Even music can soothe the savage beast

I’ve been surrounded by music for as long as I can remember, I guess that’s what happens when the house you grow up in has a recording studio attached to it. I got a guiatar for my 16th birthday, although that didnt last long and I broke 3 fingers. Now I play it badly. I can pick up the drums, and play that badly too. But I’m still surrounded up until now, there isn’t a moment where I don’t have something going. The realisation is that I listen to a lot of music since a teenager through to now is to block out the noise, either the outside world or the torment that goes on in my head on a daily basis. It’s a good block for mental clutter.

It’s funny how certain albums or artists come along at times of need though. I remember having to deal with a lot of heavy stuff through 2013 and 2014, and I spent most of that listening to Deftones ‘Koi No Yokan’. It got me through a tough time in my life.

I hit another tough time in my life recently, and I thought maybe it would help again. But this time it didn’t, being a long-time Deftones fan usually any of their music can settle me down and put me back in good headspace. But this time it didn’t.

It’s been harder this time around, but I’ve found some comfort in Northlanes new album ‘Mesmer’.

I still struggle with a lot, but I guess listening to music helps me push through. But sometimes a string of lyrics and words can remind you of people, lost loves, lost friends and hard times you’ve come upon through life.

I can only imagine what will come the next time I need music like this again.

With a little help from my friends

I’ve found over the past few years I have a lot of people who come to me for advice, more specifically relationships, mental health and dealing with situations they’ve run out of ideas with. I’ve been told a few times I think a bit more than other people. Higher capacity? I’m not sure, I can’t really think of the words right now.
I’ve always been the one who holds up to be strong and still able to think when there’s disaster. Even with my own life, but that’s not always the case. While these people are friends, it got to the stage where I felt like an emotional drop in house. People would have no contact with me for a while, and then I’d get a text, a call or something out of nowhere because something in life has caused them a problem. After a while I had to say no, it was costing me friendships and relationships.

It’s probably cost more recently, because I’m that person everyone comes to for advice they seem to have this expectation that I can always help and always give advice. But there’s no forethought that I too, can be dealing with my own issues.

It’s like I guess that because of who I am, I’m not allowed to have a break down, ever.

For the first time in a long time, I struggled to handle something in my own life. But all those who were dependant on me when they needed help, have shut me out. I already had very little friends at that stage, and I guess that shows who the people are in your life. Whether they are there to support you when it gets tough, or they are ready to run.

Three Abstractions – Part III (Death)

Dear Death,

You, of all of you, I fear the least. I welcome you with open arms, you are an end to the torment of love and time.
You do not scare me, I have accepted you.
If life has taught me anything, it’s that death is certain and we will meet, eventually.

Dear Death, I’m coming for you.

 

How beautiful is it to live in a world where nothing lasts forever. We must learn to fall in love with the love inside us, only then will every living moment be worth dying for. – r.m.drake

Three Abstractions – Part II (Time)

Dear Time,

You are the longest thing we have, and we do not have enough of it. I fear that I will run out of time before I can accomplish that which drives everything inside me.
We all fear you the most, we fear that we will always run out of time. It does not matter if it’s a second, minute, a day or even a year. We will feel as though we have not used you as intended and make us pay the price. But we will only realise this when it’s too late.
You are everything to those who look to the future, and nothing to those who not care about the past.
You are everything to those who look to the past, and nothing to those who not care about the future.

Dear time, I fear you, but I’m coming for you.

One day, you’ll make peace with your demons, and the chaos in your heart will settle flat. And maybe for the first time in your life, life will smile back at you and welcome you home. – r.m. drake

Three Abstractions – Part I (Love)

Dear Love,

You are in every fabric of the universe, in the air, the trees, in anything you can touch, see and hear, and those you cannot. You are snow on Mount Everest, when we feel it we are at our highest. You are also the mud in the dead sea, without it, we are at our lowest. When we are on top of the world you remind us to stay hopeful, when we are at our lowest you give us hope.

I have loved, and I have loved hard. Only to be returned with hurt time and time again, yet you cannot feel what you are and that is the difference between you and I. Why do you do this to me? There has been nothing but forgiveness and giving.
With every new breath, love starts all over again, is equally spread and just as hard as the time before. I love you, but I also fear you, pondered never endlessly. Waiting for that moment to happen all over again and bring the world crashing down, like you have done to be me before.

