Poem: Present/Future

Writing

 

We only have the present.

Regardless of what we want in our futures,

It is the ‘now’ which takes all of the credit.

 

Living in the moment,

An experience unknown to many.

We disown it in exchange for a chance to oneday own a moment, 

Which is nothing more than merely a ‘maybe’.

 

Hope is one thing.

Oblivion another.

Do you look in the mirror and see yourself for who you are?

Or always strive to be somebody better?

 

Are You Poorer Than Me?

Writing

I’m so sick of being poor. Yes I may have a roof over my head and food in my fridge but when you can’t decorate your rooms or make meals beyond tins of soup and sweetcorn then what’s the point? I might aswell be living in The Amazon, atleast then I’ll avoid the council tax and eyewateringly long queues at the supermarket checkout. 

 

Yes I may be whinging about a first world problem but I believe this is a key reason for my upheaval in the first place. If I did infact live in a tribe in a forest then I wouldn’t know what I’m missing necessarily. How can I miss the sight of some dope dealer sporting the latest balenciaga’s, or the gluttonous geezer buying the ‘extra special’ range in Sainsbury’s when I wouldn’t have the foggiest what either two of these concepts were? You can’t miss what you’ve never witnessed I guess. I would be comfortable and content with my relationships and my tribal lifestyle. 

 

Perhaps that’s just it, in the society I live in, less emphasis is placed on the value of social relationships, instead these are sidelined for the stars of this farcical pantomime I call life – materialism and capitalism. The terrible twins. They are the children you grimace at and purposely attempt to swap at birth, only to find them crawling and clambering their way into your back pocket as you exit the hospital. 

 

My experience living in London has made me reevaluate my perspectives on numerous things, none moreso that the value I myself place on money. Putting it short and sweetly, I now understand why some people may force themselves to do things others may deem shameful. For example, we can all hold our heads high, point our noses in the air, as we scoff at the single mum shaking what God (or her surgeon)  gave her in a strip club. But you put yourself in her 6 inch stilettos for merely a second and maybe then you would begin to empathise and understand that she may have a young mouth to feed on her own. Why? Because the dad walked out as soon as he found out she was pregnant. And let’s face it city ‘living wages’ need to be rephrased as city ‘suffocating wages’. Unless you are in the finance sector or as old as time itself then I’m afraid for the rest of us, youth and inexperience comes as a pretty big financial burden. 

 

I ask myself – why did I move to this city? A question which is becoming worryingly frequent. I’m from a small town in the middle of Northern Ireland, the rent I pay in London could have me living in two places twice the size back in a rural setting, so why am I here? 

 

The old line of ‘there’s loads more opportunities’ is becoming undone, fraying and feeling further from reality. Yes, there may technically be more ‘opportunities’ but let’s face it, no one’s going to throw me a wad of £50’s to take up the opportunity to soak up a West End show, or meetings with top CEOs. Unless ofcourse I turn to sugarbabying, which is a completely different can of worms I wish not open in this moment. 

 

Today, I’m feeling sorry for myself, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who wards away threatening voices in their mind’s eye, tempting them to smash open their piggy bank into a million little pieces, only to find not much more than a hundred little pennies in the remnants of Mr piggy’s once round stomach. Financial hardship makes itself known to all of us at some stage in our lives, I have no doubt, but I say it has outstayed its welcome. So my question now is, how do I kick them out?

Rid them from my minimalist overpriced matchbox flat, where the walls lay bare out of fear that I may maim it’s clinical appearance with so much as a smudge of a marker, or stain from a sticker. Landlords in cities like London make Sherlock Holmes look like a babbling unobservant buffoon when it comes to hunting down the most miniscule of marks on a tenants leaving day, wouldn’t you agree?

 

And with this thought lingering I wonder whether I should indeed make myself scarce of it’s confinements, escaping the financial restrictions once and for all and bid this city goodbye. 

Poetry: Change

Writing

A leopard can change its spots.

But cheetahs never do.

Changing your mind is one thing.

