For my New Year's Resolution, I solemnly swore to blog more;
To do more; and
to stop titling my blogs with such hyperbolic 17 year old indie crooner song titles.
If you've been paying any attention to my blogging habits IN THE SLIGHTEST you'll know that I have failed spectacularly on the first one, and I can tell you now, breaking news, that I have failed on the second one, and you can read from this very title that I have also failed the third.
"Paralysis", what am I, a shitty Chris Martin wannabe?
My friend asked me, over a big gin on Friday, "Joe, why aren't you blogging any more? I used to enjoy them."
I have been thinking over that all weekend, really.
Why aren't I blogging any more, Joe?
I'll try and explain myself, to myself. Hope that makes sense.
When I was at university, I was in the here and now in a way it's really hard to be with a full-time job. I CARED about this and I CARED about that and I DID stuff and I had a bleeding HEART and that's all good and great and basically what university is for.
All of that really didn't work when I got a full-time job, and took on a second trusteeship, and two more involved volunteering roles, and began a NVQ. I didn't have the energy to CARE about this and CARE about that, and I certainly didn't have the energy to think enough to write about anything.
I hit a bit of a brick wall recently.
Work had another blip of hyper-busyness, Brexit was being particularly messy, there was a lot of personal shit rearing its head, and I just couldn't cope with the anxiety of choosing to do things. I wanted to get into bed and get into the fetal position and stroke my face against something soft for a few hours. I rang my Mum, and said: "MUM I've just been studying Maslow's hierarchy of needs and it isn't being met at any level for me right now, the world is horrible and dark, I just feel like everything everywhere is going wrong and I can't do anything about it".
My poor housemate came home with McDonalds as I agonised about having to cook food, and I nearly kissed him.
I am feeling that so so much, at the moment.
And I think it ties into why I haven't been sharing my blogs with the outside world recently.
My phone and my computer have created a world where I cannot escape from the mess that is everything at the moment. I am in a job and positions where I need to look at Twitter with regularity, I need to be 'on' all day, every day. (I installed Outlook for work emails onto my personal phone recently, I have made the executive decision that that is a terrible idea and I should delete it).
When news media profits on shock, everything in the news is negative. Everything on Twitter is negative.
Social media can be a fucking cesspool, Jesus Christ, it really can be.
I know that I personally need that "I can do something about the world in the job/role/work that I do. I can leave the world in a better position than it was when I joined it."
And I think I haven't blogged much recently because I haven't felt that recently.
I hate Politics! Our current politicians are some of the most incompetent we have ever had!
And for someone who needs the knowledge that there is a difference to be made, that has been really difficult to get my head around.
So what have I done about it?
I have stopped trying to have eureka moments, that was a real eureka moment.
No, I try and tell members of my family that I love them, at least once a week.
I've got into small scale, little 'p' politics.
I've started dancing in my room in the morning, to stupid music (in my headphones, I'm painfully British).
And I am trying to keep off my phone! Away from 'Fear of missing out', away from cesspool trolls on Twitter, away from doom and gloom podcasts.
I have read loads more, as well.
Love me a book in bed.
It's a bit of a journey, really. Understanding that things aren't always OK, and that's OK. Simon Amstell says in the excellent 'Ways to Change the World' podcast with Krishnan Guru-Murthy that he is learning to "Find the joy in sadness." Now that sounds disgustingly religious to me, and that instinctively turned me off to the concept, but at the root of that is a knowledge that it's OK to feel like shit sometimes, and not taking that to mean that the world is caving in, or that it's unsolvable.
And even if the world IS caving in, that there is still good, that there is still promise, there is still hope and people who love and love to love. There are Pringles to eat, and friends to unload on.
The world doesn't need someone to worry about it, some days, and that's OK.