Humble.

So, tonight as i sit here to write to you, i wander. If you have never been here before, welcome. If you have, I’m sure you’ll know this isn’t the first time i’ve got myself so lost, twisted up in thoughts and feelings of pain, of how loneliness can affect how we see the world, and of how more than anything else, how the world now seems so far detached from any form of humility.

Humility and honesty are two things i’ve always believed to go hand in hand, not one resulting from the other but not existing without it. Honesty sounds like a complicated thing to understand, even though it’s born from the most unique sort of simple human nature. While this may be true- the society we live in is almost making the idea of being an honest, humble person “unfashionable.”

Look around. You have to look pretty fucking hard to find anything honest these days. The world is designed to shine light on people who follow a set of ideals and standards, set down and passed through numerous different other people in an endless quest to do only one thing- create a feeling that passes for “happy.” We post on social medias from the moment you wake up to the last moment before you sleep, endlessly watching these “people” who have so much more wealth, followers- just a lifestyle in general so many people aspire for. The people who speak so loud and say absolutely nothing- only what they need to in order for you to buy their latest product- that next “shiny” thing.

I wander about money affects us as people, because it almost seems like an infection. We don’t know how to be honest, because money starts to dictate how we think and feel, but the truth is- what is money? What makes it so powerful as we obtain more and more money, any capacity to be honest or humble goes out the window- almost like “i don’t need that now- i’ve got this.” Look at someone who has won the lottery for example. Before they won they were doing their best, working hard and humble in the fact they had hobbies and passions and worked to be able to enjoy them. As they worked they tried to find a way for passions to become a full time joy and were proud of their progress, enjoying creating something.

Give someone money though and it changes everything. They want for nothing, because they can buy everything. Hence why so many millionaires are so lonely and lottery winners end up broke. Money is just paper, numbers on a screen, yet it somehow has the means to fundamentally change us as human beings. Often i think that person wouldn’t even recognise in the mirror, in the same way i don’t recognise myself sometimes.

Its bigger than just money though. I’m sure you have fears, as I do. That fear is a powerful hand controlling how you live your life, like a big shadow doing all it can to block out the powerful light looking for just the smallest crack in the armour of darkness you think is protecting you. We have all been born into a world of overthinking, that you need to achieve this standard or that, have this hair, this body, this job or this car because without it “I’ll be nothing.”

It’s as if we are living an almost “half life.” I’ve spent a long time thinking too much, miserable at the prospect of a lifetime spent in a world that i don’t understand and often don’t even want to, wandering through life as if it was simply an existence. We live for a purpose, to be obedient, to play your part in the same endless machine of KPI’s, early morning coffee runs and afternoon board meetings. Why does it seem like part of us has to die in order for us to simply exist?

The fear of falling drives us to never climb to those heights, even though the view from up there could stir your senses and tantalise your soul in a way nothing else could. We can live up there for so long and maybe, just maybe feel at least a little free. The problem is we have to get there. How do we do that? Well. I have no idea.

But what i do know is this. We all exist, whether we like it or not. We all wake up in the mornings, you have the same routine as you arise from that same slumber feeling the same way then you go and do the same day after day, minute after minute feeling less and less as you do. Anyone can exist. To live? To live truly and humbly, living honestly and towards your own ideals and morals, seeing the world as the relic, the rusting cogs and switches that we throw ourselves under just to keep the whole thing moving as just that- a relic.

Life has the means to be humble. If you fall from life, and fall from love- be humble. Be honest with yourself then as far as it may seem away, one day, maybe one day- life will find you again.

It’s simply a question of where we choose to look. And who we choose to be.

Yours, with love as always.
DR x

Photo by Marina Khrapova

F!#k Positivity

Now. I do know that the title of this one seems a little harsh. I ask for nothing more than a chance to explain my thinking on how unhealthy positive thinking actually is, because in terms of the mental damage it causes as this endless campaign of “joy” is pumped into our eyes, hearts and souls in modern society, positivity is a poison like no other. It serves to cause you no less pain or anguish than any negativity that may lay at your door. So I ask you- read the title again, consider how you reacted at the moment you read it. When you get done with this piece, read it again and see how you feel.

Everywhere we look these days, in books, throughout the media, on YouTube, the “stars” of Instagram, Facebook and the idea of fame and fortune, the ideology of positive thinking is always there. Always. We are told “the key to happiness is found in positive thinking.” It’s everywhere, this idea that whatever you think or feel, whoever you choose to be should all be span into some form of positive light, then all of a sudden actions, thoughts or ideas you once feared seemed much more capable.

This slavery to positivity is everywhere, even in some aspects of mental health. It’s almost a form of anxiety, as if almost manic to the point where the world may be burning around you, but your still there “looking on the bright side.” Think of it like this. If the building you were sat in right now was on fire, the crackles and embers of the burning furniture growing ever closer to you, what would you be thinking? Would you be thinking “this is nice i was starting to get cold.”

No. Just…no. You would be taking rather significant steps to get out of the burning building.

