Birds and nature

Today, i was going to blog simply about getting outside in the morning to get some healthy vitamin d to start the day off right, but then something caught my eye. On the top of my window frame, a coal tit landed on the top, and began to sit there and eat. I thought it was astonishing, how this little creature has the capactity to fly at tenacious speeds, and then sit on top of my window like it was nothing. It was amazing!

I have never really studied birds. It was my uncle who first introduced the passionate admiration for these creatures. When we ( my sister and i) were younger, we would go on trips to go see different, rare species of birds. I did not appreciate it then, but i do now. Birds are awesome, and i am going to spend time learning all about them.

Moreover on the subject of nature, it is a breathtaking thing. When the sun rises and brightens anything and everything in its path, that is pure beauty and serenity. However, we take it all for granted now our lives are based indoors. Going out for a walk nad embracing the warm summers and cold winters is a luxury. We do not understand as a collective, that it can be taken away from us.

We know we are going to die someday, but we live like we are not. I am not going to tell you to abandon your office job, but i do suggest we change the way we work. Get outside, appreciate the fresh air and life. We do not have it forever.

Have an amazing day 🙂

Phones

This is a distinct predicament that i have had throughout the past few years of my life. Once i began to have my own income, through my job, i began to frivolously spend money on objects i don’t need. This hit its peak towards the end of 2019, where i had the ingenius idea to have a no spend year. So, i thought it would be a good idea to spend all my money on what i needed, or wanted to have for the year. Obviously, this did not go according to plan, and i still spend money throughout this year; not as much, but i still do .

My phone contract was going to end in late 2020, and i thought i should buy my new phone outright before it ends. Then, i could get a cheap sim card to save money.

But that is when the issue started, i bought 3 new phones.

WHY DID I DO THIS?!

Not only did i have less money than beforehand due to this, i also disliked all that i had bought. I began to view the phones as a failure to self control. I hated myself for my mistakes.

But, after this, i had an amazing idea. Instead of holding onto the phones that held no value in my life, i decided to give to those who needed it. My friend didn’t have a phone because he couldn’t afford it, so i gave one to him. I gave another to someone else, whose mother couldn’t afford to have a phone due to spending all her money on her family. Obviously, this is not a scenario i find myself in, i am in a better situation, and i am grateful for it.

The final phone, i returned back to the supplier for a refund. Although, this may seem selfish, it gave me permission to reflect on all that i had done, and i learned something from it.

Items do not cause happiness. They can help, they can cause preliminary happiness, but not continuous. Giving and helping others does cause true happiness.
Who could you help today?

My story with X

This is a story i have been meaning to write for a long, long time. It was one of the main things that happened to me during my secondary school years, but i was afraid to write about it. Now, since it has been a while since then, i think it is time.

I want you to picture a teenage girl; slim and model-like. This would be the girl that all the boys would turn to in the school, if she made herself more known to them. She would absolutely be in the popular group, but she isnt, due to being quite introverted. We will call her ” Anne”.

Anne was one of the girls in my school, who you knew who she was, but didn’t really know her. She would always be laughing, hanging around with people ( mainly girls) and overall having a good time.

It wasn’t until the start of sixth form, that my experience with Anne began. I didn’t really know her before, because she was in a different class to me – we had a big school. Although she was in my friend group, i had no reason to talk to her, i was too busy trying to act cool with my friends.

Anyway, the start of sixth form arrives, and Anne and I happen to choose the same A level courses. Great! It means i get to know a new person and hopefully, we become friends. Small talk began, and we instantly clicked as friends. I would talk to her a lot more around school and in class. I thought she was just nice.

It was only when i began to remember what happened to my friends with their experience with her.

You see, Anne was quite a outgoing woman. She had previously sent ‘revealing’ photos of herself to boys in the past. She had a reputation of a girl who had been around the block. This didn’t bother me, because people change. Sure enough, she had stopped doing that. Great!

Only it wasn’t. Anne had began showing interest in another of my friends, and began to manipulate him psychologically for a long time. Once i noticed this, i realised that she had done this with two other boys in Year 11. I was shocked, and disappointed to know that she had hurt other people. From then on, i had decided that i didn’t like her. In fact, i said on many occasions that i hated her, though she had never done anything to me.

