applies to me.’

I took a second or two pause to think about it. Asked him what he meant. ‘I’m after self-improvement, I’m not after inches.’ Which I took another of seconds to process, because to me, it’s all about inches. Everything. Especially self-improvement.

My thought is, right, self improvement isn’t gonna come all in a lump. You’re not going to wake up one day and be the perfect image of yourself, it’s just not going to happen like that. It’s a chain of constant, incessant steps taken. It’s  going to bed thinking I’ve done well today. Tomorrow I’m going to do this just a little better. Tomorrow I’ll do this faster. Tomorrow I’ll have learnt this. This is the discipline coming in, the discipline to keep strong, to say to yourself that you don’t have a choice. This must be done.

Power

So. It’s been a little while since I added anything. and on a quick glance, the last addition was pretty positive and upbeat for me, an amateur melodramatic. Even I can spot my head’s up my ass.

I’ve picked power as a title for little reason other that I felt completely powerless a couple hours ago. I was low. Yup, just got denied a mortgage, then when looking into why, find a defaulted debt that was unknown previously. Regardless of whose fault it is, or the amount, it effectively ruins mine and my partner’s chances of getting a decent mortgage. So far as I know, it could stop us getting one for a reasonable chunk of time. It stops our plans to be in a new home, which we love, before Christmas. It knocks all of the careful furniture and layout planning out of whack. It means I have extra stress trying to fix this, which means I likely won’t be pursuing any hobbies for a while. It puts a downer on us just before our time off work. It ties me into the job I intensely dislike for a bit longer. It robs us of almost all the high we had going from being so close to getting a house that was bigger and better than any we’d hoped to get. So yeah, low.

And what got me thinking was how little I can do, at this point, to remedy this situation. I can appeal that we didn’t get the deal we wanted, but having a very poor credit report basically means that hah, can’t have it. Settling the amount, no matter if it is actually owed by me, or is in dispute, or whatever, has no effect for at least 6 weeks since on paper it’s my default, my liability. All I can do is wait, see and hope.

Yes, I had a sulk. I went for a run and got that little endorphin rush to try and help. I spoke to the mortgage advisor, spoke to my partner, spoke to my dad, was comforted by my mother, sorted out what I needed to do, what I could do, did it, then carried on with life.

Yeah, this is a pretty big setback. One of the biggest I’ve had. But I’m almost used to them now, right? I messed up my A-levels. Had to repeat a year at Uni. Flunked out. Got given the leave-or-you-will-be-sacked ultimatum. Moved the length of the country. Kept going with a job I hate. Now I’ve been refused a mortgage. Setbacks-r-us.

To date, I have cracked on each time, and that is exactly what will happen now. I’ve had my sulk. I’ve gotten a bit angry. I’ve let it pass. And now, yeah I’m still burnt up a little bit, but mentally I’ve grit my teeth, rolled my shoulders, and will be pressing on. I’ve done what I can for now, and I have a plan for what comes next. I know what I want out of it, and, more or less, how to get that. This is within my power to do.

I’m not entirely sure it’s failure that defines us. I think it’s more about mental fortitude surrounding our failures. You could take a hit and give up. You could take a hit and not notice it. Hell, you could alternate between giving up, soldiering on, and drinking the pain away. Whatever. If you can recognise that you are wholly capable of taking each beating and overcoming it, then you have such power, that in your own mind, you can move mountains. Keep battling it. Do what you can. Gain control, and use it as a foothold to gain more.

So yeah, that’s what I did tonight. I took a hit. Had my sulk, had my cry, got angry. And now I’ve rolled my sleeves up and will move forward, whatever comes next.

17 Oct Progress Report

That shit sounds official as hell. Complete opposite of me, which is alright, I know I’m not ever going to end up as some stuck up, starched collar CEO running around the big money districts of the world. Couldn’t stand it. The money that would come with it, sure, but not the job itself. Or the dedication and slack morals needed to get there.

I feel like I’m moving in the right direction though. For me, anyway. This last week or so I’ve mostly maintained a positive mindset. I might not have achieved anything, but I enjoyed myself for most of the time I wasn’t working. Which is a step forward.

I’ve even started to changed my stock responses to the constant question of ‘How is work?’, which I get asked more than once a day, by people who in the past have had responses on the theme of ‘shit’, ‘awful’, and, sometimes, ‘apocalyptic’. Which might be a slight exaggeration. The stock response now is; ‘it’s a fantastic opportunity’, which, in a way, it is. It gives me an adequate amount of time to exercise, to write, to think. I have enough money that I can go out to eat with my partner, or friends. I can buy some drinks, or a game, or (god-help-me) some shoes, without really thinking about it. Staying there long enough would even likely lead to more raises.

