Jogging into the Abyss

It was the night before jogging and all through the house, my excitement was stirring – maybe soon I’d have a spouse. But then I awoke and with the toll of the alarm…my body was unwilling – getting fit, had lost it’s charm.

I’ve always been full of half-good ideasyou know; spontaneous expensive trips abroad instead of sensibly saving, new unnecessary shoes instead of paying the council tax bill, pizza for both tea and breakfast whilst still expecting a six-pack to materialise – that sort of thing. The sort of things that can be somewhat cute and quirky when you are younger, but unfortunately start to seem silly once the boring grip of age takes a hold.

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Now any choice I make seems HUGE; so huge that I often feel anxious even thinking about the what-ifs and the maybes…so huge that I occasionally feel like reverting to childhood where most decisions are made for you – so huge that I put huge in big massive capital letters so you know I’m not fucking around. Yeah, that huge. 

Leaving South Korea last year was one of those choices as it meant I was essentially hanging up my travelling boots and strapping on something a little smarter – simply put, I had loved it but it had run its course. And yet still I felt unsure of what would be, and there seemingly wasn’t much in the way of helpful articles out there other than people stating stuff like: “you will feel like a stranger in your own town”, “no one will understand you”, and “you will never ever feel like you have a home ever again”…

Great, fab, brilliant – shall I shoot myself now, or is that also a service you offer through your delightful blog?

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But listen it’s not all doom and gloom – so don’t for a second start believing those dreamy lost fucks online. You are still you after all…in fact you are the best version of yourself that you have ever been, it’s called growth and experience people! Those big choices define who you are and mould you into the person you will be…sure they take some getting used to, but it’s worth it in the end. Your life is irrevocably different as a result but that doesn’t mean it’s suddenly total dog shit:

Case in point I thought it was a black and white sort of choice I was making by returning to the UK after adventuring around the world. You know, leaving the “traveller” lifestyle behind and getting a “proper job”, aka trading in a vibrant and fun life for a boring and tedious one…as if I was fully expecting that the powers that be were readying the  drill to forcibly redesign me as a droid devoid of human emotion, and in doing so erasing all of my weird and wonderful memories…such a cartoonish way of looking at things!

I’m still me, and I’m still making stupid choices – trust me you don’t trade in your motivations at the door (just this year I’m going to Germany, Spain, France, USA, and potentially Canada…) How’s the saving going? Piss off, pal. 

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What’s my point? Oh yeah, choices. Life is what you make it people..sure I wallowed for a bit (I am a complainer first and foremost), but now I’ve got a terrific job in content writing and communications for an amazing little charity who do tremendous work (worth checking them out here)…and you know what? Things are pretty great. I’m not a stranger in my town, in fact I love that I know people and that they know me – this is my home, but being away and coming back makes me recognise that home can actually be potentially anywhere. I love that fact, it makes the future a little blurry…just as it should be.

Don’t worry I’m never going to stop with the stupid choices – I mean if I did, what would I share with you delightful chaps on my site…movie reviews? Come on.

Actually…that would be less stressful for me – as my most recent stupid choice means I am set to run a half-marathon in support of my charity  this year. Hence the 6am wake up call, and aching limbs. Urghhhh if legs could cry mine would be moaning like Myrtle – and I’m only two days in. SEND HELP. 

The Age of Wisdumb

I’ve noticed something lately, and I can’t seem to get away from it wherever I turn…it’s on every corner, on every page, on every video, and on every programme…I suppose it’s always been there to some extent – it’s just that now it seems to be reaching alarmingly high levels…

I’m not sure what set this in motion exactly; perhaps it can be linked to the  climate of dumbed down media, or the rise of questionable facts in the form of the internet (oh hi there Doctor Wikipedia!) – or maybe, just maybe there’s some weird X-Files type stuff going on with the water supply (excuse me while I adjust my tin-foil hat…but let’s not rule anything out) – ahem yeah – but seriously whatever the legitimate reason(s) are, the unfortunate situation still remains the same:

…that I feel like I’m surrounded by people with little to no knowledge about fucking anything, who still feel that they have all the answers.  I mean just look around; no one is willing to learn, or should I say…no one is willing to admit their ignorance…and because of this these clueless morons feel they don’t need to be taught as they already have quite enough false wisdom to last for all of eternity…

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And that’s precisely why I have begun referring to this epidemic of prolonged stupidity as ‘The Age of Wisdumb’…gone are the days of the apprentice learning from the master – as in its place we have now replaced that entire archaic story arc with something else…that of the completely unaware but confidently vitriolic humanoid who is always sat in front of his/her computer spouting off hatred and self-assured claims at regular intervals through a variety of different social media platforms…how lovely.

But wait – don’t poor sods like this need guidance then? Instruction from the seasoned masters as they are nothing but empty beginners? Shouldn’t  they seek out the help of someone who has been there and done that, so that they can try and educate and better themselves?

Well no…they don’t have to do any of that silly stuff – as they’ve already watched “like a gajillion YouTube videos”, are rarely not searching something up on Google, and even tune into the news every now and again to keep up on current events…

And it is these reasons, and these reasons alone why many in this cycle have employment positions on Facebook which are legitimately listed as ‘BOSS at GETTIN DAT MONEY’…or something along those lines anyway! Because they’re blatantly all bosses, and they’re blatantly all getting that money.

So anyway, in this world where it is so easy to crown yourself a king, queen, or indeed the aforementioned boss – despite the fact you haven’t done a single thing to  warrant possessing these lofty impressive titles – there is a lot less motivation when it comes to actually working hard, and picking up knowledge through true experience to achieve something real. I mean, why would you do that when there is seemingly an endless supply of easy short cuts?

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Think about The Lion King…without his father’s tutelage Simba would have been even more of an arrogant prick than he was as a kid, and would never have grown into the fine figure of a lion that he ended up being in the end. Or what about the Karate Kid, and Mr. Miagi’s “wax on, wax off” training? Or Star Wars, and Yoda?  The Mask of Zorro? Leon?! The list goes on, but they always follow the same perfect formula; young yet enthusiastic characters eagerly  soaking up vital life lessons from seasoned veterans…and despite the initial frustration of having to accept that they basically know nothing; they end up better, stronger, and smarter as a result of listening to their respective “master” figure.

But consider the storylines of those well-known films set in our present culture – they would be very, very different! I mean take Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back just for one of many examples…

Yoda: “A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

Luke: “Pfft! Fuck you, don’t tell me what to do – I’mma boss! I’m out of here.”

Yoda: “That is why you fail.”

Luke: “Yeah whatever you lil’ scrotum face – never preach to me again!”

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Sorry Yoda. That wisdumb has people talking recklessly these days…

But what’s the reason for all of this all of this ignorant flexing? Why is it that people seem to feel it demeans them to admit not being anything but an expert? Why do so many consider that asking for help or guidance makes you a weaker individual? It’s simply ridiculous…

Take myself for an example – I used to be shy and unsure of what I’m really about…you know, who I am. But nowadays I can be rather unequivocal in my self-assessment: which is that I am a complete and utter moron. I pretty much know nothing! Actually every day I find out new things, which were actually just the old things I was supposed to learn but didn’t ever get right the first time around…so in essence I know less than nothing – which is actually quite liberating in its own lobotomized way. (If not a smidge patronising and depressing).

But other people don’t appear to share my acceptance of my own lack of functioning brain cells…and this coupled with the fact that we don’t really have heroes anymore (not like we used to anyway) – spells disaster. Or to cut to the point directly, it leaves us with a long line of people who aim for overnight celebrity as opposed to something more lasting and meaningful

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Because why not, right?