But changing your heart, is about as easy as making a mountain move.

 

2020

A new year, a new you.

This year will be different.

A false promise? Or does here lie the truth?

 

Do you need to change your perspective?

Moreso than actually changing you?

Do you need to take more time reflecting?

Than taking time, faking, being too big for your boots?

 

Is It Nice To Be Nice To Others?

Writing

Living in a city, living on top of each other, I think it’s easy to get impatient and somewhat claustrophobic. Carrying out my own little experiment in the last couple of months has brought with it some striking revelations. 

I wanted to test the waters – does being nice to people make them nicer to you? 

So to test this, I carried out the following experiments, firstly I would be ‘impatient’ with people, not overtly rude, but instead show my disapproval to something I found they were doing annoying. Then following on from this, for the remaining weeks I would put effort in to be nicer than necessary e.g. smiling at a stranger in the park, asking an eldelry person if they needed help carrying their groceries and so on….. 

This is how it unfolded:

The Supermarket Face Smasher

If you read my post on pet peeves then you’ll know my utmost deteste for queue jumpers, almost as much as I hate when someone shoulder barge me to get out of the queue.  Lining up at the self-checkout a random woman decides she no longer wants to be in the queue, which is fine (I thought). She proceeds to try and exit the queue through the most awkward of routes, squeezing passed everyman man, woman and child still in the queue instead of just going through the self checkouts. As she passes me in the queue she almost knocks me flying.

This is where I have a decision to stfu or say something, as it’s the mean experimental month I utter ‘you could’ve said excuse me’, she then says ‘excuse me’ in an aggressive tone to which I repeat ‘you could’ve said excuse me’ her next comment was ‘I’ll smash your face in!’ Security de-escalated the issue pretty quickly but let’s just say you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. She may have looked like your plain Jane but really probably is the kind of person who acts like their sh*t doesn’t stink and would quite happily lock their husband/wife up in the downstairs basement for not hoovering the floor by the time they got back from strangling their colleague at work. 

Note to experiment – don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Should I have said something? I think not!

Tut Tut Tut

Train etiquette for anyone with manners is – if you’re at the platform waiting for someone to get on then you wait until anyone exiting the train carriage has gotten OFF! Obviously some ignorant individuals didn’t get the memo because as I approached the exit doors of the train all I could see was this keen bean of an ignoramus prancing up onto the carriage just as the doors were opening, I try to step off but he basically baracades me in the carriage, I swerve passed him tutting as loud as a jet engine into his left ear, to which he responds with an inferior tut, I then wanted to have the last tut so I tut again, he then looks round at me as the train doors are closing, he, now inside the carriage and me on the platform tuts again, I watch the train pull off now unable to see him clearly as the windows are slightly blacked out but still stubborn I gave one final tut and walked off laughing at both of our pettiness. 

Tutting wars! I’m sorry but this guy was all self with – ‘I want on the train, I don’t care if I block you getting off, blah blah blah’ marked across his forehead.

Should I Have tutted? No (I should’ve fly-kicked him back out the train doors).

The list of petty squabbles goes on ashamedly, but all for the name of science!

Fast forward a few weeks later and the mother Therea in me makes an appearance in full force, I’m rescuing kittens from trees, stopping crime in its tracks, helping old ladies cross roads. Ok maybe not this far but I did try and go out of my way to be nicer than what would be accepted as normal, and in the process got a few weird looks but also a few genuine smiles. Let me tell you why:

It’s In The Eyes

For the most part we go through life minding our own business, especially when walking down streets. Here, it can sometimes feel like the pavement is a magnet for our eyes in order for us to avoid the awkward eye contact with a passerby. I wanted to see if I could break this  internal awkwardness and see if I could instead show eye contact to a total stranger alongside a polite smile to see if it could be reciprocated. 

The success rate was surprisingly promising, not that I walked around in public like a grinning cheshire cat, I chose my targets wisely and pleasantly enough us city dwellers are warm when given the chance. 

Note: The acknowledgment of someone else’s existence should be encouraged more! 

