Something friends and strangers alike have asked me since I began my happiness project this year is what is it that makes me so happy and why? It’s a rather straightforward question and follows with a straightforward answer.
I like to see the good in everyone and appreciate how lucky I am to be who I am and where I am in life. A handful of weeks from now I will turn 36 years old. The wrong side of 30 is the phrase our precocious media prefer to call 36 and above. Bollocks to the media I say! What the fuck does the media know anyway? They tell plenty of lies, concoct a good deal of bullshit to get a story selling and cross boundaries most decent human beings would never contemplate.
*Disclaimer to my mother who may read this at one point. I am sorry mummy for using a word that started with the sixth letter of the alphabet. The word “fuck” for those of you who cannot count.
I could have by this stage of life been another of the blame brigade who chose to offer plentiful excuses as to why they have not achieved what they had hoped for. Instead I choose to use those negative happenings from life to my advantage. How you ask? I turn these moments into learning curves. I live by the theory that there is always going to be a positive from every negative in life. Things will go wrong at some stage, sometimes more often than not. You just have to keep your chin up and plug away. Take the knock backs in your stride.
My first encounter with the bad side of life came when i was a small boy. At the age of 6 I attended a Sunday school and being the good catholic boy I was attendance was always easy for me. I loved getting ready for Sunday school, the few times I went. At that point I loved being force fed the bullshit biblical yarns. What wasn’t so easy was the teacher at this country Sunday school who took me to the horse stables and stuck his fingers up my backside. Shame on him. Shame on that dirty catholic teacher who felt it in his right to insert his fingers inside me. I had blocked those memories out of my mind for many years. There were sadly more to come.
A couple of years later at the age of 8 a friend of the family decided to lay me down on the laundry floor, place magazines of semi naked woman around me before straddling me and grinding himself into me. The thought of his moaning still makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. Shame on him. Shame on that dirty fucker for thinking it was within his rights to do that to a young boy.
At the ripe old age of 10, and for a good two year period there were three teachers at my then school, De la Salle boys college in Sydney who would enjoy putting their hands on me. Sometimes on my shoulder, sometimes on my back, sometimes on my leg and sometimes, if we were no chance of being caught, inside my pants. One of them would try and touch my penis and rub it. Another liked the fingers in the bum routine.
All in all, over this period I learnt the catholic schooling system was full of some seriously sick fucks! Shame on them. Shame on them all for doing those horrid things to not just me but all the other boys and girls who took their fancy!
And shame on the catholic church for spending decades covering problems all over the world up. Every cretin who touched me would always reinforce that it had to be kept “secret” because “God” would get “angry” and “punish” me if I told anyone. The older I grew the greater my dislike for religion flourished. I have learnt to love myself before giving myself to any form of god, spirit or leader. Good luck to those who enjoy practising their faith. Just don’t hide behind your bible pages when your religions are found out to be what they truly are.
I don’t hate or wish bad things to those who interfered with me all those years ago. I just hope they learnt from their mistakes and stopped doing what they seemed to enjoy so much before they affected too many young lives.
By my mid teens the memories began to resurface which left me upset, angry, frustrated, sad and somewhat an emotional wreck. I struggled to maintain friendships and often kept to myself, in my room where I immersed myself in music, literature, film and art. I became a very private young man.
One of the personal gains from all this was my desire to learn and step outside the square to discover new adventures. I found so many wonderful singers, artists and actors during this period. My room became my life. With my books, records and other odds and sods by my side I became a very intrigued yet happy person.
There was a dark side that shone through at regular intervals. I would get moody and upset over nothing in particular. I wanted to open up and tell someone but I was scared. In turn I began to self harm my arms, chest and legs with razor blades. It was a release that gave me moments of satisfaction where I felt I could cut the pain away. I still wear some of the scars. I’m not proud of them in any way.
During my teenage years and early twenties I also learnt about the corporate greed that has engulfed our planet in the post industrial age. I saw so much poverty, yet so many billionaires living a life of absolute luxury. How do these people live this way and not feel for those less fortunate? How do they sleep at night with so many riches whilst billions on this planet live in the gutter? I feel sick when people talk of wealth and push their racist and homophobic views down our throats. How dare they assume that such degrading views be expressed so openly?
There have been losses too. My eldest brother is a heroin addict of 25 plus years. How he stills walks the planet is beyond me. He did lead his wife down the path of drug addiction. A life that was taken just before Christmas in the year 2000. I’ve lost some very much loved friends from car accidents or drug abuse. Some have also taken their own lives. Some have been taken by disease. It’s always hard when you lose someone who you cared for.
Life can be an amazing ocean of enjoyment. When things go wrong you must always pick yourself up off the canvas and keep throwing the punches. Don’t let things keep you down for too long. If you should fall upon hard times or lose your place in life then go to your friends. They will be there for you regardless.
I’m as happy as I am today because of the journey life has given me thus far. I’ve come out the other side in one piece and what’s more i have enjoyed many more beautiful moments on this planet because I reached for my dreams when i could have easily given up.
I am who I am. I am not everyones cup of tea. Nobody is perfect. We all have our flaws but the imperfections and differences are what makes us so special.
Write what you know and let your feelings show. Be who you are and give all that you’ve got. Be Just where you are and content with your life. Try to look far as you wish upon a star. It’s just the way of this world. Let it be your oyster, your pearl.