(Alright anyway, so suspend disbelief for the next little bit please). You see, I could theoretically make a rap song like the above with a controversial video…and go from a resolute nobody to an overnight success (my rap name would be MC Sukkadick and the song would be called “I Hate Everyone’s Grandma”; just so you know) – and then the established artists would be calling up to collaborate in a desperate attempt to stay relevant with what they see as the fresh new talent just because it’s catchy and people are clicking on it a bit. So when the consumer sees things like this happen then the idea of putting in work, building your craft, taking notes from those before you, and basically having heroes you model yourself after is, well…lost. And in it’s place we have a whole slew of entitled, and impatient characters, eager for instant-gratification despite putting in next to no hustle…

Or simply put we have a burgeoning population of overly-confident but largely non-skilled people who preach their wisdumb across social media – and this really upsets my miniature low-functioning brain and I; it really does. Because what they could be doing is listening to those before them, making plans and sticking to them, working hard and following their deepest ambitions even during the hard times, and eventually taking pride in all they  accomplish.

Rather than say…taking a picture of their butt for the entire world in the hope of a few likes. Or taking a video which humiliates their best friend in the hope it will go viral. It’s like…why?

Urghhhh…just take a look around these days, it’s bleak –  there seems to be a lot less artistry and creativity out there than before, but a whole load more content. Largely because there seems to be a lot less people respecting and taking unofficial lessons from those before them; instead people point and say, “if you can do it I can”…which is true, but isn’t so if you skip all of the years of tutelage, hard graft, and knockbacks. So perhaps it’s time we dropped the wisdumb so many seem to be holding on to, and started to seek out wisdom instead…as it’s only through that in which we can truly grow.

Just ask Luke Skywalker…

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Broke? Travel Anyway!

I often get emails, and messages from people – asking the same question – “how do you afford travel? Are you from a rich family? Do you have connections? Did you get some crazy compensation deal – and have decided to blow it all on roaming the world rather than making sound investments?!” 

Well, no. No to all of those. I wish it was something as easy as being in a car accident – and getting free money, but it isn’t. It’s kind of like The Wizard of Oz…it looks like a spectacular vision until you see the cogs turning behind the curtain. Yes, the actual facts of the matter are a lot less glossy – and  whilst this may be hard to take for some…I actually work. 

Take my first major trip on my own, for example. My year abroad studying in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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For two years before that I worked at an electrical store, moving televisions around, and trying to sell people outdated SCART cables they didn’t want…taking overtime whenever I could, whilst also taking shifts at my Aunt’s pub on the weekend…all the while squirreling away money whenever possible. With no disrespect intended, I wasn’t like the others that were accepted on to the study abroad programme (Newcastle UK – Atlanta USA) there would be no money from my Mother, or Father…I’m one of five children, I would feel rude even asking.

But I made it – and before I knew it I was in the midst of my own travel scrapbook! Carving out new memories for myself…whether it be visa worries at passport control, attempting to make the transition to the different pace of American life, or dancing insane jigs with Waka Flocka, I had flew from the ordinary day-to-day, and was living out these once impossible fantasies!

Sounds dreamy, dreamy – I’m sure? But the truth was my budgeted money soon ran out, and there were a couple of very hairy months – I recall that after weeks of eating next to nothing I sent my parents a whimpering email explaining the situation…and I received something along the lines of – “you’ll figure it out.” And I felt it was harsh, but the fact is…you will…if you want it that badly – you will. (And I’m still alive, so I guess I did!)

Study abroad programmes can be a great way to get away, and experience a different culture first hand – there are often great schemes, and incentives – with mine I was actually reimbursed for any costs throughout the year. Which meant I had thousands to play with at the end of it all – long story short, two weeks in Greece with some of my best friends from back home. 

My second major trip came just after I graduated university- although I was recruited before I had even been given my degree…and a month after I flew out to Beijing, China.

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Again I had saved, and saved working some terrible job – this time around it was a sportswear store, selling people trainers, and trying not to touch their sweaty feet as I assisted them with trying on their shoes. Not ideal – but a means to an end. This was just so I had some initial spends, as the programme actually flew me out at no cost, and many of the site-seeing trips, and other interesting adventures were paid for, or massively subsidised.

