A friend once told me that you should do one thing that scares you every day. I try to do this. I’m not always successful though, sometimes I like to just sit there and stagnate in my happy life on some days. A rest from the normal is always healthy!
It seems a little silly really, when I look back. My wife comes from a background far better than mine. I mean her childhood was good, she has mostly fond memories of being young, her parents had money to send her off to University, and although she had her wild child years she had still stabilized long before I did. When I met her she was a teacher, her life was in order, and she had savings. I mean like actually thousands in the bank. Mentally, she was an adulting powerhouse. She had licked being an adult well before I had even begun.
She liked going out for lunch and using more than just a spoon to eat her dessert. She talked with others with such finesse, her friends were all Doctors and Teachers and Lawyers. Her life was alien to me, and I was more than a class below her. I had known only the four walls of a British pub before meeting her. My nights out were spent walking to a pub or a beer garden, or between both of them.
When I had stopped drinking I had absolutely no clue what to do with my life or the things that I could do with it. I was wasting away. My childhood was spent chasing the carrot with my Dad, my Dad always promising me emotional riches whilst pulling the rug from under my feet at the very last minute. I was getting tired of that. I was an emotionally abused individual, tired with the way his life was going and seeking, craving for something better.
And then Natalie came along. And I took a humungous leap of faith.
And through getting to know and learn from Natalie I realised that I had been running my life all wrong up to now. I had been hanging in all my comfort zones and familiar circles that hadn’t achieved me anything up until then. The social thing, expanding who you know, is really good because you learn from others and take from their experiences.
I also learned that class is a horrible segregating tool. People aren’t much different from each other, only the way that we do things. We still love the same way, bond the same way, and hate the same way. At base rate, we’re all human and the more you’re able to expand that friend circle and step out of the confines of what you know, the better.
And it won’t be easy.
I was always of the notion that I was really intelligent. Everyone told me that I was, and the people I associated with did all the time. Yet one day I had the grandiose idea to join a debating group on Facebook and debate all sorts of things. I thought I could hold my own, I thought I’d be great at it.
My arse was fed to me that day. I walked away feeling like a big dumb fuck.
But the experience was good. For me, anyway. I could have clung onto my pride like the clown I was and brushed it off thinking I knew best, but I chose to acknowledge that perhaps my intelligence wasn’t that high, and that encouraged me to read, learn, and prosper. And by venturing out of my comfort zone and accepting what happened to me it set into motion a great few months of learning the deeper intricacies of life.
Was it Socrates that said,
Only a fool thinks that he knows everything. A wise man acknowledges that he knows very little.
That’s very true for me.
And it’s why people fascinate me. I’m always trying to talk to people on a daily basis that I wouldn’t necessarily talk to; be invited into circles that I would have previously turned my nose up at, and join circles that would usually debate me until I’m laughed out of the room, like the dunce I am.
The bottom line for me, is that I learn from people. The more people that I talk to, soak up their experiences, read their trauma, feel their successes, the more open and ready I am to life. The less I take to my small domain of social comfort, filled with only a few people that tell me what I want to hear. You won’t believe how good and refreshing it can be sometimes to be proved wrong, and it happens to me, often. Through this I’ve learned to tackle my prejudices and bias head on, and constantly reflect on my perceptions and external stimuli. It helps with life.
Go and talk to someone you wouldn’t normally talk to.
Buy some strawberries and cream and watch some tennis.
Or just learn something new from someone you haven’t met before.
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