I won’t cry cause this year I don’t want to

I won’t cry cause this year I don’t want to
Photo by Jason Leung / Unsplash

Hello everyone. Feel free to breathe a sigh of relief that I am blogging again, which means at least for the next 7 days, you can stop worrying about me :)

Can I just say how touched I have been by people's responses. I would have loved to have had a comment section on this blog but something so simple has been so hard - but add that to the struggles list. Many people have reached out personally to encourage or share about their journey. It turns out it’s ok not to be ok, something I have known for a long time but deep down always doubted to be true.

Now on my journey of self-discovery, I have realised that I have a pattern that I fall into that I am determined not to fall into again. It all started with a very large Christmas box.

The year was two thousand and something. It would take me 4 minutes to confirm the year but there is a chance that the information is not where I think it is, so I would have to go digging around other areas like emails or facebook…but not my facebook, I don’t have facebook, well I do just to manage my other page, which I don’t have anymore, so I guess I don’t have facebook for any reason except to connect to my candy crush game that helped me through my final year in banking in the year two thousand and something. Oh man, now that is two dates I need to work out. Can we just say it was in the last five years? Or maybe it was later than that.

I just realised you have no way of checking the dates of my story so I could have just confidently said a year.

The year was 1324 BC (nailed it) and I was asked to come up with a concept for an item for Christmas Day at church. The brief was to make it feel like I was at all of the 40-plus locations around Australia. I came up with a great idea: place a large Christmas box on stage and play a video of me inside it. On the video, I would sing a song and do some fun things like hitting the box and shooting a large confetti cannon out of the top. There would be a person at all locations in the box doing the actions in time with the video to help make it realistic. Great idea right? Well the creative department heads allocated to this project took some convincing.

I am not sure if you have ever spent time in a meeting with creatives? They speak another language. I am not just talking about the overuse of the word ‘artisan’ (which I always thought was just another name for bread) but the journey you must go on to get anywhere. I started with my pitch, handing in a document outlining the concept, a script and even song lyrics - which they barely looked at - to which they said it felt like we were off track. ‘Let’s take a step back and think about why we are doing this, and what do we want to achieve?’.

Over the next hour, they talked using a lot of phrases like ‘what about ‘I feel it needs’ and ‘thinking outside of the box; which was a bit on the nose as my whole creative concept was me in a box. But every curveball I would hit with a creative idea that we could do. I hold every idea lightly even if I have put a lot of work into it. After 60 mins and 42 different ideas, the head creative said:

‘Look, I think what we need is something fun, comedic and that sells the illusion that you are in each location around Australia’.

After a small pause to gain my composure I calmly handed back over the original pitch document and said ‘Something like this?’

‘Perfect’.

So we went to work and it was a huge hit. Well I think it was, I never really knew because of this unhelpful pattern I have noticed recently. I knew that this performance was going to be seen by thousands of people, a lot of them who considered me a friend enough to have my number in their phone. I deliberately didn’t tell anyone about the performance, I thought it would be a fun surprise for my friends. I sat back on Christmas day (after actually jumping out of the box in Brisbane as that is where I was for Christmas); and waited for my friends to message me. I didn’t get a single message.

This pattern continued into other areas of my life but especially on my birthday. The last few years I stopped telling people about my birthday just kind of hoping people would know. Seeing we have established I am not on facebook for non-candy crush-related purposes, people weren’t getting the reminders so the number of well wishes had declined…to the point two years ago where I got an ‘oh my gosh messages I forgot’ a few days after, to finally last year it went completely unnoticed (apart from my family of course).

Now can you see the issue here? It’s not my friends, and side note I do apologise to my friends who are now feeling bad that they forgot my birthday last year and never messaged me after seeing me perform in a box at Christmas. The problem is me. Both of these occasions I needed to be recognised by my friends but I was too proud/scared/stubborn to ask for it. I thought that they should just know that I enjoy and sometimes even need recognition when they see my work in action and I love a flipping Happy Birthday message. But to ask for this doesn’t make it any less special, it just gives my loved ones the chance to know what would make me feel great.

So seeing I am trying to learn about how to look after me as well as everyone else, I am now telling you this. Today - Friday 22nd July is my birthday, danleearcher@gmail.com is my email address and I would love to hear from you.