In the last week or so I've stumbled upon the excellent @josie.doodles on Instagram (via my beautiful girlfriend, admittedly) and read a few of her doodles and thought "yeah, yeah that's me!". If it helps me, it may help you too. There are three or four or ten of her doodles that truly resonate with me and Josie seems a pretty awesome person to boot. Here is my current favourite. Remember to be kind to yourself as well as to those around you.
“The tough times haven’t come to stay, they have come to pass!”. Problem is, when you’re five feet deep in the trenches being shelled the shit out of with problems, it’s bloody hard to see who we're even fighting. Sometimes, the biggest fight is with ourselves.
In the last few days I have been frantically pleading with banks across continents to provide me my own money to pay shippers otherwise my trip would be derailed. It’s been an incredible few weeks really, with sickness, international borders, countrywide banking restrictions, imperative global websites shuting down for maintenance etc all resolved after a hectic two weeks and a final mental 24hr marathon of complexity. However, in reality, none of it really mattered. Yes, I’d be delayed, yes, I would incur financial penalties, but in the grand scheme of life it is but a scratch. Note I’m writing this after the fact! But the core is true - what matters today probably won’t matter tomorrow or next week. The real problems in life, as the song goes, are those that blind side you on some idle Tuesday. You can try to account for certain eventualities but it’s the unexpected that'll slay you.
For me, it isn’t the end result that is most important, it’s not the way that you get out of the mess you find yourself in. The most fundamental component is the reaction, is the resolve within you. It doesn’t matter if the solution doesn’t come immediately or the desired outcome seems a fanciful distant dream, but if you have resolve, that’s the fuel. Resolve is what will keep you going when the outlook is bleak, when the night is at its darkest, and that’s the moment when you find out who you are and what you’re made of.
Failure is an Option
What happens when you find yourself lacking? What happens if you’re tested and you don’t have the goods? Well, that’s tougher, and people don’t often think that far because they don’t want to. It’s not easy (or fun!) to think of what happens if you do fail, if the desired end result isn’t what you hoped for. Naturally it shouldn’t be your sole focus as that way lies depression and angst before even starting, but you need to at least consider it. Consider what happens if you fail, what then? What does failure look like? You need to hope for the best but expect the absolute worst. You need to anticipate the shit, the crying, depression, anger, bewilderment, frustration, disgust and disappointment in those around you and, ultimately, in yourself. And that’s just you, let alone the financial aspects or damage to relationships. A friend once asked how do you find resolve if you don’t have any? I think the fact you’re willing to even search for it shows it’s there. It can come from the most unlikely of sources - friends, councillors, celebrities, films, books or even nature itself (I stopped short of saying politicians, but yes, even politicians – thinking of you, Tony Benn). Having the energy to even look or ask for help is something to be excited about and to be proud of.
Hopefully somewhere in there, somewhere deep-down inside you, hiding in the corner, is a tough little bastard doesn’t know when they’re beat. They may have just had to climb out of some rubble, dusted and dishevelled, but there they are, smoking a cigar, ready for the next bout. That’s the bit of resolve you’ve been looking for, and that’s the little piece of you that’ll get you back on-track. You may not know how or the length of time it will take to heal the wounds, but if that resolve is there, that’s what’ll carry you out of the darkness over the days, weeks, months and even years, and into the light.
Writing and writing...