Dare to live, lose the fear

Last year, before I went to New Zealand, I was feeling apprehensive and worried. I had returned home with no job and to take another 2 month vacation meant I would be fully out of a job for 6 months. But that wasn’t what I was worried about. I was worried about travelling with a friend I met in Japan. We weren’t that close in Japan, but we got on, despite the lack of many common interests. Travelling for me is a thrilling adventure and I am usually always excited for it. But since Japan, I feel like I have become a strange creature of habit. I don’t feel fully comfortable and I think that is my problem. It is what fuels my fear and my hesitance. What made it harder going on this road trip was not being sure I could maintain conversation for 3 weeks without either of us getting bored.  I’ve always felt like we didn’t have a real friendship. He’s very private and even though we hang out in groups, I haven’t always been completely comfortable with him. I’m not sure why. So I did’t know how this trip was going to be as it would simply be the two of us.

Well having now finished that trip and my 2 month holiday, I have realised how petty my worries were. I’ve said it a hundred times before to myself but it honestly is true:

Don’t let the little things get you down or sweat the small stuff. Don’t let fear rule your life and ruin your chances.

If I didn’t take this chance to travel, I wouldn’t have made such incredible memories and explored so many places. I don’t know when or if I’d be able to have done the amazing road trip around NZ to ultimately discover a new country and the beauties it has to offer. What I was also really afraid of was not being physically fit to do all the hikes and tramping that I knew we would be doing. But there is nothing wrong with going slow and taking it easy. I’m not in the best of health, but I am striving to achieve that goal and get fitter.

I have no regrets going on that trip. It was so much fun. I learnt to let go a bit. I discovered more about my friend. It was all in my head, we got on perfectly well despite the lack of common interests! It went much better than I expected and we had amazing weather. NZ is a truly beautiful place especially if you love the outdoors, hiking, lakes and mountains!

Those memories of Japan still continue to haunt me (in a good way – I just miss my students!), it was nice to reminisce, challenge myself physically and mentally. For the latter, I went bungee jumping. I feel like as I get older, sadly I become less fearless! I had no qualms going skydiving when I was 21. Though admittedly that is a completely different ballgame and not as terrifying in an odd kind of way. But the point I am making is that I notice that I am starting to take less risks as I get older. It’s not always a bad thing, however, I don’t want that to stick. I want to take risks, to challenge myself. I don’t want to be controlled by fear. So here’s to daring to live fully. Take chances and don’t look back.

 

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Meeting new people, finding friends, and feeling lonely in a big city

Today I realised that I have very few friends who I talk to regularly who want to do the same things as me. I’m not talking about eating food, I’m talking about wanting to travel, go to concerts and just generally hang out and do things together. My best friend is living in Nottingham, and although we share many interests, books, food, films, tv shows we also differ hugely. I like to dance, cook, travel and do adventurous and dangerous activities including sky diving. I work in London and a good friend I recently made decided to move back to Sweden and friends I went on holiday with have less contact with me since our holiday. I would say that’s more to do with differences rather than anything else. It’s tricky going on holiday with people because you live with them for a number of days and if you’re like me who wants to go explore, make the most of the holiday then you certainly won’t find me lounging about the hotel, like my friends. I find it very hard to find a connection with people nowadays. I have little in common but I am unsure why that is the case. Do you know what I mean when I speak of that instant connection? It’s this really great feeling which I’ve only experienced a few times in my life where you are just completely on par with the person you’ve just met. Perhaps it is because I am too serious and think too much which portrays me as intense? Not sure but I don’t like to analyse too much. Or maybe it is because I am shy and am not making the most of the opportunities. I really don’t know. There’s a lot I want to do but I find that I end up doing most things by myself. I want to go to a gig, I end up going by myself. I want to go travelling, I end up having to plan things and find countries to go to by myself. I want to go climbing I go by myself. I want to go for yoga/pilates classes, I join up by myself. There’s nothing wrong with this and its pretty great having that independence, I mean I’ve even eaten alone in a restaurant and gone to the cinema alone. In my life I have constantly done things by myself and its getting a bit lonely now. I can’t find anyone to have fun and do things with. I’m not talking about a boyfriend, I’m talking about friends, having a good time, meeting people and doing things together. I guess you have to be like minded but I find it hard to find those like minded people. Most of my friends are happy to either go clubbing, stay at home and watch films, go to restaurants or even cocktails which don’t get me wrong is fun, but I would love to join a dance club or something and do something fun or a bit more adventurous. Perhaps I will, perhaps I should just stop waiting for people which to be honest I have given up on people. I really need to get a grip on life, I have so many dreams that involve travelling the world, learning different languages and just being content, but it is difficult to be content in this life. We are constantly striving for more.

