Lyrics Day Eighty One – ‘April 26th’

Hey everyone,

today’s lyrics feature another special memory that I have. It was the deadline day for our first year of University, and my friends and I celebrated in the SU bar. To be honest, a gathering of so many people feels worlds away now, not because of lock-down, but because it’s been so long since we’ve all been together. But yeah, I remember just sitting down on the sofa, feeling exhausted but content and happy, as I stared out at all of the friends I’d made that year, sitting around me.

As I remarked last time, life seems to be made up of these single moments, and special memories. I think it’s about living in the best way possible for ourselves, and having as many of those treasured moments as possible – being brave enough to put ourselves out there, taking chances and sharing connections with the people we meet.

Stay safe ~

Sean

 

April 26th (Verse, Half Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus)

The end of year one
it was April 26th
all together in one photo
my nostalgia still sticks

Looking around the room
at each and every person
sat exhausted but contented
friendships began to blossom

Joe and Sean were laughing
I’d just met Dimitris
overheard another theory
from the mind of Steve

 
Looking around the room
at each and every person
sat exhausted but contented
friendships began to blossom
this time I wasn’t alone
but surrounded by friends
the feeling at that time
I wished it wouldn’t end

It was a blissful feeling
knowing I’d completed
my biggest challenge so far
not to be defeated
I’m glad that I resolved
to capture that image
15 of us together
a milestone in our pilgrimage

Looking around the room
at each and every person
sat exhausted but contented
friendships began to blossom
this time I wasn’t alone
but surrounded by friends
the feeling at that time
I wished it wouldn’t end

Lyrics Day Seventy One – ‘5am’

Hey everyone,

today’s lyrics are written about the latest time that I’ve ever arrived home, from a night out. I don’t drink, and to be honest I’m not great with group social occasions, so I don’t often have nights out. But on this occasion, I stayed the whole time, until around midnight, then one of my friends asked me to walk her home, as something had upset her on the night; I tried for a while to cheer her up, which led to my late return home.

Although it hasn’t happened to me very much, I always loved the idea of walking home in the calm early morning, after a night out with friends. There’s something about sharing that time together, and being able to reflect on it in the afterglow.

Stay safe ~

Sean

5am (Verse, Half Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus)

Haven’t had many nights
that went on past eleven
but arriving home at 5am
felt a little like heaven

 
I’d always dreamed about
those sorts of nights
meaningful conversations
walking home in early morning light

 
I escorted her home
she’d had a stressful time
‘you’ve got so much to live for’
that was my line

 
I’d always dreamed about
those sorts of nights
meaningful conversations
walking home in early daylight
the streets at that time
there’s a sense of camaraderie
I noticed their warmth
groups of friends walking by me

At the start of the night
I was a little worried
promised myself pizza
whenever that might be
Strolled through the dawn-lit streets
arrived home at 5
I still cooked that pizza
but could barely open my eyes

 
I’d always dreamed about
those sorts of nights
meaningful conversations
walking home in early daylight
the streets at that time
there’s a sense of camaraderie
I noticed their warmth
groups of friends walking by me

 

Vigour

‘So go on, show the world who you are. Make connections, friendships, relationships. But most of all, make it count.’

I love the rain. The way it sounds when you’re inside in the warm, the drops thudding against your windows. The way it reflects light, shimmering on the pavement. Most of all though, I love to be caught in it. Have you ever been running when it was overcast and then felt that first drop on your head, steadily increasing in frequency? That’s happened to me a few times, and if I could I’d always choose to run in the rain. Why? Because you get to feel something. Seriously, I don’t know what it is but it just makes me feel alive when I’m out there, in that moment.

I just described the rain in a positive light, but are plenty of people who don’t like the rain. They may enjoy other weather conditions more than I do, and that’s great! The point is that your muse is somewhere, you just have to discover it.

Those of you who have subscribed to this blog will know that I don’t post often, only when I feel that I have something important to say, and here’s another of those times. I’ve labelled this one ‘Vigour’ because I really wanted to express my own sense of vigour for life in the hope that it helps others to do the same.

