From Another Time

Poetry three weeks in a row… what the fuck, man?

I know, I know, the sentient Guise has been absent for nearly a month now, instead replaced by a number of poetic short verses. How dare I stay away for so long, taking the easy way out by sharing works that are old and already written.

Construction, Pressure, and Nights for Knights were all works from a time well before now. A time that as much as I’d like to, I don’t really remember much about. It’s not some suppressed memories deal, but more so that I’ve just got a terrible memory. These pieces were from another time, a time when I was enveloped by completely different set of stimuli, challenges, muses, thoughts, feelings, and anxiety.

And only recently did I find these. Once locked away only to be found if I passed, a legacy I thought which was worthwhile sharing in the afterlife, only. But that was fear. Fear that maybe I wasn’t good at this writing thing. It was safer.

Whilst I recognise that it may seem like I’ve been taking the easy way out just to keep on track for this goal of weekly updates (which i guess is partially true, I’m not going to pretend to be some sort of delusional, all-wise, martyr), I’ve realised that sharing this work is important.

Writing was my escape, a coping mechanism to deal with what I felt was an existence of isolation and anxiety. But I can’t sit here today and tell you what I was thinking, what I was specifically dealing with, what had sent me into a particular frame of mind, but my writing can get pretty damn close to it.

So I’ve decided to share with people now, rather than later, and on occasions, I’ll dig up some pieces from another time.

Heck, they may still even be relevant.

 

Guise.

Rhythm and Blues

Wake Up. Don’t hit that snooze button again. You have a train to catch, or traffic to beat, or ferry to ride. It’s time for work.

Nobody ever told me just quite how it would change. Growing up, you are warned and whinged to about the hassles and stresses of working life. “Enjoy your school days”, or “make the most of uni, they were the best times”, that’s all we were ever told. The details were omitted of the difficulties of adulthood. We assume the details and believe that it all comes down to the stresses of paying bills, and raising a family. I don’t know about you, but I was never warned about the expectations, and THAT is what has been the biggest adjustment to adulthood.

I’m no stranger to responsibility, rather than shirk it off, my personality drives me at it and I thrive on it. Expectations are different however. Expectations from your manager which far exceed either your skill set, formal training, or time capacity. Expectations from your family to be there for them, to not snap at them, keep your patience, and to be the person that they have loved as you grow up. Expectations from your friends to always be the same, smiling, and ever-happy guy they have grown up alongside. Expectations from your partner to be a caring, nurturing lover, a keen listener, and a rock firm support during their tough times. Expectations from society that we will uphold the morale good, not drink to excess, work hard in our career, turn away from drugs, avoid violence, and so on. These expectations are all valid, and it fills us with a great satisfaction when we meet those expectations, but it leaves very little for one to focus on, develop, and grow one’s self, without some of those expectations falling away to way side, leaving us with broken or strained friendships, unfulfilled career potential, a rocky relationship, or a reputation as that family member that nobody can stand to be around.

Nobody warned us of the pressure; nobody warned us of the monotony of working life, and the anxiety that comes with it. Considering the improvement for worker’s rights that we have seen in the last twenty years, it’s fair to assume that this is the best it has ever been. I don’t want to know what it was like for our parents, grandparents, and so on. Ignorance helps me sleep.

So what’s this all about, exactly? Why scrap together 650 words of whingeing about life? Is it about the pressure of a career, the monotony that working life brings, the conflicting expectations drawing and pulling us in multiple directions, or a personal vent at the state of NSW infrastructure? I suppose it’s all of the above. It’s not to say that you or I can’t handle it all, or that we are destined to failure or an asylum. It’s simply that it sneaks up on us. When our career, family, relationship, friendship, health and hobbies come at us demanding the same scarce time that we have to spare, we cannot prepare for this moment. No matter how many warnings our relatives, mentors, and acquaintances offer to us, nobody is ready at that point. We are still young, possibly immature, but ultimately overwhelmed by the spike, in expectations.

Happiness is the key. Either find something you love to do, work for someone amazing or an employer who openly shows how much they care about you, just find something, because I’ve found in recent months, is that happiness makes the darkest days feel bright (don’t you dare say a word about that cliché).

When you find that happiness, make sure you show your appreciation to the person or people who supported you when you found it tough to wake up. When you were pressing that snooze button three too many times a morning, they were your happiness when you needed it most. She is my happiness, and the reason I fought through some of my toughest times. Thank you.

 

Guise

Happiness

William Penn, the great philosopher once wrote, “The secret to happiness is to count your blessings, while others are busy counting their troubles”. Wise words from a man so historically significant that he has an entire region in North America named after him (Pennsylvania, for those that missed the boat on that one).

It seems like a pretty simple formula to understand whether or not we are happy in our lives. Appreciate the good, pay little attention to the bad, and always be grateful for the people and things that make your life what it is.

But I think the greatest difficulty, is the fact that a ‘blessing’ can be quite subjective. We are all programmed in different ways, so much so that we fuel debate simply as a result of various perceptions. Some people come to expect things, others learn to expect nothing. If you expect your neighbour to take out the bins for you, you will be disappointed and bitter towards them when they don’t do it for you. If you don’t expect such behaviour, your life remains unaltered by your neighbours inaction.

So it begs the question, have we as a society, come to expect too much?

Social media and mobile internet has taught us to expect answers and information at our fingertips at any given second of the day. We then get upset, anxious and frustrated when reception is weak or the internet runs slow.

So what blessings can you count in your life?

The love of your family or cherished other half? Service with a smile from the shop attendant who just helped you try on twelve pairs of shoes to find the right one? Good health? A home? … Life?

We’re all guilty of falling victim to our own expectations. We lose our touch on reality and forget to smell the roses.

Whether or not each of us want to break this habit is another story. Expectations bring hope and excitement. We FEEL when we are disappointed. We are brought back to our reality. Perhaps humanity needs to feel the highs and lows that expectations bring?

At the end of the day, we are but creatures of habit. I suppose that is what William Penn thought also,           “Experience is a safe guide”

Do you want to be safe, or do you want to live a life where you are challenged?

 

 

Guise