Monday Musings: Making the Most of Life

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So, I can’t help feeling like I’ve got myself in a bit of a rut lately. I go to work, I come home, I have dinner, try and fit quality writing time in wherever I can, while also worrying about whether I’m letting myself unwind and relax enough (only to feel guilty about not writing or doing something productive when I attempt to relax), go to bed, wake up and go to work again, rinse and repeat. I mean sure, I spend plenty of quality time with my boyfriend, I get out to see friends occasionally (though it appears this gets increasingly hard to organise as you get older), but I still have the nagging feeling of being trapped in the same old cycle day after day, month after month, to the point where I just wonder what the end goal is, what the hell it’s all for. I suppose not having the structure and context that university previously provided me with may well be a contributing factor to this (I probably would do a Master’s if I could afford it!), but I just constantly find myself thinking ‘Surely there’s more to it than this’. I’ve always been someone who’s focused on the bigger picture, the bigger questions, so it’s particularly frustrating to find myself feeling like this. Being creative is essentially a lot of what keeps me sane, I find, whether that be working on my novel, writing poetry, or sometimes the odd bit of art if I’m in the mood. And above all, I want to get out and see the world while I’m still able to, and share good times and amazing experiences with those closest to me, with work being a means to an end to be able to afford to do these things and be able to live comfortably. I’m very much someone who works to live, rather than simply living to work. I cannot understand people who completely exhaust themselves working something insane like 70+ hours a week; surely there isn’t any time left to actually spend the money you’ve earned and truly enjoy life? Time is such a precious thing, and if we aren’t careful it can slip through our fingers so easily, and before we know it months, or even years have passed – and what have we to show for it?

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Patrick Joseph Falterman II (1990-2016)

With all this whirring around in my mind, I found myself both touched and inspired when I came across an article that a friend of mine had shared on Facebook, about a chap called Patrick Joseph Falterman II (awesome name too) who ran a website called hitchtheworld.com (hosted right here on WordPress in fact), where, as the name implies, he documented his travels and hitchhiking adventures – leading such an amazing and adventurous life at the young age of 26. Unfortunately, this was a life traigically cut short when he recently passed away in a plane crash in Texas. An artist friend of his decided to pay tribute to Patrick and his adventurous spirit by creating a comic about him – as you can check out for yourself in the article here.

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Entitled ‘The Modern Nomad’, this really got me thinking about how we live our lives, and the amazing world around us that we are all potentially missing out on. How we spend so much time with our eyes glued to various different screens (and yes, I am aware of the irony of pointing this out while I am currently typing this with my own eyes fixed on a screen!), how we can let responsibilities chain us and keep us from achieving our dreams, and how we often cave in to what society or our peers expect of us. Are we then doomed to find ourselves regretting the risks we didn’t take, the chances we didn’t act upon? Patrick was clearly a man who didn’t want to live this way, and decided to make the most of his youth (which as older people often grumble, is ‘wasted on the young’). He wanted to venture to the Amazon, wanting to spend nights listening to the sounds of the jungle while gazing at the stars, away from the demanding and hectic modern world, where it feels like we can’t even stop for a second to smell the roses. The monotonous cycle of the ‘same old, same old’ was driving him mad while he dreamt of being able to go there. So he did what most of us would never dare to do – left his home and got himself into debt in order to make this dream a reality. Purging himself of material things in order to truly get out there and really live. I’ll let you read the comic for yourself, but the main point is this – it was a long hard road to get there, but he eventually did make it to the Amazon, and achieved what he had been dreaming of during those dreary, rinse-and-repeat days at home. If you’re feeling anything like I do at the moment, it’s a reminder that there is always a way out – I’m not saying that I’d necessarily do something as crazy and rash as what Patrick did, but it has made me mindful not to let anything stand in my way of doing what I want to do with my life, going to the places I want to go to, and being more determined to find a way of achieving my dreams, no matter what a long, difficult road it may be to get to them. The article and the comic itself is definitely worth a read, particularly if you’re feeling blue or not sure of where you’re going or what you’re doing in your life. After reading it, I made myself a nice cup of tea and read through what I had written for my novel so far; and I realised, despite the frustrations and uncertainty I am currently facing in my life, I have started writing a novel – and that is something I should commend myself for even attempting. It will be a long, difficult journey to finish it, and then even more so to rewrite and redraft to get everything to my liking – but I will not let anyone or anything stand in the way of me realising the dream of finishing it and getting it published. Life is too short for that. I hope the comic, and Patrick’s zest and ambition for life that inspired it, has inspired you too and encouraged you to never give up on your dreams and what makes you happy.
Live, love and laugh, even through the darkest times. You’ll come out the other side sooner or later.
With best wishes and good health,
Stu

Check out my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, available NOW for download as an eBook on Amazon. Check it out here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

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