The Rocking Chair Theory

Sometimes you see something and it sparks a whole chain of thought almost immediately…often it’s in things you don’t expect, and from places you wouldn’t have guessed – but despite this it feels central to your life in some way…as if it has always been a part of you, even if you hadn’t realized it before. I mean…if it wasn’t, why would you suddenly feel so strongly about it?

Safe Life

Anyway, that’s how I felt today when I stumbled across this photograph and caption on the Humans of New York Facebook page…

And no, settle down…it wasn’t because I saw the bit about STDs. It was just because I realized that despite also being quite a cautious person I am forever attempting to push myself free from those “hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t” shackles so that I can hopefully live a life well lived, rather than a one full of safe regret instead…

Mind I’m not calling this fella a square because he hasn’t ever had a battle with chlamydia…there’s every cause for congratulations in that respect – however it did sadden me that his words have such a final tone to them…even though I imagine his life is far from over…I mean, there’s still plenty of time for him to volunteer in Africa, develop a drinking problem, become addicted to crystal meth, and/or blow his  life savings on cocaine fueled hookers. So why the negativity? Stop wasting time, and get on with it! 

Seriously though…people often say things like: “that’s something to tell the grandchildren!” when they do something out of the ordinary, or have an experience that is half-way interesting…and I suppose it’s this miserable fear of sitting in a rocking chair at 80 years old with nothing interesting to say that motivates me to push on and fill my life’s tapestry with weird and wonderful stuff! You only get one life to live, and all that lark…right? And I don’t want my most thrilling tale to be something about how milk and eggs used to be a lot cheaper, “back in my day…” as I slurp on soup, and fill a plastic bag with pee…

With that said being a cautious person is not entirely a bad thing, and you certainly shouldn’t relinquish control completely, that could prove to be disastrous! In fact, it actually reminds me of a situation a few years back where I found myself cornered in a Sunderland bar in the early hours of the morning – you see a possibly (definitely) psychotic football hooligan had taken an interest in me and wouldn’t let me go…he was too engrossed in his life story, which included a penchant for stabbing police officers in the neck with broken plastic pens during riots – and a claim that he will never stop doing heroin because it is “too fucking great to stop”. And whilst I must concede his sounded like a very interesting life to live – this is perhaps not my suggestion with this rambled post.

I would in actual fact suggest a person can still live a wonderful life even without stabbings, and heroin. I know, a controversial view – but I’m somewhat of a radical I guess! 

All it takes is simply loosening your grip on the “what ifs?” every so often…letting your guard down to different experiences, and occasionally pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. After all it is here where true rocking chair memories are made…

So why not get started today?

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Adult/Child: The Battle

I’ve been getting nostalgic regarding my childhood – like most people I think it would be GREAT to be a kid all over again; just to be so carefree, and wild! In this video I mourn over my loss of childhood, and also take a look at some old photos from when I was a kid.

Fun to watch, but the message runs deep for all of us!

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Live for the Weekend?

“I can’t wait for the weekend!” says some tiresome, but probably well meaning person in your workplace…shame it’s only Tuesday – and the drab countdown to allotted free time will now drag even longer than usual…

Why GIF

Why do they do it? Is life really that shit, that you want to tick bits off like it’s a jail sentence you can’t wait to be over? 

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But I hate this idea of, “living for the weekend.” It’s not that I don’t get it (I really do!), it’s just that I feel this means your’e only finding worth in two measly days out of seven. If I was better at maths, I’d work out the percentage of life you are missing out on thanks to this perspective, but I’m not so I won’t – let’s just all agree on a lot. 

My situation is good at the moment – so perhaps that’s why I can be so recklessly judgy, and borderline pretentious about this sort of stuff…after all I just teach kindergarten Monday, to Friday; 9:30 till 14:30…which leaves the rest of the day free for me to pursue the things I love – namely writing…or you know – eating, and sleeping…actually sometimes all three if I’m feeling real ambitious! 