Vigour for life doesn’t have to mean performing death-defying stunts, or quitting your job. For me, it just means to have a passion for something, and to appreciate the everyday. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t always easy to do but I feel that it’s necessary, and quite easy if you put your mind to it. Take yesterday for example. I go to work pretty early, around 6.10am. When I’m walking at that time, there aren’t many people out and it’s pretty dark. But, every time I step out there I look out towards the sky and try to catch something of a planetary nature going on. Yesterday I was really lucky, because I was able to spot Venus and Jupiter in the sky. Amazing right?! The countless mysteries and possibilities in an ocean of space and I was able to view a small part of it, if only briefly. Finding your passion, your ideals and what makes you gaze out in awe and wonder, that’s gonna stop any of those morning blues.

One theme which you may have noticed if you’d read any of my other blogs is my complete fascination with friendship. I believe that there are almost 8 billion people on this planet, and each one of them has a unique story. If you think of it like a book, as I do, then letting someone into your story attaches some of their pages to your own. Billions of other people who you have the opportunity to form bonds with every single day, or getting a little closer to the ones you already know. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I just love the idea that tomorrow, I could meet my future best friend. I think every day can be amazing, I mean sometimes it doesn’t work out but the potential is always there, like a sun ready to burst over the horizon into life. I’ve actually been lucky enough in that a similar situation occurred for me a few months back:

I was at work and noticed a girl struggling with putting a parcel box together, so I helped her out. I saw that the parcel was addressed in Mandarin (which I had studied) so I asked if it was easy to send a parcel abroad because I’d love to do the same for my Chinese friend. She said that if I needed help, then just to let her know. At this point, I just thought she was being kind but anyway, we kept talking and I spoke to her a little in Mandarin. She posited the idea that if I helped her with English, she’d do the same for me with Mandarin. I got a message from her recently; she’s back in Taiwan and I’ve asked for her to send me photos from her country, and then I’ll do the same. Isn’t that amazing?! Just the idea that I have connected with somebody thousands of miles away, purely out of chance. Even if it’s only small, I’m sharing a part of my story over the world, and I get the chance to hear somebody else’s, too.

I could list several examples of moments that I enjoy, and talk to you all day long about how happy I am that I finally picked up a Toy Story mug from the Disney store (those are unbelievably hard to find!); but more than anything, I want to really encourage everyone to take this chance that we’ve been given. In some ways, you can put aside your feelings on why we exist and instead be thankful that we just do.  Life throws a tonne of junk at us but it’s all a part of the ride, and if you’re able to see the light through it all and you can truly appreciate what you have, then you can flourish and do what you meant for.

What you were meant for. That’s an interesting phrase, like it’s meant to happen or something. But, that’s not exactly what I intended. You’re not meant for any one certain thing but if you fulfil your potential then you are meant for greatness. Why? Because everybody has something unique to offer the world. That’s right. You and me? We each have something that nobody else does. That special something is gonna mean a whole lot to a whole lot of people.

So go on, show the world who you are. Make connections, friendships, relationships. But most of all, make it count.

Graduation, and the true meaning of success

I haven’t planned exactly what to write with this; as usual I’m just publishing because it’s a topic which has been on my mind recently. I officially graduated on Thursday, and it has me thinking about the true definition of success. First of all, let me say that it’s a terrific feeling to celebrate 3 years of hard work, and the culmination of all of that effort with your friends! I would recommend University to anybody; it’s obviously important because of the accrued knowledge in a chosen subject area, but what’s of further importance is the personal development and insight which you gain by being put through an entirely new situation, and meeting such a diverse range of people.

This really forms the basis of what I’ve been thinking about. What if I hadn’t graduated, does not make me unsuccessful?

No, it doesn’t.

In my opinion, you’re only unsuccessful if you don’t try. I thought of a pretty cool analogy to explain my point:

You have 2 Superheroes, each trying to save a lot of people. Both of them give everything they have but only one ‘succeeds’. Naturally you’d probably point to the one who saved everyone as being a success, but the success only relates to the task itself, not the person. In my view, each person is a success because:

a) They both had the intent to save everybody

b) Both of them tried their very best.

