Try stuff, fail at stuff, try at stuff again, fail at stuff again. That’s growing up.
Growing up- happens whether we like it or not.
Our bodies change. One day you are pushing 2 ft 5 and the next you are an average sized male at 5 ft 10. There is no way to prevent it. You just accept it and learn how to do things differently at nearly twice the height.
People say that growing up is a pretty formative time. It’s a time for doing and experiencing.
Looking back from my current wise and incredible old age of 25, I can remember some pretty fun times as a kid. Doing all sorts; random sports like mountain boarding, making unearthly sounds on the harmonica, getting a job, swimming in waterfalls etc. The brilliant thing about being a kid is the unique ability to give anything a go. I mean kids will literally pick up grass and eat it.
You have this small window before adulthood where the world seems small. Before suddenly becoming aware of everything and everyone outside of your direct field of vision. It’s like that moment Peter Parker began Spiderman. You know the bit where he realises he can stick to walls. That unsquashable fear and feeling of invincibility. That you can do anything.
Somewhere along the way I lost my inner Peter Parker.
So what was it that made my 22-year-old self-different to 5-year-old me? (Other than the large growth of hair on my face and my ability to see over a car steering wheel). This seemed a fairly deep and philosophical question that I felt required a lot of time and lots of coffee. In actual fact the answer was fairly obvious. When I thought about what I was like as a kid and what I was like a few years ago. The difference became clear.
Without knowing it I had let fear creep in. Simply put I was proud. I didn’t want to be seen to fail at anything. Risk potential embarrassment, nope not here. I had become ‘safe’. If I were to be a shoe, I would have been the walking sandal. Comfortable, reliable- normal.
Realising I had wasted some precious years playing it safe made me pretty angry. We become so conditioned in society. Shepherded when we are kids into career paths, pigeon holed. We are taught about the importance of doing well; conditioned to believe that success lies in our test ability. We start to doubt our ability and intellect the minute we miss the mark. This pride robs us of our bravery, kills creative thought. Why do we accept that?
I decided from then on that I wanted to be like the 5-year-old me. I didn’t want to be ‘normal’. I became the ‘why not’ guy. Doing and giving every opportunity available a go, even when I didn’t feel like I could. Every time I surprised myself with what I could do.
It led me into the creative industries, to the seat I am sitting in now as I type. Gave me a passion for those stories of people who had shaken off societies expectations and started their own businesses. I couldn’t get enough.
As a direct result I got into raw denim. The real cardboard like stuff. This led to the accidental discover of Hiut Denim. Organic denim handmade in a small town in West Wales. Theirs was just the kind of story I loved. When I heard about their other venture the DO Lectures I knew that this was something as a creative I needed to attend.
I am excited to say that myself and Pale Blue Dot Creative are headed to DO Wales on the 6th July to take our creative agency thinking and have it amplified. Three days at the Do Lectures on the Do Farm in Cardigan Bay await us. No wifi, just us, 79 other attendees and 24 speakers from across the globe, creating and doing.
I will be driving from Belfast to West Wales to get to the Do Lectures, (what better way to get ready for 3 days of interactive workshops than a roadtrip across Ireland and Wales?). You can come along for the ride by following our Instagram and Twitter handles @wearepbd and @wearepbd.