My blogging schedule has become rather erratic of late – and (although this may seem odd to those reading) I feel that I’m only just stepping away from the guilt that this caused me in the past.
My blog hasn’t exactly got a wide circulation – nor are (I suspect) the day to day comings and going’s of what’s happening in my life all that interesting to most people – but for whatever reason I feel that I have a responsibility to myself and others to write about my ‘journey’ and be open and honest.
The thing is, for quite a while I also linked that to ‘be prolific in my output.’
Initially when I started writing I wanted to see if I could maintain and nurture a creative streak that I’d previously pounded out of existence with food and alcohol.
I think I’ve managed to do that.
In the three plus years since I started writing I’ve penned around 700 posts and things I’ve written and photos I’ve taken have been viewed over 156,000 times by practically every country around the world.
I never thought that would happen and it’s been amazing to continually be reminded that people everywhere are so similar – and that they can be so kind and thoughtful.
I guess though that I’ve had to accept that ultimately life is for living and that each and every thought and moment doesn’t have to be pulled apart and examined.
Sometimes it just needs to be experienced.
I’m doing my best to make this my default lately – and although some things have made me linger and ponder ‘what everything means’ -for the most part I’m happier than I can ever remember myself being.
It’s not all about weight loss either – and if I’m honest the whole Slimming World thing has taken a bit of a back seat since I secured my diamond target member badge.
In my head that was always the moment when I wanted to withdraw from the limelight a bit and begin the gradual process of living outside of the shadow of my weight loss.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m proud of everything I’ve accomplished – and I can’t really imagine Slimming World or the people I’ve come into contact through it ever not being a part of my life. What I’m saying is that I don’t want to be defined by this one achievement (as big as it is) for the rest of my life.
I’d much rather be known as ‘that nice guy who’s my friend’ or ‘someone I met that seemed genuine and kind’ than ‘the guy with a massive pair of old trousers’ or ‘the man who was 35 stone and almost flushed his life down the toilet.’
There’s so much more to live for now and I’m bowled over by how tightly I want to not only hold onto, but develop my newfound happiness.
There’s now someone in my life that finishes my sentences – or just speaks out loud the thoughts in my head before I’ve managed to convert them into speech.
I’m blown away by how sitting in the park having a coffee with someone I care so much about (as she quietly takes a picture of me for herself) can lift my soul for days on end.
The future has never seemed so…. possible.
I’m continually confronted with thoughts about what the future could be and struck every day by the amazing truth that something with such a profound sense of permanence has appeared practically out of nowhere.
Now things are different.
The ‘adult’ side of me wonders whether I’m naive to feel the way I do – but I’m not an adolescent. I’m a grown up with a history of pain and regret.
The past has taught me what ‘the wrong person’ or ‘the wrong situation’ feels like – and how ignoring hunches or not being completely honest when confronted with an obvious truth just stores up trouble for the future.
I’m continually preoccupied with the realisation that my youthful avoidance of what was directly in front of me as well as my wilful impulsively is in the past.
I know what and who I want in my future.
Against all odds – and simply through trying to be a better version of myself I appear to have blundered into exactly what and who I need to continue my journey.
And it all happened at this exact moment.
I was outside, doing what I love to do and trying to figure out what to do as I came down from the highs and lows of winning the MOTY award.
Then the future literally arrived in front of me and began the gradual process of changing my life completely.
Since that moment I’ve made a few missteps and a few false starts – maybe even a few questionable choices – but ultimately realised that at the time I almost completely missed what was being presented to me on that day until months later.
Since then life has taken on new meaning and what was important years ago never seemed so irrelevant as it does today.
When confronted with something that’s suddenly so important and vital to your life (and continued emotional well being) it’s impossible not to look around you and quietly shake your head while you marvel at how on earth you ever found any measure of joy in the items and possessions you filled your life with.
I’m a totally different man now and so much of who I used to be seems alien and incomprehensible.
Aside from almost all of my photographic history no longer making sense I now look at every shelf and item in my house with an increasingly strong conviction that every single last bit of it is both transient and disposable.
As I’ve taken more and more items to charity and organised what remains I’ve realised that object related sentiments are often wholly misplaced – and in the absence of real feelings and love I filled (and overcomplicated) my life with all manner of clutter and crutches that neither made me truly happy or filled the hole in my emotions.
I assiduously collected and organised books, magazines, video games, technology and other such items – all the while telling myself that they’re ‘who I am’ – when in reality they were all just dead weight.
I possess books unopened for decades and magazines covered in dust as well as yellowed video games that I no longer have the time or inclination to play.
They may make someone happy in the future but I’m pretty certain that that this person won’t be me – because if I turn to them again it will only be if I’m in retreat.
Now all that they seem to represent is a cave – in which I hid for far too long and my current life is lived in sunlight.
Much of how I feel and why I feel it is deeply personal – and it’s one of the main reasons I haven’t written so much lately.
My barometer of happiness has been recalibrated and it’s gauge is elsewhere.
However I’m also addicted to words.
I love stringing them together and in many ways the impulse to do so is almost like a sudoku puzzle or crossword, because when I write I can feel an inner peace descending while I order and confront thoughts in the forefront and recesses of my mind.
Today I was going to write about my walk in Brighton on Saturday and the pretty shoes I looked at.
I was going to muse about how I fantasised about being brave enough to wear them.
But I didn’t.
I was also going to talk about the art prints I saw in a coffee shop and gallery that I thought looked really cool.
But I didn’t.
Feelings instead carried me away in a different direction.
They drifted to a happy place – to the warmth of the hand that I was holding when I looked at these things and to the mind connected to it that I shared the moment with.
The shoes and Marmite jars suddenly seemed less important.
The point is that I never really know what I’m going to say when I start writing – and I almost never know where it’s going to end up – but I do know that when I finish typing I’m always purged.
I don’t think I’m ever going to stop blogging – but now my life has become filled with something and someone that’s real and present.
All I want to do is experience everything it promises to offer.
So – please forgive me for my irregularity of late internet. I’m still here, wandering around in the background, stroking my chin and enjoying my life and everything in it.