We are all going to die! No one can get away from this bitter fact. Everyone you see, everyone you encounter, your family, your friends, work colleagues, fellow students, even your pets and all the creatures around you, everything is one day going to fall a part and return to the earth. Even the planet is not exempt from this, it will be engulfed by our nearest star along with the entire solar system and be eradicated into dust from once it came. This reality is not a pleasant one, to know that a clock is set to go off for absolutely everything, to know that the number of days you are on this planet is increasing and the time you have left here is decreasing is haunting, and can keep anyone no matter who they are, up at night. Whether you be unbelievably wealthy or famous, someone who works from paycheck to paycheck (like me) in a normal job, to someone so poor that they cannot even afford a roof over their head, the same rules in nature apply to us all. As disturbing as this may be, dying is necessary and anyone who takes a moment to actually think about their inevitable death, understands that it’s a fact of life and needs to happen at some point. To fight against it, to deny such a natural part of life is a fool’s errand, actually it is more comforting to know that one day your lights will eventually go out, can you imagine being alive for eternity? Can you imagine never being able to die? Sure the first few thousand years would be great, but what about the next thousand and the next, and the next, and the next. Living forever would be a curse, not a blessing, though I am one of those few people who is all for living longer, healthier lives, I think seventy something years is too short and I would indeed love to know that I have a few hundred at the very least in me. Reasons for believing so are this; What would Albert Einstein be up to now if he were alive today? What would Thomas Edison be working on and so on? This is just my opinion, I’d love to be knocking around for a few hundred years but unfortunately this is not the case yet, and we have to deal with what we have, for men living in the UK, the average life expectancy is around seventy-five years, for women it’s a little higher. Instead of resisting or denying our demise we need to come to terms with it, approach it from another angle when faced with the issue, and learn how to quell such bleak thoughts. So:-
- How do we deal with this reality?
- What do we do to appreciate our Human experiences?
- More importantly, how can we make sense of this space without our own conscience contemplating it?
Such questions catch me off guard at times, sometimes I take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture and wonder;
- What am I doing and what do I want to achieve before my time is up?
Difficult it can be at times to know that one day you and your loved ones won’t be here, that the world will go on regardless, the planet will continue to spin, the sun will continue to shine, business will carry on as usual and most people would not have even known of your existence. This post is not a dark one I promise you, actually by the end of it I hope you’ll come away feeling a little bit uplifted. This article I am about to share with you, answers some of these questions, talks about the subject of mortality and how to deal with the unchanging, unalterable passing of time. I even talk about social pressures and issues within society that need to change, this to my mind does have an impact on the way you and I perceive things. You could say that this topic is breaking new ground, going to places I am new to, so without depressing you any further, lets slap death in the face and get on with it. I hope you enjoy.
Before I answer the first question, let me explain about why I am writing about such a topic instead of my book projects content, which I am itching to get back to. I turned twenty-nine a month ago, next year I’ll be thirty years old though I do not look it. People have mistaken me for someone in their early twenties, good genes I guess and I am so thankful for this, the older I get the more appreciative I’ve become, so big thank you to Mum and Dad for running into one another on that bus years ago. Most people hit me with compliments, following the usual routine of putting me around twenty-two or twenty-three, someone the other day in the work at the cocktail bar, put me at twenty-one, this of course made me very happy but I discounted it as just a one-off instance, should it happen again I’ll start to take it a little more seriously, but I doubt it. Thing is, I had no real issue about growing older until other people made it apparent that it was somewhat of a big deal, I really don’t mind growing into a mature adult, I’d rather evolve from a lively yet distant young person who never really ran with the crowd and preferred his own company over the company of others, into a cool adult. I’d take wise maturity over ignorant youth any day. Most people I’ve met have been kind and good to me