Hey, if you’re wondering what I’m doing nowadays, check this out
Feel free to join in. We’re experimenting with response writing, so the more the merrier!
Hey, if you’re wondering what I’m doing nowadays, check this out
Feel free to join in. We’re experimenting with response writing, so the more the merrier!
I think the biggest disappointment comes to those who expect too much or simply expect. Expecting things to be in a certain way is judging things before they happen and we, as humans seem to naturally have this ability built into us like a dog tracking scents. We survive from judging, so anyone who is adamant they don’t judge people are lying to themselves.
But, I think there’s a difference in letting things be and expecting things to go your way or run on one track.
The only way out of disappointment is to stop expecting and just do/live.
Have you ever sat there and just released yourself from the world? That feeling of connection you feel, like buzzing bees circulating the hive. Have you? Have you ever sat back, plugged into the world of music or silenced your surroundings and just let the waves take you?
I have. I used to be stuck in situations that bred anger, and a tormented response.
One day, I came across a level of understanding about meditation that stuck with me and pushed me to find a quiet place to disappear. So I did just that; I disappeared.
Not in body, but in mind, and went to places I could only imagine. I read about a buddhist idealism which is that you can’t leave your body without sorting out your own demons first, so that’s what I did, and I dug, and dug through my mind cleaning up the place to commit myself to a release that I so badly searched for.
It was tedious and exhausting, at times, but then I found it.
The anger dissipated and the storm calmed.
This section of the video really got to me in the sense that it is important to think about you and I’ve seen it in every single aspect of my own life and so many other peoples lives. So much so, that it’s almost sad to see the idea that so many people are scared of rejection, of the word no.
It’s true what the video says, it’s your friends, your family, husbands or wives who doubt new ideas because they are comfortable with the version of you that they see now. The problem is that they don’t often see the version of you is current but one of the memories they’ve already created.
The solution starts with you, so like the video says, don’t get offended when your friends or family doubt your path, if you believe it enough to think about it, speak about it, and share it, then you believe in it enough to do it.
When sitting here I often think about the boatload of things that float around me, passing over the waves of resonating memories, and ideas. What I think is that we are our own problem-creators, fear-producers, atmosphere destroyers, and simply, we are our own enemy. Every minute of the day we plan ideas and many of us think big, but when you look in the mirror you see yourself and you take one step forward and two steps back, and that’s the issue.
You can sit in your room, alone, staring into your mirror like it’s some kind of truth but our brains run in interesting ways. Our brains are either planning ahead or thinking we are the person our memories have made us out to be. But, that’s where the fun part comes in. Stay with me. When you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and telling yourself that you can’t do it because your brain triggers an emotional response due to you not being happy with how you acted, with how you stressed, or with how you’ve barely managed, be it one day or years, it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can look in the mirror and smash the bloody thing, imagine it, breaking that mirror down into tiny pieces and looking past the mirror, seeing how everyone around you, everyone who exists all look in the mirror and see the same monster staring at them, the same things that push them down, and some people do beat them, and some people don’t. Remember, that it’s not what happens that makes your future it’s what you do with what happens that makes your future.
So, be it your body, your mind, a lack of skills, a lack of technique, a lack of …. something, if you’re not happy with yourself, and can’t change your life, you have to change your blueprint because if you get beaten down feel like you can’t get back up, and can’t enjoy life, then it’s not your life, it’s the way you’re thinking. So, if you feel like your life doesn’t match the way you are, or it doesn’t match the way you want to be, then change. Change it, change your life, and change you.
Don’t hold onto to the things that form chains to you, only to pull you to the ground. Change how you see things until those things grow wings on your back, and helps you to soar.
We are hidden in a blanket that may be hidden by the naked eye but it stops us from getting too close to one another. It may cloak us but it also isolates us from one another like a parasite bent on absorbing connection. It takes us away, and separates us with each move. it envelopes us, suffocates us, and slowly eats away at us. I don’t think we can be happy when we’re cloaked, like a poison that slowly takes us; it consumes us inch by inch. We need to learn how to take off the cloak.
