Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny

Tag Archives: Journey of Life

Diary of a Madman

Screaming at the window
Watch me die another day
Hopeless situation endless price I have to pay

Sanity now it’s beyond me there’s no choice

Diary of a madman
Walk the line again today
Entries of confusion
Dear diary I’m here to stay

Manic depression befriends me
Hear his voice
Sanity now it’s beyond me
There’s no choice

A sickened mind and spirit
The mirror tells me lies
Could I mistake myself for someone
Who lives behind my eyes
Will he escape my soul
Or will he live in me
Is he tryin’ to get out or tryin’ to enter me

Voices in the darkness
Scream away my mental health
Can I ask a question
To help me save me from myself

Enemies fill up the pages
Are they me
Monday till Sunday in stages

Set me free

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Introspection

When I first started in the financial services industry a friend told me “this is not your talent”. Those words have stuck with me ever since but at the time when he told me this, the title of “Financial Advisor” filled me my ego with pride to the extent that I paid no attention to those words and have suppressed it ever since. At least until now. Those words have come back into my awareness and I am paying a lot more attention to them now. I have come to the conclusion that he was, in fact, right 10 years ago when he told me this. It is not my talent.

I could start a journey of regretting the fact that I have wasted ten years of my life trying to suppress this fact but realise that this will do me no good whatsoever. I have learned a lot in this time (mostly the hard way) and I have finally begun to accept myself for who I am without a fancy job title to validate my own worth in this world. Whilst the need for approval still rears its ugly head from time to time, it is losing its power. I still very much shy away from conflict which I suspect is because conflict poses a potential risk of disapproval which means I still have more work to do.

As for work, I have made the decision that it’s time for a complete change from the dog eat dog world I am in now. I don’t have that attitude of being hungry for the business (a typical management phrase) nor do I want to develop that attitude in the corporate context. The job title means nothing to me anymore and I want a job in which the reward evenly matches the level of responsibility which is not the case at the moment. I want a job where I can switch off when I go home with enough energy left over to focus on finding a way to support myself through writing, art and web design (and whatever else I can add to this list). I know this will take time and this is fine. I have woken up to the fact that there are no “get rich quick” schemes around, unless of course you win the lottery. It is not even riches I am chasing. I just want enough to support myself without having to face the slavery of 9-5.

I know I have a lot to learn which is fine too. I like learning and now that I have let go of the urgency of getting to the finishing line, I can take my time with it while enjoying the process.

I often day dream of a life in which I am supporting myself through working from home doing something that feels joyful and worthwhile and at the same time provides value to others.

I dream of a nice little house by the sea where I can write away while looking at the ocean. I suspect that this kind of view could easily serve as a distraction but I am willing to take that risk.

I have noticed how my views on life have changed, specifically in recent years. I remember a time when material possessions (the big house, flashy cars, all the latest gadgets etc) and social status were goals I dreamed of achieving, hoping that one day it would all become a reality. Now I am more interested in a life where I have the freedom to work on my terms and according to my values and beliefs. I realise that this level of freedom has a price tag that at this point I don’t have the financial resources to acquire. However, this doesn’t stop my desire to work towards it. I also realise that I am still very much depending on employed work and i am sure that once I find a job without the level of pressure I am currently experiencing, I will have more energy left over to be able to work towards this dream.

I am also starting to see the benefits of a more frugal lifestyle where less is more. I have stopped accumulating stuff since I moved back to Oxford and now and again I still feel the need to have a clear out after which I always feel more relaxed and at peace with my surroundings.

It’s funny just how quickly I have grown to love the act of writing. Or has this love for writing always been there? Did I suppress it in my quest to fit in with society? I remember when I was around 6 or 7. I would spend hours in my room pretending I was writing my own newspaper. This was before computers became part of our everyday lives, so I was hacking away on an old typewriter I had borrowed from my Gran. I loved the sound of it and loved watching the words appearing on the paper. It didn’t matter if I was copying the words from an actual newspaper or if I was making it up myself. It was the process and the act of doing it that brought me joy and this is very much the case today. Now I am writing on a laptop but I still enjoy the sound of the keys on the keyboard and seeing the words appear on the screen. Whether or not I suppressed the love for writing for so long is of no importance anymore. I have reconnected with it and it makes me feel good.