This led me into a downward spiral in Year 12. I began to become depressed. I didn’t like that i had all these negative emotions inside myself about others. I was supposed to be the one who helped others, but now i am shaming them? I tried to convince myself that this was normal, but i soon acknowledged that what i was doing; was for selfish reasons.

Then Year 13 began, and i hit a hard reset on myself. I didn’t want to be mean anymore, and i most certainly did not want to make myself feel horrible again. When i crossed paths with Anne again, i remembered our last encounters. I had began to develop a sort of crush for Anne. She would be flirtatous with me on the train ride home; holding my hand and once kissing me on the cheek. I thought she liked me, but she had a boyfriend. Upon uncovering this, i quickly backed down from my beahviour, though the urge still remained.

Then began a long stretch of time where Anne and I would be off and on with our friendship. Be best friends, then hate each other the next day.

This all changed in one maths lesson, when she caressed near my private area. I didn’t know how to feel. I thought it was a joke, but i was also horrified to know that she did this to me. My mind began to explode with thought. I didn’t know how i felt about anything anymore. The world became a dim fog within my mind. My grades began to fall, and i couldn’t stay focussed on a single subject. Most my friends passed it off as ‘getting lucky’. I was finally getting with the girls! I didn’t feel this way. I felt awful. I felt like she liked me, so i tried to flirt with her, but this backfired, for me and for her.

The negative feelings came back to me, but this time, i realised it. I began to understand how i was feeling; realising i had to take a step back to take steps forward.

This is when lockdown started.

I had the chance to overview how i have been acting; to step back and evaluate how my actions had affected myself and others. The consequence of acting abnormally around Anne, meant i could no longer form meaningful relationships. So, to combat this, i put a lot of work into extending my social circle, meeting new people and forming new relationships. I had to prove to myself, that i was better than the standard i had set for myself.

This story was originally going to base more around the character of Anne, but this blog is my story, to show how i have grown. Call it self-obsession, i call it an obsession with the development of the human brain. We act and we learn; i love it.

Finally, the story ends with me discussing this with Anne herself, explaining to her how she made me feel. Due to quarantine, we have had the chance to grow up a lot. She apologised, and so did i.

The story is left in the past, but the lessons i learned will follow with me for the rest of my life. I will never try to control others, undermine them or envoke hate on them for no reasons. Being in control of your emotions, and letting yourself be aware when you are angered, or upset, is what leads to a happier life.

Thank you Anne. It may have taken a long time, but you helped make me who i am. I am stronger and happier because of it.

YouTube detox

A month on from my last detox, that did not go that well in all honesty. My addiction to the internet, especially YouTube, has began to spike again. I find myself watching endless streams of videos, constantly refreshing my recommended tab; waiting for the next piece to catch my eye.

This has affected my health in ways that I did not know it could. I find that my screen time has increased by a large margin. Though I watch Anime on Crunchyroll, it is not as frequent as the Google site. I am now well aware of my existence, and how I am wasting it, consuming the success of others. I keep telling myself: I am better than this, I can do more. But I am always so hesitant to do so. It is like I need to go on there to be happy.

That isn’t right, I need to find true happiness within myself, not through objects. So, for the next 30 days, YouTube is off the table. I cannot go onto it for any necessary reasons.

It is time to see how strong my self control is.

Ikigai

Yesterday, I bought a book: Ikigai, written by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles. Today I finished this book, and it was truly one of the best reads I have had in a long time.

So, I thought I would delve into a bit about what the book entails and describes.

An Ikigai is the reason for your existence. It is the purpose you strive for in life, your meaning and role on this earth. Since your birth, your ikigai is said to be present inside you, and your life’s journey is the quest to find this meaning, and grasp it with open arms and never let go. The importance of finding this meaning is shown throughout, as it can lead to you living longer, and more fulfilling lives shown by the centenarians in the book.

However, the writers stress that you should not put stress upon yourself to find your Ikigai. Whilst it is important to look for it, attaching a negative emotion to it could undermine its importance. Moreover, the method of finding your Ikigai is through trying new things and experiencing life to the fullest. The book uses stoicism to remind you of your morality. One useful phase I found recently was ‘moment more’ or remember death. It is impertive to live life to the full, because this is the only way to live without regrets.

One of the most valuable quotes that I found from this book was “ichi-go ichi-e” which means ‘this moment exists only now and won’t come again. I will begin to implement this into my life, as to live in every moment and not take a second for granted. Only then, are you not afraid of death.

