I haven't posted on here for a very, very long while so I thought I'd make one since we're coming up to the end of a significant decade in my life and I thought I'd end it on here where it all started.
I started this blog back in 2001-2002 when I was in my last years at school, and although I haven't used it all that much it's been there through some of my most significant times so I thought it would be a fitting place to do this.
Firstly, I'm not really a blogger as such. I'm a recluse. I'm one of those people that shows little or no emotion on the outside whatsoever for fear that people will get to know me and learn what makes me tick. Because of this I keep my emotions and feelings switched off, hidden and buried and I often have a hard time writing what I mean or feel but the last decade has been so utterly profound that it's hard NOT to write what I feel.
I suppose I'd better start it how most things start... At the beginning.
At the beginning with the little shy boy in the corner at school. Back then I was a dreamer. I used to just sit in class with my head in the clouds imagining where I'd be in ten or twenty years time. Who I'd be, what I'd be doing. I had little time for friends and I never really saw the value in them. I've always been very self reliant and my own company although I had a few people who I used to hang out with but never really became close.
A ghost I guess you could call me. I just used to float around. The person that never gets noticed or never attracts attention and I liked it that way. I've never liked questions or people prying. You could say I'm a closed book, or as one of my old teachers put it; "Richard is somewhat of an enigma."
Life was simple back then and somehow better. The innocence of youth I guess.
I drifted through school with reasonable success and ended up in college at C.I.T.B doing a plant mechanics course. I liked it, it was a nice environment and getting to be away from home was a pretty good new experience too.
I was doing pretty well for a year or two but then for some reason I dropped out, I still can't really remember why. Such a shame as I was heading towards a good qualification and a decent job.
Anyways, after dropping out of college I landed myself a job as an office admin assistant for a steel building design & construction company. Nothing exciting, but it paid the bills.
It was around this time that I also got into illegal raves which were and still are one of the biggest parts of me and the reason I am who I am today.
Below is a something I wrote recently on raves... I had intended it to be a full length account of them and why they are so important to me but I just never found the words to finish it, but I think it will fit well into here and is an important piece into the puzzle of the last decade:
Yearning, mourning, sadness, longing and desperation. Possibly some of the most apt words to describe my feelings and state of mind right now.
Sitting here now it feels like a fundamental part of me has been ripped away from me, the part responsible for who I am now, the basis on which the biggest lessons and experiences of my life were learnt in the last decade and most of all the part of me that allowed me to be myself with no restrictions, rules, limitations or prejudice.
So, what is it that I mourn for with such longing and desperation?
"Whoa, hold on a second" I can imagine you're thinking sitting there. You probably did a double take just to make sure you read that right.
But alas, you made no mistake in reading.
Sounds crazy, doesn't it? The problem is that literally 99.99% of the human population on earth could not and will never be able to fathom it. The experiences and memories I have are so potent and ultimately unique that they simply cannot be conveyed or weighed in any mortal sense just like we could never know the true extent of the horrors of the tales and experiences of soldiers without ever having been there beside them in battle.
It's something that's so deep and fundamental that it just simply transcends any explanation and yet, it's something that's so benign and transparent to the outside observer.
To get a better idea of it all lets' go back in time the best part of a decade ago to me making that simple meaningless routine visit round to a friend's house. As I walked up the drive they were getting ready to go out somewhere and when I enquired as to where they told me that they were going to a rave. "What's a rave?" I asked inquisitively as I was none the wiser.
I should probably point out that up until that point I was totally straight - brought up in a relatively strict house and was well sheltered from things like raves, drugs, smoking, alcohol. For the most part life was very simple and I had never once questioned or strayed outside the boundaries that I had been used to and I'd never had any contact before with drugs or alcohol and was always preached to (albeit rather excessively and exaggeratedly) about the dangers of such things to the point of me believing that if you did drugs you'd most likely die a horrible death so when I enquired into what a rave was to my friends they looked ominously at each other in a sort of disbelief that I didn't know what a rave was and the fact that I was asking them and potentially opening Pandora's box.