I think this is a very profound topic to consider because everyday we’re faced with both small and large challenges which all focus on success, but if we were able to manage our expectations of what success is then we’d be a lot happier. Of course, we’re all going to be disappointed when things don’t turn out the way we want them to, but if you can honestly say that you really devoted yourself to your goal, and had the heart and intention to try and carry it out, then that’s what counts.

A successful person to me is someone who wakes up and both aspires and strives to carry out their goals, no matter how difficult.

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

 – Albert Einstein

This links nicely with the second part of my post. The photo which you see attached to this post is of my friend and I after the ceremony. I was speaking to her a few days before the event and I mentioned that for me, this graduation wasn’t about the subject at all, but rather the celebration of the people that I’ve met, the friends I’ve made. It’s true, because why is anything of any significance unless we have others to share it with? I won’t go through the story completely, but basically I feel that because I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, I have a real core of appreciation for those who want to call themselves my friends; I genuinely feel amazing every time anyone decides that they want to speak to me, and I’m thankful for that.

It’s just the message that I wanted to propagate really; there are many mysteries on this Earth and beyond, so many things that we don’t fully comprehend, but for me love is a constant force, an innate feeling embedded in each of us. I am, and will always be a person of success, not because of anything I achieve, but simply because I attempt with all of my heart to achieve my goals, and most importantly love, and am loved by those around me. That’s all that counts, right? 🙂

If ever you feel like you’ve messed up, then please try to remember that. If you’re reading then and you feel like you have no-one that you can count on, then reach out. I was definitely in that position once, but we all have special qualities that will be appreciated, trust me.

IMG-20141127-00765

Greatness

I’d had an epiphany concerning the topic of greatness and it’s definition, and I’ve realised that I’ve been thinking about it from entirely the wrong perspective. As I’ve mentioned numerous times, the perspective you hold counts for everything; hopefully what I’m going to write in this blog will be another indication of why it’s so important.

Recently I’ve been having some problems which have caused me to lose a lot of confidence in myself. The truth is that I don’t really have a great deal of confidence anyway so it’s difficult when things knock you back; but here’s where perspective works it’s magic. I’ve been talking to my friends just to get some reassurance and advice and they gave me that, indefinitely.

What is greatness to you? On Friday, I would have said that greatness means to do something great (okay, I’d still give that answer, but what is ‘something great’?) Well, here’s my answer from Friday:

“Great means doing something amazing, something which helps a lot of people in a significant way. Something which will be remembered by at least the person you helped for many years to come.”

Wrong! Well, not wrong as such, just not complete. That example is great, but what I realised that there are many forms of greatness. We are all great; we have all done great things. Let me explain; I’ll answer as if you were asking me today what greatness is. Sunday Answer:

“Greatness is not only the act, but the intention behind it. A person’s importance isn’t measured by what they’ve done; it’s who they are. Holding a door open for someone, for example, doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, but it’s great. It’s great because you want to be polite to the person walking behind you, and it’s great because they appreciate that kindness.”

But that’s not all. In that example, I only referred to helping someone as being a great thing, but the truth is that we’re taking part and contributing towards many great things each day of our lives. Take friendship, for example. I was feeling low on Saturday and watching some old videos that my friends and I made, and thinking ‘as long as I have that, I’ll be okay.’  Those thoughts were echoed yesterday evening, when my friends and I hung out together. What I mean is, if you have even a single friend, if you trust each other, respect each other, laugh together, then you are part of, and contributing to something great. In a nutshell, life is greatness. And we’re all living it.

The courage to face challenges in our everyday lives is also great. Doesn’t matter if nobody knows about it; what matters is that you didn’t give in to fear, and took a step towards your goal. That’s happening every single day, with a whole host of people.

It’s a relief to feel this way because previously, in burdening myself with the pressure of wanting to complete a great act, I was missing all the great things that I do, and am part of in everyday life. I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before but I’ll leave you with a nice story which ties in nicely, and is my proudest moment – a great one! When I was about 8 years old (or so), I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and noticed that a beetle was drowning in the toilet, so I saved it. It’s a very small act but also a great one because my intention was to help save that beetle’s life.