I find myself questioning the importance of family from time to time, because of some reason or other, the type of reasons that bring you back to zero. Nada. Nothing. They make you feel like you don’t belong, and maybe they’re actually a reality check sending you the certainty of the actual god damn situation that you usually just hide with the semantics of family ‘communication’ that usually involves niceties and friendly hellos.
Although I say that I am unsure of where I stand with the term family, I’m aware of where I stand with my parents. My brother, less so, and the rest of my family are in a perpetual state of talking through my parents, so I don’t really have much time with them. I just get relayed messages, or told that messages aren’t even being relayed. I don’t exactly have ‘time’ to myself anyway. Even now, where my parents have my daughter this weekend and I’m stuck in the library doing this library exercise instead of my lesson plan because I’m overtired and in need of sleep but also have more work to do than I can think about at the moment.
I’m not even sure any of this matters you see, and although my brother seems to have disowned me as a brother at the moment, I’m not sure I’m even bothered, and I think that fact bothers me more. I mean, finding out that through the majority of your teenage-adult life you’ve been bitched about by your older brother is just really shitty. Furthermore, or adding to that fact is the irritating edifice of being the villain of the story because I don’t trust him to babysit the kids on his own, or his girlfriend, who I’ve met a total of three times, barely having a conversation both times. I mean, what’s a man gotta do to be understood around here?
So, I’ve come to the realisation that “Ego is the anesthesia is that deadens the pain of stupidity.” (Frank Leahy) and I’ve hit the point in my life where I’ll just close the door, instead of trying to contain whatever ‘friendship’ or ‘brotherhood’ if it can be called that, for my benefit when all my brother has ever really tried to do is hurt me, unless he can get something out of it, like babysitting, so I will babysit the next time he needs me.
I’m not the only one whose thought about family over the last couple of weeks, and it shows in the discord of communication in my family where everyone seems to forget to inform us, or even invite us to family ‘events’ but on the bright side, I don’t have to get checked for cancer since the gene avoided my father, so I suppose that’s one bright side in the whole thing.
Other than the idea of family, I’ve definitely decided that I’m going to move away, and not just further, but abroad. The plan is to find somewhere hot for a few years, settle, and give the house I get to my parents for when they retire, and after that… go wherever the fuck I want to go because I want to fucking go. I can’t fucking wait.
I thought long and hard about the type of person I want to be, and I won’t put the people I love down, I want to raise them, not bury them, so I don’t say any of this in a negative way, or with contempt, but I also want to be the best version of myself that I can be, and that will only happen through trial, error, and trial again.
In other news, I’ve got a girlfriend now, whose family seems to like me. (At the moment, ha-ha) and the closer I get to her the more I see how connected her and her family are, and in a way I look back at my family and feel how distant we’ve always been. Barriers broke nthrough having children but barriers that never should have been there in the first place. It’s quite an experience.
Also, I think I’ve finally met someone who isn’t secretly trying to kill me *winky face*
I’m chatting shit now to avoid my work, so I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes to think about for the remainder of your evening, or the five or so minutes it’s taken you to read this.
“You are what you are repeated to do.” – Aristotle. Therefore, excellence ought to be a habit, not an act.
“Pride is the burden of a foolish person.”
“Son, if you’re going to do a job, do it right.”
“Wisdom will come to you from the unlikeliest of sources; a lot of the time from failure. When you hit rock bottom, remember this: When you’re struggling, rockbottom can also be a great foundation on which to build, and on which to grow.”
“Don’t you remember the stories?” I asked, standing on the streets, repeatedly until I culled every answer I could grasp.
“Injustice,” I spat to the floor, “The Gods will have justice for what you did to the white one,” I shouted. I grabbed a woman in passing, “Spread the word,” I released her hand and continued, “You all birthed a monster, a fucking monster!” I sipped the whiskey stirring in my old drinking horn– the one he gave me.
“Dancing pricks, and whoresons everywhere,” I paused, “Have you no fucking shame of what you lot did?”
“Fuck off!” A guard pushed me back, hesitating a glance at his sword.
