I always say things like "Life is good" and I mean it, wholeheartedly. But it is also awful/ heartbreaking/ difficult/ so full of pain and it is simply not fair.
I've been dealt my share of shit, but I've always been free.
I have freedom of movement and freedom of choice.
I say and wear what I want. I do whatever I want, whenever I want and however I want.
People can push their noses up if they disagree or dislike it, but they can't stop me. Not everyone in this world can do that. The women in Iran can't do that without fearing for their lives, yet courageously, they're doing it anyway.
I get social media fatigue regularly. I experience the highs of it and have benefited from it in various ways, separate from my work for clients. Personally, it has afforded me opportunities that I am grateful for.
When used correctly, there is no denying its power, both in the material world and in bringing about change and offering meaningful guidance, knowledge and inspiration.
Of course, that power is not only beneficial. I don't want to get into the downfalls of it. We all know - comparison, jealousy, procrastination - that list could go on for a while.
My fatigue comes in the form of regularly questioning my use of it.
I have always had a bigger picture in mind in terms of why I am doing it that goes beyond everyday happenings, yet that requires honesty and a rawness that I don't always feel comfortable giving, while the easy parts of it can sometimes feel so insignificant.
What is the point of sharing random adventures and videos of my dogs when there is so much more going on in the world?
What is the point of my endurance feats when the mere fact that I have the time to do them is a luxury that I at times feel embarrassed about having?
What is the point of my excitement at a new partnership when children are suffering?
While movement and mountains are my passion and what makes my world go around, I care about so much more that is never seen. It’s my own doing - because I don't speak about it, I don't show it.
I generally don't spend much time speaking to people at length beyond my joking, I’ve opened up about why before. My head is a jungle.
I prefer action. I don't want to talk about it, I want to do.
I don’t look at directions, I just figure it out. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way. I don’t advocate for this way of doing. It would not be useful for the majority but it’s the way I operate and after decades of trying to change it; I've now come to embrace and enjoy it. I can’t explain it because I don’t understand it myself, nor do I care to understand it anymore.
I don't want to debate. I generally don't care why or what you do.
I do what I believe is right in life and feel content going about it alone.
However, I don't know what is right in the greater scheme of things.
I have a steadfast love of life and I want to live each day to the full, yet I am so highly aware of the injustices of the world and of the constant, ongoing suffering of so many people who don't have the option of putting themselves through gruelling challenges just for the fun of it.
How can I make a difference?
Is it enough to remind people that we need to remain resilient?
To show them the outcome of my decision to never give up.
To showcase the great euphoria, self-belief and inner peace that comes with pushing past your perceived limits.
There is great benefit to enduring these personal, intentional challenges and while I sometimes feel guilty about the ability to choose to do them, I have always closed these thoughts with the decision that it is not only a worthwhile endeavour but that it is one that everyone should seek out.
These are the chosen challenges though.
The ones that we don't ask for are the hardest. The ones where we are sick or starving or have our basic human rights taken away from us. Those are the challenges that break my heart and leave me feeling helpless. They leave me questioning the point of my smile and positive attitude.
In writing this, it has helped that feeling because it's allowed my thoughts to arrive at the realisation that it was that same smile and positive attitude that got me through the challenges that I didn't ask for and that despite not asking for it, and enduring years of physical and mental pain and anguish because of it - I am deeply grateful for it.
Without that pain, I don't think I would have the ability to experience joy on the scale that I do. I would lack the understanding of others going through similar battles and I am doubtful that I would see beauty in everything and everyone had I not gone through what I did.
My suffering made me who I am; admittedly, I like who I am.
It made life a whole lot more colourful and there's no going back from that.
Not everyone gets to walk away from their pain with those takeaways though. Some don't get to walk away at all and others spend their lives trying.
So, how can I not be grateful for my outcome? How could I dare to refuse my smile the light of day?
I hope that one day the women of Iran will be able to smile on their terms.
While my hope and a smile will get them nowhere, I feel compelled to say something about it. To not pretend that a woman was not just killed for wearing her hijab "incorrectly".
To admit that I have cried for her.
To applaud the women of Iran who are risking their lives to say enough.
If enough people speak about it, perhaps President Raisi of Iran will listen. Perhaps he will realise that offering Mahsa Amini's family condolences is disgustingly not enough. Perhaps he will amend or even abolish the law making it compulsory for women to wear the hijab.
I have always believed that if you don't knock, you can't expect a door to open for you. President Raisi, the world is not only knocking - we are banging on your door.