In 50 years..

Recently I read a quote. It was I guess a demotivational quote initially, but I think I flipped it around in my head as I took it’s negativity to be quite freeing. Of course now I am actually writing about it, I don’t remember if I saw something and made up the demotivational version myself or if I read it somewhere or what.. Google only seems to give me generalized quotes with similar meanings. But it was something to do with legacy and the things we leave behind for others. Something like “In 50 years nobody is going to remember what you said or did, or didn’t do. Nobody will remember you for what you created or what you failed to create, so what does it matter? – Go live your life”.

I spend some serious time thinking about that, as it came at a time when I was very much in the mindset of feeling extreme disappointment that at my age of 40 there is a growing list of things I wanted to achieve that I have not done so yet, and from that growing list, there is a secondary list of things which will now, in my lifetime, never come to fruition. But.. I found it freeing in a way, because it’s really quite true. For me. I don’t have brothers or sisters to carry on my family line, I’m not married so I am not passing my name on anywhere. I don’t have children. In 50 years I’ll likely be dead, my friends are mostly younger than me, they have achieved Love, Relationships, Furthering the human race through having kids, leaving a legacy behind to be built upon. – Being successful. And that, really is, truly amazing. I am so proud of each and every one of them.

My thoughts and feelings come with zero guilt for once. It is simply put… ‘It is what it is’. It’s not a morbid thought, I am 40 years old now, add an additional 50 years and I’ll be 90.. There’s simply no way that’s going to happen. That’s not wishful thinking, or morbidity, that’s just common sense. I can add to that that I really don’t fancy another 50 years of being alone, even if given the choice. I am not sure many people would go for that. But if I could ask for anything, it would be to be around for long enough for my family and friend’s children to grow up and turn into young adults, and get their start in their own lives. That would give me inner happiness and peace.

But the bit that motivated me from this demotivational quote was the “Go live your life” part. Because I believe that’s subconsciously what I am doing, and have been doing for the past 13 months. I’ve been giving myself these opportunities to get to events and experiences happening around me – that always were happening around me (except through lockdown), and I never really had the opportunity to give myself the opportunity in the past. There was simply something always in my way – most of the time probably only myself.

Since January and going to the Kings Elliot gig in London alone, and having the experience that I did that night, ending in meeting Kings herself.. I’ve felt the anxiety that I usually get before going to an event lessen. I was going to say slip away, but it’s not gone completely. I know it’s still there lurking. But what I feel is different now is that before I go out to an event these days, sure the anxious feelings come up, but now, I am in control of them, and I can push them away. I can fight my way above them and stay on top of them. This is true for most events I now attend. Gig’s are still the kicker. I have still failed to go to gigs along and now I think twice before booking tickets for them. But that’s fine, I am learning my limits.

So I am going out, leaving the house, sometimes for more than just a few hours, overnight. Having these human interactions and enjoying these experiences. Some of them are better than others, that’s natural. They won’t all be fantastic or amazing experiences. But for the most part, I am enjoying the experiences. Would I like company for some of the ones I go to solo? Of course.. that would make a hell of a difference to my enjoyment level at each of these venues. But for the most part, I am enjoying the being alone part. But there are sometimes when the light begins to shine through the cracks and they become visible. It’s those moments of weakness when I allow myself to think about experiencing these events with people by my side. Being able to talk about them and discuss them like I hear and see almost everybody else do. It’s funny thought, because as a single person attending these events, you can spot others who’ve come alone and granted we are in the minority, we generally tend to stick out quite a bit. The choice of seats we take, the exit speeds, the mannerisms we have in getting to our seats etc.

I know this won’t last forever. It’s already too much on some occasions for me now. Mentally but also physically. I am not as able bodied as I once was. So why not enjoy it while I can, why not ‘Go live my life’… – I am trying, so hard to just stick within the boundaries of those four words. I am trying not to take on anything too heavy, or too much stress or responsibility, I am trying so hard to keep things as light as possible. But as a creatively minded individual, with a million thoughts passing through my head at any one given moment, that shit is hard to stick to and even harder to ignore. Some of it sticks, and the parts that do, tend to weigh heavy on my mind.

Talking with a friend I haven’t seen in quite a number of years this past week, I found myself talking about pretty much my hopes and dreams, and I kept saying the phrase “i’ll get there someday”… I probably won’t. The thoughts I was sharing were probably lofty pipe dreams, but they were my dreams, and the fact that I was sharing them at all speaks wonders for how this friend makes me feel about myself. Sometimes I sit back and realise that these thoughts, feelings, ‘dreams’ for want of a better word are still in there somewhere, deep down inside me. They didn’t go anywhere. They were not lost to the sands of time. They are still there. Deep down, underwater, waterlogged and in dire need of rescue.. But being somehow perfectly preserved by the water. – It’s only when we bring them back to the surface that they fall away and crumble to nothingness.

It was a wonderful day that I got to spend with my friend again. I was so nervous before we met up but as soon as we did those nerves floated away. Slipped right back into as it if had been only a day since the last time we met. So easy to talk to, to get along with and such a feeling of comfort when you know someone gets you without having to explain anything. I hope they felt as comfortable around me as they made me feel. I hope I could provide that safety net for them. I feel we need to talk more – see each other more when possible, but definitely talk more. I feel it helps us both. I feel I must make an effort to make that something we do.

Am I ever going to return to work? At the moment I am doing some volunteer work at a local community center. It’s a day a week so far, perhaps a little more in the future. It does get me out of the house, which is a good thing, and I am enjoying doing it. Losing the time from my collection of ‘at home rest time’ is something I am coming to terms with. But it has been many years at this point, so that was always going to feel that way right? – I have learnt so far that full days are a little bit too much for me. It’s taking me too long to recover from doing the full day at the moment. So part time hours are probably best. Half-days. I applied for a job recently. I.. didn’t expect to get it, but I saw it and it was something that I thought I could do, for a company that interested me. In a sector that interested me. So I thought it’d be a good experience to apply for it. So I did. Spoke with a friend or two about it and they agreed that applying could be a good thing to do. A good excersize for me. So I followed it through and applied. – I didn’t get anywhere, not even called for an interview or shortlisted or anything, but you know I put in the effort and made the application. – I’d have probably had an accident if I’d have made it any further! – That was the first time in 3-5 years that I’ve felt strong enough about doing something to actually try and apply. That’s huge progress for me.

So to answer the question of ‘Am I ever going to return to paid work?’ – The answer is ‘Probably, yes’ But when, I don’t know as yet. I don’t have that answer to give. I’ll keep volunteering for as long as I feel I am of use for, and for as long as I retain interest in doing so. But I need to be aware, and careful of pushing myself too far, or too hard I am still in an extremely fragile place. Grief. I don’t believe it actually get’s easier with time. I am more of the school of thought that we get used to it more day by day and learn to grow around it. But equally. I don’t feel like that is happening much at the moment. I am missing Mum more and more at the moment. It’s not getting any easier. But it is getting harder to remember so easily. It’s also becoming.. a numbness. A depersonalized state. Talking about it helps and sometimes it comes at the strangest of places. From the most unlikeliest people. – Not that that is a slight on them whatsoever, and believe me, you’ve really zero idea who I am talking about with that one. It’s not someone I’ve seen recently.

Anyway.. I don’t know what this blog post is. But it is one. It’s been on my to-do list to write this stuff down for a while, and this morning is when it all fell out of me. There’s always so much more to say, and so much more to digest, but that’ll have to keep for next time.