Finally, here are the tips that the book explains at the end to live a good life. I won’t go into too much detail, but these will be a reminder to you, and myself, how to live a good life. There is no secret other than to live, but these can aid you in success.

  1. Stay active and don’t retire – this keeps the brain active, swaying away from ageing.
  2. Take it slow – “walk slowly and you will go far”.
  3. Don’t fill your stomach – eat until about 80% capacity, this will keep you healthier.
  4. Surround yourself with good friends – good people = good results
  5. Get in shape for your next birthday- Hormones are released during exercise, making us happy.
  6. Smile – 🙂
  7. Reconnect with nature – Trust me, it will recharge your batteries
  8. Give thanks – This will help you be happy
  9. Live in the moment – today is all you have, make it worth remembering
  10. Follow your ikigai – your mission is to discover it.

Adventures…

Has there ever been a place that you have always wanted to go to? a place which you thought would be impossible to get to, due to being ‘too expensive’ or ‘too dangerous’. For me, there has always been a place that i would love to go to.

Need a hint? It rhymes with Hapan…

Obviously, it is Japan, why wouldn’t i want to go there? As you can see from the past month, i have fallen back in love with anime, and the typical japanese lifestyle. Call me an otaku, or a weeb, but i really appreciate and cherish the culture, and subcultures, in Japan. I have never been able to go there , because i was too young, or i didn’t have enough money to go there. I wanted to go there this summer, but with the novel virus pandemic, that the whole world has been put on hold for, so will my trip. But, i will go there. It will most likely be next year, after my first year at university.

Adventures are great. They are a way of showing yourself what you are able to do. For example, when i was in secondary school, there was a trip to a theatre in London; to see warhorse. I wanted to ask the girl out that i really liked at the time there, but of course, i was too nervous to speak to her. Eventually, once we arrived, i nerved up the courage to talk to her and tell her how i feel. When she said yes, i was relieved and excited. I couldn’t stop being happy. This adventure was only minor, but it showed me how my imaginary boundaries have stopped me from me chasing what i want.

Do you want to climb a mountain? Find a way to do it; with the proper equipment of course.

Once the lockdown phase is lowered to a lesser degree, or the virus poses less of a threat to human life, i am going to arrange my trip to Japan. It can be scary to do something you haven’t done before. You will tell yourself you can’t do it, or imagine these crazy ‘what if?’ scenarios. The only thing stopping you is you.

Go do what you want, and make sure you have fun. But, i would wait until the pandemic ends.

Have fun

I am not going to lie to you, I did not come up with this idea. I had just finished watching a video by John Fish, a YouTuber who produces content focusing on productivity and life. He raised a good point about this pandemic, and how we should be responding. His dad gave him some good advice, “whatever you’re doing, make sure you’re having fun with it”. What this is saying is to not focus on what you can achieve from doing work, studying for exams or working out, just as long as you are having fun whilst doing it, the results will come to you.

This changed my perspective of quarantine. A lot of it I have spent trying to be produxtive, so I wouldn’t look like a failure afterwards. But, this mentality is wrong. I shouldn’t be pushing always for the end goal, it only matters if I had fun doing it in the process. For example, in Year 13, I spent a lot of it with my friends, having a good time and forming those strong bonds. There was another girl, who focussed completely on her studies, and did not have fun along the way. As a result, she doesn’t have the same friendship intensity as I do now.

This doesn’t mean to not care about your future. It is quite the opposite. However you go about chasing your dreams, make sure you have fun whilst doing it. The end result will not be so amazing that it will change your mood. The journey is more important than the destination.

I’m definitely going to implement this into my life, will you?

Leaving things in the past.

This idea of moving on, and not letting the past dictate who you are, used to scare me. I didn’t think it was possible, or right to not think about shit that has happened in your life. Isn’t it the experiences you have the definition of you? If that is the case, you need your past to exist.

That is what i used to think, but i think my view has changed a little.

Moving on from your past, does not mean you abandon the events that led you to the situation that we call the present. Rather, moving on from the past means leaving the suffering and pain from events, whilst keeping the positives and lessons learned with you until your future.