Dear Love, I love you, but I also fear you.

Maybe I love too much and maybe I show it too little. – r.m. drake

Mirror mirror on the wall…

There should always be time for self reflection, be it how you go in a job, your personality, your goals, and even relationships. It’s easy to get caught up in the busy parts with life, people pulling you left and right, the constant stream of work that needs to get done because of demands. Always make time for yourself to wind down, and always make time to reflect on how these things are progressing, and if they suit you.

It came to the forefront of my mind recently, that while I’m busy doing other things that I feel I need to do, prioritise or want to get done. It can come at a sacrifice to others, their well-being, headspace and health in general. Three things come to mind now, my commitments to the cricket club, voluntary commitments to others that I may help in some form or another, and also my own headspace being caught up with whatever may be bothering me. Those examples are that I was tipping a lot of time into getting the cricket clubs season up and running, I was also helping a friend who was doing some fundraising for Beyond Blue to create awareness of depression and anxiety, and I was also stuck in a place where I felt I had no control over my health. Waiting on a magical pill or doctors to find some way that my Fibromyalgia could have it’s symptoms reduced, instead of trying things on my own.

The problem with these is that while I was helping someone to raise awareness of depression and anxiety, I wasn’t paying the attention I should have to the woman I love and care about. Going through the same battle herself, it drips in irony. While I wasn’t completely shut off from this, sometimes taking action may be what’s needed to help them, to show that you’re paying attention to what’s going on with them and know that they are fighting a battle. But that they aren’t fighting the battle alone, they will have the support, love and care they need behind them through a tough time. They can’t see an end to it, that’s what the people for love and support are for, to show them that there is light at the end and things will be better.

Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up. – Alfred Pennyworth

It’s these kind of events that you need to take a step back, and realise that family, and people you love. Come first. They will, and have been the ones there when you’ve needed it. The ones you’re comfortable with, the one you can laugh and cry with. The one who will tell you during the bad times that things will get better, and enjoy the moment when the good times are there.

I was caught up in my own headspace trying to fix myself, knowing that there was nothing I could do to control it and didn’t offer any logical support, and that was a shitty thing to do. It’s something to learn from, something to take on board and self reflect from.

This is certainly the first relationship where I’ve found something close to “opposites attract” and is actually true. While there isn’t a great deal in common when it comes to hobbies and things we enjoy. There’s a certain comfort that comes from it, no expectations to be anyone we are not. Just ourselves. It’s fun and a good place to be in. Enjoy the simple things, like tea and custard tarts, and the odd arse crack and fart on Snapchat.

Your ego is a depreciating asset

“If it drives, flies, floats or fucks – lease it.” – Spencer Strasmore (Ballers)

At first, I giggled, and then found it crude. But also true to some sense. This is something that’s thrown around a lot by wealthy divorced men, I am neither rich nor divorced. But I do understand why those people have said about leasing assets like cars, planes, and boats. It’s solid investment advice. If I think about investing I find there are only two types to myself, financial and moral.

For those who want a financial investment, they will put money into to profit when getting money out.

If life has taught me anything, its that two things are certain. Life itself is followed eventually by death. As morbid as it sounds if I was going to make any investment for financial gain I’d look at education and health care. People must be educated and developed, and we continue to populate the planet. But we also die and have a heavy fixation with staying alive as long as possible.

I remember sitting at a cafe having my lunch and overhearing a conversation about a financial adviser and someone else selling life insurance “just in case something happens”. I can tell you this, death will happen. It’s unavoidable.

A lot of businesses in the health and education sector base their model around government grants and funding, which can be bad given it can be pulled out from under their feet at any time. This can lead to job cuts and businesses closing. There’s government funding into privatised schools and all the early learning centres that seem to pop up on every corner lately. While they a private business, they still receive government funding and base a lot of what they do off receiving that.

If you take a look at someone like Elon Musk, he continues to fund a lot of his own projects with his own money. So only he ends up out of pocket if something falls on its arse. That’s entrepreneur 101, risking your own money for financial gain or losing it. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean adding it to your Instagram bio and telling all your mates you have a great idea. You might have a great idea, but you’re more likely binge watching shows on Netflix, on your parents’ couch in track pants, covered in Dorito crumbs and wondering how you’ll pay off that Arts degree.