Volunteering

My previous post outlines my recent volunteering experience, but to be clear I didn’t choose to volunteer for an experiment it was for much deeper personal reasons I may share in the future. But nevertheless it really emphasises that doing good for others in return can make you feel better about yourself. 

Note: Help others and you help yourself.

Conclusion

I carried out minor behaviors to see if it changed my external environment, if it changed people’s interactions with me, and in conclusion I believe it did.

Does being nice to people mean they’ll be nice to you? Not all the time, but I definitely think it does for the majority of time. 

I’m not saying you should change how you act just to get people to like you but I think on a minor level, simply being aware of your behaviour in more settings will help both you and the people around you. This is what I have found in my own experience, it is nice to be nice to people. And that most people are nice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem: Stress

Writing

Stress.
The subtle strangler.
It manifests itself in many ways.
A fabrication of the mind.
Sending cortisol coursing through our veins.

Life – so full of precious pressures.
So petty, so small, minute.
‘A busy life is a happy one.’
A lie disguised as truth.

Poetry: Success

Writing

The sweet scent of success,

If only it lingered just that little bit longer.

If only it tasted just that little bit stronger.

 

Is success a waiting game,

Or a game of chase?

Should I give it my all,

Or should I accept my fate?

 

Success.

The word on the tips of all of our tongues.

Yet what it actually means,

Is anyone’s guess,

So has yours ended or begun?

Mood Swings

Writing

I now totally get where the saying ‘you’ve got up on the wrong side of bed this morning’ comes from, by doing just that this morning. Waking up today made me feel like climbing up Mt Everest would’ve been easier. No sooner had I stood up that I had realised both of my hamstrings were pulled. Did I do some heavy lifting the day before? Some midnight yoga I can’t remember? No, no I realised what it was. It was cleaning.

 

This is why cleaning and I don’t go well together. Brushing the wooden floors of my flat (as I seldom do) left me a pulled hamstring in each leg, how sad is that? From which concludes two things, 1) I don’t use my hamstrings enough – I’m unfit 2) I don’t tidy enough.

 

Anyhow dragging my hamstring-pulled body to work, I thought the worst of today’s troubles are surely behind me. Yet, as hindsight would tell me, I couldn’t have been further from the truth. 

 

Sitting at my desk in the office, I could just about open my eyes, which weren’t too dissimilar to that of a weeping pregnant turtle giving birth on a golden coastline. So jarring was the sight of the computer screen, that I immediately adjusted the brightness to basically pitch black on my monitor. In my logic I’d much rather squint to see the words than have my retinas bleached to high heavens.

 

Finally,  I wake up, and just in time for the world’s most annoying typist to start hammering the keyboard like she’s playing a game of ‘whack-a-mole’, the worst thing is that she’s not even typing emails or any general document to do with work. She’s whatsapping her boyfriend of 5 years! The shame! Loud typers are definitely one of my pet peeves, after of course that annoying little noise some people make after yawning, and open mouth chewing!

 

Fearing I was about to have an assault case on my hands, I scarpered off to the bathroom to try and compose myself, visually playing through different scenarios in my head until I reached the one which was least likely to convey my psychopathic tendencies. So screaming in her face and throwing her keyboard out of the window had to be subdued for the time being, much to my dismay, I can assure you. 

 

I return to my desk with a new plan devised, in the hope it would pacify me as she continued with her goal of turning her fingers to stubs from typing so f*cking frantically. Maybe a bit of Reggaeton music, asmr and the odd Ted Talk will drown her out I mull over in my mind. 

 

10 minutes in to ‘why sleep is your superpower’  and I hear this hacking noise, moments later whooping then gulping. Is someone strangling the keyboard thumper? No, (unfortunately) not, it’s just the guy sitting directly behind me deciding to imitate the neighbours cat churning up hairballs like there’s no tomorrow. I think it’s a nervous thing with this guy, yeah, I can tell you he definitely gets on my nerves at this stage. If you need to clear your throat do it in one almighty lung clear, don’t dabble with the idea and draw the cough out over several mini mucusy soundbites. If you do choose the latter option then please hacking don’t make a habit of it. I swear this guy coughs more than he breathes. Perhaps that’s why he’s coughing so bloody much!