Take a second to think back on the great moments that you’ve contributed to, and forge some new ones tomorrow.

“The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there.” (#)

 – James Buchanan

 

The Gift and the Curse

Anyone who’s read a few of these blogs will probably know that I only write them when I have thoughts which I want to express, things I’m considering. With this one in particular it kind of combines a few different things and I never write drafts, I just note down what I’m thinking in the here and now so my apologies if this seems a little disjointed. 

I had a conversation with my friends last night regarding the origin on the Universe, and what’s out there; that kind of stuff. We got to thinking ‘What if we are the only advanced species out there?’ (For the record, I don’t believe that but it’s an interesting point.) I replied to my friend with one of my overarching philosophies:

“But if that’s true, don’t you think it’s our job to carry on?To be great? The way I see it, we’re lucky just to exist. That’s why I’m not going to waste this opportunity that’s been given to me; I’m going to be the very best I can be.”

That, in a nutshell, is what I wanted to talk about. Recently I’ve started a new job (which is going well) and that has enabled me to move into my new home. My own home. Yep! Really happy about that, seriously it’s been a dream of mine for years. It’s a small thing, but I had my couch delivered yesterday and that really made it start to feel like a home. I laid back on my new piece of furniture and  listed to music, genuinely elated at how all this was going for me. But lately I’ve felt a little uneasy. Having a job and a house is great, but what good is it actually doing for other people? This guilt, or maybe a better word would be yearning, is a problem I’ve suffered with for a long time. For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, I really want to do good things with my life. I want to help a lot of people. I’m not exactly certain how, but since I was about 10 years old that’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. So, when I’m not really doing anything positive I feel this uneasiness. 

It all relates to my mindset, and what I said to my friend. I have this constant feeling of how finite life is, how short a time we have here to make our mark on the world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m satisfied with numerous things in life but it really bugs me if I’m not progressing in some way. That doesn’t necessarily have to be helping others (although that is the main aim), it could be learning to play the piano for instance (something which I want to do). The reason for the title of the blog is the two sides to having a mindset like this one:

Gift – It pushes me forward, constantly. When there’s always a higher level to reach, you keep trying to step up. I’ve felt so tired with this move lately and starting work and I really didn’t want to get out of bed this morning, but I forced myself and went running for the first time in almost 2 weeks. That’s made me feel especially guilty which isn’t good, but as I say, it pushes me forward.

Curse – That thing with running…for me that’s a positive. The reason this thought process can be a burden though is that sometimes, I feel like nothing is good enough. I’m laying down and thinking ‘should I be doing this?’ It’s tough sometimes, but I think the bigger curse would be laziness, to be honest.

 

I always like to encourage positive thinking and I hope that how I end this blog will do just that. I don’t really know what the moral of the story is but what I do know is that everybody’s mind is magical. Everybody’s. Trust me. In my opinion, my own mindset is magical in how it reacts to things. If I do something good for another person, it’s like nothing can stop me. A few years back I was in a toy shop buying some trading cards and a kid was upset that he couldn’t get a packet. So, I just bought him a pack alongside my own. Although it seems small, that’s one of my proudest moments. Oh! And I should totally tell you another, since I’ve remembered it:

When I was about 8 years old, I woke up in the middle of the night and used the bathroom. I noticed there was a beetle drowning in the toilet water so I got a piece of tissue and rescued him. That’s unbelievably small, right? Wrong. You see I felt immensely proud of that and still do to this day, for the same reason as I did back then – I didn’t have to help that beetle, but I did. I chose to, even when no-one was watching. 

Come to think of it, maybe my mindset is pretty cool after all 🙂 I guess we all have our struggles, but if we focus on the best side of ourselves then we can always consider that to be a gift. 

Over and out.

Sean

Moments

Something pretty cool happened to me today. You know those moments when you’re kind of overcome, but everything feels right just there? Yeah, one of those 🙂 As with most things, this story needs some background so here goes.

