No God, No Good?

First in the new debate series – here we hear a story from the lovely Linda Bethea (thanks Linda!), and later I discuss religion, morality, and…probably a few other things. Hope you enjoy it. 

Opinions are obviously more than welcome, I expect this issue to be a little bit more controversial than say…the time some leeches attacked me in Nepal, or a Chinese guy looking at me weird in a bathroom – but that’s not a bad thing, it’s healthy to have discussions. I’d love to learn something new. 

If you have a video request you can leave a comment, or send me an email – if it’s a cool/interesting idea then I will get to it as soon as I can!

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The Next Step…

The emblazoned image of the metaphorical crossroads is almost constantly in our thoughts. It sits right there…taunting us with deep-cutting barbs: “hahahaha! You’re STOOOPID! You can’t even decide what to do – you’re just standing there with a slack jawed look! How do you even operate in normal society?! GOD, just stop trying altogether. PLEASE.” (Or you know, words to that effect.)

Taunt GIF

But the truth is  most crossroads of this sort are illusory, and something we have simply manufactured in our heads…probably on a sub-conscious level to make choices more distinct, and clear; I’m either going to do this, or this. I’m not going to start this, or I am going to start this. And so it goes on, in the same fashion…but in most cases this is not so.

Naturally there are some rare times when there are limited choices, but those are few, and far between…maybe if a tree falls on your grandmother, you can opt to help her out – or just let her squirm under the leaves and hope for the best. Fortunately however, these things aren’t regular occurrences… * and if this is a common feature of your life, please remind me to stay well away from you, and a 100 mile radius of wherever you’re from!

Reason? You are sure to creep me out almost as much as this:

Nic GIF

FINE. I’LL STOP WAFFLING ON!

Due to unforeseen visa complications I will be in South Korea even longer than anticipated…till late February 2016 in fact. Phew. It’s not much of a problem as Korea is lovely, and I have a fantastic life – but I think by the time that date rolls around I will be ready to move on to the next adventure. (That’s even with the planned 2015 trips to Japan, The Philippines, and Thailand.) But the question is, where to next?

I don’t enjoy being away from family, and friends for long periods of time – but that’s life, and for now it can’t be helped. But is that really the choice I have? Be away, or return home? Seems limited. But, well that is what I am trying to discover. After all, perhaps there is a third route there…overgrown with thickets, and thorns…but if one is to slash away with a sharp machete, it could possibly lead on to a better place. We’ll see…we’ll see…   

But where are you? And what is your next step?

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

The Forking Path

As this year draws to a close, I find myself musing on all that has happened up till now – and pondering on what may come my way in the future…the funny thing is, things never turn out the way you expect – which is what makes life so interesting! Or scary depending on how you look at things…

Fargo GIF

I could have taken a lot of different pathways already, and by not following certain ones it has in turn led me on to other things – for better, or for worse! 

Like when I was seventeen, or eighteen…or something, I found myself on the pathway to becoming an accountant. Yeah, exactly…ME…an accountant?! It was complete madness, as I have never been any good at maths; actually even now I find myself counting on my fingers out of force of habit! I recall in school I was often lucky to even get a C grade…that was probably because it didn’t engage, or excite me as a subject – instead I did a lot of looking out of the window, and day-dreaming, which for some reason didn’t pay dividends when it came to my exams. In English it did…which may be unsurprising, but more on that later…

But you see I wasn’t on the accountancy pathway by chance. I had purposefully plonked myself there, albeit with a somewhat faulty compass. I had my (first) girlfriend, who I loved a horrendous amount…you know, the horrible first love where you would tear your eyes out, and fry them for dinner should it ever be requested. It’s manic, and a total roller-coaster – it has ups, and downs,  makes you physically sick, and  leaves you full of regret afterwards. That’s why I only like the bumper cars at theme parks. Wait that sounds like a weird metaphor…

Anyway, as I was in love, like true Disney style love – and clearly this young lady was the one with which I would spend the rest of my days, and nights with – it would be necessary that I provide for my to-be wife, and our inevitable swarm of children. It sounds farcical, and ridiculous now – but at the time I was very serious about all of this. So I found an accountancy training programme with Proctor & Gamble, in which they would pay for me to do a finance degree (OH MY GOD CAN YOU IMAGINE MAN?!), whilst also earning a good salary. Sure, I would hate my working life from start to finish, and would probably eagerly await death to put an end to the constant Matrix style stream of numbers, as every day I would return from my toil to my resentful wife, and the children who hate me because I am never there – because I am at a job I don’t even like, to get things I don’t even want…but still, at least I would have money. Which is all that is really important, right? …wait, RIGHT?!

So I told my plan to one of my best friends…who in turn told me I was a fool, and reminded me in no uncertain terms that this was a silly choice to make. I tried in vain to create circumstances in which my life in accountancy would be one of excitement, and thrill…

Accountancy Cool GIF

But he came back in amazing style, bombarding me with text, after text, after text, of cruel accountancy jokes – of which most centered on the premise of how boring that career path would potentially be for me, a person with no interest in mathematics whatsoever. I wasn’t convinced, or at least I told myself I wasn’t. That is until my girlfriend broke up with me out of the blue, (leaving me utterly destroyed may I add) and I came to a new clearing in which another pathway emerged…after the soul-blackening anguish that was getting over her, of course. But after that I saw the pathways more clearly – filled with real dreams, and hopes – not made up ones that were only fueled by money, and things.

So sure I headed on with my heart as my guide, rather than my head – but I am glad I did. Even if my Mother does often hark back to those times whenever I am hard up; whether it be facing rejections, unemployment, or general urghhhhhnessss frustrations – all things that will come to writers/English graduates. She likes to reminisce, and remind me that I could be driving a “flash sports car”, and living in a “classy apartment” now, like the guys in American Psycho. Well, nerr. It’s not me.

Instead here I am, suddenly at a spaghetti junction of pathways, which stretch out, and wind in all different directions. And despite all the madness…I am happy, and I am hopeful. 2015. I am pretty much blind to what you may have to offer along the road, but I am walking with you all the same. 

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