I have thought for a while about how to share these thoughts, but writers block isn’t writers block if you’re not bursting to write. I think, when I was 15 and 16, I was so eager to write because I felt it was how I could prove to someone, anyone, that I was growing in intelligence and maturity. Well I say anyone, but really I was trying to demonstrate my growth to you and my mum. Plaudits and criticism really only meant anything from you two. Nowadays, genuine introspective realisation of my growth as a person is all I need for contentment.
If someone were to look at where I am in my life, they could understandably infer some stress or worry on my part. The dream I thought I had been chasing my entire life has eluded me one day too many, I no longer place any significance upon the game of cricket. I am left with predicted grades that aren’t quite enough to get me into any Russel Group University. As a consequence, I have a gap year in which it is likely that I face my first real experience of hard graft job wise, and am faced with the prospect of not seeing some of my friends very frequently, as they are off gallivanting in other countries or on university campus’s over yonder.
But I am happier than ever. I am no longer feeling the hot whips of panic that life is known to conjure from within even the best of men. I think failing in achieving my dream of professional cricket has made me so much more secure than achieving it could have ever made me. I am a competent, and at the very least, a compatible and coherent human being, even when I am in life’s very own relegation zone. Going through the depths of the doldrums on my cricketing journey has given me experience that very few other young people around me have. This experience grants me the knowledge that I have, attached to me, enough of the substance that maketh good men, for me to live a comfortable and happy life.
Chasing a dream involves living day by day, being in a constant state of motion. Often it involves believing in the black, or the white. The tyger, or the lamb. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired”. To chase a dream, one must be a pursuer. And what of the tired? They weren’t born tired, they were the pursuers not long ago. In my experience of meeting people who have lived their dreams, or who have achieved them, it is clear that they have realized the distinction between achieving a dream and being happy. The luckiest amongst the dream chasers stumble upon happiness before they reach their destination. Meanwhile, the rest of those who have achieved their dreams look longingly into the past in attempt to rekindle the happiness they thought they would feel once standing at the great height of which they are currently.
It is true to say that the journey is often far greater than the destination. The destination just becomes the cherry on the top of a fucking fabulous cake. (a gluten free, vegan, anti war slogan cake obviously. Its 2018)