 I’m not certain if I’ve written it before but I love the American Pie films, (the first two mainly). Yeah you can talk about the humorous and sexual aspects of the films but for me, the friendship comes through. I won’t spend time explaining the whole plot but it’s basically these four friends together, trying to get girls and just going through life. A lot of the people I’ve spoken to don’t really get it but for me, those films are just genius because I really felt that connection between the characters. 

I first met my friend around 7 years ago, when we started 6th form. As we got to know each other, I recommended these movies to him as he’d never seen them before (I know, right?) Needless to say, he loved them! And better yet, he understood the reason that I loved them, too. At the end of the first film, they toast to ‘The Next Step’, a particularly poignant and important moment for me because it’s like ‘we’ve all come through this time together, now let’s face the future too.’ Towards the end of the second film, they have a similar moment at a beach party where everything has worked out well and they raise a glass together. 

To put slightly more back story onto this, I’ve recently accepted a job offer in the area where I studied for University and so I’m relocating permanently over there. I guess for me, that is the ‘next step’. So, I’ve come home for a short holiday before it all begins and me a friend of mine are sitting down for coffee today; it was my birthday around a month and a half ago and he’s giving me my present now that I’m home. He tells me to open the card in front of him, read the note and look up to him upon reading the last line. Here’s the note, in all it’s sentimental glory:

Breckland-20140716-00629

 

“To set the scene, we’re all at a beach house, awesome tunes, beautiful ladies & great friends are around.

Much like that film I know you adore, I can’t do it physically but I can do it metaphorically.

You look over, & Sean, I raise my cup to you.

For all you’ve done.

For all you can go on to do.

You should be proud of who you are.

Because I am proud of you, I lift this to friendship, to your next step, & to you Sean Craemer!

Elliott”

Amazing, right? I wanted to write this blog in dedication to my friend who did this wonderful thing for me, but also to spread a little positive thinking out there. I read a lot of negative things on social media these days and I realise that life can be difficult but I can’t help but wonder if these people truly appreciate what they have, you know? Right now, thanks to my friend I feel like I’m invincible – that’s what these moments do for me. 

I hope that if you’re reading this, then you’re able to recall similar moments of your own and sit back and smile for a little while.

And hey, here’s to your ‘Next Step’! 🙂

Sean

Uncertainty

I’ve had some difficult issues arising lately, things which I’m certain many of you will have experienced but for me, these feelings are new. My intention in writing this blog isn’t to look for sympathy or to dwell on the negatives but rather to reflect on them and give my own opinions on how I plan to progress; this will hopefully help others in the same position. As always, if you feel like you have anything to add or you have advice for me then please leave a comment, I’d be glad to hear it. 

As I say, I don’t want to dwell on this particular problem too much but I recently pretty much lost regular contact with someone who means a great deal to me and it’s horrible; not very nice at all. 

Adding to that, I’ve just finished University which brings up a whole gamut of emotions. On the one hand, it’s a big pat on the back because I’ve got a good grade and I’ve finished. On the other, it’s like ‘what happens now?’ I know the path I want to take, but not how to get there. Am I even good enough? It’s all up in the air. This is really the reason behind the title of the blog. What do you do when things are uncertain? Well, as you now know, the uncertainty I now face is greater than anything I’ve ever felt before.  So, the advice I’m going to give is my plan for myself, too. This is what I’m gonna do:

Give It My All

Pretty obvious, right? Hear me out. Whatever the outcome, you have to know that you’ve tried your very best. For me, this is more about self-respect that anything else. Imagine these 2 possibilities at the end of a hypothetical day:

Option a) Made a real effort to apply for jobs, gather information etc.

Option b) Day off.

Please don’t get me wrong, I know everyone needs to take a break but how do you feel, putting yourself in each of those scenarios? Perhaps not everyone will agree with me here but for me, option a is the clear winner. From a psychological perspective, in my opinion you’ll always feel better having put effort into something, even if it doesn’t work out.

