When I went to see Rush on Monday night, we were of course subjected to the usual onslaught of adverts- mostly about cars, aftershave, and car insurance, given the nature of the film we were going to see.
But in the midst of the naked ladies and revving engines (which appear to be the way advertisers try to sell things to men, no?!), the advert below came on. It's honestly the first advert I've ever looked up after I've seen it, and certainly the only advert I've ever wanted to share. It's from the University of South Wales- and seriously, if you do one thing today, watch this.
I think a lot about cause and effect, and how the decisions we make affect our lives. I find it interesting to think about what would have happened had I not done something.
For example- what if I hadn't gone to my friend J's 21st birthday? I wouldn't have met D, I wouldn't have spent my entire final year of university in a long distance relationship, I wouldn't have gone to Bordeaux, or spent so much time (and money) on planes.
Or take it a step further back- what if I had got the A-Level results I wanted? I'd have gone to my first choice university, and wouldn't have had the "bad" experiences in Oxford that have made me who I am today. And I wouldn't have gone to Cardiff, which means that I wouldn't have met M, which means that I wouldn't have gone to Thailand earlier in the year. And I wouldn't have met the aforemention J, and meeting D wouldn't have happened in that situation either.
And as Ioan Gruffudd says "Nothing stays the same, change is happening. Nothing stands still". It is so true. Life is happening whether we like it or not- yesterday, I asked a colleague what day it was and he said "Thursday, 26th September 2013. A day which has never happened before and will never happen again. And we're sitting here". And it's true- life passes us by without us even thinking about it. I waste time every day playing on Facebook and Twitter, reading the news, watching re-runs of Friends- and why? Why am I not out there enjoying life to the full, drinking on school nights and reading in the Bodleian, and striking up conversations with strangers? Why am I not booking flights to Paris, or New York, or Toronto?
Change is happening whether we like it or not- and we may not think it, but we do have a say. We choose whether to walk to work or get the bus. Or to cut our hair, or dye it, or let it grow long. And they might not seem like big things, but the love of your life could have been walking the day you got the bus, or your new hair cut could inspire seven girls you see in Waitrose to have theirs cut short too. You might think that bad things happen to you all the time, but you can not let them. You can smile and put a positive spin on a bad situation. We're getting older every second, and if we don't make change happen, in five years we'll be sitting here thinking "But wait... how am I nearly thirty and still doing this?"
Of the whole thing, the line that sticks with me the most was this:
"Or not. Sit back, let life play out, be a spectator. Or choose to be the leading actor in your life story."
I don't want to be a spectator. I think I just need to man up and be a little bit less scared of life, and what could go wrong, and just start thinking about what could go right. Change happens whether I want it to or not. So I should probably try to get it to change in a way that I am happy with, rather than sitting back and complaining about the things I don't like.