***WARNING: This blog is all deep and meaningful. Readers are advised to exercise extreme caution before proceeding. You may feel ill during and after reading this. You may experience moments of worry for the mental health of the author. You may even vomit. Reader discretion recommended. The Management accept no responsibility for the effect this drivel may have on you, either physically or mentally. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***
There’s a song I’ve been listening to on a loop for the past few weeks. You know how it is, when you find a song that resonates with you … gets inside your soul and stirs up emotions that can sometimes be overwhelming. You don’t have to identify with the entire song, with the meaning of every line. But something in it … some phrase, some sentiment, can catch your breath and connect with your mind on a level beyond the norm.
This song of mine has me thinking about life and how we can spend so much time looking for answers. We struggle to fit in, to find meaning, to fight the darkness. We look for happiness and validation in others. We look for meaning in things, in ownership. If I just had this new car then I’ll be happy. If I have the latest phone then I’ll be fulfilled. If I impress this person I’ll be a success. Once the summer comes life will be much better. And on and on it goes. Always reaching for outside influences to make our lives whole.
And then one day we realise that we’ve been looking in the wrong place all the time. Each new ‘thing’ we accumulate, each time we reach the day, week or month that we have been waiting for, we gain pleasure, but only for a short while – pleasure which is quickly replaced by emptiness. This realisation can come at twenty, sixty, ninety (or in my case forty) … it can come anytime. But when it does it is so liberating and so bloody simple. What we are really looking for is ourselves. We need to understand ourselves, be happy with who we are, realise that if we are to succeed at anything, be truly happy in life we need to start inside our own hearts and minds. The only true journey is the one within.
When I began to accept myself for who I am, I started to believe in what I can do. I took the leap to follow a dream, and finally found the confidence to tell people what that dream was – to proudly answer ‘I’m writing a book. I’m a writer’ when asked what I was doing. And while I still have my days of doubt – normally when sat at the desk, hands poised over the laptop and nothing is happening. Days when I question my sanity and my decisions. But for each of these days there are ten good ones. I have less money, but I have more time. I have less work but more focus and fulfilment. I have happier children, a more peaceful home. I have ambition and drive. I am grateful. And above all I have a dream.
We get one shot at this life. And we need to stop banking on happiness being just around the next corner. Life is here, life is now. Live it.
This is my song – Ben Howard’s Keep Your Head Up.
Normal blogging will resume tomorrow – once I’ve come down off my hippie high horse!