September 20, 2012 by benmblackman
Through one thing and another it just so happens that I have spent the last 3 weeks immersed in continuous creativity, art, music, comedy, performance and experience.
This has, of course, taken place around the usual shenanigans of my families’ every day lives. Work, rest (yeah right) and play. So it has been all the more intriguing for me to feel what value I have got from it all.
The performers I have so enjoyed have not all been financially rich (Noel Gallagher aside – he’s done alright for himself) but life rich. You can see it in their eyes. I’ve never been too bothered about the Benjamin’s much myself but the dastardly debt has set to the fact I’ve had to chase enough of the dollar to keep the wolf from the door.
I didn’t take a ‘gap year’ or go ‘travelling’ after university so have never sought to ‘find myself’ yet, ‘to get to know who I really am, what I really want to do.’ Instead, the University of Life, from which I now have a Masters degree (ripe old age of 33), has taught me enough to know what it is I like and dislike in my life, what it is I want and, more importantly, don’t.
‘I don’t regret a thing’ is a statement I always find slightly disingenuous when people make it. I’ve had a wonderful life and cannot grumble at all about past, present, or I hope, future. But like Frank Sinatra, regrets, I’ve certainly had a few!
If you haven’t then you’re either missing a few life lessons or must be Marlon Brando.
One of mine is that I didn’t realise until a few years ago how creative I am. So, age 30 I suddenly realised I had no outlet for this creativity. I don’t play an instrument, can’t draw or paint, ‘singing’ is restricted to private areas due to the court order and my dancing is not even good enough to be classed as ironic.
Every time I go to the theatre I wish I was on the stage. People who know me will think this is mad, and it is. I don’t mean I think I could be any good on the stage but it just looks like such a better thing to do with your life than play with a computer and sit in meetings all day.
The good news is that, since becoming a father, although I have understood this void in my life further, I now have daily outlays for all my creative pangs. We sing; dance; draw; paint; laugh; cry; tickle; tumble; hug; kiss; mess around. Last week I skipped all the way home from nursery (a good 1,000 skips) to the tune of ‘we’re off to see the wizard.’ The week before I attempted a forward roll for the first time in a decade. It’s a work in progress.
I wish my daughter and wife happiness, success and for them to follow their dreams, whatever they are. It was not long ago I asked myself the question ‘why on earth wouldn’t you want the same for yourself then?’ Well these days I try. Writing is my dream and I think the part of me that is truly creative. It only took me 33 years to work it out, I hope I have many more to come.
A charity I worked for years ago used to use an, at that time, buzz phrase ‘poverty of aspirations’ to describe young people unlucky enough in life to have no dreams. Those young people were so battered down by the generations of poverty their families had endured it now impacted them mentally as well as financially.
I have always been lucky enough not to be in such a situation and I bet the majority of you reading this are the same. If you ever meet such people, believe me, you are more than the lucky one. So enjoy it and embrace it won’t you?
Let’s make a deal shall we?
Follow your dreams, embrace your life – promise?
I try to do this but you won’t find me high fiving and whooping ‘I’m aliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive’ whilst Base Jumping from the top of the Lord’s Cricket Pavilion. I’m not saying you should do such things either, just do something. Life seriously is too short to sit around moaning and wondering about the what might have beens.
If you have a regret in life, don’t let it be apathy. If you’re young – never underestimate creativity like I did but If you’re old(er) – don’t think it’s too late to learn new tricks.
Don’t stop, never give up hold your head high and reach the top Let the world see what you have got Bring it all back to you. SClub7
I’d like to thank all of the following people who have inspired me over the last 3 weeks. They have acted as a catalyst inside of me, ensuring I continue to look at the stars and never give up. You are all my Wilde’s and 7’s. Thank you.
Emma Blackman – http://www.verynicethings.co.uk Has always taught me never to say never. Don’t settle for anything. Want more. Follow your gut.
Stella Hall – Preston Guild Director. What a show! I will never forget it. Neither will my daughter. You inspired 2 generation’s in us. http://www.prestonguild2012.com/?OBH=916
Compagnie Bam’s, Switch Circus performance – never have I applauded a DIY project on stage so wholeheartedly (or ever). Passion, teamwork, art and beauty. I loved it. http://www.compagniebam.com/
Harp and a Monkey – ‘The sun is shining…but we won’t let that lift our moods.’ You did though, forever more. Beautiful and insightful music. Find them and watch them. http://www.facebook.com/Harpandamonkey
Tunaversity Challenge – Proving that life doesn’t need to be serious. It can just be life. I can find no internet record for Tunaversity Challenge – is this true? Did I dream them up? Tell me if you know where they are!
Miles Jupp – Proof that you should be careful what you wish for (Fibber in the Heat). The grass isn’t always greener. But give it a go at least! http://www.milesjupp.co.uk/
Simon Kirwan – If pictures paint a thousand words then this man’s job is to do so. He always does it for me. http://www.lightboxphotography.com/
Noel Gallagher & his High Flying Birds – They made 10,000 people in Liverpool dance, sing and dream more than I’ve ever seen before. Imagine doing that in your own small way. You won’t all become this ‘big’ but that’s not the point. The point is that Mr Gallagher does what he loves, still. And he realised what he’s really good at a while back and did it. Didn’t make excuses or listen to the doubters. You can do the same. http://www.noelgallagher.com/
Young Carers Central – An afternoon playing in a park with 12 Young Carers and my daughter taught me more than I’d need to learn anywhere else in life. If she can be half the girl you are then I’ll be a happy man. http://www.lep.co.uk/news/a-passion-for-caring-1-4433097
And last but not least. Last but most importantly in fact. This is for the lady I see every month. The one who can’t do any of the things I talk of any more. But she has her memories, some of them, and she has more positivity inside her soul than any other I’ve seen in my life. She is an inspiration to me. More than anybody I’ve ever met.