Love Time Death
Today has been a very strange day. I feel as though the world has conspired to tell me something. Or probably more accurately, I've probably just been drenched in confirmation bias and it's made me go into a mode of deep thought that I feel the need to expel from my brain.
I went to the gym today, I felt very little desire to work hard. My shoulder was in pain and after forcing myself to do something, I gratefully left vowing to myself that there's no point in me wasting time at the gym on my own, because I lack the motivation. I need structure, someone to make me accountable for training hard.
After going home to change and eat my three boiled eggs I've been eating every day for breakfast. I traveled to Croyde to try out a new coffee shop that my friend had told me was similar to that of coffee shops in London. It didn't open when it was meant to at 8:30. I stood and enjoyed the freezing cold air for twenty minutes. Unlike London, people in Devon have no attachment to rules they impose on themselves, such as opening hours.
I sat down and added coconut oil to my Cappuccino before sitting and savouring it. Along with a warmed Pan Au Chocolat. After opening my laptop I asked for the wifi password. It was, eat well, travel often. I thought to myself, the key to happiness is really that simple.
Half an hour later a man I know sat in front of me on a table with a colleague. We've played basketball together many times. Maybe he was as unsure as I was at first because neither of us ecknowledged the fact we knew one another. I remember him mentioning that he owned an agency of some sort and I listened in as the man he was with outlined all the current challenges and agenda points he had. The man I know sat there and leaned back leg cocked onto his nee, in the cliche Mad Men esk pose, as the surfer come office manager reeled off the list of things he almost certainly couldn't care less about that 'had' to be addressed. I wondered to myself what it would be like to be in the position of the guy I knew. Probably making great money, but having drained every ounce of creativity out of what is meant to be a creative job, in return for larger profits and having to deal with employees and clients who want their 'important' issues dealt with. While I've no doubt his pockets are probably lined with gold, I had 0 desire to be in his position. I overheard that they needed someone who could deal with complex data sets and systems. I know the perfect guy, I thought about interjecting and suggesting him. But then I realised that I may be subjecting my talented friend to many months of misery, and I reconsidered.
On the way home I stopped off at the coffee shop that I went into yesterday to pick up my pencil case that I'd left there by mistake the day before. While in there I thought about my friends logo he's asked me to design. It's one of two things that's stuck in my brain. I want to do a good job for him but the word he's given me is 'Ecke', which is German for corner. To symbolise the not knowing what is round the corner. Which is a beautiful premise, but very hard to depict in a conceptual way that both makes sense and is beautiful. The second thing that is playing on my mind is my friends sister, who is ill with chronic fatigue and has not left her bed for a year or so. I promised I'd make something for her, and as of yet I haven't done it. It's so important, I need to do it.
After working on Creative Catalogue for many hours that morning, I went home to work. My brain was dead and it was so cold that I got under my duvet. I feel asleep and my alarm woke me 15 minutes before I was due at the dentist. I made it just in time, hair pointing in several directions. It went well considering I haven't been for 7 years according to their records.
After the dentist I came home and cooked dinner with my sister assisting me. I tried to explain to her that the more colourful a plate of food, the more likely it is to be healthy. As very few artificial foods have the same vibrancy of those vegetables pulled from the ground. She watched and laughed as I got Chilli in my eye, and had to stoke the burning using a shot glass to cup my eye in milk.
After she helped me wash and dry the dishes, I agreed to read her some more chapters from the BFG. There was one segment where Sophie, the female human girl character, claims to the giant that giants are horrible for eating humans. He points out that they are not nearly as bad as humans. That while we squeal to not be eaten by giants, so do the cows and pigs and yet we have no regard for them. Even more so we are the only animal who has the propensity to kill our own kind on such scale for reasons outside of survival.
After being enlightened on the deeper political stand point of Roald Dahl, I decided to go to the cinema. I watched the first few seconds of a trailer called Collateral Beauty. I took a while to decided if it was worth going, or if I'd be wasting my time, but I reluctantly went because I knew I would only work otherwise.
The film was incredible, and it resonated with me on so many levels. The story follows Will Smith, as an agency owner, a once charismatic leader of men, as he faces delusion as a result of his child dying.
The film opened by talking about the three universal truths. Love, Time and Death. And that it's our job as advertisers to promote products that make people's lives better who are in search of these three universal needs.
The desire to be loved.
The wanting of more time.
And the fear of death.
It couldn't be more true. Everything that is sold, from desirable items, that people believe will give them a better chance of being loved by peers or potential partners. We all strive to figure out a way of making our time our own, instead of working for employers who seek to compensate the time in our lives for money. And the fear of the unknown, that what awaits us is uncertainty. That really our life is nothing more than a blip in this ever continuing global ecosystem.
That was what hit me first. The second thing was the struggles faced by Will Smiths character. It reminded me of the unfortunate events I recently went through with a friend who experienced severe depression, attempted suicide as a cry for help, and subsequently experienced severe delusion. Not sleeping for days, seeing things, creating elaborate stories. I lived with him, and it was horrible to watch. A person who six months prior had more prospects, desire, love and good health than many other people I knew, failed by the complexity of his own brain and sent into a downward spiral that would ultimately result in him being sectioned. I've since come to greatly appreciate that it is our duty to give ourselves the time and learning required to master our brain, to be aware of our own psychological impulses. Because very few other things can have such destructive power in your life.
When I recently visited my old university. I went for dinner with my lecturer, who, though in recovery, was still experiencing the pain of the death of his beloved child and wife in a horrific car accident. The name 'Collateral Beauty' referred to the fact that sometimes, faced with the difficulties of life, things can never be perfect. But that you come to appreciate the subtleties, the moments in every day life are the things that matter most. The beauty of nature, the opportunity to read to my sister, who loves me and who I have the power to influence positively. Basically just life itself, collateral beauty is abundant.
Today has made me feel gratitude, that I currently have a fantastic life. I have a loving family and girlfriend. I have good friends and an able body and I live in a spectacular part of the world. Other people aren't as fortunate. I hope that Harry's sister gets better. I hope that Charles recovers fully. I hope that Piet comes to terms with the extreme difficulties he's faced, and I hope that we can all help one another out to appreciate what time we have and to value what's important.
Not to bring this back to me, but today has given me even more resolve to not waste more time. And to hopefully get to a stage where my time is my own, so that I can help as many other people as I can, who want the help, to get their time back and to propagate what I feel is important. That time really is our greatest asset. That love really is worth striving for and that death is inevitable. As fleeting as our existence may be. It's worth doing all we can to make the world a better place for having existed.