Sydney Month 3: Spring is Coming

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These words brought a smile to my face, which was far from my expression when my doctor suggested I go on Zoloft; and nothing like the looks my co-workers had when I arrived at the office in thongs, with a smell emanating from my feet as a result of that morning’s plumbing problems.

I left my housemate with a mop in hand and feet in sewerage water as I hurried to work. But not without first returning with a fresh muffin from the cafe down the road. It wasn’t much, but it was what I could do.

When I got here 3 months ago, I didn’t feel the same way about making it through winter. I honestly thought I would crumble; break; snap – or one of the many physical depictions of mentally giving in.

It’s been a challenge. The transition from a slow island in the South Pacific to Australia’s biggest city isn’t easy – or easily explained. To many it’s all ‘just another day’, but I can’t help being put off by the overpowering cold, cement surroundings, and presence of consumerism.

So understandably, there have been many nights where I’ve been left asking myself: “Why did I come here?” But truth be told, a few months ago, there were just as many sleepless nights spent keeping company to the thought: “Why stay here?”

But as my new housemate rightfully stated:

“You can’t run.”

I feel it’s important to mention that this experience has introduced me to what share housing is really like. Previously, I’d only lived with close friends. I’ve since learned that differences are to be expected, but also traversed through honest conversation. In this instance – despite our differences in where we’ve come from and going – we discovered a rather unexpected mutual understanding. It’s that wherever you go, so will whatever you’re trying to escape.

I know the importance of properly addressing ‘issues’ rather than avoiding them. I work for a non-profit organisation that promotes positive mental health… yet I’m having trouble staying positive – and worse, staying me. Bascially, failing the advice of one of my inspirations, Robin Williams:

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. Don’t lose it.”

Though various books, I’ve been exploring the idea of life itself being comprised of many instances of dying and being born again. The one requiring the other; letting go being the only way to have our hands open to receive. I don’t feel like the person I used to be (especially at work), but I’m holding onto the belief that it’s a natural process in the same way that a snake sheds its old skin for the sake of new growth.

Vivid, but the thought gives me comfort in what I’m doing: leaving home for the second time to  ‘start again’ and hopefuly figure out myself and my place in the crazy world. Sure, it could be me that’s ‘crazy’. But that would make days founded on coffee, cigarettes, high costs of living, and long crowded commutes… normal.

Maybe it is, and maybe this just isn’t the lifestyle for me. I’ve been exploring the ideas of minimalism and other alternative ways of living. The central theme being that one is encouraged to evaluate their obligations and desires against what they truly need to be ‘happy’. (Whatever that means, it should be defined by the individual, not marketers).

Without a doubt, these are all questions that first emerged last year while I lived in Tonga – a place where people had much less, but smiled so much more. There are Ted Talks on the topic as well as blogs from people like Lauren who are living their answers. (I’ll be Skyping with her shortly!)

It does seem that whenever we leave – and wherever we go – we run the risk of finding more questions than answers. Some settle, and some keep seeking. I don’t think either is particular the wiser. There’s many ways to live this thing called life. I had no idea about most of them until I stepped off the ‘road most traveled’ for the first time in my life last year.  My remaining commitment here in Sydney is 9 months, but I have every intention of making this place my permanent home if I can. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I promised myself I would try.

Before going on medication, there’s certainly things I will try… like following the advice that I spend 40hrs a week ‘giving’.  That means doing things like eating and sleeping well; and getting enough exercise, sunlight, and social engagement. I’ve also found getting enough ‘me time’ to pursue my hobbies to be essential to my wellbeing.

These are all things that definitely make one feel better. Except, ‘feeling better’ seems to be the prerequisite for having the energy and motivation to attempt these things in the first place. It’s kind of a ‘chicken and egg’ situation, so we’ll just have to see what hatches. In the mean time – as I have through every dark storm that I’ve weathered over the years – I know that I can find solace between the pages of books.

Philosophy’s main task is to respond to the soul’s cry; to make sense of and thereby free ourselves from the hold of our griefs and fears.  – The Art of Living

It’s possible I might just end up passing through. But then, just like Tonga, I’ll hopefully leave with this place, and myself, being that little bit more better off.

It’s going to be all ripe

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The post that started this blog had something to do with a banana.

I was sitting on a park bench during my lunch break, sunny as it’s ever been, yet as grey as I’ve ever felt. Tears rolled off my cheeks as I stared into emptiness, weighed down by a sense of hopelessness. Dramatic or truthful, the feeling was real – real enough for me to seek professional help for the first time.

