Turning 29

I still look forward to my birthday. With it comes the perfect excuse to do all the things I love doing and eat all the things I love eating. What also accompanies the pastry, the cake and the rhubarb and ginger gin, however, is the opportunity to reflect on the passing of time.

As we age and our vantage point grows higher, our perspective changes. We can understand more, certainly; we have more knowledge and research with which to navigate the world. We can view our choices and decisions - our successes and failures - with more objectivity. We can see how mistakes turned out for the better and how painful times improved us as people.


We’re all balancing on an edge; just sometimes it doesn’t feel that way and sometimes it does. It’s quite easy to feel in control of our lives. We take can every measure, every precaution and follow every rule but, when it comes down to it, it doesn’t mean much.

We can stretch out our arms and practise balancing; we can wear the correct shoes and work on our belief that we’re not the kind of people who fall. But we cannot control the wind; nor the distance beneath us.

Be quiet

When I was twelve, I lost a lot of my confidence. Whether this was because of a new school or the age I was, I can’t be quite sure. All I know is that where once, as a child, I would let my voice fill the space, it now stayed hidden; like it needed protecting.

I can’t be sure what it was I was afraid of but I became acutely aware of what I lacked. I lacked confidence. I lacked presence. Envious of those around me who spoke up, I focussed on their noise. The noise that I couldn’t make. The things I couldn’t say.

All grown up

Growing up is an interesting concept. When are we “grown up”? Why are some people “grown up” at twenty and others not? How do we define it?

We could define it as reaching adulthood but this, being based on age, seems flawed. I know some fifteen year olds who are far more grown up than some forty-six year olds.

Here's a new idea...

Something I find interestingly irritating about myself is my ability to understand the benefits of a concept without being able to follow through and reap them. It feels like the equivalent of somebody saying, “Would you like this apple? It’s good for you!”, and me knocking it out of their hand and spitting at them; all the while thinking, “God, I wish I had an apple.”

Get woke

I woke up at 5am this morning. Over the past week I have chosen to wake up at 5am four times. I am very proud of myself.

I’m doing this because I have read that it is the habit of a successful person. If you want to make something of your life, you must wake up early and start your day off correctly. I have chosen to start mine with this blog post.

On new starts

There’s a lot to be said for new starts; for blank pages and clean slates; the satisfaction of knowing our unburdened potential stretches out before our feet and the troubles of yesterday are behind us. It feels good. The start of a new year feels good. You can feel the pulse of excitement as we enter our next chapter; the air feels different and the promise of the future looks a little brighter.

And yet…

What is real?

I love the show Westworld.  I could talk about my love for it for days but we don't have time.  To give you an incredibly brief summary of what the show is about, it involves many characters who are questioning their reality.

I have just started the new season and there is a quote I want to discuss (avoiding spoilers so don't worry if you're not up to date with the show).  This may not be the exact quote, but it's something like this:

Books that changed my life / Part 1

I want to begin this post by telling you what I look for in a good self-help book.  There have been many books that I've started and decided, usually after giving it a really good go, that they aren't for me.  I don't like books that ask me to believe in things that are illogical.  I don't like books that attempt to inspire me.  I allow a certain amount of airy-fairy nonsense into my life as long as it is self-aware nonsense.  I think one can certainly be too rigid in their beliefs because facts can change when more evidence is gathered.  But there's a line.  Here are three books that I really enjoyed, that helped me see the world differently and didn't cross that line.

Okay, let's start again

Back in my days as a mindless consumer, my favourite thing to buy was a new start.  It could take the form of a new notebook or a new jacket; a new pair of shoes or some new gear for my music.  "This," I'd think to myself, "is the start of something new.  The next chapter in my life.  A new me, more confident and capable than ever." 

Back to work

I have had two weeks away from work.  I used to dread going back; focussing on the early mornings and the noise.  Seventeen children armed with saxophones waiting for me through the winding corridors of the school.  I'd have rushed out of my house, skipped breakfast and no time for coffee, to try and speak over the echoing honks that filled my days.


I have recently been moved by Dottie James's YouTube videos in which she attempts to improve her life in one year simply by trying to.  It is such an uncomplicated concept and is so beautiful for it.   I have a vested interest in seeking out philosophies, thought patterns or habits that might improve my life; but I feel they may overcomplicate what could be a fairly easy concept.

Just try.

Time warp

I have a very specific childhood memory of sitting in my living room watching the clock and realising that seconds, though the smallest unit of time I knew, were actually quite long.  The fact you are taught to say "Mississippi" between counts shows that it is a longer amount of time than you might expect.  And the days seemed so long back then.


We have an incredible amount of influence over our own reality.  We think of reality as a truth; it is experienced through our senses.  We see it, smell it, hear it, feel it.  There is evidence of it all around us.  But our true experience of this world is governed by our interpretation of the information gathered through our senses.  And our interpretation is affected by the lives we have lead up until this point.