Life (Re-)Begins at… 32?
Having lived (up until now) a somewhat ‘comfortable’ (read: inopportune) life, I have reached a plateau: it is time (to not only talk about change) but to do it- and start being ‘happy’
FOR the past twenty-six hours I have had a (rather drum ‘n’ bass) headache…
This bad-ass little ingrate has been gnarling at my brain: causing quite a cyclone (of annoyance and reflection). I do not believe in fate, destiny (or anything as unproven and ridiculous as that): I do believe in circumstance- if stress is causing you pain; do something about it. In seven-or-so weeks I will be 32: quite an unspectacular age- nobody really does ‘celebrates’ that. I always saw (being 30) as a milestone- in a rather arbitrary way- of accomplishment: so many people (including me) have a ‘Things to do before you’re 30’ list. When I look back on it, I realise one thing: I have achieved (none of them).
It seems I have been living in a bit of a rut. Tomorrow is (another dreaded Monday) and a chance to be quite depressed: a new working week never fills me with (anything other than upset). I do not detest my job, yet I feel like I am wasting my time. I am constantly stressed and agitated: I work around some VERY noisy people- the stream-of-consciousness throat-clearing/nose-unblocking is an all-day asylum trip. Being someone (who is filled with sociopathic rage) but loud people/irritable noises, it is not a fun life. Earning a meagre wage (I know I am lucky to have a job; yet I earn bugger-all for it) and living/working in an area I do not particularly like, I am feeling like a burden (to myself). Just recently (I have been inspired by) a blog post- from our very own Jameela Jamil- entitled ‘A Time for Change’ (http://jameelajamil.co.uk/post/113320054145/a-time-for-change). In it, she recalls a rather fateful visit to the doctor’s: when a moment of mortality focus forced her into a rather life-changing decision. ‘Abandoning’ (well: taking a sojourn from) her London life, she decided to relocate to L.A. - take a one-way trip to the U.S.- and fulfil a life-long dream. It is interesting how hard times (and scary moments) produce moments of clarity- epiphanies, if you will.
(On a brief sidebar: take a look at Jameela’s blog posts/entries- they are eye-opening, extremely mature and intelligently-written).
I have recently written to Jameela-forgetting she was no longer in London; she may never get my letter- as she is one of this country’s biggest talents: someone dedicated to helping others; a fighter of many-a-cause. Hoping (that she will lend her name/voice to my charity idea- more below), I was inspired by her words: she has been very brave and courageous. Too many people live life ‘for the hell of it’; go through the (com)motions- never really ‘go for it’. I hope Jameela gets to see this (blog post) as her words have given me that ‘push’: compelled me to stop messing about. For the last few years I have been caught in a cycle of boring-job-hollow-life-procrastination-London-avoiding-unhappy-me quagmire: how long can you keep doing that? Most people do not know what they want from life (and need to stick in their comfort zone), but I do…
Nothing in life is more important (to me than music): it is the one thing (on earth) that unites people- even if you do not like music (and are a freak of a human) then you have an opinion (on it). Music does not ask for anything or bug you; it does not break your heart or cause you pain (well, in a good way it does)- it is always there; ready to make you happy. I love my ‘part-time’ reviewing (at https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/). Just today, I (had the pleasure of) reviewing The Jackobins: a Liverpool quintet of the highest order. Next week I am reviewing a Canadian band (in fact, Canadian music is filing the month of March for me). Over the last several years I have reviewed music from five continents; reviewed Royal Blood (before they became studs); have helped (in an indirect way) to get bands/acts heard- and get people knocking at their doors. It is a rewarding- and sometimes tiring- venture: something I aim to ‘perfect’ (I have not really hit my peak yet).
Music-making is my main desire: I have always longed to ‘get the band together’. I have the band name; I have the album title- and fourteen songs worked-up- and all the cover art (and designs figured out). Presuming at some stage (I can overcome my stage fright/nerves) I want to make ‘music-making’ a reality- eve n if I record one L.P., it will be a (literal) dream come true. Music recording is a full-time job; it requires a lot of passion, determination (you will get knocked back a lot) and money (something a lot of my music peeps are finding out the hard way). As soon as I can get to London, I want to get some boys (and girls) together: get jamming and make (my songs) a reality. It sounds like a cliché- a rather over-seen dream- but (to my mind) there is no better vocation- it is truly spellbinding.
I do not enjoy living (where I live) - around Surrey and West Sussex. It is too homogenized; there is little ambition; too many ‘unhealthy’/loud people; little surprise, awe and spectacle. I know London is not exactly quiet: the thing is, it is busy for a reason. There are rough parts of the city for sure- I would not live around Elephant and Castle for a second- and there are a lot of expensive parts. In addition (to some cool people advising the push to London) they have said Hackney is a great part to rent (in)- it is not too expensive; it is up-and-coming; not as ‘reputable’ as it once was (with regards violence and crime). Shoreditch is quite ‘do-able’, too- in reality I would live in Covent Garden (yet would never be able to afford it unless I went on the game, and let’s be fair, I wouldn’t make enough!). Hackney is vibrant and multi-cultural; you can find charming coffee shops (devoid of screeching children, selfish parents and Smartphone-staring simps.); feed off the relaxation/vibrancy and become inspired. Being close (to the centre of town) it is a good ‘starting point’: a good jumping-off point (and a place where you can meet like-minded people). London is fantastic because it is filled with ambitious people; humans who share (the same) drive; thoughts and feelings- who understand why you are there; do not laugh/ignore your ambitions and dreams. A cozy/affordable place around Hackney would be great- an opportunity to start a-new.
