Ruins

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If I did this. If I said that. If I went there. If I did nothing. If I did more. I am guilty of looking back at my past and thinking these things. Would my life really be any better than it is now?  Every setback is the catalyst that gives rise to these burning ‘what ifs’. I now realise that by moving forward while constantly looking behind I stand the chance of missing an opportunity. I increase the risk of walking into something that could potentially be very painful.

The ruins made me realise that I should not look at the past with regret but that I should accept what was, appreciate what is and look forward to what will be.

“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.” – Paulo Coelho

One love 🙂

There’s always one!

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How many times have you thought of or used that expression? It could be in your personal, social or professional life. “There’s always bloody one!” I find that this phrase is usually accompanied by a head in hand being slowly shaken (smh in text talk), either preceded or followed by a lengthy sigh. Sometimes it is said after we’ve picked ourselves up off the floor, clutching our sides and wiping tears from our eyes because we’ve been laughing so hard.

Ever heard yourself saying that about someone at work? The ‘one’ who always has something to say? The ‘one’ who is always grumpy and negative? Have you ever looked back at photos and think that about the ‘one’ who ruined a perfectly good shot? Do you have that ‘one’ who makes you feel special, like you’re worth something?

Ever found yourself planning an outing or a holiday as a group and everyone is in agreement about what to do…except ‘one’?

Scenario: You have spent the last two and a half hours in a mind-numbing training session or seminar where you’ve been battling with sleep. Your head feels so heavy you think  it’s going to fall off. You feel like your brain has been reduced to mulch and is about to start leaking out of your ears. You’ve been clock watching for the last half hour, your mind saturated with information as you sit there with glazed over eyes trying your best to look even the slightest bit interested in what the speaker is saying. You’re thinking “He/she’s already given me a copy of the powerpoint, why am I sitting here looking at this damn screen listening to her/him read word for word from the slide what (s)he’s just given me?!….please God take me now!” (I hope I’m not the only one who’s been subjected to such torture!).

Anyway, said training session/lecture/seminar is drawing to a close and the last slide reads: “QUESTIONS”.  You sit there trying to sneakily pack up your belongings, daring someone to put a hand up, while at the same time saying a silent prayer pleading with whomever not to put their hand up!

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Then what happens? Someone asks a question! You feel the tension rise in the room as you are joined by your comrades in boredom letting out that sigh, that mutter, that prayer that has just turned from a plea into a request to smite the bastard that have just decided to keep you in this clinical, magnolia painted, fluorescent bathed torture chamber for another eternity, by asking a question! You slink back in your seat, defeated, shaking your head and quietly muttering to yourself…”There’s always one!” (I find that for effect most of us usually insert an expletive somewhere in there 🙂 ).

Here’s another one. Let’s say there’s a big celebration of some sort. You hope and pray to every god you’ve ever heard of that everything goes well (Let’s throw some alcohol in the mix). The evening starts well. A few hours and a few more drinks later, someone…that one…does or says something stupid and the evening is ruined. There’s always one!

How many times in our family gatherings we end up saying “there’s always one” when referring to a particular family member?

And so the big question is…..are YOU that one? The one who wants to go home early because you’re bored and you are the designated driver? The one who the whole class was held back for because you wouldn’t follow instructions? The one who wants to go sightseeing when everyone else wants to laze by the pool and nurse their hangovers? The ‘killjoy’? Are you the one who asked the damn question?!

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But then why shouldn’t you ask the question? Why shouldn’t you be independent and do what you want instead of following the crowd? Why are you resigning yourself to peer pressure? What’s wrong with being different…unique? Are you going to prevent yourself from doing what you want to do or being who you want to be because you don’t want to stand out? Are you afraid?

How many of us wanted to ask a question but didn’t because we were afraid of the reaction asking would solicit? How many of us shut up and not do what we want in order to keep the peace, to still be accepted, to not be the outcast and be isolated? Are we so hungry for acceptance? Are we individuals or lemmings? Who dares to be the black sheep, the ‘sore thumb’? Personally, I don’t think that’s me. I’m a ‘blend in’ kind of guy. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not. I don’t know. All I know is that no matter where you are, who you’re with, what you are doing, there will always be that one!

One love. 🙂

Images courtesy of Google images

Change

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I’ve been thinking about the concept of change – to make or become different, transform, shift. There was a major change in my life a few years ago. It was difficult. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. With that change came a major transformation in me as a person and my attitude and outlook towards life, people and myself. I suffered emotionally and physically because of this change, and although it had to happen, it was something I didn’t want to face. Was it the change that I didn’t want to face, or was it the emotional roller coaster that I knew would be associated with it? Having come out the other end of that dark, lonely, depressive, insufferable tunnel, I think the latter was true. It wasn’t the change I was afraid of but the effect of the change on me.