After making several expletive glances at each other they explained very tentatively what a rave was, although rather delicately and of course missing out the parts about drugs, police and the illegality surrounding it all, perhaps so my perception of them wasn't lowered at all.
I decided that I'd give it a miss that night as I was really pretty tired and didn't want to be out all night until the next morning so I saw them off and returned home to bed.
And I laid there thinking about this 'rave' that my friends had gone to... Was I missing out? Was there a world out there away from everything I knew? I'd never been out to a club before let alone a rave... The closest I'd ever been to anything like this would have been a meagre birthday party!
It was all unknown territory and the more I thought about it the more questions kept popping into my head and I laid awake for a while before making that defining decision that would shape the course of my life.
That next day was a day I will never forget until the day I die. It started just like any other except my curiosity was a swirling hive of questions and thoughts from the night before. I sent a few texts to my friends asking if they had got back yet and if it would still be going on that day and received a message back saying that they had just got back and were going to get some rest and head back up in the evening and sent one back asking if I could go with them.
I received a reply later that evening at around 7PM which said they were getting ready to leave and I could pop round and head off with them. I collected a few things up and hurried off round to their house where they were getting a few things ready to go.
We all bundled into my mate's car ready to go. Already there was a sense of electricity in the air... A sort of suspense but charged with excitement, anticipation and a state of positive trepidation.
As we drove on to the rave the sky was a swirling wash with colour like those wax painting you make with wax crayons and an iron so all the colours bleed into each other and blend together in a swirling mix of ambience, it was a beautifully perfect warm summers night.
Eventually after about half an hour we got to the party and drove into an old stubble field and into an area with hundreds and hundreds of cars. I could hear a distant thump of a sound system coming from a few fields over and the area was a hive of activity with people buzzing around and the jumbled chatter of dozens of voices. The suspense at this point was intense, there was a definite atmosphere and it felt like it was imbuing every molecule of my body with energy.
After a few minutes we decided to get out and head over to see what was going on but before we could get very far somebody came over and asked us if we wanted any pills (ecstasy). I was utterly shocked, not just at the fact of how casual he was about it but at my friends buying some and I could tell they've done it before. This prompted a whole mix of thoughts from whether I should stop them or whether I was missing out on something. Oh, the dilemma.
Eventually we got to an area with several tents with a sound system in each one. Just as I was about to ask what now my friends took me to one side and gave me one of the pills they bought. They said I could take it if I wanted to but if not then I could give it back later, presumably so I didn't get tempted to buy some random drugs myself. I didn't quite know what to do so I just put it in my wallet and didn't think about it for a while until an hour or so later when the curiosity got the better of me.
The place was heaving with up to a thousand people and there was a mix of music that I'd never even heard before and everyone just seemed to be in different world and I felt like I was sticking out like a sore thumb so I decided I'd give the pill a go.
Some time went by and I found myself getting more and more engulfed by the music as if it was a gradual tidal wave. Eventually I thought I could feel something but then it went away again but then afterwards I felt an immense wave of warmth and energy just pour over me and had the urge to stretch and move around. Eventually I found myself dancing and I didn't even care. For once in my life nothing mattered but the moment and the intense pulsing feeling of energy. I was free, I was open to all and most of all it was great!
Now, one thing about me is that I never do anything by half's. If I ever do anything I do it properly so I went out and tried to find some more pills. Eventually I found a girl who took me to a car with some people selling some pills and bought four for £10. I immediately took another and got back to one of the tents where I stayed for a short while until I could feel the first pill wearing off and took another one thinking that the pills I bought were a bit weak or something. After an hour or so I was reasonably straight again with no hint of the two pills I'd taken previously so I gave it another half hour and got a bit frustrated so I took a third pill.
