I can't quite believe how quickly February seems to have gone. I'm kind of gutted that I only managed to squeeze six posts out of it. I guess I haven't quite yet found the balance between being constantly ridiculous and managing to keep track. That's the reason why I'll again have to jump back in time a wee bit, to try and get everything down.
Just when I thought I was done with February, ready to move onto the third act of ten and carry on my journey to the 7th of October, at the very last moment, Lady Fate threw me an outrageous curve-ball that not even a single iota of my being could've been prepared for.
But even before that, (I know, I know, I really need to keep up with myself, I'm sorry!) The greatest silver adventure to date presented itself to me, born out of the ashes of some very tragic news. I was sat at the house of The Interesting Boys one evening, when Charles turned to me and said,
"Come to Poland."
"I really want to go to Poland. I think I might book a flight tomorrow for next weekend. Join me?"
I smiled in bewilderment. This was the spontaneity I thrived off, and under any other circumstance I would've jumped at the chance. But with three part time jobs, getting the time off work at such short notice was going to be damned near impossible, and reluctantly, I had to recognise and accept the hard grey constraints that tethered my billowing silver spirit, and decline.
"You only live once." Charles shrugged as I shook my head.
As well as having three jobs, Another of my jovial exploits at university, is to cheer on the cheerleading squad, competing regionally and nationally, whilst also cheering for the American Football team. In my first year I was elected Social Secretary, and last month I was awarded with the title Senior Captain. I pretty much just love it. Another wonderful thing about it is our relationship with the American Football players. I guess it's perpetuating the stereotype to within an inch of its life, but a lot of the cheerleaders are dating the footballers, and the rest are just like big brothers to us. As a family we'd do anything for one another, and it's just such a beautiful team to be a part of.
A few weeks ago, some tragic news reached us. In the year before I arrived at the Uni, there'd been a player on the team called Ibrahim, who played the position of number 90. Libyan born but raised in England his whole life, he was successful, did well academically and from what I heard was just, happy.
Then, he made the serious and unexpected decision to drop his entire life here, to return to Libya and fight for his country in the Libyan Uprising. Everyone has said how shocked they were but also humbled and awed in an overwhelming surge of respect and admiration for him.
When we joined the university, all us new cheerleaders and footballers were added into this Facebook group of present members of the family, and alumni. There were often posts about him, with people relaying their communications with him, and every so often a comment asking if anyone knew how he was doing.
....About three weeks ago, the terrible news arrived at the gates of the University that Ibs had been tragically killed in battle, fighting on the front line, fighting for his country.
The news devastated the team.
The boys were absolutely distraught, especially the seniors who had known him well. They all changed their profile pictures to photos of him, gathered round to tell stories and share memories, and held a memorial service for him. Despite the fact I never met him, for some reason, the news hit me really hard.
I don't know whether its because I have this abnormal sense of random human empathy, my curiosity about the lives and minds of others or just the thought of what it would be like to lose one of our boys now that we know and love so dearly, but it really messed me up. It just made my problems seem so infantile and irrelevant, and I was just fascinated at the sheer incredulousness of his selflessness, as I know that I for one, could not have done the same.
The words 'what are you doing this for?' Just seemed to endlessly circle around my mind, taunting every decision I made. I'm sure that phrase had not been far from Ibs' mind too, on more than a few occasions.
I got into a bit of a funk. I just couldn't seem to distract myself from the futility of life, despite my persistently reiterated promise to live the shit out of it. I thought about my troubles. Saving money. Coursework deadlines. Sorting out my work rota. And suddenly this almighty thunderbolt of shame and self- disappointment hit me. My life is perfect. I am so unfathomably lucky to have all that I have, there is not a single justifiable thing for me to complain about. Life can be taken away in the most unanticipated moment, and I'm letting these precious living seconds tick by worrying about the most pointless of things? That's when that little phrase in my head became a whisper no more, and began yelling from the rooftops, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS FOR?"
I'm working. What am I doing this for? To save money. I'm saving money. What am I doing this for? To spend on fun things. I'm not doing fun things. Why not? Because I'm always working. So the saving. What are you doing this for? To pay off my student loan after University. University. What am I doing this for? To get a good job so I can work. I'm working....
That's just it. I'm working to get money so I can do stuff in the only time of my life that I'll be able to do stuff, and I can't do that stuff because I'm always working, to get money for the stuff that I can't even do.
That was enough for me.
I called work and told them I wasn't coming, booked my flight and with glee watched a considerable amount of money leave my account. I'm not by any stretch of the imagination comparing this to what Ibs did, but if he taught me anything, its that life is too short not to have passion and conviction in whatever you chose to do.
"You only live once." I grinned to The Interesting Boys as we stood out on the Tarmac of the runway at 5am as we waited to board the aeroplane.
And how was the trip? Well...
"...Travel often; getting lost will help you to find yourself. Some opportunities only ever come once, so seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, So go out out there and start creating, live your dream and wear your passion proudly" - The Poster
View my full album of Poland photos --> HERE