All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

Star (aka Incoherent Rambling #1)

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The first website I ever constructed was way back in 2000 following my return from backpacking around the UK and Canada. This was the one and only ‘blog’ style ramble that was published on the website, I had planned more but I guess life got in the way! So what the hey, let’s repost it here in all it’s orginal shambolic glory! :)

;Bryan Adams live in the Color Line Arena, Ham...

“What you gonna be when you grow up?
What do you wanna do when the night is up?
What do you wanna say when things go wrong?
What you gonna do when your on your own?
There’s a road long and winding.
The lights are blinding.
But it gets there.
Don’t give up, don’t look back.
There’s a silver lining, it’s out there somewhere.
Everybody wants an answer.
Everybody needs a friend.
We all need a shining star on which we can depend.
So tonight we’re gonna wish upon a star we’ve never wished upon before.”
Bryan Adams – Star

Okay so I have to be honest quoting Bryan Adams isn’t really the most accepted thing to do in society, let alone proclaiming his songs as some of your favourites, but what the hell! Since when did I ever say I was normal? This is one of my favourite songs, as is Summer of 69, Heaven and Back to You. That’s not the issue at hand, although some may think it is, some may want me to check into a mental institute because I know a lot of his songs by heart. There’s no shame in it, I have a lot of favourite songs, and I will admit that for the majority of them I have no clue as to what the singer/songwriter is saying. It doesn’t matter to me…what matters to me in music is what I feel from the song. How the music and the harmonies affect me, what moments of my life are attached to them. That’s what I think of when I hear the song. Take the above – I was sitting in my room, a day after my final exam, a couple of days before the school prom and I was just thinking about what I was going to do next. I had no idea, by the way. What about Bonny Portmore by Lorenna McKinnett? That’s one of my Scotland songs, even though it’s about the destruction of a tree in Ireland. Hotel California is for me about the time and people I spent at and with in the Inverness Student Hotel, I guess it’s just pseudo irony that the song is also about checking into a mental institute. And I will be honest everytime, everytime, I hear the line “You can check in any time you like, but you can’t ever leave” I will think of the people there. We sung it often.

Music is one of the most passionate art forms out there – far greater than poetry or film or fiction or…or anything. Really. It gets into us, burrows and nestles itself deep deep under our skin, for the rest of our lives. Much like passion.

Now when I was growing up I wanted to be Indiana Jones. Other kids sure, they wanted to be astronauts or firefighters or chicken farmers or teachers, doctors, the guy that manually masturbates caged animals for artificial insemination. Whatever. Not me. I wanted to be some fictional hero from movies made in the 1980s and set in the 1930s. He was just cool. The epitome of a super-hero, only without the super powers, so I guess he’s just a hero. So was it the hero I wanted to be? Maybe. Was it the fact he held captivated millions of children and adults around the world? Possibly. Was it the fact he had Sean Connery as a dad? Doubtful. To be honest, fifteen odd years down the line I do not know why I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I grew up. I’m sure there was a reason, why else would I pretend my bed was an out of control plane and my duvet an inflatable raft. Thinking about it now, as a somewhat still immature adult…not that there’s anything wrong with being a mite immature at 21 years of age, I personally think a lot of adults could learn a lot if they just gave into there urges when they see an empty playground. Playgrounds are fun, so next time you walk past one have a swing, play with the sand-shovel or spin yourself round the roundabout. So what if there are kids there? You may make some new friends, make believe for a moment and you may catch hold of something you’ve lost. I’ve been there. I was Blackbeard. Kids love to makebelieve, they just love to believe, and that’s something a lot of adults refuse to do. They don’t like to believe in things like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, or faeries or hobgoblins, or will-o-wisps, or brownies, or…the list is endless. So what if there’s no proof for it, so what if none of this can be logically proven through science experiements or maths equations. Can love be boiled down to logic? If you answer yes to that question I..well…I dunno because I firmly and resolutely believe the answer is no. “Love isn’t brains children, it is blood, blood screaming inside you to work it’s will.” Belief is very similar, and it is also a lot more important than we give it credit. Some say that you cannot find something that you don’t believe in – “No Mr Dempsy, you have to believe it before you can see it.”

So how does that equate to the whole “belief in oneself thing”? In order for you to find out who you are, does that mean you have to believe that there is something there in the first place? I believe so. A friend put it best when he said to me that we all create prisons for ourselves. We put the walls together not with brick and stone but with security and comfort. We lock ourselves in not with keys and locks, but with excuses and reasoning. Or lack of belief. We feel that our lives cannot get any better than what we already have, we convince ourselves through malformed excuses that equate to nothing, to not bother with what our minds and hearts are telling us. It’s all about courage. Courage not to go and rescue babies from burning buildings, or haul kids from the mouths of rabid bunnies, but courage to look deep within ourselves for the key to our prisons. It’s all in there somewhere. The key to the belief in oneself is in there, you just have to believe in yourself enough to find it. Excuses are there to create fears. And it is the fears that we will lose the prison that control our lives. In the non-metaphorical sense people spend years trying to escape prison, but the majority of people spend their lives convincing themselves that all they are worth is within the cage. I’m the same, I guess I wanted to be Indiana Jones when I was older because of the excitement his life had; chasing after ancient religious artifacts, jumping out of planes, hacking bridges in half…but as the tolls of adulthood began to ware their way I discovered that an exciting life was painful. Not only physically but mentally. The prison was a much better place to be, you can’t get hurt when you’ve confined yourself into a tiny little world. What people don’t realise until much after is that you can, and you do, get hurt. A lot more than if you had believed enough to take the risks in the first place. I call it regret. I also know that when compared to the pain of taking the risk, the pain of remaining in the prison with regret your sole companion, this latter is the far more agonizing. Oh, and I like “On a Day like today” as well, one of his latest. Dunno why. No real memory attached to that one, bought the album whilst I was working in the video store, never really heard it anywhere but my room. So what. Maybe it’s because I like the second line of the song. It’s one I believe and agree with.

Somtimes nostalgia really isn’t what it’s cut out to be…

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