Reflections: The Day Before My TV Debut

I woke up, panicked.

Why?

I was overwhelmed.

Breakfast with one friend, a meeting with another to discuss a business proposal, a pitch immediately following that to a prospective investor, after which began just eight hours of the ‘day job’. That was the day. Scary, I know.

Not to mention that somewhere in between all of that I had to clothes shop for my role as an extra on the set of Home and Away, my first foray into the world of film and TV. I didn’t quite know where I was going to fit that in. Nor how I was going to be able to afford the spree. Six outfits I needed. I had one.

At the time my clothes were scattered between numerous locations across Sydney as I settled into my new flat. The prospect of arriving on set under-prepared terrified me. And yet the twenty-five minutes I had to spare in my dinner break provided little reward. My size seemed to be rather popular…

I didn’t know how to cope with all of this. In days gone by I’d have snoozed my alarm and bailed on all of these commitments. And yet somehow, in this instance, I got up, dressed up and showed up. To it all. Despite coming down with a cold and feeling like a tonne of bricks.

Breakthrough.

Being in and around the world of motorsport for the past ten years, I can’t honestly say that I’ve ever felt 100% comfortable with my surrounds. Is that a good thing? Certainly an opportunity for personal growth. And yet my instinct – should I have chosen to listen to it – would tell me that it just wasn’t right for me. I needed to explore myself in other environments.

Now, here I was, in what should have been a terrifying environment. In an environment that should have made me feel self-conscious and insecure. And yet, nothing. Instead, a mysterious sense of calm. A mysterious sense of belonging.

Surely I should look to this as a sign of sorts. The likely avenue that I am meant to pursue. Surely this sense of purposeful calm cannot be brushed aside as anything else.

Though now with the ‘beginners luck’ having worn off, I am forced to fight for my way back in. It is my time to follow through and to believe in such omens presented before me.

It is my time to trust.

Patience and prayer.

Faith.

PJ.

 

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‘What am I doing with my life?’

I haven’t blogged in quite a while now. It’s not that I haven’t had things to write about. In fact, I’ve probably had more than ever!

And yet, still, whilst my drafts folder has grown ever larger and hundreds of pages in my journal have been filled, nothing has successfully made it through my approval processes to appear on your laptop, tablet and phone screens.

Why?

When people ask me, ‘What do you want to do with your life?’, in my mind the answer is pretty simple:

I want to travel, connect, share and inspire.

I want to write.

I am a writer.

I might not be the best writer. There are English lessons at school in which I wish I had paid more attention. Lessons on sentence structure. Lessons on poetic foundations. Lessons on verb usage and pronoun placement. Not least, the lesson on what an ‘adverb’ is…

Regardless, writing is what I love to do. The way sentences flow. The way sounds and syllables bounce from one word to the next. I read my blogs over and over again. I fall in love with the rhymes and the rhythms. I change words over and over in my efforts to perfect their sequence and timing. I mightn’t ever succeed. But it fills me with great joy.

I remember getting in trouble early in high school for sending an inappropriate message to a classmate of mine. She showed a teacher. There was no denying it. It was there in black and white. Sooner or later Mum found out. She scolded me, of course, but added an important message:

‘Paul, be careful what you write, there’s no taking it back. It’s there for all to see. No he said she said. It’s clear. Words spoken might be misheard or misunderstood. But the written word is different. Tread with caution.’

I paraphrase. But the point is clear.

The written word is powerful.

I first started writing properly soon after I left school. I was deeply depressed. Inspiration was easy to find. In six months I’d filled three complete A4 notebooks. These reside in my bookcase back at the family home in Brisbane. Sometimes when I visit I sit on my floor and re-read some of these.

It’s inspiring and energising to remind myself of how far I  have come. And whilst much has changed since then the many core ideals I have toward the world and humanity still remain.

When people comment on my writing they note with admiration the honesty through which I communicate. This is a great compliment. It is the foundation on which I have come to base all of my writing:

Honesty, Transparency and Authenticity.

And so to continue in this theme, I have something to share:

I woke up this morning feeling just about as bad as I ever have. I wanted to go to the beach this morning. To soak up some sun. But the grey skies loomed large overhead. The gym was also an option but the pizza hangover gave me every reason to bury that idea beneath the mountain of duvet and pillows in which my body found itself comfortably intertwined.

I thought about seeing friends. But this seemed merely a portal through which to maintain my connection with the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll. Well, sex, drugs and EDM.

It’s not a world to which I want to remain connected. And yet it does create the means for connection with other humans. The alternative? To spend my Wednesday morning sat in a cafe, alone, writing.

I remind myself:

Better to be alone than in the company of wolves.

I check my phone, searching for additional motivation. I have a notification. A WordPress notification for my old blog Greatness Via Passion. For many months I have tried to access this blog after the domain name expired. And yet it seemed to have disappeared. Strange it now was to discover that people were still reading it. And still liking it!

This was my motivation to get up.

And now, here I am, about to finish my first post in over two months. Stoked.

I have many ideas about what will come next in my life. This year has taught me so much and I feel closer than ever to the person God intended for me to be.

Perhaps I am not so much a writer as I am a helper. And the gift God has given me through which I am to help the world is my ability to write. Though there is still much for me to learn about this.

There will come a rebirth of Life of PJ now. A new direction. A new focus. And new blogs far more often! They might not always be pretty. But they will be honest. They will be me. And if you’re interested in sharing this ride, to learn and to be inspired, then I’d love for you to join me.

PJ.

Pleasure v. Purpose: The Enduring Battle

Sipping my morning coffee, I gaze out across the the affluent streets of Double Bay.

A Lamborghini rolls past. Its eloquent grace interrupted momentarily by a roar of self-indulgence.

I take another sip, turn my eyes to the deep blue sky through the window to my left and breathe in the day’s Autumn splendour.

I wondered this past weekend, amid the challenges that sickness presented, what the future would hold.

Binge watching financial drama on Netflix, the victorious lure of material wealth seemed inevitable.

Cue cash-flow projections and budget analyses. Just as in London, saving here seems impossible.

Part of me wishes I’d played my cards differently since leaving school early seven years ago. Entry level salary brackets now a distant memory for some. For me, not so much.

I do feel behind the eight ball. I do feel as though I should be in a different stage of life right now. And yet, as my girlfriend reminds me, I am still only twenty-three… It feels like I’ve been fighting these battles for so much longer.

How much longer will these battles endure? The battles that separate me from the day I can slip into my own Lamborghini en route to my beach house and morning surf? Before continuing to write the day away just as I am now?

Because that’s all I really want to do: Write, philosophise – change the world.

Simple stuff really.

I’d give up the dreams I have for those material things in a heart beat if I could just have the latter.

That’s where real fulfilment lies, at least it is for me.

It is no longer a matter of asking myself, ‘Where do I start?’, for of course the journey has long since begun. My destination, my goal, my dream, draws ever nearer.

 

Prayer. Patience. Persistence.