On half-developed thoughts (getsomerest)

When everything feels contrived and depthless, I believe it’s a call to focus on the sheer unremarkability of life and yourself as an individual.

***

My life looks very different today in comparison with last year. Those words could have come from your mouth. You’ve experienced a lot of change in the last year too.

Sometimes I look out of the window during a lecture, or spend more time than I’d like to admit scrolling through memories and (insert year ago) todays. I watch videos I filmed at uni and I laugh at how young I looked in sixth form. I look back at myself now knowing that I knew so little. Of course, that’s the way life goes.

Time poverty

Every once in a while we become obsessed with time. We come to realisations about it that open our eyes and we want to share it with people. That’s a phase I’m in right now.

I have been thinking about the past, especially now that life is requiring more of me every single day.

Despite them having the same quantitative value, some seconds mean more than others.

I recently saw a TikTok where a woman explained time poverty, which in a nutshell, is having too many things to do and not enough time to do them – or at least what feels like not enough time. I’ll leave it at that.

Pressure

I’m finding it hard to keep up – every week I think things will be less pressurised and easier to deal with. But they all end up as tasking and demanding as each other.

I’m being tugged in different directions by education, relationships, ambitions, my faith, my self-perception, how I feel about my body and the way I look…

Many are threatening my peace of mind and I have already lost the battle a few times.

Writing

I haven’t written a post in a month or so but it feels longer than that, because so much has been crammed into that short horizon of time.

Really, I only write blog posts when I’ve realised something and can articulate it in a way that I’m proud of, and that people can relate to.

But I’ve recently been thrown into the deep end. And the absence of time has means I’ve been less capable of processing and forming my thoughts. I have been waiting for something to come to life but my realisations have been stunted.

This is the most I’ve written in a while.

To be real

A year ago I was finishing 3rd year.

And looking back I still had no solid idea of what I wanted to do with my life. Ironically, if you asked me I would have given an answer that sounded like I knew what I was planning (pandemic considered).

I’m good at bullshitting my way through life. I‘ve been an advocate for faking it till I make it for many years, and I still am. Yet I grow in awe of how this can coexist with striving to remain who you truly are in any and every moment.

I saw a tweet some months ago saying that you know you’re real when you’re not trying to show that you are. You just ‘be’. That’s all.

That’s what I’m trying to do now. When everything feels contrived and depthless, I believe it’s a call to focus on oneself and the sheer unremarkability of life and yourself as an individual.

I have enjoyed that so much. I used to care a lot about upholding perceptions of myself. If someone thought I was interesting I wanted to remain interesting to them.

But now I am happy to become bland in their eyes. If that’s the ebb and flow of my existence then that’s what I should put across to the world, while paying little to no attention to it at all.

To conclude

Is there value in putting effort into things, and creating art with your living? Yes. But it should be authentic. And if you don’t feel like portraying a certain image of yourself, be okay with not doing so and portraying who you are right now with no care for it.

I say that for myself.

These are some half-developed realisations I’ve come to recently. I will have more over time so perhaps I should be okay with not having every thought turn into a perfectly articulated realisation in my eyes.

Psalms 73:25-26

*this reads like a diary entry

I’m living like a teenager again (with experience).

My twenties look to me, like they will be full of opportunities and a call to live my life as if it has just begun, because it has.

***

When I reflect on what I was like as a teenager, I see everything I wish I did differently. I see the times where I should have tried harder and when I should have cared less. I see the things that I allowed to affect my confidence and the things I wish I were brave enough to do.

Funnily enough, I also hear a lot from people in their 30s and upwards, reminiscing on their twenties in the same way that I reminisce on my teens. They say things from ‘I was a mess, I had no clue what I was doing.’ to ‘I wish I realised that my decisions weren’t doomed to be set in stone. I wish I worried less, I wish I realised just how young I was.’

I’ve recently put two and two together and I feel like I’ve cracked some sort of code. What is stopping me from treating my twenties like my teens with experience? Here, I have the benefit of vicarious reinforcement mixed with my personal experiences. This realisation feels like a second chance to live as young as I still am, with the freedom I wish I had when I was a teenager. It’s time to turn my ‘I wish I…’ to ‘I will now, because I still have a chance.’

My twenties look to me, like they will be full of opportunities and a call to live my life as if it has just begun, because it has.