Talk, Talk, and Keep Talking

This relates to my earlier problem. The support of the people around you is crucial, and will not only provide valuable support and advice regarding whatever problem you may have, but also keep you motivated. I’ve spoken to several of my friends who as it turns out, have experienced similar problems. It really helps to hear that because not only can you see how they dealt with this issue but it also gives you that sense of empathy. I have been unsure of doing it in the past, but every time I bear my soul to a friend I feel better for it. Advice isn’t just useful with regards to a personal problem however; also ask them for practical tips on job hunting and stuff (job hunting would relate to what I have to do).

Stay Busy, Stay Motivated

Having studied meditation last year I know that it is crucial to remain active, regardless of your mood. It doesn’t matter what you do, but don’t just sit and fester, because that won’t help anyone. It makes me feel lethargic and even though you’re not doing anything, it takes your energy away. I actually have an example from a couple of days ago. Just to give this some context, I love to learn. I’m fascinated by things that I don’t know, particularly the study of the Universe. I was feeling a bit lethargic myself, just staring blankly into my computer screen when an article came up about Jupiter. I thought to myself ‘hey, that’d be an interesting thing to research’ so I looked into the perpetuating storm on it’s surface. (So cool!) This helped not only to motivate me but it also got me in a positive frame of mind. 

Another example comes with exercise. Lately when I’ve been waking up, I just feel like I don’t want to get out of bed; lazy really. I definitely don’t feel like doing my morning run, but I force myself. That probably sounds bad, but I only have to force myself out of bed and then the motivation comes to me. Exercise is a real winner because it feels like I’ve already achieved something, right from the off. I won’t go too deeply into it, but in simple terms exercise helps the release of endorphins, which basically helps you to feel positive.

Remain Positive

No matter what happens to you, remember –  the world is not against you, and you’re not unlucky; you make your own luck. Keep with an attitude like this, an unbiased attitude and you’ll find it much easier to deal with the situation. I hate it when people say ‘it’s always me’, or words to that effect. The fact is bad things do happen to people, but it’s up to you what happens next; how you react to them. Believe in yourself and in your ability, and keep trying – you’ll get there.

“Why do we fall?”

“So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.” (#)

 

‘Til next time guys.

Sean

 

 

“Make a difference. Change the world. Never give up.”

Okay, so I’ve officially completed my University studies. After every academic year, I recorded my thoughts on each said year because I thought it would make an interesting comparison when I was finished, and it’s just another memento-type thing which is cool. It’s pretty good for me to listen to, because even though I’ve developed over that time it seems as though the videos are largely the same with regards to future plans and things that are important to me. I realise that since you don’t know me, these may not mean much to you all but it’s still pretty cool to have them all together in one place. Anyway, I uploaded them to to YouTube this morning. Enjoy! 🙂

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6uFYLgvnhA – Year 1 Reflections

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGZnhY_BZIQ – Year 2 Reflections

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SM3c9GY6Tc – Year 3 Reflections

 

“Promise your old friend Ell that you will do all you can to become, the man of steel. Make a difference. Change the world. Never give up.”

 

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Reliance

This blog may initially sound a bit negative, but hopefully I’m able to convince you to stay for what I feel is a positive ending. I’m not certain of how much of what of this I’ve written in previous blogs, but honestly regardless of that I feel like it will be quite cathartic for me to write this, since it just raises a few concerns which I’ve had on my mind lately. I often find it difficult to talk about my problems in real life, because I feel like I’m just bringing everybody down, but at least here all people need to do is cross off the page if it’s not something which they want to read. As I say though, bear with me because I always try and find positives in a situation, and plus it may help other people who have similar issues. 

“As my memory rests, but never forgets what I lost.”

My time at University is about to come to an end; in fact, my last hand-in is in around 8 days time. I have some difficult times ahead (as most people in my position will have) relating to finding a job, and a house here so I can stay with the friends I made. It’s not those literal concerns that are really bothering me, more the fact that if I don’t manage to find a job, then I’ll have to leave all of these people behind. I’m worried that I’ll be forgotten. This is the crux of my problem, and it all revolves around a lack of confidence. The thought of leaving and possibly being forgotten have really brought these issues to the fore once again, these issues which seem to have gone on forever. 

