This morning, I spent time online creating bespoke 2021 calendars for family and friends. This spontaneous fit of craftwork producing an A4 size almanac containing one of my caricatures for each of the twelve months of 2021.

So, as a Christmas gift, eight ‘lucky’ family members and/or buddies will receive a year long reminder that yours truly owns shed loads of coloured pencils. Utensils utilised to produce offbeat interpretations of the likes of Bob Marley, George Michael, Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Sting.

This maybe viewed as an act of shameful hubris on my part, however, I thought the eventual recipients might like the personal touch. Not to mention, the gift could afford New Years Eve party guests a captivating game of guessing the celebrities depicted.

Changing the narrative’s topic, yesterday was World Mental Health day. As someone who’s experienced the all-consuming joylessness of depression, I felt it’d be remiss of me not to pen a few thoughts and experiences on the subject.

For a vast majority of my capricious existence, I longed for a non-creative mind. I wanted to be ‘normal’, think the same as other people. Consequently, mostly spurning the frequent and uninvited epiphanies flooding my conscious mind.

The the unusual, occasionally absurd, notions I’d identified in my fledgling years didn’t appear to afflict most of my peers. Idiosyncratic thoughts which yours truly predominantly suppressed in an attempt to fit in.

Fitting in not the only reason I sought refuge from creation de domaine. I also longed for liberty from affliction of a double edged sword consequential of the ‘gift’ of thought innovation.

My moods disallowing respite from temporary emotional middle ground. Instead affording me mood choices at both extremes of the behavioural spectrum. Euphoria or misery those options, which switched uncontrollably without (and sometime even with) depression medication.

I’m decades too late to the party with this realisation, but now embrace the gift of creativity, and the consequential offbeat ideas which formed by both nurture and nature.

Clearly, it doesn’t make me any better or worse than any other individual. However, this new-found awareness has at least gifted me a self-esteem which was utterly bereft when thought-suppression held dominion.

That former existence where my most accomplished skillset was held clandestine, resulting in my drifting into work roles which neither fulfilled or played to my strengths.

Sure, I provided adequately for my wife and kids, but that money was earned without gratification. Circumstances I want to remedy at some juncture in the near future.

As alluded to earlier, my realisation that it’s ok to be different from the majority, bearing epiphanies varying from the mainstream came later than I’d have desired. However, yours truly comforts myself with the knowledge I eventually achieved that plateau of self-awareness.

Although irked, I now look philosophically at the fact I’ve few (if any) employment achievements I hold with any real fondness. This not the fault of anyone than myself, despite being supported throughout by my bosses.

During my days working for three excellent employers, I’ve met some great individuals; memories of who evoke recollections which never fail to impart a smile on my visage.

Nevertheless, I struggle to recall anything within three decades of performing various IT roles that manifests anything which imparts a similar level of contentment.

With utmost determination, I keep telling myself, one day some of the million plus words that’ve manifested from deep within my capricious mind, will receive a level of literary kudos which’ll impart existential fulfilment.

Vive le difference!!