I was ill earlier in the year – I’m back to perfect health now and stronger and fitter than I’ve ever been, thanks for asking. I know you didn’t ask, but I’m assuming you’re a kind and caring person and are happy to hear of the well-being of others. Anyway, as a result of this illness I ended up having to take a whole lot of pills.
One of these pills is a water pill which makes me wee roughly every 3 hours. This no problem during the daytime but at night it’s a bit of a pain. Having spent my whole life putting my head on the pillow at night time and waking up the following morning ready to start my day, it was a bit of a shock to learn that I now had to get up twice in the night.
I’m English and I live in London, and I’m not particularly keen on politics. Caring about politics seems to me to be a particularly pointless way of going through your life. There’s not much you can do about anything, other than vote of course, which I’ve always done, and there always seemed to be better and more interesting and productive things to be interested in.
But the American election of 2016 took my interest like politics has never done before. Just the election itself was questionable and interesting, and then the first thing that happened was that the new President started to claim huge numbers at his inauguration that the world could see plainly just didn’t happen.
I’m not really that concerned about American politics, it’s just that what was happening was so unusual. I’m sure people from all around the world are fascinated, like me. It is all just so unique, it’s mesmerising.
People wanted to get away from traditional politicians and try a businessman for a change, I get that, and it kind of makes sense, but it quickly became obvious that it might not be working out as planned. Donald Trump is not Bill Gates.
Every day there were more unusual events, the beginning of the dismantling of the EPA, Twitter outbursts against other countries, politicians, celebrities, journalists and the media. The questioning and breaking of traditional, long-standing alliances. None of this ever seen before in politics, anywhere in the world. And it began to take me over.
I knew which former advisors had been indicted, I was transfixed by the relationship between the AG, the assistant AG and Robert Mueller, and I was concerned whether Mueller would be left alone to complete his inquiry.
And so in my nightly periods of being awake, I took to feverishly checking the latest news via Twitter and found that each time I checked I was more shocked and concerned by events. And I spent more time reading and absorbing items of news, to the point where I have to say that I was almost obsessed.
Waking up in the middle of the night and reading all this worrying and depressing stuff was not good for me, it left me concerned and slightly jaded.
There is nothing I can do about events in Washington, everything is beyond my reach, and the feeling of helplessness in it all gave me a few nightmares. But what else could I do, I was addicted to the continuing Trump narrative and locked into the ever-changing news reporting it.
And this was dragging me down, I knew it wasn’t doing me any good. I realised that I had to get out of this addictive spiral, I had to move on and find something else to occupy my mind. And this was really important.
At the beginning of September, I was recommended to Medium by a friend, and Medium is, quite frankly, the perfect internet destination that I would have dreamed up and developed myself if I had been able, which I’m not, and I became passionate about Medium and all it offers. Medium is wonderful and until September I hadn’t even known it existed.
Now I’ve written a lot of short stories and articles for Medium, I’ve had some very encouraging words from fellow contributors which makes me so happy that it’s hard to describe.
I’ve made new friends here, I’ve helped others and been helped by others in my writing goals by incredibly kind and giving people; I’ve laughed and been entertained and educated and enjoyed Medium so much that it has now become a major part of my life.
My stories have been accepted by Pubs, I’ve contributed efforts to a weekly short story comp. and been successful, and it has been wonderful.
I’m not a young guy anymore and I really don’t care about failure now, a knockback that would have crushed me when I was young is now not even a consideration, nothing really matters and nothing concerns me. So if one of my pieces doesn’t get the views and reads of one of the others, so what, it won’t change my life.
I read other writers talking about pressing the Publish button and launching their work with great trepidation as if they are letting their children out into the world before they’re ready. But I don’t feel any of those fears. So some people may not like what I write, shoot me.
Strangely some of my stuff that I particularly like myself doesn’t get a great deal of views, reads, and fans, and the one item that I published with some trepidation, not really confident about it, has been one of my star performers. Weird.
In life, I try and take negatives and turn them into positives and learn and gain from the experience. Age has brought a much more phlegmatic approach, and I’m so much happier to be like that.
And so I’ve more or less forgotten about Trump, thanks to Medium. I’m off the Trump roller-coaster, it’s over and I no longer feel it dragging me down. I will, however, be closely following events as the results come in on the 6th November —I can’t resist that one last blast of American politics.
In my waking periods in the night now instead of reading troubling news from across the Atlantic, I spend my time jotting down ideas for new articles and short stories for Medium, and I’m absolutely loving it.