The is no one else you should rather be than yourself.

That title? It is the one thing that is helping me understand how I should treat myself, especially since what I have learned in the past few weeks.

Truthfully I have not been honest with you, I have been appearing like a guru in these blog posts, as if I have the key information that will unlock the universe before me, but that is not me, it is a role that I play to appeal to an audience; you.

Recently, I have exhausted myself on trying to act positively for other people; being the perfect version of myself in the situation presented, so whoever else is there will like me. Consequently, I became lost in my sense of self. “If I am all these different people to everyone else, then who am I to me?”. This statement can be interpreted as quite preachy, anyone who would give advice would say “don’t overthink it”. I think I have said this advice before on this blog.

The world isn’t black and white, overthinking is not something you can switch off; it is a habit. These habits, like any, are reinforced and can be constantly present.

What I am saying here is, we all need to stop trying to appeal to others. Though it is expected of us, as we are social creatures, it is also exhausting and fruitless.

The right people will come, but you won’t need to change your entire personality just to have a chance at forming any relationship with them.

I don’t want to be spoiled anymore.

I am aware that I have posted about this before, but with the release of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, I have begun to release, in so many ways, that I no longer, want to be spoiled for experiences.

When you buy a book, you do not usually look up the ending online before you read the first page. Though some may argue that ” it is all about the experience of writing the book, instead of the actual story”, unfortunately for me honey, I read my books to get lost in a new world.

I think we all pay too much attention to what everybody else is doing, whether that is due to FOMO (fear of missing out) or conditioned sheep-like behaviour to follow what everybody else wants; thinking that is your own want. This may be a tangent, but when I see people on YouTube, basically telling you to change your life to act a certain way, I think to myself “who gives you the right to tell anyone anyway how to live their life other than themselves”. In extreme circumstances, of course it would be stupid not to utilise your influence to spread a positive message, but this constant ordering over others had become negative and annoying.

That is only if you let it become that.

We are all so bothered by what everybody else is doing, that we lose sight of what our actual lives entail. Right now, I am listening to WhiteNoise whilst my dogs look at me; begging to go on a dog walk. Instead of focussing on MY present moment, I focus on the rest of the world, such as how others are reacting to a show on Disney Plus that is just a show, or a prediction on how the series will end. I truly believe now, that going into things blind is one of the most treasured and thrilling attitudes to have. Knowing so much about pop culture community in the past can lead to expectations underwhelmed and predictions of the plot.

In many ways, I believe that individuals should be more selfish with their own personal wants. If everyone is getting the iPhone, but you really like that Samsung, then get the Samsung. You can like what you like; without choosing to care about what everyone else thinks. I understand in many situations across the globe, this can be hard or nearly impossible, but I employ you to stick to your own values as much as you can.

If you don’t, the question is asked of who is living your life; you or others

Anyway, that is my long way of saying that my friend from school? I understand why you watch things blindly, it is so much fun.

Live your life for you, not others.

Losing your school friends.

I think this is an inevitable part of growing up. Friends that you were once incredibly close with, begin to drift apart as opportunities, life experiences and emotions create an invisible wall between each other; impossible to break down with big changes to both your lifestyles.

I am writing about this, not because I have lost all of my school friends, but as I progress through my life, new friends arise, which start to be my main priority friend group; I see them all the time. The group that I once spent every day of every month has become a blur, as we all go down our own life’s journey; exploring where it will take us.

The pandemic did increase the tenacity of the seperation. Unless you make significant effort to stay in touch, it can be hard once you realise that you are drifting. Just remember that friendship is two sided; both must make the effort for it to exist.

Though our lives are no longer intertwined, I am okay with the idea of starting a new adventure. I will always be grateful for the moments I shared with those people; laughing, crying and singing our hearts out. The beauty of life is not because it lasts, but because it ends, making it precious.

Maybe, our paths will cross again in the future, but for now I am happy with change.

(I may have pulled a line from Avengers: Age of Ultron, but which one??).

We are our Memories

When I was writing in my journal this morning, an interesting thought came up that I have not recognised before.

On my laptop, there were files from when I was in school. My School Parliament documents, economics power points, and even some maths homework. It looked like my whole adolescent education experience had been saved and documented on my laptop. It was baffling, because I had not realised how much I had saved over the years.

Going through those files, felt as though I was looking back on my own life. In some of those transcripts, and action points from meetings, I could tell how much I did not want to do it. I could tell how I was feeling just through a few sentences on a screen. This was scary, but it was helpful to reconcile my position in the world today.

I think I have done a lot of growing up; as naive as it sounds. I would not be where I am today, without the struggle, the uncomfortableness and for the friends who believed in me. Like for everyone, I still have a long way to go to get to where I want to be; we are always changing in life.

The message that can be gathered from this experience is it is okay to let go of your past. I did not realise how much I was holding on to the Secondary school life that I once had. Sometimes, I would wish to be transported back in time to those academic years; just to live out one more day.

