- hello Francis Shaw
- Username: FrancisShaw
- FrancisShaw's latest answers
- Beginning 2012: What's going to be different this year?
This year will be different for a slew of reasons. Most notably, I will be moving to my own place, moving countries and starting my first full time job since I graduated. Hopefully I will be happier.
Biting the bullet, moving to Brno in the Czech Republic and starting a new job is my self prescribed shot in the arm, or kick up the backside, for my life.
2011 was a year of highs and lows, I graduated, discovered my prefered career, emotionaly broke down and then slowly rebuilt myself with help from a few of my closest friends.
Unfortunately some of those friends are far away and out of touch now. Soon some of them will be further away as I move about 1200 km across Europe,because I decided to make it harder than necessary for myself.
Several small events throughout the last couple of years have changed my habits either a little bit or a lot. Having to reorganise my stuff and reorder my priorities, or simply altering my habits in small ways, has resulted in large changes to my mental landscape. The swirling mass of uncertainty of last year is largely gone as a result.
When I graduated I was at a crossroads in my life and looking at bleak prospects as either a journalist, museum assistant or cog in the government machine. Coupled with strong feelings of loneliness and anxiety, this was a depressing situation to be in.The first 6 months of the year were pretty much this.
The second half of the year was much better as I laid the foundations for my move abroad. Some volunteering, traveling, new friends, and additional training equiped me for a new life and now it is about to start.
The other thing that will be different this year is that hopefully I will start writing regularly again, despite having several casual writing jobs, a blog and plenty of things to write about I have found it hard to summon the enthusiasm to start tapping away. I want to keep going, continue my film features, news stories and personal stuff, as well as starting a new blog where I will talk about my new career and expat life. Not sure when that will happen as I will be stressed out over the next couple of weeks with stuff.
Good luck with 2012 everyone. :)
- One Sentence for Each Year of My Life
This aught to be interesting...
1989: Come back in a few years when I am capable of higher brain functions
1993: A smattering of memories, my main feeling was confusion with a dash of curiosity.
1994: I wore a tiny suit for a wedding, last memories of most relatives outside of immediate family.
1995: Brother was born, didn't take to him at first
1996: First recollection of any mention of football and first instance of interest,
or disinterest in different songs I heard on the radio, I suppose I lost the tin ear of youth.
1997: Was that the year those star wars films came out again? If so then I remember my eight year old self appreciating those.
1998: Election was year beofre but living under Labour was a thing around this time.
1999: Second year of Primary school, starting to shrink from the world.
2000: People yelling happy new year out of car windows well into March,
maybe my first full appreciation of life other than the routine I was used to.
2001: Moved to secondary school, started to not enjoy myself.
2002: Time trudged slowly on, starting to feel angry.
2003: Endless routine of school brightened occasionally by distractions like sitting in my room listening to music with headphones on really loudly to block everything out.
2004: Really hating everything, school is horrible, social awkwardness created by posh Christian all boys school really getting me down, took out anger by joining school rifle club and being awesome at something for once.
2005: Ascended beyond hate to pure lack of care. Got into trouble at school and probably started to make people uncomfortable at my mental development. Also, freedom from that fucking school.
2006: A-level college, social awkwardness remained but helpful and friendly staff were turning it around for me. Starting to feel that Classics was the path for me
2007: First girlfriend, learnt a lot. Also first seveer backlash against attempts to come out of my shell and thoughts of suicide.
2008: Gap Year, hadn't caught travelling bug yet, probably as a backlash against being sunburnt so many times as a child on trips to Italy. Still not really sure what to do with myself or aware that I could take steps in life without having to ask for confirmation. Experience of the workplace and different people really helped me start to come out and be a regular, happy guy.
2009: Fresher at Uni, full independence led to an awesomely self destructive and unproductive year until near the end when it went downhill fast. Luckily the grades were good.
2010: Sucky second year, back to the grind of work and no life as I had a backlash against my poor habits in first year. Highlight of first extended trip abroad (to Bulgaria and Romania) and new desire to leave England, travel and generally do adventurous stuff.