Elon Musk started PayPal, which he sold. Now he tips his own money into his own investments like Space X (Privatised space exploration), The Boring Company (looking to reduce gridlock by going up and down in high traffic areas… Bladerunner anyone?), and Telsa. Which produce Electric motor vehicles and batteries for home, which are all pushing against the grain of the government. Could you imagine living in a world with houses off the grid with batteries and solar panels? or electric cars with no emissions being able to go under and over large freeways without roads? (flying cars!). So next time you think about calling yourself an entrepreneur, maybe think again?

I like to invest my time in people, while it can end in disappointment. I like to see people in small business reach their goals or do something that makes them happy, and enjoy their time while they work. I have no interest in people who don’t want to help others or just make money to show it off. It’s all about inflating their ego so they can feel bigger and better than other people.

Swoots are for Snoots

Success… should mean never having to wear a suit. I hate suits, they are uncomfortable, expensive, impractical and wearing a tie is just plain horrible.

Why should success in a business-world be determined by what we wear? Why should our success be determined by likes, looks, or how much money we make? Maybe our success should be determined by our happiness, the value that one can get and give out of our day jobs. You could be earning millions, but still not be happy or find yourself fulfilled and satisfied with your job.
Maybe a dollar sign isn’t what drives you to do what you do, maybe seeing a smile on someone’s face is. We all do the nine to five grind because it is comfortable and familiar.

Are people too caught up in producing a brand that they have forgotten about identity? Have we forgotten what a human touch is? There is too much in the world now that has a lack of face, a lack of humanity to it. It’s a sterile and uncomfortable environment.

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” – Horace Mann

Don’t be ashamed to be selfless and do something that makes you happy. If sitting in front of the white backlight of a computer screen no longer makes you happy, then change the things around you. People sacrifice doing what makes them happy to do what they think is right. That job as an accountant might pay well, but you’re busy dreaming about building things in your shed out of timber and getting paid to do it. The smells of the hardwoods, the oils and machinery, every time you cut into the grains and ready to create your next piece that lasts a lifetime. Now back to the reality of that co-worker who marinated in cologne this morning, people demanding you like you have a clone so you can be in two places at once. It’s nice being in demand, but not too unrealistic expectations. This is not Star Wars and this is not Attack of the Clones, there is only one of us.

When I was five years old, my Mom told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” [-]

With an impending career change on the horizon, the motivation behind it comes from personal experience. I no longer want to meet peoples unrealistic demands, but I’d rather do something I enjoy that has a positive impact on those I want to work with. I want to make people smile when they feel like they are helping the greater good, and reaching their full potential. It’s my own personal agenda, to help everyone reduce today’s footprint for tomorrows little feet.

The whole idea of a career change is to cultivate a career around my wants and needs of a lifestyle. The wants of a career to what and who I deal with, as well as the needs to be flexible for my health and working with like-minded passionate people. At the end of it, I’ll feel happy when I can work contently in a location that does not have the interruptions of the busy city, nine to five grind. Somewhere I can work quietly amongst the green scenery.  I prefer the quiet over chaos, I want my own time and not to be everyone else’s time. The perfect fit, not the perfect result.

Minimalism, for art thou savior!

Dear Friends, Do you have a moment to talk about Minimalism?

Dear Friends,

I love you. I’m picky with my friends. I’m picky about who I spend my time, and my efforts on. Is it from getting old and becoming wise? From the repeated disappointment that comes from the expectations placed on one another? You are my friends, you are a place I can bury my thoughts, my insecurities, to vent when I have a bad day, to seek advice from when I need it.

You all do the same, to vent, to ask advice, to bury your thoughts and insecurities. You are all capable of doing much more, you are in control of your life. If there is something that no longer makes you happy or suits its purpose, change it. It may feel like you have a lot at stake, but the fear of what is on the other side is holding you back. The “what if’s”. Change it anyway. Only until you make a change will you see the benefits after, regardless of the risk.

“If you no longer go for a gap which exists you are no longer a racing driver” – Ayrton Senna

My friends, do you have a moment to talk about minimalism?

