Opening your eyes

Funnily enough, my fiancée was talking about this just last night.

Learning when to switch off
Learning when to switch off

Unplugging from everything is something that I hope to teach my children in the future. I’m not a doom and gloom person, I don’t believe that technology is going to ruin our children’s lives and make them useless as human beings. None of that. I believe technology is what it is – a tool to aid us and better our lives. There is no doubting that life has improved vastly for the majority over the last 30 years because of the huge leaps that technology has taken.

Yet.

I believe there is always a time to put it all down. Switch off those screens and un-crane those necks and look about yourself. The world is definitely a beautiful place full of interesting people and fascination, if all it takes it for you to leave your phone at home for a day – then you should absolutely switch off. I watched a short film the other day (link below) where a guy is hitchhiking to the sea. It’s not so much the story that hit me but the example of pure human interaction that is put on display. This guy – this hitchhiker – has no idea who these people are, he has no idea what their likes or dislikes are, whether they are in a relationship, what they had for breakfast or what their new favourite song is. All information which is readily available to us through various forms of social media.

This guy has to actually talk to these people, find out the natural way through conversation. I know it can be hard to cast aside prejudgment or even personal traits like shyness. But, watching that film, I felt envious. Envious of his confidence and his skill for small talk (Yes, I know it’s a scripted film, but still). It almost made me want to go and sit at a bus stop and just talk to the next person I see. But ,no doubt, that person would have their head bent over a phone screen and would not be interested in what I had for dinner.

This weekend myself and my friends are heading to Edinburgh for a short break away. I am taking my camera with me, will shoot some pictures and film some footage – but I want to stay away from the internet. I don’t want to broadcast every second of my trip with my mates to the whole world. I am going to switch off and all of you can hear about it when I get back. I don’t want to miss the real beauty of the city, or of the journey or even the company of my friends because I am updating a status or uploading a picture to Instagram.

I hope this way, I will be able to enjoy it more. I will be able to talk and fully throw myself into the Edinburgh life as so many who travel do.

I am super excited and I am even looking forward to the train journey at a ridiculous hour tomorrow morning.

I’m super excited to see something new.

Super excited to see my friends and super excited to open my eyes and enjoy some real life moments.

The Sea By Midnight from Isaac Ravishankara on Vimeo.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Bloggers, Unplugged.”

Pushing Through the Fear

First time I've passed 5k on a run. Breaking down the fear of not being able to any further.
First time I’ve passed 5k on a run. Breaking down the fear of not being able to any further.

When trying to explain some of life’s weird situations I like to refer them to well-known stories or characters. With this in mind, let’s tackle fitness fear.


A LONG TIME AGO,

IN A GALAXY FAR,

FAR, AWAY.

Fear, I believe, is the greatest enemy of anyone who is trying to get fit. Now, I’m not talking about these people who are looking to get ripped or bulk up (although it could quite easily affect everyone). No – I’m talking about the people who are looking to improve their health and well-being, improve their lifestyle and maybe lose a bit of weight. In other words, people like me.

I started running as I felt sluggish, tired and washed out. Not a healthy thing for a 24 year old! So I decided to do something about it. If you have been following some of my other points, you may see that I dived in and signed up for a few races to give myself a deadline to work towards. This is a good tactic, and one of many that you can find to motivate yourself into exercise. A quick search on the internet will also throw up a number of ideas, so it is ideal that you find the one that works for you! The will to actually do something pushed me through my first couple of months of running. I felt great, the endorphins really do flow after a run and I had a bounce in my step for a few days after too.

Pushing my runs to the 5k provided me with my biggest hurdle.

The initial spark was now a sizzle and my will to run was pushed to the back of mind whilst thoughts of I only ran yesterday turned into I already ran once this week. Not good enough. I knew, somewhere in the back of my mind, that my progress was going to plateau if I didn’t up my game. I was pulling quicker times on my 5k with the aid of running with a running partner. A great one too! As he is quicker and fitter than me – it really pushes you to keep up (within a limit!). But without that extra push, I was never going to reach my 10k in time.

I started feeling a bit crumby again. Doubt started to creep back in and a new feeling finally reared its ugly head. I don’t think I wasn’t running out of laziness or lack of will – I think  I was holding back out of fear.

Fear is a mans worst enemy.

Fear is Darth Vader.

Fight your fears
Fight your fears

Right? Stick with me.

Darth Vader is a classic bad guy. Powerful, endearing and has a great time smashing people into non-existence. Fear is my Darth Vader, my sworn enemy and the beast I have to defeat to continue. Now – those who have seen Star Wars will know that in the end Vader isn’t all we presumed and this is where I make my point. Although initially, you may be worried – scared that you goals are out of reach, you need to harness your fears. Don’t think, “I don’t think I will be able to finish my 10k, so I won’t run this week as it’s pointless.” No, you have to take the fear, you have to beat Darth Vader and stand up and say “I am afraid I won’t be able to finish my 10k, so I need to up my game!” Only then will Darth Vader toss the Emperor into the depths of the Death Star. Only then, will you be able to use your fear as fuel and no longer be weighed down by your doubts.

A little green Jedi once described it as this.

Fear is the path to the Darkside.

Fear leads to Anger.

Anger leads to Hate.

Hate leads to suffering. 

And he was right. If you allow yourself to fear failing then you will become more annoyed at your lack of action to the point where you will hate  you’re in action. And that, friends, is a dangerous and harmful path to get on. You need to drag yourself up and get back to pounding pavements, treadmills, anything. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be tough, there will be times when you might want to quit, but if you do it then your body will thank you, your mind will thank  you and when the zombie apocalypse finally does come you’ll have Rule One of the Zom-Apocalypse down already. But you have to do it. Only then will you succeed.

