Fear

Have decided to do what I said I wasn’t going to do and publish myself on video to YouTube. It’s another tiny step outside the comfort zone [TM] and as I already know the worst that could happen, there’s very little left to lose. I’ve not had a new Patreon sign-up for months, so stuff needs to change. If I get one new person as a sub, it was worth it. That’s the tiny benchmark that needs to be attained. One new Patreon Sub.

It worries me that those surrounding me have little interest in what I do. It makes me wonder why they follow in the first place. When you ask, the answers are always wrapped around how interesting I am or thought-provoking, yet that is not enough to make them take part. There is the very real understanding, of course, that I have chased true fans away in the past, because that level of devotion I found worrying, and in some cases actually frightening. Finding a balance is a tough ask.

This is as much about me as it is them.

Comfort zones are hard things to break free of. If life’s good enough, especially in the current climate, why on earth would you want to in the first place? There’s enough fear and loathing in place without intentionally manufacturing any more… but to grow, this is the task. It’s why today 10km outside needs to happen for no other reason than sometimes, the only way things improve is when they hurt. I know this will be painful and difficult and that would once have been enough to prevent any forward motion. Now, it just has to be done.

Also, there could really be better trainers at some point, so yeah, being rich and famous won’t happen without showing my face in this world that is utterly obsessed with looks over stats. Sometimes I wish I was better at things that get you better noticed too. Being as susceptible to jealousy and social avarice as the next human being… all of this is part of the exam syllabus. How you cope, and how you react. Getting five people to follow the YouTube Channel yesterday was the most excitement I’ve had virtually for days.

Fear must be overcome for us to proceed.

Hey Ya

Yesterday, I made three videos in one day. Once upon a time, it took me a week to do that just once. Of course, it helps that it’s just me that needs to be edited, and there’s no extra elements at play. However, we’ve entered a new realm after the chaos of Christmas, and there’s a desire to keep the momentum going for as long as is conceivably possible. In the middle of all this, it undoubtedly helps that there is nothing else to do that focus on working: no School Run, nor any real stress from my family.

I also made it outside to exercise. There was shopping done, though the reality in my supermarket of choice is that Brexit is having more of an effect on supplies than anyone is really letting on. After writing this, I’ll pull a yoga mat out and see if I can’t do an hour or so, because there’s undoubtedly some benefit in having a decent stretch once a week. Then, it’s just more of the same for as long as I can, because there is this feeling that if I do stop, everything will just summarily disintegrate around me. A niggle with my left inner ear is a case in point… it’s better now I’m awake and upright. Let’s see how changes in balance affect it, shall we?

No, I’m absolutely sure I won’t crumble, but just in case…

The disturbing thing about this email that I was sent was, undoubtedly, that its title was indeed an old Facebook password. This tells me all I need to know about how safe (or otherwise) the platform was back in 2009 and that I’m really very grateful I have nothing anywhere, any more, that is of any interest at all to Zuckerberg. The next job on my list of Tech Related Gubbins is to delete WhatsApp once and for all off my phone. After that, people will just have to text me. I’m sure we’ll all cope just fine.

The more I go off grid and force people to have to interact on my terms, the happier I become.

Patience

For the longest time, all I have ever done is move my life around. The same shit, identical groups of things, rearranged from place to place without a goal. Two days ago, all that changed. Some would have waited for a new year in order to triumph this as some glorious, orchestrated start, but I’m tired of that bollocks, so very annoyed and angry at anyone who uses their existence as a lifestyle brand or the means by which people care about their social media. So, I threw things away, in some cases for the first time since my teens.

Nobody expects you to be a living history. In many cases, the weight of that baggage crushes your soul to a point where it is difficult to discern a consistent identity. Only through the process of poetry, over the past three years, has this fact become clear to a brain that was increasingly distracted by other people’s idea of what was good for me. Coming out of my husband and son’s Covid infections, it is clear how we create versions of reality with which to assuage terrors that are often never really confronted. In my case, 2021 will be where a combination of philosophy and dance music sets me free.

It is time to properly put certain timelines to rest.