What do I mean by this? Well, I don’t know why (although I will theorise) but I’ve never felt as if I’m on the same level as everyone else, it’s like I’m working to be where you all are. As I say, I’ll list my best guesses at it. 

 a) When I was younger, I was let down a lot by my friends. I remember spending almost entire summers by myself, wondering why I wasn’t good enough for them or what I did wrong.

b) I made a lot of friends in 6th form, but when everyone left for University I only really heard from 3 of them every so often, the rest just hardly spoke to me. That year when I was 18 was the most difficult time I’ve ever faced. Not only did I have that going on, but for 8 months I was unable to find a job, until the 43rd time lucky. You’re probably thinking ‘that’s not so bad’, and to be honest you’re probably right; but there is one more thing I haven’t mentioned yet. Everyone left my house, everyone. I don’t know if the fates conspired against me or something but everyone got boyfriends/girlfriends at the same time and just moved out. So, for 8 months (minus visits a couple of times a week) I was alone in my house, in a small village. I structured my days out, tried to keep busy but I was just so lonely, and I could feel my confidence ebbing away, like if so many people didn’t want to talk to me anymore then it must be me that had the problem to solve, you know? If 7 friends don’t talk to you anymore and 3 do, then logically it’s all in the numbers.

I don’t know if those are the reasons for my lack of confidence now, but they’re the only things I can think of (and I’ve thought a lot about it). I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m okay it’s just really disheartening sometimes when you’re always questioning your own value. I think one of the great things about having a girlfriend would be someone wanting to know how you are, and how your day has been. As you can imagine, it’s nice for me to have that reassurance. But the reassurance has to come from me, otherwise in the long run it won’t really mean anything. 

“Listen, I have faith in you but none of that matters unless you have faith in yourself!”

Exactly. I’m not trying to be arrogant or anything, but a lot of people have said nice things about me (I’m sure it’s the case with most people). This is great and really helps me but the feeling doesn’t last, because for whatever reason I don’t believe it. My friend and I were speaking the other day and she’s recently been seeing someone new which is really cool. We got onto the topic of my own love life (or lack of it, I guess). She’s like ‘go for it!’ But I can’t. I’ve liked girls before, and whenever I do it really brings all of this stuff to the fore, majorly. I’m looking around the room thinking ‘yeah, there are tonnes of better guys here’ and it’s horrible. I have a responsibility to my future girlfriend (hopefully) but mainly to myself to overcome this first rather than involving them in it. That may sound like the wrong decision but it feels like the right thing to do. 

So for the last couple of weeks, that’s been me. It’s tough, but I promised you a positive ending, right? Well here it comes.

“I have so many questions…where do I come from?”

“You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s gonna change the world.”

Whatever happens to us, we always have a choice about how to react. Now you may say that I haven’t reacted the best way to those things that happened to me in the past and that’s probably true, but something great came for it all. I’ve always been responsible and in some ways these events have been a double edged sword, but my responsibility to others as well as my sense of empathy have both been heightened exponentially. I’ve always wanted to help people (for a long time anyway) but going through that has made me determined to make sure that no-one else goes through that. If I see someone alone or upset then I’ll do my utmost to help them, because I don’t ever want them to feel the way that I did, and sometimes still do. I’ll give my all for those people, I’ll protect them as long as I’m able to.

There are times when it probably goes too far; for example when I’m running and I’m catching someone up ahead, I’ll run around a much longer route in the hope that they don’t see me overtaking them, because if they did then they might feel bad, you know? Granted, that’s probably taking it too far but it’s the price I pay. If worrying about these things gives me more chance of helping others then it can’t be too bad, anyway. In some cases being conscientious about these things can really give me a viewpoint which others don’t see, you know like if someone is upset or needs cheering up but no-one notices. 

I hope that when you’ve been reading this, it doesn’t sound like I’ve been complaining because that wasn’t my intention, I just wanted to get some things off my chest. As I say, we always have a choice about how to respond, and I’ll continue to work hard to try and ensure that maybe someday I can have that much-needed self-respect.

Take care, guys 🙂