Fear of Loss and Life

My greatest fear in life is losing what I love, from my partner, my family, my friends, my mind, to even my life. For this reason, (perhaps even prior to this fear fully developing) I’ve learned to cherish what it is I have, to appreciate the people in my life and how fortunate I am to be in the world that I live in.

I think the greatest factor to this fear, is the lack of control I have in stopping loss. Death is inevitable and people do/say/believe things that we do not agree with. In all honesty, I am not what you would typically consider a control freak. Flexibility, open-mindedness, and empowerment of others are some of the traits that I am most proud of, but this fear and subsequent lack of control in avoiding this fear becoming reality comes from the realisation that life changes in an instant. It is devastating and destabilising. It forces us to adapt when all we want to do is stagnate.

If we look at one of the defining flaws to result from this fear, I now live a life which is as risk averse as possible. Decision making is tiresome, and opportunities become limited, all because of a fear that I may set in motion a ripple which inevitably causes me loss. And then I’ll only have myself to blame for ruining what I had.

Considering how short life is, as I really appreciate with ever-passing day, I want to make a committed effort to forgoing the fear, and remove risk (to a fair degree) from my regular decision making, and to just live.

I know that there is plenty to experience and learn when I let it go, now it’s a matter of making it more of a reality.

Guise.

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Up for Discussion

For many of us, the art of discussion, of debate and disagreement, exists no more. Done away with by the ongoing discourse of being offensive to somebody’s ears. In an age where we’ve made these efforts to protect disadvantaged members of society, we have in turn created a pseudo-culture where offense brings with it a full stop on your conversation.

In this bubble wrapped society, even the most insignificant choices of words are enough to be brandish offensive. Your image is now of someone who is out to negatively impact everyone else.

What we’ve done is warped an effort which was intently good, and created a weapon in the disarming of conversations we now choose to be a part of. So much of the conversation rests now on symantics, and we often overlook the content.

The reason this problem is so important to us, is because in a world where we are never sure which news sources are on the straight, whether we are being lied to, or even with suspicions that the masses are being mind numbed for suppression, discussion and disagreement are our way to activate the truth finding parts of our brain. It is the sharing or discussion of ideas in order to learn, to grow, and to change.

Instead, we’re now too busy being offended to have a discussion, to willingly closing our minds off for fear of being wrong. As a collective, we must stop our fixation on winning the argument, and open ourself up to what somebody else is actually saying.

Who knows, maybe I’m just rambling for the sake of rambling, maybe I’ve proven a home truth. Prove to me otherwise.

Guise.

Connected

For someone who can often openly describe himself as happily anti-social, it makes for the perfect foil when I find myself the loudest in the room, or leading a training session, or even craving social interaction.

At the same time, I tire of social settings as quickly as I adjust to them, when I thrust myself (or am thrust) into them.

For a long time, I felt bad wanting to be the first to leave, or wanting to leave “just when the parties getting started”, or wanting to eat my lunch alone, in a solitary crevice of the office. But it’s a recent area of change for me, the comfort in doing me. The comfort in knowing myself better than I ever have, and the strength to do what makes me happy and comfortable. Not in any sort of selfish way, by all means, if the occasion calls for it, I’ll suck it up, throw myself back into the midst of it all, and do what’s best in the situation.

So I guess the point of this musing is small and simple, and that is that it’s okay to not be what everybody wants you to be all of the time, but there is definitely value in allowing yourself to be in unfamiliar, uncomfortable, or just irregular situations. Sometimes it’s where we have the most fun. But we can do it with balance, knowing our limits, and being flexible.

Guise.

Small Talk

Something that I’m definitely not good at is small talk. It makes me uncomfortable, feel stupid, and offers a hollow feeling in pretending to connect with someone. It’s safe to say, I do not like small talk.

There is, however, a form of conversation that I enjoy even less than that, and that is gossip. As soon as my brain registers that we the conversation has transitioned to gossip, I’m checked out. My consciousness goes to a subconscious place, hiding itself from the incoming discord of rumour, innuendo, unsubstantiated assumptions, and biased conceptions of past experiences.

