Sunday, 26 December 2010

The problem

The problem is I've spent so long stuck in that one infinite moment, I've never considered the rest of it.

In the weeks after the accident I made choices. Conscious choices. I chose to move forward. I chose to survive. I chose to deal with it as best I could. Later.

I just didn't really expect it to be over a decade later.

But here I am and I'm dealing as best I can. It's an... interesting process. Essentially I'm doing two things. Unlocking my 18 year old self, and copeing with the things that were locked away immediately after the accident.

My 18 year old self appears to have moved on. He's grown up quite a bit in the last few years. But I can still see him in what he's become. He plays D&D now rather than WFRP. He still paints minatures. He rewrites the same story (slooooowly) even though he'll never get it published.

He has a full-on beard. It itches. I'd forgotten how much it itched.

Yet he dresses differently. He thinks differently. He's relaxed, which is nice.

I like him. I think I'll keep him.

The problem is, he has an awful lot of baggage. A whole set of memories that are apparently really important and surprisingly enough they're not about the accident. They're about what happened next.

Because contary to popular belief, seeing is not always believing. It's entirely possible to be completely and totally aware that what you are currently seeing is complete and utter nonsense. Complete and utter illogical nonsense. It's also possible to reach out with nothing more than your own willpower and shatter reality to make it real.

Seeing is not always believing, sometimes believing is believing.

And the problem is what happens next.

Friday, 24 September 2010

This Story Starts...

This story starts over 11 years ago in a night of blood and tears in a far away land. It starts with a screech of brakes and two unconscious bodies bouncing down a road.

This story starts with a young man called Cameron who was left to cope with two hospitalised friends in up state New York, when it was all he could do to cross a road, or get in a car. The simple truth of the matter is that he couldn't, and didn't, cope. He was having trouble processing the events and his involvement (or lack there of) in them.

This story starts with him referring to the parents of a friend as 'Mama and Papa' because he needed to cede responsibility to them and it was the only way to trust them. It starts with him playing Spyro endlessly (helped by the lack of a memory card, so he had to start from scratch every single night) because it meant he could leave the world behind and be something else for a while.

This story starts with a bargain, because denial only lasted for the length of a thought. Because you do what you have to to survive and then you pay the price.

This story starts at University, where we get the chance to reinvent ourselves. We arrive as blank slates and have the best chance we'll ever get to stretch our wings in as many new directions as we want, and he was the perfect student in that regard. He used the opportunity to overhaul his personality, to fix the 'mistakes' he made in America.

This story starts with him deciding to be the perfect friend. He would always be approachable, always be friendly. He would re-brand myself as 'Cam' because it sounded friendlier. He took a piece of bargaining and created a whole new personality around it, and then He tried to be that person and bury himself beneath it.

I believe the technical term for it is dis-associative personality disorder, but it's more commonly known as having multiple personalities.

Cameron and Cam. They're similar, so similar I doubt anyone else will notice the change, but I can draw a distinct line between them in my head. As Cameron I feel relaxed, I am me. I'm happy and I can look forward in my life. I take up space in the world, and I can look at my life and change what comes next. As Cam I feel tight, worried. I feel very little, but when I do it's generally unhappy. I'm stuck here and now just coping with the world around me. I'm just trying not to hurt too many people on the way through.

But I understand it now. I see what was wrong with me, and how to fix it. It'll take some time, and there's some unexpected surprises - Cam's got over the accident, Cameron not so much - but the surprises are worth the problems. It's interesting to poke the pieces of my brain to see how it reacts now. To see what happens next.

This story starts over 9 months ago in a fortnight of new beginnings. It starts with the folding of two separate lives into one space, and the closure of the bits that no longer fitted.

This story starts with a man called Cam, a nice guy by all accounts but not necessarily a real one, who made a resolution to improve his life a little bit each day, never knowing that the the resolution wasn't his and the improvements would lead to his own self-destruction.

This story starts with an opportunity, maybe not the best one but certainly not the worst, to leave reality behind for a weekend and come back as someone new. It starts with the right word by the right person at the right time in the right place to knock everything for six.

This story starts right now. What's next?

Sunday, 20 June 2010


At this point you've probably noticed that despite all my optimism to begin with, the re-invention of the blog has, well, stopped. Straight out the gate.

The problem I'm having is that I'm not entirely sure what to write about. I mean I still have a historical stock of entries to add in - if I could find the journal. Even if I could find it, I don't really want to go backwards before I understand exactly how I can go forwards. Before I understand what I need to do to go forwards.

I've thought about a couple of ways it could go. I was seriously considering writing about perspective, and how moving away from something gives you a better look at it. My basic point was that going to London allowed me to look at my life with the perspective of being removed from it.

The truth of the matter is that really I needed perspective on the blog first. I don't plan to update this every day, for a start I don't really have time, and I don't want to set myself to some arbitrary timetable.

In other words I need this/these blogs to fit into my life, rather than the other way around. It's possible, but for now it needs some more work in my head. I need some way of moulding it towards the quasi-formed catharsis I want it to be.

So I finally decided the best thing to do would be to write that and explain exactly why I wasn't updating. It's just that as soon as I started this occured. Complete, argued and self-contradictory.

Because as much as I needed perspective to try and work out what I was trying to do, it turns out the best way to use this blog is just to sit down and start writing.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Begin again

As you may have noticed, this project fell a little bit by the wayside. I continued to make entries in the journal, but I just started to lose time to transfer them to the computer.

My time in London continued and extended. In total I spent two and a half years in London. I got a girlfriend, moved out of hotels and in with Kirsten, got burgled - twice - learnt to dive, visited Egypt, Malta and La Palma, lost some friends, gained some more and generally got on with life.

Then came Christmas 2009.

In the space of two weeks I moved back from London, changed job and split up with girlfriend.

In short, I changed everything. Again.

I also made a simple New Year's Resolution. I would do one thing each day that improved my life somehow. It doesn't matter how big or small the change is. It doesn't even matter what the change is. It just has to improve my life.

It's not going so well. I have a tendency to miss days, or forget, or be too tired, or generally unmotivated. It's also hard to think of something you can do EVERY SINGLE DAY.

But it's working.

In the past five months I have quit smoking, started learning to drive, built a media pc from the ground up (age old dream) and reconnected with a number of friends I don't see nearly enough. I've also started some serious exercise, been sailing, been to an alternative club, picked up a hobby that I gave up over ten years ago and helped a couple of friends build the floor of their house. Life, in a way I can't always define, is better. And I think if I twist so the lights at just the right angle and I squint a little, that I might just be able to see happy from here. Or at least content.

I still don't know who I really am, and I haven't really worked out what I want out of life, and now I've got the time I'd like to return to this project and see if it can still work.

So I'd like to invite you to join me on a little journey I'm making. It's called life. It's pretty cool.