1988: Twenty five years ago I was 18 years old. Picture this: I wore white plimsolls, blue drainpipe jeans, a white T-shirt, a purple waist coat and a denim jacket littered with badges of daggers, skulls and the names of my favourite rock stars: AC/DC, Iron Maiden and Metallica. I had blond hair to my shoulders and an earring. I had a dream: I wanted to be a rock star. Heavy metal was my thang. I loved it. I lived it. I had all the albums. And I looked great!
I decided I was gonna play lead guitar. Yeah, cool baby! But in order to do that I need to 1) purchase a guitar and 2) learn to play said guitar.
I had no money, so I got a job down the local sports club behind the bar pulling pints. I also got a job as a porter at the local department store: BHS. Cash is king!
I worked hard and saved every penny until finally I had enough. Hooray! I rushed into the guitar shop and with massive excitement bought the above pictured Axe! Perfect! The same shape as the lead singer of AC/DC, Angus Young. I also got myself a 100watt amp to power my way into fame with mega decibels of sound.
My parents were overjoyed. Not.
However my dream did not come to pass. I failed miserably to learn how to actually play the damn thing. Sure I could make mega-loud-thrashing-sounds that echoed around the entire neighbourhood. I had great fun doing that, but I never bothered to have any lessons, not even one to get me going.
I was not a natural.
The self teach books failed me.
I was rubbish.
After a while reality kicked in, I realised I was not gonna be a rock star, and I got a job in the city and stored my guitar in the loft.
Six years ago life as I know it collapsed. Mercury poisoning kicked me firmly in the balls, my health crumbled and my future looked bleak. In amongst all my troubles and battles to reclaim my life I longed quit the city job, retire and go live somewhere calm and hassle free.
Sadly a massive lack of funds stopped this dream. Oh yes, we all gotta earn our bread somehow and no way did I, nor do I, have enough to retire on in my thirty’s or forty’s. But with my health so poor, with so much time dedicated to looking after myself, to educating myself, I had little time to do the fun things in life. Most of them I was not physically well enough to do anyway, other things I had not the time, nor the energy.
But one day I will retire from the city job, and one day I will do all the things I missed due to my ill health and lack of time and energy. So I started a list. I kept a list of all the cool and funky things I would do when I finally jacked the job, reclaimed my health and had the time and energy to pursue my dreams! Cool! And here they are, in no particular order:
Do an intensive yoga course somewhere hot: Crete? India?
Buy a boat and learn how to sail.
Study herbal medicine at college.
Study personal finance.
Learn to play golf.
Learn how to draw. (I was very good as a kid: straight A’s in art!)
Do Vipassanan 10 day meditation course.
Build my own kit car.
Go inter-railing around Europe, retracing the steps of when I was a teenager.
Learn to play my guitar.
Yes, the same guitar that has sat in my loft all these twenty five years.
After a while the list started to really annoy me. $hit, all the things I missed doing! All the things I couldn’t do. All the things deprived of me. All the things I wanted to do but could not. It made me sad, depressed and annoyed. It bothered and frustrated me.
But one day the realisation dawned on me. I smacked my forehead and said “Doh!” as the lightening strike of wisdom struck me right between the eyes. I realised I didn’t have to wait 15-20 years to do these things. What a dick I was being! What a massive and total dick!
I didn’t have to wait.
I didn’t have to wait.
I didn’t have to wait.
I could, if I chose, do some of those things now!
I could live the dream if I really wanted to.
I was still busy with life. My job, my family and I wrote my book too which took bloody ages. Everything took up loads of time, but I realised I could fit in other things too, if I chose. I have a couple of hours free time most evenings!
That twang of insight, that change in how I thought; that happened about 2 years ago. First thing I did, I started up learning to play golf. I like golf. I just need the time to have lessons. I am not a natural! LOL. That was cool, but then I got a bit sick last year and golf is on hold because I am not physically capable to all that practice and all that 3-4 hours walking aboout. Ce pas possible!
I think it would be really cool if my son Felix played the guitar. What a proud Dad that would make me! He’s only 4.5, but he’s keen, so I bought him a little ukulele for Christmas. He liked it, but he didn’t really grab it, grasp it, get it. I asked the wife:
“What can I do to get him excited about the guitar? It would be awesome if he chose the guitar as his instrument to learn and play at school. How can I help? What can I do?”
“That’s easy,” she said quick-as-a-flash, “get your guitar down and play it together.”
I love my wife. She is good at her job!
So that’s what I did. I got my lovely guitar down from the loft. She is still as good as new, even after 25 years up there. I dusted her down, tuned her up and fired her away and got my little chap involved too.
And it worked a treat. I still can’t play it and he is not a natural either! But he is interested and that’s key!
But another switch flicked in my brain after that. This was last Tuesday. I had been mucking about on the guitar for about an hour. My fingers were burning. I yearned to play the thing, even one song would be nice. Nursery rhymes to get my kid involved would be perfect. Suddenly I realised I could play the thing if I put my mind to it. I could get a few lessons. I could buy another self-teach book. I could if I tried, if I wanted, if I made the effort.
It was like a switch in my head being flicked.
I can live the dream if I so choose.
And so can you.
All those dreams you have.
You can live your dream if you choose. I know mercury makes life a misery but you can do some of your goals if you put your mind to it. Don’t let the mercury bugger everything up. I am sure you can find the time. It’s all a matter of flicking that switch in your head from ‘Pause’ to ‘Go.’
I promise you it feels absolutely wonderful to live the dream.
That’s all folks!
Ps. Typed this up at 37,000ft on a flight to Dubai!!
Pps. Started the 2nd round of the Liver herbs on Monday. Reduced to half dose because I am on a business trip. Need to minimise any hassles whilst travelling. (Edit now I’m back from Dubai and back on a full dose: Nothing exciting to report yet except I have a headache that will not shift no matter how much water I drink. The same headache as when I take too much Milk Thistle. Means my liver is detoxing. Anyway, I’ve only had one day of headache, and it’s not a blinder. I will reduce the herbs to half in the morning if i awake with the headache.)
Ppps. Since the four day juice fast finished I have regained the 2kg I lost, but also put on another 1kg. Hooray! That is good news. I’m skinny and extra weight is a good thang.