Chapter Two: Setbacks
Updated: Apr 18, 2019
Here's the thing, life can be sh*t.
One of my favourite lines from a movie is when Wade Wilson, in Deadpool proclaims that:
"Life is an endless series of train-wrecks with only brief commercial-like breaks of happiness".
This sentence of self pity hit me hard when I first heard it.
It wasn't that long ago I hit a bump, we all do. My last blog focused on the realisation that my time at University is nearly over, this feeling hasn't dissipated.
However, a series of personal issues, work commitments and other curveballs this crazy world throws in our way hit me in a loop, I was on the floor - it was eighth round of my Championship fight, I needed to get up.
Dissertation work was ramping up and things were naturally getting on top of me. I have personally found for myself that when life gets out of hand, or when I feel like I'm losing control of a situation, I will detach myself from the world.
I'll stop posting online, I won't respond to texts, sometimes go on long unplanned walks to clear my head. This although, soothing for a short period, is a wrong step and one that fools me into thinking I've solved a problem. What I've discovered, and have continued to discover is being open, listening to others and talking to those whose opinions I trust the most have been most valuable in times like these, rather than retreating into my naturally introverted shell.
Now reader, I respect you enough to believe you know that this is a rational conclusion to make. However, for many its a path that isn't visible. Mental health, especially for young men of my age is a serious topic, which brings with it horrific consequences if not treated. For a multitude of social, biological and cultural reasons many young men are lead down a dark and self-destructive path that seals them away from expressing their deepest emotions, its something that troubles me and most of us, and a problem in our society that needs fixing.
I'm no psychologist or Doctor, but I can tell you from personal experience there was no better medicine to my anxieties, fears and frustrations than chatting, laughing and growing with my closest friends.
By talking openly and accepting my mistakes of why I had gotten myself into this spiral in the first place, helped me to get out of it. I went back to basics, which for me was waking up early, doing some exercise, getting tasks done efficiently, eating healthily, spending time doing the things I love, and laughing - lots of laughing.
This may sound simple, and it may sound too easy - but it's truly effective. Even when you start taking back control, it isn't like a Thanos sized snap happens and all your problems fade to dust, they don't - but over time they lessen, and you grow stronger.
I sit here over a month removed from this period and I'm on the brink of finishing my dissertation (which is a feature length screenplay titled "The Adventures of Jenna Storm", synopsis on my portfolio page, wink wink.) I've regained control, and have learnt a valuable lesson, that setbacks aren't fatal, they're essential to growth and learning.
If you're feeling down, alone or isolated - speak to someone, it helps - I promise.
Have a great day,
End of Chapter Two.
Film, TV recommendations.
I was lucky enough to catch an Unlimited screening of DC's latest film, Shazam! and it was marvellously uplifting! (pun intended). Zachary Levi's childish performance jumps off the screen and is unrelentingly charming and endearing. It had nostalgic throwbacks to classic movies like Big, but also has at times Deadpool-like humour which won me over.
David Sandberg's horror influence also helped the film add much needed stakes and weight for what was an intentionally goofy piece. From a screenwriting standpoint as well, it really concentrated on strong and satisfying arcs for both protagonist Billy Batson, and antagonist Doctor Savana, played masterfully by Mark Strong.
Go see Shazam!
I recommended the first series on my last blog, so here's my recommendation for the second, watch Chilling Adventures of Sabrina on Netflix, it's so dark, twisted, funny and original - original is the word I'd use, so get your binging on.
Recently added to my playlist: "Black Flamingo" - The Wombats, "Tyrants" - Catfish & the Bottlemen, "The Less I Know The Better" - Tame Impala