 

I realise I’m going on a mini rant, it’s just been one of those days. Everyone’s really nice at work, honest. It’s just me who has the problem really. If the above doesn’t make that obvious already. 

 

Anyway I turned the volume up to deafening levels on my headphones and it did the trick, temporary deafness and tinnitus are the prices I’m willing to pay to make Miss tantrum typist  and Mr cough up a lung mute for a mere moment.

 

Lunchtime arrives and I decide to remove my headphones, the sounds of the office are replaced by the all too near whiffs of sardines and soup. I leave the office, ready to have a mental breakdown, heading to the shop I spend 10 minutes sniffing all of the hand creams hoping to eradicate the stench of fish from my memory. Don’t get me wrong, everyone has the right to eat whatever they want for lunch, fish is good for you anyway. But with my blood pressure already sky-rocketing you can see that today wasn’t my day to sail the seven seas if you get my drift? 

 

I buy a noodle salad thing and wolf it down in a heartbeat, wanting to stretch out my pulled hamstrings I take a walk along the river, sitting momentarily to winch at the pain and wallow in self pity, I’m approached by your local nutjob who starts rambling in my ear about how this place is his favourite place in the whole wide world. It’s not like I’m afraid of people, but I know my stranger danger and this guy looked dodgy. Trying to keep my poker face, and nodding along to his ramblings I decided to make a break for it and started limping back to the office after cutting him off abruptly. I continued to turn my head around as I hobbled away just in case he took offense to me departing from him rather swiftly. 

I wasn’t feeling up for a punch in the left kidney from a stranger today so I made haste getaway back to my desk. 

 

The rest of the day was spent reading emails, pretending to know what I’m doing and watching videos of puppies training to be guide dogs. Well, at least I ended the working day on a high!

 

Can’t wait for the sweet sweet sounds of sweaty digits on computer keyboards tomorrow!

Why Are We So Ungrateful?

Writing

If you can read this right now then you have the ability to see. Sight is one of the most valuable senses us humans can posses yet paradoxically it is one we take most for granted. Too busy complaining about our bosses thinking they’re better than us or stressing that we aren’t earning as much as our partners, we lose focus. Instead of moaning about somebody else to make yourself feel better can you not spend a second seeing the good you already possess? For your ability to speak, for your ability to cook, the list goes on. I write this post to share my thoughts on this point, this focus on ungratefulness has crept up on me several times. One example of which was just several days ago when I was walking to work in the morning, on route I passed a beautifully dressed young lady, she was wearing a maroon headband made of silk, a ruffled lemon blouse and bottle green cigarette trousers and she was using a white cane because she was blind.

 

As I passed her my negative thoughts of how bored I am living in the same flat to how annoying a colleague is at work suddenly meant nothing Instead I was stunned with the realisation that I had no reason to complain, because what I was complaining about was so petty. I had more important things to be thankful for thank things I had to complain about. I was going to work to use my skills, I had the ability to walk where other people may not be able to do this , I had the ability to see where others may not have the ability to do this. I must stress that this post is not me trying to compare myself to someone else and state that because they don’t have something and I do that I should feel good about that or better about myself. But instead I aim to highlight that we all have qualities in our lives which we overlook all too frequently, for example while we’re too busy chasing the next pay cheque we forget that we’re fortunate enough to have our health. Or whilst we complain that strangers are rude to us on our commutes we forget that we have a loving family at home. While we judge something critically in the shop window we forget that we have the ability to see the expressions of joy on others around us. To stop for a moment and be thankful of the most underrated elements of your life will surely enrich it?

