Changes

I walk the same 6k circuit near my house with increasing regularity. As of today, it will become a daily occurrence, because I got on the scales earlier and realised that there’s some more work I could be doing, but I digress. A phenomenal amount of construction is taking place right now. That means a lot of builders.

Yesterday, I could see the cat calling happening from distance, because I can lip-read. I didn’t hear any of it, because I wear in-ear headphones when I walk. They’re noise-cancelling for a reason: if I’m not aware enough of traffic and cars when I walk out the door, I won’t walk, hearing is not required to be safe. Common sense matters far more.

There was an epiphany yesterday of quite significant proportion.

There is a phenomenal amount of shit online about how to become successful: everybody has an angle, or is claiming that they used X to get to Y and it’s the best way. It’s bollocks, of course, because nobody’s idea of success is ever really going to properly align with your own. However, if the person telling you what to do is yourself?

That might sound odd, so let me quantify: lots of great achievers will throw buzz phrases at you: don’t do it unless its fun, find your own aesthetic, fake it till you make it… the list is endless. None of this matters one iota until you’re able to hear those words and understand them. Individual comprehension is the key to all progress. When YOU hear the words and YOU grasp the significance, only then comes change.

If you can’t hear negativity, it won’t affect you.

Here’s where the headphones’ analogy kicks in: I can’t stop the building site gomers catcalling: only they can do that, eventually, if one of their mates tells them to knock it off. They aren’t going to listen to me, and never will. So, by definition, wasting my time and effort on them is just that: you let it go… or in my case, you stop listening and focus on the music.

I’ve grasped this week that my response to internet trolling has become exactly this too: these people aren’t listening. I’m far better off targetting them as a symptom of the larger disease we’re all being destroyed by. They’re more insidious than a virus, which is crucial: this is long-term, systemic abuse that needs to be addressed, and it will be.

However, if they keep distracting me from task, nothing will get done.

Abuse is not criticism, just like opinions are not facts. When someone throws abuse at you online, as a result, ignoring it and shoving the headphones in is perfectly warranted. In fact, it’s positively encouraged. People turn up online to offer opinions that are often never warranted or asked for. It’s why Twitter thought if it offered users the opportunity to limit who we interact with, this would make everything better.

Except that’s not attacking the problem, that’s effectively limiting conversation, which needs to take place so that those who are hateful, angry, racist bigots might have a chance to see that their opinions are no longer acceptable or palatable. That’s why loads of them left and went to Parler, where everybody will agree with them and it’s boring as a result.

Change occurs through conflict, a constant nobody can ever change.

How you find your path is as unique as each snowflake that still believes they’re special. They’re right, but don’t tell them that, it’ll make it worse. Fact remains, no two people will approach success in the exact same way. For me, right now, that word means doing my chores, eating right and using energy positively. The days of negative energy are done.

We are here to be better for everybody.

Nothing

My perception of time is a bit wonked this morning, and it doesn’t help that even after a solid ten hours kip I am still tired, but I would not swap the last two days for anything in the world. Nobody likes being sick, especially right now, but the last few days has made me realise a lot about both myself and family that needed reinforcing. Most of all, I’d not exchange anything at all for quality time it’s allowed me with them whilst recovering.

The priorities right now will to be to get back to exercising (we’ll do weights plus bike both today and tomorrow at reduced rates and then back to ‘normal’ next week) and after that, well… I have a nice weight reset to not throw away. I’ve lost five pounds since my last weigh in. Time to capitalise on the advantage, and not see what just happened as a negative.

This is the move forward I often fail to make.

1500x500

I’ve been asked, with my Mental health Champion hat on, to provide poetry for my local Time to Change Hub. I’d already been working on some pieces, and there’s one in particular that stand out as ripe for doing video work with. It’s apposite that skill set’s been worked on this week (Monday seems a world away now) and the results will be a good barometer of whether I’m capable of doing other work in this way.

I need to have a piece ready by the 11th, which is just over two weeks from now. I’ll set up a microphone for recording, have a rough idea on what to storyboard, and we’ll plan on making it happen tomorrow. Once it’s done, we’ll see if it’s good enough to share to a wider stage. That’s all I can do right now: keep making, doing and sharing, and hope something has the potential to pique interest…

We take our experiences, allowing them to define what we are going forward.

Somebody’s Watching Me

People are stupid. Yes, that means me with the PokemonGo ‘walk X miles with a phone’ obsession, or you who needs to TikTok anything that moves right now. I don’t want to turn Google off when it’s a free equivalent to a SatNav, and if you’re using that to sneakily pop out and visit the girlfriend or mum outside of lockdown? Google knows everything. If you wanna break the rules? Ditch your obsession.

This poem speaks to me on levels that resonate far more importantly than the poem that won the National Contest this year. This is raw, brutal honesty that’s far more affecting and disturbing than restrained, middle-class discomfort at subject matters they’ve never dared discuss in public. I’m beginning to realise the truth, such as it is right now, needs an awful lot of redefinition when all of this is over.

Karma is a bitch, and she will burn all our houses down with good reason.

The future, such as it is being realized already by others, bears some resemblance to our own, but with some crucial differences. Somewhere, a butterfly in prehistoric times has been stepped on by an errant time-travellers boot. The present, as we know it, remains irrevocably and fatally altered: this future does not resemble the one everyone had already envisaged. It is, undoubtedly, the wake up call many needed.

However, will everyone grasp the significance of this moment? Why should everything just return to the way it was before, as if we have learnt nothing from circumstance? There must be change, and reflection, and the understanding that we have been complacent over so many things, not just the planet and our own place within it. Those who will not accept this shift are a bigger issue than those who have.

Unsaid realities during Lockdown will soon become our daily conversations.