“Not until we have justice for him,” I stood up to the guard full of liquid courage, “I bet you were one of them, those whoresons who bloodied his hands, who ruined his good name, who set us on this path of revenge killings,” I spat at the floor again.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about, you old fool, now clear off before I kill you,” the guard said, and I remember those words because my sober self would have fled, but was not he.
“Are you going to kill me now, too?” I laughed, brisking my little finger over the line of madness. I must have been, “he’s still alive, you know.”
The guard pushed me against the wall of the hall, “Quiet your fucking tongue…” he paused, gulping. I was now in control, “What the fuck do you mean? We saw the blood everywhere, his cloak in tatters, with over sixty holes in.”
I smiled, “Did you see a body?” I pushed him away and he let me, “He knew what he was doing. Do you have any idea who you were all fooling around with?” I walked forward and the guard watched while he must have been thinking back, “These priests, and these Christians come here talking about devils and sorcery, but you took everything away from a hero, and the bigger the hero, the bigger the monster within!”
Some people spat, but a crowd started gathering, “So, repent, for I’ve seen his eyes, and they glow in the dark. They shine in the night like a wolf’s. I’ve seen him stand alone against numbers more numerous than this mere gathering and stand victorious… I’ve seen him fight through an army for a mere woman,” I raised my hands and pointed at the people around me, “What the fuck do you think he’ll do to all of you now that he has nothing to hold back from, nothing to make him good. You wanted something to fear in the night and you gave birth to it!”
The guard stormed away. He took off his sheathed sword and untied his belt. He unbuttoned his tunic, perhaps he was quitting. “He protected us from a usurper, a monstrous king who urged monstrous ways and look what you did to him, exiled him, sullied his name, destroyed his reputation, and gave him up to that son of a Völva… and now that King is dead… and who do you have now? No-one, and soon… you’ll have nothing.”
A sample of a short story I’m writing, for my dissertation this year.
The Wounded Wolf
A white wind whistled through the crack in the window. The fire burned, and the room was heated, but it still felt cold. Gloves on, or off, the creeping feeling of danger would not go, and the stench of death would not be shaken. It followed Thomas like a madness. He sat on the floor by the fire. His wife had his bed. She had his cloak, too, hugging her with its stained white fur.
“When are you going to clean this thing?” Freya asked, mindful of her words.
“When we finally have a chance to slow down. We’re only here to get lost for the winter, and hope that no one else is stupid enough to follow us, please, don’t get comfortable enough you want to stay here.” Thomas replied, chewing the bark of the wood he was cutting.
“I’m aware. Do we have anywhere left to go to?” Freya said sharply. She feigned a smile, but words like those are what kept death around.
“Maybe one or two,” Thomas muttered, poking the fire.
“It’s not your fault,” She shuffled to the edge of the bed but struggled to stay sat up, “Don’t give up now, if we go far enough then we’ll be free of the usurper Alaric, and Katherine. We can be free from all of them,” she said, resting her hand on his shoulder.
The door twitched, and rattled from the winds shifting direction, “I don’t think we’ll ever be free unless I kill them,” Thomas looked deeper into the burning wood, “I don’t think he’ll leave us alone until I kill the bastard.”
“That won’t bring the dead back, but what we can do is once winter is over, we can leave and never come back to this place,” Freya said.
“I’m not sure the dead will let me go if I ran from this fight Frey, I’m not sure anyone will. If I run, I submit to being the monster they make me out to be if I fight I’m doing the same, but I think I can challenge him because he’s told everyone about me now. You saw it back at the inn with the soldiers. They were scared of me,” he said, scratching his patchy beard with his long finger nails.
“I feared you,” Freya said. She wrapped her arms around her stomach, and felt the baby kick, “We feared you. We have a chance of something more than blood for blood; we have a chance to prove we’re better than them.”
“Our fathers would look down on us if we walk away now. The old ways—”
“The old ways are not our ways…”
Silence brewed. Thomas struggled to his feet and checked his bandages. “ribs are open again,” he said as the bandage soaked in blood.
“Why did you leave it so long?” Freya asked.
“Maybe you should help me cauterise it.”
“I’m not helping you kill yourself. If you wish to, then do it yourself,” Freya yelled.