Do you ever feel weighed down? And I’m not talking about the big things, the small things, the ones that each time something happens it adds a little bit more to the pile. More weight, more problems (Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems). It will keep adding and adding until eventually, you break. The straw that broke the Camels back.

Life is complicated, life is stressful. But it doesn’t have to be, you’re allowed to make it simple. You are allowed to have a simple, loving, fulfilling life. You are allowed to simplify everything. This includes your friends, family, work, and your commitments. You are allowed to say no.

Minimalism has its benefits, and I’m not going to go all ‘preachy, preachy’ praise minimalism, on you. We, as humans, are only equipped to handle so much, and some things we are not able to handle at all. Simplify a number of aspects of your life that you need to manage and then learn ways to manage the aspects you can’t. You will have extra time to do so, it’s time to start investing in yourself and your well-being. Invest in your growth, and make investments with your time. Don’t waste the time on people who do not help you grow, or stomp on your voice.

People are a great stressor in life, regardless of who a person is to you. There are always complications regardless of the type of relationship. If the relationship is no longer making you happy, reassess if it is right for you and then remember. You do have a voice.

 

Consumption Conshmumption

While I enjoy the consumption of things like coffee and endless hours of test match cricket. I’m not so fond of consumption of material possessions, or maybe the act of consumption.

Recently my Dad asked me about going overseas to see relatives, neither he or I have met from my Grandfathers side. Dad is pushing 70, so I see it as an opportunity to travel but also give him some assistance in being on the first plane in 30 years or so.

But when you’re asked if you want to go to Scotland, the first thing that comes to mind is “fuck, it’s gonna be cold”, and rightly true. To put this in perspective, I’ve been trimming down my clothes slowly. I’d rather have a few good items that do it well, than a lot that I might use occasionally. A jacket is one I’ve struggled with, I’ve thrown out several in the process that no longer fit, never wore or don’t like and I’m left with mainly hoodies. I went and bought a cheap jacket for $25 as it was Winter, and my previous one was broken. I needed to not be wet or cold given I’m in and out the car a lot. It was ok, but not particularly warm. I start searching and find a good quality jacket that will do all of the above. Warm, waterproof, durable. Like any jacket should be, and also more expensive but I’ll consider it a long term investment. While continuing my search for a jacket Mrs.E find me one that’s good on sale, fantastic! Warm, comfy, looks good and fits nicely.
But I still look for a jacket that’s a bit more suiting. I find another jacket on sale cheaply while looking for jeans and pick that up, I’m not sure why and now it feels like useless consumption. It fitted when I tried it on, but wasn’t the greatest fit when I started wearing it and needing to do something in it. Not everyone is built the same.

The disappointing thing was during this time I was also making a lot of purchases, I’m not entirely sure how necessary they were. But I was on a roll with the trigger finger and watching my bank balance deplete quicker than an Aus Post overnight express delivery. A shower caddy for the (little) stuff I have in my shower, my justification? Picking them off the floor with a dodgy back and a chronic illness starts to get a bit tiring. I’ve noticed it more going off my medication lately. My choice was to buy something a little more earth-friendly, so I got one made of Bamboo.

A new dish rack for when I wash my dishes, the old one is funky and falling apart and leaves crap on the sink. So I got one made of bamboo. I bought first aid kits as I keep cutting myself lately and running upstairs for a band-aid while bleeding isn’t a great idea in a rental. A second to go in the office, because I cut myself at work. More books as gifts, tea infusers so I stop using tea bags and also other people I know. Random gifts for shits and giggles. I also bought a vintage cricket bat, which well… I like looking at them. Cricket is something I’ve always valued.

I’m still trudging my way through The Minimalists book, and I’m up to a part about where Joshua got to a point where he stopped buying things and tried to see how he lived without them. Which I think maybe is something I need to try. Less buying, and more selling of the crap I don’t use around the house (I also refurb old PC’s from work and sell them off and they are everywhere at the moment). I think long term, I need to buy less, offload shit, and reassess my funds. I’ve dipped into my savings account too much lately for purchases, and also some that have come back to bite me in the backside (like a laptop that was gutless). I’ll need to be more thoughtful with my choices for purchases, I guess I “fell off the wagon” when it came to it recently.

Maybe I’ll give that no purchase thing a go for a while… except for coffee.