goodbye live journal!
yes sorry but i've moved my blog over to

see you over there :)

An ABC of periferal thoughts
an idea taken from my friend Joanna Young's Blog Confident Writing

The ABC of periferal thoughts:

A is for AWESOMENESS to which i am always striving
B is for balls, which i often require great reserves of when writing
C is for creativity (of course!) firing and inspiring in all ways
D is for doodling, a distraction on those thoughtless days
E is for energy, pulsing and surging
F is FUCK! my favourite way of swearing
G is growing, something i want to always do
H is for hello, the first thing i'll say to you
I is for individuality, a concept that's SO important to me
J is for jollity, in the hope i can spread my glee
K is for knowledge, the sum of which i can be greater than
L is for Love, always a part of my master plan
M is for mmmmm one of my considered thinking noises
N is for non-conformity, the result of all my personal choices
O is for openness, to ideas and feelings and possibilities
P is for Periferite, my thoughts, my voice, my trivialities
Q is for questioning, a process that's vital to my life
R is for reasoning, it's brother amongst the strife
S is for seriousness, yet another string to my ever expanding bow
T is for tenacity, the never ending limits to which i'll go
U is for universe, the loudest voices of all
V is for voices, to which i need to listen, no matter how small
W is for wisdom, something people tell me i have a lot of
X is for in-eXplainable, and my constant quest for answers
Z is for zzzzzzzz, for what i do under duvet covers

So there you have it, my ABC. I hope its clear, what's important to me
Maybe you can join in this explanation, a journey of writing exploration!

Snakes and fucking ladders
its official. me and my life are mad. you know that awesome ladder that takes you from like number 2 up to about 85 or something? yeah i landed on that square. how i manage to feel so awful and so good in one day i've no idea, its quite exhausting, but i'm not panicing now. i'm gonna sleep like a log tonight. stay tuned for awesome moves forward (oh livejournal i'm leaving you soon. sorry)

fucking snakes and ladders
we've all played it right, land on a ladder and race ahead, land on a snake and slide back down again. I've just landed on that big bastard snake that's just before 100 that takes you back to 7, we all know who i'm talking about.

If you knew me before i started this blog, then you'll be aware of the immense amount of change in my life lately. right now i can't really quantify how much change i've gone through, but i'll try and explain how it felt.

Something that's bothered me in a huge fucking way lately is the feeling that i don't know what i want to do with my life, and i felt recently i was coming to terms with that and it was starting to not be such a huge painful thing for me. last night i picked at the scab, and it bled like a severed artery.

(god this is the most annoying blog i've tried to write so far, my mind's a fucking maelstrom right now)

(i've just decided to delete the paragraph i wrote, brain is currently haywire.)

not knowing what i want to do with my life is and has been for a while now the biggest source of stress for me far and beyond anything else. One of the maddening things right now is that not only do i know that i'm responsible for this stress, but i'm also responsible for the answer to this seemingly unanswerable question. the only person that knows what i want to do with my life is me.

Right now i'm trying to make sense of the utterly mad rush of thoughts, and trying to calm down. (easier said than done, particularly when you're hungover)

You know i'm stuck on my old crux again. i'm getting a ton of advice, mostly to relax and chill out because i'm 23 and its ok to feel how i'm feeling, but as ever my whole body is screaming. i wanna expell so much energy right now that i'm so exhausted that i just switch off. It really reminds me of that time i tried speed (yeah sorry about that mum and dad, i was drunk and curious.) And i really fucking hated that shit. That's what this feels like, needing to expend so much energy, but not being able to. speed just made me *so* fucking agitated, i wanted to run as fast as i could whilst screaming at the top of my lungs and then some how do something else. I need to learn out to switch off, even when my brain is running this hot.

ugh. brb.

Its kinda draughty out here
OK, so i've stepped outside my comfort zone tonight (christ it was like 5 hours ago, slow blogging ftl) and for the second time this week, its excited me rather than making me uncomfortable.

