Thursday 1 September 2022

1st September 2022...A change in proceedings

So today should have been Day 896 for those of you who have been watching, but I've decided to make a change.

This blog originally started back in 2012 as a way to chat about my passion and love for all things Disney, but especially the parks. Over the years it evolved to include my approach to a healthy lifestyle, the changes I made and the impacts they had, my love for tattoos and sometimes it covered just life in general.

Fast forward to March of 2020 when the whole world went crazy and we found ourselves in a situation that was unique, scary and to use the buzzword of the time, unprecedented; I am of course talking about lockdown. With time on my hands and an urge to write I decided to start a blog entry per day, a diary if you will, to record what was happening not just in my life but in the world around us; it was to be a 'lockdown diary'. After all none of us had ever experienced anything like this and I thought it would be interesting to record what happened, how long it lasted (remember at this point we were told two weeks to flatten the curve!) and how it impacted all of our lives.

My decision to write was purely a selfish one; to record what was happening in my life, how the world events were affecting me and those close to me as well as from time to time chance for me to vent and express my own opinions as to what was happening, and perhaps even share information along the way. Like I said this wasn't started for any specific reason, it wasn't started to find fame or fortune or to find recognition. It was for me, by me and if anyone else wanted to read along then that was fine and if they liked what they were reading then that was a bonus. I had no idea back then that over two years later I would still find myself compelled to 'keep a diary' and that it would have reached in excess of 890 days worth of events.

Back in October of 2020 I found myself struggling to keep the writing going and interestingly I have found those same feelings resurfacing of late. I even began a blog post back then that I never published but that I now find myself referring back to. I think the simple act of writing out my feelings was cathartic and meant I was able to re-focus on what I was doing and how I presented it to the world. I am going to use those words from October 2020 to help me with todays post as I think that what I put down in words then is still as valid today.

October 2020

'My writing has been questioned and no doubt my writing about it being questioned will also get questioned but I am not going to let any other opinions out there stop me from doing what I want and writing about what I want, that is personal to me in a forum that I have chosen to write in.

I have been told that the manor in which I write reveals more about me than I reveal in person...does it? I don't know, I can't possibly know because I am not aware that the person I appear to be in person is any different to the person that is writing this. I will admit to not being the most talkative person and that sharing some things can be a challenge for me and so perhaps writing it down, without judgement or interruption, is easier for me.

I have been told that the manor in which I write is opinionated and aggressive; two words that I would never have associated with myself. Yes, I have opinions on a variety of subjects but that is not the same as being opinionated, the definition of which is 'characterised by conceited assertiveness and dogmatism'. I like to think that I can recognise that everyone has their own views of the world and while I will always try to impart whatever knowledge I may have I know that there will always be disagreements and thought processes and that is fine. I have always said that I will not force my views on others providing they do the same with me. We have to accept that we will not all think the same and that is fine, it's what makes us all individuals, after all it would be no fun if we were all the same. I strive to accept that I will not always be right, that I am open to information that may change my understanding and therefore my opinion. We have to accept that change will happen, it may not always be what we want but it will happen and we need to find a way to embrace and accept it to be able to move on and change and adapt ourselves.

Aggressive; now I don't wish to sound conceited but I have never thought myself to be an aggressive person, in fact I have been accused in the past of being too laid back. I may be passionate about things that I hold dear and if my passion has been interpreted as being aggressive then I can only apologise. There may have been times over the last 220 plus days that I have attempted to express my frustrations or anger at situations, often situations that are too big for me to have any impact on or any control over and again being aggressive was never my intention.'

So that's where we were almost two years ago and again I have gotten to a point where I am letting the opinions of others, whether known individuals or strangers, temper what I write and how I want to write it. I find myself censoring my dialogue rather than allowing myself to write openly, freely and with passion.

Like I said above I have my own set of opinions and beliefs and these will not always sit well with some of those who happen to take the time to read. But they are just my opinions and I recognise that some may agree and some may not, but I think I have the right to be able to express those opinions without dealing with abuse from those who have their own differing opinions. I would never presume to aggressively attack someone just for not agreeing one hundred percent with my way of thinking, but it would appear others out there are happy to attack and deride without any constructive purpose at heart.

In this world we will not always agree with each other and that can be frustrating but we have to sometimes agree to disagree. We have to respect each others right to have those opinions, we should listen and be respectful, we should hear what people have to say and be open to those alternate view points but if we don't hold the same viewpoint then so be it. Respect each other, learn from each other and move along. 

Sometimes we will discover new information that will change our thoughts and minds and that's fine; that's how it should be. We should be open to learning, to expanding our knowledge, to understanding and appreciating positions that could be totally alien to us. But if we can do that then so should others with equally strong opinions.

Let me have my voice and I will let you have yours. Neither of us should stop the other from expressing their true feelings, their true worth nor made to feel belittled or an outsider because they may differ from the perceived 'norm'. No-one should be made to feel any less of a person simply because opinions don't always align.

At the end of the day there is always another channel to watch, another blog to read or simply the 'off switch' to be found. No-one is being forced to read or watch anything, if you don't like it then simply move along and find something that you do like and enjoy. Stop wasting your time and energy on fighting battles that you will never have any resolve for, find your tribe and enjoy them.

And so where does all that leave this blog? Well the blog will keep on going but it will be back to its original intent as a space for me to share my thoughts, my feelings, my tattoos, my love of Disney and my approach to life. I'm sure that there will be posts where I will use the medium to vent against issues that I have no control over, or issues that I feel passionate about but I will strive to write what I want, about what I want, when I want and in my own way because it is right for me and no-one else.

The past 890 plus days have been interesting to say the least...that two weeks to flatten the curve turned out to be much, much longer and contorted than any of us could have possibly imagined. We have had lockdowns, tiers, social distancing, masks, vaccines, mandates, eat out to help out and more. And although the world is more 'normal' than it has ever been since Day 1 it still has some way to go to get us completely back to how we used to be. Will we ever get there I wonder? I hope so, but who can tell? I know that at the moment the world does not feel completely like it did in 2019 and I guess somethings may never go back to how they were but all we can do is hang on in there and watch it all unfurl.

Things will change, some we will like and some we won't but we will persevere and do our best to move forward with positivity and make the most of whatever comes our way.

See you next time.

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