“It wouldn’t be the first time,” Thomas gave a short laugh, “Remember when I found you?”
“Covered in cuts and bruises, even had a shard of glass in your side from the window you broke through,” Freya smiled softly, “You plucked it out as if it were nothing.”
“What makes this time different?” Thomas asked.
“It was summer then, and I was young and stupid. The difference is I’ve seen enough death from cauterising flesh not to want you to suffer the same fate.”
“Haven’t died yet,” Thomas said, heating his hunting knife in the fire.
He looked away so he could not see Freya staring at him. Half an hour later, a quarter of the blade was hot enough to do what he needed. He peeled the bandage off the skin, and the sound of burning flesh followed. He treated the rest of the wounds with medicine and ointments.
They were staying in a little hut in the middle of nowhere, far from any town, village, or city. The closest one stood several miles west, a border village they were fond of. They were not allowed to go back there. Too much trouble.
“I’ll sleep outside tonight,” Thomas said, shivering away, “I’ll be shivering like this for a few more hours, and I don’t want to disturb you.”
“You won’t… you never—”
“I know,” Thomas interrupted, “I need to be alone like this.”
Thomas staggered away, closing the door behind him. Freya must have felt isolated, but isolation allowed her time to breathe. Thomas gathered wood and stood under the wooden awning. He set a new fire. The winds had slowed. He lit it and kept close. Every noise and whisper woke him. He eyed the darkness as if someone was watching him from it. He never saw anyone, but he was sure things were moving around him.
His bandage was now tightly stuck to his sticky skin. Thomas had a moment of bliss as he watched what looked like shadows move in and around the trees. When he watched them it reminded him of how many people he had lost on the way to this point. “Alone, together, in the middle of nowhere,” he whispered despairingly. He shivered more, “Everyone’s gone, and it’s all because of that bastard.” Thoughts of revenge infected his mind, turning his pain into anger. The episode of thinking was disturbed. A crow flew from its nest, disturbed. He heard a twig snap. He had hoped it was nature’s doing.
The night turned bright, and in a sequence, fires were lit all around the hut. The fires weren’t safe, they touched the brambles, and the ash trees. The fire started to spread. Men walked through the fire as if they resisted it. They stepped over the fire, and it sizzled beneath their feet. Thomas squeezed his fingers around the water bag on his belt. He looked at the men and sighed. His path had felt long, and he had grown tired. Still wounded, he said, “You should have stayed away.”
I’m not sure we’re all born a bit broken, or maybe we’re all born broken in different ways, but I was born a bit broken. It doesn’t hit you until you grow up. It wasn’t my parents’ fault because I had quite the childhood, all the toys, all the games, responsibility, trust, freedom, and understanding. It wasn’t them — it was me. I don’t know. It took me about eighteen years of my life to understand that I don’t feel intense emotions, at first. Bloody hell I feel them, bloody hell I feel them more than many I’ve met, but it takes time for my brain to process information like intense emotion.
It took me twenty-four years to accept myself for who I am, and have been, and who I want to be. It took me two decades to understand that I have been in pain, and in survival mode when there has been little if any reason to be in it. It has taken me eighty percent of my life to accept that it is okay.
I never talked to my parents, or anyone, except someone I met who lived almost two-hundred miles away from me… about me. I never thought of it before then, and I’ll tell you a secret about me — when I was young I don’t know why, but I was sure I wouldn’t be here for long, so sure that I pushed everyone I cared about when I was younger away from me in preparation because I held onto the idea that being a ghost was the better alternative than hurting the people you care about.
I think this idea came from the first person I put my trust in who wasn’t my mother which was my auntie, and I was a pretty shy kid, and a bit weird, I suppose. I wouldn’t talk to anyone else apart from my mother for years, but when I did, and I remember being asked to draw a sheep for my auntie and to give her a kiss on the cheek goodbye. She’d chase me around the room until I refused so much that she would eventually give in.
I remember the night I finally gave in myself and saw how sad she looked when she went to leave, and I kissed her cheek. Little did I know it would be the last time I would ever see her, and that she had a sad face because it was a kiss goodbye. Suicide is a funny thing, and no one knows who struggles with thoughts like that until it’s too late, after all, when you see someone smiling all day, every day, who would know that they aren’t happy?
