Old friends, yellowing photos and a sense of recklessness

I’ve been looking at some old photos recently as I’ve been doing some big time changes around the flat in anticipation of having a new kitchen done sometime this year. I can’t part with printed photos because if having a photo taken steals a part of your soul then surely if you destroy a photo you’re destroying a part of your soul when you get rid of the evidence of a memory?

I’ve put some of them on social media – quite a lot of them actually and people have reacted to them and around them and it’s a lot of fun. Those reactions have had an effect on me and caused me to glance back at my life.

I can’t say I’ve lived a life when I haven’t said, “What if…” but nor will I ever say that I’ve lived a life beset by regrets and wishes to bring back lost time.

When it comes to love I often think of a certain monk and what would have happened if we’d actually voiced our feelings and done something with them instead of going into a kind of mourning. I often wonder how he is and what he did with his life and I always hope he’s happy doing whatever it is he’s doing.

Ampleforth buildings 001

I wonder what would have happened if Dave and I had moved to London as I had wanted instead of Bristol which is what he wanted. Yes, I know it would have just become another city over time but a city with endless photographic opportunities for me.

What if I’d went to university or never got married or walked right instead of left down any street on any particular day?

I’ve always lived my life pretty much the way I wanted to. It takes recklessness, selfishness and a kind of single mindedness to do it and, despite what people think, a willingness to accept the responsibility for the chaos and catastrophes that that way of life can cause.

It is, however, the reason that I’ve appeared on television and radio more times than I can count, it’s been the reason behind several newspaper articles about me and a few I’ve written myself. It took me to the Frontline Club to make a video (amazing place!) and I’ve enjoyed all those brushes with minor fame because I got to speak about mental health and inequality to a very public audience.

The biggest of all the “what ifs” is about the bipolar disorder but even though it impacts on my life with greater severity as the years go by and I find myself unable to cope quite a lot of the time I manage it reasonably.

So no real regrets and I’m always up for another load of recklessness if it comes my way.