Now before you scoff, tell me to fuck off and go for that X in the top corner, bare with me, i know that was a ridiculous example, that was kind of the idea to make the point I’m trying to make about positivity and the secret the world has been keeping from us. We are told that positivity and negativity are polar opposites, truly yin and yang, if you will. So, to take this as an idea, you can’t have one without the other. Without positivity, negativity is meaningless and vice versa. So the “only positivity” way of thinking is just as damaging, if not more so than the obsessive pessimism and general cynicism a lot of people may feel everyday. Positivity is almost like an ignorance of the world, not to cliche a Rocky quote that “the world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.”

The world is not a nice place, and to act as if it is?- that’s certainly no healthier that the overthinking and persistent negative thoughts that blight so many people in modern society. It’s almost as if we are easier to manage this way, when very much either in one camp or the other. Each technique has a pathway and this is the road we choose to travel on in that moment.

What if the world was cheating us though? What if both of these roads…these long tiresome roads actually went to the same place? I feel as if positive and negative mentality are actually very similar, therefore one is no better than the other, whether you choose to see only the positive aspects- or negative aspects of your life and society as it grows around us.

Then from this, when we are being “positive” in the sense of the word that society has given us this definition- for something to then go wrong in our grand positive scheme is tantamount to a disaster. In contrast when we are of a negative mindset and something goes as we weren’t expecting, there is a weird sense of surprise of “well i cant believe it went the way i hoped,” and so on.

Which life should we be living? If i were to lay to pathways ahead of where you stand- which one would you take? Easy.

Neither. Rip the road up. There is no road, there is no journey to a predetermined destination by positivity or negativity. There is just understanding, and feeling who you are and who you want to be, here in this moment.

To me, this obsessive positivity isn’t going to create a happy environment, or any positive environment quickly- only a world disillusioned from how the world really is. The same with negativity- it has a way to paint the world in a fairly dreary shade of grey. However sometimes seeing the world in that dreary shade of grey gives you a much greater appreciation of how beautiful the world can be when you see it in colour. You have to actively look for the beauty in the world in order to be able to see it, so positivity has its place in your world, but negativity should be given a residence in one of the corners of your mind too.

It’s a battle, it’s a war. But the end result is you.

So fuck positivity. It’s just not worth it.

Yours, with love as always

DR x

Image by John Hain

The Art of the Apology

I have always argued that in its own right, the way we feel, the way we hate, your passion for things and people we love, the euphoric moment of when you put a mouthful of food you love into your mouth and the moment that person you love more than life itself turns the corner- these moments that you cannot really explain are your artistry. The art of who you are and who you choose to be. Its you taking up the brush every morning as you walk to the mirror, painting, colouring, shading your way through the day. Just like the rest of us, we are all hoping we are going to wind up with our very own masterpiece.

All artistry is born through language of some sort. It grows within us as we evolve and develop through life, first as we toddle off to school as four year olds trying to make friends, to even as OAPs battling their own bodies to keep drawing on the passion that gives them life. All of this, the artistry, the development and evolution is all born through the power of language.

I touched briefly on language last time when trying to deconstruct beauty, how we as a society have developed a strange fixation on using powerful words in situations where language of that power is only designed to promote a certain emotional response in you, the person listening. Let me explain.

What does it mean to apologise? To come out with the phrase “I’m sorry.” This is arguably one of the most powerful phrases in existence, for it, at face value, is you conceding that you made a mistake, that you screwed up and are looking for forgiveness- to reconcile with the person you are apologising to. You made a mess of something and now someone is upset and you need to do something about it. Hence we wheel out the same old phrase, thinking it can solve it all and you can go back to the way things were.

Apologies without action are excuses. Thats the thing with language, especially with the crafted apology. I don’t see the point in them. The art of an apology is to show you screwed up, but what you were doing at the point of this wrong behaviour is something you were fully aware of. Everybody knows what they are doing in any moment in time, the apology is just designed to try and get back to that time when we were all blissfully ignorant half the time. The action that caused you to apologise is something you chose to do- and you got caught. Stop using powerful language and the occasional tear to try and make things go back to the way they were before, its impossible.

The power of the artful apology packs so much of a punch we often think it’s the key to our salvation of a friendship or relationship, but once you feel the need to apologise, the connection is changed forever. That person, often without even realising doesn’t feel like they can trust you anymore, often guilty for even trusting you in the first place.

Now i’m not discounting all apologies as trash. Admittedly i feel like the vast majority of them are, but like beauty, apologies are a multi coloured faucet of powerful emotions, not towards the person you apologise to- but to you. It is here we find ourselves staring down the barrel of guilt. As we stare down the barrel of guilt, for an apology to be worth anything at all i feel like that barrel needs to explode in your face once or twice.

It’s the pain you feel that makes your apology worth anything. Not pain for being caught, not the pain of regret, because whatever we do or whenever we make a decision to act, we are fully aware of what we are doing. The pain is to be found in the horrific realisation of what you’ve done. The pain is what gives an apology its art, the pain of empathy as you see the tears well up in the eyes of that person you care about, as the walls you and them were working so hard to tear down go straight back up, higher now than ever before.

