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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Choosing Life

It's so easy to forget, isn't it.

I find it really easy to forget where I put my glasses - when they're not on my head they're mysteriously absent, and when I take my contacts out I can't see, so I generally can't find my glasses. If only I had my glasses, I'm sure finding my glasses would be easy. See the catch 22?
God I'm tired.

I find it easy to forget that there's 7 billion other people, living life. Every second I live, 7 billion people are living that second also.
The billionaires, the homeless, people working and sleeping.
How many tens of millions are on Facebook? If you're reading this, you're probably guilty, but you're reading my blog so I'll let you off.

That thought has been the one that's driven me through most of this block of finals revision; that when this draining horrible block of my life is over (and it will be over by next week), I can go for hours of walks around sunny parks, cook the most amazing stir-fry you've ever seen, play pool with friends. I can live life again.
I'm realising that I am unlikely to find a job that uses my incoming degree much, and I'm increasingly OK with that.

I might go to college, and take a vocational course. I might do an MA and a PhD in 30 seconds of Egyptian life in 672 BC, or something equally specific but enjoyable.

All I know is that I want to do more with my seconds.

I look around and realise how little I know in comparison to people my own age.

I was talking to an older friend a few weeks ago, and he said how much of a shock it was turning 25 and realising that the up and coming entrepreneurs and businessmen were younger than him.
I'm reaching that age. People my age are beginning to have global impacts with the work they're doing, people my age are changing the world for the better.

I want to do more with my seconds.

I want to learn more, I want to inspire more.

One of the key things that got me into youth work and youth representation was a picture of Malcolm X, in it, at the height of his popularity, when he was working 20 hour days, and under threat of death.
He was in a school classroom, in front of four or five school children, talking about the importance of politics to making a difference.

Love him, hate him, at that point in his life he was one of the most influential men in America. And he thought that talking to young people about politics was important enough to take time out of his day to do so.

I'm not the most important person in my house. popularity is not something I want or have ever particularly had. No death threats for me. I haven't worked a 20 hour day in months.

What's my excuse?
I don't have one.

I'm choosing life, being passionate about things I care about, and less time on social media. (But seriously, I appreciate you being on Facebook long enough to click this link, really appreciate it x x)

Cause the alternative is bumbling along, and watching people with more motivation and drive do stuff I can't come close to.

And I've only got one opportunity to do this, one opportunity to do some amazing things on the canvas I've been given.
In (hopefully) 60 years time, I want to look back and know I made the most of these years.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

How I'm Learning to Get Angry and Hate the Bomb




I was trying to work out a Dr Strangelove reference in the title, I'm not sure it quite fits but look, I'm all cultured and stuff.

In the wake of the near-miss I encountered (nearly got stabbed over £10 - see previous blog) about three weeks ago, life has been very, very odd.

I got an extenuating circumstances on my dissertation, and I've been desperately trying to have my superman mask on whilst revising for finals, finishing my dissertation, and saying goodbye to a lot of friends, whilst indulging myself in takeaways and lazy weekends because 'I can start again on Monday'.
Anxiety and depression I spent a lot of last year throwing off my back have made an unwelcome re-appearance due to the stress of dealing with the police and the workload of a final year who really would quite like a decent job after university, please thank you.

How have I pulled myself out of that miserable pit?

Anger.

Oh, and my mum's forever appreciated care packages.

I have raged in the shower about the stupid fucking man who I let really shake me up.
I have raged whilst looking at my ceiling for hours about how I'm just laying there, looking at the ceiling, feeling not very much.
I have raged about the suicidal political scene I am growing up in.

And it's helped.

I guess it's the Christian upbringing; the only Jesus I ever really got on with was the version not often talked about in popular Christian circles today, the one who threw tables and hated injustice. I always felt a little more similarity with that Jesus.

I am increasingly a fan of righteous anger, often I feel I've nodded my head when inside I'm rejected everything someone is saying. And believe me, there's nothing that drives you more than a righteous anger.

My head is still a mess, but I'm picking myself back up again, and going again.
Doubtless I'll trip over my shoelaces soon enough, but the hope is that I'll fail just that bit further along the line next time.

I guess I'm bored of nodding along. I feel like I'll nod along, then eventually nod off, and that's not what I want my legacy to be.

"Joe Stockley - good at nodding" is a crap epitaph.