and never really caused much to any distress, sometimes however, despite maintaining a positive outlook toward life and what my future holds, I’ve noticed that some people really do enjoy taking people down a peg or two, especially when it comes to their own expectations for someone around “my age.” This expectation talk I’ve received from others has gradually increased as I’ve gotten older, people will learn your age and make some sort of misguided calculation as to where you should be in your life judging by how many years you have been on this planet, then they feel the urge to offer guidance or worse they poke holes in your choices, make fun and make you feel as if you are less than they are. Such pressures mainly influenced by the media exist! Pressures orbit both sexes and can be detrimental to ones health and self-esteem. I want to help put a stop to social pressures which impact our society, I will get around to how I think I can help fight this issue, later in this article. I want to let you know that the social pressures and other people’s expectations of you is all but an illusion, and simply someone else’s own insecurities slipping through the cracks in their armour, wanting it to bleed out onto the hard-working, positive bunch such as ourselves. I’ve known people at both ends of the spectrum, people who tear themselves to pieces trying to fit in, sacrificing their dignity, their pride and their wallet to camouflage themselves among the hordes of ‘normal’ people, and at the other end are those who fit in perfectly literally becoming slaves to the system, falling into place, into line doing everything by the book with almost no independent thought for themselves and no thirst for adventure. I find this unsettling and sad. Genuinely speaking, both male and female pressures of today are very similar, but seeing as I am male, I will be approaching this topic from a male perspective and will leave women to write about the differences that exist between us in their own posts. In saying that, if there are any ladies reading this, no doubt you will still (hopefully) be able to relate to some of the subjects raised in this article. I will begin with some advice on how to counter people you meet who attempt to drag you down, whether they be among your circle of friends, colleagues at work or random people who you’ve not even been properly introduced to, there are ways to keep on top of things.
People with such negative attitudes toward you, those who attempt to try to push you into their way of thinking, asserting their belief systems and mind sets onto yours, typically tend to be insecure themselves, remember this. Because such people have seen you living the life you want to lead, doing the things you want to do and are bold enough to pursue your dreams however wild and daring, simply cannot handle the fact that you are indeed braver than they are, to step out and away from the safety nets of the crowds and take risks. Unless that person is a complete and utter drip and has absolutely no ambition, no goals or dreams of their own whats so ever, they will always find an excuse not to do something, always find a reason as to why they should not follow the path they truly desire. It is the people who step outside I admire, people who set themselves targets outside of their part-time jobs and work toward achieving their goals. I hold a deep respect for these people because I know from first hand experience that it is not easy, in fact it is almost impossible to build the life you ideally want from scratch, doing the things you love most in order to make a decent living is a hard place to get to. It is far easier to resign yourself to getting a job, to get good at that job, make money from that job to pay bills, to go on holiday, watch Netflix and order pizza every other weekend, this is mundane as fuck and it is a life I cannot muster or submit myself to. Without an outlet, without my writing and artistry, without the journey toward my goals, life would be nothing more than a ticking clock. As stated earlier, you are going to die one day and no matter how much money you make for yourself or for some company, it won’t bring you comforting feelings toward the end, it won’t fill you with a sense of achievement and even if it does, it is miniscule in comparison to what you are actually capable of. I implore you, whoever you are to follow your dreams, take that first step and then another the following day, within a month you’ll have taken thirty steps and the months, the time, flies by. Fuck me I’m twenty-nine, yesterday I was eighteen, in College fretting over assignments. I’ll tell you that if you create something that is yours, if you are able to leave some kind of a mark, to touch someone else’s life in a positive way, to behold a project you are proud of, the sense of accomplishment earns you that peaceful slumber, it gives you the right to order that massive pizza with extra cheese and watch shit tv for a day before you move onto your next objective.