Take the hits. You have to. Understand what you have done and wander how you would feel about it if someone did it to you. Accept that you were aware what you were doing, regardless if you made a mistake and do something about it. You can own all the guilt in the world, wrecked by the pain of your ghastly mistake, but be dam sure this pain doesn’t earn you forgiveness. The art of the apology isn’t for the benefit of the other person, more so for yourself i think. It’s always been my belief we are becoming more self serving as a society and from this it can be more difficult to admit when you’re wrong.

It’s from this the apology is born. The apology is not to make things right, but to accept that you did wrong. That is when the apology takes an artful form. Stare down the barrel of guilt. Become a student of the mistake you have made, understand it, take on every emotion you feel from it, don’t hide from anything, then you have a firm base to build from. Thats the only way to grow- to evolve.

As for forgiveness, apologise truly and maybe you will be forgiven. As Shane Koczyan said: “apologise and be grateful you received peace at such a bargain.”

For nothing is certain, your apology might be yours- however the forgiveness you have no right to at all. This is the art of the apology, paint it as you will, born of pain on a hopeful path to a new peace.

Yours, with love as always,
DR x

image by Maycon Marco

A Painful Beauty

We have a habit, especially in English, to use words that are very powerful and evocative in very simple and minimalist ways, which often means the word can lose its meaning. I have often thought about this idea that we are actually quite dramatic in our use of language these days, in a thankless quest to appear more intelligent, to broaden your vocabulary not for the benefit of yourself, but of everyone else. 

There seems to be this overwhelming need to be clever in modern society, be it amongst peers, in a social circle or throughout the public consciousness. We need to be…more. In particular when it comes to the enigma that is the word “beautiful”

In particular, the idea of “subjective beauty.” Based on my perceptions beauty in society is something quite simple, in how we can walk down the road and perhaps see a woman walk past that gives you some level of desire and then come out with “Dam she’s beautiful” or words to that effect. Nothing more than a passing thought a lot of the time, that moment where you appreciated the physical attributes of a woman and carried on minding your business. 

Its here where inevitably arguments can brew- “I don’t see women as objects i see them as people too.” Don’t mistake what I’m writing here as an attack on you personally, i don’t know you. It’s from this assumption of an attack that makes me sure of this poisonous mentality that it’s wrong in any way to appreciate the physical attributes of a woman, the features you find sexually attractive. Its almost taboo to talk about it and is something we have all done-  thought a woman was sexy so gone up to her in and tried to make conversation.  Not just in that circumstance but this obsession in society these days that attractiveness and connections don’t just come from physical attributes is true, but it’s almost like we should be ignoring them altogether. 

The point is, at no point throughout that last paragraph or so did i use the word beautiful. Beautiful i think is too dramatic of a word to simply understand and desire the physical attributes of a person because it means so much more than any of us understand, especially off of a first or single encounter. Beautiful is a word that cannot be defined or understood, a word like intimate or love. These words as i write them actually mean very little. The problem is encountered where they are used in a “minimal” way. When we use a powerful word to make a minimal point, it can create a powerful reaction like no other.

This reactions brings with it the belief of importance, for we all want to be important to someone. The issue is when this feeling of empowerment and importance comes from a place where it was never intended. And so on. As far as i have witnessed society has given men, women and young adults this idea that if your going to be beautiful you need to be able to do A), B), C) and so on. You carry on this way until you get to the point where you’re not really living your life, enjoying the random moments of total wander and brilliance- because you’re too busy ticking items off a list. Its as if we are all distracted by this fairy tale idea, as men about being a charming prince meeting the perfect princess and as women needing to be the “beautiful” perfect princess. When in the end all you’re doing is checking items of a list you’ve been told are the key to you happiness. A list that a lot of the time never has a bottom. 

So this is where the issue of language comes in. We mistake words like “sexy” or “gorgeous” for words like “wonderful” or most predominantly- “beautiful.” Anybody can be sexy, we can meet a standard set by a certain demographic of people and then you are arguably sexy. Beauty is different, it needs pain. Pain is a power that most of us are familiar with, even if we aren’t aware of the power it has given us. Being beautiful isn’t about a certain lifestyle, having a nice car, or having the physical attributes to meet the standards of your social circle. Beauty is so much more complicated than that. You see someone who is “perfect” and you see someone who hasn’t lived and don’t get me wrong i’m sure they have their rhyme or reason for it- but to me that doesn’t muster feelings of wander and beauty. To be beautiful is a horrible process, painful, brutal and often so very tragic. 

Written in the myths of beauty are words never said, or too much said, tears cried endlessly or not at all. Beauty is wishing we had taken that chance when we didn’t, that fleeting moment where we let fear control us. Beauty is that moment where you decide “fuck it” and do something while your rational mind is screaming “NO WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!”  

Beauty is a life lived and a love lost. Beauty is confidence in the face of adversity and in the fear of being lonely. Beauty is looking at that person in the mirror in the morning and being dam sure you are the one to dictate how your day goes, not anyone or anything else.

