Appreciation for the Nation

Welcome, welcome, one and all! I’ve been saying for quite a while now, that I would start blogging again and so here we go. I’ve been pondering lots of things recently and sometimes, I ponder more than I’d like. My depression hits hard sometimes and I  have to do what I can to try to keep my mood up and appreciate everything that I have and naturally, I try to focus on what makes me successful when my mental health makes me feel like I’m failing.

We all have different definitions and interpretations of life, love, work and fun. What some people find fun, others find absolutely mind-numbing. What some people find hilarious, others find cringe-worthy. And most importantly, what some find to be a success, others deem it to be a complete failure.

Success to many is related entirely to how much they earn, how up to date their phone is, or how many doodah’s they own. Not everyone measures success in what they earn or what they own though. Obviously, I’m not saying I don’t like money or phones or doodah’s, in fact I love them all, but I value other things more. So here’s a little list of what I value most.

1. People

There are some people who you instantly know you’re going to get on with, some people who you get to know over time and some people you’re born with and live with. 
My family, despite their flaws and annoying habits, are fantastic. They don’t really understand depression, but they selflessly put up with my moods, my days where I don’t want to see/speak to anyone and I even occasionally get lifts from the station to my house (which is ridiculous seeing as it’s only a ten minute walk). 
My friends are the other people who make me feel successful. They, much like my family, look out for me when I need it most and most of the time I don’t even need to ask. It’s like they have a 6th sense. There are so many to name, so I won’t name any at the risk of forgetting and offending someone. The only failure here is that a lot of them live in the north. Sort it out guys, come to London.

2. The Stuff I Do

Volunteering is a great thing to make someone feel successful. I currently mentor some mentors who mentor some mentees. I’ve taken a bit of a back seat in volunteering recently but when I was volunteering for a couple charities at once and could see a tangible change because of the things I do, I felt successful. 
My work makes me feel successful sometimes too, in particular when I’m working face to face with my young people and supporting them with what they do. I love helping them achieve what they want to achieve, and hearing/reading/seeing the excitement in their voice/email/face when they hear that their projects are being approved!

3. The Music of Life

I’m not a professional musician. I’m not even an amateur musician. I am a self taught guitar and ukulele player and a keen singer. I’m never going to pursue a career in music but playing music and singing makes me feel brill especially when I’m singing with a friend. It’s much more fun. Even without the musical instruments, a good album or a catchy tune will pick me up. 

4. All the Little Things

A nice walk, a random smile from a stranger (which believe me, is a massive deal in London) , an unexpected text from an old friend. I try my very best to look out for little things in my day which I can appreciate. For example, every morning I get the bus over London Bridge. On one side I can see St. Paul’s Cathedral, the other, Tower Bridge, Town Hall, HMS Belfast and of course on both sides, the River Thames. London is a beautiful city, I wish people would get off their phones and appreciate exactly how amazingly lucky they are to be here! 
One final little thing which makes me feel awesome, is getting home from work, kicking off my shoes and getting changed into my Hawaiian lounge pants and oversized NYPD hoodie. Comfort unparalleled. Who needs clubs and bars when you have comfort clothes and a ukulele?

5. Not Being a Bellend

Sounds like a pretty simple thing. Don’t be a bell end. Be a good person, treat people with respect. Don’t be a push over, but be kind. I feel better about myself just by being nice. If you’re good to people, people will be good to you. If you treat people like shit, don’t be surprised when the same shit comes flying back in your face. People appreciate it when you treat them with love and respect. 
I know that last line was cheesy. It’s true though. 
This little blog has been a little strange, poorly structured and I think the message has changed slightly from beginning to end but thanks for reading this far! Let me know if you like the blog and let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to write about next time!
A

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