The life simplified.

Once I was obsessed with movement, in the truest sense; my mind danced the cha-cha with dreams of success. Tense, pent up energy, manifesting as movement, moving around, searching for something outside of myself to soothe the existential dread. I believed that I was not enough, and to become enough I must become successful, for then, I finally be enough. Oh, how young I was, how wrong I was; it’s ok, I tell myself, many fall prey to the material ideal. The ideal, by which a linear relationship exists between self-worth and value of material goods acquired; a triangular relationship between achievement, social standing self-esteem. We must get the house, the flashy car, the model wife, the corporate career, and then, and only then, will we be enough… wrong. It is in this moment of apparent triumph do we feel hollow and vacant.

This way of living is tiring, and it is unfulfilling. You have been sold a narrative of endless achievement, sub-consciously believing that this is the path of the happy one; the path toward contentment, the version of reality in which your woes and pains will slip away. You seek to remove your shackles, the shackles that have been placed on you without your consent; a weighted burden. I’m here to say that you can be free, you can free yourself; contentment is only a hair-width away.

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What’s your version of success? Is it the amazing wife and the adorable children, with a white picket fence to boot? What about the Lamborghini, fresh suit, living as an entrepreneurial yuppie? Maybe it’s even to be the best gamer this planet has ever known? Who knows? Success is defined by the individual, not the society; success is whatever you make it. How absurd it is to compare your life to the culturally dominant version of success, for success is inherently subjective, thus is differs from person to person. The gamer who compares her life to the materialistic ideal of success will always feel inadequate in the shadow of this ideal, unless she consciously defines her version of success. To define your own version of success, is to free yourself from the bonds that society has placed upon us, freeing your life from the burden that is sociocultural expectation.

 

How do you define success? 

 

 

 

gentle.

Too often do we try and force a square through a circular hole; it is within our nature to bend the world to our will. The writer who tries to force words from his fingers, the teacher who tries to force undivided attention from the pupil with ADHD, the lover who tries to force the beloved to love; a futile game of forcing nature back upon and against herself. For how can a writer force words from his fingers when he know not what to say? How can a teacher force undistracted attention from the pupil with ADHD, for his dopamine does not permit him so? The lover who tries to force the beloved to love, when the beloved cannot control whether they love or do not love? What a futile game we play upon ourselves; we as Humans think that we can control every facet of existence, bending the fabric of reality to our whims, when this is patently untrue.

In order to live congruent with reality, we must learn to accept that some things possess a particular nature, a nature to which cannot be changed nor manipulated to nature to which it is not.

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Do not force relationships, for it was called attraction for a reason. Attraction; magnetism, is a force so strong that pulls individuals closer to each other, with no regard to the individuals rationale on the matter. A magnetic attraction wills these individuals to be with each other, a force so powerful that no obstacle will keep them apart. It is for this reason that you must not force relationships, for if they were meant to be the attraction between would hurl you to each other like a mailbox to a tornado; unrelenting, forceful and impossible to fight against. To force a relationship is to go against the nature of the individuals in question; to transgress this nature is to position yourself within direct opposite to the natural order of things. Attraction defies logic, and thus no amount of analysis, comparison or intellectualisation will suffice to generate the magnetic attraction that you desire. Do not try to force a square through a circle, for it will be met with universal opposition.

 

forty-two thousand feet.

There’s something so fickle about a feeling; ever fleeting, one moment it’s there, another gone. I am an adventurer, exploring foreign lands, exploring foreign planes, searching. A curious searching, one different to all those prior. A search akin to what an eye subconsciously seeks in the lazy space of a painting. This search, like all searches, lifts me up into the atmosphere; forty-two thousand feet above. I’m above the clouds lost in a familiar feeling. Why do these adventurers consume me so? Am I destined to be the one who wonders?