It’s taking back control, from the past, from anyone and everyone. It’s you being OK with being you, whatever that means.

Thats what makes people beautiful. 

Anybody can be sexy. Thats not actually that difficult. 

Beauty has a pain to it- and that’s what gives beauty its power. 

There’s nothing more important. 

Yours, with love as always

DR x

@jakeboulterx

Kings & Queens

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman

It’s interesting, this new perspective i find myself with. I am learning more than i could have ever expected or hoped through any medium of my life, in being prepared to accept and do everything i can to understand, respect and enjoy the world around me. To live without limits, as best you can in a moment, happy just to be there. The darkness that led me here often felt all encompassing. Yet- here i am.

Its because of this progress i feel I have made within myself, as a man, or even as a human being, i find my wandering about the idea of something or someone being significant in my life and in contrast to ideas or people that are arguably insignificant.

It’s without question a powerful insult and rather unnecessary for me to call any person in my life, past, present or future insignificant. I wish to concentrate on ideas, possessions, or relationships where the significance argument is interesting.

I have been wandering about this modern day idea we have of “Kings and Queens.” We have what seems like a strange fixation to be perfect, to be the ultimate version of ourselves all the time, regardless of whether its in the good times or the bad times, to be the “King” of our world, or perhaps the relationship you find yourself in. It’s not something we have learnt, something more i think we have witnessed in society.

When we are bought up witnessing this dominant warfare that is commonly disguised as a relationship, an argument or even a conversation. It has a powerfully awful capacity to alter how we see the world and in particular see relationships. Look at the damaging effect the ever increasing access and usage of internet porn is having on the lives on a lot of people, dressing sex up as some powerfully dominant based behaviour, creating environments from men and women “we should all aspire to be.” It creates a false standard in sex for women in that men are expectant of the women they are attracted to to walk, talk and perform as they do in porn, along with the intense pressure put on men to perform to this required “ideal.”

This problem i think falls out throughout all of relationships, how if the man doesn’t drive the right car for his “queen” or she doesn’t have the right interest in her job or doesn’t have enough time for her “king” and so on. We seem to have all been born with a difficulty to communicate, out of the fear of what the other person is thinking. Yet, rather ironically, most of the time, the person on the other side of your relationship is so worried about what you’re thinking they aren’t really doing anything. So this fixation on being your “King” or “Queen” ends up clouding the actual connection and chemistry in the relationship. It’s almost as if the ideas or feelings that gave it life in the first place are rather left by the wayside.

Left by the wayside as we all are lulled into the belief we should be sailing away on a golden yacht.

Now, don’t get me wrong, i know every connection and idea everyone makes aren’t all fixated on the aspects of life so seemably insignificant the relationship itself loses all meaning. Lost to the aspects of life that make you seem like the King & Queen of your life to everyone. We are all so fucking obsessed by what other people are thinking, its almost like we aren’t able to have a bad day without it meaning something.

I don’t like this what feels like a relatively new fixation on “Designer Relationships” for then the beauty of the initial connection is lost. I know that love at first sight means very little in how it’s been over used and dumbed down over the years, but if anyone was to meet someone they click with, it could easily be lost as quickly as it was found.

Surely it has the potential to mean so much more, yet we spend so long thinking “thats not what I’m supposed to do,” that he or she doesn’t want that- they want a “Queen” and me to see them as the “King.”

How would we know though? We spend so long listening to the masses of people who believe we know how we should be living our lives, how we should think or feel and even how we should love. The way you are in a relationship, it doesn’t matter who you are or who you are attracted to at any given point, is unique to you- if you choose to listen to yourself.

Thats the main struggle i think. The world is saturated and drowning in this idea that you should be working for this relationship- that you should be waiting for your “Queen” or “King-” and that these kingdoms are always going to appear from nowhere. It’s all so rushed. Look throughout history and you will see no kingdom was built overnight, and not by the ideas of general interest or for the betterment of your financial lifestyle.

So forget finding your King, or your Queen. To me, its just going to lead to disappointment when you realise that the world isn’t anything like we are led to believe. This just makes you cement the beliefs of the world as fact and leads you down a path that you “hope” will bring you happiness, but faith never follows you down the same road.

You just have to keep…pushing. Keep pushing not to find the King or to find your Queen, but to find yourself. When you know who you are, truly know what you want to be and attract into your life, you will start to meet the same sort of people and build your Kingdom that way. There is no time constraints on this, you will just know.

You met as two paupers, but together became rulers of your Kingdom, ruling over your kingdom at the Palace of Darkness.

Beautiful- yet terrifying. Do we have what it takes to break through it all?

I hope so. For all of our sakes.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

Beneath the Surface

Good afternoon ladies and gentleman,

Have you ever thought about something for so long that when it finally comes to a sort of conclusion the result is positively disappointing? Its as if all the happiness, power and joy that came from the start of the thought, as the idea flows from your heart through your mind to the tips of your fingers has been just drained from you, a pipe stuck in, sucking the joy from something so beautiful.