In the past when i've been doing things i'm uncomfortable with, ive retreated to normality as soon as i could, shrink shrink shrink. Things like when i was working with blind and partially sighted kids during my volutneering, some of who had a mental disability, and i found i really struggled with it, and i didn't look forward to it. I worried about offending them, or not being able to communicate, or having to ask for help because i couldn't understand something they'd said, or upsetting them being being insensitive to their needs and requirements. Looking back at it, i'd always rush back to normality, i'm not surprised either given how worried i was about cocking up!

How things have changed lately, is i've taken on something i learned a long time ago. There's a book called the inner game, one of the good things it talks about is assessing the best and worst possible outcomes for an event. you often find that the bad isn't too terrible, or really isn't likely. once you acknowledge that, i can take the pressure off performing (whatever action it might be) And I've taken this on board when it comes to doing stuff that's outside my comfort zone. we all know when we're out of our comfort zone, its generally the case we don't really like being there, we don't know the rules, or the rules we normally live by can't guide us.

When things stop getting so bad, is when our comfort zone grows (although maybe sometime it just moves?) and suddenly stuff that made you nervous before, suddenly makes you excited. or maybe its just me. Anyway, stuff that i've shy-ed away from in the past is stuff i kinda look forward to now. one in particular is chatting up girls (cue excited noises from parents no doubt) frankly i'm a bit crap at it. actually that's not strictly true, i'm charming, i'm smart, hell i'm even funny! but for all my brain can know the right things to say or do, i'm a total chicken. there's been a lot of chances i've not taken when it comes to women, i play things incredibly safe. I'll only pay a compliment when i know they'll take it the way i've intended, i'll only try and kiss a girl when i know she wants me to. total wuss. but i'm working on it. i was at a pretty awesome part last night, i had a great time, and there were some pretty girls there. Perhaps if i'd been sober i might have noticed the little things i was doing that were telling me that i wanted the attention of a certain girl. either way, i found myself making some fairly hilarious bullshit to have a reason to be talking to this girl (which actually turned into an interesting conversation, my critical faculties work surprisingly well whilst under the influence...) in truth, i realised today the reason i wanted to stay and talk to her was because i found her very pretty, but more than that because there were some very pretty girls at this party, but something really drew me to this girl...

so yeah, i failed miserably to say anything of the sort, didn't tell her how pretty she is, or that i really wanted to talk to her. I think in the past it might have ended there, or i'd have tried to chat to her some other way, slowly forge something and hope that things will get safe and i'll be able to play the game like i used to. But not this time... Being the 21st century being that i am, i sent her a message on facebook, explaining what i was doing, and tell her that i think she's very pretty, and that i was hanging around so i could talk to her, and that i'd like to find out more about her (i think the line i used for that effect was, you should tell me the stories behind your art someday, how smooth am i? lolz) anyway! so yeah, new behavior for me, felt risky for me, i stuck my neck out, and she might shoot me down, she might ignore me, it might have a favourable result... I was doing something that wasn't in my comfort zone, but i think it must be rushing to meet this new place i'm in, because i found it exciting, and i'm having mini peaks and troughs about this, i'll just have to be patient about a response.

man, i'm really not concentrating just now. sorry if this has been difficult to read, i'll summarize:

The gain of the positive outcome outweighs the potential loss of the risk. in this situation, the only thing that's going to suffer are pride and ego, i'll live y'know? what's on offer potentially as a positive is pretty huge. y'know best possible outcome being i've found the love of my life and i'm gonna live happily ever after. Only time will tell what happens, i'm sure i'll let you know.

If youd like, i'd really welcome comments on how you've done stuff outside your comfort zone, but found that its grown. I know at least a handful of people read my blog, so share something with each other, you'll be amazed how much people can share back :)

(no subject)
He lies awake again, staring out, the hours falling away from him on both sides.
In this timeless space he wanders, exploring ideas and feelings, there is a heaviness.
It isn't a pain, but he isn't comfortable, he's restless, thoughts unmanagable.
He finds he wishes for the kisses that he misses from his missus.
She's not his anymore, but he realises now she never was.
Always a prisoner to her worry, her weight slowed her down so much he just left her behind.
Now he's running, faster than ever, embracing his cunning because he knows that he's clever.
But he's exhausted.