I love the above as an example of the effects of small positive changes. Just by changing the way I respond to a question that is asked often, makes me think of it slightly differently. Possibly not enough to completely change my dislike of it, but instead of abject hatred, the emotion I feel towards it right now, is more of a…a tolerance. Yes I don’t enjoy it, but for now, it’s enough of an opportunity to sit back and put some work into hobbies and possible futures. It’s enough.

But I don’t want to confuse tolerance with laying down and simply accepting this as my lot. No. Never could I do that. Instead, the effect (overall, not that single positive change) on me has been a little more palpable. I’m eating better, exercising better. Talking more. Thinking better. I have more drive to sit for an hour and write. I think I’m more relaxed. Slightly.

My concern at the minute is keeping this up. Every day at some point I go for a walk and think about what I’ve just been doing and what I need to do. Then I move on to what I want to do. Then to an almost daydream where I’m already doing what I want to do. It always ends with what I like to call a ‘fuck you’ smile. It doesn’t exactly reach the eyes and is otherwise the same as any other pleasant smile, but the way it feels in my head, is like a teeth-clenched, manic glee where I’m daring the world to get in my way. I will achieve what I damn well want to achieve and there’s not a thing you can do about it.

Back to work.

Holes in the Map

About an hour ago I had a snapchat from a very close friend of mine. It was a reasonably good picture, without the caption I still would have recognised it. The image was of the Grand Canyon. This thing:

Note: This is obviously not the image sent to me.

The thing that made me stop was this; it was taken from the bottom of the canyon. A beautiful, ancient monument to the glory and power of nature.

And people can snap from it.

Fuck sake, what has happened to the world? Yes, it is full of glorious things. Wonders created by the power of humanity, or the force of the elements. This planet has seen unimaginable beauty and horrors beyond reckoning. Every day brings something never seen before, or never heard; as the dominant race we continue to scar and change this world. And snap from the bottom of canyons.

The fact that we’re at the point where this is possible is pretty cool. We’re more switched on, connected, and aware than ever. Our technology is advancing at a terrifying rate. But what this is doing is having consequences. We’re running out of wilderness.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t some greenpeace, let’s go save a tree and plant some whales bullshit, what I mean is that the true wild places of the world are shrinking. We drew our maps a long time ago. Labelled things. Eventually we were only left with the inner edges, holes where somebody just wrote ‘rainforest’ or ‘canyon’ and shaded it in. Now even they’re measured, counted, and tracked. It’s easy for me to write this, sheltered and warm, all that knowledge at my fingertips, not a shadow on the explorers our forebears were. And again, I’m fully aware that there are some extremely clever people out there, mapping and measuring planets, taking steps to put our race where (it appears) no other race has ever been before. Yeah, that’s pretty wild. But the time has passed where to go someplace new was a journey achievable by everyone with stout boots, a light heart, and an implacable will.

Because let’s face it, we’re not all clever enough to calculate rocket trajectories or approach vectors. Plus everyone is so busy simply trying to make ends meet that exploring new worlds is not a priority. At all. Food on the table is. A roof overhead is. Space travel? Idealistic pipedream. Ambitious? Yes. Practical? No.

Do I want to be involved? Fuck yes.

Month 10

TIME TO GET SPOOPY IT’S OCTOBER

Image result for buenas dias fuckboi

YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH

Yes, yes I’m excited. I like skulls and scary times, and all the Nightmare Before Christmas merch (hinthint if anyone’s getting me a Christmas present), all the 3spoopy5me memes, even all the little spawn in their adorable costumes chucking eggs at houses and asking for candies,

I’m also excited because there are a couple of other things happening this month too. The first; I’m starting a new degree.

Yes I know the last one turned out SHIT, but this time I’m doing it from an interest in the subject, as well as bitterness at having let myself down last time. Besides, anger can keep you warm at night, and wounded pride can spur a man to wondrous thingsI’m angry at myself for it. And the pride thing is obvious. I’m a proud creature. It’s not the usual reason to get a degree, I am aware, but the motivation of having failed before is a sweet little agony.

I’ll also be planning a new little story for NaNoWriMo, which I’ve had a little gush about before, how the deadline, community, resources etc etc inspired me for a while whilst I was writing. Sadly, last time didn’t go too well and I hit maybe 6,000 words, which isn’t a great deal. This time, will be slightly different, as I’m going to be having a little tête-à-tête with my good friend Ad, who belongs to this. I’ve got a little excerpt on there as well, very pleasing. There will be a forfeit to this as well, and I’ll likely keep posting little progress updates, and if I get anywhere with the story (which of course I will, having decided to crush him) I’ll put that up too.

Unless it’s really long and I like it, in which case I’ll put a chapter up and try to sell the rest. Anyway. Busy month.

That’s all for tonight, keep well.