 

I truly believe that the real answer to being happy is being grateful. To further support this opinion of mine, I need to look just at last week. As much as I enjoyed the Isle of Wight Festival , I must say camping was tough. Let’s be honest lying in a damp cloth cocoon in a bumpy field is a fast track way to insomnia I’ve no doubt about it.  But in some ways, anytime I go camping I’m thankful afterwards. And this time was no different, for on my return to London I couldn’t have had a bigger smile on my face as I jumped into my bed after a shower with actual hot water! A week prior to the festival and I treated a warm bed and a hot shower as expected, fast forward a week and I saw it as a luxury. My point being to feel good about things and about yourself perhaps it takes a moment to realise. Perhaps it takes a week camping for you to appreciate home comforts, atleast it did for me.

 

A tip I do sometimes actually, especially if I’ve had a bad day is list 5 things I’m grateful for that night before going to bed. It may not solve all of your problems but it certainly helps remove the storm cloud from above your head so you can sleep And who knows, maybe if you do it frequently enough you may be a happier person in the long run. I think so.

The Most Anticipated Movies Of 2019

Writing

We’ve already had Aladdin, X-Men and Rocketman set the bar high for this years siverscreen scenes, but wait, the year is by no means over, just check out the movie heavyweights to come:

 

Joker  (October 2019)

I just caught a glimpse of the upcoming Joker movie and it definitely gave me something to smile about. Noone could replace Heath Ledger, yet I’m pretty sure Joaquin Phoenix will give us his own equally engaging take on this superhero supervillain.

 

The Lion King (July 2019)

Truly nostalgic, I personally can’t wait to experience this one on the big screen. Something tells me I won’t be critiquing the CGI too harshly, although the cartoon original version will always hold a special place in my heart. WIth an allstar line-up including Beyonce, Donald Glover and Seth Rogan, you’ll be playing the game of guess the voice actor instead of admiring how cute baby Simba looks in the opening scenes!

 

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (August 2019)

Margot Robbie, Leonardo Dicaprio, Brad Pitt……Is this a move or model casting? Whether the film is good or not is secondary, all I want to do is stare at their perfectly formed faces. I know Tarantino is a bit of a marmite director,  I personally find him rather interesting and I’m a fan of his work so really looking forward to seeing his latest piece.

 

Frozen 2 (November 2019)

We just can’t seem to let go of this winter wonderland fantasy by Disney. I wonder how many more infectious songs will come from this sequel?

 

The Irishman (month tbc, year 2019)

Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci. Did someone say mob ties? Directed by Scorsese. Did someone say Oscar? Rumoured to have cost $125million and containing 300 scenes, this epic gangster film will definitely be a highlight in Netflix’s catalogue this year.

 

 

Poem: Rejection

Writing

Rejection

Rejection is like an unwelcome face.

All too familiar, you close the door on it.

Should rejection be ignored or embraced?

It depends on what way you look at it.

 

Rejection from a lover

The heat of their body touching yours is fading.

Now all but a distant memory.

The taste of their mouth on yours – erasing.

You yearn for the return of this reality.

.

Failure

Will it make you stronger or weaker?

Do you see it as a knock on the esteem?

Is it a chance to become better?

Or do you say farewell to your dreams?

 

Rejecting yourself

Just as you can have too much of a good thing.

You can have too much of a bad.

If rejection comes round to often?

Understandably – where do you stand?

 

Is Being An Introvert Wrong?

Writing

introvert

noun

/ˈɪntrəvəːt/


                                                               a shy, reticent person.

Truth be told, I’m a naturally shy person. But should I be annoyed at this? I use to think so. Slowly I’ve come to realise that being shy doesn’t mean I’m in any way  less capable of doing something than someone who isn’t. It just means I may need more time.

I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to a ‘bubbly, out there’ persona, to a personality that we ‘think’ others will like, but infact don’t really know.

To be shy doesn’t directly correlate to being boring and unwilling to try new things, it just means you may be curious yet cautious of trying new things. To be cautious of something isn’t  a bad thing right? So long as you don’t let shyness stop you from trying then you should never feel bad for being careful about things.

Another assumption surrounding introverted people is that they don’t show much emotion, that they can seem quite cold and poker-faced. To control your emotions is a skill, it’s an individual’s choice whether to give away their feelings freely or not.

