I can still remember the first time I grasped that one day, I would die.
Waking up at 1.45am this morning I recalled that point, as the rest of the house were still very much alive: they are all nocturnal creatures, I realise. I enjoy early nights and mornings, making the most of daylight. It helps me not only stay more positive but focused on the tasks in hand. In darkness lies uncertainty and fear. The worst thoughts come to me at night, in the moments of wakefulness, and over the years I have developed coping strategies. I live an entirely different, second life in my consciousness where my future from childhood developed in another direction. It allows the confidence to exist as different. It was the means by which I talked myself out of killing myself, the first time it happened.
Fear does odd things to people’s minds.
There are people on the Internet, living on my street, using the Gym I frequent who believe things that are different to my mindset. Some think non-English people are dangerous. They fear foreigners arriving, taking their jobs and money, polluting their landscape with ideals and customs that are not English. They are the evil next door, the terror in the corner shop or the Hospital, and the legacy that haunts our entry into the European Union. This the Brexit Horror I live daily, or the Sexism Horror… and the list goes on, all underpinned by one key concept. Fear. Men need to control their environment and those around them, and will resort to bullying, threats and physical assault to ensure that takes place. A man will fulfil his fantasies of control online by stalking another man and then telling law enforcement he’s holding hostages.
Then when an innocent man dies because of this fear, people need to blame the man who pulled the trigger.
The worst thing of all, in all of this, are those who seed fear from nothing. The gutter press, Internet Trolls, Gamesplainers… this list goes on too, from that person on your Facebook feed who’s a little bit racist (sometimes) to the You Tuber who’ll take the piss out of people with mental health issues as a way to up their follower count. Fear’s a great means by which you can galvanise like-minded people, too. Forget for a moment that you might be wrong. Being wrong never stopped anyone in this day and age. Get 30,000 likes and all your previous sins are conveniently forgotten because hey! legitimate phenomena. When you die and the World around you comes to remember the legacy left behind, you’ll be amazed how quickly the naysayers will appear to claim their pound of flesh and tell the real truth about the stuff you did.
It’s why the real heroes don’t live online. That might change in the next few years though, so be ready to reinvent yourselves at a moment’s notice.
Tomorrow, many people will want to discuss resolutions or how 2018 will be different. For me, it’ll be Monday. I’ve got a plan in motion that’s been organised for months now, I don’t need the calender to move on a day to suddenly become a different person. The day I grasped that fear is the biggest single stumbling block in my life was the one where everything got better. I still get scared, there are emotional triggers to deal with and fallout to address but seriously, don’t start all that ‘this year is going to be different’ shit with me. Every day needs to be different, and if your brief and glorious existence on this planet should count for something, time to get off your arse and make it happen NOW. Don’t wait until tomorrow, because this could be your last day on earth.
Live every moment as if it is your last, and if you can’t, find ways to make that happen.