I guess the best thing that I can do is introduce myself for my first post. Fundamentally, I am a 41 year old man, who has lived a life that is potentially going to fall very much into the “ordinary” category. I enjoy the use of words, and write a little under the same guise on instagram also. The rest of who I am, and what I am about, will hopefully unfold, as I use this as a platform to share and express my thoughts, my stories, my quirks, my affinity with Orion, and my history. Please do not expect anything wonderful or mind-blowing. This will be nothing short of “run of the mill” gabble, and maybe a little reflection, poignancy and a smile or two, here and there. I’ve no real idea at this point the direction this will take me, however, for now, I am going to use this as mid life diary entry. Todays date, 3rd Dec 2016, is the perfect beginning for this. Life began again today for me, you’ll learn as to the reasons behind that statement, as my events get typed up, in no chronological order. Let’s see where this takes us, as I dip my toe for the first time into the world of the Blog. Welcome all.
I am not going to bore you with too much detail surrounding the events, because it involves others, instead I’ll skirt over those parts a little (being extremely vague) and instead, focus on effects and moods surrounding the situation.
Usually I regard myself as something of a source of positivity, I say “usuallly” because in the face of negativity I have spent the majority of my life being upbeat and overcoming what life throws at me, with a smile and a genuinely buoyant outlook. However, that being said, this year has been somewhat different. There have been events in my life, in the space of 12 months, that could easily have destroyed me emotionally. This is true. I’ve allowed some of them to effect me and impact on me negatively, also true. The thing is , I have reacted at times completely out of character, to such an extent that I failed to recognise myself, let alone be able to find the good in me.
Now, one such result of these effects had left me with a battle to deal with, ashamedly, in the legal sense. As the date of judgement loomed ever closer, I had become a victim to the demon that is “overthinking”. I analysed everything, all possible outcomes, all tangents, all resulting factors. I battled with my mood, and even during mentally torturing myself, I failed to notice that I was becoming dark in my mindset. I was planning for the worst. Accepting losses that could be had, and imagining a future life that I was projecting, without applying logic. I was subject to what is known as “catastrophising”. Well, what a fucker that is. I lowered my opinion of myself, and was in the frame of mind, that those I may lose, would actually be in a better position to have me out of their lives anyway. I have to say that I still don’t put this into the remit of depression, but the impact of the imagination creating an unknown severity, well, it hits a man hard if he lets it. And I was letting it.
I had, beside me, a someone who never once failed to see the light within me. She has suffered as a result of my thoughts. By suffering, I mean, she has had her own fears and worries to contend with, whilst trying to shield me from them and as such, had kept them to herself. At the same time, she has also been almost my sole source of positivity. Single handedly supporting me, with time, with effort and with words of wisdom. Helping me each day to focus on the present, and not to dwell on what may or may not be. People like that are a rare breed. You (nor she) will never understand the full extent to which I owe every ounce of gratitude that my heart feels. Even the night before all could have collapsed for me, we dressed, we wined, we dined, and we took time out to walk towards the sound of the sea rolling into the shore, and enjoy the dazzling performance displayed for us by the stars above. She pointed out to me that my stars (Orion) where right above us and shining fortune down. That in itself was a definite turn point, it was one of those magical moments when you truly feel something change in the air. My eyes must have glazed over, and I had goosebumps too. For the first time in recent months, I knew everything would be ok, and that even if my worst outcome materialised, I’d not lose her. I felt my emotional strength returning. Positivity is a seed, i believe, and once planted, it takes no time at all to develop roots and grow strong.
So yesterday came, we faced what we faced together, and true to all her words along the way, it wasn’t as bad as I had been projecting. I came very close to going into “cave mode”. I came very close to pushing her away. I came very close to be the actual cause, of just what it was that I was afraid of happening.
Today is a different story entirely. I’m kind of back, in an instant, to the character I am more familiar to seeing in the mirror. The future isn’t written, I know that’s true, but it is full of possibilities. And that is what you need to never lose sight of. Take a look around yourself, things are never as bad as what they seem. Try and find that person that never loses faith in you, even when you lose it in yourself. Find your lucky stars, and thank them when they shine for you. Be who you are, in the face of whatever is looming, because (as I almost discovered to my detriment), you can potentially bring the disaster upon yourself by failing to be yourself. I guess this post isn’t about events or about situations specifically. It’s about our emotional response in reaction to them. In short, the best way I can put this to anyone with a fear or worry thats taking over their psyche is this; Whatever it is, it will one day be your “yesterday”, and if all you have before it, is a fear of “tomorrow”, you’ll have nothing left to smile about “today”
Live in the present!!!!