Either way, there I was again – in a totally foreign, and unknown environment…forced out of my comfort zone…but that’s what it’s all about…I was experiencing all of the weirdness, that was so different to anything the 9 to 5 version of myself would be encountering…whether it be bizarre disputes over taxi fares, relaxed views to public pooping, or trying to sample local dishes without being sick (such as dog) – I knew these were memories that would last a lifetime.

And thanks to the cheap day-to-day living China affords, I was able to save a little for the NEXT trip…you see, that is important – always have the next trip in mind. 

My third major trip to Scandinavia came unexpectedly…but was well worth it…

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My sister – someone who has worked all over the world with nothing more than a can-do attitude, and flexibility – found a two month long  job in the Arctic Circle at a remote lodge…it was placed right between Sweden, and Finland. Did I fancy it? Well…OF COURSE I DID! There was a catch though, we had to fly out (again at their expense, so no worries) the following day! You see, sometimes the opportunity comes abruptly, and if you ponder over it too much, it will go to someone else – you sometimes just have to grab it, and say YES! 

And I certainly did. Before I knew it I was crashing snowmobiles in Sweden, experiencing The Shining effect first hand in Finland, and after I finished my contract – experiencing the raw natural beauty of the Norwegian Fjords first hand.

The work was often not pretty; six day weeks, with long hours – and if my boss was ever pissed off he would make me scrub toilets for an ungodly amount of time…but still…huski racing? The Northern Lights? Spending a night in an igloo? You can’t tell me that wasn’t worth it. 

For my next major trip, I was off to South Korea! I scraped together the last of my meager savings – put up with the horrendous visa process…and then went on my way!

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And I couldn’t have asked for more! Yet again I was flown out at my employer’s expense, provided with a cosy home to stay in for free, and continue to live very comfortably – whilst also having an amazing time, with some amazing kids, in a truly amazing country! And, using Korea as a base, I have been able to save very efficiently, which allows for a great many adventures; including a  Christmas trip to Vietnam,  an interesting excursion to North Korea’s border, a heat-stricken jaunt to Nepal…back home to England, and Scotland – then on to Italy, Hungary, and Austriathen…well, you get the picture – the world suddenly doesn’t seem as hugely inaccessible as it once did!

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You see it’s not difficult, you just make it difficult. If you really want to travel, like really, really want to…then be willing to work, and be willing to take every opportunity. Rich, or not – you’ll get there – so stop just posting random sunset photographs, with “W A N D E R L U S T” etched over them, and start planning that next trip…and start filling up your passport, and with it your little book of memories. 

~

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How Do I BEAT Anxiety?!

This video request is from Rehma Aziz – she asked a great question, which was “why do we feel anxiety?”

So in this video I explore that topic, and have a good old root around in my messed up psyche! Enjoy! 

CORRECTION – Rehma is not a gentleman…she’s a gentle…er, lady! I’m just an idiot as per usual. Sorry about that, but thanks again, Rehma – keep em’ coming my friends!

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I’m 24.

It’s my birthday, and I am 24 years old. Why does that sound like an AA meeting, or something? Like  a confessional? Because I’m not bummed about it by any means – in fact I think I like the sound of it a lot better! It’s a kind of in between age like 23 is, still on that cusp…still uncertain, but certainly nearing the rank of legitimate adult. Rather than you know, man-child status, which is what I feel like I have at the moment!

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So what does 24 even look like? What should I expect? In all honesty I think I just want things to continue on the path they seem to be going…because I have faith that there is a lot of positive stuff in store. And I’ll be honored to have you all along with me for the ride! For all the thrills, and spills, for all the bumps, and…lumps? Urgh, errrr…well maybe we’ll ask the doctor about that one –

But anyway! If you are looking to get me anything for my birthday – then a homemade savoury pie of some description would be great! Or you know, share  one of my stories you enjoy with the world…either, or! Pie is naturally preferable though! Here’s to another year, much love to you all – cheers! 

