Tag Archives: growth

Turning 31 (And staying true)

I turned 31 yesterday, which has me well-and-truly  “living in my 30s”. For the next decade, I’m going to be a “thirty something” (remember that show!), living out the ride as best I can. I’m encouraged by that thought, because it pleases me to no end (grinning in a goofy kind-of-way)…for a couple of reasons:

For one thing the fact that I’ve made it this far. I was most likely still in single digits when “thirty something” first aired, watching it alongside my parents now and again – totally oblivious to the story line taking place. To me, it meant I got to stay up that little bit later; there was no way I could compute the idea of being “that old”, and now, here I am.

Secondly, I’m going to continue to be relentless in the ways and means I have discovered that have helped me find whatever it is that makes me feel peace, anchored, happy, accomplished, loved, etc. etc. All the things that I’m pretty sure we are seeking, in our own ways.

I was reminded by a close friend today that I do that even now and have no qualms about throwing myself into the fire, regardless of what’s happening for me at the time. All I have to say is that my friend truly gets it (and gets me at the same time). I’ve come to count on his support a lot these last couple years (when the questions of purpose first began surfacing inside me). He’s helped me find my compass and it points in one direction. Mine.

Everything that’s happened before now helps me to go even further, I think. In my twenties, I didn’t really know what I wanted, but now the time feels right to just keep exploring, gaining the ground I felt I lost earlier. That is what feels most satisfying – finding out what works.

I recorded this video below, last night. Apologies for any poor sound, maybe it will make sense for some of you. And if it doesn’t, I encourage you to find whatever it is that does.

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Getting clear (or so it would seem)

This weekend was truly a glorious, sun-filled weekend here in the south of England. It took me outdoors on both days, first a 45-mile bike ride around Oxfordshire, and today a 10-mile tramp over the footpaths dotted about the Cotswolds. I had some homework given to me by Jeffrey after our call on Thursday, which the walk gave me ample time to listen to.

It included listening to a podcast of a show I’m already very familiar with, and it was good to check back in with The New Man Podcast again, hosted by Tripp Lanier. Episode 80 with Reuvain Bacal: How to handle a breakup or loss.

After listening, I immediately sat down to free-write how it felt for me, whatever came up and from my call with Jeffrey. There are memories of an old, very serious (to me) relationship that still live with me. And this is what came out:

I sit beneath a big tree, cross-legged, breathing in what I’m feeling as I hike around the Cotswolds near my home. Then it hits me. A dull, yet sharp twinge in my lower back –  I get it all the time when I’m sat on the ground, unaided, with nothing to prop me up. No support. Support is what I had in my OLD relationship with my first-serious girlfriend, a few years back. And it’s not there any more and I’ve based each subsequent relationship on that, which is not very healthy. How does that make me feel?

*         *          *

Sad. Scared. Lonely and wishing for her to be back in my life in some way both intimately and in friendship. But what for? What possible reason could I want, no, need her back in my life? Because with her I felt safe in being me and who I was (or who I was trying to be for her at the time).

I spot two large raptors, flying high overhead in the clear Sunday afternoon sky, riding the thermals, higher and higher together. At this moment that symbolises the togetherness I seek; I know companionship is what I want in my life. But is it killing me being alone at this time in my life? Being a single man? No. Not. At. All.

My ex (going on three years now) and those memories still linger because she accepted me for who I was when we first met. All 250-plus pounds of me, a relative stranger in this new UK-land and  culture that surrounded me. She made me feel seen, wanted and appreciated. Show me someone who doesn’t want that kind of connection, and I’ll show you someone screaming to be heard.

I’m not that way any more now: 30 pounds lighter, a broken smoking-habit that only numbed me to the riches of this world, and now cycling like a man possessed.  This is who I am! I set targets, cracked many goals, and I am loving the ride and being in touch with my emotions this way, and in some way I imagine I’d be alone even in her company as I feel now; it’s a way I could never be with her. Out of the fear that she would leave me. Well, she left me and no matter how much I want to show her how I’ve changed, I can’t.

I’m noticing that a part of me really wants to show her how far I’ve come, in a spiteful way, rubbing her nose into it just a little. That sounds horrible, and it isn’t who I am day-to-day, but that feeling is there and even when I had the chance once before, I couldn’t even hold it together long enough to say so. I was nowhere near as secure in myself (and growing) as I write this then when I last saw her. I collapsed into a leg-shaky, arm-twitchy fool of a man, unable to hold my own space because of the effect seeing her had on me. That’s why I feel I need a second chance, I think I deserve it…but the only way you can escape the past, is by jumping the fence and leaving it behind.

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I’m new here (kind of)

Not long ago (yesterday, actually), a friend reminded me while sipping soup inside St Pancras Station that I don’t need a specific angle for this new blog I’ve gone and created. Its name, I thought, meant it would need to have an agenda for topics, news and other related bits-and-bobs. It might take a look at the increasing impact the digital world has in our real lives, or it *could* have been a space for me to cover the digital issues my profession (book publishing), but instead I’m just going to write what comes up naturally and let the rest sort itself out.

Welcome to Digitize We Must!

Tonight, I began a relationship. A relationship with a life coach I’ve hired for the next two months.

Why have I hired a life coach? I’ve hired a coach because I was curious about what this kind of relationship could offer me and my life as I am living it now. Are there certain aspects of my life that I feel need to be looked at? Of course. Don’t we all have things we want to look at more closely, but might be too afraid to do so, or keep running the same old patterns that never allow us to start in the first place? I think so.

There are four areas I want to look at: deepening relationships and connections with my family, friends and lovers (new and old); my personal fitness and nutrition; my career; and noticing old habits and behaviours that no longer serve me and getting shot of them.

I’ve been on a personal growth/self-development “kick” now for about 18 months. It’s hard to explain, which is what I hope this space will allow me to, but quite frankly I can’t get enough of it! It hasn’t cost me a whole lot of money either. A few books here, a training course or two there, and at the heart of it new connections with friends on similar (but equally different paths). Along the way I’ve discovered more about who I am, why that matters, and what I can try and offer the world. It’s the most amount of time I have ever spent trying to figure this stuff out for a very long time. More importantly, I’ve been noticing that I’ve gone as far as I could go on my own. This is why I’ve hired a coach.

I had my first call with Jeffrey tonight, a 90 minute, one-to-one call (save for a wonky Skype connection), where we set out to look at the things that were most important for me right now. Keep in mind this was only the second time we’ve actually spoken to one another face-to-face.

So far I’m feeling pretty excited and quite charged up about the possibilities Jeffrey and I will explore together for me and my life. Starting the call eager and ending the call feeling clearer was a good way to start. I’m sure it could have been a lot more difficult or I could’ve felt like it was a waste of money – not so.

I think over the coming weeks I’ll begin to write more freely about what we discussed, but for now if I’m going to keep my intention around my current fitness plan, based on the Strength for Life, by Shawn Phillips (note to self: write up a review for that), then I best sign off for now.

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