He wants to sleep, but he's still running, trying to catch something on the horizon.
He knows how to stop, but he loves running, searching, finding, learning.
He knows he needs to stop, sometimes, but this knowledge doesn't let him rest.
He knows, oh he knows, that he world doesn't need to stop for him to get off.
He knows, he can catch up, nothing outruns him, not forever...

He's outrun many things, his chilshood, his schooling, his friends, his lovers, his family.
The only thing he can't outrun is himself, but he likes his own company.
He's still in touch with many things he left behind, he sends them postcards.
All he's left behind is phantoms, echos, a moment in time.
Spirits from the past he is in commune with, but the glass isn't always 2-way.

He sighs, has run, he is tired, he knows what will follow.
His limbs ache a double ache, they want to rest, but they want to run on.
Perhaps he should stop running into the dark, maybe that's why he stumbles over so many things.

A response to an ealier blog post
I spoke about a question i was posed in an earlier blog

"If every cell in your body is replaced at least every 7 years, so that all the cells that make up your entire body didn't exist when you were born, what makes you you?"

I spoke about how its not just our cells that are changing, who we are changes too. probably for all of our lives. But there's always a constant, you're always you. you cant be anyone else. So i got thinking about what makes you you again, what is it that DEFINES who you are.

My latest answer, is action, or more specifically choice. We always have a choice, and we always make one. Choice defines who we are; should i kiss her? should we have kids? what should i study at uni? These choices can be huge, or tiny, but they always affect your life. and the impact can be tiny, or huge. One choice i made at university was to go to a bass playing master class. i don't play bass, but people were raving about it and i had time to kill so i thought i'd go along. Who's master class was it? Steve Lawson (aka @solobasssteve) Steve inspired me, indeed he was the only person to inspire me at university, but he inspired me to listen to what he had to say, which landed me on twitter, and again he Retweeted an invite to a tweetup in edinburgh, the place where i met jackie walker (aka @jackiewalker) who also inspired me, and got me into NLP. and that boys and girls changed EVERYTHING.

lots of choices in there, a different choice in there would have had a huge impact on my life. or maybe not, maybe i'm destined to be here? it matters not, because i am here.

On sunday, i chose to have a party/house concert for someone i know. i chose to invite my friends, i chose to invite an ex girlfriend of mine (we'd recently started talking again after 7+ years of not knowing each other) I threw the party, and had a good night.

She chose to come, but she never made it. at some point in her night she made a choice. she chose to cross a road, someone else chose to be driving down that road at the same time. their choices brought them together, literally. her choice(s) cost her her life, someone else's choice(s) lead them to kill a girl.

I am here, how i got here doesn't matter, where i go does. Right now i'm wondering about purpose. About my purpose, about her purpose, about the drivers purpose. Does purpose exist? What was her purpose, was it met? What happens if it wasn't? what is amiss? or will the universe simply change to meet these new circumstances? was her purpose anything to do with me? I feel completely detached from her death. i find it utterly bizarre that someone i was flirting with on saturday is dead. *click* like that. on/off. 1/0. i don't feel sad, or guilty, or angry, or anything. it was just an event, nothing i can do to change what's happened.

I was looking forward to getting to know fiona again, hearing about how she'd changed since we were teenagers, hearing about how she'd grown, who she'd become. I'll never know. I guess that makes me sad, but in a very still, accepting way. I haven't cried, i don't think i will.

To the girl i never got to know, rest in peace, fifs.

Don't be scared,
I'm fine.

Love you xxx

I guess the universe wants me to write something
As i'm stumped as to why i'm still awake. i couldn't sleep last night, and it seems tonight is the same.

At some point last night i figured more stuff out. a penny dropped, maybe more than one. I was having a rather long conversation with a friend of mine about a mutual friend of ours who's stuck in a rut, has been for a number of years. i think like a car that's stuck in mud, his wheels are just spinning as he gets deeper into the muck. i'm not sure when i this first particular penny dropped for me, but it came when i remembered something my friend Jackie Walker told me about being a counsellor/coach; your clients always bring you your own problems, and that when you really connect with someone when they're telling you about a problem they have, its because you share their problem. one of the bonuses of this is whenever you make a breakthrough with someone else, its usually because you've just had a breakthrough with yourself. in this penny dropping case i'd had a breakthrough, it just took about a month of replaying events and talking about them to get to another lesson, of understanding what it was that i went through, and that if someone shares a problem with me, its highly likely that if i share my solution it'll work for them too. I've said that backwards, or at least, i managed to figure out more of what went on after i realised that my solutions will probably work for other people.

