I keep getting headaches. It’s not good. They’re coming at the most inopportune moments, and I am most definitely not a fan. I’ve never suffered with headaches in the past; I understand that I am very lucky in that regard. They are a dull ache on the top of my head and around the sides, but never at the back of my neck. I’m told they’re more prevalent in young men than old, so at least I have that.
I have always harboured the ambition of being a great and visionary director of cinema. I have none of the skills or experience to achieve such a lofty ambition, but it is always good to dream. I hear songs and I can see them in films, sound-tracking action sequences, dance numbers or a montage. Drama needs more subtlety than most of the music I listen to: less bombast and more intimacy.
Cost benefit analysis is very helpful to me. Everything costs money; everything has value. That value should rarely, if ever, be an external measurement; rather it should be my feeling of benefit. If I buy something for 10 pounds, the fact that I could have bought it elsewhere for 8 is meaningless if I get 15 pounds worth of benefit from it. Not in material terms, but in terms of my own pleasure from it.
Something I am growing to hate with a vengeance is Instagram posts of magnificent landscapes, only to scroll further down and see a human being spoiling the view. I hate people: they are a waste of a good space. I understand that putting the person in the shot gives the image scale. I understand that their bright red hat adds a pop of colour to an otherwise sombre image. I don’t care; get them out.
Study after study shows that seemingly negative traits are correlated with positive attributes. It is all very silly, but it is reported as fact. Swearing, a messy desk, the will to procrastination; all of these and more have been cited as indicators of greater levels of mental acuity. Personally I hold no truck with attention seeking click-bait, but I do wonder why we perceive other people’s traits as negative.
I’m a competitive person: I like to win. It’s about my sense of achievement rather than seeing others lose. The problem comes when I don’t know what to do to change my outcome. I plug away, putting in my level best, but not progressing. That’s when I come across as a sore loser. I’m not: losing when you know you’ve done badly is very productive; not knowing how to improve is not helpful at all.
If I’m not well, why do I not go to the doctor? It happened a few years ago where I had a condition which was worsening. It caused me terrible pain and discomfort, and resulted in surgery. It was no source of embarrassment or shame, but I refused to seek medical attention for quite some time. I have no reasons why, but I see this behaviour pattern repeating throughout my life. It needs to stop.
A lot of things annoy me. A lot of things, when done repeatedly make me shout. A lot of things, if they appear to be done in ignorance, or in a deliberate attempt to rebel, make me vent in a rather explosive manner at the person before me. At times this is a cri de cœur, a frustrated paean of worry and ill portent. It never feels like a loss of control, no matter how much it looks like one. Trust me.
I’m a very self-conscious person; I always have been. I always feel I am being observed and judged, whether there are people around or not. It may be that I was surrounded by judgemental people when growing up; people who would pick other people apart when they saw them going about their business; I’m not sure. All I know is that I can barely walk down the street without feeling uneasy.
I worry a lot. I worry about my health. I worry about my future. I worry about imaginary events, which have very little likelihood of happening. Not like a plane crash or a terrorist atrocity, but like my entire family being kidnapped and tortured, or me drowning in a peat bog. I feel that all of these are perfectly natural things to worry about. That doesn’t make me feel any better, however.
I am an expert in a few different fields, and that brings me great pleasure. Satisfaction, really. I’m also not too bad at a wide range of things. It is very rewarding to be recognised for being good at something you enjoy doing, even if it is in a relatively small corner of the universe. If I told you what I was good at, it would probably take me quite a bit of additional explanation, so I think I’ll skip that.
I sleep very deeply, and usually for a long time. I like to stay up late, relaxing after a hard day. These things do not go well together; even less so with a young family. When I sleep deeply on my arm, or with an arm in the air, some of my fingers go slightly numb for a few hours. I can see that they’re still there, that blood is flowing to them, but in some way they no longer belong to me anymore.
I like to know where I am going. Not in a grand scheme of things way: “God” laughs in the face of my plans; in the day to day. If I have to go somewhere new, I like to do a recce on Street View first. I like to know that I’m not going to encounter any dragons. If I’m not able to do this I’ll feel great unease until the Rubicon has been crossed. Then, the training kicks in, and I get on with it all, as usual.
If I am walking down the street, listening to music, I am worried that I am interacting with the music in a way which is obvious to others. That I am dancing, that I am singing, that I am embarrassing myself. It’s an odd sensation, and one which led to me not listening to music when out and about for a long long time. When I realised I wasn’t singing, and put my headphones on again, I felt so free.
When I share my feelings, I do feel better. This is a repeating theme in my life. So is the disjoint. So is the abstract. So is the non-linear. The only thing which happens in a straight line is a 100m race, and that’s over in a matter of seconds. Since when is that a model for how to live one’s life? We strive for longevity, not brevity. A long race cannot move in a straight line: it either twists or it repeats its path.