Highs & Lows

Step up and be a man.

You have the power

To do what you can.

Now cometh the hour.

 

You savoured the high

Now relish the low.

The moment is nigh,

It is time to grow.

 

We shared beautiful moments,

Without a shadow of doubt.

New love. Wants and desires

At the forefront.

 

Honesty, is how relationships grow.

It was a physical affair

Now share, emotionally.

Embrace vulnerability.

 

Let go of rejection.

It is one woman.

Put yourself out there;

Embrace the suffering.

Monday 9th October

Went to my first ever metal gig last night. Can definitely understand the hype. Been listening to old punk songs. Dancing around the flat naked, headphones in. Putting on my best accent:  “Teenage dreams so hard to beat!” Definitely think I could sing lead vocals. Imagine having the confidence to believe that. Es normal. Next karaoke song will be punk. For sure.

Jon’s brother died yesterday. Pretty mental. Sent him my condolences and my sympathy. Can’t imagine what he is going through. Must be quite an awakening. From the bits and pieces I could pick up it seemed like he was involved in Basque independence. Hoping that it wasn’t related. Enough lives have been lost over borders.

Got a couple of students dreaming about their futures. What will your day look like in ten years time? Grateful that I can ask that question. And they respect it! I think it should be a long term project. We can investigate different industries, happiness journals and thought leaders. I want all the kids to believe anything is possible. It also keeps me honest. I need to be ahead of them in terms of resources. If I do that, we will all grow.

Met Ignacio last night at the gig. He has his own events business. Similar thoughts on marketing and entrepreneurship. He mentioned that people walk the camino when they want to make a change. My intentions are more to cement change. If you set out to walk 1000km. You have changed. When you finish, you will be change.

The weather today was difficult to prepare for. 9oC this morning. Felt the sharpness of the cold on my cheeks. A sweltering 22oC on the walk home. Layers.

Sunday 8th October

Blessed to be surrounded and immersed with new cultures here.

Thierno, the Rastafarian. Follower of Jah. Another beautiful way of living. Full of love and compassion. We have a good relationship. The silence can be enjoyed without the need to try and explain it. Poco a poco.

Committing to walking to school everyday. It is a wonderful challenge. Every morning I will climb the mountain. Accidentally bought ten lift passes trying to buy a metro card. So have that to fall back on if my legs give out on me.

Adapting to the slowness of life very well. Mañana. No strict time. Meet at uno. Meet at dos. Meet at tres. Bien. Vale.

A Nigerian guy offered me drugs last night walking through Casco Vieja. He spoke amazing English. Wonderful accent and amazing dialogue. As I explained how easy it had been for me to apply and become a teacher here, his expression changed. It felt like an option appeared for him. Reminded me of something Kamal Ravikant said “If I only did things I was qualified for, I’d be pushing a broom somewhere.” Different kinds of pusher men.

There is a bar on Santutxu kalea called Crema Cafe. Right beside my flat. My local. Olli and I were stopped last night by the mafia. “You IRA, we are the same!” He had obviously seen a lot of the Sopranos. His accent was wonderfully modelled on Tony. The aggression and sarcasm perfectly apparent. After attempting to explain the rules of bullshit, my mafioso amigo pulled an Irish good bye. No doubt we will meet again. Blessed to live beside a Basque bar that opens till 4am.

Met Nissa again yesterday. Chance encounters are normal in Bilbao. There is an awful lot to learn about flirting through language barriers. Start with a couple of kisses on the cheek. Es normal.

Forever Young – Thoughts on growing up and staying young

Forever Young

 

Transcript

For as long as I can remember I have dismissed age as just a number. What else is it? The number of times your body has held onto the Earth as it has spun around the Sun. Age doesn’t do anything to determine what your life will be like. Nobody can say with confidence, I’ll be this or that when I am 30. This or that when I am 45. Finally past my youth at 87. I hope to be forever young. I hope to see the world through the eyes of a child everyday. If that makes me weird, so be it. Good.

There’s no right way to live your life. There’s no path that everyone should follow. Yet society constructs arbitrary goals that we, at times, mindlessly work towards. For me the biggest mindless goal was university. Go to uni, get a degree, get a job. Grow up. Why? I had an incredible time at university. Six years across two campuses at Ulster with a wealth of life experience under my belt. Stress, temptations, challenges on a wave of highs and lows.

Balancing out started in March. It started by getting up half an hour earlier than usual. Coming downstairs and typing into YouTube, 20 minute guided meditation. I’m not going to say that 20 minutes changed my life. It has changed my outlook on life, but it’s the consistent practice that has lead to change. Not one 20 minute experience.

Since that happened I have been told on three occasions that I am too young to understand and when I am older I will see the world for what it is. Well, I’m calling bullshit. There isn’t an age where people get their life together. There isn’t even a moment. Life isn’t something to hold together. Life is something to dive into head first, kicking and screaming like the big child that you are.

Children are incredible learners. They learn from their mistakes far quicker than adults do. They see the world as the mystery that it is. They don’t have expectations about what should happen. When do we develop these? Whose life are we living? Am I too young to have these? Even though my peers have them.

For me, the mystery of life is a wonder. A wonder that can be enjoyed by knowing thy self. When you are conscious of what drives you. What sparks a fire in your belly. Then you can live your life in the pursuit of those goals. You might be surprised at how you can survive on a little. Turning down money, to free up time. Time is the resource we cannot get more off. Even the King, can only eat one meal at a time. Sleep in one bed at a time.

So take life easy, as the grass grows. Look around once in a while and ask why you’re moving in the direction you’re heading. Who is guiding your decisions? Are you seeing the world with childlike enthusiasm?