Quite simply, I’m aware of the benefits of this primal form of human collaboration. A primordial connection to others through the discussion of a third party and their habits and idiosyncrasies. I understand that everyone of us use it to build relationships, and that it is a safe ground away from the taboo topics of small talk, but I am curious where my instinctual aversion of the topic has developed.

And I wonder, knowing that this form of communication and social bonding is important to us, why do we spend so much more time on this, than we do on the discussion of ideas, thoughts, opinions and innovations. Why are we happy to accept that the dealings of the Kardashians can make the nightly news, reaching a mass audience in an instant, but in order to hear the discussion of real world people’s ideologies and challenges, we have to resort to the niche corners of Reddit and the rest of the internet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that we have this ability to connect and share with other individuals in the same mindset as myself, but for how long. With the looming threat towards net neutrality in the United States, do not be fooled to think that won’t affect the rest of the globe.

So the question I leave you with today is, what have you done this week to discuss something bigger? What information have you absorbed from sources other than your mainstream news organisations, Facebook feeds, and radio advertisements.

If we hope for a population of individuals, thinking for themselves, challenging the decisions of our leaders constructively, and pressuring the major news articles to raise the quality of reporting and removal of bias, then that starts with each of us.

Guise.

City Street

You lay beneath the feet of man,

The condescending  hierarchy.

Imposed as though inadequacy.

To be so boldly vilified, 

And publicised, 

In view of many stoney eyes.

Know not what brought you to this point,

There is no room for simple thought, 

And so I stand and condescend, 

I have no choice my Stoney friend. 

Visions seen before my time,

Too great for one within the hour.

I am but man. 


Guise. 

Unicorns 

You can’t cage a unicorn. 

A very wise man once told me, everyone that comes into our lives is a challenge, one with learning to come from it. This stuck with me from that moment, because it rung true with what I had believed about people in my life for a long time. 

It was 7 months ago when I made a decision in my life which was not about money, but about acknowledging that as eager as I was (am), I wasn’t ready for what I wanted to be ready for. I rejected an opportunity to be someone bigger, someone more important. 

At the time I thought I had made the decision to allow myself to grow in a professional sense, I didn’t know that what I was looking for was personal guidance and growth. Demons I had hidden and thought to forget, conversations I refused to have with myself and loved ones. 

It was that decision which led me to find a unicorn. One of those overachieving,over-the-top, good at everything they do, destined for greatness kinds of people. A unicorn. One who with unruly persistence, human understanding and fortitude to bring it to the forefront, helped me find that personal growth I needed. 

But unfortunately, you can’t cage a unicorn. If you meet one, you have to know that they are fleeting, can’t be tied down, always on to the next thing. And for all the good they can do for you,you have to accept that for them, they need to move.

 So thank you. For everything. You’ll always have my gratitude, and my friendship. 
Good luck. 

Guise. 

Why Guise? 

Since putting myself a bit more out there in the last few months, I’ve been asked the same question a lot. Why Guise? (Which has been pronounced “Goy-se” “Gwe-se” amongst others, innocently). 

I guess it’s a good question. A questions which sparks many others. Why hide behind a pseudonym? Why do I feel the need to disassociate myself from my work? 

To be honest, it started off just as a gimmick, a character that I could bring to life and bring meaning to later. It evolved from that, though, because I soon developed a great insecurity about the quality of my writing, and the topics that hit close to loved ones. So it soon stopped being a character, and started being my shield. Guise had become a representation of objectivity, free from prejudice with which people may associate with my true being. 

Now, Guise doesn’t hold such a grim definition for me. This moniker of an “appearance other than me” is no longer a shackle to my work, but for me, it is becoming that character that I hoped it could be. The question is, how much longer do I need it. Time will tell, and I will grow, and needs will change. Until then, you can call me Guise. 

For the record, it’s pronounced “Guys”.