I’m now in the vortex of change once again. I’m awash with swirls of emotions and expectations. This time the change is in my professional life. I think of it as is portrayed in the photo – an ancient brick wall and a modern building. I’ve parachuted off what is now an old, dusty, weathered mass. At the bottom I am presented with brand new climbing gear, ready to climb the shiny new building. I’m unfamiliar with this new climbing gear. As I begin to put on the new gear, I notice that some equipment is missing. I don’t have any drills, crampons, pitons, hammers or some of the other gear that was necessary to climb the old brick building. Instead I’m faced with many new gadgets and gizmos that will help me climb this new one. There are still some familiar gear that I used before that will no doubt assist in the ascent, but the new ones will definitely need getting used to.

Are you still with me? Good! 🙂

I’m in the middle of my third week of my new job and I have to admit, it’s very exciting. I feel like I am valued. I feel a part of a team that is always in sync. I feel that I can/will strengthen and help to drive the team forward. I feel that working together we will achieve positive results. I feel supported. I feel there is scope for professional development and I feel that new job is willing to invest in me.

I’ve begun my ascent, My feet slip as I try to gain a firm foothold during the first few steps. My manager is already guiding me and my fear is beginning to abate. I’m encouraged. I look across at the old brick wall and as I begin to caress the shiny smooth curves of the new building, I think, “Why the hell didn’t I jump sooner?!” Without that old brick wall however, I wouldn’t have the climbing skills I’m now utilising to climb this new building.

I’m not wearing rose tinted glasses and I’m fully aware of some of the challenges I am yet to face. Some of them will be familiar sweets in different wrapping, others will be totally new flavours of which I’ve never tasted, but I am confident that I will be given the support I need.

Although new job might be akin to having a new toy, I am happy but not ecstatic. Although the old brick wall is no longer my home, it was a familiar place. I felt comfortable moving around it. I’ve had many happy and sad times on that bloody wall! Shed tears, shared laughs and had a few, let’s say disagreements. I’ve met some of the most beautiful people ever created, and have formed some unbreakable friendships that will never wither with time. It wasn’t always easy climbing that wall and I bear some scars as a result, but those I take with me, lessons I have learned, experience gained. The friends I also take with me, in my heart.

It’s never easy being the new kid on the block, and as I embark on this new voyage, sailing into unchartered waters, I’ve come to realise that nothing is static in this life and the only constant is change. Whether or not we welcome or embrace it, we can never hide from it. All I’m going to do is make the best of it. Thank you to all of you who have supported me during this time of change. Your encouragement and love is appreciated and I am/will always be grateful. One love. 🙂

Hakuna Matata

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So here I am in my local café. Having a coffee and watching the world passing me by. Today, for the first time in a long time I feel…content. A state of peaceful happiness. For me that’s an incredible state of being. For the first time in a long while I have no worries, I am content within myself. I feel ‘light’. I miss this feeling. I feel like nothing or no-one can/will break my spirits. Things are moving ahead for me. I no longer feel the mix of emotions that is associated with changing jobs, the ever changing currents of my mental state that leaves me yearning for….contentment. The feeling that my life is stagnant, that I’m just a grain of sand on a beach that occasionally gets ‘refreshed’ by the sea. An insignificant member of the human race who is not seen or heard and who won’t be missed should I disappear.

Today the world is filled with colour and vibrancy. I’d imagine that this is what it’s like when people talk about meditation and emptying your mind of all thoughts, focussing on the present, not looking behind or ahead. If this is what is achieved by meditating, It’s a place I welcome. My posts are often quite ‘heavy’ so today I share a more positive me. A me that, even for a brief moment, is happy within myself, happy to ‘go with the flow’. A me that is happy where I am. Is this where I want to be? If I can grab hold of this feeling, be in this place forever? Then hell yes! One love 🙂

 

Man/Woman in the mirror

ImageWhen you look into a mirror who do you see? I read a post from a fellow blogger last night and her reply to my comment made me reflect today. When I look in the mirror I see a man who is constantly fighting battles in his head. I see a man who focuses on what has been instead of what is to become. I see a man who is trying to convince himself that his life is of worth, instead of acknowledging that the laugh lines, the emerging wrinkles, the scars, are not blemishes but trophies and rewards that have made him a more distinguished, wiser, individual. I see a man who is afraid to embrace change instead of seeing the man that created and will continue to create change. I see a man who questions life instead of seeing a man celebrating it.

I try to wash it off. Sometimes I see a refreshed, rejuvenated man. Other times I see a man who smears his worries, his concerns, his past, his future all over what is the beauty that was created. But what I was reminded of today was to face my worries, problems, future  “with hope, not hopelessness. Face them with love, not hate. Face them with light, not dark.” “Face them knowing that you are strong enough to deal with them, not with the fear of not being able to pull through.” “…if you never face and solve your problems, if you never accept and forgive your past, you will never be free.

Today wasn’t a particularly great day for me, but there are many of you bloggers who do what you without even realising the influence…the positive influence you have on your readers. I have been inspired by many of you and I hope that I can return the favour to other readers.  I don’t know about you but sometimes it’s good getting feedback from virtual strangers than from someone you know personally. I guess you get a more objective approach to handling things than from someone with whom you have a personal connection. I am blessed to be a part of this community…correction, FAMILY. One love.