We can’t all be extroverts and we shouldn’t all be. Don’t be ashamed of who you are, whether extraverted or indeed introverted. For a long time I was angry at myself for being shy, I didn’t want to accept it, but now I see it as part of who I am and so I’ve addressed and learned techniques to help me succeed in situations where shyness may not help me.

Being shy can help in certain moments but not all. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t be angry at myself for being the way I am, instead I should work with what I have, noone knows you aswell as you know you. Therefore you are in control of your emotions and so can shape our success by being emotionally in control. It also means that those you choose to share your emotions with are trusted by you.

Whether introverted or extraverted, or somewhere inbetween, society needs us all, imagine if we were all of one and none of the other 2? That really wouldn’t be a fun party!

Some Introverts you may recognise:

Can You Be Too Ambitious?

Writing

Can you be too ambitious in life? By being so are you just setting yourself up for overwhelming levels of stress and bottomless pitfalls? Or  by setting higher goals are you growing your skillset further and achieving more than you ever could even if you shoot and miss the target?

 

I ask this question because I feel like this alot, I feel like I’m maybe trying to do too much at one time, I struggle with organisation and procrastination eventhough I have a list of ‘ambitions’ as long as my arm that I ‘want’ to ‘/start’ doing. Spending alot of time thinking and planning and little time doing is my biggest issue. It really is a game of psychology, perhaps because I’m giving myself so many goals all at once I’m subconsciously feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks at hand and so turn my head to making a stab at any one ambition in particular.

 

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having multiple ambitions, and I don’t like the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ but maybe when applied to the concept of time it is infact best to master one skill/ambition and then start incorporating another rather than tackling several simultaneously.

 

Another reason why maybe some of us find it difficult to keep on track with our goals is because we lead by the stick and not the carrot, by this I’m referring to the metaphor for the use of reward and punishment to bring about a desired behaviour. It’s a depiction of a donkey either being hit with the stick or chasing a carrot dangles infront of him in order to get him to move forward. For the most part we lead by the threat of something happening e.g. if we don’t do X then something bad will happen, and as a result we put ourselves under huge amounts of stress which may lead us to quit our efforts at reaching our goals. For example – if I don’t nail this presentation my boss will demote me, I need to earn above 50k per year or my wife will leave me, as opposed to if I nail this presentation my boss could promote me, my wife loves me for me not my money, I’m going to aim to earn above 50k to treat her more not to keep her!

 

I don’t think we reward ourselves enough when we do make progress towards our goals or even when we achieve them, maybe we think reaching the goal is the reward but it seems that no sooner have we reached one goal than are we back on the journey of trying to reach another. Perhaps we should give ourselves a pat on the back more often for even the small steps in the right direction. This would definitely help keep the motivation to reach a goal.

 

Bottom line is, I think it’s great to have ambitions, and even better if we start working towards them!

 

I wish you all the best with yours!

I’m Making A Radio Show

Writing

If ever there was a time I was more nervous, it would have to have been the day I mixed colours with whites while doing the clothes washing. But only once, and only then! *Mum forgive me!

But why am I so nervous about making a radio show? And more importantly, why exactly am I making one in the first place?

I guess answering the first one, it’s because I’ve never made one before, and with inexperience comes apprehension. Compounding this, it’s because I care. I care about the meaning behind the content I am creating, I care about doing a good job of it.

I’m making a radio show because in the last half a year I’ve been bitten by the radio bug through listening to select radio shows and doing a bit of work experience at local stations. Radio for me, sits in the crosshairs of two interests of mine: music & bullsh*tting conversation. So with all of these ingredients combined I might as well give it a go! What’s the worst that could happen? I’m too robotic, there’s too many awkward silences, my music choices suck!!!!! Well, even so atleast I can say I gave it a go!

So what will my radio show actually be about?

Watch this space! :p

**Release date: 1st April 2019

*Surely there’s something you’ve wanted to give a go but haven’t yet? Take the leap of faith just like me and we can both cry about it after haha.