Does anybody else really struggle to think of interesting sounding titles for posts that are, well, anything but interesting?
Like, give me a castle to write about and I’ll come up with a whole list of informative or catchy or click-baity titles to use. Ask me to talk about my own life for a bit? Pffft, I’m at a loss.
So yeah, this was originally called “Update”, then “Life Update”, then “This is an update on my life” until eventually, I settled on what it is now: Romania, Castles, New Zealand & An Existential Crisis.
And this is where I confess that what I’m about to say has very little to do with Romania, castles or New Zealand. Super focused on an existential crisis, though, so 1/4 ain’t bad I suppose.
Basically, I’m just going to ramble on about life for a few hundred words. Don’t worry, I won’t get all deep and philosophical this time.
Apparently, there comes a point in everyone’s life where they go through a bit of an existential crisis, and they lose themselves. It happens to everyone, or so the Internet tells me. And it’s a figurative loss, of course. They don’t go and like, misplace their body in a forest somewhere while their mind is out shopping for Crunchy Nut or anything.
They just sort of momentarily lose direction.
They wonder where they’re heading in life, why they’re heading there and why we ever evolved from monkeys in the first place. I mean, wouldn’t life be a lot simpler if we just spent all day picking bugs out of each other’s hair?!
That was me a few weeks ago.
We’re talking the existential crisis now, not the picking bugs out of someone’s hair.
I was walking to the train station from work one evening, listening to Spotify and singing along, as you do. Then a few different things sort of triggered the aforementioned crisis.
First, my purple Sharpie fell out of my pocket when I was crossing the road and got run over by a plumber’s van. Very upsetting as I’d chosen that Sharpie specifically to match the colour of my hair. Now I’ve mentioned that, I guess you could say that dying my hair purple was the start of the crisis, and not dropping the Sharpie. Either way, hair’s not purple anymore and I’ve gone off-topic. Veering swiftly back on course…
Second, while on shuffle, my Spotify went from the upbeat and downright delightful tune of La Bicicleta to the absolute heartbreaker that is Supermarket Flowers (you couldn’t get 2 songs that are more polar opposites!).
I didn’t notice at first because I was too busy lamenting the loss of my Sharpie.
Then my ears tuned in just in time for the ‘when God takes you back he’ll say “Hallelujah you’re home”‘ line. And it made me sad. Of course it made me sad. That song could make a stone statue cry, so just imagine throwing a recent bereavement into the mix that is oh-too-relevant to the song. You become a scrambled person. Like an egg, but a person.
That wasn’t the main existential crisis trigger, though.
Do you know what was?
I looked at the moon.
It was really big and yellow and bright and looked like a perfect wheel of cheese, just like on Wallace and Gromit. I’m not normally one of these nature is wonderful, let’s hug a tree and rejoice in the wonder leaves kind of people, but the moon looked fucking beautiful. It was kind of overwhelming.
So I just sat down on the curb, looked up at the moon, listened to Supermarket Flowers and wondered if WHSmith sells individual purple Sharpies or whether I’d have to fork out the money for one of those super expensive multipacks.
And then somehow my thoughts went from “Hm, I bet they sell purple Sharpies on eBay! They sell everything on eBay” to “Why is the moon round? Why is the sky blue? Why are we here? What is the purpose of life? Is there life on other planets? If there isn’t life on other planets, why is there only life on our planet? Who chose that? What’s so good about Earth anyway? We just blow each other up and kill baby seals. Do we really deserve life? Maybe Mars would do a better job. Why haven’t we colonised Mars yet? Woah, maybe Mars colonised us! That’s why there’s tiny signs of life over there; because they colonised us before and then all died out over there” and so on and so forth.
Then my train came and I spent the whole 43-minute journey home wondering what I’m doing with my life. How am I already 24 years old and not married with children? Where’s my career? How am I in about 6 different overdrafts? Why am I still living at home? WHAT AM I DOING?!
Then I got home, ate an Easter egg, applied for 16,000 jobs and calmed the eff down.
Existential crisis over as quick as it came.
And what does any of this have to do with this blog?
Well, my contemplations of life on Mars and the beauty of the moon also got me thinking a lot about my own direction, and the direction of this blog.
As for my direction?
Well, I’m heading for Romania.
The original plan was to go this coming weekend, but now it’s next month (don’t ask) and it’ll only be for a couple of days, but I’m super excited to get my claws into some real Romanian castles.
I was supposed to go to Edinburgh last month but I completely forgot and ended up missing the flights, so I’m hoping to make up for that at some point soon too.
Then there’s Spain in September for my buddy’s very fancy wedding in a freaking castle.
And finally, New Zealand! These plans aren’t set in stone yet as I’m first waiting for a friend to move out there so I can leech off him, his goodwill and his sofa for a few weeks, but we’re tentatively looking at October/November for that. Very exciting.
And the blog?
Well, I got a new job the other day, and it’s super awesome and super flexible, which means that while I’ll still have all the time in the world to work on my freelance work and blogging, I’ll also have more disposable income to go alongside it. Yay!
This hopefully means more travel, more content, more exciting stuff!
I’m tentatively planning a whole revamp of the site in a month or so (fingers crossed before the end of June!) and am currently working on a whole bunch of new content and bits and bobs to go alongside that.
In order to keep up-to-date (because there’s a whole lot of fun going on in Casa del Wales to Wherever), I’m jumping on the Newsletter bandwagon and starting my own.
So after all of this, hopefully a snazzy box will appear, as if by magic, right underneath this paragraph where you can give me your email address so I can spam you with irrelevant emails 10 times a day. That’s a joke, I’ll send it, like, once a month. Maybe twice if I remember.
Was this really just 1200 words to ask you to sign up to my Newsletter?
Why yes, yes it was!
It’ll be worth it though, I swear.
And in case you’re wondering — I now have a green Sharpie and we’re very happy together.