I am, undoubtedly, in the best shape of my life. The resilience worked for will remain in place. There will be a return to places lost and forgotten, due to fear and disbelief. There needs to be a reinvention that isn’t because it looks good or someone else decided that was a ‘good’ idea. The only books read this year should be those that challenge my mindset… whilst creatively, everything is in flux. Blogging remains a consistently decent means by which the World is rationalised and summarily understood, so we’ll shove our face to the words for a bit and see where everything goes.

Then, when this is done, I’ll get on a static bike and then lift some weights.

There is no need to change that which already grants me strength.

Celebration

Birthday was smashing: same people forget every year, I tell them it matters a lot, they promise to be better and so on. I’ve been dreadful with birthdays this year however, so I’m gonna get proper reminders this time. That’s part of the upcoming plan. Then, when people still forget, I can ask myself if there are other reasons because making the effort is not hard.

This week there are submissions, poetry and newsletters to finalise. Half-term could not have come at a better time, frankly.

I’ll be here when I can.

The Needle and the Damage Done

Then, there is the day you realise that something is just fundamentally being missed, overlooked, a crucial part of a process has gone astray. You suggest to someone that’s the case, before they take that concept and borrow it. It’s not stealing, because this isn’t the kind of place where that happens. They borrowed an idea, which becomes a huge success.

You feel sick some nights worrying about responsibility: what was signed up to, what is the true end result. Just satisfaction, that’s how this works, because money is non-existent, validation should be enough except, in this case, it isn’t, because you’ve done ALL the work and now someone else will use that as their credit, a stepping stone, new way they impress their peers.

The images of a lifetime, wasted and irredeemable, haunt your dreams.

The world is no longer a place where it is easy to be comfortable: grown men bicker on television, across social media. Women attack other women because they need to feel as if they are doing something, anything to keep their version of reality intact. Newspapers and social media make money from the fallout, become facilitators of distrust and deceit, don’t care whose in charge as long as their quality of life is maintained.

Through the cracks fall the marginalised, the disabled, anyone with empathy or honour, those who refuse to play the pathetic playground games or who engage the bullies and are dog piled as a result. Many, many innocent lives are shafted for the sake of principles which, on close inspection, disintegrate into the non-sequiturs they always were. All that matters is that the rich get richer, and nobody is massively inconvenienced.

The planet groans, close to death, unheard by all but a few saviours.

In the midst of it all is an epiphany: change begins with you. The process begins to alter your outlook, readdress the imbalances. Your belief is still fragile but you make it impossible to erase personal influence from the picture. It is your drive and determination that makes others stop and think about themselves, address the shortcomings, alter their outlooks. Slowly, gradually, change begins to happen.

It becomes apparent that if enough people are prepared to do the same, real alteration is possible. The key is finding what amount constitutes critical mass, and watching other people walk away and refuse to take part breaks your heart less and less each time it happens. People are the problem. Other people’s inability to alter themselves is the issue. Those who can and will continue to offer the only sensible solutions.

Their hope and enthusiasm shines brighter than sunshine.

You know the damage done. The past is best left well alone, and so you do and even when it comes back and tried to derail, there’s strength enough to ignore it. You can only hope others understand how much you care, and that this is all you will ever do. After that, trying to change everything is a complete waste of time.

You learn to pick your moments, and they are glorious.

Let Me Entertain You

Everything got shifted to one side yesterday, in order for me to finish something, which I summarily did. I have learned an awful lot about editing and video producing in the last month, and all of these things will now be put to good use elsewhere going forward. I’ll also be appearing in a Sunday paper tomorrow: not sure in what form as yet, but I’ll let you know when I do.

That’s it. I’ll be back on Monday.

Shout

It is a truth personally acknowledged that peace is my ultimate aim. I fucking hate fighting with anyone, for reasons which are now clearly and inextricably linked to trauma. It’s why my pulse races in situations where other people are being unpleasant. it’s the reason certain circumstances and situations are now actively avoided. It’s also crucially why criticism used to be the hardest thing in the world to take.