Beauty Pageants

Miss England and Miss USA have been named for the Miss World 2013 beauty pageant. I am beside myself with excitement! Yawn. All these beauty pageants, Miss World, Miss Universe, Mr. Universe, etc. Why? I must be turning into a grumpy young man! They even have children’s pageants. I remember watching a program the other day about children’s pageants and the preparation needed to give children as young as three the opportunity to win a tiara and a sash.

We moan about money and the state of the economy and how hard life is, but we spend thousands tarting up our kids just so they can be given a label? The funny thing is, the people spending the thousands are the people who don’t have it! People, stop trying to live your lives through your children. Let them be children. Stop filling their heads with this superficial nonsense!

We all think our children are gorgeous, myself included, and I can’t wait to take my phone out to start boasting about how beautiful she is to people. I even have a photo of her as the wallpaper on my phone. I know I’m not the only parent who does this. This however, does not mean that I’m going to teach her how to smile, how to catwalk, how to pose, buy her expensive makeup and put her on show to the world.

Can you imagine what it would do to her confidence if we saturate her ego with compliments about how beautiful she is, that she’s prettier than everyone else and she doesn’t even make the final round in the competition? She’ll grow up forever sticking her fingers down her throat after every meal and hiding behind makeup. Either that or going the opposite direction and eating herself to death because of the depression brought on by the world not thinking she’s beautiful.

Let’s talk about the adults now. I remember watching a few pageants and I’m sorry to say this, and I mean no offence, but generally speaking, you know the whole beauty and brains saying? Sadly it has been confirmed by quite a lot of these models. My favourite part of the pageant is the interviews. Is it just me or do all of them want to heal the world, save the children, eradicate poverty, empower women or work for the United Nations? Personally, I can’t take someone seriously who has a smile permanently fixed to their face while trying to answer a fairly serious question. I mean you can see the “S**t how am I going to answer this one?” expression behind the smile of some of them sometimes. Keep smiling, maybe you will mesmerise the judges with your bleached teeth, blood red lipstick and dashing beauty and hopefully, just maybe, they’ll let you off for speaking such b*******! After all beauty is not just skin deep!

I love women and I can appreciate a good looking lass with a good body. These women don’t even make the pageants and can put most of them on stage to shame. Yeah ok there are some fairly decent looking girls on stage but I suppose because I find the whole thing so shallow and demeaning to women, I fail to see the wow factor in any of these women. It’s like, “Look I’m a size nothing with an hour glass figure! Tee Hee Hee”……Please!

We all want our women and men to be physically attractive but I’m sure we need that emotional and mental connection in order to complete the puzzle. If my woman cannot stimulate me mentally, then I find it a little bit harder to find her sexy and appealing. I’m sure it’s the same with women and their men. The point of all this…yes there was a point to it, is what is your type? Do you have a type? Did you get together with your ideal person? Is there an ideal person? Do you try to turn your current partner into your ideal person? Are you waiting for your ideal person? you might be waiting a long time!

I think we all have a type or preference. As much as we say we don’t, we do! If we didn’t then we’d all be in happy fruitful relationships. We must have a type if we’re to be attracted to some people and not others. We only say we don’t have a type because it sounds good. None of this “As long as he/she has a good sense of humour and makes me laugh” nonsense. Are we restricting ourselves to the possibilities of finding a good partner because we are looking for a particular ‘type’? Think about it.

Women I love you. Always have and always will. Don’t let them get you down with all this beauty rubbish and make you feel that you’re insignificant or ugly because you don’t look like them. Your intelligence, sense of humour, kind, caring personalities will enhance your outer physical beauty. Besides, have you ever seen some of these models without makeup or Photoshop? One love.

I know but…

Ok I’m really starting to p*** myself off! This indecisiveness and fear of change is like a bloody curse! What is it about me that prevents me from making a spontaneous move? I always have to be so calculating. I always have to plan. I always have to have a contingency. There’s always the ‘what if’ bug eating away at every idea I have or every move I want to make. I always have to justify everything. There’s always the ‘yeah but’ and the ‘I know but’….this flippin’ BUT!!!! Why do I have to psych myself up for a few days before I go ahead and do anything? Buy anything? I suppose the silver lining in all this is that when I do eventually make a decision, I stick to it come hell or high water!

Growing up I was always given responsibility. It was drilled in me how important it was to be prepared and organised. This began from quite a young age. I wonder if that’s the reason for me not liking to take risks, to be spontaneous, adventurous. To throw caution to the wind and say, “Just bloody do it!” I’m scared of failure. I hate the thought of letting myself or somebody else down.

If I could find a way to get rid of that part of me, I think I’d be a changed man! There have been times where I have been spontaneous and what a rush! It’s like going on a roller coaster shaking like a leaf and then shouting “Again…AGAIN!!” when the ride’s finished. Then the guilt starts to set in…Was that really necessary? Did I have to spend that much money?

I silently envy people who just do it! Know what I mean? Who just say, “Whatever happens happens, YOLO!” How do I get out of this trap? Ok ranting finished. Goodnight. One love.