Balance – By @currantjones

By Tommy Currant




Over the past week we have been fortunate enough to have mentors start coming in from agencies, to share their knowledge and fall madly in love with us so they offer us jobs at the end of the year. Among these was an alumnus of the original SCA. He shared with me the similarities and the differences of the school 30 years on. The chaotic energy of a room of people working towards a shared goal remained the same, but computers had changed a lot, he said. I could see from the intensity with which he spoke that as he looked around the room he was not seeing the room we were in. He was in 1989, surrounded by 20-somethings creatively thrashing around in the throws of existential angst, careers and lives Siren-like ahead of them.

“Do you miss it?”

“Of course. Nothing is like this.”

I am faced with a dilemma. This term started with an emphasis on mindfulness. Much of mindfulness appears to be about being present in the moment, not concerned by past failures or future worries. Yet I am aware that this is going to be a unique year in my life. Free of the pressures of employment, working with people at a similar seminal moment in their lives and taught by a huge and diverse faculty of mentors and advisers. So the dilemma is, how do I balance a desire to savour this particular moment in my life with actually just living in this particular moment?

I would be delighted if that question was a rhetorical device I used to launch into an explanation of how I was going to make this year a wonderful mixture of lived experience and self aware enjoyment of that experience, but it wasn’t. I genuinely don’t know. If you do know, please get in touch.

So with an absence of solution I will simply state where I am at. I am much better at being hyper self-aware than I am at living in the moment. I’ve got a diary, a journal, and an obsessive need to photograph events so I don’t forget them. Working on being present should probably be my priority but I’ve always been suspicious of people unselfconsciously enjoying themselves. Suspicious and a little jealous. ‘Yeah, they may be laughing but they’ve probably forgotten to do something’, I assure myself as I sit quietly and write a to-do list.

I phrased my dilemma as one of balance and balance itself is probably an issue for me more generally. I have over the last 8 weeks become almost solely focused on the SCA to the detriment of friendships, family and fitness. If I do something, I do it and nothing else. That is not necessarily always a bad thing. I credit it with getting me a Commonwealth Gold and into the best Ad school in the world. But I know that it isn’t sustainable.

So with two and half terms to go I will set myself a challenge. Week by week I will start to redress the balance. Each day, little by little, I will work at letting go. I will, I have no doubt, worry about not worrying. But hopefully, with practice, I might worry a little less.

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