The truth is, I can’t do that. I don’t think I would want to anymore because it would be too sad, and it shaped me at the time, but not now.

We are our own memories, it is good to write them down in a journal, or on a computer, because memories help create our identity.

Nine and a Half Hours

During my off days from University, I utilise my time by developing new skills, communicating with others, and exercising my mind through meditative practices, as well as problem solving (a sophisticated way of saying I play Minecraft).

But, recently I stumbled upon this podcast, SickBoy. The main host – Jeremi – has cystic fibrosis, which if you remember from GCSE biology, is a fatal disease where people live up to the age of 30 if they are lucky. The podcast is pivoted around presenting a safe space for those with terminal illnesses to speak up, spread awareness and educate others on how it has changed their perspective in life.

In the last month, Jeremi was a guest on Anthony Padilla’s YouTube channel, with a video titled “I spent a day with people with Terminal Illnesses”. The video was phenomenal, due to the message that the guests, such as Jeremi, described.

Having a fatal illness is the worst. Though I cannot speak for them, the strength and determination to live fulfilling lives, though their time will likely be shorter than the rest of us, is extremely admirable.

One thing stuck with me. Though these people with terminal illnesses have a rough estimate for the end of their time, the rest of us are like this too. Death is inescapable.

You probably just read that last sentence thinking it is morbid, but that is exactly the problem; we are all so scared. We hold back in life because we think we will be given another chance, or we are not good or capable enough to do the task. Newsflash: you may never get another shot to do what you want to do right now, so why waste it.

Jeremi set a good idea in motion on the video. Set the timer for nine and a half hours, imagine that is how long until you die. He challenges the viewers to live as though it was your last day on earth. Now, this doesn’t mean ignoring laws or the pandemic regulations, but doing the tasks you want to do, speaking to the people you love, and those you should be speaking to. Embrace your limited time, because we all have a timer ticking over our heads.

Are you going to keep looking away from it, or accept it and start living life to the full?

The choice is yours

(P.S: Shoutout to my old classmate!)

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility…

Uncle Ben really said it best in this quote, but most people brush past the true meaning of his words, so I wanted to delve into it a bit today.

Well, it wasn’t said first by him, it was actually just the quote at the end of one of the comics in the 80s, where Peter is complementing his actions as a hero, and how he failed to save his Uncle, because he did not think it was his duty to help others. These words mean a tremendous amount to Peter, as it reminds him that no one should be put in the way of distress because Spider-Man failed to act. The words appeared at the end of the comic panel, as Peter accepted his responsibility.

This message can mean a great deal to many people around the world. Those who look up to the highly rich celebrities; beg them to do things with their money to benefit the world, but we seem to disgregard our own ability to help change the world.

Look no further than Greta Thunberg, her passion to stop the world succumbing to climate change, launched a campaign to push for a more eco-friendly planet. Ideals and beliefs together can incite change in our lives.

Events can change our views on responsibility too. In 2020, where the horrific killing of George Floyd inflamed the fires of Black Lives Matter Protesters, we have witnessed a more substantial change towards racial diversity. Unfortunately we have a long way to go, but everyday people’s voice, who were fuelled by rage due to inequality in our world, are creating change.

We all have a responsibility to do the right thing. It may be difficult; feeling like an uphill battle, but that is how change is made. We all have the power within ourselves to make a great impact on our planet; for the better. It is time we start fulfilling this ideology.

I am okay with just being me.

On social media, there has always been this posed message towards consumers, that you should be who you want to be on these platforms. It was nice, for a time. Then, many people on these platforms began trying to one-up themselves every-time they posted. For example, an instagrammer (remain anonymous) would climb onto different buildings, taking photos at the top. Unfortunately, he kept on trying to one up himself, so much that he climbed on of the highest cranes in the world and died. It is these kinds of actions that occur due to the toxicity of social media, and how it has control over our subconscious needs and desires.

We want to be recognised and affiliated with a group, it is human nature to do so. But, with the extent and force that the media has behind it, now has become one the most hardest times to be on your own. Covid has held our lives on pause for almost a year, it is difficult to get the gears moving again. Nobody wants to be alone, but it can be more enjoyable than you think.

One of the things I have found helpful when spending time on my own is occupying my mind and body. Running, school work and working out are great ways for me to pass the time. I find that the more I focus on something else, the less likely I will be constantly self conscious.

It is also good to tell others, though it is hard to listen to, that there will be times when you feel as though you are on your own. In some cases, accepting and being content with loneliness is rewarding, it can allow you to flourish.

Sometimes, if I feel alone, what I like to do is take a big breath in, and think about all the other people that are going to be breathing in the same oxygen (kind of) on the same planet, at the same time. If you do this, then you realise it is impossible to be alone, unless everyone but you moves to Mars tomorrow. Regardless, being alone can be incredible, if you learn to accept it and run with it. You have yourself, you are never alone.

when I look back when I was younger, I was so happy just being on my own, I did not care much about others besides my family. I was a true loner. But, now I have close friends, it can be difficult to be without them. You may feel that crippling loneliness. But, if you can learn to be happy with yourself, not having the need to change your personality to gain more friends on social media, and accepting the fact that you will always have your back, then you will be okay.

