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”. 

Decisions, Decisions…

I don’t enjoy being indecisive. In fact it sends me into a self-deprecating cycle of doubt and despair (pardon the melodrama).

It stems from an overarching fear of consequences and hindsight. A fear that at some point in the future I’ll be looking at this decision and think about how clear the answer should have been. 

Irrational yes, but we are not rational creatures. We act out in fits of rage, we curse the uncontrollables, and turn to jelly at the sight of rodents, spiders or snakes. So I’m comfortable being irrational in some parts of my life. 

This is a part of me that I am trying to address, but behaviour does not change overnight, it is a sustained effort over a long period of time. 

One of the worst parts of being indecisive, though, is just how exhausting it is. It isn’t easy playing out multiple decision trees in your head in short periods of time, trying to decide which path is of least damage and best value. 

In the meantime, I apologise for the untimely delay in any decisions that I may cause. 

Guise. 

New Year, Same Me

By some grace of might and magic, did anyone really believe that a change in some arbitrary number, based on a potentially inaccurate calendar was going to make any different to the shit we hate about ourselves. 

“New Year, New Me” they laud as they drink the same beer they did a week ago, smoke the same cigarettes and eat the same food. They stop looking for jobs and convince themselves that 2017 would be a completely different formula, one which is flawless, radical, and instantaneous. What is our obsession with making decisions in schedule with practically meaningless occasions? 

I mean, I sit here, post- new years resolution to contribute to this blog on a now weekly basis, and yet on the 3rd January 2017, I still haven’t even posted my first which was due two days ago. Same old procrastinating Guise. 

There is a complacency, and an inadequacy, in believing that a “New Year” will effortlessly transform our lives. We must take change by the horns and commit all we can to it, and not rely on the cosmos to enact our intentions. 

But there is some mettle to this measure. A mindset of commitment may very well be the catalyst for change in that persons life. So then, what’s holding you back from being the 2017 version of you, complacency or commitment, procrastination or poor decision making. 

Don’t wait for the new year to be over before the new you shows up. 

Happy New Year, and I’ll be back next week. 

Guise.