I will be 30 years old in nine years’ time. And I will use those nine years to live more fearlessly than I ever did when I was a teenager. And when I turn 30, there will remain so much more life for me to live.

I will not let the fear of how others will perceive or interact with me and anything I produce, to stop me from following my heart with whatever it is that I create. I will not hold myself back in fear and I will not allow hesitation at the sight of the unknown to transform into stagnancy and never giving anything a try.

I will start things and lay them to rest whenever I feel the need to do so, because doing so is not the end of the world. That’s something I learnt in my teens. I will try my hardest to disallow anxiety from ruling my life. That’s something I’ve learnt from those who are older than me. I won’t have a fear of the future because every moment I live is the future and I have always been fine, despite not knowing what any day holds for me.

How blessed are we to have the gift of retrospect mixed with that of vicarious reinforcement! Those who are older are advising me and I am advising myself. In doing so, I am paving a life that is full of endless possibilities, one where I will no longer hold myself back, and where I can continue living a time in my life that I thought was long gone. It’s here right now, it never went anywhere.

I must continue telling myself that my decisions are the beginning rather than the end. I’m not scared of making mistakes. Despite how regret makes me feel when I feel it, I would prefer that feeling to the numbing question of what if.

I have allowed myself to see too many things as final and it’s put obstacles in my path. So, if I am the only person that has ever held me back, I am going to get out of the way!

Are you in your own way?

Do Not Be Intimidated By Façades

Today I realised that when what I do gets no attention, I must consider that perhaps I’ve been doing it for myself all along, and this was necessary – the way it was meant to be.

***

It’s one of the things that you forget about when it matters the most. You may only remember it at the height of worry, self-hatred and loathing.

You may realise, that a lot of what you dislike about yourself is an indirect result of what you like about other people. For some reason, the presence of their strength only highlights your flaws, as if you’re meant to be two peas in a pod – when really, they are someone you just saw online, or someone in your life who is so similar to you that they might as well be a reflection of you – an incomplete one at that, since right now, you have placed them in a category above yourself. Nonetheless, their proximity to who you are or who you want to be is actually irrelevant. You just forgot that.

You forgot that you should not be intimidated by façades, as much like the people around you, there is a polished version of yourself that you present to the world, the acceptable and most ideal version that is available. Somehow you forgot that other people are also presenting their best, fake, and aspirational selves, and you’re allowing yourself to be intimidated by them!

This is a sad story that we’re familiar with, and if you’re not, I admire you because I’m not there yet. It’s truly frustrating when you forget about what matters when it matters the most. I forget that when I compare myself, I am chipping away at my happiness. I also forget that holding myself back in the fear of failure and disregard is in fact stopping me from ever having anything to hold or improve on.

Today I realised that when what I do gets no attention, I must consider that perhaps I’ve been doing it for myself all along, and this was necessary – the way it was meant to be. This is a way for me to understand that attention doesn’t hold any value, and that not everything I do must be done in the hope for commendation and awe. That’s what matters when there is no one looking my way and I’m consequently being overly critical of myself.

When you’re restricting your potential, what matters is the fact that if you don’t start now, who knows when you will? You should start. What matters when you feel insignificant is the fact that the only noteworthy significance is the one that you acknowledge about yourself. Now it doesn’t matter how people perceive you.

So, do not be intimidated by façades, because what matters in that moment of intimidation is that it is indeed a façade – it is hardly real. And even if it is real, it’s not a cue for you to feel small.

Every time your hope feels lost, shift your focus to what actually matters in the moment. You’ll dispel many myths about who you are and what you should truly be concerned about, and your mind will feel just a bit closer to free.

-ther

We are different yet somehow the same, predictable while completely unknown, we see ourselves in each other despite foggy mirrors, there must be something inside that we identify with, something that calls us home in each other only to make us homesick by the time we meet, we are sick of each other with no where else to go, and those that take their own leave are grieved for a while before we focus on ourselves again, we are all so special yet extremely unsensational, our lack of individuality causing projections of inferiority toward each other, only to gather by the fire when it’s cold at night to sing togetherness to life.


