- Busman's holiday -

22nd December '17

If I had to choose one word to describe my life right now, I would probably go with 'confused'.

I'm not in a relationship, but I'm far too close with my ex-girlfriend to get a new one. But that's ok, because I don't want the shackles of a relationship anyway; I value my freedom too much. Although I don't really want to be single either. And I'm in a job that I love, I just don't see it being a part of my future. But that's ok, because I'm filled with the motivation to work towards my long-term future right now... I just don't know what to do.

I'm writing this blog on day 5 of my three-week holiday. And what I planned for this holiday was...

Exercise twice per day

I've always been a person of absolutes.

I try not to be. I try to have spontaneity in my life, but no matter how hard I try, I always find myself falling into routines.

I can't just do yoga casually, when I feel like it. If I'm going to do yoga, then I have to do yoga. And for every week since the end of August, I'd done four hours of yoga every week, going to an hour-long class at my gym every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. And the only reason I wasn't also going on Tuesday is after going a couple of times, I thought that the intructor was a bit of a dick.

And I kept that up for months, until towards the end of last term, I just reached the point of burnout, where I wasn't exhausted by the yoga so much. Rather I was just tired of the same routine that I'd been following for so long.

It had got so precise that I was even eating the same foods on the same days every week.

I go to the supermarket every Friday (my day off), and by the later stages of last term, I was just buying the same things every week. And seeing as I had the same raw foods, then I'd make the same meals on the same days with them. And it just got to the point of... fuck it.

Finally exhausted, I endeavoured to break-up my routine as soundly as possible, and just live a bit more spontaneously. Exercising how I felt like exercising when I woke-up in the morning. Not knowing what I was going to eat until I got around to cooking it.

And because yoga had been such a key part of the routine that eventually drove me to frustration, it wasn't the thing that I felt like doing each morning when I woke-up.

For the past three weeks or so, I've only been to my gym roughly twice per week. I've been going running in the park, or going swimming instead.

And then I went to a couple of yoga classes this week and... fuck. I'd forgotten how inflexible I was, because going so often had limbered me up I guess. But after two weeks off, it was like I was back to square one again. And all the painful progress that I'd made had evaporated.

So anyway, I figured that with three weeks off, why not use that time to focus on my fitness, which has ironically deteriorated ever since I joined a gym.

Sure, my flexibility improved by doing so much yoga. But it came at the sacrifice of running and swimming and bodyweight training in my apartment.

So I figured I could keep up with my usual routine of going to the gym in the late morning/early afternoon, when it's quiet, either to do yoga or lift weights. And then every evening, I could supplement it by going out running or going swimming. The former of those is very appealing at this time of year, just because there's a one or two week stretch at this time of year, where you can go outside without sweating.

It's the only time of the year like that.

Write and publish a book

Of the confusion in my life that I detailed at the beginning of this blog, the one thing I really want to get figured-out, is some kind of future direction.

I at least want to have something to aim for. Some direction that I'm leaning towards going in.

And as I've long pondered what it is I could actually do with my life, two things have stuck at the forefront of my mind. Writing, and app development.

My ideal scenario, my dream scenario, is to find a way of making an income that isn't location-dependent, and where I don't have any kind of boss. That's my dream.

I don't want to be rich, I don't care to become a millionaire. I would just like to find a way of making money online, so I'm not stuck in any one location, where I'm working for myself. And if that does no more than pay my bills and give me a roof over my head each night, then I'm happy.

And I'm currently blessed with a job where I make as much money as I need to live comfortably, but where I also have the free time to explore these ideas.

And with regards to writing, my uneducated assumption, is that with platforms like Amazon and iBooks, all you have to do to publish a book nowadays, is present something roughly resembling a book to these companies, and they'll put it onto their stores.

That's my assumption. And it would be a shame to put some real time and effort into writing say, a novel, only to find-out that this isn't the case, and that in fact, there are loads of barriers to getting your work published.

So the next thing I wanted to do, was write a shitty story, one with no direction or real thought behind it, and only long enough to just about resemble a book, and see if I could get it "published" somewhere; meaning available for download on Amazon/iTunes. And if it is as easy as I think it is, then maybe I'll seriously consider investing a bit of time into doing something properly.

