Anyone who has been following this site for a little while will be aware that I’ve undergone a metamorphosis of character over the past twelve months. The aggressively creative arsehole that I used to be has grown up and become a man. I would still call myself aggressive in my creative tendencies; when I get into the zone and start writing I lose all touch with reality and slip back into the mindset of a world eater. But I’ve stopped pushing myself to become a prick and have started trying to be a better person instead. I’ve still got a bucket full of angst and a tongue laced with acid but I’m learning how to channel them into something positive rather than trying to destroy myself.
To be honest I never imagined that I would become someone who could be happy. I had spent so long fuelling the anger within my soul that to suddenly quell my demons and instead aim to inspire surprises me. While there’s been many reasons behind the shift in my mental state and subsequent successes through this page there’s a story that really inspired me to make a change. It made me pull my head out of my arse and realise that I am an extremely fortunate man who has the world in front of him.
It goes like this: There’s this woman I work with. Her name is Gina and she’s incredible. See, Gina is blind. But even though she can’t see she works as a switchboard operator taking inbound calls and redirecting them to the relevant departments within our organisation. Every single day she comes to work with a smile on her face and works harder than anyone else. Inspiring: yes. But that’s not what makes Gina so special. It was a story that Gina told during a training session that really moved me.
Five years ago Gina had a necklace that she loved. Then one day it went missing. She put it down on her bedhead, forgot where it was and it simply disappeared. She searched for it. But when you don’t have the ability to see the world you live in something as simple as locating a necklace you have misplaced becomes quite difficult. So after a while she resided to the fact that the necklace was simply gone and moved on. Then one day she was cleaning her room and managed to work her hand between the bedhead and the wall. Guess what she found? The necklace that she’d lost five years earlier.
As she sat in our training session and told the story of how she had been reunited with her necklace Gina broke into a smile that brightened the whole room. Here was a woman who spent every single day moving through a world that she couldn’t see and she was happier than I was. Why? Because she knew how to take solace and find beauty in every single day. She understood that every day is a gift and that to be anything but happy is to deny ourselves of something truly incredible. Something as small as finding a necklace bought a smile to Gina’s face.
And there I was sitting across from this woman baring fangs at a world that I thought was trying to stamp my face into the dirt. When the training session was over and Gina returned to her desk I couldn’t shake the story. I took it home with me, thought about it over and over and cussed myself out for ever thinking that I was hardly done by. In a moment of complete vulnerability this woman that I worked with broke apart every single preconception that I had about myself and made me want to be a better man.
It turns out that even though I have been through some shit I actually live a very fortunate life. I have two parents who love me; three healthy siblings and a partner who adores me despite my ability to disappear into myself or become an abrasive prick at the drop of a hat. I live in a country without war, and have a roof over my head. I have no reason to be angry; no reason to want to tear myself or anyone else apart. I’ve never lost a necklace behind a bedhead and spent five years searching to find it, so surely I could find happiness within the life that I live.
Just like that I decided to change. I let go of my hate and set myself free.
I don’t want to be known as an angry child. I want to be known as a man with the capacity to be brilliant. I write because I love. And I love because I write. I haven’t achieved everything I set out to do when I started writing, but as long as I continue to evolve and embrace myself there’s no telling just how wonderful life can be.
Sometimes we need to look beyond ourselves to realise just how fortunate we truly are.