So this is strange, my very 1st website!
What on earth to do with it?
I literally have no idea.
Oh well, how about dedicating it to positive living, ‘cos that’s what I (now) do! Yes. That’s a sound idea. So to begin, a little potted history on how I got here..
A year ago yesterday I was finishing my last shift at Apple.
I worked for them in a retail store for 2.5 years and there were elements of the job that I loved. I loved the people (they are ridiculously smart and talented), I loved the customers (well, most of them), I loved the tech (still do) and I loved the money (Apple pay very well indeed).
But it wasn’t enough. I call them golden handcuffs; the wage, the bonuses, the stock options, the private medical and dental, the free gym membership blah blah blah. It doesn’t matter how much gold goes into them or how shiny they are, if they feel like handcuffs then it’s time to change. So change I did.
I walked away from a job, from a career really, with nothing lined up. Just the faith that it would all work out OK.
I blame Steve Jobs.
Why is Steve to blame? Isn’t he dead?
Well he maybe dead but he lives on via YouTube. The Stamford commencement speech is a must view for anyone about to make a serious decision in their lives. Here it is for your perusal.
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A friend of mine put me onto this years ago when I was about to go through a break up (we broke up) and it really helped put my decisions into perspective… It helped me again in 2014 when I decided enough was enough.
I was clinically depressed with a diagnosis from the docs and the offer on the table was pills and/or counselling. My symptoms were typical; broken sleep, the Sunday blues every evening, the silent commute to Kingston Upon Thames included talking myself out of the car every morning, fighting the urge to drive home again, turn off my phone and go back to sleep for a week.
I was trotting to the loo every 5 mins. It wasn’t pleasant and I was spending a lot on Andrex. My friends could see it before me, especially the ones I didn’t see too often. They told me I seemed lost, that I wasn’t myself. I’ve always been quite a positive person you see, but at that point I was low and it showed.
When my boss sat me down for “a chat” it all came to a head.
It’s funny what a question can lead to isn’t it. It’s one of the signs of a good leader, being able to ask the right question at the right time and boy did she deliver.
Her: “Can I ask you Andy, off the record, do you love your job?”
Me: “Off the record, no. There are elements that I like but no, I don’t love it”
Her: “What was your best job?”
Me: “I used to be an entertainer in Spain and I loved that”
Her: “What did you love about it?”
Me: “It was fun, it was easy, it didn’t feel like work and I was good at it. Really good at it. Plus I got a lot of sex (I didn’t say that last bit)”
Her: “Why aren’t you still doing it?”
I was about to give some glib answer about why it was not a job for a middle aged man, about how that boat had sailed, about how tough the entertainment industry is when I stopped.
Me: “I don’t know. Why am I not doing it?” (I asked the question to myself out loud and it suddenly seemed so clear, I was full of excuses, full of bullshit excuses)
Her: ” We only have one life Andy, you’ve got to do what makes you happy. Oh and I want 6 month business plan on my desk on Monday”
(this was Friday evening and I was due to be in store, working all weekend FFS)
She asked me to go away and work on the plan. I went away and watched Steve.
… Steve did his thing. I watched him again then I wrote the letter. The letter of freedom.
- The letter of fuck you.
- The letter of intent to start a new life.
- One I don’t need a vacation from.
- One I don’t need to take take pills to get through.
- Bye bye Apple hello me.
That was a year and month or so ago and I can honestly say that the past year has been one of the best of my life. It has had its ups and downs but it’s mainly been up, and up, and up.
I am probably the happiest person you are ever gonna meet. If there is a happier bod out there than me then I want to meet them. And then go for drinks, it would be great fun.
The reason for my happiness?
Well, it’s not money that’s for sure. Sure, I miss a £5K chunk landing every month, but money by itself definitely does not make you happy.
I guess if I had to put a word to it it would be peace. Not world peace a la miss world, not even peace and quiet a la Dad’s study but peace as in the internal peace that comes from finding yourself. Finding yourself and finding out that you actually like who you find. Love them even.
I am going to sign off by saying that this blog and vlog will contain a little bit of everything that is important to me. In no particular order that is:
- Personal and spiritual development
- Good food
- Fast cars
- Life advice
- Furry animals
- Family and friends
- Vice acting
- …And arbonne.
More on all of that later.
Stay well lovely people and in the words of the immortal Mich.