Naturally this makes me happy! Doing what you like makes you happy, it’s as simple as that. And although it is a very temporary situation – for now, I can only praise the stars, my lucky charms, and/or whatever else for granting me such a sweet deal. It hasn’t always been that way…at one point I was getting up to do a paper round at 5:30am, then on to push televisions around at an electrical store, then a shift at the pub later on. Madness – I mean I was supposed to be studying…

Dollar GIF

Anyway during those days the weekends were my busiest! So I can’t say I was thrilled every time they rolled around. Tuesdays were great…Wednesdays too…

My rather rambled, and convoluted point is this…try and find good in every day, not just the ones where you get to take shots of some obnoxious liquid, and wake up in a puddle of your own expulsions without worrying about missing an appointment. There is good in the weekdays too. Even if it’s just a nice conversation, a sunny day, or the anticipation of dinner with a family member, or watching the new episode of your favourite show…it’s all good my friends, it’s all good…

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Horrible Jobs/Horrible Bosses!

Hey friends! This took me a while, so I hope you enjoy it! It’s a little trip down memory lane…a look in at some of the crummy jobs I have had along the way – I could have made it A LOT longer, but we would be here for hours!

So yeah, hope you get a kick out of it – and let me know of any stinkers you’ve had, would love to hear your tales! 

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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Lazy Sundays (ARE THE BEST SUNDAYS!)

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

Existential Spices

As humans I think it’s pretty normal to ponder our own existence…although I often like to believe I am one of the elite few who is really thinking about it, that everyone else is just passing through, experiencing things at face value – and that basically I am some sort of superior brain amongst a mass of morons. This is solely a luxury for my ego, and in truth is probably only half true…

See Clearly GIF

Arghhh fine, but keep it to yourself sister!

Anyway, what’s the meaning of life? Why are we here? What are we doing? You know, all of those “what’s the fucking point of it all?!” existential crisis type questions – are ones that plague our waking days, and pester our subconscious even when sleeping, because at the heart of things we know we’re just highly intelligent (hmm, sometimes) beasts, and the real innate purpose is just that of a really dreadful commander of an alien legion – “THE RACE HAS TO CONTINUE, WE MUST PROCREATE AND CONTINUE THE BLOODLINE! THE RACE MUST GO ON!” 

So when this rather carnal impulse meets our meddlesome overactive mind we become part of an ongoing battle for self-actualization and understanding…one which basically can never be won in the traditional “yeyyyy, I got a shiny medal and certificate!” kind of way…perhaps that’s why it feels so uncomfortable…we just have to pick a side, and stick with it…that’s literally it.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?!

Well, perhaps you head to religion for your purpose? And you essentially believe this is a humongous audition/amazingly well-orchestrated dress rehearsal for the spectacular afterlife? Where you get to hang out with all of your best friends, and family members (presumably you get to pick which ones make the grade), and spend your days eating whatever you like and never gaining unwanted weight. All the while being able to pick the brains of the most clued-in individual ever to exist; the creator man himself, God!

Sounds bloody perfect! So if that’s your belief and reason for living…then yeah, good for you! I can dig it!

Lebowski GIF

Praise him with the boogie!

Or do you venture into the romantic side of things…the spirituality of love for love’s sake? You know…the life is about being happy, and making others happy sort of thing. With this seems to come an acceptance that life is a horrifyingly complex and confusing state of being – and that one should basically just make the best of it. Because yeah, why not? After all why lose sleep over the complicated nature of the day to day when you can observe such fantastical beauty in your world; from the love of those who are dear to you, the laughter of children, and the possibility to add extra cheesy bacon bits to items of your choosing and much more! There is indisputably a lot to live for, and eventually die f…shhhhh no, let’s not mention that bit…no, no…

Then there’s the idea about immortality…why work out what it is to live, when I can never die?! Now, I’m not so much talking about actually living forever…although that would be great, and if anyone has a secret potion they’ve been working on I’d be a willing patient! But no…I am speaking of self-expression, creating a legacy that will succeed you long after your death. This may be through art, scientific discovery, politics, business…whatever really. Basically anything that inflates your ego and makes you feel a little less like a minute speck of nothingness in a vast and uncaring universe…bleak I know. But it is, what it is…

Depp Sad GIF

Not a happy camper.