I did a few sessions with a psychologist which consisted of breathing and visualisation exercises. What scared me the most was the future and the uncertainty surrounding it – but for some reason I clearly saw myself overseas working with a group of youths. Somehow, I was right. I was offered a one-year position at an educational institute in Tonga a few months later. While it was a wonderful and unexpected opportunity and experience, it eventually passed.

1.5 years later, I’m again in the same boat, on the same bench.. scared, doubting myself, comparing myself to others or how ‘it should be’: all the same shit.

But this time I have a sense of optimism that I didn’t have before. I know such sharp variations in feelings and experiences are as commonly experienced as the heat of summer and the chills of winter. Like a loose leaf, this realisation that “I’m not the only one” fell upon me while sitting in the waiting room before my first psychologist appointment in 2013. The fact was always there, I just hadn’t noticed.

This time, I also have a sense of confidence in myself and in the world that I didn’t have before. I’ve made it through many tough times and I will do so again. My recent travels have allowed me to see more of the world and understand how vast life and its possibilities can be.

Looking back, I understand how tunnel vision can be exceptionally dangerous – especially when we think of any light at the end as an oncoming train. A correction of our own train of thought can allow us to rather see it as an opportunity – and to notice all the wonderful things we’re passing on a second-to-second basis. These things are unfortunately often hidden behind walls that we’ve built or had built around us – but thankfully, they’re also walls that can break, and there are a range of tools to help us do the job.

I guess the whole point of this post is just share one simple thing that I’ve learned since I first accepted something wasn’t right:

We’re all in our own cages, tunnels, cells. Regardless what the circumstance that makes us feel like a prisoner is, getting out all starts with the same thing… thinking knowing that it’s going to be all ripe right.

Challenges in Coming Home

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Men dream more about coming home than they do about leaving – The Alchemist

I still remember being in the kitchen with my house mate, casually dicing ingredients of our dinner, when he cut through the silence… rather bluntly.

“You don’t want to go, do you?” He cared not about offending me, certain in the fact that he knew me. A sign of true friendship.

“Of course not,” I replied. Relieved to let out some honesty like the kettle and its steam. I wanted to stay. I didn’t always like what I had, where I was; but I felt safe in the familiar.

After an initial culture shock, Tonga – where I spent 2014 – also became familiar. It was only when I returned home to Australia, that I realised that Tonga, once dreaded and unknown, had also become a place I felt safe.

The year away presented me with so many different experiences: Good times, bad times, better days and worse ones. One thing that kept me going was knowing that I was coming home. So why aren’t things as great as I envisioned?

It’s explained online that some  of the negative experiences of returning home may include:

• Feeling like family and friends don’t understand how you’ve changed and have tired of listening to your stories
• Feeling like you don’t have anything in common with your friends anymore
• Rejection of your own culture, particularly consumerism and affluence
• Constantly comparing practices in Australia with those in your Host Country
• Uncertainty about the future
• Difficulty making decisions
• Feeling misunderstood
• Boredom
• Loss of identity
• Feeling overwhelmed or disorientated

The technical term is “reverse culture shock.”

The most shocking – rather scary – thing to me is how easy it is to fall back into old routines; to be the same old person. Forgetting all those promises I made about changing as the sun would set over the ocean – a shared treasure in Tonga, but a luxury here, reserved for those with water-front homes.

And here I am back in the suburbs, surrounded by things I now know I don’t need, while uncertain about what I need the most. I’m making changes though: no longer going to the gym as much, focusing on development, speaking to a psychologist, spending less time with certain friends, spending more time with my family. So it’s definitely been good to be back – but not as great as I thought it would be.

I guess the truth is that we can’t run – from ourselves or from our responsibilities. Sure, I’ve come back – but with all intentions of going forwards.

 

 

 

 

Month 10 in Tonga

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Rather than tasting the batter, let me first describe how I beat this post out.

  1. I flip open my journal (not to be confused with a diary).
  2. I find the start of the month just past, and read my way to the current day.
  3. I make all sorts of facial expressions and sounds (not to be confused with my coming toilet break).
  4. I experience an array of thoughts flavoured from, “I’ll always remember that” to “f*** that sucked.”
  5. I close the lock on my journal with its matching glittering plastic pink key, snort four crushed up valium tablets and fall asleep to Jamie Oliver’s audio cookbook (not to be confused with a serious statement).

