Well, it’s been almost half a year since I last updated this collection of my writings, last we spoke I’d recently thought I was getting drugged and robbed in the desert, and I had made a fool out of myself on that last leg of climbing a mountain. But overall, I lived in terror, trying but failing miserably from escaping my destiny of having to go back to Mexico.
Fortunately for me though, one of the several hundred job applications I’d sent out in the last few months actually bore fruit and I got an online interview. Unfortunately for me though, at the time I was in one of the hippiest hostels I’d ever been at, where it wasn’t uncommon to see the guests making opium tea and smoking pot whilst sometimes screaming about their drug use to anyone in earshot.
Needless to say, this wasn’t the ideal place to have an interview at; but I managed to find a corner of a room where I more or less pretended everything was in order, and it all went according to plan.
Fast forward a couple months, where I had to go back to Mexico for the UK visa and I’m finally back in London working as a financial journalist. It took over a year of struggling, applying to dozens of jobs per day (with the final tally being upwards of 800!) but it worked out, despite having essentially given up at one point. To say I’m ecstatic does not begin to cover it, not only did I beat the odds but managed to come out on top as well.
There was certainly a sizeable portion of luck involved but this would’ve been close to impossible without putting considerable amount of effort on my end as well. I guess this the key to life: to take enough punches and keep fighting until you get a lucky break.
Over time one develops more abilities but ultimately one is still under the caprices of luck, no matter how high we climb. This realisation, that we’re still pawns in the grand chess game, stings the ego. I want to feel in control of my life but I think part of growing up is realising just how little of our lives we have complete influence over.
However, whilst we may never have ultimate control we can affect a couple of factors. Generally speaking, we can stack the deck in our favour by choosing a path, strategising and working towards our goal – this is by no means a guarantee that it will ever work but it is certainly a start.
Most people though do not have the courage to follow either one of those principles and thus they will default with the prevailing cultural norms. This is the quickest route towards mediocrity and losing what little control you have over your life. One should rage against the dying light and not allow complacency and learned helplessness to destroy whom we are meant to be.
Comfort and security are often a trap by which people are lulled into lives and circumstances they do not want to live through – they’ll go and marry the first bimbo that smiled at them, have kids with her and then wonder where their youths went, just to name an example.
Instead I propose a different thing altogether: learning to be oneself. This is by no means an easy task for it primarily involves going against the grain and actually learning where your priorities and values lie. In the history of the universe there has not been a person out there who has lived life with the same life experiences, thoughts and genes as you. So whilst we can certainly learn from other people’s experiences, we’re the ones who ought to determine whether we pursue a life path or not.
At the end of the day we have to accept that life is suffering. There is almost never a clear cut answer for anything in life; and if there is, chances are that you probably did not get the right card when life was dealing the deck. We must learn to play the best game with the cards that we have, not the cards we wish we ought to have; and in so learning to play the game of life we suffer into truth.
Only in accepting that pain and disappointment are inevitable can we get to the point where we don’t let who we currently are get in the way of whom we could be. I say this as an extremely happy man who has decades spanning plans for his life. Hence I know the general direction my life ought to be taking, despite not knowing the exact shape it’ll have to take to do so.
It’s these thoughts that have followed me now that I’m living in London and finally doing Daygame on a semi-consistent basis. I’m doing this knowing full well that if I so wanted, I could have that area of my life covered by some people I’ve been with before, but ultimately proved unsatisfactory. I do not want to be lured by promises of an easy life, as I know I’ll ultimately be far less happy. Instead, I prefer to trawl the streets of London and see whether I find people whom I share something in common with.
It must be said though that I’m not used to the vibe of the city – people often seem dismissive of other’s genuine desires to engage with them, or seem perpetually busy, and there seems to be an obsessive status jockeying that permeates all aspects of life.
I have also yet to adapt to the British character, which is simultaneously very indirect and prone to overreaction to innocuous things. On the other hand, I don’t think I want to adapt, mostly preferring to subsist on many of the international delights on offer. British girls do not seem to be my cup of tea. On Friday nights many British women seem to operate under the misguided belief that they are attractive and not obese. So they dress up provocatively, and hawk their wares like discounted ham at the supermarket clearance aisle. Needless to say, I try as I might to ignore that scene.
In either case, my dear reader, I am dawdling and will instead jump straight to the point. Whilst at first instance I have had to adapt from what I am usually used to, this shift has unearthed deeper truths in myself and I’m growing as a consequence thereof. Hence I’m getting closer to whom I’m ultimately meant to be as obstacles present themselves – I’m failing upwards. Thus, if there’s any lesson that ought be learned from the last year of my life it is this:
Do not fear hardship, fear weakness and do not let yourself be softened by comfort.