Live Life Free

by David Stewart (other articles by David Stewart)

I get battered a lot. I mean a lot, a lot. In quite a few cases I ask for it and I take my licks knowing I stuck my head out to get chopped off. Other times the beltings just come from extreme left field and I’m left wondering what the hell just happened.

Some days I wake up and groan at the toll it takes to keep moving forward. You see, I made a decision some time ago to be me. Sounds incredibly simple, yeah?

It’s not, in fact it is by magnitudes the hardest thing I have ever done.

The day I stopped flowing the crowd and decided to forge my own path I started to create problems for myself. My biggest problem was, in fact, me. I have given myself more black eyes than anyone has ever inflicted on me and in these times I doubt my chosen path.

I could of stayed in a franchise. I could have continued on blissfully not rocking the boat. I could have just accepted that real estate was done a certain way and just floated along with the tide. I almost did.

But I didn’t. I decided to do things according to my plan. It sounds romantic, carefree and life affirming. It sounds bold. In reality it is a rollercoaster of doubts, manic energy and the road behind me is littered with the corpses of failed ideas, fallen comrades and damaged relationships because when you decide on this path and you decide to take no prisoners the masses will look at you like you are a different species. “What’s wrong with that guy?” they will whisper. “He had money, offices, cars, holiday houses, I mean, he had it all.” “Don’t go near that guy, he’s as crazy as a cut snake.”

It’s all true. Living by your own codes and diverging off the well worn path brings its detractors. It scares most of the crowd because if you don’t fit in then there has to be something wrong with you. Even worse many will hope for your downfall because that helps justify their decision to do nothing except follow along blindly.

When I take a belt to the head I simply take stock, shake it off and continue on my path. I have learned not to focus on what people say about me. I know a lot of the bad things they say are, one way or another, rooted in some truth. I focus on the end results. I focus on one thing.

I will not lie on my deathbed and wonder what if. I will die knowing I threw everything I had at this life. I will close my eyes that one last time with a smile on my face because life wasn’t something I was a passenger on. It was a death defying thrill ride that had as many ups as it did downs but every single moment of that life was exhilarating and for this one reason alone I will continue to defy convention.

22nd August, 2016

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