Now i will be the first to admit that disappointment in life is an inevitability, but where i take interest is in how we react to it emotionally- for this is when the interesting second act of the play takes centre stage. Disappointment is never a nice feeling, but its almost as if a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, like the initial problem has been dramatically lessened.

So, with the alternative sat wallowing in your self pity and accepting the boredom of the result, the disappointment that something more interesting hadn’t surfaced, what if we tried something different, something…more.

Its natural behaviour when a resolution to a problem presents itself to believe that this is the end of the puzzle, as all the pieces have fit together and you find yourself with what resembles a full picture of the situation or person you find in front of you. However boring and arguably “normal” the answer is, it’s there for all the world to see.

I find a new doubt in this idea recently though. What if there was another way? What if we tried to find an alternative way of looking at them. What if, there was a problem within the problem, something you missed that could make you doubt your initial solution?

I have a terrible loathing for normal, for acceptable, for living life as it is because “thats just the way it is.” The world has a pattern and we are all supposed to stand in the wheel, run, run and run until you expire and are replaced. We have an expiration date, and in order to get there we are given creature comforts. Another person to run in the wheel with, thinking and feeling like you do that when you get that next shiny object, or reach that huge goal at the end of the rainbow, the pot of gold will bring you both the unrivalled joy you yearn for so badly.

I have often, probably rather bloody-mindedly, come to a conclusion that a person or a friend have been far more “normal” that i had initially anticipated. My often skewed sometimes cynical world view can often create something of a man i don’t recognise from the darkness. The palace has places within it i daren’t tread very often, for fear i will not find the way back out again one day, disappointed that people do not stir my soul like i hoped they would.

For many years i have done this, until recently i spent more time looking at a problem that had initially given me a “normal” solution. The more time i’ve spent on it, from the ashes of boredom and normality i find empathy becomes a much stronger force. If there was to be an act of mental warfare, empathy is the warrior you would put up against the plague that has become normality, along with its co -conspirators boredom and ignorance.

Take these away as empathy starts to win the day, i started to think about my friend- the person i had concluded as “disappointingly normal.” I dove deep into how i imagined she felt everyday, what causes her to act the way she acts and do what she does everyday. The world sees a very specific version of her, the one thats not bothered, but the one also who wishes to be cared for and loved just as much as she would do for who the person she believes the right person.

To go looking for happiness is the key to its unravelling i have always believed. Happiness comes with the thoughts and feelings that flow through us in being as unique to ourselves as we possibly can. However, i must concede that someone being happy with their situations, their connections or relationships is perceived as an uncanny surprise to a lot of people, especially to someone looking from the outside in. Maybe this is something she may feel like she is missing out on, and wants to be happy? In the end- who wouldn’t?

Happiness and normality are far from the same thing, but maybe you need to go through that process of understanding the difference to find who you are and more so who you really want to be? I know i did. The darkness took me over for many months and finding my way through it was one of the proudest achievements of my life, so she no doubt deserves me credit than i initially gave her.

There’s fight in you yet. Im proud to be her friend. I’m proud of how far she’s come and all she’s going to achieve. Trying so hard everyday to change her life, one step at a time. The world doesn’t give enough credit for that sometimes. Just doing something. She’s always fighting.

No matter how normal the world seems, you can always learn more if you dig a little deeper. Look just below the surface, who know what you might see.

Kinda brilliant when you think about it.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

Express Yourself

Good evening ladies and gentleman

The last few weeks i have been debating a number of different things with a few people, finding connections and learning new things in ways i may have been unable to before. Particularly in the issues with expression and how sometimes it can be a struggle. This can be in the way we speak, or through other ways i’m not even sure is considered emotional expression anymore.

I have always felt like i was on a different path, for it is mine. Without my path, i have no purpose and there is no point. Yet, as i work to keep the path moving, as i continue to sow the ground with hope, with pain, curiosity, joy, happiness and confusion I’m always wandering about what I’m doing, and the paths that are connecting and intertwining into mine.

The more this happens, the more i wander about the world and the path i find myself on, especially how it seems more and more to me that the world would rather we are all on the same path, a uniformal life. Rules and control. “You shouldn’t be doing this, Why haven’t you done that yet” and my personal favourite “if you’ve not done it yet you’re never going to.”

These days we spend so long looking for something to do. There is no pain or pleasure in this life, no happiness, no joy or love. There is nothing, a soul flatlining with no reason to spring back into life. Again and again, we do what we are supposed to do, think as we believe we are supposed to, wear clothes we don’t want to, the same as everyone else, based on colour codes we are told looks good. We listen to music as part of a group and nothing else is worthy of “these ears” even though to someone else the song you loathe brought them through such darkness- its the food their soul feeds on.

Work is a further obsession i have with seeing the patterns of uniform. I’m willing to bet you have some form of work clothes. They may have provided it, or have a general thing that every time you go there, you find yourself staring yourself in the mirror, and the person staring you back is always wearing the same sort of thing. The “corporate” shirt that is the key to teamwork supposedly.