Look seriously into app development, and perhaps even buy a Mac

And then the other way my mind is leaning, is that I have a couple of ideas for apps, that it annoys me that they don't exist already. It's annoyed me for years, so perhaps there's someone working on them right now; I'm not going to bank on one or two ideas that're years away from ever being realised.

But with the way of the world today, with everyone having a phone in their hand, Apple selling millions of devices, and apps being a key part of that, if you can create an even semi-useful app, then you can make a living from it.

Estimates from last year are that Apple has 588 million customers, meaning that if you can create a 99p app that's used by 0.01% of Apple's customers, you've made over £40,000 even after Apple takes its 30% cut.

I'm not trying to say that's easy, and that I have or could even have the talent to create something that could stand-out that much from the 2,000,000+ apps already in the iOS AppStore.

But if I could, if I was able to create a 99p app used by 0.01% of Apple's customers, it would give me the income to live in Bangkok for about three years.

It's this huge well of potential that's... somewhat saturated. But if you can stand-out from the crowd has huge potential.

And so my third goal for these three weeks off, was to look into app development properly. Firstly to see if I do still have the potential to learn a skill such as this, and that's not something I'm taking for granted.

And then if I think it's something that I can actually learn and become semi-competent in, spend my recently acquired annual bonus on a MacBook and start learning.

Best case scenario is two or three years from now I'm able to release an app into the AppStore that is so useful for people that they're willing to pay money to use it, and I can make a living. Worst case scenario, is I replace my ailing Windows laptop with a new Apple computer, and I learn a new skill.

That was my plan for this holiday. In reality...

For the five weeks prior to this one, I was playing a game on my PS4 called Bloodborne. And it is, frankly, a masterpiece in gaming. Like can happen with any media though, I became determined to see it through to its conclusion.

Sometimes you can get so into any book, TV show or video game, that you know that the only way to be freed from its shackles, is to see it until its end. And this is a game where the only difficulty level is... fucking difficult.

Perseverance and stress were required. But it was worth it for the feeling of ecstacy to overcome a boss that had stifled you for hours.

I'm so proud of completing it, in fact, that at this stage in my life, it'd probably go onto my headstone.

Here lies Jethro Williams
1985 - 2135

Taught English to a relatively high standard

Published the lowest-rated book of all time on iTunes

Platinumed Bloodborne with no co-op help

To have the sense of achievement in anything though, it has to be hard, and challenging, and stressful to get there. And that's exactly what this was. As video games go, it has the highest highs, and the lowest lows. And as I became more and more determined to finish it, it became more and more consuming.

It might be completely unrelated, but I get sick very rarely. From quite literally the moment that I woke-up on the first day of this holiday though, right up until now, I've had a sore throat and a high fever and a blocked-up nose. And I can't help but think that the stress and time put into completing this game, taking away from how I normally look after myself so impeccably, might have played a role in that.

Even so... no regrets. It was awesome.

I haven't been feeling so bad that it's stopped me from living my life. I've still been going to yoga, I still cleaned my apartment, I still met a friend for dinner, I'm still writing this blog. I haven't been feeling deathly or anything like that. But at the same time, it's tough to motivate yourself to exercise twice per day when you're getting out of breath walking to the kitchen. And it's tough to motivate yourself to write a book, even a terrible one, when it feels like someone is jamming chopsticks up your nostrels.

So everyday of this holiday so far, I've put on hold what I planned to do, until a time that I feel better to do it. And everyday so far, I've felt exactly the same as the day before.

I'm not sure if I should be thankful or not that this came at the start of the holiday, and not during term. It wouldn't have stopped me going to work, and I wouldn't have had the opportunity to sit around my apartment feeling sorry for myself. But...

Fuck it. It is what it is.

I'm intentionally not starting any new video games right now, because I want to keep my time free. And so without that distraction, I'm just kind of... sitting around my apartment, waiting until I feel better.

I figure that if my body feels weak, then the best thing to do it rest it. By not exercising more than once per day. And then one of these mornings, I'm going to wake-up feeling well enough that I can put into action what I planned for this holiday to be.

Unless I feel like shit for the entire three weeks, and then fuck it, I guess I'll just be an English teacher for the rest of my life.

By the time I write my next blog, I could be the proud owner of a Mac, and the least successful published author of all time.

I have such high aspirations for my life.