Back to the little green guy.

Do or do not.

There is no try.

Tell them Yoda.
Tell them Yoda.

Honk honk, Alpha Ape

From talking to people far and wide, the issue I implore you to discuss with me is one which has repurcutions felt not only nationally, but worldwide.


That got your attention right?

The issue I deliberate on is the alpha ape vehicle driver. We all know them, we see them day in and day out whisking their through traffic just daring you to challenge them. No I use the none gender specific description of ape as I have found no links between gender and this type of road rage. In fact, equality advocates would probably class it as a win.

An example, if you will. Whilst driving into the city centre the other day I stopped at a red light and waited my turn. It was rush hour and the traffic crossing in front of my was moving slowly, but as the traffic lights changed, my path was clear. As I accelerated – and even accelerated is a dramatic turn of phrase for how fast my car moved – a gentleman, who had been stuck in the right hand turn side of his lane (to go in my direction) put pedal to the metal, and like a bat out of hell charged towards the front side of my car as I passed.
I stopped my car, which as I said – was not moving very fast, and allowed this imbecile to go in front. Fine? Sure. I was quite happy with the outcome, having trained myself recently to drive defensively at all times, no matter what happens. What I was not prepared for was the barracking I received off the driver I let in. His face contorted in a painful grimace, hands gesticulating in what can only be described as the Devils Macarena and I assume a torrent of foul language, as I could not hear him, spewing from his fetid mouth.

I could not understand why I had irked him so much, but it quickly dawned on me which sin I had committed. Merely being there on the road and becoming an obstacle as the gentleman ran his red light was the fuse to blow the dynamite.

I have com to the decision that it is lack of intelligence that leads to this behaviour. It’s the ultimate one up man ship as these white van drivers, taxi drivers, daily commuters and school runners just think that they are better than everyone else. Quite happy to take other people’s lives in their hands just to gain a second on their journey time.

As mentioned earlier, it is not a bespoke trait for men either and sometimes the abuse you get off women would make the biggest of hard face men quiver in their 110’s.

I think for now I will sit back and let the world go mad by itself. Life is far too short.
What are your experiences with these sorts of drivers? Or what do th think could be done to stop them?

Five steps to become the perfect adult: Growing up made easy!

Charlie Brown, eternally relevant.
Charlie Brown, eternally relevant.

I wish that this was a book that someone had written.


That way, through my meandering browsing of amazon and other book sites, blogs and reviews, I may have stumbled across it and been able to handle the situation that I am in now.

Or rather was in.

You see, as I sit here on my lunch break in the midst of a video format situation in work, the bell has tolled and we have escaped unscathed. I had written around 300 words of foreboding, talking about adult responsibility and how the stress of this situation was pretty crushing. However, and interesting enough I have learnt a lesson within the last 15 minutes and it is one that I am eager to share on my first blog post to this site.


I work as a Video Production Assistant for a goods company (selling microwaves, fridges, freezers). We film product videos and how to videos and recipe videos. It’s enjoyable work, and I love the editing side of it. We also take on projects for external clients – and this is the part where the elephant eats your picnic. We had huge issues with formatting when trying to submit a piece of work for television broadcast. This was an area that is completely new to us and even more so to me being pretty fresh-faced out of university.

As the problems arose and clients became flustered the pressure was mounting until this morning, then it peaked at an insane amount of foreboding. We had one last chance – once more into the breach. We had tried everything and my extensive research into formatting was well and truly at a dead-end. The fork in the road lead to two dead ends and we had no where else to go.

My previous post was about realising my responsibility as an adult and an employee in this mess. I was going to write about how I now realised what it means to have responsibility, in the face of the company losing a significant amount of money on this project. Not to mention the time the team has taken to complete this task.  We were worried. I’m not gonna lie. And, they really pushed it to the limit in sending us the feedback.

This time, we survived.

Our last battle had routed the enemy, through sheer will power we persevered and we were victorious!

There was a collective in take of breath, then – elation.

So, now I propose a new angle on responsibility.

Maybe, unknown to me, I had become responsible. Maybe the time spent researching formatting options and trawling through video tech geeks forums was  me being responsible? However it happened – I have grown up. This experience has shown me that if you want something enough then you can get it. Responsibility it something that you are given, whether you want it or not, it’s how you deal with it that is going to show people who you really are.

Now, I feel confident. I feel confident in my ability to knuckle down and solve the problem. Even with no knowledge – and to interject for a moment, I don’t believe I have any more knowledge of formatting for television – you can grapple and scrap and grit your teeth and persevere.

The proverbial they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day” when talking about persevering and creating great work.

What they fail to mention is a lesson that I believe is more fundamental to this story. If you take anything from this blog, it should be this.

Rome began with the laying of a single stone.

This message follows the idea of getting your foot in the door. Having that first step, that first idea of “I’m here, what the hell am I going to do” and just going with it. Building upon the foundations of your character and letting yourself grow. If you are in a situation where you think everything if getting too much or you are inexperienced – afraid even. Understand that no matter how long you feel out of your depth, eventually you will rise. Then one day you will look back and realise that all those hours spent worrying and searching endless places for solutions to problems you can’t comprehend are not wasted. They are the building blocks to your life. Your tools in taking on your responsibility.

That’s my story for today. A little heavy, but it reflects the atmosphere that I have been engulfed in for the past week. I hope you enjoyed it and will be back for future posts which will be happier, light-hearted, young adult word splurge.