Yeah…and I guess the last option is to just check out altogether…but if you do that you are missing out on the potential joy and ecstasy that life can bring…as well as the harrowing lows which despite being awful, can in turn provide a deeper perspective and understanding of what it is to be alive, and what it is to be human…

I suppose, all we can do is look for ways to flavour and make the most of our life right nowafter all they say “variety is the spice of life”, and I believe it. You should seek out new passions, new friendships, new adventures, and new meaning…expand your mind, and open your heart. But errr…make sure you take it with pinch of salt, as none of us get out alive after all…* 

Shrugs GIF

~~~

Unless you have that immortality potion thing*, in which case EMAIL ME. Cheers in advance Dr. Controverso! 

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The Odd Shoes…

You can probably guess this already, but I am a big fan of unusual people. You know? The ones who set themselves apart, not intentionally, but simply by being themselves. Just to clarify, I’m not talking about the maniac flasher, or the guy who stares without blinking…that’s a whole different post.

The reason why I like the unusual, or ‘eccentric’ element – is that it invites questions; who, what, where? How, and why? And with these questions comes conversation, and from that comes a different perspective…

So with that in mind, it’s a shame that I couldn’t ask a young lady I spotted today all of those things; I mean she was a stranger for one, and then you have the language barrier to consider too…but anyway, here’s what happened:

I was on the subway, squashed in as usual as it gets so busy on the weekends. I had to stand in front of the people who were sat down, trying to tame my blushes as my mind went into a crazy fit shouting “YOUR GROIN IS AT THEIR EYE LEVEL! YOUR GROIN IS AT THEIR EYE LEVEL!”  I flicked through my phone…no WIFI…so I was just randomly looking at old pictures, or at least pretending to. I thought about turning around, so my butt would be in the seated grandma’s faces…perhaps that is better? But then I recognised I’d be face to face, groin to groin, with the grunting sweaty man behind me. So I stayed put. 

Awkward Look GIF

Someone did catch my eye though. She had a rather unassuming look, with typical Korean style clothing – that is to say colorful, and well put together. She was playing a phone game, like 99% of the other people on the carriage. But one thing stood out…you see…she had, well…odd shoes on…

…like…different shoes, not just an alternating colour. Completely different. I’m talking one New Balance, and the other Adidas. I looked away after I realised I had been staring for a while, and felt my face scrunch up involuntarily as I tried to make sense of what I had just witnessed. I had so many questions!? What’s the story there…?

Perhaps she couldn’t make up her mind? She wanted to wear both…so then she thought – well why don’t I?! Or perhaps she has a brother with one leg…and she always takes the spare? Well no, because then she would have two ‘right foots’ or two ‘left foots’ – that wouldn’t work. Erm…maybe she…I don’t know – I JUST DON’T KNOW!?

Make it Stop GIF

And the sad thing is, I’ll never know…her odd shoe story will go forever untold. UNLESS I SEE HER, AND THEN I AM TOTALLY ASKING – I’LL JUST USE BASIC SIGN LANGUAGE! (Point, point – shrug, shrug – point, point – shrug!)

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What is Success?

“What is success?”

And I know, I know…everyone has a different version of the definition – apparently...but we are all people, and for the most part this drives us to want the same things. To love, and be loved…to have a purpose, and a core motivation…to eat an entire family sized lasagna by yourself without being sick. See, that’s probably just me with that last one. But yeah, the question does confuse me – and if I don’t fully understand what it means to be successful, then how will I know when I have reached this grand milestone?

You see at the moment I feel like I have graduated from the meager caterpillar stage…wandering around aimlessly, just consuming everything – with no clear direction…and now I am in the chrysalis stage, locked away in my bedroom cocoon, beavering away…with the hope that I will somehow magically burst into life, like a vibrant butterfly, and spread my wings. Confident, and suave…the Kanye West of comedy writing.

Kanye GIF f

Precious, ey? Well, although it would be lovely if all that were true – and trust me, it’s what I like to tell myself during my various conversations with, well…myself. I don’t think it is what life is like. Not really. Although it isn’t a sleek, or glamorous metaphor; I reckon we are a lot more like the snail.

Yup. We just mosey on along…pulling along all of the baggage that we accrue day after day…yes, the moss…the dirt…it builds on top of us, but we keep on going, we absorb it…it becomes who we are. 

We can look back at any time, and see the trails that we once took, glistening behind us. Often we went the wrong way, repeated back on ourselves, or looped, and looped, with no clear purpose. But we are still here – and the only real decision is…where are we going now? 

Lost GIF f

Well to success of course! Alright…but which way’s that?

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