What A Difference 9 Months Makes – How Blogging Saved Me

I read a lot today. I read my own writing, from my first blog post up until now. In hindsight, I believe this blog saved me from a much darker fate. The act of putting something in writing for the world to see, be it an idea or a thought, an emotion or a desire has strengthened my will to achieve my dreams, and I am proud to say that since the time I started writing publicly, my life has completely changed for the better.

It was sad to read many of my posts. The first 3 months I spent blogging was a very bad time in my life, wrought with depression and other vices that were leading me down a rabbit hole I could not see a way out of. The truth of the matter is that I am usually not a very open person. I find it very difficult to confide in people, or even talk about my state in the simplest of terms. Yet in writing, I find myself telling the world, openly, all the things I cannot seem to tell even those people that are closest to me.

I read posts about freedom and failure, materialism and minimalism. I read about my plans to remove all of the clutter from my life and about the way I want to live. As of this moment I am happy with my life. I travel, I see, I do and I feel free. Since leaving Melbourne I have learned, and learned very quickly, just what is important in my life. I own less than I ever thought possible, yet find myself wanting nothing more than a new book occasionally, or a block of chocolate. I live well, I enjoy my work, I eat well and have good accommodation, and all for less than I could have ever imagined.

Perhaps the hardest hitting revelation I had in this process is recalling just how depressed I was in my ‘successful’ life. Were it not for me putting in writing many of my thoughts I would no longer remember just how much I hated my life. The depression I felt now seems so distant, and my blog serves as a reminder to me that my well being is in my own hands. My current situation is a direct effect of acknowledging that I was not happy and making the hard decisions necessary to change. It wasn’t easy. Much of the journey has not been easy. I have had several serious setbacks and many unexpected turns, but never lost sight of my goal. However, no matter how stressful, or how broke and hungry I may have found myself in the process, the depression that once gripped me has loosened its hold and no longer exists.

Advertisements

And So It Snows

Last night offered me only 3 hours sleep. The Snow Season is late but is now ON! In less than 24 hours now I am on my way up to Falls Creek (the snow resort) and I don’t come back.

Image

It’s enlightening to look back at my journey so far. There are so many societal expectations that I have been trying (successfully) to fulfill for such a long time and there are others that I have more quietly completely flunked on. But up until now, I have never really been happy. Of course there have been good days and there are memories that I hold fondly, but if I were to step back and look at my life as a whole, it was never going in a direction that I wanted it to. It has been going in a direction that I felt was expected of me.

I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen with the rest of my life, but I have learned many very important lessons recently. Mainly that there is no point doing something if we don’t enjoy doing it. Secondly, stuff what people think we are meant to do, the only person that can decide on what is best for you is you. There is nothing that we are meant to do. All I choose to do now is keep myself happy and surround myself with good people. I don’t have space left in my life for negativity.

Being happy does not mean life comes without it’s stresses. For the most part I have found a profound peace recently, but anxiety still lingers, every now and then it pops up and I find a sleepless night. Will I run out of money? Will my choice of lifestyle be sustainable? Will I be able to continue to save? However in order to find our place in this world, the place where we find our purpose and are happy, we must face these fears head on. I have already faced my biggest fear, I have left my profession.

So tomorrow, my adventure really begins. The snow is coming. For the next few months I will be the best damn lift attendant on the mountain and on my days off I will forget the past, and forget the future, and live in the moment, with anyone that is willing to share their time with me. Life’s too short. People are too important. I’m looking for some more good people to share my life with.

A few brief words of wisdom from a bearded man to see me off. My next post will be from the Mountain. I’m very excited.

Welcome Revelations

20 days ago I abandoned my career as an Engineer in search of something else, something unknown. I would like to say that my world has been turned upside down, but it’s more true to say that it was already upside down, and that it has now turned the right way up. For the first time in my life I feel truly free.

There are two simple statements that have been resonating with me of late. Two simple statements that can be heard loud and clear by anyone, but take great attention and contemplation to fully understand.

The first is “Just Do It“. Here and now. This really is it. Right now. Next year we will all be older. Soon we will be dead. There are many things I want to do in my life. My biggest hurdle has not been an inability to achieve my goals, but rather an ignorance of my options and a fear of change. What will I do without my high Income? Will I be able to get another Job? Where will I live? These questions only served to keep me still. To keep me stuck in fear of change and perpetually failing to really live the life I have. The future is uncertain. But regardless, it is always possible that I might fail at what I don’t want to do anyway, so why not at least try and do something I really want to do? Why not pick that thing I want to do, and Just Do It?

The second is “Live and Let Live. I spent too many years in hate. There are many people in this world, and many different ways of life. Yes, there is one and only one truth about life, the Universe and all that is and will ever be, but who am I to think that I am right in what I ‘know’. I may see many beliefs as silly or unwarranted, but who am I to tell anyone what they should or should not believe. We should express ourselves and our thoughts, and we should listen to others, it is the best way to grow in self. But we must learn to just love each other regardless of what we each choose to believe, be it out of introspective conviction, faith, science, ignorance, whatever. I have found great peace in the past weeks by learning to just accept anyone for who they are, regardless of whether they are willing to accept me or not.