Well, I tell you what, an hour later I was utterly FUCKED. The feeling was like nothing else on earth! It felt like I was weightless... floating... Everything was alive, even the music! It felt like it was swirling around me like a tornado. I was flying in a sea of warmth, electricity, energy... It's impossible to describe as there's just no word for it! After a while the energy build-up was just too much, I had to get up and dance. It was like somebody had a remote control for my legs, I just couldn't stop it, but that was alright because it felt solo good, dare I say it, better than the best sex ever. It felt like my whole body was having one massive orgasm.
But even more importantly than that I felt completely free of my shell that I've hidden myself away in and it just felt so natural, so right!
Unfortunately though, all good things must come to an end so eventually I left with my friends around dinner time the next day but raves? Well, those were just beginning!
Although I said previously that I never had any friends at school and I choose to hide myself away there have been a few people that I am glad to be able to call friends.
Two of those people are the two people in that piece of writing above and there are a couple of others as well, but we all have one thing in common... We all used to go raving together. I know that must sound weird, but we all have a special bond. Sounds ridiculous but when you've experienced the things that we have together you'd understand.
Anyways, going back to where I left off before that, I was at DGT for 2-3 years but office work just isn't me. I need something varied, something out-and-about so I became a taxi driver in the city which I absolutely loved to bits which is very, very strange as it's a people based job and me and people never really used to mix but due to raving I'd developed a side of me which loves working with people, well... SOME people. I stuck at this for about a year or so but came a bit undone due to the amount of hours I was working and the stress involved. Most people just laugh when I say taxi driving is a stressful job but it really is. Your brain has to stay switched on every second of the day and it's mentally draining as well as having to deal with the stress of other drivers and having some arrogant dickhead in the back of your taxi moaning into your ear. Plus the fact of working 6 days a week and racking up around 80-90 hours a week...
Well, I almost lost it big time so I got out and did some temp work for a few farms before coming back into taxi driving for a company outside of the city which was actually fairly laid back.
And, to where I am now. I quit taxi driving a year ago and am looking for a new job.
My outlooks have changed dramatically and due to the situation with the economy, taxi driving just isn't financially viable at the moment for me.
I've recently gone to college to do a few courses, one being a doorman/security guard course which I passed and am now about to send off my application to the SIA for a licence but due to a bit of trouble with the police four years ago I might not be successful.
I'm hopeful though.
Apart from jobs i've had i've done loads of awesome stuff. I've built loads of cool stuff, including whole motorbikes and jet engines, met loads of new awesome people, taken up kayaking, climbed mountains, jumped out of planes, flown through the air on motocross bikes round pro circuits, DJ'ed in clubs in front of thousands of people, gone faster than i ever thought i would (180mph!), done several track days, taken up photography and taken some awesome photos.
Saying them in words on here doesnt do justice to how amazing those things are in terms of feelings though.
It's quite sad actually, looking back. Knowing that I'll never have those special times back again and I'll never experience those feelings.
I'm not into raves anymore and I stopped back in the start of 2007. I also don't drink or take drugs anymore either. It got to a point where it just wasn't worth it, my body had built up such a tolerance that the experience wasn't entirely pleasant.
No matter though, I'm actually quite happy with how things are going and where I'm at now.
I've changed. Alot.
I'm literally the mirror image of who I was at the start of the decade. I've done things I never thought I'd do and experienced things I never thought were possible.
I have everything I want or need and I'm both happy and grateful.
I'm now looking to get myself some qualifications and a decent job for 2010.
I'm hoping to make the next decade a successful and prosperous one!
I feel like I should say something profound... So here goes...
At the end of the day we're all just trying towards the same end but the thing that really matters to each of us is the journey there and the experiences within.
Never stop, try not to look back but always keep your eyes on the horizon and always keep the memories close as for better or worse these are the tools that shape your life and your very essence.
I think that'll do.
In short... 2000-2010.
Do it all again? YES PLEASE.
Have a very happy Christmas and a successfull 2010. Current Mood: jubilant