2011: Been ok so far, fully out of my shell and ready to rock! Romania has been a big part of my year this year, probably my favourite country of all that I have seen, can't wait to go back.
Ok some of those were waaaay longer than sentences but I feel they made up for the early years when I had nothing much going on.
- On Blogging
I blog therefore I am.
Simply put, I write a blog so that the thoughts I have day to day while walking around or experiencing something in particular do not simply drift away and end up forgotten. If I think they are worth expanding, mainly for my own benefit, then I will write them down.
- My Love Of Abandoned Buildings
I love abandoned buildings. I cannot resist a visit whether it is because I wish to live out my childhood fantasies of exploring ruins and fighting ghosts, or simply indulge my adult interests by exploring old ruins: Imagining what they were like and what could be done with them, as well as engaging in some slightly dangerous gymnastics around the ruined features.
I still do find them a bit creepy, but in a good way I guess. The sense of excitement at the unknown and the possibility of a cool discovery keep me interested in old buildings despite the feelings of being watched, or the breeze making unsettling noises through the broken windows, or any number of other spooky coincidences.
Once I explored an old hotel complex in Bulgaria that had laid in ruin for about 50 years. It was fascinating to see the old basement bath complex with big tiled hot tubs, overgrown and mostly smashed up. Looking through the broken windows and admiring what remained of the art painted onto the walls, which was supposed to appeal to children and be funny and happy, but the new context had given them a much creepier tone.
The more recently graffiti, post abandonment, was also interesting to read, mostly depressed teenagers writing about their lives and other things they hate on the walls.
After dodging some large holes and working my way around a balcony or two to look out over the rest of the town and countryside I made may way into the smaller building which was once home to some of the rooms. Tell tale signs like sinks and occasional rusted and bent bed-frames, as well was the uniform size of the rooms, gave away the buildings purpose.
The most spooky thing that happened the whole time was caused by a bat which, after sensing me, shrieked and flew around the small room it had found itself in, trying to fly out but being too high, and probably blinded in the daylight, to find the window. Otherwise there was just a general feeling of sadness created by the depressing graffiti, the broken glass and rubble and the noise it made when it was trudged over, and the light wind rushing through the many holes in the buildings structure and playing with the multitude of climbing plants and trees that had taken advantage of the abandonment to move in themselves.
I would love to go back to that house and see it reborn as a luxury spa or hotel but I doubt it will ever be realised. As no-one is taking responsibility for it it will likely remain a ruin for some time to come.
- On Money and Happiness
No I do not believe that money can buy happiness, but I do believe it can buy freedom from worry.
Can it bring your passed on pets, family and friends back? No (well, not yet) Can it make you a super hero or transform you into the perfect person? No (at least, not by itself)
Money can make people happy through ownership of material possessions, lifestyles and privileges, but money itself cannot make a person happy.
If you never have to worry about your money running out you can look your best, be at your best physical status, live where you want, travel to where ever you want, spend your time in any way you want. These things will make you happy, but the currency used to obtain these possessions and experiences will not.
I do not wish to be rich, I simply wish to never have to worry about money again. In some ways these are the same thing, having a fat sack of cash will remove your worries about not being able to pay for the good and services you want, but it could also mean a stable income that is significant enough to afford me a comfortable life, in exchange for a job I enjoy doing.
If I have the time to do the things I enjoy, the opportunity and ability to meet and pursue a relationship with a girl I want to be with, if I am able to make myself feel confident and contented whenever I desire then I will feel that I have enough money to be happy.
So I guess the really answer is time, having time can make a person happy, and much like time is money, money is time. Time to enjoy the company of others, time to do things that cannot, and should not, be taken for granted. Opportunities also are good things that money can give, if you can see them and seize them of course.
Hoarding money will not make a person happy, using it will. The ultimate happiness is realising that something else is actually the goal you want to pursue in life and being able to do so because you don't have to worry about the means, just the method.