 

Hong Kong. Lost. I’m walking about, lost in a haze. Symbols reveal their shallow nature as I move past, unable to decipher them completely. I can sometimes understand what they mean, for some things are universal. But most things do not offer me such luxury. A luxury to be afforded; something earned through the fire and brimstone of repetition. Do you know the feeling of reaching to grasp, only to fall within an inch? This is a central theme of Human experience, colouring me a faded hue. Blue, blue, all because of you. I’m the shade of your favourite colour, I’m the shape of your favourite mood; I feel as if I compliment you.

 

Gratitude.

Gratitude is a warm coffee on a sleepy Seattle morning; it’s like peeing yourself, “everyone can see it but only you can feel it”. Gratitude lights up your face when you see an aeroplane fly low over your apartment, ready to join its atmospheric friends atop the runway; wow, what an amazing species we are… we’ve engineering metal tubes to propel us through the air. Blessed. Gratitude is that big cheeky grin when you realise how lucky you are; how lucky you are that you’re alive in the most prosperous time in history, surrounded by amazing people and in a career that you love. Gratitude is seeing the silver lining in a seemingly grey situation, seeing the positive in a seemingly net negative; it’s a paradigm shift, a slow dance away from a focus on what your life isn’t, rather than what it is. Gratitude is the best application you could ever install in your mind, it’s the air underneath your wings, lifting you above the clouds… floating. Floating, I’m floating, suspended in a state of pure bliss and it’s because I see that nothing is amiss; my life is whole, independent from the external state of things.

The death march.

This is the age of the individual, Instagram, narcissism, butt-implants, materialism and a consumeristic mentally; welcome to the 21st century. We march forward without hesitation, toward a cliff, of which at the bottom, organised Human life does not exist. We’ve turned up the thermostat, we’ve deadbolted the doors from the inside and flushed away the key. The thermostat is broken, it’s stuck on a 4-degree increase; we have nowhere to run, we will melt into our own filth. Is this our own fault, however? In an Exxonmobil world, are we really to blame when the likes of Exxon knew about the impacts of oil on climate in 1977? Is this the beginning of the end? Are we headed for a slow deflation or an abrupt pop?

Is there Human race going to rise to the occasion of collective survival? Or will we sweep our problems under the bed and tell Mother that our room has been cleaned? What will we do when an estimate 100m – 1Bn climate migrants come to our shoes when their homes have been left unliveable? What will we do when extreme drought strikes? The Maldives… they never stood a chance; they will spend their last moments gasping for air, and the only thing left to breathe is a foreign aid budget… they can’t breathe US Dollars, nor can they stand upon democracy to keep us above the salty Indian.

We are fucked.

Our world is so divided; Mr Trump wants to keep those to the south out so bad he is willing to build a wall. But, but what about the health of those within your walled city? What about their education? What about the homeless? Why do you, Mr. President, promote such divisiveness? Why do you not believe in such collective humanity? Can we as Humans truly live in such large groups, or are we 10,000 chickens in a feed-shed, unable to recognise friend from foe, left to our own devices where we peck eachother like mad… until we all eventually die. Our lifetime, I suspect, will see some of the most turbulent times of Human history. To overcome these challenges we must rise about our individual selfish desire and think of the collective; we must cooperate and put the collective needs about the individual. What is good for the economy of the Western world, isn’t necessarily good the planet.

What say you, huh? Dare you put the needs of another before yourself, or will you drown in a pool of your own reflection…

The climate is coming, and there’s nowhere to run.

Bleak city stare.

Have you ever gazed upon the world with a bleak stare? I have.

Loneliness is a wretched beast; an enveloping feeling of which carries me down the road. My true nature is one of routine, a nature that sits like a statue on baron ground… unwavering, unchanged and desolate. I fight my true nature by embarking on adventure, on quests of the mind, the soul and the heart. This great adventure carries my bags from city to city, leaving everything that I built up behind me, though I know it is for the best, this period of adaptation leaves my heart feeling less full than previously expressed. I know that in my heart of hearts that I will again feel a heart full of connection, but today is not that day, and my heavy heart is felt in each step that I take.