I haven’t the faintest idea where to start. I don’t know where to go and who to turn to because there is no one out there only the big wide world web. There’s so many options but I don’t know if there is a small intimate friendly class for dancing or painting. I don’t know how good it is. It’s all a risk but its something I wonder about. I am at the edge of the precipice just waiting to jump but unsure how to proceed, whether there will be someone at the bottom to catch me. Waiting and wondering but I can’t keep doing this, I can’t keep living my life like this wondering how things could be. I look at my own dear brother and how he manages to find and make some of the loveliest and great friends who want to spend time with him and do things together, to try things and who trust his judgement. We are different people and he is very witty, funny and laid back. I am more serious, deep in thought, like debating, laughing but I get stressed and worried easily. We are very different but similar as we both enjoy travelling and finding new adventures. You can see how we would attract different people, normally like minded people. He attracts jovial fun happy people and I attract serious, sometimes sad but mostly strong willed and principled individuals. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for my lovely friends for they are lovely in a different way. They are very caring and kind but I just want more and perhaps this is my problem; I expect too much from people and I always have. But I need more friends who will do things with me and who will trust my judgement and is open to trying things. Sometimes things will not work out the way you want and some things I choose may be crap but its a risk I’m willing to make, but I can’t keep hanging on to friends who are poor and aren’t prepared to take that risk because of the outcome may result in regret. Life is an experience and I don’t know everything if that person will enjoy it or not but it is something we can do together or as a group! This is life and nothing is ever free but if you want to have fun you do need money sometimes. Not a lot, but some. I wanted to go to Imagine Dragon’s gig but when I asked all my friends they were either working, too tired or too poor to go. When I wanted to see Evanescence no one wanted to go so I had to drag my poor brother to come with me. It was one of the best nights of my life and some friends after said how they love Evanescence and their music but when I asked if they wanted to go, there was silence.

It’s so easy to say go out and meet people, but where can I meet them in such a big city like London? There’s a lot of people but they are in their own zones, are quite cold and look at you if you’re strange if you start talking to them. No literally they will turn and look to see if you’re talking to the person behind them. I need to join a club or class but where? Thousands of people swarm across London and I can’t seem to make friends. It’s crazy! Introverted I may be but ambitious and a dreamer I always will be. If you stop and talk you will get to know someone better, but it’s not hard. Actually it is quite hard because firstly you need the courage to start that conversation. We pick and choose our friends. We pick and choose people we want to talk to and we put them into different levels. Friend level, acquaintance level, “not going to chat to person” level because person looks boring, can’t be bothered level, too intense level, etc. But the level you categorise someone may not always be correct and you may be missing out on a chance of friendship.

Anyway my point is finding people to connect with is difficult. Finding activities in London is also quite tough! Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough but I will try! Hopefully I’ll find some things….no I’m sure I will!

Disappointment leads to anger, then hate and finally conflict. Welcome to the story of my life.

Recently I have been very happy meeting friends, catching up with a guy I met last year, getting job interviews and visiting a friend for the weekend. But we all know that happiness does not last long and sure enough if you look closer the cracks begin to show.

People are like magnets sometimes (mostly guys I refer to!) They seem to repel and run in the opposite direction when you want to get close and then when you give up and try to move on they come back to haunt you. But I am finished and fed up of people using me. I am no ordinary girl- I am not like every other girl out there because we are all different and no one is the same. But also because I am different. I went out with this guy the other week and we spent 8 hours just chatting while the time passed by unnoticed. It was great and the conversation alight with debates and getting to know each other. It felt like a good friendship was being formed. As the week went on I thought of him and the next time I could see him again. I felt pathetic and stupid because here I was laying myself open to get hurt. In the end I did indeed get hurt. But it was a hurt that spread deeper and penetrated the superficial wound of my ego. It hurt me greatly to be stood up yesterday. Yes that is right I had a job interview yesterday and the guy offered to meet up after which delighted me. He lulled me into a false sense of security and little did I know it would be destroyed in seconds by a single thoughtless text. After the shitty interview was over, (and I quite literally mean shitty- no joke) I text him to meet and he replied that “he had a bit of a cold”. Fine but why was I not told this earlier? Why did he wait for me to text him? Why do people play games? Why did he not tell me the day before? So many questions and not one good answer can be made. My day went from shit to even shittier and it was a weird feeling because in the morning I could feel that the day was not going to end well. I just had a feeling in me- something telling me that everything was going wrong and it did all go wrong but I managed to change it after that guy replied. I had enough of moping around and taking crap. I text my friend who text earlier to meet up and asked to meet again and she said yes. (No I did not blow my friend off for a guy because technically me and this guy had this arranged since the weekend.) My beautiful friend came 15 minutes later cheering me up and taking my mind off a crap day. What started out as a disastrous day was averted when my friend came to pick the pieces up. I would have been sulking at home with a tub of ice cream and box of chocolates pitying myself and falling deeper into a sadness.  But that is what true friends do- they are there when things fall apart i.e my life not just professionally but personally too.

