The Future is Incoming

It appears that, despite my best efforts, I cannot get into a good blogging habit at all.

As I stated in my last piece, it’s not as if I haven’t been writing them — just not finishing and, sometimes, simply not posting.

Achanarras Quarry, Caithness
Achanarras Quarry, Caithness

I have recently been thinking a lot about the future and my place within it, where I should go, what projects I should prioritise, etcetera. This led to a long musing about fear and, in particular, fear of success. For me this is a far greater worry than fear of failure. Said piece has yet to be edited down to a reasonable length.

In turn, this sparked an epic on my flaws and faults and how they impact upon me. Again, not edited, not posted.

Other titles have accumulated in the binder: ‘On “Seagulls” and Their Terrifying Menace’ (note – those who advocate culling any gull are idiots, this piece does not follow the sensationalist nonsense in the press, but is more a personal reflection on gulls brought about by this recent “story”), ‘Memory and Place and the Washing of Time’ (how events can impress themselves upon a location for only a limited period, before they are corrupted or removed as memory fades), a piece on exercise, fitness — how I have physically altered this year (especially the past three months. This one will come with a warning over how boring it will be for most, but I am quite proud of myself and cannot help it…). There are also all those I mentioned in my last actually-posted blog.

Abandoned Farmstead

I have started some in-depth illustrated reviews of outdoor gear I’ve been using, mixed with ideas on how to use these. Each item on this list has been used for at least five years — I don’t believe in “unboxing” reviews, or testing to destruction. I believe in honest, tough but careful, and longterm use. Alpkit, Iisakki Järvenpää, Snowsled, Karrimor SF and Thermarest come out rather well. Lowa, Gränsfors Bruk, Zebra, Source and, especially, the now seemingly and sadly disappeared Chocolate Fish Merino all have reviews to come too. I’ve been using some of this kit or clothing for a decade or more, about time I reviewed it…

Flagstone Quarry, Achanarras
Flagstone Quarry, Achanarras. London is partially paved with these stones – St. Pancras International railway station, for example.

None of these pieces are totally finished. None are posted.

Why is this? And why am I telling you?

The second of these is probably easier to answer. I wonder if, by listing these partially finished blog entries here, I may actually try and share them in the coming weeks?

The answer to why is more complex and it ties in with recent personal events — events I have been reluctant to discuss in public. In June I ended my relationship of four years. Aside from that I shared with my ex-wife, this was my longest relationship — and one which was conducted for the most part with five hundred miles between us. Ultimately this distance proved too far, directly contributing to my decision.

In the past I have talked about personal matters in far greater detail, sometimes anonymously, sometimes in public. When I left England I decided I would try and avoid this if I could. Saying goodbye to facebook helped with this choice.

I am still on twitter, although I have been tweeting less of late. I am aware that people who know me personally will be reading my words there and here — reading things into them, questioning. Living in a digital age of information-overload is a vast and unwieldy subject for this post, but I will say that perhaps the biggest reason behind my not posting all the pieces I have discussed above, or in my July post, is down to a subconscious self-censorship. A fear that people will read the wrong thing into what I say — whatever I do actually say. I only realised this last week. I am enforcing a silence upon this site down to worry over hurting others, despite that never being my intention.

This is silly.

This site is not really meant to be a diary or journal (a journal of sorts, yes, but not a never-ending stream of personal updates, à la facebook, for example). I am missing sharing things here, things that have importance to me. I should be writing this in Edinburgh, but decided against this trip, a choice which still makes me sad, even if it is the right one. I will get more done up here, finally finishing several projects that have loose ends (fear of success very much evident here — a subject I will have to elaborate upon in the future).

I do not want my words to upset anyone. I do not want them to be read and misconstrued. I have a deep fear of hurting others — this ties in with controlling my anger, as I discussed recently. A realisation that I had reached a point where I was avoiding communication, rather than saying the wrong thing (or, more pertinently, the right thing, misconstrued), has led me to this post. This is similar to the choice I made to hermit myself away not too long after I left civilisation. I will be returning to this subject in the near future but, essentially, I stopped talking to people because I didn’t want to upset them. A ridiculous and perhaps illogical statement, yes, but at the time I could see no other way. I could not afford to visit people, even for weddings or to see new babies. It was easier to shut myself away from the world. Do I regret this? Yes, in some ways, I do. However, this period of my life has yielded the results I had hoped for. Besides, I try not to regret things I have already done — it won’t change anything in the past, just make me miserable in the present. Instead it is surely better to alter my future?

Fossilised plant and several mineral veins
Meagre haul – fossilised plant and several mineral veins.

Last week a guest from Germany came to stay. Her arrival made me think of all that has passed since her last visit, a year ago. Much has changed in my mind, several things occurring that jolted me into reaction, rather than proactive action. I realised I need to take control of myself, not events, to equip myself with the best possible chance of weathering any future surprises. As I mention above, I have finally started to treat my body with the respect it deserves. I will be forty in less than two years, an age that has always seemed more a beginning than a terrifyingly distant milestone. My dad was thirty-six when he and mum were married, we moved to Orkney when he was forty-six with four children (myself and my three younger sisters). Another two sisters were to follow whilst we lived up there. So forty has never seemed such a big deal to me — yet it does serve as a good point in my life to take stock.

In the coming months I intend to share my goals, my ideas and, hopefully, my successes; slowly break this cycle of hermitude. (I am still toying with whether to start using facebook again.)

It seems a shame I am not sharing thoughts or adventures here. This must stop, starting here and now.

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