I have just deleted the idea of writing a review of the progress of this blog so far. What a terrible idea! I suppose we’re allowed the occasional bad idea – Teresa May is a prime example!
I am at bit of a crossroads with the blog at the moment. so far, it has been been of a purposeless vessel, which has been the point. I have shared how I have felt, written some half-hearted ideas about staying well, but now I think I am ready for a slight change in direction.
Last week, I took part on Stoic Week as organised by Modern Stoicism. A former lecturer of mine, Chris Gill, has been influential in the recent resurrection of ancient philosophies as a way of staying mentally well. I must admit, at the time (aged 18) it hardly seemed relevant. University in the year 2000 was a very hedonistic experience. That said, it has really made me think, which I suppose was the point.
I have always felt that thinking more philosophically about things would help me to lead a more fulfilled and purposeful life. However, as it stands, I haven’t actually fully embraced it. or, more to the point, I have read extensively about lots of different ideas but haven’t actually lived by any one mantra for a period of time. Reading about and actually doing are very different. After all, you wouldn’t call yourself a marathon runner because you read a book about it – would you?
So in a round about sort of way, I feel that I would like to use this space as a way of recording how living a certain way effects my life and how it might help others in achieving a more fulfilling life.
That said, I don’t believe that Stoicism is the right starting point for me. I am someone who struggles to enjoy oneself. I quite often do things because I feel I should, not because I want to. I might do things because that is what a person my age should do, because it will improve how others see me, or to impress others. I have wasted huge chunks of my life making the wrong choices – choices that have brought more pain that pleasure into my life.
As I begin a new chapter of my life, I want to revisit the work of a philosopher that gets a little overlooked next to the Stoics. A teacher who looks more at the self rather than the community. A thinker whose ideas have become somewhat bastardised in modern definition and interpretation. I feel that Epicureanism is a better place to start in the hope of finding a bit more enjoyment out of life.