Who are we to each other, and do we belong together? Who is to say what’s right and wrong when we’re replicas of each other, you, myself in the future and me, yourself from the past. And us in the present is a ball of confusion, wondering how we got here, easily forgetting that one leg was yours and the other was mine, we walked here together. And we’ll lay in bed together too, the one that we made, with our full and divided attention, and we’ll tug the cover from each other as dawn turns into dusk, opening our eyes to the foggiest silhouettes and reflections of each other, with fear and recognition hanging in the morning air.


Reading this back, I can see how it may be interpreted as a take on a toxic relationship. This is partially correct, but I would like you to scale it up. It is about the dysfunctionality of the human race – something cliche but eternally true. We have the Conservatives and the Labour party, Democrats and Rebublicans, pro-life and pro-choice, capitalists and the loosely opposing socialists and communists. Funnily enough, despite their differences, none can exist without the other. Humans disagree with eachother all the time, yet we are extremely codependent. We love and hate ourselves simultaneously. It’s like we were born with an autoimmune disease where discontent continually ferments on the inside. Yet, it is chronic and can never be fully cured, only managed. We can’t live with ourselves niether can we live without. This is interesting.

The invasion of the Capitol in DC made me think about a lot yesterday and this is one thing that came out of it. Yet, in hard times I always feel a small degree of safety, somehow. Not as if harm will never reach me, but more that there’s something inside me that will keep me truly protected. I think that’s God. I will never stop being passionate though, or unfalteringly aware of the dangers around me as I live with humans just like myself, who spew love and hate both inwards and outwards as long as there is breath in their lungs.

Why You Should Trust Every Process

all processes are worth trusting, even the ones where everything feels like it’s going wrong because you messed up… This is for the times when life replaces peace with fear in your heart.

***

The way the past makes me feel has changed a lot over time. Many things I regretted and hated myself for no longer stir up those same emotions inside me. Now, I feel more gratitude, relief, happiness…

Hindsight is a blessing, a beautiful thing. It’s taught me to trust every process that I go through because I may eventually understand why they happened, and realise that it was best for them to have gone the way they did.   

I want you to have this perspective too, if you don’t. Bear with me as I give an example.

Backstory

Parts of my primary school went under reconstruction when I was in year 6. Although summer came before the work was complete, I found myself watching the builders during playtime, so intrigued by their work and how they brought the structure to life. By year 8, this obsession with buildings transformed into a love for architecture. I got so excited at the sight of skyscrapers in Canary wharf, beautifully designed homes on Grand Designs, and renovations on Homes Under The Hammer. I’d decided to become an architect!

But fast forward to sixth form, my love for the career faded away as I constantly failed the subjects that I needed for an architecture undergrad. Besides that, I had no portfolio of work for my applications because I was and still am terrible at drawing (lol); it never excited me. Though I was in denial about it for a while, I finally accepted that my dream was no longer adding up; it wasn’t true to me anymore.

On the phone to a few universities during year 12 exam season, I was reminded that besides 3 A’s, I need a portfolio of my work to gain admission to an architecture course. I looked over at my bed, knowing that I didn’t have what they were asking for – questioning the genuineness of what I’d hoped towards for so long.

Yet on that very bed sat a notebook that I’d been writing in for a while. It held thoughts, flash fiction, and ideas for novels and writing that I wanted to develop. Like an epiphany, it came to me that I’d been working on my portfolio all along – just for the wrong subject. Later that day, I decided to study English literature at university, and soon after I made it a joint honours with creative writing. That was May 2016. In July 2020, I graduated with a 1st in English with Creative Writing.

What’s my point? (TLDR)

The focus of this story is not the outcome, but the process I went through to get there. The day I made those phone calls, I was anxious. It felt like I had been setting myself up to fail all this time, and this was the finale. Unable to see how my life was going to get better from that point onwards, the situation felt bigger than me and I was beating myself up for not realising my truth earlier.

But too often we forget that life plans to work itself out in its own timing, and we should have faith in this fact. If I could, I would tell my 16-year-old self that my life is not over because I changed my mind about my career path. I’d also add that this process is worth trusting. Realising and accepting my love for writing and absence of such for architecture that day steered me down the correct path at the exact time it was supposed to.

Perceiving ups and downs

I refer to this time in my life because it reminds me that all processes are worth trusting, even the ones where everything feels like it’s going wrong because you messed up – and it did feel that way. This is for the times when life replaces peace with fear in your heart.

