The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone …
May 29, 2007, 8:00 am
Filed under: Comment

Just found this group of photos I took when I was in Sydney last month. Its the ferry journey from Balmain to the city – a journey I used to do daily – and yet I never really realised how special it was until I stopped being able to do it with ease.

I guess complacence is the cause for many of the things we do in life – both positive and negative – and whilst I am very, very, very happy with the choices I’ve made [including leaving Australia which got right on my tits at times] I do know that sometime in the future I will again call ‘Australia home’ even though [1] I doubt I’ll be involved in a company that only deals with AUS/NZ and [2] the reality is that wherever Jill is, I’m happy. [And I mean that, it’s not just to impress the ‘ladies’]

So what has this got to do with anything?

Well not much … but it does sort of carry on from the theme I talked about a week or so ago, where too many people seem to be settling for ‘mid-level happiness’ rather than follow the things that truly excite, exhilarate, interest and fascinate them.

Of course I understand why this happens [Hell, it’s happened to me too at various points in my life and will probably happen again, especially as I get older with even greater responsibilities] but the thing I keep reminding myself is that my parents wanted me to experience life, rather than a lifestyle and having followed this philosophy for as long as I can remember – making some astoundingly wonderful fuckups and the odd moment of accidental genius along the way – I couldn’t agree with them more.

I’ve said this many times but I do believe planners – and anyone really involved in communication – need to experience life to be able to relate to life because if they don’t do that, then the choices made are often more to do with personal judgement / experiences than what the consumer really feels/needs/wants … resulting in a screwed up situation for everyone.

Yes it is scary to let go of ‘certainty’ … but if we remind ourselves that doesn’t mean we have to let go forever [like me and the Balmain Ferry], then maybe we can go out and do something exciting again. Besides, nothing great happens if you just follow ‘average’. 🙂

 PS: Mr M … your ‘revenge’ post has been written and will be up tomorrow!

7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You’re a little sweetie aren’t you Rob.

Comment by George


I think a lot of people settle for mid level happiness because they see it as a stepping stone they will later jump from… sadly a lot of people never try that jump.

Im doing it by trying to get into advertising from my reasonable place here.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

i totally hate mediocrity, so i definitely condone people looking for something exciting and challenging in their lives.
however, it’s very easy to spend ones whole life searching for the big, grand and sweeping statement to make ones life complete. to stay with the regular, mundane, the ‘middle’ and to find inspiration and joy in that is equally as tough. so long as one still searches, doesn’t just ‘settle’, however that is done

Comment by lauren

That’s funny you should say that Lauren because I am writing a post on ‘When Do You Decide It’s Over’ … I think it is a really interesting subject because it deals with fundamental issues as to who you are/want to be.

The bit I find particulary interesting is that the decision to ‘stop’ often comes about because of some ‘society triggers’ you are exposed to and have little control over.

I think I should stop now or there’s no point in writing it, ha!

Comment by Robert

I have a friend who is a true free spirit, I told her once many years ago that I envied her for being able just to take a risk and move around as she pleases. She told me she envied that I could hold down a job in one place.

Lauren, I like our point about how we can spend our whole lives looking for something. I think there needs to be a balance between the risks and changes and the joy of the mundane. I grew up wanting the white picket fence life (while working in challenging jobs), and part of me still wants that in some way, but I am still ready to take a few more risks before I end up there, or somewhere.

I know taking risks opens up so many new opprtunities, but in the back of my mind, I know my CV is gunna look sucky considering I spent 10 months in my last job, before taking the risk and moving to Dubai, only to work here for 7 months before resigning and taking another risk. See – I will always have that white picket fence mentality in the back of my mind.

Comment by Jade

There is nothing wrong with a white picket fence – infact with the way house prices are, you have to be fucking brilliant at what you do just to be able to afford it.

In all seriousness, this is not about ridiculing people who don’t take risks, it is about encouraging those who want to but feel it might be too scary. It’s not scary – it’s exciting, liberating, educational and fucking frightening.

For what it is worth, when I was 14, my dream was to be 25 and living on an Executive Housing Estate with a black BMW, labrador dog, white and child.

There is nothing wrong with that dream [and it was driven by the fact I came from a more humble background than my friends and liked the idea of never ‘wanting’ for things] but based on the things I have learnt, the lessons my parents taught me, the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met … I’d rather drink bleach than chase that dream.

Jade, what you did was brilliant … don’t ever think otherwise [and I am not suggesting you are] the goal is to take all that knowledge and experience and let it blossom in an environment where you can shine rather than in a job where you simply ‘do’.

Comment by Rob

Thanks Rob.

Being on the cusp of a risk is a scary place to be, when you know you have fallen or jumped over the edge is, as you say “exciting, liberating, educational and fucking frightening”*.

* you swore, not me 🙂

Comment by Jade

Leave a Reply