Before I go on I must explain that I have no problem with those who are good at their jobs, I have no problem with people who wish to lead their own chosen life styles and pursue whatever makes them happy, whether that be baking, plumbing, retail work, bar work and so on. So long as you are happy and not hurting anyone, by all means live your life the way you want. I was simply detailing an example, an example that a lot of people submit themselves to, the laziest life style there is. I promise you, there is so much more to life than holidaying, eating and TV. Wouldn’t it be better if everyone pursued something they loved, if everyone did something a little out of the ordinary from time to time, where money was not the main source of motivation? If these social barriers were to fall, if these expectations society dumps on us were dropped, then I believe that more and more creative people would come out of their shells and go onto fulfilling what’s inside them. I know what you’re thinking, what the hell has any of this got to do with life and death? I’ll tell you…One of the biggest regrets people have when they are approaching death is “Not having done enough.” I will admit that even the most ambitious, adventurous people around will still have this regret, but I guarantee the weight of this realisation is far less than someone who has done fuck all with their time. If you do more with what time you have, if you travel around as best you can, if you work on projects you are passionate about, you will feel more fulfilled, more at ease and far more successful and significant in my opinion, making it easier for you to push on during those difficult times. We all have to have goals. So to summarize, there is nothing we can actually do about dying, but we can do things to ease our passage toward that final full stop, making it more pleasant and interesting for others along the way.
It is hard to appreciate something in the moment. I have a countless list of things that at the time I did not appreciate but now I am so so thankful for. If I were to list them out, this article would never end and would become a book in itself. Speaking of books I do have an idea in regards to all these long-winded posts I am making. I am thinking further on down the line, I assemble all of my stories I have on WordPress and organise them into a book of its own, kinda like a documentary from day one to the present moment; That idea aside, lets continue. There are so many things we all take for granted. Another thing people regret when on their death-bed is “Not having traveled enough.” I am not a big traveler, not really, sure I’ve gone to handful of places and journeyed across Europe, but if you simply look at a globe or a map of the planet, Europe is tiny, so very tiny. This year I am traveling to Australia, I am planning to road trip across country living out of a van within a year, maybe two if I am lucky and the embassy allows it. From then on I’ve had an invitation to road trip through America and I do want to live in Canada when I hit that time in my life, not before I explore China’s wilderness and experience the buzz of Japan. Experiences like this help you grow in more ways than you know. Why am I going on and on about travelling? How can travelling help you gain more an appreciation of your experiences. Again, I’ll tell you…During 2015 I found myself in the middle of Lithuania, somewhere in the North near a place I cannot even pronounce, spell or find on Google. You had to walk there to get to this camp to live among people who live off the land, who do not have technology or any modern-day appliances. When you are there, you are there, there is nothing around by fields and forests for miles and miles and is notoriously difficult to navigate your way back to civilisation. Anyway, just to give you an example of how we take the smallest things for granted, I love to have a cup of tea or cup of coffee in the morning, it’s strange I find it hard to function with one. I also love to have a hot shower, to talk to people through my phone, to have a shave or to simply cook up some delicious food. We do all these things on a daily basis and do not realise how incredible it is, we barely notice it anymore we just do. Trust me, when one of those things is taken away, when you cannot actually have any of the above or when water itself becomes scarce (the nearest well was half a mile away for us) by God you notice it. Luckily for me, I was equipped with my notebooks, I retreated into these notebooks very often, when it was pouring with rain or under the burning sun, time I would have spent on a games console or playing on my phone, instead I tripled my productivity and came up with some seriously great ideas for my projects, ideas that perhaps would never have had existed without taking away the luxuries I am so used to. I was there for about a month, experiencing life without technology and washing myself in a river, it was a remarkable experience looking back but at the time I was suffering. Believe me when I say, I’ve never felt more appreciative of tea and coffee, hot meals and showers ever before. So, travelling is suffering, but through suffering comes life lessons and evolution in once self. Go travelling, suffer and learn to live through it, learn to savour it and understand that the time will never be returned to you. If you do this you will be able to heighten your life experiences.