I am all for teamwork don’t get me wrong, bit what is this obsession about creating a team of identical people? A group of talented individuals, each with a uniqueness within them that should be celebrated, not discouraged. Through this celebration of uniquely wonderful beauty, surely it would create a better team morale and maybe even a better team as a group of creative individuals, more so than a number of basically identical people. It’s almost as if people are scared to express themselves anymore, through fear of being eliminated from the group, excommunicated from society because you “don’t fit the bill.”

Now, it would be obtuse of me to say this spans to all aspects of society, you could be reading this now feeling like a uniform gives you a certain power, be it something as simple as a piece of clothing, or as complicated as wandering through the mental atmosphere, clinging to connections of what is known, what is familiar, for fear of losing it all forever. More so i think expression, and our freedom to use it, has become so much more than we often think it is. One doesn’t express how you feel just through the medium of speech anymore.

The world is such a loud and shouty place these days, finding the words to express how you feel, moreover being able to hear them in a world that would rather you didn’t express yourself at all, can sometimes feel an impossibility, a far fetched dream at best.

That’s the thing we all forget i think though.

Regardless of what the society says, regardless of what people say and the clothes you sometimes have no choice to put on, you are still you. The words don’t come sometimes, not in the way you’d hope. Finding the words to explain a smile, or trying to explain why you can’t stop the tears streaming down your flustered cheeks, confused, so lost in the emotion words fail you- its easy to despair at this notion.

This isn’t an inability to express yourself, its just you expressing yourself in your own way. You may not understand your sadness or why you are crying, you may not be able to convey whey you feel so sad, but its still most fundamentally you, being you and expressing yourself in your own way. How do i know? You see your friend, someone you care about, someone you love crying, so lost in some form of sadness. They are beside themselves with sadness and for a moment you feel powerless, because they can’t tell you why they cry, lost in a moment that seems so profoundly awful.

As much as i often think the world wants us to be identical, to create a compulsive uniformity across all aspects of life, this is proof to me that we as people can be quite brilliant sometimes. What do you do in that situation? What would anyone do in that situation? You are not powerless, unable to express your reaction in that situation- because you never needed to. You walk to your friend, the person you love, that you hate to see sad and hug them. You pull them in tight and squeeze, as the tears dry on your shoulder. In that moment, words are wasted. Unnecessary.

Ive always thought words were the key to expressing how you feel, i’ve been writing them for years. Its so much more, even to go as far as using the cliche of how “pictures can say a thousand words.” Look at the creative artistry in life, in paintings, in pictures, music, films, building, fixing, playing an instrument. These are just some i know of thousands upon thousands of things we use to express ourselves, when words fail us.

When you feel sad, you will listen to a certain type of music, when your feel good, you may smile from ear to ear and laugh until your sides hurt. This is the power of expression. I’ve always struggled to understand how i felt and this is something i know i am not alone in. Yet, without knowing, we all have a beautifully brilliant range of expressions in which we can show not just ourselves how we feel, but the people we care about too.

The more i think about it, the power of love, hate, pain, sadness, misery and wander in the beauty of life is born from so much more. It feels like the world is pressing down on your soul sometimes, wanting you to find comfort in expressing the minimal aspects of who you are, for fear of judgement, of being disliked.

Yet, even without realising it, we persist. This is us, and we will not be silenced, for we are unique, we express ourselves in beautifully unique ways and there is nothing in the world that will stop us.

For we are us, and we are free, in our own way.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

A Hopeful Traveller

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I find myself, once again, travelling through life in confusing curiosity. If you remember me at all, you’ll know this isn’t exactly a new spectacle. The world often feels like strangely unfamiliar place, people moving through life doing what they do, thinking as they think, acting as they act and living as they live. I have often feel like such a spectator to this, feeling and seeing everything from a rather different perspective- as if i was sat at the side of the road watching the world go by. As if i have been disconnected from what i thought my world should be.

I’ve been gone a while. Far longer than i was gone before. I’ve been posing the question to myself of where i’ve been. Where have i been all this time? I’ve not felt myself for the best part of 18 months, the man you’ve got to know as DR over the 2 years or so preceding it. Its not about losing a throne, or regaining one- it was about losing myself.

I know that sounds like a horrible cliche, and i’m not one for cliches so bare with me. It all begins with DR.

I am DR, or at least i try to be. Everyday from the moment i wake up, to the moment i eventually fall to sleep i try to be who i choose to be, feel how i choose to feel and act, or at least i thought i did.

The thing is, i needed this to happen to me for me to understand that i had been missing something all this time. The key to why I couldn’t write, that i hated every idea i had, anything i did write felt steeped in motivational ideologies and cliches. I have never tried to motivate you to do anything, i wish to show you how i feel about certain things and can only hope it resonates with you and you might be able to learn something about yourself, maybe even feel good about yourself in a situation where you hadn’t before.

I thought i had found myself in DR. “This is who i am and should live to always be. This man, this idea, i will live everyday through the eyes of him then i will get to be happy, and maybe i will like him more than i like myself. What i didn’t account for is the effects of other people, of someone being able to have such a profound effect on me that it would make me question the very core of what i was becoming.

