On Fear, and (Lessons From) Dimmu Borgir

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Everyone is scared of something. Clowns, spiders, penguins….it takes all kinds, as they say. I have to confess that I am not particularly fond of moths, with their propensity for flying at my face at full speed, and their general creepy demeanour. But the thing that really, truly scares me is mediocrity. The idea that I will spend my life never getting to experience anything beyond mundane, everyday average-ness terrifies the absolute hell out of me.

I know you have all heard this story before. Twenty something working in a boring job just to pay the bills, seemingly the only single person in a world filled with couples, struggling to save for nice things whilst elsewhere, people are buying houses and travelling the world and living their best lives. They’ve literally made movies about my exact predicament, and mostly those movies are shit. Though, in the Hollywood way, most of the protagonists in those stories have some kind of life changing experience and they all live happily ever after, blah blah blah.

Look, it’s entirely possible that I’m being a little dramatic, and largely unrealistic. Am I, perhaps, putting too much faith in the idea that I am ‘on the right path’? Am I overlooking the fact that life itself is messy and unpredictable? Am I spending too much time simply wondering when my life is going to start, instead of realising that it already has, and that I am entirely responsible for my own happiness? The answers to all of these questions is a resounding yes. See, I have this infallible tendency to overthink, and then overreach, whilst simultaneously doubting myself. The result has never been anything less than a spectacular failure, which in turn leads to a rut that I find harder to climb out of each time.

There are so many things that I want to do, to see, to learn. My brain is like a sponge, wanting to soak up as much as I possibly can. I want to curate a life of experiences so that when I die, I can say that the time I had was well spent. Is it morbid to be thinking about my death at the ripe old age of 26? Probably. The thing is, I often find it hard to remember that there is plenty of time and opportunity ahead of me. I need to stop beating myself up about the fact that I am here, when I want to be over there. More importantly, I have to learn to be kinder to myself, which is not an easy thing when the only pet you’ve ever had is the proverbial black dog.

The thing that scares me above all else, is the notion of existing without actually living. It is a kind of underlying, insidious fear that permeates every little aspect of my life. But, in the same way I overcame my fear of spiders a few years ago, I know I can overcome this too. I just need to take things one day at a time, go slowly, and remember what Dimmu Borgir taught me;

“The keys are in your hands. Realise you are your own sole creator of your own master plan.”

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Misc – A Collection of Thoughts From an Overactive Mind

I have a lot of things going on inside my head that I want to write about. I want to talk about the pen in my hair, and why that is important. I want to talk about the rain, and the things I would prefer to be doing on a rainy day than working. I want to talk about why my gay friend is starting to grate on my nerves. I want to talk about conquering fears, and achieving small goals. But none of these things really flow together as part of one blog. It’s not one topic to discuss, it’s many, and there is no way to segue from one to the other seamlessly. So, I’m afraid this post may be a touch rambling, but let’s just call it Misc.

First of all, the pen. I have a pen in my hair every day at work, because I often need to write things down, and it’s easier to carry one on my person than to have to hunt around for one whenever I have cause to use it. The pen remains in my hair while it is necessary, and I have a tendency to keep it there, even when it is no longer of any particular use to me. Now, I tend to go for walks at night, because it’s cooler, and it’s the only time I have, and I feel more comfortable getting all hot and sweaty under the cover of darkness. (so vanity is my sin, whatever). However, if the rumours are true, walking alone at night with headphones in is a dangerous habit for a young woman to have. And this is where the pen comes in. It is illegal to carry concealed weapons, so I cannot walk around with a pocket knife, or a bludgeoning tool, or mace. So instead, I keep the pen in my hair. It isn’t much, just a tube of ink in a plastic case, really. But it makes me feel safer to have one. Funny, isn’t it? How something so small can make such a difference. I’m not saying a pen is going to be much use against a gun, or a particularly violent attacker, should I bump into such a person, but if you’ve ever been stabbed in the eye with a pen, you’ll understand how a well placed jab can be useful. And thus, the pen is quite literally mightier than the sword… though mostly that’s because I can actually legally walk around with one.

Secondly, and with no common ground whatsoever with the pen, the rain. It is raining today. When I woke up, comfortable in bed this morning, I most assuredly did not want to move, especially not to get up and go to work. Alas, working casual means I don’t have the luxury of taking any time off, so I begrudgingly got up, and got dressed, and  went to work, and felt momentarily miserable that I was missing the weather. I enjoy the rain. Grey days bring me an insurmountable measure of happiness. When it rains, I love nothing more than curling up with a cup of tea and a book, or sleeping in, or even just listening to the sounds of cars as they pass. So today, while some people are doing that very thing, I am at work, suffering through a boring day. And the worst part? I left the shop before to go outside for a moment, and the blasted sun was out. There were hints of blue poking through the cloud blanket, and my heart broke just a little. Sounds weird, I know. But unlike a lot of people, the sun after the rain makes me a little sad.

Thirdly, my gay friend. I am at a point, where I have decided to unfollow his Facebook posts. Because he doesn’t know how to be gay, without getting on his high horse about it. Now, this is a touchy subject but I want to point out that I myself am physically, and sexually attracted to other women. This is not a homophobic attack. And I like this person, he just happens to be irritating me lately. You see, ever since getting a boyfriend, it is as if he has developed an anti-straight personality. He throws his sexual orientation in everyone’s face, adopting every gay cliche imaginable, simply in an attempt to make straight people uncomfortable. It is almost like he is hoping someone will say something to him, so he can turn around and make himself a victim and say ‘well you’re only saying that because I’m gay’. And that mentality really bugs me. If someone is a jerk to you on the basis of your sexual orientation, fuck yeah man, give ’em hell. But if you’re just saying things, hoping to incite violence or discriminatory words/actions, then you’re bringing it on yourself, and I have no sympathy for you. I don’t condone being an asshole, regardless of what side of that battle you’re on. And honey, we know you’re gay. You don’t need to keep reminding us.

And finally, fear conquering. I am afraid of spiders. Or at least, I used to be. These days, I think I’m more wary of them. You see, ever since moving out and having to kill spiders on my own, I find them less frightening. Yeah, they’re creepy as fuck and their weird eight legged movements across my kitchen floor make me recoil. But now at least, I can kill them calmly and without running away from them. Actually, I recently referred to myself on Facebook as the Spider Killer King, and frankly, after killing twenty or so spiders in the last six months (I swear to you, that’s not an exaggeration!) I think that title is well deserved.

And finally, for the couple of people who asked, I finally moved with the times and stopped writing down every book I read in a notebook. I now have a Goodreads account, which you can find here.

And on that note, I’m out. Peace, y’all.