When I started writing this blog I had a hard time understanding what WordPress wanted from me. Components had to be presented in a certain format and I was unfamiliar with creating an online presence or persona for myself.
More worryingly I also realised that my fledgling site required a title.
What to call it though?
Back then I wasn’t losing weight – and in the beginning it wasn’t just about that. When I first tried to voice my feelings in public I was struggling to deal with the impact of a parental bereavement and this process had manifested itself as a sudden desire to rip everything in my life up and start afresh.
Somewhat precariously this impulse sat on top of an emotional tsunami that I’d inadvertently caused when I decided to stop drowning everything out with alcohol.
I was now sober, raw and in pain – dealing with things I’d suppressed for decades.
Although I wanted a better future, back then I was so buried by the past and present that I had no idea how to obtain it.
All this was pretty heavy subject matter however.
If I referenced the anguish I felt in the blog title and called it something like ‘man on fire‘ who would want to read what I created? Although I had decided to write for myself part of the catharsis of doing so was to ‘out’ my feelings to the world.
I wanted to stop hiding – so I also wanted people to read what I wrote.
A friend (after I’d started posting and he’d read a few entries) suggested a slightly more lighthearted ‘walkies with my doggy bloggy‘ title. This was based on my original objectives – which were to leave my job, become healthier and get a four legged friend along the way.
Did I want my blog to be just about dogs though? Who was my intended audience? What would happen if my focus changed or (heaven forbid) I failed to improve myself?
I decided to defer a decision on titles, and the social media handle I had used in many places elsewhere (daveywankenobie) to sign up to WordPress became a placeholder.
Simply because WordPress wanted a sub heading I dutifully filled that in without a second thought – and in a few seconds I’d randomly typed in it’s empty box ‘learning to live life‘.
I didn’t think anything of this at the time. The phrase initially seemed to me to be a bit obvious and silly and I almost pressed backspace.
It’s almost immediate demise was statistically probable too because I hadn’t chosen a site ‘theme’. These are the colours and text justification or fonts available to make a page eye catching and WordPress provides bewildering amounts to choose from (even on a free plan).
On some it became completely invisible – and therefore I felt my sub heading to be rather redundant.
Thankfully I chose a theme that made it visible though and the more I saw it, the more I liked it.
The words seemed to capture what I was trying to accomplish – because until then I had been failing spectacularly in life – and for the longest time had simply wanted it to end.
But now things had changed.
My mother was gone and the stubborn determination that she had provoked in me before she passed away (I had resolved to be nothing like her) meant that in order to not go out the same way as she did I’d have to become someone that was very different.
Daveywankenobie would therefore have to learn to live life.
I’ve noted a few times over the last three years that there are some things that you say or do in passing (maybe because you don’t overthink them) that turn out later on to contain such monumental clarity and truth that they represent an irreversible pivot point.
Occasionally these tiny decisions herald the coming of revolutions – and ‘learning to live life‘ I subsequently realised was just such a phrase.
Time went on and as my priorities shifted my (now mythical) pooch never materialised – but nevertheless I continued to change for the better.
As I leaned more about myself and how I fitted into the world as someone new I experienced a near continuous supply of confusion, fear, joy, and wonder – but also began to realise that completely out of nowhere I was developing a lust for life.
Without realising it this throwaway sub heading was actually the real title of my blog.
I was attempting finally to live it instead of wasting it – and was slowly discovering what this meant.
Now I wind forward three years and I’m further away from the man who started writing in February 2016 than I could have ever imagined I would be.
I’m monumentally happier, more fulfilled, confident and alive than I’ve ever been – and I’m finally beginning to live my life in every sense because it’s no longer a solitary one.
From a blog perspective that provides an interesting challenge- because while total honesty is my theme there are still things I will always want to keep private.
I’ve only ever written about myself (unless I have express permission to do otherwise) and have long felt that it’s not my right to include details about other people or the thoughts they may share with me.
What to do about a relationship then?
Well that’s mine – and as far as I’m concerned it will never be shared here in any detail.
It’s become (in a really short space of time) my safest and absolute happiest place in life.
The experiences it’s continually giving me occupy my thoughts most of the time – and there are moments (like now) where I can’t sleep because of the sheer avalanche of them.
They’re all good because I feel safe, secure and reciprocally cared for – but can I write about them?
No. I can’t.
Furthermore I don’t want to.
This time and these feelings are mine.
I earned them with hard work and determination and I want to have them (like millions of others do) just for myself.
So this is my way of saying to you dear reader that there’s nothing wrong. I just felt that I had to explain the decreased frequency of my musings.
I haven’t died, I’m not eating myself to death, and I’m still on track to get my diamond target member badge at Slimming World in a week or so.
I’m just currently swept up both by how glorious life can be and how happy I am.
I’m living life and currently it’s just fantastic.