Had someone told me 5 or 6 years ago that I would spend the majority of my spare time writing I would not have believed it. That said I did spend a great deal of time creating music which gave me a huge sense of enjoyment and I could happily spend hours doing it regardless of the end result. I gave up on the dream of becoming a musician when I realised that I would never have the courage to actually perform in front of anybody and in truth, I never had the desire to perform anyway. It is the creative process that I really enjoy and it’s the same with writing. It is the actual act of doing it that provides the enjoyment.

There’s still a practical/logical part of me that keeps telling me not to waste my time thinking and dreaming that some day it may lead to more than just a re-discovered passion or hobby. I try my best not to pay attention to this voice and I know he is the part of me that fears change. I am also beginning to understand that he is the one often causing self doubt with the question of how.

I have not got the answers to all of the “hows” but I do know some of the basics required to at least make a start.

  • Conceptually I know how affiliate stuff works and whilst I have yet to fully grasp this, I think this may have a big part to play, at least to begin with.
  • I know I have the ability to write in a way people can relate to, at least to some extent
  • I am good at coming up with ideas but need to learn to follow through on these and not give up at the first hurdle
  • I can design a website from scratch and make it look good. (Well! At least I think so.)

I still have a lot to learn in term of turning a website/blog into a format from which I can generate enough to support myself and I know this will be a journey of work and effort on my part. However, I am beginning to question whether or not I am using a tunnel vision approach in that income can come from a multitude of avenues and does not have to be restricted to just a blog or site. Maybe this is the kind of mindset one develops after too much time in employed work!

I am not expecting anything to happen overnight and I am going to take it slowly.

The point is that writing really is something that, in a lot of ways, have saved me from complete insanity. Even as I am writing this now do I feel more peaceful and grounded than before I started. My shoulders and my neck is aching a bit from having sat in the same position for the past hour as I have been writing this and yet I am still going. Also, I have not noticed the passing of the last hour nor have I felt distracted. To be so engrossed in something that time and space is of no importance, to me, is just pure joy. This is why I want to escape from the prison of 9-5. This is what makes me smile and what makes my heart sing. This is my why.

If you are still with me…Thank you for listening

People Watching

One of my favourite hobbies of all times is people watching. Ok! I have a minor full on addiction to people watching. There’s just something incredibly fascinating about it. In fact, if someone came to me and offered me a regular income (I am not asking for much!!) for doing nothing other than watching people and creating little stories about them, I think I would have just landed my dream job!

The best part of this particular hobby is that it doesn’t cost anything, unless of course you decide to travel to a specific location to do your people watching. I guess that is what train spotters do!! Or do they just gather at the same station every time??

One of my favourite places to watch people are places like airports, train stations (I am NOT a train spotter!!) or anywhere associated with travel as it brings big crowds together in one place. People from all walks of life and from all kinds of different cultures.

Also, travelling often seems to bring out the best and the worst in people. Some are excited at the prospect of going off to some exotic location or to be with a friend or relative while some are stressed and apprehensive or perhaps even frightened to a certain extent, but everyone has their own story to tell and the interesting thing is that most of the time they wouldn’t even have to say a word to tell their story. Simply observing their body language and their facial expressions is enough to build or create a story in my mind. If I was a writer I would spend the majority of my writing time in places like these because the inspiration seems endless.

It also makes me wonder how I would be perceived by someone performing the art of people watching. What kind of story do I inspire by my behaviour and body language? Am I the excited one or am I the stressed out fearful traveler? I am pretty confident that I have portrayed both types of behaviour as well as some in between. If it is a journey I am familiar with I am usually very relaxed about the whole affair despite often traveling by myself. If, however, it is unknown territory then I will often display rather selfish behaviour especially if I am in a rush to be in a certain place at a certain time.

When I headed back to Denmark for Christmas last december it became one of those journeys where things didn’t quite go to plan!

