I’ve been travelling now for 4 months. Off work for 8 months. Previous to which I’d been working for 24 years and in total I have been alive for almost 40 years.
Yes, you read that right. 40. FORTY.
You’d think that in that time I’d have gotten to know myself pretty well and in some ways I have, however, there is always knew things to learn and it’s never to late to change you’re mind, make up your mind, or simply discover you have a mind about the the things you have, or will encounter. As I approach the end of my fourth decade and say good bye to my thirties I can honestly say this last decade has been awesome. Awesome that started with a personal tragedy but a tragedy that set me on the path to do SOMETHING.
When I was 30, whilst on holiday in Thailand, my father passed away. Whilst I shall not go into that in detail here, one of the deep residing consequences of that was a realisation that I should stop putting things off. Life is short and is a one time gig. Get out there and do stuff before the ride suddenly ends before you’ve begun to enjoy it. A few months after dads death, the families emotions having settled a little, I took a month off work to go out and explore a bit. I travelled back to Thailand, then on to Australia and returned with a couple of days stop over in Singapore. The following year I bought a flat (my beloved flat in Streatham Hill, SW2) and the following year I trekked the Inca Trail in Peru raising nearly 4k for the British Heart Foundation (my brother has a heart condition). Since then I’ve trekked Kilimanjaro, been to South Africa and visited Rourke’s Drift (site of the famous ZULU battle field), dived at Sipidan and whilst in Borneo I was best man (third reserve called to action) for a friends wedding. I also went to Hawaii for another friends wedding. All good stuff.
I’ve also amazed myself by running a marathon. The London Marathon no less. Anyone that has known me through the years must have been surprised as I at this! It’s is without a doubt the hardest thing I have ever trained for and done.
In matters if the heart have been lucky to have found love throughout the decade though that in itself has is a long story and has been both painful and complicated. Two beautiful women have shared my heart this past decade and on both I have heaped sorrow and sadness in trade for the years of love and laughter. Life can be very complicated! Again, no more of that here.
For all my action, adventure and challenges I’ve not really looked at myself deeply to ask what I want, where am I going and how to get there. It’s only really been these past couple of months of travelling with lots of rest and time to contemplate (and with lots of external influences – principle ones being JJ for self awareness and Fi for physical training and lifestyle) that I’ve started to ask myself more about who I am and who I want to be rather than “how can I spend money to make myself happy”. Are holidays, luxuries and the acquirement of physical possessions really what life is about or is there happiness in lifestyle choice and the challenges set in order to achieve them. Or is it a mix of both?
I’ve never really been much of one for self improvement, I’m much more of a quick and easy fix type or person. Unhappy; spend money. Don’t like doing something; don’t do it. Emotional exposure; run away from it. Something isn’t urgent; do it another day. Nothing to do; watch TV.
All this except when it comes to work. I’ve always had an overinflated sense of pride in the work I’ve done. Taking pride in the smallest of tasks as much as the largest. Working hard, sometimes too hard and having enormous loyalty to the companies I’ve worked for and the people I’ve worked with. It’s fair to that I’ve worked much harder at being good at my job than I have at making the most of my life.
Question that for yourself.
So; back to know thyself.
Do you know yourself? Because I don’t really. But over the next few months I shall be exploring this subject.
Any thoughts or pointers are welcome.