These last few weeks have seen me completely lose who I thought I was. I now know, with absolute certainty, that money and happiness have absolutely nothing to do with each other. All of the best memories I have made over the past year have been in the last few weeks.

My First Game of Jenga

My First Game of Jenga

A Road Trip Break

A Road Trip Break

Playing Jenga for the first time. Having a secret party under a bridge. Watching the clouds from a mountain top. Road trips. My friends bucks night at the pub. But most of all, what has brought me the most peace and happiness is people. I have met many new and amazing people.

Craigs Bucks Night

Craigs Bucks Night

Secret Event @ Undisclosed Location

Secret Party @ Undisclosed Location

I don’t know where I will be in 4 months. But wherever it is, it will be somewhere I want to be. Otherwise I wont stay.

Chasing a Lie – Relative Maturity

Every day that passes I think I am mature, that I have finally become an adult. Yet every year that passes I look back at how many silly and immature things I have done.

I remember being a child, looking up at the older people (even people as young as 16 at the time) I admired, at how cool and wise they were, as if they were all knowing and lived with a clear purpose. Now I wonder if anyone ever really become wise, or if it is all just relative. Do we ever really find a purpose, or do some of us just materialize one to suit their life choices?

I don’t believe anyone really knows where they are going, what they are doing, or why they are doing it. Some people think they know, though I doubt they really do. It seems that no matter what we believe we will always remain a minority, and as such are likely wrong. Every belief I hold is more likely to be wrong than right. So what’s the point believing in anything? I don’t know. I only really believe in myself. It is the only perspective I will ever have.

So if I have no purpose, if I am immature and do not have a clear path to follow, what is it that I should do tomorrow? Why should I continue to exist?

Happiness. Joy. Love. These are the things I wish to live for. I wish to live for laughter, for moments that capture the heart, for the places that take your breath away, for the times that freeze time still. I should continue to exist, not because I have a purpose, but because regardless of how I came to be, I Am lucky enough to be alive. I think therefore I am. I have the privilege of life, and I know what it is like to be loved, to be wanted and to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

So I have no direction, nor do I want one. I am not wise, though some people may be deluded in to thinking I am. I am not mature, I do not know even know what maturity is. According to wikipedia, “maturity is the ability to respond to the environment in an appropriate manner”. So based on wikipedias interpretation, maturity is an experience based trait. Those that have the widest range of experience are more likely to understand possible outcomes and act appropriately. No doubt intelligence, physicality and many other attributes also effect maturity, but on the whole it seems that the older a person is, the more mature they ought to be.

Well, I have been hearing two messages very, very clearly from people older (more mature) than myself for a very long time. Only recently have I decided to really stop, listen and think about the message I am receiving:

  1. Life is short; and
  2. Go out and get what it is that you want.

So i’ll say it again, like in many other posts. I’m scared, I don’t know what my future holds. Will I survive this world now that I have chosen to leave the professional world? Now that I have chosen to take the hard road. The path less traveled. I am not prepared. The great unknown looms over me. I stand firm and march forward. I must. Life is too short. While my mind doubts, my heart is strong. Life is way too short.

What is success?

What is it that is really important in life? What is success?

Perhaps like me you have had a privileged childhood. I went to a public school in Australia doing very well in my final two years. At the time, as young kids, we were pressured in to believing that our performance at school would directly effect our ability to become successful in the future. All of high school became nothing more than a race to the highest possible final score for fear that otherwise we would be doomed to fail forever. The threat of not getting in to University loomed over our heads as if it were our direct path through the gates of hell.

I got the good grade, and took my express ticket to University excitedly, graduating 5 years later (with a gap year for travel) with a degree in Engineering with Honors. According to the ideals of my educators I was on the fast track to success, the golden child.

Straight out of University I got the Job. Immediately getting paid in excess of anything I had hoped for. 3 months later, pay rise. 9 months later, another pay rise and promotion. A year later, another pay rise and a merger which saw me take on a much larger role within a much bigger organisation. Three months ago, another offer for a much more sophisticated, senior and technical position. Great. Right? So why did I just resign?

If I could go back, I would not change a thing. I have gained invaluable experience and am more prepared than ever to now take on my life in the way that I deem it to be successful. It just so happens that my idea of success is not spending the majority of my life pushing around fancy paper from behind a desk.

Success is not defined by anyone but yourself. To me, success is a life of happiness, a life of experience and adventure, a life that can never (in my case at least) be achieved whilst holding down a full time career. Success to me is also (in part) in wealth. Though, contrary to what we are taught to believe, wealth is not found by working for an employer. True wealth is found in ideas, in believing that you have the ability to achieve whatever you want and then having the guts to go after it.

I only hope that I can help as many people as possible realise that you really can do/be whatever you want in life. Start now. Today. If you wait for your current distractions to end, others will just take their place. Take risks, jump in. When you fail, learn and try again. Keep trying again.

Any one of us can do anything. As long as you believe it.