I’m so sick of being yelled at. The worst part about it is that there’s no respite or relief from it. Advertising is in every single direction we turn our eyes and ears, and it’s only getting louder. With more competition for our increasingly limited attention spans, advertising companies seem to have done away with the clever and would prefer to place themselves in front of us and scream noise at us.
I had a realisation recently about just how much this advertising was affecting my psyche. I had gotten so used to radio and TV ads just being a regular part of life, that I had forgotten they can quite simply be turned off. Turning it off consciously offers an almost immediate cognitive pressure release to our minds. I have physically felt that release from my cranium after deciding that the latest “warehouse closing down sale” was not critical information.
In a world where we rely on advertising revenue to stimulate many parts of our economy (I mean it basically keeps our radio stations in work, and our professional sports accessible to us) we have to remember our sanity. We have to remember that it’s okay to turn off some of these overwhelming senses, and be comfortable with the silence again.
When the loud noises get too much, take away their power. For you own sake.
Since the earliest of ages I’ve called myself a name. Something unique, and akin to a dying art in this modern Artificially Intelligent world. I’ve brandished myself with this word to separate from the crowd, to feel unique, to feel talented and to surprise others. That word is writer.
It’s a strange sort of behaviour. As writers, we self-indulgently talk about ourselves as if we are some special breed that experience life differently and more vividly and more intensely than anyone else, but the reality is that we are just another product of existence. We have been given words which allow us to speak these experiences, in the same way a musician or an artist has been bestowed in their own medium.
Looking at it through a wider scope, I guess this isn’t a trait of creative-types only. In all walks of life, people are writing their own paragraphs, in their words and actions, as to how they fit in this existence.
In a world where purpose and longevity are two innately difficult concepts to keep aligned, each day we change, or are perceived to change, in minuscule or major manners. But what we often forget to appreciate, is the bearing that we ourselves can have on the experience.
Picture life’s journey as a train ride. Often bumpy as the old, rusted rails take you through both familiar and foreign suburbs. On the odd occasion, you find yourself sitting stationery, waiting for the green light to proceed, or maybe you’re stuck at the station, raising your eyes to the rolling screen of train times, ruing the seemingly ridiculous “unscheduled trackwork” which has now seen you miss what you sought.
I like the way this metaphor captures the complexity of life with simplisity. Whilst there are many elements to life’s unwritten journey, visualising it with this common human experience, what is something of a daily journey for some of us, allows us to appreciate the experiences we are going through.
However, the challenge with this metaphor relies on the belief that we are completely subservient to the will and the way of the track, and I don’t believe this to be true. That is because we have moments in our life where we face choices other than to look out of the left or the right window. There are times, when we find detest in complacency and comfort in risk, that we choose to arise from our seat, alight from the train and board another, moving in a different direction.
I’ve reached one of those moments. One of those defining points in life when the whole trip changes, picking a train line I haven’t traversed before, excited for the new bumps, delays, and views.
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.
Today calls for an appreciation post. You know how we’ve spoken about the little things in life, and stopping to truly experience the life around us, well this is me doing that for the first time in a while.
I consider myself to be a very lucky person for a lot of reasons. I have social privilege; my health, and that of my loved ones, is fine; more support systems than one person could ever need; comfortable job; soulmate by my side, and more to list than in a single paragraph. I appreciate all of this and more, because I know that I’ve got it good.
Let’s just say, I’m not the easiest personality. I’m opinionated, hot and cold socially, loud and confident in myself, and often stubborn, but despite this, my family, friends, and partner all keep me close, keep me welcome, and embrace me for me. These can be difficult traits to be around, and it’s for that reason that I constantly make a conscious effort to reign that in, but knowing that I’m understood and loved is something I’m extremely lucky and grateful for.
So to my family who have helped to shape me to who I am, my friends who have kept us all together for a long time, and to the love of my life… Thank You.