Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Well, Here I Am.

Well, here I am. The picture on the left is me as a 'lil' dude'. Yes it's a dude. The centre picture is a fresh-faced me of seventeen, in my high school graduation photograph. The above right picture shows me at the age of fifty-five. I took that picture. The reason I took it, was because I could not get anyone to take my photograph. So apologies for getting a clear view up me old nostrils. I'm really quite shy and would not dare ask a stranger to kindly take a snap of yours truly. Unlike, for example, the smiling Japanese tourists who ask me if I would take a a photo of their happy entourage. No problem there, as I gladly oblige and proceed to run off with their state-of-the-art, all-singing, all-dancing camera. Yes, I'm only joking.
'Lil' dude', that sweet child of innocence, could never have envisioned that his future would be clouded with uncertainty and an overwhelming sense of being stupid. Stupid was ingrained in my mind and thus stupid dominated my thinking process. So, as a fresh-faced teenager, friendly, outgoing and caring; I used my bravado to hide the torment of a tortured soul. I was a young man, consumed with stifling fears of revealing the true magnitude of his stupidity. Thus I took the easy route and underachieved.
Oh, I had goals, dreams, aspirations. When I was ten years old, I wrote a play and sent if off to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I never received a reply but it didn't matter that much to me. I wrote stories. I dreamt that one day I would be a writer. When I was little, the passion to write burnt strongly within me. I thought that when I grew up I would be this really famous author. Ah, I visualised the adoring fans lined up at my numerous book signing sessions. Then my other reality kicked in. Don't waste your time with writing. You are stupid. You've been told this enough times; so I gave in to my 'inner critic' and the relentless voice in my head that screamed, 'don't bother with your goals, your dreams, your aspirations, take the easy way out, underachieve and hide under the duvet.'
Now I am fifty-six. Still scared of revealing to you just how stupid I feel. Yet, despite this, there is another voice in my head that sings, 'challenge yourself, do not allow those who undermined you, to dominate your life. You are better than that.'
Yes, I am mostly a recluse. Yes, I am mostly alone and isolated. The duvet or doorway dilemma is a constant battle. The good news is that I am determined to get out there and be an integral part of that wonderful world that beckons me.
Well, here I am. I am 'lil' dude', I am that fresh-faced teen, I am that fifty-six year old man. What happens next? Well I know this much. I am becoming stronger and more determined to embrace a positive life. Who knows? Maybe, someday, I will have the confidence to submit my writing to a publisher.


  1. Dear Gary (aka "the dude"),
    If there was one word I would use to describe you, Gary, it would not be "stupid". I don't know how or why you established this negative image of yourself, but you are certainly proving it wrong by more or less everything you do.
    And your writing, I think, is just great. Oh, and my Mum thinks so too!
    Yours with Very Warmest Wishes,or from one "Dude" to another,

  2. I empathise strongly with this post.

    I'll be 56 in a couple of weeks so we are similar in age.

    I've already posted elswhere about 50 being a threshold that seemed to trigger something within me.

    I think it was the realisation that if I don't do something now I never will; that I only have one life so I'd better make the most of it.

    In other words mortality reared its head and said, 'Hey you, don't piuss about. You won't b around forever'

    Amongst the other things I have done is write that novel. Now I have - gulp - to take it that step further.

    If I get nowhere with it I won't have a regret. At least I will have tried.

    I don't want to get to 70 or 80 and say, 'If only I'd.....'

    So, Gary, go for it and enjoy the trying. Who knows eh.

  3. How lovely to see you have the courage to show us some photographs of yourself, Gary.
    It is only a matter of degree, that shyness, that feeling of not being good enough.
    I battle with that feeling - that what I do will never be good enough - that I've failed and will continue to fail.
    You are fighting those gremlins as I, and so many others, have to do, and you are winning the battle with them at last and trampling them under your feet.
    That sounds like a time for celebration, a time to go through the door and join the rest of us who are out there struggling.
    Hugs and keep fighting.....

