I’ll have you know I’ve been called an anachronism on more than one occasion. The first time someone called me that, I gleefully showed my appreciation of the compliment and went straight home to look up the meaning in the dictionary. It helped me to understand why I never felt like I fit in. Those ancient greeks knew what they were doing when they defined words.
ana – “against” + khronos “time”.
I knew it wasn’t simply because I couldn’t grasp existing in this modern world – the dictionary confirmed that I was something out of harmony with the present.
I’ve been fighting the battle ever since.
I’ve done many random and spontaneous things in my life, although some would say they were bordering on the ridiculous. I’ve packed up my bags and flown, trekked, bussed, tuk-tuked, karaoked, swum and eaten my way across 42 countries, built houses in rural Cambodian villages, spent my life’s savings to make a difference, directed a 13 part tv series about MS, lived in Lerwick and the Akrotiri, worked in politics, retail travel, project management and philanthropy, hung out in slums, challenged others to dig deep and once climbed three of China’s holy mountains in one week.
If you only knew one quarter of the ridiculous things I have done, the places I have found myself sitting and the people I have shared conversation with, you’d understand how the most interesting/exhausting/special/consuming/intense and memorable times I have experienced, have been quite random, ridiculous and on the odd occasion, raunchy.
I remember random book lines. As the fox said to the Little Prince, “On ne voit bien qu’avec le couer, l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux”. It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
To really have the best chance at living this life, you really need to understand what the essential is. What makes you say you bloody ripper.
For me – I definitely need to give. I need to be able to show compassion and passion in everything I do. I’m smart. I’m an ideas person. I can do many things. But it’s making the difference that is important. Travelling. Learning. Writing. Creating change. Challenging and being challenged. Seeking adventure. I don’t go very well sitting in a room by myself. I need to connect. Ask lots of questions. Dig out the passion. Get rid of the cant’s. And I need to make sure I say you bloody ripper as much as possible.
We don’t always need to complicate things.
There are also those ridiculously simple times in our life that we feel utmost joy. A gentle touch. Rain. The smell of fresh bread. A first kiss (I hope it gets raunchier than that). A great meal. A simple choice. Then there’s the shopping trolley burnouts. The rash from your first biathlon. The sticky fingers from a big pile of fairy floss. A cold winter swim. The shower karaoke. The car karaoke. The tram karaoke. The randomness of life.
It’s the here. The now. The past. The memories. Those which are inflicted. And those that we create.
Isn’t play dough so much more fun than a barbie or ken? Because it’s up to us to shape it.
If it looks like a demented ancient phallic symbol rather than the grand castle we were trying so hard to create, all we need to do is mush it back up and start again. Barbie and Ken just get to be perfect forever. Where’s the fun in that?
And the simple joy?
I’ve never been good at commitment (although I will tell you that he’s out there and it will be one hell of a raunchy, random and dare I say, ridiculously exciting adventure) but I’m committing to YBR to write, photograph and share all the small things that combine to make life the vivid journey that it is. I commit to YBR until I randomly decide none of us need it in our lives anymore.
I believe I need it in my life to help fight the battle.
And because I believe there’s something awesome in being able to recognise and remember what awakens our senses each and every day.
If what I write helps someone to appreciate one small thing about their day, their life, their relationships, themselves: you bloody ripper!
Living cannot be owned, travelled to, earned, worn or consumed. It is simply the experience of awakening the senses and filling our life with choice, purpose, action, laughter, passion and commitment each and every day. Life: you bloody ripper!