To then lose that person in a way i could have never imagined for the breakdown of something that had meant so much at the time to be there one second, and gone the next- the only result was to be sat on a bench in a park quoting the Matrix- ” I once had a dream, and now that dream has been taken from me.”

I didn’t know who i was supposed to be, for all the work i had done as DR that had led me to that situation and the pain and sadness that had resulted from it, seemed almost lost. Maybe lost is wrong, because it almost seemed broken- maybe because i was broken.

I have in the 18 months since that day tried to figure out who i am again, because honestly as i looked at myself in the mirror, i didn’t see the man i thought i knew looking back at me and whatever i did see i hated. Not good enough, you didn’t try hard enough and so on. I blamed myself for everything, i was broken because of me.

For 18 months, i have had no idea what to do. I’ve flirted with the idea of writing now and again, but not been able to fully commit to it as i did before. I am aware my style is far from perfect, but i’ve always tried to write from such a place that has soul and the passion coming through the words, for this means so much to me, doing what i do in this way. Doing this now, i didn’t realise quite how much i missed it.

The point im trying to make culminates in Britain’s Got Talent and the performer- “X.” Intertwined into every performance i’ve watched this man give has been a single word, a phenomenon that can be so hard to hold onto.

Hope.

I gave up on myself, i lost all hope. I didn’t know what to do, fairly sure that however i had felt as DR, through the development of any connection with another person or to anything i could write felt lost to me forever. This idea DR gave me, that it was OK to like myself was lost. Its taken so, so long to see how powerful hope is.

Hope gives us belief, be it in ourselves or the people around us. The people around me have hoped for me to make a comeback to someone i want to be, someone that i actually like being, something that had been lost for so long now. They have never given up on me, when they so easily could. I will always love them for that. Moreover its taken me this long to realise that its OK not to know exactly who you are and who you want to be.

I am DR and always will be and everything i have done, written or believed in has been a part of me. However, as for who DR will become, that is for time to tell. I live with hope now, more than ever, steadfast in the belief i will try ever harder to be honest with myself, to live in a way where i choose how i feel, less effected emotionally by things i can’t control. Things will go wrong and i will make mistakes, but thats ok, for i am always learning, always and forever i choose to have hope in my heart- I will choose to be myself, whoever that turns out to be.

I have been gone a while, and whoever left you all those months ago is never coming back. I am something new, something more. The future is complex and there are so many stories to be written. All i know from now on is that i choose to be myself, believe in myself, for together we shall learn about ourselves and who we will become as we truly experience life with all the connectivity and beauty it can offer.

I am DR, even if i’m not so sure who that is anymore. From now on i will try to travel hopefully through life, not needing to see all the angles and know all the patterns. For hope is sometimes the most important thing.

Thank you X, for something so beautifully simple has helped something i thought was gone forever.

Yours, with love and hope in my heart.

DR x

Enough

Good evening ladies and gentleman

We live in age of exponential development, the world is moving so fast- to the point where it can feel like you can’t keep up, and nobody is coming back for you. You are alone, left in the cold as the world drives forward, forging a path into a future that i’m not sure we understand. We can’t know what is coming, as much as its a scary to not know, i feel as if whatever it is, its going to be just..more.

Society is developing and technology with it, as we age, as we change and evolve, its becoming a much more demanding world to live in, simply because there’s more and more being put into the world everyday. We are constantly adding, modifying, changing and evolving the definition of everything.

Things are always developing, to the point where you could get this new “thing” and before you know it, the next thing will be out- and off you go chasing that thing, then the next. its an endless cycle, like a dog chasing its own tail, we spend our lives chasing things, its a game that will never end.

Nobody wins- Nobody loses, for in our own way, we never really have enough.

Moreover, the problem of “having” enough can be taken a step further, to a much darker, more painful and generally more misery inducing part of our modern day reality. There are many powerful words, words that carry a great weight across the confusing landscape we call life. Few more powerful i think than the word “enough.” The more and more we put into the world, the more power gained by the idea of having or being “enough.” 2 little syllables that have developed to be able to define everything we are and everything we hope to become.

These days, i don’t think we will ever have enough, because there is no such thing, there is no fixed point, no “ultimate” if you will. Its about “being” enough that holds more power to us, in this society as the people we are developing into, not just as we grow, but evolve.

What if being enough to somebody could be related to this materialistic need for things. What if we have been lulled into a false sense of security about being in relationships, having girlfriends and boyfriends, partners in life- and in love. I feel like we can make a mistake when it comes to “things” and having a great deal of “things” because by today’s standards we think it makes us more attractive, so by this give us more access to “attractive” people, or more a “higher” standard of thing. We live in a world where the things we own make us feel like more, like we are finding our place in society based on how much stuff we have.

Think for a second, what does the world perceive as attractive? Really what takes people to that higher level of attraction? The perfect breasts, the muscular body, the thousands of Instagram followers or just the idea that being with them would allow you to climb further up the social ladder? We live in an age of competition to the point where being enough to someone is a harder thing to understand, because a lot of the time, we don’t treat people like people anymore. More like extensions of our stuff.

