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Edinburgh Zoo

It was a crisp, fresh November day in Edinburgh. I surprised Kirsty with a trip to Edinburgh Zoo.

Mostly to see the pandas who are, in real life, just as adorable and fluffy and cute and ohhmygodcanwetakeonehome as you’d imagine. Smaller than I thought though…

Anyway. I took the camera and, despite the railings, fencing, plexi-glass and other such screens, managed to get some pretty good photos.

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Not lacking in passion

What are your passions?

Life continues on an upward trajectory.

I am a rocket!

God, I’ve lost the point of this already? Why on earth do I bother?

Ahhh that’s it! Passion!

No, not the bodice-ripping type from a Jackie Collins novel (is that even right?), but the type that makes you get up in the morning because you want to get something done. The type of passion that drives creative people, or those who like to be active, to get up and go do something they love.

I know many of these types of people. Some border on the obsessive, it seems like it’s all they think about, others have private hobbies in which they happily lose themselves for hours or days on end.

The thing is, I’m not sure I have one.

For a while I thought that was a bad thing but recently I’ve realised it’s not.

It’s something I’ve mentioned here before and it still irks me at times, but less so as time passes. I think I’ve finally realised that what I’m passionate about is everything. I enjoy the fact that I’m reasonably good at a few things, that I have reasoned opinions on a number of topics. It also explains why certain types of people bore the tits off me when they only have one topic of conversation (and that’s even before we get to those people who turn every single conversation into one about themselves). I digress.

I go through fads (not fashions) of my own making. Recently I re-discovered the simple joy of building Lego. There is something relaxing about switching off most of your cognitive function, and following simple instructions. You don’t need to extrapolate, to consider, there is no need to revise or improve upon what is laid in front of you. Given that most of my working day is spent in that headspace, the appeal of Lego is kinda obvious.

But that’s fading now, been there, done that. What’s next?

Maybe I’m going to get back into reading? Or that dusty guitar might actually get some of my attention?

Who knows, and more importantly, who cares? I know that I will find something to capture my gaze and keep me occupied, it may be something which stirs up some passion in me for a while but it too will fade. Circumstance will play it’s part, of course, funnily enough I’m not quite as passionate about cycling now the days are mostly cold and wet, and whilst I will always look on with a level of jealousy when I see those passionate people talking about something they love, but I will take solace in the fact that I am passionate about one specific thing.

Living life.

You see, what stops me being passionate about one thing in particular is that I don’t really understand why you’d limit yourself in that way. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, just that it doesn’t sit well within my mental model of me. I’m aware of my weakness when it comes to detail so deep-diving on a topic isn’t something I really find comfortable. I’ll tend to get as much out of something as I want and then stop, even if that means missing out on something vital. I’ll take shortcuts where I can too so my general approach to learning and information assimilation isn’t really suited to the role of being a specialist.

In my day job that’s been to my advantage and, I’m realising with increasing frequency, it suits me just fine in other aspects of my life.

In short, but when has brevity ever been a consideration here, I’m passionate about being passionate about lots of different things at different times.

Which is, probably, more similar to other people than I think.

Once again, I end a blog post with a massive non-conclusion.


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About a year ago, maybe more, I started writing (sporadically) in a journal and I’m quite surprised that I’ve kept it going, even though how I use it has changed.

I’ve always enjoyed the process of writing, this blog is testimony to that, but even before there was this place called the internet which I could pollute with the┬ádetritus of my mind I’ve always had a fondness for the written word. I can remember spending an evening with a girlfriend where we wrote down questions and answers for each other, passing sheets of paper back and forth. Even then, as a naive teenager, I realised that I preferred that form of communication over, say, actually telling someone what you thought.

Of course I’ve grown up a bit since then, not much mind you, but I still fall back on the written word and the process of writing as a way to get a handle on things I don’t really understand.

  • Why do I get so annoyed when plans change?
  • What was it that happened that makes me cringe when I have to get my hands dirty?
  • Am I inherently lazy and selfish or is there more to me than that?

The last few years have been amazing and I’ve learned so much about myself, about who I am (rather than who I want to be), and where my life may be heading. I’ve written a lot in my journal, not all of it has been positive, sometimes I wrote in anger, letting the emotions drive the words knowing that that flash of emotion would fade quickly, sometimes I paused to recognise just how many blessings I have to count, and sometimes it’s good to reflect on how lucky I am. The over arching theme remains though, it’s a place where I dump my thoughts so they can stew for a while.

More recently I’ve been looking back over what I’ve written, seeing the change in tone and in emphasis as I start to understand things better. I can see that I’ve made steps to put myself in a better place, some of which I’ve mentioned here, and that even in the past six months things have, once again, changed for the better. Of course it’s not all about how wonderful my life is (it is pretty fucking wonderful to be honest), and there will always be days which are challenging but, as I learnt recently, there is no such thing as a good day or a bad day, they are all just days and there is always a tomorrow, a new day, lurking around the corner.

With those realisations I notice that I’m now using my journal much more as a memory store. I’ve started feeding in other data, not just the random wanderings of my brain, but the photos I take, the places I’ve been, the music I’ve listened to, and I’m finding that has value as well (not just because my memory is awful!).

In fact it’s occurring to me now that, whilst I’ve struggled to instil new habits in other parts of my life, my journal has been a constant companion for a few years now. I wonder what it’ll feel like to look back on it in another year or two. Where will I be then? WHO will I be then?

For once I don’t really care about the answers to those questions, I will be wherever I am and I’ll be whoever I’ve become, but I do know I’m really looking forward to finding out.

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