Chapter 8 – Writers Block

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Its fair to say, I have reneged on my new years resolution to update this website more frequently. Aside from a Tribute to Professor Stephen Hawking, I haven’t written on here this year. I can only explain this as being due to writers block, and quite frankly, I have been doing all the wrong things to overcome this. I have made excuses that I’ve been too busy, but honestly, these entries only really take about half an hour to write at most and I haven’t been so flat out busy that I couldn’t find a measly 30 minutes to write something.

Refusing to write until you feel “inspired” and just waiting for inspiration to come along means you’ll never write again. Inspiration comes from life experiences, which I confess have been lacking somewhat for me this year. This is not a post about self pity, it has been necessary this year to right a few wrongs in my life and quite frankly, as much as life admin that I have had to do has been necessary, reading about a trip to the bank or taking out a loan doesn’t make particularly interesting reading.

Inspiration comes from the places you least expect. Inspiration does not come from watching TV (which I do very rarely), it does not come from magazines and it certainly doesn’t come from just mooching around the house. The stuff I write about isn’t supposed to be awe inspiring. I’m never going to be writing about my experiences of space travel or the view from the top of Everest (the mountain, not the window company – although saying that, I cant imagine my career taking me to the top of the company either). I just write about random stuff that just happens in day to day life. So why have I been struggling for inspiration?

Writers Block

Honestly, I started writing this entry without really knowing where I was going with it. Seriously, I have no idea what the next sentence is going to say. I just kind of started writing and decided to power through. And as I write, I realise that it hasn’t been the case for the last 8 months that nothing has happened that is worthy of writing about, I’ve just not been paying attention. Maybe I’ve been a little pre-occupied but that’s no excuse.

Writers block can be caused by pretty much anything. That’s what makes it so impressive that people like Enid Blyton have been able to churn out hundreds of reasonable books and people like JRR Tolkein and Stephen King have been able to write such significant novels. The longer I’ve left it to write on here, the harder its been to come back to it. That stops now. I know that this hasn’t been the most riveting post in the world, but the only way to overcome writers block, is to start writing. I have realised over the last month that actually, I need this blog. Its a way to chat the random shit that goes through my head even if I’m writing totally irrelevant nonsense. So as much as I hope (if you’re still reading this) you haven’t been bored to tears, this one isn’t for you, its for me.

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Chapter 6 – Mid-20’s Crisis

The term “mid-life crisis” is often used as a comical term. It is usually used to explain when a person gets to a certain age and the suddenly decides to buy a Lamborghini, move to Canada or drastically change their career. It is not only a facetious way to describe irrational behaviour though, it is a valid medical term & extensive research by professionals has been carried out (although I wouldn’t bother reading it – it’s not particularly exciting.)

But this isn’t about midlife crisis’s (well I hope not anyway, otherwise I have a worryingly short life expectancy). I’m 27 next month and in the last few weeks a number of people have asked if I’m having some sort of mid-life crisis. I’m obviously giving off these signals. And to be fair, I have noticed something of a change in my personality. I’ve become somewhat irresponsible with money, started this website, come dangerously close to buying a second car which i definitely don’t have the need, nor means to pay for and considered putting a months salary on red at the roulette table. Thankfully, I have managed to stop myself doing anything too stupid, but have undeniably become more reckless.

 

But I don’t think I’m alone. Not by a long shot. Life in general is much faster paced and more stressful than it was 52 years ago when Elliot Jaques first coined the term “mid-life crisis”. By my age, many people are on their third or fourth child, second marriage, have managed a team of people and have paid off the finance on their desired car. And if any 20 something year old is honest with themselves, they’re not prepared for this responsibility. Before, there was no stress or pressure over buying a house, people could feasibly do it by the age of 23 and that security of being on the property ladder gave them a safety net which gave a good grounding for the rest of their lives, which didn’t include may of the responsibilities we face by that age today.

This can only be achieved nowadays by virtue of luck or wealthy parents (which, as you have no control over your heritage, is still down to luck). I’m not saying this is the only cause of a mid-20’s crisis, but if you’re not lucky enough to have wealth family or win the lottery, you’re much more likely in my opinion to be susceptible to the mid-20’s crisis.

You reach a point where you haven’t necessarily done anything wrong, but it feels like friends and people you used to go to school with are further on in your life, whilst yours is not going to plan at all, or there’s a sudden change in your life which rewinds your progress to no better off than when you left school. At this point, you start to question what you’re working towards. Then kicks in the “fuck it, just be impulsive” attitude and irresponsible behaviour that looks very much like a mid-life crisis.

But maybe it’s a good thing. I refuse to believe I am the only one this is happening to, and i suspect that my fellow mid-20’s crisisers and I are, darwinianly speaking, on to something. We’re young enough to get this out of our system, set out a new series of life goals and thanks to a longer life expectancy than our ancestors, we have a chance of achieving them.

If this is the latest evolutionary trait for humans as I suspect it is, we can expect the mid-20’s crisis to become more and more common, replace the mid-life crisis and see a more successful and affluent generation. Here’s hoping anyway…

Chapter 4 – Christening

To my mind, there are 3 types of attitude which people have towards family events.

Category A: People who live for these events and will sacrifice anything else in their lives to make sure they are able to attend & will go to extreme lengths, committing unholy amounts of time and money to make these events memorable.

