There’s a Nintendo Switch game I need to find time to play called Celeste. I’ve heard it’s a challenging but rewarding game about a young woman trying to climb a mountain. What I heard recently was that it’s actually a game that discusses anxiety, depression and the struggle to achieve something.
I wonder if with people openly talking about anxiety and depression will children grow up in a better future? Will they grow up accepting the struggle of trying to achieve something knowing it’s not easy but it is rewarding?
The struggle is the process in some ways. I listened to a podcast about Back to the Future the other day where they said the first draft of the script was a very bad movie involving a fridge as the time machine. The process, the struggle, of honing that script to develop it into an actual movie took it from this laughable idea to one of the most iconic joyous films ever. Sure it all sucks, its heartbreaking and you just want to throw in the towel but if you keep at it you get somewhere.
Thing is, all this is great on paper (screen). It’s so easy to read this and to type this. In practice though it’s so easy to throw in the towel. I run every day to remind myself every damn day that I can achieve something. I’ve achieved a few things in my life. I’ve ran a marathon. I’ve had numerous exhibitions of my work. I’ve published books. I’ve travelled. Those are all great things but those achievements never seem to stick. It always fells like I’m at the bottom of a mountain trying to get up it.
Maybe that’s half the point. I’m still trying to accept struggle as reality. I’m still trying to accept that it’s not easy to get somewhere but you can get somewhere. I know to put the hours in. I am putting the hours in. But it’s so so easily undone by opening social media and seeing 1 single post that knocks you right back down the mountain. So you pull up your socks but then an email comes in and you are floored again.
I didn’t become a good runner or swimmer by watching YouTube. I got good at those things by struggling through a process. It’s ok to find things hard. It’s by doing them that you get better. This is as much a reminder to myself as it is to you reading this.
Remember to take a minute now and then enjoy the view on the way up though :)
I should be on a train right now heading to Birmingham with friends to play with camera gear. I’m not. Instead I’ve been for a run and I’m thinking about cameras. I don’t want to be thinking about cameras. I want to be thinking about things to point cameras at.Read More
I recently rewatched this incredible video on swimming naked in the lakes of Wales. This is an amazing video for many reasons. The cinematography is fantastic. The story is really interesting. Everyone involved has done a great job. But most of all the idea of not only swimming in nature, cos like what else is there with you (fish, monsters, fish monsters, monster fish, captain birdseyes rotting corpse) but doing it naked too. Trout todger is a serious condition that affects many men.
I imagine you get in and its cold. Colder than the pool I’m used to. It forces you to work up a sweat to stay warm. It forces you to get the job done and then after relax a bit in the calm surroundings. It forces you to toughen up. There’s a part of me that likes that idea. Oh I know it sounds banana pants crazy town. You’re plum naked swimming in an ice cold lake. But take that in for a moment. You’re plum naked and you’re swimming in a lake in the middle of Wales with an incredible view. How many others can say they do that? You’re doing that. Take it in. It’s just you vs what you can’t do.
What else can you do? If you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. A phrase I grew up hearing a lot as a kid, because I watched Back to the Future time after time. A phrase I never really really took to heart. I got it, sure, but did I ever really do it? Well this level of underachieving isn’t going to achieve itself now is it?
I doubt, seriously doubt I’ll be doing this any time soon. I’m 40 next year and as I get older I do think about the things I’m not doing a lot more because I’ll be 80 one day and what will I have done? I’ve met some amazing 80 year olds who have told me some amazing stories. I’d like to be 80 and have done things other than wait outside John Lewis for the iPhone X. My parents both climbed Snowdon before they were 30. I “climbed” Moel Famu recently, which is where the photos accompanying this article came from. I loved it. It was refreshing to go somewhere that wasn’t actively being Instagrammed. The highlights of our Iceland trip were those moments. My wife and I having an adventure that was incredibly anxiety driven but had moments where I felt like I could wrestle the arms of a gundark.
So in summary. I think there’s a part of me that would love to have the mental strength of this women to not only swim in a lake in Wales, which would be scary enough, but also to do it naked. How many things are you comfortable doing naked? I doubt that list has swim in cold lakes in Wales while YouTubers get b-roll footage. Massive respect to her.
I wrote this before we went away to NYC. I was stressed and panicking. What if the trip wasn’t perfect? How do I make it perfect? Well all my fears proved to be for nothing as a few things happened that I never expected which just goes to show that maybe I should learn to chill out rather than make everything perfect?
I was thinking about acceptance the other day after reading an article by Claire Eastham. Imagine if you could accept who you are, draw strength from your abilities and really make something great? Wouldn’t that be good? Instead we dislike who we are. But then that’s the road you take to better yourself I guess. If you see yourself as rubbish then you’ll work hard to fix that. So in the end we’re constantly unhappy and unaware that we’re actually doing the great things.
Right now I’m feeling unhappy and aware that I’m not doing great things. So. Yay. January eh.
You should read the post by Claire for tips on anxiety and such.
Written in Cuthbert’s bake house enjoying cake and dandelion and burdock after a long day stuck at the computer.
I sat down last night with full intention of posting my best Iceland photos. Ive got about 22 that are sorted into a group for posting. They’re good solid photos. They tick all the right boxes. Beautiful light. Epic landscapes. A land of fire (which we didn’t see) and ice (which we did). They filmed Interstellar there and also Game of Thrones. The light is magical. You know what you’re getting when you see a link for Iceland photos. Maybe that’s why I turned the laptop off and played Mass Effect 3 instead then.Read More