No story is without ups and downs. And when we retell them, we speak about the downs knowing that things worked out eventually. Even if they didn’t, they are part of a bigger story that we haven’t finished writing yet.

The value of hindsight

You should trust every process, failure, success, misunderstanding, miscalculation, mistake, the lot, at any stage you encounter them. Believe that they are part of a longer story that is yet to be complete. Zoom out and consider what this could mean in the bigger picture: something beautiful and worthwhile!

It’s time to use hindsight to our advantage when we are in the thick of turmoil. If we know that things can turn out okay in the end because hindsight has taught us so with our past experiences, we can use this knowledge to calm ourselves in the midst of the storm.

We can use it to our advantage and trust every process from now on, believing that things are working out the way that they should; they have done so in the past, and we must have faith that they will continue like this.

Try to accept uncertain times as pivotal segments of your story. I believe that this mindset helps to calm anxiety and fear in moments of overwhelm, reminding us that trusting all processes is the key we need to hold on tight and live through them, fearlessly.

Until next time!

The Art of Trying

…life can pull you in different directions all at once, yet still be guiding you down the right path.

***

Why I am writing this

It’s been a difficult year for most of us, and I feel the need to reemphasise the importance of balance.

In some situations we are helpless; our options for solution are minimal and there’s little we can do to make our problems go away. This is the anthem of a pandemic. Although we have modern medicine and precautions such as quarantine and social distancing, no one can grind a such a crisis to an instant halt.

On the other hand, there are situations where all we need to do is apply ourselves and focus in order to see the change we desire. Yes, you are stuck at home or out of a job, but one day of trying hard to complete an application may be all you need to make the most of what you have during this time.

Not necessarily out of a rut, but building something special inside of it.

The Least

When there is something you want to achieve and there are obstacles to pass over in pursuit of it, trying is the least you could do. That is, for example, starting one part of an application, drafting that email, talking to that person, or simply accepting something to be true.

If someone were to ask, “Well, have you even researched what it takes to [insert interest]?” Your answer should be yes. Because if it weren’t, an immediate response could be, “Trying is the least you could do. You could at least read about what it takes to [insert interest]”. So apply that to what you desire, and start trying. That’s your first step.

The Most

Meanwhile, there remain situations in life where all efforts lead to dead ends. Sometimes you do nothing but push yourself towards a goal, only to look up and find yourself exactly where you started. In this situation, trying is both the most you can do, and all that you’ve been doing. All that’s required of you now is to keep up this effort. In the midst of such, consider other approaches, for considering itself could be another form of trying the most.

I have been passionate about balance since I realised that life can pull you in different directions all at once, yet still be guiding you down the right path. To begin trying in areas of your life where it’s the least you can do, and to remain trying in others where it’s the most you can do is a great way to understand the importance of balance. Neither side of the scale should be heavier than the other.

From now on it will be my goal to aim for, and maintain equilibrium.

What Does Revolution Mean To You?

I am increasingly willing to accept that I may be the tiniest cog in the works… Perhaps it’s best to find peace with this. It will not make me stop striving for change, but it will take the focus off my own requirements and put them all on the issue at hand, where it belongs.

***

Hello, Hello, Hello!

I haven’t written a post in a while, and a lot has happened in the world since. That’s the go-to reintroduction in any space during the enigma that is 2020. Of course, you aren’t relying on me to give my perspective on recent events but I shall give it nonetheless!

Welcome to somevariables.

This post will cover 4 topics: Social Media, Revolution (a comeback), Education (+reading) and Passion. Yay, exciting! Let’s get into it.

Social Media

We know that it’s a double-edged sword. Through our usage we have the power to build up and tear down, and doing so has come with more ease than ever before. For example we saw the power of social media in the past few weeks with the ENDSARS protests in Nigeria and the awareness raised about coltan mining in Congo with the hashtag #CongoIsBleeding. These are things that were happening in the world which social media brought to our attention, specifically filling in the gaps that broadcast and print news companies left wide open. That’s what hashtags are all about and we are grateful for it.

I had a change of heart during the week because I held an underdeveloped opinion that social media activism is hardly activism. By that I meant sharing posts, using hashtags, expressing rage, and doing nothing else. But I read a tweet that shut me up, as it explained that we only found out about these horrible occurrences through social media itself, so it is clearly an effective tool towards justice and liberation. Why not carry it on?

