Day 1 – An open letter to the world
To whomever it may concern,
Hi, my name is Raymond Baxter. I’m a 36-year-old man from the middle eastern parts of Scotland. I was born and raised there for most of my childhood until I moved to the Southern parts of England, with farmers and trees and sheep. In rural Suffolk. I met my wife here and we’ve raised a lovely, supportive and empowering family.
I’d like to start off by telling you a little bit about me. I’m a strong lad, yet not afraid of my masculinity. I like to wear my wife’s pink fluffy dressing gown on cold winter nights, and I’m not afraid to display raw emotion. I learned that a couple of years ago. I was brought up with a “stiff upper lip” but more and more recently I’ve become in tune with myself. I’ve learned to trust myself, and my emotions. What I’m feeling is real, and raw and it’s awesome, or it fuckin hurts like I want to cry. There’s no shame in that. I was removed from my emotions from a very young age. Finally getting in tune with them has been an awesome journey. I’ve learned there’s no shame in hurting, and similarly, there’s no shame in jumping for joy because I’m SO happy. I’ve also learned that holding my wives’ bag, or wearing her pink fluffy dressing gown has no bearing on my sexuality. I also like to compliment hot guys!
I’m often saddened by this world. I like my rose-tinted glasses to continually show me rainbows, and happy people and nice things in the circles that I move in. It’s definitely not the case, though. I see a harsh terrain of angry people, deprived people, saddened people, and neglected people. And the media tell us that [x] group has caused this to happen, yet whilst there’s people homeless and relying on food banks, we judge them because they own mobile phones. Yet we don’t look at the endless wars we seem to be able to afford as a country, or the endless bank bailouts and get out of jail free cards for the fraudsters. The people versus people is sickening. I can see the world crumbling at my feet and there’s nothing that I can do. I can’t unite anyone. We all seem to be judging the next person and not looking at the bigger Agenda.
And the judging. Christ, why do people judge so harshly? Not that it bothers me but I can see some of my friends sinking into their shell. We judge the disabled. We judge the unemployed. We judge homeless people. We judge rich people. We judge everyone. Why? Because it’s harder to take on our own self-esteem issues and judge ourselves for what we really are. As I’m always saying I’d love for people to start taking a cold hard look at themselves and start to work on it. Forget about what Kardashian is looking like, or the slag you saw on TV, or the twat that looks like a monkey. Look inwardly. Once you’re happy you won’t want to judge. You’ll start seeing problems for what they really are.
Truth be told I want to fix all of this. I’d love to. I’d love to make the world better. But I know I can’t. And it hurts me even more when I see people using their anger to lash out inappropriately and in the wrong direction. I see it all the time. I feel it. It hurts. It hurts badly.
But in stark contrast to the latter the world is full of wondrous and happy events happening all the time. Charities, finding homes for ex-servicemen. Popular YouTubers giving homeless people another chance at life. And so much more. My last job was at a Charity and we saw heartwarming things happen there all the time. And, it doesn’t take much to make me happy. A lady once made me a handmade card at her crafts club to thank me for all my help. The card sat on my desk until my employment ended. Small gestures make BIG ripples. The world is a happy place too. If you know where to look. When I feel down, and I occasionally feel down, I take to YouTube in an effort to watch all the humanitarian events and activities happening. They happen all the time. And it’s amazing to see. Sometimes I will shed a tear of happiness. Like the time I watched “Where the hell is Matt?”
Ah, the world is full of beauty isn’t it?
And that brings me to religion. I’ve had a long battle with religion throughout my life but if I was brutally honest with myself I would say that I have some strong roots in Paganism. I don’t believe in Gods, or Angels or Demons but I believe in the Earth and the beauty of everything around me. I feel as a race we’ve distanced ourselves from our true nature, our primal habitat. And that’s fine because we’ve evolved to co-exist in massive numbers, but we just shouldn’t forget our Earth. We’re destroying it at a super fast rate, consuming unbelievable amounts and killing off everything we [should] hold dear. I would like to say that I feel at one with the earth, but I don’t. And I feel that is our failing in life. The repeated destruction and destabilisation of everything beautiful about our world. And we what? Turn a blind eye so that we can have the next iPad mini? Bah. I’m at one with myself, but not the Earth.
I Married in 2009 to an absolutely beautiful woman who has been the single, most empowering person that I’ve ever met. I function on a high capacity now because of her. She encouraged me to read, learn and do better. When I met her I had some crazy perceptions of the world. But she helped me. She helped me realise everything for myself. Some might question it because we rarely talk together online, but that’s because she hates the Internet! Hah. The internet is a necessity for her, whereas it is an enjoyment for me. But she’s about, lurking in the next room, reading her next 1500’s voyage of discovery non-fiction novel. I am at peace with myself because of her. I am organised in life because of her. I would literally be lost without her. And she knows it. I literally haven’t been this happy and settled at any point in my life before Natalie. We met at work and we took it on from there. I’d love to tell you our story of highs and lows. Maybe I will if she’ll let me!
We had a beautiful boy the year after. We named him Alex after Alexander the Great. I’ve always been fond of that name. And he’s what we live for now. He’s proof that we existed. It’s been lovely to see him grow into a little boy with his own ideas and perceptions. I can remember cuddling him until 2am in the morning so that Natalie could get some sleep when he was a few weeks old. And now? He’s at School, making friends and learning constantly. And through him I’ve learned a lot about myself too. Things Alex gets up to, it reminds me of myself when I was a young lad. It’s led me onto the path of realising that I could be Autistic. I have had a few people question me if I was before, yet, it’s now led me to get tested instead of dismissing the suggestions. Alex is my boy. I take him walks, and field trips and during the summer I take him for extra long walks along the sea-front. He loves that. I love bonding with my Son. He’s a gamer too, to my glee. He enjoys being competitive on the Xbox as much as I do. Yet he’s far better at collaborating than I am. I thank Natalie for that. I was raised with a competitive spirit; to be the best at everything!
I took to this blog last year, and through this blog I have been on such a journey! Veni, Vidi, Vici (I came, I saw, I conquered). I started this blog last year at a time Natalie was due for a hysterectomy. So I didn’t properly start it until March, this year. From then I met a group of amazingly tough people. People that have shared their stories with me. People have laughed with me, bled with me and cried with me. They aren’t just any old stories. They fill us with stories of life trials, hard encounters and things we don’t normally tell other people over a coffee in Starbucks. Their fleeting visions of the hardest times in their lives. Reading some of the stories often has me wondering if I really had it that bad as a kid. And some have nearly had me in tears. It’s through this group that I’ve learned to open up a lot more than I would have done previously. I’ve learned to be more open with other people and myself. It’s been amazing to meet them. I’m constantly learning through #linkyourlife. And the tasks and competitions that we partake in are all about improving our skills and growing as writers. Which is why I jumped at the task to join this.
They can be found here if you are interested.
Thank you for taking the time to read this,