But on a serious note, the process can either be hectic, easy, or a well-suited challenge. But I still do it, regardless. I do it because, to understand the world, you have to first understand the filter which you perceive it through: yourself. I do it because, when all I see is pieces, writing helps me put the puzzle together – to form and gain clarity on the bigger picture – which is my life.

As Hemingway said, “Writing is a lonely existence.” So as much as I would like company, it’s not expected. But when I come back to this page in a few months, finding another set of fingerprints in the digital dust, and maybe a kindly left comment, certainly wouldn’t deter me from the habit.

So, let’s get into the month, starting with the little things.

I rode close to 50km on a trip (a lot for me). I volunteered at Tonga’s only international school, answering the many questions eight-year-olds have. I organised a fashion show for my institute’s students at a popular local bar. And I also joined another fashion committee which is hosting an upcoming show. I’m not particularly a ‘fashion’ person, but I’ve enjoyed the insight into their challenge of introducing contemporary clothes into traditionally conservative culture. To illustrate, one of the girls had her family say that they felt ashamed after seeing a photo of her posing in a bikini on a beach.

I had an experience of freakish serendipity. I went to the local flea market and just happened to find the exact book I was looking to download a few days ago; a book of famous poems, which I also wanted; and a jumper of a favourite band, where I only needed something to keep me warm in my upcoming trip to New Zealand.

I got a few postcards from home and had a great Skype call with someone I hadn’t seen in over 1 year. Someone who I only met in person once before I left for Tonga. Someone who I only met because of this blog. It was great to hear about his travels to Asia and tell him about my journey so far. Both experiences reminding me of the value and importance of longstanding relationships as well as like-minded company.

Now, the bigger things.

I had an early farewell at the technical institute where I volunteer, crying more than they did. I’m not sure why. Possibly from a volatile mixture of emotions, from missing people back home, the anxiety of returning, to my own doubt in my effectiveness of being here. So when a particular teacher said that I’ve made a “dream come true” for them by organising their cruise ship tours, it was enough to catch my manly mannerisms off guard, and to tip the ‘tea’rs that I knew were filling, but I was trying not to spill.

The farewell also helped me accept that I won’t have the same kind of impact as some of the other volunteers, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that I’ve had an impact.

Now, the biggest thing.

I finally completed by first video project! After standing at the cliff for a while, eyes shut, using my imagination to visualise the possibility of what I could create – I dove… well, I was pushed. Attending a recent community film festival where new video makers were showing   their creations, was the push I needed. It’s true what they say about inspiration: it’s contagious.

There’s also a truth about the creative process: its possessive. In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield explores the Ancient Greek myth of The Muses. In summary, there were nine daughters of Zeus who each governed a specific creative art form. And when a mortal set out to create something in one of these forms, he would be guided and inspired by its Muse. Truth aside,  I think it’s beautiful. It also reflects my experience of writing my ebook so I was glad to be under a kind of ‘creative spell’ once again.

“The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.” – Steven Pressfield

Once I just started my video project – even without a set plan – everything just fell into place. Editing and filming over 3 days, I couldn’t slow down nor stop until I had finished it. And finished it I did.

Like the short films I had watched at the festival I attended, my goal was to capture and share a certain unseen side of Tonga. I also chose a subject that really resonated with me personally – and I did it in a way that reflected my personality. The feedback has been great: many current volunteers have used it to show their friends and families back home what Tonga is like; the soon to arrive volunteers have been thankful for a chance to see what their new home is going to be like; and other people around the world now know about this tiny island they never knew exited. My favourite remark however, was, “I can’t help but smiling the whole way through it.” As such was my goal..

“Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it.” – Steven Pressfield

Then came the worst thing: man down.

Out of nowhere, my enthusiasm’s gone – like someone tripped on the cord, pulling it out and taking all my energy with it. Everything’s a drag, I even consider deleting this blog. I won’t elaborate like I did in this post – but this particular time, it was bad enough for me to seriously consider how these seasonal states effect the quality of my life, what triggers them, and most importantly, what I’m going to do about them when I return home.

“You loathe yourself, and yet you’re consumed by grandiose ideas you have about your own importance. You’re up too high and down too low. Neither is a place where you’ll get any work done.” – Cheryl Strayed

I guess, there is a lot on my mind. There are a lot of forks in the road, and the uncertainty is as threatening as a knife.  But to quote Strayed again, “Self-pity is a dead-end road.” So here is something more optimistic out of my own mouth..