‘Being single can be good for you’ they say: being single can suck one. I have been solo for… well, ever. Being single is only beneficial in contrast (to having been in) a relationship- a chance to heal wounds; clear your head and think about yourself. I admire those that are independent; who do not rely on someone to make them happy- do not need validation through romance. I used to be one of these people: recently I have developed feelings for (sounding like a Hallmark card here) a particular girl; someone I work with- someone who does all sorts of funny things with my insides (although it may just be because of my poor diet). Having someone in your life can make things easier: you have someone to talk to; wake up to/with; share your desires with- and travel the world with. Whether the tableaux of she-who-will-remain-nameless pans out (being me, it probably won’t) is immaterial: I am at that stage where I want to find love; be in a relationship. I am not bothered about marriage; I never want to have children (I don’t like them and would never want to risk passing my depression to them; seeing them suffer that)- I just want to be someone’s ‘other half’. Being stressed-out suffocates your energy; timetables your mood- and makes relationships near-impossible. I hope a move to London/a new lease will take care of ‘the love issues’- and lead to a relationship (I can only hope).
Before I conclude (and stop rambling) I must confess: I have been a bit of a coward. I have not been looking after my mental health (obviously) - having depression and generalised anxiety disorder is not fun- and am tired of it (the endless headaches are enough to make me want to crawl into a hole). My physical health takes a hit (because of depression) yet I could be doing more. I am committed to becoming vegetarian: in truth I do not like the taste of meat and feel my moral objections are not being fulfilled. I eat far too much sugar- to the point where my heart should have exploded- and although I run half-marathons, I could be A LOT fitter: I am always in fear of ‘bad news’. Like Jameela, I have had one of those heart-stopping moments (in her case it was a lump on her breast; for me a mole on my arm- my aunt died of skin cancer). Cancer is an unholy fucker: an arsehole that bullies and (whilst I do not have it) the merest suggestion scares the hell out of me. Living the way I do- the office job; the unhappiness- I am a person who eats crap and does little to override it. My physique is pretty good (not to boast) yet my internal organs are a potential blitzkrieg of living-on-borrowed-time wannabes. I realise I am fault: I have been too gutless to take care of myself. Moving away will allow me to detox and re-evaluate: become vegetarian (properly); cut down on sugar (and caffeine) and start feeling better inside- the better you feel inside, the better you feel on the outside (or is it the other way around?).
Lastly- and the real reason for this blog- is my desire to ‘do more’: try to make changes in the world. I consider myself to be an altruistic human. I regularly run half-marathons (for charity); spend the weekends doing good deeds/doing good; try to promote new music as much as humanely possible- get involved with charity; make sure my colleagues and family are looked after. In addition (to making music and reviewing new music) I want to dive into charity work: do as much for others as I can. Recently, I posted a blog entitled The Single Voice: a (hopeful) online charity campaign designed to raise (potentially millions) for multiple charities. Seeing the likes of Jameela Jamil campaign and write; raise important issues; write so eloquently and intelligently, has compelled me to start this puppy. Her- and my- contemporaries are becoming more motivated; starting to become conscious (of the turmoil and dislocation around us) - yet more can be done. Not to blow my own trumpet- like Louis Armstrong on crystal meth- but the details are all here: https://musicmusingsandsuch.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/the-single-voice-one-language-for-all/
I am determined to make it a reality: get this idea global; connect people around a single cause. I am neither an idealistic human (I am as pragmatic as they come) nor a naïve idiot- I am someone who hears a human scream and it kills the crap out of me. A cat crying scars me; a cancer diagnosis destroys me; gender inequality enrages me- so many ills and inequities occur around us. It is asking a lot- that a single campaign can change/improve that- yet I am hopeful! On Friday I will be posting two letters: one will be to the H.Q. of YouTube; the other to the (H.Q. of) Google- pitching the idea and asking for their help. I am the most ambitious human on earth- and will probably never hear a reply/word- but am not going to silence my inner voice… I will keep barking and yelling until someone takes notice. I will be writing to a few celebrities; hoping they can assist (when the idea becomes a reality).
Most people do not crystalise their ambitions so effusively (and in detail), but as I write this I have a grinding headache; my shoulders are sagging- I am drowning out (the throat-clearing noises and endless noise of my living space) with music… it is a horribly tense and pointless life. Why just live for the sake of breathing- there is no point being where you are (doing what you do) if you are miserable and angry. Tomorrow is Monday- and a soul-destroying chance to hate myself- as it will be in eight days- change will not come about instantly. I know what I want; who I want to be- what I want to achieve. On May 9th I will be 32: with no a lot to shout about. I know I am not old- and have youth on my side- but need to start making moves; getting my shit together and being a better, brighter, happier and more practical human. There are plenty of years to do boring jobs; live in boring places- that time is decades down the line. Small things- like a blog from a celebrity; a moment of realisation- can make big differences; get the cogs moving- force you into action. I hope people will read this- and if they are like me, be inspired- I hope Jameela sees it- although she may never do- and above all I (hope this): 2015 will be a year to remember.
I have yawned and yacked for long enough. Recently someone said to me: “You’re only young once.” Translation: what the hell are you doing being angry all of the time?! It is hard to make changes- most people don’t- but it can change things for the better… I deserve some peace and happiness (right?). Have a great Sunday night- now Top Gear is off air, what the hell am I going to watch?!- and enjoy the pre-work (Monday) blues. If I can (decide to make changes/get better) then so can anyone. Whether you make a minor change (or about-face your life) it is worth the risk. Who knows what will happen? One thing is for sure:
IT will all be worth it (in the end) x