Here’s a lesson from an autobiographical moment in my life, a true story told from the best of my memory. Whilst on my Sunday long(er) run this morning I thought a lot about various moments in my life where I felt I was really living to my best ability. I use living as an adjective to describe making the most out of being alive and the opportunities that come with being alive in such modern times. We live in a time that comes with its pros and cons but I would say one pro is the more we advance in technology and understanding around the body and mind, the more opportunities we can take to explore this unique world and all the weird and wonderful phenomenons that exist here.
2015 was a transitional year for me. When I look back at my life, I see it as the year that I grew from a youth to a young adult. It was the year I really discovered myself and what I really enjoy doing. That year I came to realise that I didn’t have to conform to the norm and that I didn’t have to force myself to try and enjoy activities that most people do just because they seem to be what most people do. These included the consumption of alcohol, staying up late, taking days off from running and training and eating foods that I was supposed to like but genuinely did not (I genuinely don’t like McDonalds, Doughnuts and overtly fried and sweet foods). 2015 was the year I ran the Athens Marathon and discovered the joys of training for a race and setting/accomplishing goals. It was the year that I realised that I need routine, that I am not someone who wants an aimless schedule. That there is freedom in having a set timetable for each day and that it’s not such a bad thing to live by your own restrictions. That year I really figured out what makes me who I am and that I don’t care what other people make of that. I’m cool doing my thing.
Now I don’t want everyone to do what I do. Waking up everyday before 6am, running for 10 miles, teaching special education, writing a blog, listening to long form podcasts, going to the gym and being an oat enthusiast isn’t for everyone. But I guess the lesson I am trying to portray in this is that, I don’t think enough people really take the time to discover what actually makes them feel good. I think most people are out searching for it but rarely discover it because they look in all the wrong places. So many people I know live for the weekend, thinking that a Saturday and Sunday spent not at their job will set them free; but after a night at the pub, a lazy morning and a whole Netflix series later, they return to their job on Monday morning to discover that they don’t feel satisfied with how they spent the time at all.
What I do want more people to do is take some ownership and try doing something that not everyone else is doing?
Do something wild. Do something that sounds outrageous, even to you. Wake up at 4am, walk for 10 miles and then jump in a lake? I’ve done it. I then swam 3 miles in the lake. Even if athletic endeavours aren’t your thing, explore more than just the local pub or the same mundane series you’ve watched 3 times over. Cook an outrageous dinner with no recipe? Record a film using your phone? Start a blog? Buy an item of clothing that is not your go-to style? Do things that make your common others are going to look at you like you’re mad!
Thats what I like to do. There is no reason that the day of the week, work commitments or even social anxieties should get in the way of making the most of life. The truth I have come to discover is that most people’s fears and anxieties stem from a perception that they don’t have ownership of their freedom because of varying things like jobs, finances, family commitments. The truth is though, these are just perceptions. You freedom is yours to control and the consequences you think will occur if you step out of your zone are all made up in your head. Find something you genuinely enjoy, regardless of it being a norm, and then do it. Do it a lot.
I like running every day, early mornings, early nights, creating, not being fixed to a screen, inspiring and facilitating creation. I like eating good healthy nutritious foods,I prefer small groups or being alone, I like reading, I like going a full day without going online or looking at my phone. I like country music and songs that tell of real life. I like the opposite of complaining and I like to feel understanding. I could go on and on but my point is, I don’t care if any of these things aren’t what I am ‘supposed’ to like doing or even that some of these things are not recommended or ‘bad’ for you… I do me and you should do you too.
Peace, love and here’s to finding out what you actually like doing.