“Life may not be a piece of cake, but you’ve still got to bare your teeth and take a bite.”

So I’m going to spend my last 2 months here chewing: doing what I have to do. There are also still many experiences to taste: people to meet, things to learn, sights to snorkel, coconuts to drink.

– Boy out.

PS – Neat song

Meditation. My thoughts.

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It’s like house keeping. Best done daily so things don’t get too messy.

I start by following my breath. Closing my eyes to focus more on the internal environment. Then I let go. I fall. But without the fear…

I reach out for the textures of my fears and anxieties. I can’t find or feel them in this way because they aren’t real.

But I hear a sound. The beating of my heart is more than a reminder of its existence. It says something about my existence. That I’m human, which means I can love. It also means I am loved, because I’m already a miracle. One of such complexity could not be created without the care and appreciation that is love.

I am miracle. I deserve to be here. I whisper it into the breeze hoping it’s caught by the loved ones crossing my mind. I can take comfort in that fact, or contemplate out how miraculous the life I’m in, can be.

This is where illusions are replaced by visions. Illusions are clouds of fear. Visions sparkle with clarity. Made of the same elements of dreams.

This is when the deepest parts of me gets the chance to speak. The voice echoing up to my awareness. These parts are not the biology that make our hearts beat, rather the spirituality we call upon when our biology may fail us.

These instructions are read now, but felt when carried out. As essentially you’re blind, but somehow travel great distances. Even fly. You start by falling, then you’re light enough to elevate..to escape.

Just make sure to return. It’s now time to clean up your life.

 

 

Finding Purpose

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On this screen it looks like an easy equation. But in my head, there is chalk dust, crunched up pieces paper, and deserted rough drafts everywhere. Finding purpose isn’t easy. There is no computerised device to answer the question with definite accuracy, or can you sneak the answers from someone else. It gets lonely too. A feeling similar be being held in detention, watching as the other kids who completed the task at hand play outside, enjoying the sunshine and the feeling of optimism that comes from knowing what you want to do with your life.

I haven’t got the answer yet, but what I needed more than anything, was a break from trying to figure it out. Hence why I was so keen on getting out of the country on the volunteer assignment that I am on.

Here in Tonga, I’ve learned how large and expanding the areas of non-profit, welfare, development etc are. ‘Helping people’ isn’t just something you do on the weekend or between jobs, if it is something you are motivated to pursue and personally find rewarding, then there are endless opportunities. Makes me wonder why I spent a year working in the soul leaching automotive industry. Now I’ve got the awareness, knowledge and what I’d love to call a ‘foot in the door’, I’m determined to stay in the non-commercial / profit industry.

Talents. Hmmm.

I used to find self-praise very difficult. Since recently writing my first ebook, I’ve been grateful to have other people to come forward, and with their help, I’ve been learning to take pride in my accomplishments.  While writing my story about my discovery various hobbies & talents, I also had the obvious realisation that while my story doesn’t have the grand ending that  a biography of someone famous would have, it still has the very humble beginnings.  In addition to hard work, talents take time to prosper and develop.

So this is where I’m up to in solving the puzzle. I’m sorry I can’t provide the answers you’re after, but in all fairness, I’m not asking you for them either. It’s ok not to have the answers, it certainly doesn’t mean a life is void of purpose. For me, my current purpose is to discover my purpose, my interests, my skills, and the opportunities available to use them in a rewarding way. And hopefully, to stop banging my head against my desk so hard.

Peanut Boy

 

Peanut Boy

It was alongside a footpath in town that I met peanut boy.  Where I was playing sports or watching cartoons at his age, still in his school uniform, he had a job selling the legumes which have warranted his nickname I’m using in this post.

As the only english he seemed to know was “peanuts” and “three dollars”, I wasn’t able to get his actual name. What I did get was the impression that he didn’t actually comprehend why his parents were eager to see the peanuts in his box replaced with  paper and silver pieces,  or why it was even his responsibility having already spent a day at school. As a child no longer than 7, I can only imagine he knew to do as he was told, especially if it earned him an applause or additional affection.

I however,understood his parents motives. The practice of consumer psychology isn’t just pervasive in the multimedia channels of the developed world, it’s also found on the streets in areas that advertisers don’t even bother to reach.  People selling from offices or the streets alike, know that the greater the sense of sympathy you can evoke in someone, the more likely it is that they will act accordingly in your favour.