Just like I am okay with just being me.

Start trying the things you want to do.

This can be extremely difficult, to abandon all you know and start a brand new journey down an unfamiliar road. You may be alone, or isolated on your beliefs and desires compared to your family and friends. However my friends, we have one commonality; we will be going down this road together.

I have always been fascinated by content creation and sharing my experiences. Since I was incredibly young, I have watched YouTube for over a year’s worth of content. This has started to mess with me, my progress in my life and my happiness. It is one thing to watch others being happy, but what about your own?

So, I am starting to make content on the internet, just small stuff here and there to make myself a bit happier. Due to my addiction, I have decided to take a 30-day detox from the site. Though I have discussed this on the blog before, I was a lot less committed and disciplined to follow through, this time I am.

Even if, doing your favourite thing takes up a bit of your time, you can structure your day. It is difficult to have a change of schedule, but you will be more motivated to complete your mundane tasks, so you can focus on the bigger, exciting hobbies that you love.

Most people would tell you it’s easy; just get started. I know it is difficult. Once you get going, you will be in a flow state, being able to accomplish more than you thought.

So, let’s do it.

Follow your curiosity

When we were younger, we were told be teachers and family that we should stay curious and wonder about the world. My Primary School’s motto was to “look up at the stars, stay curious” showing that this idea has been in my life for a long time.

The reason that I am writing about this now, is because of a problem that I, and a lot of other people, fall into. We stop being curious.

Think about it, once we have settled into a career, or a line of study, we tend to delay the possibility of looking into other subjects. We become content with our way of living, because it works. This is usually provides the average amount of success and happiness, but at the cost of our awe and wonder of the world. The costs outweigh the benefits in this case.

This lack can have detrimental consequences on the future of ourselves. If you are unfortunate to be whisked out of your current comfort zone, the question of your next move is unanswerable. If you have a degree that everyone else has, never stretching outside of it to uncover something else, you are not going to find any success in anything else. Ultimately, if the entire human race follows the same method, not only do we come across like robots, but the absence of creativity and abundance of the mundane is apparent. We will not progress as a species without curiosity.

If you have got a topic that you want to learn more about, then look into it. Pursue your ideas, give into creativity and curiosity. The whole world will thank you for it.

Money Mistakes!

Today, I thought upof this idea, and compiled it into a Youtube video, but I think it is important to write about it on my blog as well.

Being an 18 year old man, I have not had the biggest encounters with money issues in my life. Usually I can make purchases with little to no repercussions within my life. But, as I learn more about the world, what makes it work, and what doesn’t.

So, here are my top 5 money saving and buying tips!

#1: Only buy things you actually want.

This sounds simple, but it is quite difficult to perfect. Throughout our lives, we are constantly bombarded with items the world thinks we need, but not actually what we want. Commercials are really good at persuading you into buying their product. I came close to purchasing the new iPad Air, thinking I needed it for who knows what. However, upon reflection, I am made to think that I needed it.

How? Our brains are wired to think new is good. This joyful period only lasts so long, until the motivation to buy something new depletes for that object, arising for the next product down the road.

The rule is slightly incorrect. What you want and need are two ends of a spectrum. When buying something new, you should aim for the middle of the two. That is when you should buy.

#2: Check that you can afford it.

In my life, when I want to buy something, I will rush into it and commit, before looking to see if I can afford it in the long term. With the Pandemic still highly present, I am still furloughed from my job; I am not earning the same as I used to. So when buying something, you need to look at your overall financial plan, see where you can cut down on expenditure in order to afford the new item, or don’t purchase it. No item will help you if it completely drains your account dry. Unless, it is a Pok√©mon card, then buy it.

#3: Save more than you spend.

It’s self explanatory. Either do the 5050 method of saving ( save half, spend half), but bills and living costs can make this impossible. Regardless, if you are aiming to spend your disposable income, assess how this money could be better spent, i.e saving for your children, or for an Emergency Fund. Money is not the be-all-end-all, but I would rather be a millionaire than penniless.

#4: Emergency Fund

Don’t spend all your money so you have nothing to fall back on if the time comes, and you need to pay for unexpected costs. Life is random and complex, you never know when you might need to spend your savings to save something, or someone precious to you.

Also, it’s good in case of job loss.

#5 Treat yourself.

I think this is one thing websites miss out on. It is okay to treat yourself once in a while. When the opportunity arises, and you can afford to spend a little money on yourself, why not? Our lives are too short to constantly work with no play; humans need it to satisfy our inner child. Whether this is buying a games console, or booking a holiday, you are allowed to do it.

What have I learned? When making big purchases, make sure you want it! Money is not unlimited, you have to be wise with your money, to help make your life better and happier.

But, do remember to look after yourself; treat yourself!