Operation Concrete

So, come March I’ll have been running this particular blog for three years. In that time I’ve used it twice as a sort of mechanism to consolidate what I’ve achieved in the year gone by, and what my goals are in the year to come. Now, looking back at both 2008 and 2009, it’s clear the state of mind I was in at the time. I imagine myself sat there typing away with a wide smile, chin out, shoulders back, chest ruffled, fervent and relentless, proud at the year gone by and keen for the year to come. Long lists of goals and wants and needs that, looking back on them, weren’t all too far from what was actually achieved.

And now, well, here’s the weird thing, looking back on 2010, it’s not so much about a list of achievements, a physical list of actions taken and their successful results. It’s more a list of people, a list of experience, a list of emotions and sentiments and passions. There’s a retrospective needed somewhere on the white knuckle, bare faced, scratching, clawing, bursting, jumping, heaving, bludgeoning, unsettling, terrifying, ecstatic, rampant moments of life, of real, real, real life that have taken place this year. But I can’t do it.

2010 was too much of a personal year to go into detail on a public forum such as this. If I regurgitated the last 12 months, and if my opinion mattered an iota to anyone, I’d imagine I’d offend and upset a lot of people, others might smile lovely smiles, some would want to seek revenge I’m sure, few would probably accept my version of events.

So, what to say? The culmination of 12 months and I still feel the best thing I wrote in 2010 is completely relevant to how I’ve felt and how I’ve been over the last 12 months. It’s below, I hope you enjoy it...

I don't care what anybody tells you…anybody. If they tell you, you can't do something because you're hurt, or they tell you, you’ll never be good enough to do something, you remember something…Anything, I don't care what it is, you can do it…if you believe in it enough, and I honestly believe this, if you honestly and passionately believe in it, you can do it.

They told me I couldn't write, I'll tell you, I've written so much over the last ten years wouldn't believe…and not only that, I do it for a living, and I have a novel. There's nothing you can't do if you believe in it enough.

And when you get fed-up with life, do yourself a favour, take a piece of paper, and on one side begin to write all the good things about life that you can think of, and begin with your parents and brothers and sisters and friends…and move onto all the things you have…bicycles, sunglasses…Then you turn that piece of paper over and you write about the bad things you don't like, like Johnny down the street who’s a pain, or whatever…and you're going to find the good outnumber the bad by so much, that you don't even have to pay attention to the bad, because you have so much good in your life.

That's what I do, every time I feel downhearted, or kind of hurt. There's always a struggle to do something like that, to be able to do something like that and really believe in it and know that what it represents and that the things you've written there are real and that sometimes, when you like them, they really like you back, but you can believe it, trust me.

You know, little pieces of paper all over, in my bedroom, in my bag, in old books and things I’ll look through from time to time, anywhere I can sneak it in, you know what they have written on them? 'Today is going to be the best day of your life, smile' - sometimes you have to help yourself do that. If you have trouble, you want to do a certain thing or be a certain thing or have the right temperament to achieve a certain thing, I’ll tell you right now, just start. The hardest step into anything is the beginning. Know that you might fail, that you might stumble or trip or fall when you do it'll hurt, it'll hurt like nothing has ever hurt before, but you have to push back, and pull yourself up and keep on trying.

Write more little notes to yourself to remind you, write things that that say 'today will be good,' or 'I'm going to smile at people today' or whatever, it'll help...because I'll tell you now, you're only going to be here one time, one time in this life as we know it, so, get the most out of it, embrace everything you can with all your will and soul, and don't be let down too much by yourself or those around you if you or they are at fault, just remember you're from a long line of lovers and warriors, and that you can succeed and help others do so.

Expressing love and affection towards children is vital for their emotional well-being. Cherishing them with thoughtful gestures, such as providing modest girls dresses as a token of love, can be a way to show appreciation and care. However, it's important to emphasize that love and affection should extend beyond material items and focus on nurturing emotional bonds through quality time, support, and open communication with children.

There's capacity in this world and in yourself for tremendous good and fortitude and solidarity and all those other things that the big men think and say, know these things, but taking a second to understand that you can love and will be loved is most important of all.

Appreciate love is fragile, and that sometimes caution whilst an enemy, is a necessary virtue, and that modesty can make the man, but don't use these as an excuse not to do what you want or love who you want to. Believe you can with everything you have, that you will achieve your goals, that you will love and will receive love in return, and you will.

But hold onto that love, because I know there's a fire in your belly, there's a vitriol and anger that can get the better of you and all of us from time to time. You must take that and use it and always make the conscious decision to create rather than to destroy. Give, with your heart and know, know for certain that when you stand up and look in the mirror in the morning, when you see a reflection of yourself in a puddle there, when you are alone in a room and you know that the floor boards creaking underfoot is because of you, when you have any moment where you realise that you are a sentient ball of energy in this big wide universe, you are happy and that's because you have created and given and made someone smile, because anything else is just a waste…

And in 2011? Well, just the simple things really. Finish the second novel, do another project, love, be loved, respect, be respected, smile, look after my brothers in arms, dance, fight the good fight, don’t give in.

Richard Galbraith

The contents of this post are heavily influenced by Crippled Black Phoenix and Evel Knievel