Peanut boy was just like babies and puppies that I remember street beggars in Thailand would hold up to my attention as I passed. He was an instrument.

As  I withdrew $900 of cash from the ATM, I lied that I had no money but will next time, for what I believed to be his own good. I hope he understood that giving him the money that he wanted, would only ensure he would be back there again the next day, and the next, something I know he didn’t want.

That weekend, while in the supermarket queue, I noticed a sale on oreos,  and I thought that would definitely be something he personally would want. As I left the store wondering when I would next be in the area after school, I heard some footsteps following me, and there he was.

I didn’t even get a thank you, and he didn’t get they money he expected. We went our separate ways, but  shared an understanding that, what you want, isn’t always what you need.

 

 

2 months

 

2 Months Title

Its been 2 months since I’ve had a can of tuna. Perhaps the triviality of this detail is worth reconsideration after I assert that had I still been at home, I would have consumed no less than 120 tins over the same period. With hopefully less ‘ass’,  I can assure everyone, the dolphins and sea cucumbers aren’t the only ones benefiting from my departure.

I’ve changed. Growing up? Well, I’ve just let pictures of myself half clothed and covered in ice cream, loose on the internet. I’m not expecting to go Kim Kardasian viral, but rather like her chances of being elected the president of the National Girls Scouts Association, I just know I’m not getting them back (that’s  a lot of ass in that sentence).

As evident from the completion of the book that is accompanying the mentioned photos, I’ll just say that I’m definitely ‘growing’. Behind my piece of work that possibly makes no sense, is a newly polished set of skills and abilities that turned a concept into reality. The saying that, “It’s not what you get from reaching your goals, it’s what you become”, suddenly has application in my life. Regardless if it leads where I want it to, I already have reasons to be proud of my accomplishment.

I also got to better understand the concept of the creative process. Artists and authors alike, have described it to be an almost out of body, possessive, and even spiritual process. It may have been the fact that I was forgetting to eat, and refusing myself the right to sleep or take breaks, but while typing through the night, I often felt a slight sense of detachment, as if a witness to what was unfolding. It could have just been sleep deprivation, but at least the mosquitoes joyfully draining my blood can vouch I was definitely to some degree, ‘somewhere else’.

Now, proving that I did in fact leave my room, are some other updates on my experience.

My tropical island fantasy has encountered an altercation with the reality of the ‘rain season’. Add in the noisy neighbours, church bells, roosters, dogs, and the mosquitoes, and it’s easy to make an island out of a molehill. My rescue was a revised mindset, courtesy of the advice that, ” not everything happens to you, somethings just happen”. Definitely true.

Regardless where you go in the world, its remarkably easy to get stuck in the mindset that you are still the centre of it, forgetting it doesn’t revolve around you, it revolves even without you. Sometimes you just gota dealwithit.jpg, through being both proactive, patient and practical as the situation requires.

The piece of foam blocking the gap under my door, labeled in felt pen, “Anti-Cockroach Defence System” isn’t my only accomplishment.  Challenges in lifestyle, culture, and also work, have equally facilitated my development of these characteristics.

Having been introduced to my workplace, colleagues, residence, and social circle, my goal for this month was to fit in and form a routine. Now spraying myself with a combination of insect repellent and deodorant, reading at  wharf, playing jenga with students at lunch, and cake and ice cream catch ups at Lynda’s Cafe on the weekend, are all part of a normal week.

I’m mostly happy I’ve got to integrate with the community more. I’ve joined a youth group, dance group, and even hang out with a group of artists who spend their nights drawing and listening to heavy metal in their clubhouse. They’ve given me the nickname of “Groupie” which is what my last name translates to in Tongan. Given that other volunteers ended up with “Naked” and “Mentally Stupid”,  I’m rather grateful.

Through my integration into the community, the culture shock I originally experienced has started to subside. In addition to the natural process of habituation, as the influence of the west becomes more apparent,  i’m starting to feel more at home. However, with these western ideals and ambitions, the country’s youth are clearly at a crossroads with the directions that the older and more traditional generations are providing.  My conversations with other volunteers who have traveled indicate that it’s a common situation all around the world.

Despite the size and location of their island, far from isolated, Tongans definitely have a keen interest in these situations and the rest of the world. There are even more Tongans living outside of the country than in it! This statistic is open to interpretation, but i’ve arrived at the belief that ‘it is what it is’. I’m also proud to be working in the education sector, helping more people in the country have access to these opportunities. Due to difficulties in finding work in Australia, I sought opportunities outside my home country, so I’m nothing but understanding of anyone who shares a similar mentality.