And you know something, for so many years after that moment, I’d occasionally understand the feeling. The feeling of ‘being trapped’, the feeling of ‘suffocating’, the feeling of being forced to ‘live a certain way’, and quite often I’d sit away from everyone else, and stop smiling. I never told my parents I felt this way. I think I remember shouting it out once, but as childish as I was acting, I don’t think they thought I was serious.
I remember getting bullied, and in return, acting up and acting out. I had anger issues for the majority of my teenage years. I was disinterested in everything that I did, and no one really noticed. Some may have had an inkling and thought I’d just grow out of it, but I don’t think I ever let anyone get close enough to me.
As I grew up, I met someone who helped me see a different way of living, and for a while, that worked, but eventually, I fell back to my neutral self, and I began to feel hate. It wasn’t the bullying that did it, nor a relatively normal childhood. It was me, and it was a hatred for myself. I remember it, looking in the mirror, slouching after playing video games for sixteen hours straight, of thirty-six hours straight, not that it mattered, but I felt disgusted, but I couldn’t stop. The reason for that was because I would have to face myself if I stopped, and for the longest of time, I couldn’t.
My friend, the one that I talked to, helped me reach out, and I met someone who I connected with and that’s when I met my daughter’s mother. I think I met her at a point where I would believe what someone would tell me, no matter how ridiculous, more than my own thoughts, or feelings, or even if I knew the fact was different. The relationship gradually degenerated into something negative, and though I share my part to blame, it affected me more than I realised.
The idea of someone I ‘loved’ if, even to this day I understand the word when it refers to a romantic partner, but when meeting someone who broke me down more, and attacked me when I tried to walk away, on repeat, for about eight or so months, and I still, to this day, say, “It’s okay, we had our good bits.” It isn’t and it wasn’t okay. Her parents never saw it, neither did mine, for a while. They didn’t know she cheated on me half a dozen times, or would throw a punch at me for coming home half an hour later than she expected. It was my first proper relationship, so was this what a relationship was like?
No, it wasn’t. Eventually it came to a point where she brought that hatred and anger out of me and I felt like I wanted to hit her back and that was the point where I broke up with her, and it broke me because for the longest of time I had a chip on my shoulder which made me feel like I should never give up on someone, or walk away, because what would I do if I did that and then the next day, suddenly, they weren’t around anymore?
By the end of that relationship, when I finally made a choice between the man who I was scared of being, someone who you see in the news ‘Another man who hit his fiancee’, I finally made a choice of walking away, and in doing so, it was the first time I looked at myself in the mirror with mixed feelings, and unsure of myself, I tried to do more for me. Sure, it hurt when I found out she had cheated and when I was told it didn’t matter if I was my daughter’s father or not, it’s up to her mother whether I see her or not, and even, the legitimacy of her being mine was questioned, yet tests were rejected, I was lost for a while… and I drank, and meditated, and drank…
I remember my brother and I got into a fight and I was beside myself — I didn’t remember fighting back, but I did, and for the first time stopped myself from getting shoved and pushed in the corner, but it felt wrong. This bottled up anger I gained from so many years of not fighting back, or standing up for myself, or just simply saying “No more!” had led me to a point where I felt split into two.
Once again, I stood at a point where I had a choice of the type of person I wanted to be, and I chose better. I worked on my anger, and I remember trying out so much meditation I looked at the individual reasons why I was so wound up and angry, and I let them go. I let them fucking go. Twenty damn years of being quiet, holding my tongue, thinking it wasn’t okay, and putting all these tokens into a box as if one day I would enact my revenge, and I just put the box down and let it go. All that fucking pain. I remember looking up and directing my questions at God as to why the fuck all that had to happen for me to learn how to let go, but I guess we are broken to be fixed.
So, I started breaking the habits. I got back into contact, and forgave people, and apologised to people who I felt I had unfinished business with… and though many of them seemed to think I had some ulterior motive, I didn’t, and time moved on. Suddenly, a few months down the line I had a call from social services, asking me to come in to see them.
