There are lots of things in life that give me pause - War, terminal illness, deception, apathy, ignorance, capri pants. There are more, lots of little things which cause my brow to scrunch up as I try to process a) why they exist and b) why they bother me so much. Will someone please explain to me those little sachets with coffee, milk powder and sugar in them? If you're near a kettle, practicality states you are near the necessary accoutrements to make a coffee. And living in London, you are never more than a 2 minute walk to a coffee shop, cafe or service station. So why, in all that is holy, do we need to tote yet more crap around just so we can get a hot drink? See, this is a prime example of the rubbish that plagues my mind on a daily, if not hourly basis. Since my mid teens, I have been bombarded with the same question - why are you wasting your life? Go out there, make something of yourself. Be amazing. I shrug and roll my eyes, I've given up on answering now. I used to try to explain myself, I have no direction, an overwhelming fear of failure, a deeply rooted sense that I am all bluff and no substance. Now, I just exhale and sort of wave my hands around in a non-committal gesture. All of above statements are true, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up and I really don't want my bubble to be burst by reality. And I really don't have the time, not when I have capri pants to ponder!
I like living in my own headspace. I realise that it isn't healthy, that we need other people in our lives in as much the same way we need water and oxygen to survive. I also get that anyone who prefers their own company to others is generally considered a hermit at best and a sociopath at worst. Read up on any serial killer through history and you'll find someone who shunned society and kept to themselves. Now, I have no urge to maim, disembowel or take another life. Never have, pretty sure I never will. I like other people on the whole, some more than others naturally, and occasionally I'll connect with someone and there begins a beautiful friendship with a life span of approximately 3 years. I say three years, this varies depending on the amount of actual face time involved. If I see someone frequently it goes down to about 18 months, if it's email and text based it can go to 5 years if not more. In my case, close proximity is my enemy. I'm pretty sure this isn't normal, most people engage with others on a frequent basis and relationships build and grow. Mine have an expiration date. This gives me pause...
Somedays I wish I was scientifically minded. I could theorise biomass and cold fusion and ponder the really big questions instead of staring out into the distance and hating on coffee sachets. I haven't moved into angry letter writing mode yet, but it's definitely in my future. Dear Nescafe, please can you explain the thinking behind this travesty of lazy consumerism... Can you say obsessed? To combat my descent into crazytown, I've started redirecting my energies into writing and learning the guitar. I've written badly for years and thought it was time to try harder. It's actually going well, I finished my first story recently and am only just coming down from my creative high. I wrote it for a friend who has patiently put up with my whining and self criticism for too long and who told me to just get on with it and finish the damn thing. I seem to respond better to that approach then mollycoddling apparently. 10500 words later I had finally finished something I started and amazingly, they seemed to be impressed! I have 2 other projects on the go and took the massive leap of sending one to a publisher, who, incredibly sent back positive feedback and encouragement. I'm on a roll! As for the guitar, I've always wanted to play. My earliest memories were of my Dad playing his acoustic, making up silly songs for my entertainment. My guitar hero. After years of procrastination, I finally bought one and can now proudly play about 3 notes and 1 chord - 2 of them badly and none of them in time. But I'm committed to learning and have valiantly been practicing everyday. I'll probably never be any good and I'm sure that like my writing, my musical "skills" will never be fit for public consumption but I'm okay with that. It was never about doing something for anyone other than myself. Sure, it's nice to get compliments (so I hear!) but it's more about setting myself the challenge and seeing it through to a reasonable conclusion. And it's giving me something else to think about, beside those damn silly coffee packets!
I guess the point of all this is that there doesn't always have to be a point. You don't have to know the destination all of the time. Sometimes it's more about the journey. It doesn't matter that you don't have a clue what you're doing or why you're doing it. It's okay to pootle along at your own pace, doing whatever makes you happy. Shakespeare wrote "To thine own self be true" over 500 years ago and so far, no-one else has managed to better that quote for it's simplicity. Sod what anyone else thinks, or expects of you. Make your own happy.
Over and out