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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Grateful Sunday

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.

Guise.

Reality Driven

Follow says the wise,

Be educated and concise.

Know and tell,

To learn and share.

Expression of privy.

Follow says the leader,

For wisdom is but pestilence,

Transferrable.

Not logical nor emotional.

Blind.

Follow says the poor,

Take example and opportunity.

One must be grateful,

Not greedy and ambitious.

Follow says the indescribably unique,

You are the well of all knowledge.

Guise.

Nights for Knights

Shine.
Your armor glows,
For fear of failing light.
When nights draw cold,
And growth sprouts fear,
May they know
They stand
As one.
For brotherhood stands the test of time.
Like each bright light floats in the sky,
The guarantee that each may fly.
Eternal strength they draw from near,
Stand tall young brothers and grow,
The strongest oak must face the wind,
And rain.
Know for one these are true,
My words,
My need for each of you.

Guise.

A Line of Production

Every now and then, I find myself being productive.

It happens not out of preparation, nor is it borne of any guilt, intrigue, or opportunity. And there is plenty of guilt within to motivate me if that actually worked. No, rather it’s an urge, a sudden realisation that I am already within the productive mode and a feeling that, well I’m here now, so let’s just do as much as possible and ride the wave.

This is a magical time where rooms are cleaned, doors and drawers are fixed, overdue appointments are booked, and so on. These periods of being productive take a lot of weight off the to do list, which is great for everyone involved.

I guess this seems like an odd thing to be writing about this week, right? I’m not the kind of person that gets off on getting shit done, which is one of the characteristics which frustrates me about myself. I doubt myself, distract myself, confuse myself, and convince myself that everything will be sorted on another day, at another time, or in another place. So when I’m in the midst of manic productivity, I try and use it to the best of my ability.

One of the few things that I have noticed over the years which sends me into this mode is responsibility. An overwhelming sense of obligation. If my inaction (or action) is going to affect other adversely, I am triggered into it. and God help you if you get in my way once I’m there.

I feel like the reason I’m sharing this thought with you today, is that as much as I hate that I am programmed like this, and despite my efforts to change otherwise, I’ve learned to work with it. When I’m not feeling productive, I do my best to enjoy the downtime. Use it, harness it to recharge, to build myself up for the challenges ahead.

This isn’t a happy story, but maybe a helpful one.

Guise.

A Moment Defined (Vol.1)

This time last year, I had just rejected an extension to my employment contract after two long years at the same company. It was a decision I didn’t make lightly. Although the work was frustrating and change seemed impossible there, it was a comfortable job with great benefits (not so much the remuneration).

When I came into the job, it was off the back of feeling like a failure leaving the job before. Caveat to this, I must mention that when I look back now, three years on, I no longer believe myself to have failed, rather I achieved as much as I could despite the barriers outside of my control.

So feeling like a failure, for the second time in two jobs, I started in a role I was barely qualified for. Responsible for more than I’d ever been responsible for before, unsure of my knowledge and capability, I was at a point doubting that I was ever capable of succeeding in my field. But over the space of 2 years, I had the leader that I needed. One who was willing to be strong at the right times, and trusted me to make mistakes and learn from them. 24 months of being empowered proved to be everything I needed. And so I reached a point where I could learn no more from that leader. We had reached the max of what could be achieved in that dynamic.

With that in tow, I turned down the extension. I left that employer with nowhere to go, but not empty-handed. I entered a difficult labour market with 2 years more experience and all the confidence that I could hold. I was employable, at the very least. But I wasn’t just looking for employment. i wanted somewhere that I could make a difference, somewhere that I could feel the culture just through the recruitment process, which had the right pieces of the puzzle in the right places.

But two months without a job and multiple interviews each week without finding that place hits that confidence like a sack of sh…eets.

Thankfully I found the place I was looking for shortly after that two month mark, and almost a year on, I’m still very happy and optimistic. But this is a short story of defining moments, and whilst there have been a number of defining moments in my life, today is appreciates this one.

Back yourself. Sometimes in life we need to jump into the dark and trust our instincts (based on fact). At times, hindsight will help us to regret these decisions, but even with that, we know we made the decision for the right reason.

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”.