I got my life back on track… no, on track, and with a huge amount of help from my parents, my family, and those who stayed, I began taking steps forward, applied to uni, was a support worker, and every so often, I was greeted by a small smile in the mirror. When my daughter was a few months old I was asked what I wanted because so much had happened to her and her mother that she ended up in care. I wasn’t allowed to be in contact, so I wasn’t informed, but suddenly, I ended up with a six-month-old baby, seven days a week, and though I lived with my parents I tried to do it all on my own.
It was difficult, and it was hard, but it was the first person I met who helped me understand what love was and not the romantic kind, but an unconditional love, and though I felt more like I had a pet, than a mini person to look after, considering, anyone who has ever had a child, knows they pretty much poop, cry, eat, poop, and sleep, oh– and poop. Before I knew it we had our first house together, and I won custody in court.
So, it all goes fine, and though we had some hiccups, where I was attacked twice, and have dealt with some difficult financial times, managing University with a child, it took me twenty to twenty-two years to smile at myself in the mirror, and though I have a slip up here, and there, and get down, we spend the majority of our days smiling.
The sad thing for me is that I think I needed someone to rely on me, in order to give me purpose, and that my default feeling is a negative one, so it has taken a lot for me to get into a place where the only path I see forward, is one leading upward…
And here I am. I didn’t have the freedom of being able to go out at night, and I didn’t have the freedom of avoiding life whenever I pleased, and I no longer allowed myself to slope into depression, or slip into a dark place. I no longer let myself because it wasn’t only me who I had to look after. So, it’s safe to say that my daughter has helped me as much as I have helped her, if not more so. Now, I’m coming up to my third year at University, and it is hard. Sometimes, I sit here and think about stopping, but then I look her in the eyes and remember that I’m not only doing this for me but for her as well.
Separately to my daughter’s needs, I’ve changed mine this year, over other years, and it’s taken me a long fucking time to wake up. In my first year, and second perhaps, I sometimes felt envious of people who could complain about everything and never lift a finger, or people who had it so easy but had a problem, or complained about him and her… etc etc…
It got me in a habit of doing it as well since sometimes, I reflect the energy of those I’m around…
This year… I’ve been distant, and cold with mostly everyone, because of this year, this month, this week, this hour, I realised something… I’m not in competition with them, I’m not in competition with my brother anymore, or my childhood friends, I’m not in competition with anyone in my year, or in uni and I’m not in competition with my best friend.
The only person I’ve ever been in competition with, is myself, and though I am my own worst enemy, and I have been lucky enough to see both sides of my own coin, I also know that I plan, expect, and try hard to be better than I have been, and better than the person I was before I had a child, but it doesn’t stop there… my aim is to be better than who I was yesterday, and I always see room to improve, but I always see improvement.
So, if you started reading this post thinking it would be another sad story, think again because it’s not, it isn’t, and never will be. I never thought I was strong, and I hope that one day I will see strength in me, but I know, after all this, I’m not weak. So sometimes, I ignore everyone, and sometimes, the only social ability I have in my day is reserved for my daughter, but that doesn’t mean I’m sad, it means that I’m doing more than I’m speaking, and lately, I’m fed up of speaking.
I’ve shared my aims with you in my previous posts, of my weight loss, my writing, and I’ll get them done… so it’s time to remind myself of my own advice, and get on with it, because I am slowly finding pieces of myself to put back together, and I won’t pretend I’ve done it on my own, so if you find yourself reading this, and you’re still in my life, just know that I do care, and I appreciate you, and that even if you’ve never had the opportunity to hold your hand out for me, my hand will always be holding out for you, because I’ve been where you’re standing, and you’re not alone.
My name is Daniel, and this is a summary of my story up to now. It’s time to let go of who I once was, and allow me, who I am now, to be.
That person, this person, me, is someone who will keep walking forward, and never back.
“Less talking, more doing.”
“And those who are no longer with us, be it by choice, or otherwise… you are never forgotten.”
“As for those who think everything is easy for me, I hope you understand a little bit about me now, because nothing is, for me, as it was.”