As always, its about living at cause (as opposed to effect.) In essence its about accepting responsibility for your world and your actions. if something's upsetting you its because you're choosing to get upset about it. sometimes that's the right and healthy thing to do, a lot of the time you're just giving yourself extra grief. Where this comes into my solution is that all these negative feelings and states that you have and use and occupy are all your doing. they're all in your head and body and you're choosing to hold onto all the ones you don't need. We all do it. Where things turned around for me was when i wholly embraced all of these negative states and feelings. I mean super dooper got into them. you know when you're upset and you try and hold back the tears for whatever reason? you just try and push it to the back of your mind. I did the complete opposite, and you know it was really easy. I was so used to feeling miserable, and sad, and frustrated, and angry. getting into all thoes states was just second nature for me. Once i'd taken all those feelings in their entirity, the awareness of just how angry and sad i was, was a total blessing. Feeling all of it meant i could let all of it go, or at least most of it. once i had lot go, it was a world of weight off my shoulders. Leaving a lot of negative stuff behind, left a big big big hole in me, but i was able to fill that with some of the most positive feelings i've had in my life.

Where things get trick with other people is, (or at least the ones close to me) if they're terrified. It doesn't surprise me, i've had glimpses into depression, i've known how confusing it is not knowing wether you're just having a dark patch, or if you're just in denial when you're not. it messes with your identity, and not knowing who you are IS terrifying. One thing i've realised in the last few days is all these things are you. Your body and mind and self are vast incredibly things capable of being so many things. The dark spell is you, the good spell is you, being bored is you, being selfish is you, being selfless is you too. You are an impossibly complex being of probably limitless possibilities. Knowing and accepting that is incredibly liberating. Believe me, if you can...

Because when you do, you'll know that embracing all your darkest moments and feelings isn't scary anymore, because you know that its all a part of you. You've created all these feelings, so they're never going to over power you. they're not going to take you somewhere you can't get back from. Then you can know and accept just how big these feelings are, just how much they're weighing you down, and that you can let them go, right now. And once you've left them behind, there will be a space to fill inside you. And without all that weight you can go anywhere you want, visit all the joy you want inside you, embrace the love you have, and let even more pour in!

When i first did this it took me a while to figure out just what'd happened to me (this here blog is an example of me still figuring stuff out, almost a month on) but i knew something had happened. you will know when something big has happened to you too, so i want to remind you to be patient with the understanding. it'll come too.

If you're reading this, thank you for doing so. I hope you learned something from reading it, maybe as much as i learned from writing it. If you want to comment there's space to, if you want to do it anonymously that's fine by me. you might find your comment benefits you more than me :)

A periferal thought about family
A very very close friend of mine is having a really rough spot of things right now. A few weeks ago one of his gran's died, and shortly after that he found out his brother's cancer has gone terminal (malignant menanoma) and today His brother went into hospital because he has a pulmonary embolism. There's quite a high likelihood that he's not gonna survive the weekend.

I told my parents about it earlier, just before dinner. Being doctors they understood the seriousness of the embolism (infact they're the ones who told me what it is) we all had a bit of a moment talking about it, i think possibly my parents were also thinking of a close friend of theirs who's recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness. A moment of silence was unknowingly observed i think.

while we were eating desert my dad (the greedy bugger that he can be) noticed that mum had a significantly bigger portion of ice cream than mum, which she didn't even bother defending for a second. Which i found rather amusing. infact i laughed out loud, we all did, for about 2 minutes. 2 minutes of proper full on laugh out loud laughing.

To me it was a completely mutual but unuttered appreciation of each other. a moment of silent but shared gratitude and love for each other, our family. I love my family. I don't think i really need to explain what that feels like to any of you. I just wanted to share my evening, thanks for reading.
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