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Fight Club

I would like to think I am a lover, and not a fighter…after all, usually physical conflict doesn’t really solve much when you think about it. Obviously some people make it very tempting, but more often than not, non-peaceful ways to shut them the hell up, are somewhat frowned upon!  Naturally if your dear old Granny was being mobbed by a set of escaped rampant ostriches, you’re probably okay to get the broom out. But in most cases, you’re just likely to get yourself into trouble…

But I was forced to think about this by a guy today – and thanks to his inane question regarding the matter, I’ve been mulling over past bouts ever since…

I only really had one big proper fight at school – which is quite a feat as I went to an all-boys secondary in the North-East of England – not sure how I escaped, I guess I was very good at running away. Anyway, I used to be very embarrassed about its living memory – but now that I look back on it, it was a pretty funny situation, and one which I should have laughed off immediately – rather than getting all defensive about;  you know – blushing, and shrugging whenever anyone asked me about it.

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But back then I lived even deeper in my thoughts than I do now, I didn’t express much, apart from between my nearest, and dearest – stifled by shame, self-consciousness, and a bitter embarrassment regarding just about everything (like, literally.) So this is the first time I’ve told the story to a larger audience…so please bear with me…

It all started on an unassuming school day. I was with my friends on the smaller courtyard, where you could largely avoid the manic hustle, and bustle of the main schoolyard – by which I mean footballs being blasted off your face at every juncture, and/or birds shitting on you in passing, as they scrabbled for the scraps of leftover sandwiches.

That’s not to say it was totally peaceful where we spent our break-times. It was still basically a war-zone…

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Unwanted oranges, apples, and bananas (note: no chocolate was ever thrown) would fly from one end to the other – accompanied with blood-curdling cries, and bellowing swear word strewn sentences, that would even make Vinnie Jones wince.

On the day in question, it appeared to be particularly heated – and the various food items were flying with an increased ferocity. We huddled together, my friends and I, attempting to dip, and dodge any incoming missiles – before scraping them off the floor, and hurling them back. You could only pause momentarily to laugh, should it hit your target – because luxuriate in giggling for too long, and you can be sure that the dirtied tangerine segment would be SPLAT , back in your face!

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So it was quite a surprise when I was told that one of our sworn enemies (that day), now wanted to fight me…something about I had thrown a sloppy banana right off his forehead, and for whatever reason he wasn’t too fond of that fact. I didn’t even know who he was…so they pointed him out…of course, yup – just my luck – he was taller, and about four people wider than me. My friends didn’t care, the occasion had pumped them full of testosterone, and all of a sudden they wanted to see blood. A couple of them ran off to tell him I was up for it, as the others tried to make it seem like a great idea:

“He’s a year younger, man…he’s not even THAT big…well okay, he is…but you know – you throw like one punch, and then we all join in – then it’s like seven versus one! No worries  – YOU HAVE TO NOW!” 

NO! I wasn’t going to do it! No…but how to plot my escape out of this situation – could always go out the side-door, yeah…I began to walk away, with several friends still trying to convince me that it was a great idea – I wasn’t having any of it – “FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!” Someone randomly screamed to my complete horror, and disbelief – before I knew it a crowd had circled in, barring my way out – and there he was, this massive entity. There was no way out of this, I’d never live it down if I ran now…or perhaps I could fake a heart attack…nah, that’s be even worse probably. It was time to face the music. I turned to my fantastic friends, who had basically orchestrated this whole thing – the excitement level for them was clearly off the charts – on the other hand, I was so scared I felt like I may literally shit my pants.

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I looked at my foe – clearly if he got his hands on me, he would literally murder me. One punch from him, and I’d be eating through a straw, for the rest of my life. Couldn’t let that happen. I’d obviously have to try some unusual tactics to avoid him caving my skull in with meaty fists. But what? I had no ideas, so just lunged in there – to no avail, thankfully he missed me too. I turned back to my friends, with a look that said “Jesus Christ – please fucking help you set of complete dickheads” – but no, they just made gestures for me to get a move on.