It was the 18th December and I had an early flight to catch. I left my house at 5 in the morning, headed in to town to catch the coach to Heathrow. It had started to snow at this point, which is never a good sign if you live in the UK. It usually takes no more than a few snow flakes to put the country into a state of chaos! However, the coach arrived only a few minutes late and we set off. I remember feeling pleased with my ingenious decision to get the early coach. This only lasted until about 15 minutes later when I had a text message from the airline informing me that my flight had been cancelled due to severe weather conditions at Heathrow! At this point I had no option but to continue so I decided that once I got there, I’d go to the check in desk for further information and to establish if I’d be able to get on a later flight. I was in good spirit and it had never crossed my mind that other people would be traveling that day too! That is until I got to the airport!!

As I arrived at the terminal and found the check in desk for my airline, I was greeted by a queue of people the length of which (at least in my mind) was at least three miles (I have a tendency to exaggerate things like this). The queue could help explain the difficulty I had in locating the check in desk! I also experienced some difficulty in finding the end of the queue as it was all over the place! For the next 90 minutes I was stuck in this queue, but the really frustrating part was the fact that I wasn’t entirely sure if I was in fact in the right queue and yet I felt reluctant to give up my place in it to investigate further in fear of having to go further back in the queue, so I stayed put (call me a sheep if you like).

During my time in the queue I was next to a girl but I was convinced that I was at least in front of her but I got the feeling she thought she was in front of me which then led to the weirdest battle in history! We both kept trying to maintain our space in the queue while at the same time trying to get one step ahead of one another. This bizarre battle went on for a while until she asked a couple behind us in the queue if they’d look after her luggage for a few minutes. I guess she didn’t ask me because she feared I might just leave her luggage behind just to increase my lead in the race to the check in!! A few minutes later she came back, collected her luggage and off she went. I was too busy gloating in my glory of firmly being one step ahead to wonder where she’d gone despite the fact that we’d been scheduled on the same flight!

I finally got to the point where the check in desk was in sight and within reach but much to my despair I discovered that another queue had formed for the ticket desk! I managed to catch the attention of someone who looked like he worked there hoping that he could shed some light on which queue I was meant to be in. He seemed to think I ought to be in the ticket queue but he didn’t exactly fill me with confidence and at the same time I felt even more reluctant to switch queues, as this would mean that I would now have to admit to  myself that, due to my sheepish behaviour, I had wasted 90 minutes in the wrong queue.

In the end I was told that I had to join the ticket queue, which luckily seemed a lot shorter but the problem was the fact that it didn’t seem to move at all. To add insult to injury, I was now stuck two places behind the exact same girl I had battled with in the first queue. In truth, I was feeling rather embarrassed at the selfish behaviour I had displayed earlier. Luckily she didn’t seem to hold a grudge and I soon got talking to her as well as another couple.

Another 90 minutes went by, during which time I had only moved a few feet and was beginning to lose all hope of getting back to Denmark before Christmas.

I went into observation mode again and began noticing how little groups of people were forming in the queue just like the four of us. I have always been intrigued by how easily strangers seem to bond in situations like these, I am including myself in this bonding affair! I find it fascinating that complete strangers can so easily find common ground to the extent that during the time in the queue the four of us got to know each other pretty well and also managed to help keep each other calm. We had known each other for only a short amount of time at this point and yet, as I am writing this, I can picture their faces clearly!
They finally announced that the plane had been reinstated and that we’d be taking off within the hour, which meant not having time to do anything other than racing through security and straight to the gate and with that, the bonding session was now firmly over! It was now back to every man and woman for themselves, with one exception; the swedish girl, who was now a bit ahead of me in the security queue (how did she get there so fast?) did very kindly ask if I wanted to join her in the queue. I declined on the basis that everyone had been through their fair share of queueing. I was also slightly concerned that had I accepted, I might have been lynched!!

When we finally got airborne the captain informed us that the reason for the cancellation and the chaos wasn’t the alleged severe weather, but the fact that I had foolishly chosen to fly to Copenhagen on the same day as Barack Obama was joining the climate conference in Copenhagen!!!

Free travel tip from J: Never travel on the same day as a government official, especially if it is the President of the United States!

I made it back though and it was such a wonderful break. I was also treated to a good look at Air Force One as we taxied to the gate…

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