Lots of things have improved in the last two years. Being able to conduct myself with calm, to be able to rationalise those situations and step back objectively from them is a massive step forward. Criticism is now sought, positively encouraged, and has becomes the means by which significant steps forward have been taken in approach. It’s why what gets written and outputted from now on will different from what has come before.

This morning, as the UK begins to move into Second Lockdown, it is really important not to go backwards in terms of momentum. Therefore, everything will be readdressed and reconsidered. Output in various places is already being streamlined. There are other issues to consider this time around too, and all of them are as important as my professional goals, if not more so. Looking after myself is a real priority.

I’m dreadful at self-care at the best of times, and this can’t continue. If it means stepping away from social media for an early night, or rearranging the order things are attacked in the day, there has to be a change from what is undoubtedly ‘normal’ behaviour. The result, it must be said, is already significant. That’s not going to be lost in panic again.

This time, we keep moving forward, and with optimism.

Feelings

It is human arrogance which has assumed, up until this point, that for a planet to be inhabitable it would first need to capable of supporting human life. This is, of course, utter bollocks and if it now transpires that life exists here, on Venus… well, that throws quite a lot of stuff into disarray. Again, we are back at the point where thinking in one, very linear way, is just asking for trouble.

It’s odd right now, watching people begin to grasp uncomfortable truths that have perhaps not previously been obvious to them. The most stark one of all is the realization that people have been used as product online for some time, and are only waking up to this as there’s nothing else to distract from reality, and an inescapable truth.

‘Directly support the Creator’ is one of those horribly glib statements that could just as easily mean ‘then Twitch don’t have to charge you for making content’. The publicity blurb for this is worryingly upbeat too: ‘Ads are an important part of Twitch – they help keep Twitch free for creators and viewers, and enable us to continue to craft new and innovative features and supply unique and engaging content for our community.’

Except, of course, that’s not a profitable business model, and this planet is all about those. Yet again, this is one group exploiting another for massive material gain. It should be making far more people uncomfortable than is currently the case, but it still doesn’t. People are happy to let this stuff wash over them. As long as they are not massively inconvenienced, what’s the problem?

Only when stuff becomes personally frustrating or annoying do we react.

This comfort v discomfort dichotomy (go look it up) is a big deal right now. I watch it play out almost daily on my timeline. Sometimes it’s about summat petty, yesterday it was about politics, sexuality, gender and public accountability. For me, I rationalise these things in two ways, with a feelings v reality death match.

It’s very simple: how I personally feel about something is stuck in a mental space alongside the truth of what is happening, and one of two things takes place. My feelings will either a) align with the reality or b) they won’t. If the former is true, everybody is on the same page and I get to have an early second cuppa. If the latter pans out, then I will be face down on the canvas with a boot on my face, and will only have myself to blame.

The truth matters now than it has ever done at any point before.

Smart is a hard task. Distinguishing what is real and what isn’t has become the schism in so much of our lives and accepting you got shit wrong… well, it’s a hard ask for many people. I’m going to have to admit I seriously misjudged some timescales this morning, in a meeting, but I will still meet a deadline. It’s okay, I’ve got myself covered.

Feelings v reality ought to be a far bigger deal than is currently the case.

Lies

I wrote in my diary this week that a longlist acknowledgement would be due for an award I’d entered for. Last night, there was a large Chinese take out as commiseration that, yet again, I’ve not made the cut. This served two purposes: it’s my last ‘big’ meal for two months as of this morning, I have some eating changes that need to be instigated, so plans for exercise will fall in the right place.

I’ll talk about this part of my mindset change in more detail next week, but the TL;DR version of it all is that I am not enough any more. Mentally an awful lot of stuff is working well, but it not in the right places, and therefore starting today there will be rearrangement (yet again) of my spaces. You won’t notice a lot of it, but to me it is pretty much everything.

There’s been a lot of singing in the car this week. This is good.

No really, there’s been practice of circular breathing, which I’ve not done since I was regularly playing a musical instrument (I was a bit of a prodigy, as it happens, but we don’t talk about that part of my life any more) It’s use now will be for stamina training during exercise: I’m gearing up for my cycle FTP test tomorrow and once that is done, many things are going to get reorganised.

We’ll talk about it all tomorrow.