Speaking of shared mentalities, under the obvious differences in religious beliefs, family dynamics, and social structures, I’ve discovered that as humans, everyone just wants to fit in, be a part of something bigger than themselves, and give and receive love. Sounds simple, but it’s  certainly more complicated where I’m from. Perhaps a conversation for another time.

As for now, I’m off to bed. I’d like to also say thanks for reading. Another discovery I’ve made, is that no matter where you go and who you meet, you can’t replace where you’re from and who you know.

But just saying, if you don’t read my book, you’ll be replaced — > http://eepurl.com/RxP5f

Goodnight

Something about Love

 

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Valentines day has passed, and to myself and I’m sure many others, it was just any other day. I’m also sure that to an even larger majority it was heavily influential on wether they spent this particular any other day in bloom or gloom.

As February nears, the colour red and various types of love propaganda spreads across retail establishments like a weed. Regardless of your relationship status, it’s hard to carry on without getting entangled. So from a guy who has been single for five years, here are my thoughts on cupid and his disregard for boundaries.

I think some people should put themselves in the shoes of those are actually in relationships. This is because there is usually a bad backlash from a crowd who insist on stumping their toes to distract themselves from any painful reminders that they are single.

Right from a Buddhist parable, the flame of one candle doesn’t burn out from lightning another candle. Happiness and everything lovey dovey can be shared. Other people having a great day has nothing to do with why they are not.

Regardless of the day, individual circumstances don’t change. Some just taking particular notice of them on Valentines Day. If you’re unhappily single then pay attention to why you are, not to those who happily aren’t.

Or if you’re going to stare, pay attention to those who are happily single, and ignore any outside pressure to be matched up.This proves it’s all a matter of subjective perception. You can be happy alone.

Either way, I think the point is made that wearing a frown isn’t good bait if you’re after one of the plenty of fish apparently out there.

Final thought.

The corporate world has perhaps taken too much control over cupid’s operation. Love dipped arrows have been replaced by bombs of mass advertising. The result isn’t so much a society in devastation, but in expectation.

Love is a natural emotion. Nature is diverse and unpredictable, thus are emotions. I believe emotions gain their beauty through honesty. Even the ugly ones.

Likewise with the positive ones, somedays you may feel more in love with your partner or less. It’s not up to a calendar to dictate.  It’s up to the individual to be honest and express themselves, when and how they feel.

Some may use nothing more than a note. Some may buy an expensive gift. Others may do a dinner or a shared experience with the former or the latter. Once again, It’s all subjective.

Living life like this, adds colour and a bit of surprise to otherwise ordinary days. Not advising skipping Valentines Day, just suggesting that any other day can be as special if it feels so.

Due to the combination of marketing and social media, ‘Valentines Day’ has also created a false expectation of what colour love exactly is. Unfortunately the belief is that the more red it is and the more it costs, the better.

If you’re lucky enough to be in a relationship, don’t let anyone else evaluate it’s worth or dictate its direction. You’re steering the  realtion-‘ship’ , but also don’t feel like you’re in a competition with others. Move at your own pace.

Love is an expression, not an expectation, and it can be any colour of the rainbow.

The Last Time

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This morning would normally be considered pretty ordinary. Having only been awake for about sixty minutes , there is certainly no reason to be writing as I haven’t even ventured beyond the familiar path I’ve taken daily for the last year.

Worn through routine, and paved through repetition, I know the steps. Wake, brush, stretch, tea, meditate,smile. Even if I forgot them, like footprints, evidence is everywhere to jog my memory.

We all  tend to follow our own footprints. Unfortunately, almost sleepwalking at times with a lack of awareness and appreciation.

Today I took the same steps but with a different purpose in my stride.

As my last day in this house, what was part of every other day, was now part of my last day.

I can’t capture it fully through words, but simply acknowledging this fact makes a difference and enriches any moment. Try it. Even something like the everyday chore of taking out the trash, will eventually become a last privilege. Imagine that.

Then apply this though to the things you really care about. Kissing your partner, telling your family you care, going for a jog, eating your favourite dish, watching the sunset etc.

For better or worse, good or bad, there is a last time for everything. The countdown could start at any moment which is a frightening truth. But rather living in fear, live with appreciation, passion and awareness. There is a saying “live everyday like it’s your last” , and I would like to add, “and do everything like it’s for the last time”

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