I guess a realisation has hit me, a very real dose of mortality has struck at twenty-nine years of age. I’ve suddenly had my first wake up call it seems and its got nothing to do with the youth of today telling me I am old, or the magazines and social expectations telling me I should have a house, should be married, should be in the gym twice a week rocking pumped up biceps, should have a couple of kids and a well-paying job…No…I’ve come to this realisation myself, I am not getting any younger, time passes fast. So what’s the point? What can one say about this? What is actually the point of doing what we do? Why do we struggle so hard if it is inevitably all going to end? I’ll tell you. We do such things because we must, for if we don’t do them, we are ignoring the gift of being human. There is plenty wrong with Human beings as a species, but we are also on an individual level very interesting, complex and fascinating creatures, ignoring such a privilege, to deny ourselves the abilities and creativity we have inside us is a crime. Use the time you have, don’t use it just to work and pay bills, do something with what you have and start now. Death is not the end if you’ve left something behind in worthy of remembrance. Sure, everything will come to an end one day, but consider this; I am about to loosely quote something from somewhere, I have forgotten where I pulled it from so if anyone can refresh my memory please hit me up with a message because I’d like to know who said it, but please consider the following; “You’ve been dead since the beginning of the universe and the universe is old. It is only until recently you’ve been brought into existence and yet everything that has come before you during your non-existence, has not affected you in the slightest.” This saying makes me realise a few things, that there is nothing to fear, dying is simply returning to that space of nothing and we do not even know it, we aren’t even aware of it, so worrying about this is utterly futile. Concern yourself with what you do with the time you have. Seeing as we have hit the topic of time, time is also a construct created by man to build us schedules, time itself is an illusion as are the pressures that exist all around is. So in short; No, you don’t need to be married by twenty-five. No, you don’t need to have an incredible job by thirty. No, you don’t need to have a house and kids by forty and if anyone thinks you should fall in line because that’s what is expected of you, tell them to fuck off, you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.
These books I am writing currently take up most of my time, whether it be in thought or practically, I am always working on ways to improve my material, devising plots, sketching notes, thinking up action sequences and creating interesting story arks. The reason I work so hard on my books, is because I love doing it, it really is that simple, it fills me with meaning and purpose and helps me grow as a person. My job is not to make money, of course I need to make a living, everyone needs to pay rent, buy food and take care of themselves but money cannot be the motivation, people you sell yourself too will be able to see through that. Passion cuts through gold each time. It’s a beautiful thing to know though, that these books once completed in their entirety will always exist, it’s just up to me to make them the best they can be, up to me to finish the series before my time is up. My ability to translate what I see in my head onto the page for your entertainment, is everything to me. As I have said in previous posts and will say so again, I want to create something new, something you have never seen before. It’s likely I will fail, but this is what I believe sets The Ancestral Odyssey aside from other fantasy epics, is that I am attempting the impossible, this story is bold and you may not realise it after say the first few Volumes because the beginning sets a foundation, and from those concrete foundations I build upon it and I believe I am indeed onto something, especially when I start to hit Volume Four, Five and Six. Another thing that sets this project a part is what is attached to it, I am an environmentalist, I do care greatly about our planet and the state it is in and there are places that I would love to see flourish again; How can I achieve this? I can donate money once a month which indeed helps, or I can make enough money from what I love doing and go out on site and go to work myself. Books are made from paper, paper comes from trees, trees need to fall to be made into books, this is common knowledge. To counter this, I have not only chosen to use specs from Amazon’s printers which are the most friendly to our environment, but I have begun to build a woodland, everyone has to start somewhere and what better place to start than near an area of your home. The picture above this article is the space where trees are planted, they are small right now so you cannot see them, but in a hundred years time, this patch of land will be its own woodland, and in the centre of this space is where I will be buried, hopefully not for a long time.
This brings us to the end of this post, it was a little all over the place at times but I hope I got the message across. If not I will sum it all up in this short paragraph. Death is inevitable, do not waste your time worrying about…I encourage you to follow your dreams, keep yourself well but always nurture your talents. Do not feel pressured by society or suffer those around you who make you feel less adequate. Follow your own path and build a life you want to live…Thank you for reading. The Ancestral Odyssey can be found on Amazon.com, I’ll leave a link below. Follow me on Twitter @MegasTeque for updates and quotes. If there is a topic you’d like me to cover or if you have a question, please feel free to drop me a message, once again the link is directed below. If you are interested to learn a little more, if you like what you read here, I do have other articles posted on this site.
To Book Store:- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Duncan-Gill/e/B01JMZ2BE6/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1471628965&sr=8-1