Friday, 19 March 2010
Sunday 21st March is the second anniversary of “The Plastic Mancunian” blog, you know, that inane, weird and foolish drivel that escapes from my brain and somehow finds its way into cyberspace for all and sundry to read.
The blog started out as a nebulous pile of bullshit and now it has been refined into a more focussed kind of horseshit.
As strange as it seems, I have changed in that time too. Believe it or not I have become more mature.
“Oh yeah,” I hear you cry. “Didn’t you recently write about sick and sordid things that have happened to you and other people? Didn’t you come up with a fictional “confession” that was pure gobbledygook? How is that “becoming mature? You’re a middle-aged git – you should already BE mature.”
Well let me tell you how I have matured – a little at least.
I recently wrote about procrastination and how useless I am at concentrating on necessary tasks, or even doing something that I want to do, like write a book. As a result of that post I started to examine myself.
I don’t mean that I stripped off naked, stood in front of the mirror with a magnifying glass scrutinising all of my numerous physical flaws. I have no desire to examine myself in that much detail I can assure you – I scare very easily.
What I mean is, I did a little soul searching; I kind of stepped deep into my own mind and took a look at where I was going, what I wanted to do and how I was going to achieve it.
Don’t worry – I didn’t turn into a bizarre kind of spiritual freak. I simply asked myself a few questions, opened a couple of creaky old boxes in my subconscious mind and let the contents fly around a bit to get some air.
It’s a weird thing, exploring your soul and in many ways its fascinating examining what you have achieved, where you are now and what you intend to do in the future. It’s also a little disappointing.
I can imagine what you are thinking; “AARRGGGHHHH!!!! He’s having a mid-life crisis!!”
I promise you I’m not – I had that several years ago and paid the price with a divorce.
What I mean is that although I have led a reasonable life, I think I could have done things in a different and probably better way. That said, it is not necessarily a bad thing. I am quite proud of some of the things I’ve done – even the stupid things – and I wouldn’t be the person I am today had I not made mistakes.
Looking at my life now, I am a very happy chap. Sure, I give the impression that I am a grumpy middle-aged troll with my opinionated rants about what is wrong with the world but overall I am quite content with life. There are things that make me unhappy, notably the rat race and the inexorable journey through working life, but despite that I now try to direct myself towards the positive things in life.
And believe me, life really is wonderful.
However, as fantastic as life can be, there are still ways in which I can improve the journey and make myself even happier in future. Such was my aim when I wrote the post about procrastination ( which you can read here)
As I wrote that post, I realised, in a sense, that I was holding myself back a little and finding excuses to simply not do what I wanted to do. Hence I declared war on this negative aspect of my existence.
And, surprisingly, it has yielded positive results, albeit slowly.
After a failed attempt at writing a non-fiction book I decided to scrap that idea. I wrote around 6000 words and when I read it back I wasn’t particularly impressed. It was directionless and unfocussed and I couldn’t justify continuing it. After all, if I don’t like it, I wouldn’t expect anybody else to like it either.
So I thought I would have another go at a novel.
Progress has been slow (mainly because I am being too much of a perfectionist) but I am now almost 9000 words into it. My head is buzzing with the plot at the moment and I am slowly but surely chipping away – more so than any previous attempt at writing a novel. I simply need to sit down and write the bloody thing. In a sense this is where procrastination is fighting back. That and the fact that I am busy at work and end up being on call too much.
I didn’t say it was going to be easy.
I remain positive and enthusiastic and I am prevailing in the war. Moreover, other aspects of my life are improving too.
Mrs PM surprised me last month when I talked to her about it; she said “Yes – I have noticed that you seen more driven in these past months – and you are happier too.”.
That was good enough for me.
Of course, I still rant and rave, act like an idiotic child, say and do stupid things – that is part of me and it won’t change.
I don’t want it to change.
But what of “The Plastic Mancunian”?
The blog has opened new doors and without it I wouldn’t have embarked upon exploring my own soul. I wouldn’t have done so without it. When I start writing about the weird thoughts in my brain, I actually enjoy it – even the utter bilge that doesn’t make it to the blog itself.
It has become part of my life and it will remain so. I have no intention of giving it up.
Furthermore I have decided that I am going to publish my two travelogues online in blog form, in due course.
The first one records a trip to China. In 1999, Mrs PM and I embarked on a two week trip to that immense country, armed with fear and enthusiasm (the fear came from me) and I wrote a very amateurish “warts and all” account of our adventure, mainly because I wanted to remember it all. I called it “The China Chronicles”.
The second records a trip to Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore from 2005, with Mrs PM and her mum and partner. I foolishly called it “Koala Kebabs” and it was meant as a gift for Mrs PM’s mum’s 60th birthday (which was why we were going in the first place), so it is more like a diary than a travelogue.
I will of course post a link for anybody with a morbid curiosity who wants to read my attempts at being a poor version of Bill Bryson.
Moreover, I am going to start travelogue number three later this year; we are visiting the west coast of Canada and America for two weeks in May with Mrs PM’s father – so that will be fun.
So, what of me, after this little bit of soul searching?
My goals are still the same:
To win the lottery, quit the day job and travel the world write about my experiences.
To continue to drive Mrs PM up the wall with rock music in the hope that she succumbs and embraces it.
And to continue to be just the way I am but this time with the added bonus of standing triumphant over the bloodied corpse of procrastination.
And, most importantly of all, to remain happy!
Thanks again for reading the blog (even if this is the first time you have stumbled upon the crap I write) and I hope you come back to read it again.