The day after my Pammy passed, I turned 48.
Birthdays are strange. Personally, they make me feel good and bad at the same time. I don’t have a family to celebrate them with, but I have friends from all over the world who make me feel loved and blessed. Especially my best-friend Sacha, who lives in London but seems to be able to read my mind and get me what I need – whether it’s a book, chocolates, or just a message – right when I need it. So I always have a feel-good moment during my birthdays. But then I’m alone and…I think.
Thinking is something you should really avoid doing, sometimes.
On my birthdays I always ponder about my life, my age, what I’ve accomplished and what I have not. This year was no exception. I should have just got drunk like normal people do instead no, I began writing down the pros and cons of my current situation and how I can improve it. Whoa, pro-active attitude, you could say, good for you. Actually, haha, no it’s not. The time I spend analyzing my life with the pros and cons turns out always to be a moment of self-beating and depression.
You have to know that in my family hitting a hundred years old and surpassing it is not uncommon. I come from a long line of centenaries and people who beaten all kinds of odds – for example, my great-grandmother had eight children, the last one at age 54! And we are talking about the beginning of ‘900, when in vitro fertilization and stuff like that wasn’t even in the dreams of scientists. Given my good genes, I could easily have another 50 years of life ahead of me. Which is a lot. But then I think that I have already left behind me almost another 50 years of life, and what did I make with it? I always feel like I did very little of all the things I wanted to do.
But this year I decided to cut the self-blaming part of this pros and cons routine and get down to write a plan.
Which I didn’t write.
The thing is this: plans are evil. You write them down in excitement, you visualize yourself finally having the life of your dreams and you really go for it in the first few days. But then life gets in the way and you fall behind your plan. And what it’s just a day of being behind, rapidly becomes a month, then a year. And that is when your plan, which in the meantime hid in a dark corner like the monster you had under the bed as a child, jumps out and bites you, making you feel like a miserable loser.
Repeat after me: plans don’t work, fuck plans.
Don’t get me wrong: you have to have a direction, a specific idea of what you want to do. But your plan should not see further than next week. A month at maximum. Life is now, the moment is now. Planning too far ahead makes you feel like you are far from getting what you want, therefore it’s easy to get demotivated. And there’s the other side of the coin which is that you feel like you have so much time to do all that you need to do because your plan stretches so much. And no, you don’t have all that time. The time is now, today.
So I decided to pick one thing in my super long list of things I didn’t do and do it.
I took up YouTube. I wanted to start my own channel for a long time but I was waiting to have a good camera, good lights, good this, good that…I completely forgot my favorite motto which is ‘start where you are, do what you can with what you have’.
What I have is a cheap LG Phone that I paid about 79.99 Euros, a computer which is not exactly suited to edit movies and a desk lamp that is about 35 years old. But the motto talks clear. Do the cheap phone film HD movies? yeah. Does the computer work, even if slowly? Yeah! Does the desk lamp make light? Yes. Kind of yellowish but it does.
And that was the day I finally decided to let my perfectionist side drawn in its own self-hatred and turn myself into a Spielberg wannabe putting together what it’s probably the ugliest video in YouTube history, shamelessly and with a grin on my face because I had SO. MUCH. FUN.
I filmed myself painting the illustration on top of this post – which is already available on Redbubble and soon on all the other shops too – and then edited it on Adobe Premiere Pro, which I don’t really know how to use… But I learned a little as I went and I was able to put together a video in one day.
On the other side of your comfort zone, there are a lot of curse words and a lot of fun did you know it? Go for it. How the video looks have very little importance since ‘done’ it’s better than ‘perfect’ .