The main qualm that remains for me is the extent to which we as a collective, with the same hopes of liberation in mind, believe that social media is the liberator. We all know that there is more to be done.

Raising awareness on social media platforms is the first step; it’s a method by which those in power can be pressured by tangible, acute and inescapable civil unrest, and make a move in the correct direction to fix the problem (though they scarcely do so, unfortunately).

But beyond raising awareness is actual change. This puts pressure on the literal movement of obstacles, which is not as easy as we would like it to be. Especially when the powers that should not be (I like that, learnt it from a flat earther documentary. I am not a flat earther though.) benefit from these obstacles being in place. Such a sticky situation leads me to my next point.

Revolution

Many people think they will see change now. Yet as time goes by it feels like we must accept that we might not see the change. Emphasis on the we, because I have heard people say that they don’t want to be fighting for the same causes that they are now when they’re old. But we can see that happening in this moment. Angela Davis has as much to say about Black Radical Unity & Power now as she did during the USA’s Civil Rights Movement.

How okay are you with change not happening in your lifetime? (see my poem, What Do You Think?) Will you accept that it could instead happen in someone else’s, or do you feel a right to experience that right now? This is not to be negative, as we have seen a lot of positive change in our years. However, changes on the macro scale such as poverty, corruption and racism seem to have roots that run so deep, that it will take generations to finally topple those hateful trees over.

I believe that the passion for a cause erases temporal desires. Yes things are urgent, but regardless of the timescale, it is something one should be timelessly passionate about.

I am increasingly willing to accept that I may be the tiniest cog in the works, or the faintest breath in the wind that makes the butterfly flap its wings. Perhaps it’s best to find peace with this. It will not make me stop striving for change, but it will take the focus off my own requirements and put them all on the issue at hand, where it belongs.

Do you agree? Let’s see how this approach holds up.

Education

I am reminded of the Toni Morrison quote where she said, “When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”

I can relate this to education and reading. A lot of us have more knowledge than we give credit to, and therefore a lot more power than we feel at liberty to utilise. How amazing would it be if we always shared what we just learnt and spoke openly about the answers we have just been given? If some knowledge has freed you, it should not stop with you. You should free others with that same knowledge. This in my opinion contributes towards collectivism in the best way. In summary, it’s an “everybody eats” mentality and I am here for it.

Of course, sometimes sharing knowledge requires you to read the room first, but you’re smart enough to do that. Do not underestimate the potential you have to make a difficult concept more understandable because of how you, as an individual, will frame your sentences. There is a lot of power in your hands and no one holds that power like you do. Mix that with what you have just learnt, and that right there is unique and relevant teaching!

Reading

Along those lines, reading is also important. If there’s anything I learnt from the BLM movement earlier this year, it’s that fact checking what you read on social media is very important. Many terrible things are true, but the last thing I want is to spread fake news. I hate to write about it but it’s very relevant. Simply ensuring that what you are sharing is factual will go a long way. And developing your own opinion and perspective is more so important.

For example, sanctions. After the Lekki toll gate massacre on October 20th, there was a petition circulated to demand for the UK to impose sanctions on the Nigerian government. I wasn’t too sure of what sanctions would do, and any involvement from the west sounded fishy to me. So I did some reading and spoke to someone who knows more about this topic than I do. I then decided that signing the petition would not be the best idea, even though most people were pushing it.

Grassroots change is what we need. Not western intervention.

Rather than regurgitating popular opinion in the midst of rage and unrest, it is still important to check exactly what platform you are standing on and what you are promoting. We learnt this at school – sources, evidence, footnotes, comprehension… Let’s try to maintain these skills in the midst of social justice, where it matters the most.

Passion

This is a semi-tangent. But life has sparked a lot of curiosity in me lately, and my answers reside in books. I want to read so much more than I currently am – both fiction and non-fiction. I believe that claiming a passion (in this case, reading) should lead you to spending as much time on it as you can; perhaps even pressuring yourself (healthily) to keep on doing it, and get better at it.

I want to know more so I need to read more. Can you fill that sentence in for yourself?

Here are 4 books/essays on my own reading list:

*

That will be all. Long winded, but compensatory in light of my absence! I hope this got you thinking about something.

This week I also realised that you should run with all of your ideas. No matter how small or irrelevant they seem. See what sticks – work on them until they become relevant, or until they evolve into something beyond your imagination.