  4. Well Gary, there you are, facing the world and getting on with it (life). I know how difficult it is, I took a photo of you up a lamp post with Julie, and the camera hasn't worked since. No, seriously, you are all those three, I see the child of innocence, fresh faced teenager and the 56 year old man in you (are you older than I?). That is your gift, maturity hasn't taken anything from you, you are still hopefull and still look at the world with enquiring eyes. And you do write, perhaps not for the admiring masses, but you do have your fans.

    One of them
    Philip x

  5. Oh, and I like the new colour scheme, very dark, is it for halloween?

  6. You most definitely are not stupid, Gary. Anyone who can write such insightful and wondeful posts as you could ever be described as stupid. You've had a rough ride but you still push yourself just that little bit further every day. And that's the main thing that you keep trying and keep doing. I hope I'm not sounding patronising here as it is not meant to be like that I promise you.

    Great photos too - it's interesting to see people at different stages in their lives.

    Best wishes

    Julie xx

  7. Dont beat urself m8 there are plenty of others online who will do that for yous

  8. Dear David,
    Hey dude, thanks for that. My lingering negative image stems from a few, insecure folks, who, instead of praising my efforts, picked fault in everything I did.
    I'm still working through the self-doubts, even now, as an older dude. Yet, I am determined to be positive about the future.
    Thank you for your encouraging response, David.
    With positive wishes, your way, Gary aka 'lil' dude' :-)

  9. Hi John,
    I had a hunch that this blog might just strike a chord with you. As an avid reader of your terrific blog; I recognised that you were trying to realise your writing dreams.
    Like you mention, there is no regrets when we have the realisation that at least we tried.
    Wishing you well with your novel.
    Kind wishes, Gary

  10. Dear Carole,
    Thank you for your lovely response. I have been thinking about submitting some photos of myself for quite some time. Then, I thought, hmmm..that might just scare folks off lol.
    Like you, I battle my 'gremlins'. It is indeed best to challenge ourselves and try to live with a sense of realistic positive anticipation, rather than negative speculation that tells us that we shall fail.
    Let the celebrations commence. I have tremendous respect for all that you do, Carole.
    With warm wishes, Gary

  11. Hey Philip,
    I remember that photo of Julie and I posing under that lamp post. It was a great time I had with you folks in Durham.
    In a moment of sheer desperation and because there was nobody here to take my photo. I grabbed the camera you so kindly gave me and took a picture to use on 'Farcebook'.
    Thanks for this really nice comment. Like you, I have maintained my childlike curiosity for the wonders of the world. Like you, I will stay positive and hopeful for a better world for all of us.
    Thank you, my friend. So glad to note you have set up a new blog with your wonderful recipes and tales about your life. Positive wishes, your way, Gary.

  12. Hello again, Philip. I have been using this 'template'. I think that's the fancy name for colour scheme, for well over a year now.
    But, what the heck, in the spirit of Halloween..BOO!!! lol

  13. That's alright, i will be billing you for the new lens!


  14. Hi Gary,
    Well I am well known for my powers of observation. Sherlock Holmes pahh! I speet on your Sherlock Holmes.

  15. Dear Julie,
    Thank you for such a nice comment. As you have noted in my comments on your wonderful blog; I consider myself a dude who just likes to use writing as a therapeutic outlet. Although, I dreamt of maybe being a writer and making a bit of money, I have used the safe way out and not bothered to pursue my dream.
    That is why I have the utmost admiration for you and your fellow writers for having the courage to try. I shall take your advice and keep trying, keep doing.
    You have submitted a very respectful response and I am most grateful. Now you know what I look like:-)
    Thanks Julie and happy writing.
    Kind wishes, Gary x

  16. Greetings 'Roadkill',
    I take much comfort in what you have said. Nice to know there are plenty of online folks who will save me the effort:-)
    Loving your blog, Roadkill, shall be visiting your site and leaving a comment.
    All the best, Gary aka 'lil' dude':-)

  17. Flippin heck' Philip, I was just leaving a comment about Roadkill's comment and up you popped. Well, maybe not literally.
    Sorry about shattering your lens. I await your bill.

