Forty-two years old before I found what it is I really love to do, and that's voice-overs. All the years before that I just followed the stepping-stones that presented themselves, because there wasn't a particular something that drew my attention. Sometimes those stones were far apart, but usually visible enough to be leapt on to. Another two years before I eventually figured out what I could really do with this new passion, give my voice to a message that actually gives meaning to my existence !
Because let's face it. My life so far has pretty much been a waste of oxygen. The only useful thing I've done is farm two new human beings and hopefully instilled in them something good, and hopefully something useful to this planet. Difficult if I haven't done anything useful myself. But I can only hope that the next generation will be better. At least I know I gave a few dogs and a couple of cats a good life. I've been a good daughter to the parents who raised me. I'm sure I've made lots of retailers and bankers a lot of money. All that is not very bright. The question that has burned in my mind since I was in high-school: what is the point ? Well I never found an answer so I stopped looking, and eventually decided just to play the game of life, because there wasn't much else to do, other than falling into some form of deep depression which wasn't going to be useful to anybody either, if not quite the opposite.
The game of life turned out to be OK, once I figured out the rules. And by the way, I only really started playing consciously at about thirty-five years of age. A late starter I'll admit. Spent too much time looking for alternatives, not wanting to be like "everyone else". But nothing stuck, so I gave in. Once you know the rules, it's not so difficult to exist comfortably. The aim of the game being to last as long as possible. Stand tall but don't be the tallest poppy. Gratitude is the secret to happiness. Just be grateful for what you have - I struggled with that concept for a long time until I gave in. But it works, very well. It's a kind of brainwashing. Don't think about all that's dark in the world, that's the door to deep depression and forfeiting the game. Only look at what is light and everything will be alright. I am happy that I have managed to make it work. Visualise how you want your life to be and walk towards the light. Make it happen. Yes, it's a helluva lot better than focusing on everything that you don't want it to be and wallow in misery. That's not a good way. Unfortunately, you can't just ignore the bad. I've tried not to think about the misery and cruelty that exist, because what I can I do about it ? There's no use in complaining if you're not going to stand up and do something about it.
And I've never been able to stand up, for anything.. or to stand out.. Only recently have I been brave enough to go to work with a piercing on my face, hair dyed bright red and tattoos on my forearms ! At forty-three years old ! A year ago I decided to allow myself to really be me, not just make myself look like what is expected. It's easier these days, everyone has tattoos, piercings, coloured hair... I'm not standing out that much... In the same way I have never stood up for anything in particular - I may have had unusual philosophical beliefs and disliked cruelty and war, but I've never put my foot out of place, kept my opinions to myself, for fear of offending some or just because how could one little me make any difference anyway ?
Today I watched the HOPE project film. I've steered clear of such documentaries where they show you pictures of poor suffering creatures whose only existence serves to feed humans. I knew about them, have seen a few pictures on social media, but scrolled past rapidly to avoid the heartbreak. Knowing fully what a hypocrite that actually makes me. It's apparently called "carnism" - compartmentalising between your love for your pets and cute cows in a field, versus the knowledge that the meat in your plate comes from a similar being who is being treated worse than the Nazis treated the Jews in their camps....
I've recently been steering towards a plant-based diet, mainly because I don't feel the need to eat much meat, not believing for one moment that fully becoming a vegetarian to save the animals would ever have the slightest effect on the meat industry. I watched the film today because I thought it would be about the benefits of plant-based diets, which I find interesting. I knew there would surely also be something about the pollution and destruction caused by the meat industry, I've seen all that before. But there was so much more. And I finally made myself watch these painful images of animals stuck in tiny cages for their entire existence, and animals being slaughtered in horrendous ways, intelligent animals such as chickens, pigs and cows who could be loving and carefree if only they had not been brought into the world in just those places. Places in first world countries, where their lifeless meat ends up on the plates of some educated people - like me - who choose to turn a blind eye.
I let the tears flow hard this time. And chose to open my eyes. And decided that now that I have found my voice, I can at last put it to good use. So if there is anyone out there listening, I would like to be the voice of the next documentary that opens new eyes to the plight of these helpless creatures, to the plight of our life giving Mother Earth, before it is too late. That way, maybe the life She gave me could be useful for something important after all :)
Even if it is already too late. I always seem to catch on too late, but late is better than never...