Until text time.

What makes your heart leap?

PASSION AND HOBBIES DO NOT HAVE TO BE OVERT AND TANGIBLE THINGS. THEY CAN BE THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL AT PEACE, EVEN IF IT ONLY LASTS FOR A SHORT WHILE. THERE COULD BE MUCH MORE THAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THAN YOU GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR.

***

Last week, I was having a conversation about passion, and how we try to understand people that claim they’re not passionate about anything. My friend said something along the lines of, ‘think about what makes your heart leap’. And that stuck with me.

I think about my interests all the time as one of my main focuses is to turn them (and my hobbies) into a career, in order to enjoy my life in a way that sustains me. However this question made me look at passion in a very different and refreshing way.

I understand that many people want to have a passion, but perhaps there are stories behind why it lacks in their life. For example, their creativity being stamped out by parents, depression taking over, failure, etc.

Something better

So I think that considering what makes your heart leap is a better place to start. Words like “passionate” and “hobbies” feel so rich and loaded sometimes. Perhaps words like “interest” and “like” are better. Let’s start small.

Now, I know that “what makes your heart leap?” is loaded in itself – it’s descriptive and metaphorical to an extent (some things really make your heart skip a beat), but I believe that when considered, something that makes your heart leap can be as simple as the following:

  •  Going outside when the rain has stopped because the air is fresh
  • The smell of food you like
  • The person you’re in love with
  • The thought of your past, and how you have improved over time
  • Thinking about and planning your future
  • Talking to someone who actually listens to and understand you

The list can go on and on. Passion and hobbies do not have to be overt and tangible things. They can be thoughts and feelings that make you feel at peace, even if it only lasts for a short while. There could be much more that you’re interested in than you give yourself credit for.

My answer

What makes my heart leap is looking at plants and the sky. I’m not even the best at plant upkeep – I just appreciate the parallels between plants and humans, and it feels special to hold a plant in my hand – as if I’m holding myself. The sky makes my heart leap because it scales my world down for me and takes me past immediate worries. It’s free art that I can capture and look at without limits and reservations. It is harmless.

Though you can note plants and the sky as my passion, I think they fit more correctly into the list of things that make my heart leap. And what I do with that information is down to me. I don’t even need to have much of knowledge about these things or turn them into something productive. I just like and appreciate them. If I wanted, I could use them as inspiration for a novel I will write in the future for example, or I could let it them spark research into the outdoors – I could learn the science of the sky and consider how to live a life that harms as few tress as possible.

Now you

There is so much attention to be paid to what you are interested in, what you get excited about, what makes you feel a bit happier when you are down…

I know that depression makes it hard to see these things sometimes. And when you’re in it, you can only hope that you’ll feel something ever again. But I know that there are things that everyone likes. And whatever yours may be, perhaps you just pay little attention to it because it feels so small and insignificant.

But it matters. Pay attention to yourself, and your heart. Appreciate what makes you feel good and hold it close to yourself. Likewise, be okay with these things growing and changing into things you could never imagine. Notice and sustain the leaping of your heart. Identify what makes it leap and keep it as a piece of paradise close to yourself.

To conclude

I am reminded of a poem that I read on the tube, from A Portable Paradise by Roger Robinson:

And if I speak of Paradise,
then I’m speaking of my grandmother
who told me to carry it always
on my person, concealed, so
no one else would know but me.
That way they can’t steal it, she’d say.
And if life puts you under pressure,
trace its ridges in your pocket,
smell its piney scent on your handkerchief,
hum its anthem under your breath.
And if your stresses are sustained and daily,
get yourself to an empty room – be it hotel,
hostel or hovel – find a lamp
and empty your paradise onto a desk:
your white sands, green hills and fresh fish.
Shine the lamp on it like the fresh hope
of morning, and keep staring at it till you sleep.

What makes your heart leap?

Dangerous Daydreaming

And to daydream to the same extent that I did when I was younger is to push the fulfilment of my dreams forward – to place the responsibility of a good life on a future self that does not yet exist.

***

I spend a lot of time in my head and I accept that sometimes I overdo it. So I let things spill over to my diary, just to funnel my thoughts somehow – testing and assessing them all, making sure that they’re not destructive – and if they are, trying my best to diffuse them.