  18. Sherlock Holmes? I reckon your a big fan of 'Columbo' or was that 'Kojack'? 'Who loves ya baby?'

  19. Definitely NOT stupid, Gary. And you ARE a writer. Have confidence in yourself and just look at the number of people who log on time and time again to read your blog and leave comments.

    Great to see the face behind the words. And so interesting to see how you've grown from that small child.

    I did chuckle when I read you'd taken the last photo yourself - that's exactly what I did with my profile picture (I took it in a dimly lit Hard Rock Cafe so my wrinkles didn't show).


  20. Hi Suzanne,
    What a lovely response. This whole 'stupid' bit I refer to is very much an ingrained issue.
    I have challenged this sensation all my life and it has taken its toll on my somewhat shaky confidence.
    I suppose I take the easy way out. I think it takes great courage to attempt to have ones writing published. That is why, I have such great respect for you, Suzanne, and the rest who dared to try.
    Writing, if nothing else, has been a therapeutic, positive resource for me. I greatly appreciate the interaction and I feel honoured to be linked in with such great writers. I'd love to take my writing to the 'next level'.
    Heck Suzanne, noting your icon photo that you took yourself; I reckon that you look barely old enough to get into a pub legally.
    Thank you Suzanne. Happy writing.
    Warm wishes, your way, Gary x

  21. Dear Gary,
    You wrote: "Maybe, someday, I will have the confidence to submit my writing to a publisher."
    Excellent blog. I wish you much success! Nice 'seeing' you.
    Respectfuly, Dixie

  22. Dear Dixie,
    And you are one of the wonderful writers that has inspired me to keep trying. I wish I could believe more in myself.
    'See you later' :-)
    In peace and gratitude, Gary X

  23. Hey,Gary,thank you so much for this postwe both know ,that this is a problem we both face,in your case,more lucidly,and succesfully than I.You are one of the wisest people I KNOW.I am proud to know you,and hope you see me as a friend.Most of all ,PLEASE,get that book written[first edition to me please]PEACE.Dave.s

  24. Gary, I've always been glad that our paths crossed on the blogs. You have so much to offer all your readers. You are inspiring with your writing, and you've an amazing amount of courage to bare your soul to others. Indeed, I admire you, my friend. What a difference you make in the world!(smile) Don't ever stop your writing, and I hope you continue to pursue those dreams of yours. If I'm still around when you've published that first book, I'll be first in line to buy it.(smile)

    Bless you, my friend,

    p.s. I loved your photos!

  25. Hi david.s,
    Thank you for your very nice comment. Yes, it is true, we have a similar situation in regards to feeling isolated. Despite this, I'm okay because I know that my life is good and I have loads to be grateful for.
    My friend, please keep blogging. Try and work through your troubles and embrace that positive world that is right in front of you.
    If I ever write a book; you are most welcome to a free, signed copy:-) With respect, Gary

  26. Dear Mattie,
    I'm always inspired by what you say. I am most grateful that our paths have crossed in the wonderful world of blogging.
    For Mattie, it is kind, decent people such as your good self that have been such a motivation for me to continue with trying to write.
    Thank you so much for your kindness. I would love to hand you over a signed copy of my book:-)
    Glad you loved my photos. You cannot begin to imagine how much I debated about showing them on my blog:-)
    Sending you smiles and warm wishes, Gary x

  27. Hi, there,
    This is my first time on your post and I just want to encourage you and assure you that you are not stupid. It is a shame that early in our lives we acquire labels that all too often stay with us and hinder us from being all God wants us to be. Beginning today, know that you are a gifted individual. Say it, believe it and live it.

  28. Hi Gracie,
    Thank you very much for dropping by and leave a most encouraging response.
    Through my verbalisation, I am trying my utmost to challenge the negative 'chatter' that dwells in the back of my mind.
    Nagging self-doubts that relate to the 'labels' that were attached to me, have been challenged, and I see a positive way forward,
    I know, just like you know, we have the right to be happy and consider ourselves worthy.
    In peace and respect, Gary.


I do try to comment back to each commenter individually. However, I might have to shorten my replies or give a group thank you. That way, I can spend more time commenting on your blogs. Thank you and peace, my friend.