There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore.
Even the dull ones will make a mark.
Warts and all,
Let's start this s**t up!
An Invocation for Beginnings, Ze Frank
There's a scene in the movie 500 Days of Summer where Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character, Tom, gets to the realisation that get past Summer and get up, dust himself off, and pursue what he really wants to do with his life. To chase his passion.
At 33 years old, I still find myself waiting for that moment, believing that there will be a right time for it. But that's a distraction from the real problem, which is pretty simple.
I don't know what it is I want to chase.
I'm Nicky, a happily married man from the East of England, with a house, a dog, and the comfiest dressing gown I've had on (£24 at Jacamo at the moment). On the other end of the scale, I'm chronically depressed with all the associated add-ons. I'm morbidly obese, causing sleep apnea and a host of other problems. I'm a recovering jerk, and I remember most of it. And since I was made redundant two years ago from a job I both loved and stressed over daily, I've had a general sense of lack of direction and powerlessness over it.
I took some steps earlier in the year that I hadn't been able to previously, and found myself a private therapist. Together over 8 months, we set a pretty solid foundation and understanding of my issues, and I've been using some of the tools I gained ever since to get through major life events like purchasing our first home.
One of the issues I still need to work on though is my doubt. I have perfectionist tendencies, which since I was a teenager was a way to mask what I saw as pretty clear inadequacies. They drove me to try and achieve the improbable, which I couldn't. I was, after all, not a character in a story. But I tried, and had that motivation behind me.
For the last four years, that motivation has been bent toward a single goal - buy a house for me and family. It's why we stayed in a £400 a month, one bed all-in-one room maisonette where we had to clean mould off the walls every winter. It's why we agonised over what we could spend money on every month. It's why I didn't mess around with a lengthy job search after redundancy.
Four years of hard work and incredible amounts of luck later, I'm left with the opposite problem: where do I go from here? What do I want? Where do I want to go?
That's where the blog comes in.
One thing I have learned is that while journaling is a powerful tool for self-reflection and processing, I find it also creates a negative feedback loop, one where all my negativity and darkness gets to be stored and revisited. I could talk about it with friends, but a life time of mental illness and revisiting the old spots over and over has left me bored saying the same words again and again, so I can't imagine how they feel about it.
But a blog is public enough to be seen, small enough to not be seen by everyone, and I can turn it into a regular commitment, a habit to keep up. Less of an audience building exercise and more of a shout into the void, listening for any echoes.
So, every Sunday, I'm going to post about me: my journey, my growth, my falls, and the steps I'm going to take to try and improve myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. I'm going to talk about what works and what doesn't, what interests me, and hopefully, find where I want to go.1
And hey, if you did want to echo back, if something clicks with you or you have suggestions of your own, reach out. You can get me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week
I know, super original. I might as well have a podcast.↩