But sometimes that isn’t enough. I don’t open up too often because I don’t enjoy vulnerability, and I hate to jeopardise perceptions of the people around me, considering that these people sometimes have an influence on how I feel, and have a part to play in the negative emotions that I experience.

So, when thinking, writing, and speaking aren’t enough, I consider daydreaming. And I indulge in it!

Yes, daydreaming happens in your head too. However, it’s a different part of the head altogether as here, you infuse real life with fantasy and consider what could be if reality wasn’t something to consider. I daydream to motivate myself, to procrastinate and to pass time.

However, like all things in life, and like everything I have written here so far, daydreaming requires balance. Sometimes I get in too deep and waking up to reality can be just as harsh as the phrase suggests. To reside in the clouds is to keep in close proximity to paradise, where hardship and difficulty are far away.

But an integral part of growing up is realising that you can only stay up there for so long. I may have been daydreaming about the future for my whole life up until this point. But now, I am coming to understand that this is the future. And to daydream to the same extent that I did when I was younger is to push the fulfilment of my dreams forward – to place the responsibility of a good life on a future self that does not yet exist.

It can be dangerous to perceive your dreams as so far away, especially when it causes you to overlook the resources you currently have before you, that can make these things come true.

Rather than wishing and hoping, it’s time to start actualising and doing. Maintain the comfort and paradise that daydreams give to you, but leave the nest more often, and replicate your future and your dreams outside of your daydreamed safety bubble.

Understand that your life can be all that you dream for it to be when you learn to appreciate your reality and work hard for your desires. Acknowledge how passive daydreams can be, and consider the stark difference between yours and your reality. Then try to close the gap.

Yes, escapism is rehabilitating. But transforming that escapism into authentic living is far more exciting.

Focusing on God

The mind is strong and we possess certain degrees of self-actualisation. But nothing beats God.

***

“When considering myself in the grand scheme of things, many worries fade away. The significance of my relevance and validity dwindle when I eventually see the forest for the trees; when I look past small details that grab my attention more than they should. Because when my present moment is my be-all and end-all, I find it really hard to breathe.”

It’s important to look at what is inside you – how it relates to you, how you can make it better, and whether it’s hindering or helping you somehow. But it’s equally as important to look outside of yourself and into things that also matter. Emphasis on the also, absence of an instead. It’s possible for you to matter while you focus on other pressing issues in life.

But beyond that, there is a greater and ultimate importance in focusing on the only thing that created and understands everything, which is God himself. I find peace so quickly when I remember that I have God, the One who created me and the other things I choose to focus on, on my side.

When I was in school, I put it down to a simple analogy. If a classmate and I are revising for a difficult test on a topic that we know we’re not good at, and they don’t have a belief in God or any higher being for that matter, they are relying on themselves and their own strength to help them with the test. Whereas I, with the same lack of self-belief, can put my trust in something bigger and better than myself – I have something else on my side when my human efforts fail.

That’s the foundation for my belief in God. The presence of that extra something is what makes up the 100% I need to approach something with confidence. And sometimes I can’t even bring 1% to the table.

But I digress.

This is all to stress the importance of focusing on something bigger and more powerful than yourself when life becomes overwhelming. The mind is strong and we possess certain degrees of self-actualisation. But nothing beats God.

And all too conveniently, when life brings difficulty and pressure, (sometimes self-imposed), I forget to focus on God – this greater and more capable being.

But when I finally ask myself how focused I am on His undeniable strength and capability, the answer is often very little. So, I shift my focus back to God and the pressure for me to perform fades away because I know He will complete it for me. And there is no need to prove myself to Him anyway.

What this means

So, to refer to what I wrote at the beginning, the small details of life are simply my own resources, and the bigger picture is God. There are benefits to focusing on the grand scheme of things rather than finnicky details, because the control that God has over every situation makes fretting about them pointless.

This can relate to the current desires that I know aren’t a matter of life and death; I consider them in the grand scheme of things and come to realise that they really don’t matter. People won’t care too much about what I’m doing – and if they do, it will hardly affect me. Besides that, my focus on God sets my thoughts in a more wholesome direction.

When sprinting you look ahead so as to not lose focus or slow down. Likewise, in life, I look to God to keep heart and know that everything in life will be okay. He is watching and guiding me, so worry (although natural) is something for me to give less power to. All power goes to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.