Category B: You make the effort to go if you’re free, but you sort of feel guilty about missing most of these occasions because other things still happen and the world doesn’t stop turning because there’s a party happening somewhere.

Category C: You can’t stand these occasions & will go out of your way to avoid going to these events. You will deliberately book yourself up so you have an excuse not to go.

I place myself in category B, which, like me, is the most socially awkward of the categories. Last weekend, I found myself in the unusual position of being able to got to the Christening of my cousins latest addition to the family. Because I’ve missed so many events in the past, it’s frankly incredible they remember to invite me to these things at all. They’ve given up inviting me to family barbecues anyway, which – given my previous form – is absolutely fair enough.

So I sneak into the church as undetected as possible and sit through the ceremony. And I realise that no matter how expected it is, however much you mentally prepare yourself for it, no sound is quite as stressful as a baby screaming. It should be expected at a christening, but the screaming wasn’t coming from the tiny human at the front having holy water thrown mercilessly in her face (she didn’t make a sound the whole day), it was coming from the ever so slightly bigger human in the arms of a couple (who I hoped were its parents), who had turned up 15 minutes late and were in no way subtle about it. They also stuck out like a sore thumb as the only people in the church who were wearing jeans and t-shirts. I found this ruder than if they hadn’t turned up at all.

After the usual relief at not bursting into flame for daring to step into a church, came the reception. Is it still called a reception for a Christening? I’m pretty sure it’s not called a wake. Maybe its just a party… Anyway, I digress. This “Reception” was not being held at a pub. It was not being held at a restaurant. It wasn’t even in a hired function room. It was at someones house. A holiday let for the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice house, but for in excess of 60 guests, perhaps not all that practical. So I tiptoed around trying my hardest not to tread on anyone’s feet and saying “hi” to people I didn’t recognise but should probably be quite well acquainted with. They clearly didn’t recognise me either, answering with a cautious “hello?” but the look on their faces screaming “who the bloody hell is this?!”

After this, I decided to walk towards some more slightly familiar faces. The first question I get asked is “so hows the wedding planning going?” To which the only suitable reply I can muster is “yeah, its kind of on hold since we broke up a few weeks ago.” With an awkwardly shocked face, that Aunt walks away in embarrassment. Next is an Uncle who asks “so where is your lovely lady?”… This happens 5 or 6 times over the next quarter of an hour, by which time I feel like I have made enough people want to tear their face off, so rather than standing in the corner keeping myself to myself like lube at a funeral and making anyone who looks in my direction even more uncomfortable, I make my excuses and leave.

Maybe I should consider becoming category C, for everyone’s sake.

Chapter 1 – The End

Well it certainly feels like the end. Whilst I don’t want to bring down the mood in the first chapter I have ever written, it seems only proper to start with the event that made me start writing, when for years I haven’t got past “thinking about doing it”.

I am sad. I am sad because my Fiancé is not my Fiancé anymore. And I don’t mean I am suddenly filled with regret that I have just bound myself to one person for the rest of my life in the most expensive way thinkable. I mean I have been informed by the person I love most in the world that the feeling is no longer mutual.

I’m given to understand that this is something which the vast majority of us experience at least once in our lives. It’s a time when we wish we weren’t afflicted with the burden of emotion. Yet ironically it is when emotion decides to wake from its “lets take it for granted” stupor and slap us repeatedly and unyieldingly around the face for a sustained amount of time. We also don’t know how to make this heart destroying pain stop. We sit and dwell on it, we try to distract ourselves from it and we try (and fail) to ignore it.

But we’re not the only ones who don’t know how to make it better. We talk to friends or family about it, then instantly regret it. This is because within seconds we have been bombarded with infuriating clichés like “its probably for the best”, whatever will be will be” and perhaps worst of all “everything happens for a reason”.

“NO!” You want to scream in their face, “what possible reason could there be for depriving me of this perfect person?! What could I have done in my past or present lives to deserve such debilitating and devastating pain!?” But you don’t, and that is because as much as you don’t want to hear it at the time, you know they’re trying to help. You know they’re trying to show you that they are there to offer their support through this horrendous time, and you know deep down that they are probably fucking right…

I implore you, don’t tell them they have no idea (9 times out of 10, they probably do), don’t push them away and, as much as possible, try not to punch them. You’re going to need them.

As I write, the passing of my relationship is just shy of a week old and being “over it” couldn’t feel further away. However in the last 24 hours, I have managed a full nights sleep & started eating again, I have also found myself able to concentrate sometimes. I don’t believe in karma or fate, but I still feel like I am being punished for some terrible mis-deed which I cant quite remember, but I am also starting to be grateful for the amazing times we had together.

Hollywood shows us that immediately before we die, our lives flash before our eyes. As a relationship dies, the reasons you were together, almost mockingly, do the same. But we shouldn’t be saddened by this, it’s a reminder of some incredible parts of our lives. I say this feels like the end, and it is, its the end of life as I know it. But all that means is the start of a life that I don’t know yet, which I should see as an opportunity to make the most of. Whilst I can’t see that yet and can’t comprehend the awful thing pulsating through me at the moment, I am beginning to realise that it’s probably for the best, whatever will be will be and everything happens for a reason.