I have written about myself and my Grandma before, and for a long time i remembered all the bad stuff i did. Yes, i was a lot younger, and did not understand the fragility of life, but i was a mean person. I lived in fear that my guilt will manifest into something big. Upon reflecting however, i realised i just wanted something to happen to me. I craved the attention of higher beings. Having a childhood, where you are absorbed into the lives of others; through YouTube vlogs and videos, plus television and online media, makes anything possible.

Now, i realised, that a lot has happened to me, yet i did not notice it. The friendships, the drama and the disagreements, are all large events that have happened to me in my life. Due to these being unoticed, i did not learn from them. I could feel myself being trapped in the past. The little boy, who wanted the world to listen to him, to fufil his desires, was angry. This made me feel isolated and upset, though it taught me a good lesson.

The little boy needs someone to hold him, to tell him that the world is listening. He just needed to take his hands off his ears and listen.

This someone is me.

For too long, i have lived if there were two people inside of me. One, who looked out and protected everyone, so they would not feel the same fear he felt everyday. The other is the little boy, who still dreams of the distant stars, and running with his friends. One is happy, the other is not.

These people must become one, if i am ever to move on in my life.

My advice to you, don’t run from your past, let yourself feel it, embrace it and be grateful that it happened. Grab the little child inside your heart, and hold them, so they know they are not alone.

You are not alone.

Being Truthful

I think one of the best qualities human beings have, is the ability to tell the truth (You probably could have guessed that from the title) . This ability is highly underrated, the human conscience has this power, that no other species has; truth.

I found that i am the happiest when i tell the truth. There is nothing worse than lying to someone you care about; or anyone for the matter. Lying creates a false image of one’s self, perplexing another’s belief about you. One of the worst lies i have ever told myself was always to do with relationships. Saying statements such as ” i have a girlfriend, she just goes to my climbing school”. Call it manipulative, but if anyone came close to discovering the truth, i would panic, and create a scenario where: we suddenly broke up!

The last lie before i called it quits was about a girl who lived on my street. Someone had called me gay a few days before. Although i am hetrosexual, my sister used to call me this when i was younger constantly, making me insecure and worried about my personality and appearance, hence i began to identify it as an insult. Due to this, i changed my voice and personality to make myself more masculine. I was ashamed in myself. I would watch ” How to be a proper Man” videos on YouTube, so i could learn what it means to be one. I thought i always had to be dating someone, so i would make fake relationships with people. This was the peak of my insecurities in my life.

I thought this would make me happy, it didn’t and it made people view me as a man who dated loads of girls, but couldn’t keep a stable relationship. The truth is, i haven’t been in a proper relationship ever. I have briefly dated girls in the past, and i am talking to one girl at the moment, but nothing proper.

I spent so long searching what it meant to be a man, when what a real man does is tell the truth.

I would lie because i was scared. I told my friends that my biological father was dead because i was ashamed of his alcoholism.

My advice to everyone reading, stop telling lies. It doesn’t improve your image, it backfires on you eventually. Also, be weary what you call your friends, some phrases could make them more insecure than they let on.

Just think before you act.

You never know how good you have got it until it disappears…

This concept is always dwelling in the front of my mind. Since I was younger, I would be disapointed and upset when the change in my life was taken from me. For instance, when my Aunt and Uncle would visit, I would be so happy at first, and then treat it as the norm. Once they actually left, I began to experience a feeling of pain in my stomach, like something had just stabbed me. The realisation of what I had just lost came apparent.

This feeling would then intensify once I began to experience this with those who have passed away, especially my Grandmother.

This feeling has happened recently. I began to talk with a girl that I really liked. We had many similar interests, as well as a good sense of humour. I really enjoyed our time together; online of course. But then, I began to treat it as a normal part of my life. I would become distressed once she would text me, because I would have to revert my attention to her, instead of something less important. I was not grateful for her presence.

Granted, this is not over, as we are going to similar places, but once the communication began to retract, my stabbing pain asserted its presence. Now, I long for the same comradery that we first experienced together.

You may be able to gather by now, that this experience exemplifies the importance of being grateful. Cherish what you already have in your life: friends, family and the Internet. We become so adhered to the routine of life. New things come in, and become apart of it. We only acknowledge its presence once it leaves. The world does not owe you anything; it could be taken away tomorrow; the feeling of gratefulness would only appear then. Rather, if you begin to notice what you have in your lives, that is where gratefulness can consume you.

Love what you have, appreciate it every day of your life; it could easily be taken away.