I was quivering with a fearful kind of excitement, everything was blurred in a mad frenzy – perhaps I would cry, that would be humiliating. Light bulb. I jumped in and booted him in the chest…I pretty much bounced straight off him, cue laughter from the blurs that surrounded me…I tried again, It was literally the only way I could think of to keep distance from this unnatural behemoth. It never worked, I just pinged back as if I was the pinball – and he was the strong flippers at the bottom. He attempted to grab me on numerous occasions, but never quite managed it.

So there I was – just flying in with useless kick, after useless kick. Like a demented version of Kung Fu Panda, but without any of the guile, or charm that makes him admirable. But I had no Plan B – I’d just keep trying this until a teacher would inevitably break it up…after all, there is NO chance any of the onlookers would do anything of the sort. That’d be way too mature, way too sensible.

“OI! WHAT’S GOING ON OVER THERE?!” 

“Oh, thank God” I thought to myself, with a sigh of relief:

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The crowd dispersed, in every direction – and we fled back to our respective corners. But there’s no real code, and soon someone, somewhere had snitched…and the teacher was over next to us, asking questions. “WHO WAS FIGHTIN’? HUH?”  Everyone insisted that nothing had happened, that he had been seeing things…“NO FIGHT? THEN WHY WAS THERE A MASSIVE CROWD? HMM?” One of my friends tried to cheekily claim that the crowd was to do with a Yu-Gi-Oh card, and that it was really rare, so everyone was crowding around to see…inventive, I’ll give him that – but the teacher didn’t buy it. And before long the truth came to light.

We were suspended for the day, the two of us. And while we waited for our parents, we had to sit together – which was awkward…I felt like at any moment he would smash my face through one of the glass cabinets, or at the very least strangle me to death with his banana stained tie. But he didn’t. Just stared at me non-stop, as I squirmed with unease.

Fortunately both my parents were out at work, so it fell to my Grandad to pick me up. Which was a lot less daunting. I slumped into his car, and he immediately wanted all of the details – did I get a good punch in? How big was he? etc, etc! I said he was massive, so I tried to kick him, but it didn’t exactly work out. I thought it best not to mention the fact that I was flying around like a terrible Hong Kong Phooey imitation. And that if I wasn’t so small, he would have probably crushed me to death…

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Anyway, we drove on to my Grandparent’s house, where we had mountains of bacon sandwiches, and gallons of hot sugary tea. My Grandma fussed over me, as Grandmas do – whilst my Grandad made me laugh with Rocky impressions. Later on he called me up to his attic, where he showed me an antique crossbow he had kept hidden for years. “YOU BETTER NOT BE SHOWING HIM THAT CROSSBOW KEITH, IT’S DANGEROUS!” called my Grandma from the kitchen…

He lied, and winked at me – whilst trying to fight back a grin. Then we went back downstairs, and lounged around watching cowboy films for the rest of the day. I suppose in this life, you have to take the good with the bad – and this memory encapsualtes that message entirely for me…it was both the worst day, and the very best day. And for that reason I wouldn’t change it, even if I could. 

Well…perhaps…I wouldn’t have went with the lame kicking technique – would have been nice not to be labelled “Jackie Chan” for the rest of my school-days! But yeah, never mind…

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Harmony, Peace…and other dreams.

I would love to live in a perfect world.

For me it would be all marshmallow houses, chocolate rivers, and a whole lot of laughter. Basically the plot of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Minus the singing mind you, because I couldn’t really deal with that – but the overall positive vibe, and focus on confectionery make it a paradise I wish we could someday live in.

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Alright, I must admit I’m not sure what that world would actually look like…as it has never been that way…woolly mammoths chewing our legs, God induced floods wrecking everything, and a whole lot of man-made monstrosities doing a lot more damage, have made humankind skeptical about whether a perfect world can ever become a reality, that maybe we are destined to live in an unfair shit-hole where some thrive, and some struggle to even survive.

