When I was 23, about a year after my brother died, I sat down with my then boss, an irritating little man called Bryn, and talked about what I wanted to do in the future. I think it was supposed to be one of those annoying professional development exercises where I tell him I want to follow in his hollowed footsteps and he puts me on some two-day training session with biscuits and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Instead I reeled off a list of things ranging from travelling, starting a business, living abroad to writing a book. I could see him lose interest, he usually did. Preferring instead to lose himself in the pitter-patter of self congratulation. He almost certainly thought I was cretinous. I almost certainly wished I could leave.
Thing is, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted. I’d grown up, like most kids, flitting from one dream job to another; footballer, professional wrestler, even crisp flavour inventor came and went before settling for quite a long time on bin man – although I was 9 and my dad had just taken me and my brother out for a spin in one of the council’s lorries (he was a mechanic – I don’t think he stole it).
Now, a couple of weeks away from my 31st birthday, I find myself in a position where once again I feel I’m at the career precipice with the threat of redundancy hanging in the air like an acrid World War 1 gas.
However, with our monumental challenge still extremely fresh in our memories our attentions have now turned, much like we’ve said in previous posts, to creating something permanent. Something that can truly make a difference.
For both Morgan and I, life has dealt us quite a mixed set of cards. On the one hand we have both lost someone incredibly close – both at the prime of their lives. Situations that acted as catalysts for our own particular set of circumstances.
On the other, it has given us a certain grit. A resoluteness to see things through. It’s how we came to cycle through conditions more resembling a mid summer break on the sun.
A lot of people talk about trying to make a difference. Many people, due to very understandable reasons, fail to do so. I’d like to think we are different.
However, turning that determination into something tangible, something we can legitimately take forward, is obviously harder to acquire.
Starting new enterprises, companies or organisations can, and will, be met with bitterness and confusion. I suppose it’s the British way sometimes – to look on suspiciously at new enterprises rather than hoping they are an unparalleled success. I guess it’s one of the things that separates us from Americans. That and guns. And wearing bumbags without a hint of irony.
However, our intentions are absolutely legit. Despite the fact we both want to keep drinking copious amounts of coffee and/or buy a bungalow for my mum, we are absolutely ready to build something from the ground up.
It’s partly the reason we’ve decided to carry on this blog.
Starting anything takes time, patience, money and luck. We have none of any. We used all of our quota of luck during our event and we are as poor as a professional Rolf Harris impersonator.
It will be great then to capture the story of how we get on. We have ideas and a bucket load of determination to see it through – now we need action.
A couple of days ago we asked for brave volunteers to come forward to give their own personal accounts of their battle with many different mental health issues.
The response, up to yet, has been both incredible and humbling.
We are in the process of setting a brief that will allow those wonderful people to each tell their own unique stories. The hope is, along with our own story, that it will give others hope. Stories that they will be able to relate to their own lives whilst providing a platform, however small that might be, to take that next step in their lives.
Over the next few weeks, or until the end of time, whichever’s closest, you will here from both Morgan and I as we attempt to build Mind over Matter UK.
We will try to be frank with you as without honesty, we cannot even begin to build a picture of two men in their early thirties struggling with overactive imaginations and a lack of funds.
We hope you enjoy the ride, so to speak.
For now though, with love, Tommo and Morgan x