Whilst philosophising on life's great intricacies in my 2pm afternoon bath at my parents house (most unemployed 25 year olds will be familiar with this luxury), I had quite an encouraging realisation. A realisation that led me to this conclusion: most of my time is spent surrounded by sickeningly passionate people...
My first nominee for "The passion and optimism awards 2013", is one of my closest and dearest friends. His name is Matt.
Like anyone it seems, I can sometimes be a rather pessimistic person, often worrying about the past, present, future and everything in between. With Matt along for the ride though, my inner Woody Allan seems to dissolve and dissipate...but not before completely engulfing me first.
On one ridiculous occasion I had been, what can only be described as - “outlandishly showing off at a pool”. I was front flipping, backflipping, twisting, jackknifing, you name it, I was doing it baby! Unfortunately, as a result of an awkward landing, this tireless pea-cocking display was cut painfully short. Nasty, swirling, ice cold water had suddenly penetrated me, invading my right ear, sending a lightning bolt of relentless pain ricocheting into my brain. It felt like Voldemort himself was in my very vicinity and that I was that snot-nosed, scar headed little git Harry Potter.
My eardrum had burst completely. I had inadvertently achieved this by attempting to “huck” a double frontflip (my friend is from America, and when in his company it is customary to use such colloquialisms such as "huck" and "knarly"). I crawled out of the pool like a wet, bandy legged dog. It wasn't just the ear that took a battering, soon it was to be my whole credibility as a "grown man" as well.
Whilst on our way to hospital, it wasn’t the residual agonising pain that I was worrying about most of all, no, I had much deeper concerns. Along with a presumably now internally bleeding ear, I was experiencing strange pains in the tendons and muscles of my arms.
A 'normal person' might deduce that this anomaly was simply the result of repeatedly slamming one's body into a pool of water for the best part of two hours...not me. I came to the insane conclusion that I must have developed some sort of...wait for it... degenerative muscle disease (yes really). You know, like that one Lou Gehrig had.
“Matt! Matt!” I exclaimed, “This isn’t normal is it?” “Maybe it’s life threatening?”.
I was rewarded with the only thing that I deserved at that point - disdain and laughter.
“I’m sure it’s nothing, but you can ask the doctor about it when we get to the hospital” he replied, after quite rightly mocking me in a sort of friendly sympathetic way.
Ah yes the hospital, where I’m going to receive a big excruciating jet of high pressured air into my already damaged aural orifice... but never mind that, what about this horrible disease I’ve just made up?!
Much to the dismay of my inner hypochondriac, the doctors reaction to my muscular related ailment was relatively similar to that of my dear friend, just slightly more sardonic in nature and without the outward laughter (he was laughing on the inside, I could tell).
So back to what I was saying at the start of all of this. It’s Matt's optimistic “it’s probably going to be ok, so stop worrying so much” attitude that personifies my American counterpart so much. He has a calming presence. Never a more relaxed, chilled out person have I ever met. It’s almost impossible to contemplate the negative whilst in his company and that is an attribute I wish I had.
I fear though, that for me, Woody Allen is here to stay. At least I have my friends like Matt to keep him at bay for the time being.