This appears to be a terrifying reality, so we try and ignore it…we used to look up at the stars, and curse the Gods for inflicting such pain upon us, ask them what we had done to wrong them so – rather than facing the fact that it was just humans being fucked up once again…we would beg them to allow us to “win” bloody wars, implore them to improve our social standing, or whatever other greed fueled desires we wished for…basically we would think of the problem as external to us, rather than being anything to do with our own behaviour.

…but now it’s becoming shockingly clear that the disease is among us – the foul disease of intolerance, corruption, and hate. 

So yes, the harsh truth is we don’t live in a perfect world – not even close. But the light at the end of the tunnel is this; as all of this ignorant bullshit was created by man, so it can also (I hope) be undone by man; piece by piece, little by little…by something that is foreign to a lot of people, and that is – being fucking nice to people. Phew, easy as that! You’re welcome world!

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Oh…you think there’s more to it? Ooops…is there?

Yeah John , fucking hell – it’s not as simple as that! You’re oversimplifying everything – put on your thinking hat! What if they come from a different place, what if they’re a different race? What if they’re gay, what if they’re straight? What if they’re God-fearing, disbelieving, or a heathen? What if then? Huh? Huh? Huh?

 Now it’s true that there are differences among people – and for some reason we use these things to divide. Is it human nature? I hope not. We should celebrate these glorious divergences, not allow them to box us in, or border us off – they should enrich us, we should share them with one another, as a way to bring us together!

The recent video of Eric Garner in particular made me cry in despair (LITERALLY) – as it brought to light in a raw, and obvious form that there are still major divisions between us, based on factors that shouldn’t fucking matter. Fear, and the threat of violence are no way for us to live in the 21st century…in the developed world…if you don’t see that, then…urghhhh…

But despair gets us nowhere, unfriending those people on Facebook who spout hatred won’t do a thing – real change happens when we mold ignorant minds, and show them the way. Otherwise the ignorant will remain the way they are.

I wrote this with those people in mind, I do hope you share it with those who need it the most. We may never have a perfect world…but it’ll be a start…

With special thanks to www.edwinaepisodes.com for being one of the nice ones. 

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The Oracles

Re-watched this wonderful video recently…

My 23rd year is almost over, and I must say their tarot reading was a little off, their horoscope predictions somewhat skew-whiff! Hmmm…but there’s always next year I suppose…

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Job Hunt

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to have a job?  And when I say job, I mean the thing you don’t really want, but get up most days to go to, and spend most of your life complaining about – yeah, that thing. I am not referring to dreams, callings, or purposes – I am talking about the “it’s just a job” jobs…the largely “just for the money” jobs.

(You know…the ones that destroy your soul, and make you feel completely replaceable).

Stars GIF

Apologies for the pessimistic tone! But I have been on the job hunt as it were, and so far I haven’t caught much…if this was in the wild sometime BC, and I was a caveman…well, yeah…the family would be going hungry right now. A lot of things have just went wrong, or at least haven’t turned out right – whilst others have been an undeniable travesty.

So here goes:

* Summer 2014: I spent two months in England battling the Korean embassy for a work-visa…I had signed for a new school, but just had to get the legal side of things straightened out (for some reason they wanted to make sure I wasn’t a murderer…which I thought was fair enough). One delay came after another, and every phone call was met with “you should just wait!” Well…I had been waiting…and it was getting ridiculous.  Fortunately two days before I was due to be flown out, the visa arrived! HOOOOORAAAAY! Unfortunately the day after this, my school emailed me saying it was going to close down…so they no longer needed me as a teacher. Fucking fantastic. I flew out anyway, as I felt it would be easier to find jobs while I was actually in the country. GULP.

* Autumn 2014: Got a few things in the works, as you may have heard, but needed something more concrete to pay the bills, and you know – feed myself. So I began interviewing for new schools…the first one I interviewed for was in an old neighbourhood, which was kind of quaint, and interesting. The boss had a very errr…bizarre story for me though – whilst discussing the school, and the whole set up of the operation, he went on to inform me that the whole thing plays out like an unbelievable TV drama; he has one teacher who ran away to “get married to an Iraqi man”, and then returned out of the blue, but told no one what had happened – another who has been working there for seventeen years “because he won’t leave” – another who became pregnant, and continued to deny it (why?) even when she was in the later inflated balloon stage…another who…okay, let’s leave it there. I just thought: what the hell is this place?! And where is the exit?!

