Not much changes in two years. In fact, does much even change in ten years? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the situation and circumstances, of course. Phoning home to friends whilst I was in Australia and being told to stay out there as long as possible, purely because nothing had changed, seem logical. Why would it have changed anyway? Nothing changes much in the physical reality. It is us as people that change.
I changed. A lot. I went from a fun loving party animal to an isolated and anxious individual. It wasn’t that the UK was bleak, it was that my outlook was. I promised myself that I would find a career that I would enjoy and give it my all. All the while still expecting it to just be handed on a plate as I went along.
It wasn’t just me that changed either. Other people had moved on too. And understandably so. People were starting to look at the next phase of their lives. I hadn’t even considered it. It was something that hadn’t even crossed my mind. With no formal qualifications and fairly limited experience, given my swanning off for two years, I knew that I would have to start something from scratch and knuckle down.
For some reason I have seen this as a problem. Maybe given the fact that it felt like a huge culture shock. Everything had been relatively easy up until that point. And it was ease that I was seeking as that was all that I was used to. Whenever things would get tough, instead of standing up for myself and standing my ground, I took the easy route which was to just walk away. Little did I know just how vital battle scars would be in the long run.
It would be easy to cite being part of this mollycoddled society as reason for my shirking of confrontation and hardship in life. The truth is that with the plethora of information out there, I have plenty of resources to learn from in order to make my way in this world. And slowly but surely I am making my way through them.
In the midst of my anxiety in recent years I was taken under the wing of the New Age movement that promised a life of niceties as a result of love, compassion and kindness. I can’t help but think right now that this is a huge problem that society is going to pay for at some point. Perhaps we do need more transparency in a lot of areas. Is it foolish to think that everything should just be easy and just how we want it, however? Quite possibly.
Searching for protection from something I cannot be protected from would only ever be a recipe for disaster. Life was going to happen regardless. It was only arrogance on my part that thought that I could control outcomes. And it is stressful to say the least. It is a huge energy drain that has often left me exhausted. Ironically, seeking an easy life has only ever seemed to make it harder.
If it is true that whatever we resist, persists, then I can certainly lay claim to being living proof of this saying. And the more I think about it, the more I cannot help thinking just how bloody ridiculous this whole mindset is. The amount of New Age and Spiritual content I have consumed saying that we can have whatever we want is nothing more than just telling people what they want to hear. People like me, with anxiety.
All I needed to be told was that nature will have its way, you can’t control it. You just have to man up and get on with it. If I was told from the outset that life was hard so expect some bad shit from time to time and move on, then I would be far richer for this understanding. Instead, society told me that we should do all we can to avoid any bad stuff. I’ve fallen into the blame game. Well now I’m calling bullshit.
In recent months I have been having a shift in perspective as I have gradually been taking more and more responsibility for myself. If anything came up in my business, let’s say, I would usually bitch and moan. Now I look at it and say, what did I do or not do that led to this happening and how can I fix it going forward. I was originally in fear of negative things happening, now I realise that it is merely a lesson on my journey to greater levels of success. I may not be able to control outcomes as such. I can certainly plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Am I being pessimistic? Maybe it could be termed as that. Maybe I am still in my infancy in many things in life that I have yet to develop the foresight for optimism and therefore am laying some solid foundations. Anything wrong with that? I used to think so and now I am becoming a bit more of a realist perhaps.
Whilst in the throws of being a full time Personal Trainer I joined a Facebook group that was strictly evidence based. It was great being exposed to highly intelligent people with vast experience. I certainly felt myself developing as a result. However, at the time, I just didn’t fully grasp it as it was designed to help people think. I was still hooked on the Spiritual teachings and found myself in a conflict between science and spirituality as I was searching for what to think.
I couldn’t let go of that desire for an easy life. I kept thinking that the answer would lie in material possessions. The truth is, even if you gave me £10m right now then I am not sure that I would feel any different. What I am really searching for is an understanding of how the world works and how it is, not necessarily how I want it to be. Then I will be better equipped to find my place in it.
Having just read an article by Jamie Varon, here, I noticed how a few things have really hit home for me. I have been dying to figure things out so that I can relax and just live easy. Like I am searching for some kind of epiphany. I am not appreciating the process of figuring out whatever it is I need to as that may very well play a huge role in my future somewhere. Who knows?
Right now I feel like I am being caught in a tug of war between science and entrepreneurship. Of course, there is no reason why I couldn’t build a business whilst continuing to learn about things that inspire me. Even merge them in some way. I have aspirations relating to wealth and I also have aspirations to develop my understanding about life. For some reason I feel as though I have to pick and I don’t know why that is.
Some of my anxiety comes down to making a living. I always want to be doing work that gives me meaning and makes a difference in some way. Right now I am being struck down by the ‘what-ifs’. ‘What if I build a business that I don’t enjoy running?’ ‘What if I don’t earn enough if I went down the science route?’
Knowing the answer to these questions is impossible without actually giving something a proper shot. I also have anxiety based on time and that I cant help but feeling that I may end up wasting time somewhere with the wrong decision. So I stay stagnant and wonder why I feel as though I am falling behind.
Maybe, just maybe, I am blowing this all out of proportion. Maybe this is a time of my life that I need in order really develop a deep understanding of myself, who I am, what I want. Drawing again from Jamie’s article, “you are as you are until you’re not. You change when you want to change. You put your ideas into action in the timing that is best. That’s just how it happens.”
For so long now I have been trying to force it. Trying to know what it is that I want to do with myself without realising and appreciating that right now is a time to allow things to unfold as they are meant to. I have cited recently how I have been experiencing loneliness for some time now. A different ‘what-if’ has popped in my head. What if this solitude is actually a necessary part of what I need to be experiencing in my life at this point in time? Why am I assuming that it is going to be forever?
Lately, I have been embarking again on the evidence based approach, only this time with a greater awareness and appreciation as to why. I now see the importance of critical thinking and objective reasoning. I get it. There are many things that I now wish to question that I would ordinarily have just blindly believed. The first thing to question, however, is myself.
For too long I have harboured shame about where I am in my life instead of appreciating that that is how it is. For the time being. Jamie’s article is one of those things that pops up when you least expect it and gives a certain perspective that could very well be a game changer. And I’ll finish this post off with something that I will be sure to remember every time I find myself in a dip:
“And what I think we all need more than anything is this: permission to be wherever the fuck we are when we’re there.”