At the moment, I'm mainly stressed, and unfortunately, stress doesn't lend itself particularly well to creativity in my experience. Nonetheless, Robin and I have been talking about dealing with life, love and moving on, and it got me thinking about how we each deal with emotions generally. More than just emotions, though, the issues or situations that generate those emotions. How do you handle low self-esteem, or unrequited love, or loss, or loneliness, or fear? Do you wallow? Blame others? Blame yourself? Spread your misery? Promote your misery? Avoid the problem? Or do you take a more positive approach to difficult circumstances?
Watching the goings on here at QA over the years has been interesting in some regards and, admittedly, mind-numbing in others. My teenage years are well and truly in retrospect and I can see things from completely different angles now. I try my best not to interject too much in the conversations here because most life lessons can't be taught, only learned through experience. Certain things only become clear(er) with time.
However, I really don't think we get enough help, or advice, or encouragement as kids. Maybe especially as LGBT kids. The world isn't as simple as it used to be and we need to do more to mentor our young 'uns when it comes to understanding ourselves. I don't know if we can be taught to better reflect upon our feelings and I don't know if we can shown by teachers how to approach problems, but I do think we can be made to believe that we're in control of our own lives.
We should be nurtured by society to be proactive and to face things head on. Only the luckiest few are brought up believing they can achieve anything while most of us end up resigning ourselves to mediocrity. We don't try hard enough. We don't look at our problems and find the solutions. We don't take the long-term view and we don't accept advice; we've been surrounded by cynicism. We have been told all about our rights, but no-one ever told us about our responsibilities towards our society and towards our ourselves.
While society still continues to innovate and progress, the masses aren't reaching their potential. It's almost cool to have issues, to underachieve, to indulge in melodrama. It's normal to view ourselves as victims and we're encouraged to appoint blame. But it's all wrong and, for all our freedoms, I think we're going backwards.
We need to take back our lives and deal with the things that hold us back. Depression, apathy, isolation. We need to find ways of figuring it out. We need to teach ourselves to take the initiative and, crucially, we need to organise our emotions.
Run and think. Walk and think. Paint and think. Write and think, rearrange, rewrite and rethink. Sing, talk, debate, build, design, create, compete. Push yourself. Stand up for yourself. Respect yourself. See yourself in three years time and get yourself there.
Don't coast through the present and don't ignore the future. Don't worry about the things you can't control and can't foresee. Focus on what you can. Focus. And enjoy the little things.
Graham's blog: politics, poetry, and introspection