Run GIF

* Autumn 2014 (Continued): I interviewed at another school…which was weird in another way – I got there, and sat down with the chap…he nodded, asked one or two questions…well, no…they weren’t questions they were just vague statements – he then said I looked good so he had no problems, I had the job if I wanted it, and that we could sign the contract the following week. The whole thing took about five minutes, if that. I was pleased as the school was close to Taco Bell, which meant that I’d be having a splendid lunch for two weeks in a row! However…and it’s a big however…the week after signing the contract, the agent got in touch with me…and said that, that school l is closing down too! WHAAAAAT THE FIZUCKKKK?! It’s like fucking King Midas…except everything I touch doesn’t turn to gold…it turns to literal human shit!!!?? What is wrong with me?! ARGHHHH! Breathe…breathe…breathe…

* Winter 2014: I got a temporary position for a couple of weeks at a school, and so far it is going okay – actually they offered me a full time job come February – but the timing won’t be right. This when put with my private tutors…editing gigs…and other things, means that I won’t die of starvation, which is naturally a huge relief. I am excited to be going home for Christmas! But I am continuing on my job search…mrs-satan/ got in touch actually, and it should say a lot that I am tempted to return – they offered extremely short hours, and only with kindergarten too – so it’d be playing with kids, and then writing, and doing whatever I wanted for the rest of the time. Sounds sweet…but then again…I’d be in her hellish arena once more. Meanwhile, my Korean friend is trying to get me a job at his workplace – something about social media, I don’t know – it’d be a real grown up job…suit and tie by rule, not just because…arghhh, all of this hurts my head.

Thinking hard GIF

That’s why I have day-dreamed about how fantastic it would be if we all just wandered around, doing whatever – naturally it is impossible, but still. I hope that one day, I can make enough money from the things I love, so that I don’t have to have all of these money-woes, and job worries. It reduces from the beauty of life itself, because you become fixated on money, money, money.

ARGHHH! Now Abba is stuck in my head…I have only myself to blame. Wish me luck my friends, I hope you are all doing well.

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Back to the future…

I have just been looking through old photos on my phone, having a little clear out of memes and stupid pictures I seem to accrue for some reason – when I stumbled across this…

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Let me explain. It’s a screenshot of a message that I got from a kindergarten student of mine after he graduated and moved to a different school for first grade. His name is Aden, he was from my first class in Korea: Jupiter Class. To say I love those kids is a ginormous understatement – I almost put loved, but that would imply their impression is no longer felt – which it truly is, they were my best friends, and I cared for them as if they were my own children – I think that is what makes me feel like I am not a teacher at heart, I get too emotionally invested.

(Here’s a pic of us in our prime – from left to right – Katrina, Jackie, Aden, Anant, Zeno, Victoria, Sunny, JJ, Danny)

Aden Pic 3

When it came to them leaving me surprisingly there were not any tears, in fact I was probably the closest – the reason being that I had told them that it wasn’t a big deal, we would see each other again – perhaps sometime soon, perhaps in twenty years – but I made it clear that this wasn’t the end of our story together. We began to talk in hypotheticals, dreaming of the future that could be…“well I am going to have a dougnut shop, so we can all meet up there!” Zeno announced boldly – sounded good to me – and he went on to promise unlimited free doughnuts to every single one of us! Perfect! Katrina burst in asking if it was alright for her to bring her husband along…after some deliberation we agreed we’d allow it. “We can spend the day at my museum!” said Danny, “it’s going to be a shark museum…and glass museum…and poop museum…all together in one!” Well, this was shaping up to be quite a jam-packed little reunion, I’m sure you’d agree, I was already excited!

We spent the rest of our final class laughing and joking, as per usual – it was the perfect end to a perfect time together.

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