I wrote this as part of a job interview would you believe (way back in 1994), and the story to this is one I think may make you smile. I was in Cleethorpes (UK) at the time, in a pub called The Dolphin. One side of the pub had been cordoned off and what looked like a private party was getting underway. I noticed that each person entering the area was offered some raffle tickets, and being of curious nature, I asked the barman what the party was in aid of (yes I was intending on gate crashing).
He informed that it wasn’t a party, but an old bar (the Vic) currently under refurbishment, was to re-open as an Irish theme pub called O’Neil’s, and that job interviews were taking place this evening in the cordoned off area. Well I’d had a few already, and although I had a day job, I quite fancied the idea of being a bartender by night.
Part of me wanted to occupy my time on an evening so as not to spend all my wages on booze (and believe it or not I thought working in a pub would be the most sensible solution, Doh!) and part of me thought what a great way to socialize and meet new people whilst being sober enough to engage in conversation.
Anyway, I approached the woman handing out the raffle tickets, and announced I had arrived for the interviews. There had been some sort of clerical error (???) and my name was not on the list (ha ha), but she welcomed me in, scribbled my name down, and handed me my three free drink tokens (raffle tickets.). Result. Now having never worked in a pub before, and being surrounded by experienced bar staff, I had to rely on my wit, charm, and natural charisma to get me through. So 2 whiskeys and a pint, (raffle tickets gone) topped me upped to a level of pissed I like to call, confident.
The interview, it transpired, was more of an audition, silly games like trying to hold 8 pint glasses full of water on a beer tray whilst racing an opponent round a circuit of chairs and tables, with minimal spillage. After couple of hours of such games, and having a good laugh with the others once the ice was broken (also a few sober drivers that night let me have use of their raffle tickets) the evening concluded with design an advertising campaign for O’neils. Their brewery sponsored drinks were Guinness and Caffreys Ale, and we split up into 4 groups. As the rest of my group sat and drew up a huge poster, I sat with pen and paper and put together a witty little verse. When the time came to display our campaigns, my group stood to talk them through the poster, and then I stood beside them (they thought I had been too pissed to join in their hard work, so my next move was a bit of a shock to them) and I read aloud my verse. Subsequently we all got offered jobs, and thus started my career in the pub trade.
Incidentally the only thing I changed in this poem is the beginning which read, a pint of finest Caffreys sir, perhaps a glass of wine, a Guinness neatly topped right up, no thank you I’ll decline.
To top it all off, on the day before the pub opened, a sign writer was busy with his paintbrush on the main wall near the bar, and as I watched, I realized it was this very poem that he was writing upon the wall 8 feet high, the proprietors had organized without my knowing, and for quite some years, that was my proudest moment.
A BARTENDERS PHILOSOPHY.
A PINT OF FINEST LAGER SIR
PERHAPS A GLASS OF WINE?
A VODKA, NEATLY TOPPED WITH COKE?
NO THANKYOU, I’LL DECLINE.
FOR ALCOHOL’S NOT NEEDED NOW,
I’VE BEEN PREVIOUSLY MISLED.
A GOOD NIGHT OUT DOES NOT MEAN,
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD.
A GOOD TIME CAN BE HAD BY ALL,
WITHOUT KNOCKING BACK A JAR,
WELL, MAYBE JUST THE ONE,
NO NEED TO GO TOO FAR.
ENJOY THE PARTY ATMOSPHERE,
AND REMEMBER WHERE YOU’VE BEEN.
MAKE FRIENDS AND INTRODUCE YOURSELF,
REMEMBER WHO YOU’VE SEEN.
NO REQUEST FOR PARACETAMOL,
ALKA-SELTZA OR ANDREWS.
IF YOU STICK TO THE SIMPLE RULE,
TAKE IT EASY ON THE BOOZE.
BUT IF YOUR LIFE GETS BORING,
YOUR HANGOVER’S GREATLY MISSED.
THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD SOD IT ALL,
AND GO OUT AND GET PISSED.