November 18, 2015 by Karl
As I look out of the window, the rain is beating against it and I can barely see outside.
Today is a very strange day, I’m not often affected by the weather but the past few weeks we’ve had nothing but rain – and I think I’m growing a little tired of it.
To lighten my mood, I’ve been listening to music, writing, drawing and thinking about the things I’m blessed with:
A roof over my head
Electricity & gas
So what is it that makes us feel these things aren’t enough?
November 17, 2015 by Karl
I’m not joking here…
Nobody actually cares!
The sooner you realise that, the sooner you can get on with your own life and be happier.
In the wake of the horrific terrorist attacks on Paris, I find myself thinking about what drives people, why they do what they do and the complete lack of empathy shown by the majority of humans on this planet.
Sure, social media is full of ‘let’s all cry for this and that’, but how long does that really last?
Who actually sits up and makes a change in this world.
It’s fashionable to join in with the conversation when a terrible event occurs – but as a whole, we pay our little bit of lip service and carry on with our lives.
November 16, 2015 by Karl
I’ve never had a very good relationship with ‘real life’…
Go to school
Get a job
Work until you’re too old to enjoy it
Die with regrets
I made a decision to be my own boss before I even left high school.
My first business was going to be ‘MultiPlay’ – a world-wide multiplayer skill game with cash prizes. I had it all planned out, venues, costs, break-even points.
My parents had other ideas.
I agreed to go to college, then when that didn’t work out as planned I got a job in a warehouse – my dream to be my own boss took a massive detour.
I drifted through life, working for businesses I had no desire to work in, with people I didn’t care about, for bosses who had no interest in my dreams…
I wouldn’t say working for other people was a complete waste of time and talent…
I have learned many valuable skills along the way – but having a boss always felt like I’d given up.
Everything came to a head after I began freelancing.
At the time, I worked as a property negotiator for an estate agency, I started freelancing on the side.
I had a little money coming in and very few responsibilities.
I have a rather different view of ‘authority’ figures than most people. I don’t see a position, I see a person. For me, if you want respect, you earn it.
My boss at the time never earned my respect – she was a bully, and spent a lot of her time publicly mocking her staff.
One day I’d had enough.
In a weekly morning meeting, all the staff were discussing sales figures and projections – when out of the blue, my boss picked on something I’d said and mimicked me by putting her tongue into her bottom lip and repeating what I’d said.
She was basically telling me I was an idiot – in front of a room of my colleagues.
I kept calm, despite seeing red – and told her we’d talk about this after the meeting.
I stayed behind after my colleagues left the room and calmly told her I would be leaving.
I stood up to collect my jacket, and was met at the bottom of the stairs by her.
She looked quite shocked as she told me “You’ll be working your notice…”
And even more shocked when I smiled back and said “No, I will not”
Nobody should be forced to do things they don’t want to do, be somewhere they don’t want to be, or spend time with poisonous people.
That was a turning point in my life, I’d burned my bridges and decided I’d never have a job again.
Things didn’t quite work out that way – I did return to employment for around a year when the business wasn’t doing too well – but I kept building, and as soon as I was in position to leave, I quit for the last time.
That was 8 years ago – and freedom has never tasted so good.
November 15, 2015 by Karl
This is a letter to me, to hold myself accountable from this day onwards.
Something I can look back on every time I need reminding that today is the day I made a decision…
A decision to change – to be a better person.
I have failed!
Three years ago I held the universe in my hands…
– I was in the best shape of my life
– I had goals, dreams and motivation
– I had money, opportunities and charisma
– I was respected and liked
– I was happy
– I was an inspiration
Today, I look back at who I was then and who I am now – and I don’t like what I see…
– I hand control to external factors
– I make poor decisions
– I have no drive or vision
– My dreams and goals turned to ‘if only’
– I make excuses instead of taking action
– I let other people choose whether I fulfil my goals or not
Somewhere along the line I stopped writing my own story and became a passenger in my own life.
In the past 3 years, I’ve been blessed with things I’ve waited my whole life for…
Meeting Anne-Marie – the missing part of me, the most understanding, loving, beautiful person I could imagine – who chose me, and gave me a future I wanted.
Becoming virtual step-dad to Lauren – although not my ‘first-born’, she is my ‘first child’ – I’ve watched her grow into a beautiful, confident, intelligent six year old – one day I’ll show her how to make all her dreams come true, and that you don’t ‘find’ happiness… you ‘make’ it.
Becoming a father to Jasmine – who turned my world upside down. Every day, I look at her and am amazed. Unfortunately, I missed Lauren’s first three years. I’m lucky to be given the chance to ‘build’ a human from scratch. To make mistakes and correct them, while watching a new-born baby grow into one of the most intelligent creatures I’ve ever encountered.
I’ll protect them until the day I die, I’ll make mistakes, but I’ll make up for them.
The sad thing is, I haven’t been able to fully appreciate everything because I haven’t been ME.
Today, that changes – it has to…
Without change, I can’t help make our dreams a reality.
I must be there to help Anne-Marie and both my little girls have every opportunity in life…
– To travel the world and expand their minds
– To experience the true beauty of this world
– To learn lessons for themselves, with our help
– To live a life that makes them happy
– To be loved unconditionally
Nobody will ever stand in the way of their happiness, certainly not me.
I’ll show them how to dream, and how to make those dreams come true.
Even though I make it hard to believe sometimes, the three women in my life are my reason to be alive.
Which is why I need to change.
The old me dies today, he is broken, I’ve tried to fix him but I can’t…
When something fails to work…
You can’t always fix it…
Sometimes you just have to tear it down…
Tear it down and rebuild it from scratch…
At midnight tonight, I begin rebuilding myself, in the image of the perfect human.
– A strong, healthy body
– A strong, healthy mind
There will be obstacles, there will be mistakes – I will go through, around or over the obstacles and I will fix the mistakes quickly.
The past stays where it is – a stranger to me, a lesson and an example of how not to be.
The future is an open book – one we will write together.
The new me is:
– Proactive, not reactive
– Grateful for everything
– Always improving
– Always helpful
– Ready to learn
– Willing to do what it takes, no excuses
I will not fail.