Its not about being enough to someone, to them finding that maximum limit where they are truly satisfied in every aspect of that life. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you’re supposed to be the ultimate, the world tells us thats what everyone is looking for.

It seems to me its more wanting to be the one person that stops someone needing to keep searching for the almost perfect situation, looking and forever driving for something, some idea they are convinced finding this will being them all the happiness they desire. We want to be enough to someone so they stop looking, so you see them and smile as do they, you watch the sunset and sun rise together, go out and party the night away or happily stay in bed all day, watching movies and eating pizza.

Wanting to be enough is one thing,

Wanting to be Something, well that is something else entirely.

What does it mean to be enough to you? Is enough purely a materialistic thing, or does it mean something more?

Yours, with love as always

DR x

Collateral Development

Good evening ladies and gentleman

First of all- when i initially had the idea for how to write for this post it was never supposed to be called “Collateral Development-” its original name was “Collateral Damage.” I am all to aware how odd it is to be opening this way telling you something not necessarily relevant, but hopefully by the end all will become clear.

Not to state the obvious, but during your life  people are going to betray you. They will steal from you, emotionally and/or financially- on any level you don’t need to be told that it won’t be a particularly enjoyable experience.  You will feel like shit, your stomach in knots wandering what happened, flicking through the memories looking for where you went wrong.  Memories of events and moments that previously did nothing but make you smile, now a source of fear and irritation, these sensations a constant companion from the moment you wake to when you lay your head on that cold pillow to rest you weary mind at the end of the day.

We are all haunted by some aspect of our past- even me. The desire to forgive and forget is so much harder than you might think, specifically the forgetting part, which can create other issues further down the line. I wander about the future all the time, often so lost in what i hope to create i can miss the beauty of what is happening right now.

I don’t like myself for trying to forget, but to register that it’s happening and not healthy is something to be proud of, i think. Almost like registering the fact you need to make a change in some way. We are all, always changing in our own way and thats good you always have to keep moving, but while remembering where you’ve come from. Our fixation on the future is the cause of so much misery not because of the potential negativity, failure and awful misery of the road most trodden. No, something much simpler, and so much scarier.

Because we don’t know.  There are times in life when you have no fucking idea whats going to happen.

This is where the issues with trust and betrayal come. You trust someone, be it as your friend, or with the delicate inner workings of your soul as your partner, only for the world, them or even at times yourself to destroy that trust entirely. Initial reactions can be of hate, but i choose to believe we are capable of hating a person for only so long. The hate subsides for them, because we want them to feel a tenth like we do, with no real way of knowing how to do that.

Eventually, the more time you spend directing all of your emotional pain and turmoil at everyone and everything else- the alarm clock, traffic, your job, your lunch hour going too fast, the car needing petrol- its all proof the world is against you and ‘this is why i shouldn’t bother with people.”

This is the next problem. I don’t think you ever really hate the person who betrayed your trust, not really. I think these days we have so many issues trusting people in a world where it is becoming increasingly difficult to have secrets and even keep secrets from anyone, its you that you find yourself angry with, feeling so much rage at what has happened because you “should have seen it coming.” Most of all i feel like its very easy to hate yourself for trusting them in the first place, especially considering how hard it can be to trust anyone. Your anger for them turns into disappointment, you believed in something, in someone with more depth than you knew to be capable, on any level, for it to be blown away, like breath on a mirror. One moment it’s there, blink twice and its gone.

It feels like nothing else in the world. You wander if you are broken, if this is what it feels like. You fall lower than you have ever fell, the darkness overwhelming you so much more than you thought possible. The darkness has got you before, more times than you care to remember, but this is worse. You don’t know why or how but it is.

Yet, you survive- sort of. You wake up the next day, the next day and the day after that. You wake up, you drag yourself from a beautifully comforting slumber and even though the world is trying to drag you into the beautiful darkness- you crack on. You’re hurting, yet still you drive forward, even though nothing feels the same. Your almost going through a period of mourning, a loss of that part of you.

You hate that you care at all, but it gives you the most powerful position against the demon trying to own you,  for no matter what happens, you are still you. You’re still that good person you were before, you laugh at the same stupid things, you cry at movies like you did before, you fuck around with your friends who have seen you at your darkest and they were still there then and were there as you bounced back. You’re opinion of you may have dropped for a while, but you’re friends never stop loving you. You will still love the same as before, even if it is a little more cautiously next time around.

These times will come. You keep doing you and one day you’ll wake up and see the development, so far from where you once were. I was going to call this piece Collateral Damage, for all the pain you feel reverberates to every part of your life, you friends, your joys, your loves and hates. One single moment can so easily destroy us, if we let it.

What if we don’t let it get to us, we are all so much more than that. What if the pain doesn’t bring about collateral damage, but Collateral Development.

You become wiser, with a more learned approach to life and to yourself.

Most importantly, so very much more important than anything else.

You never have to do it alone. Never alone.

What are your thoughts on the effects of pain and the damage it can do? I’d love to hear from you.

Yours, with love as always.

DR x

 

 

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