But that day was a lesson of many. It made me think and realise what a fool I had become. What is important in life and how much people can disappoint and hurt you. But I too disappoint and hurt others- even my friends. Saying no earlier in the day to my friend made her sad (she told me this and that she was happy when I text) and I inadvertently and unknowingly hurt her. She wanted to spend time with me when others did not. I really need to treasure the friends I have because everyone needs a friend to help them.  Because they are important and they are there no matter what. My point is where people disappoint- strangers even- others can come through for you.

This disappointment has led me to take more precautions to guard and protect my heart and who I let into my life and trust me I guard myself too much already! Don’t think I’ll meet my Prince Charming any time soon. In fact I reckon we’ll never meet except in my dreams. Anyway as I was saying this disappointment has led me to hate- especially on guys. They are so unthoughtful, so cruel sometimes even if they do not mean to be. But hating is not good. I know that but I am angry at the world, at people and most of all at myself which is I suppose what leads to hate.

I am currently reading a very good thought provoking book today The Shack and it makes me think a lot about life and people. I am conflicted because I hate people so much. I hate their actions. I hate what they do- the pain they cause. I hate that I am one of those people who cause pain. I hate my life and I hate living in this virtual world of Facebook and internet. I don’t want to be sucked in and get lost. God knows I am already lost and I am trying so hard to find my way back but I keep walking through the wrong doors. Everytime I think I am close again- I have found God- I have found my sanity back I realise it was just an illusion. I’ve been lulled into a false sense of security when the truth is I am just as lost as I was a few months ago. There are so many people I want to delete on Facebook but feel restrained not to because I will be seeing them again and I don’t want to hurt their feelings. It is nothing personal but I have realised recently that Facebook I believe for me is to have only my true friends- those who care about me. If so many people don’t care about my status why don’t they just delete me?  Life would be easier this way but by not feeling like I can delete them I am limiting myself through fear. But fear I realise is what holds us back from doing things. Why should I care? Why should I worry? Who is living my life? Me or the shadow of me? Clearly my shadow. What am I so afraid? Why am I afraid of life? of the future?

In this book The Shack (a brilliant book I recommend it) Mack is a man having a conversation with God and the injustices, evils and pains of life. In one passage God says “Do you realise that your imagination of the future which is almost always dictated by fear of some kind rarely if ever pictures me there with you?” This is very true for me- I love escaping and day dreaming about my alternate more interesting life. Instead of living I live in these happy fantasies. Why? because I am so unhappy with my life! What life cannot provide for me- a stable living situation I provide in my happy imagination. The imagination is a powerful thing indeed and you could create anything you want. Another passage when Mack asks God why he does that God says “It is your desperate attempt to get some control over something you can’t. It is impossible for you to take power over the future because it isn’t even real, nor will it ever be real. You try and play God imagining the evil that you fear becoming a reality and then you try and make plans and contingencies to avoid what you fear.” So basically I can be God in my imagination and create whatever scenario I want and it makes me happy to have this control over my life which I do not have in reality. It’s a sad realisation but it is a very true one. I will admit I would happily leave this life to maintain and live in my imagination because I believe that anything is better than the world we live in- the cruel harsh world that spits you out and crushes you till you’re stuck in a large fat hole.

Fear is only in our minds but it is taking over all the time. I want to write more about this book but perhaps in another post. Today I guess is a day for discovering more about the real. Why we parade around masking our true intentions- hiding from ourselves and the truth. I hope I can find God soon again because I really need God. I need help and I need to escape this current conflict. I need to sort my life out but it is not as easy as it sounds. No ones life is simple. Everyone’s life is complex. Welcome to Life. More specifically the story of my life.

We are meant to live in the present but that is not where you’ll find me. If you need me I’ll be in my head dreaming of happier times.