Somewhere Amazing

A WordPress.com site for celebrating the amazing!

About

Hello and welcome to Somewhere Amazing! 

I’m a 42 year old man (I know I don’t look that old…thanks for saying that…) who has had voices in his head (not in a bad way) for years without knowing what to do with them. So I decided to start a blog to release my inner voice! 

I have a BA Hons and MTh but consider life to be the greatest learning arena of all. Academic learning is important if that’s the pathway you take but, in my view, it doesn’t reach its potential until it is shaped and revised by experience of life’s ups and downs. 

I read many genres including science fiction, fantasy, crime, theology, psychology and some biography. I am hopeless at the sciences. I am a slow reader so choose reasonably carefully what I read. I don’t know why I read slowly, I just know that after half an hour or so I experience mental fatigue so have to break then come back to a book. Its also strange that even though I’m a slow reader I have a tendency to jump into books that are parts of an epic series. I’ve read the first book in Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World series, and the first in Peter Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn series. Both took me an absolutely age to get through and I may not get any further in these series. I did complete Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy in four books (!) but it took me two years! 

I enjoy music, many genres again, and it played an important role in my recovery from illness. I enjoy driving, when petrol prices aren’t prohibitive and allow me to get further than the bottom of the drive and back. I have a wee dog, not dissimilar to the one in the photo, (except real and usually on four legs…) and like taking him for long (and short) walks. I have gym membership but don’t use it anything like as often as I should or would like. 

I suffered from ill health (depression) for many years and am now at a place where I’m ready to take the transformed me and stride out on a new pathway and face all it has to offer. 

This is a site for charting that journey, celebrating amazing places and moments along the way and looking forward to an amazing destination. This is a journey from where I am now, to somewhere amazing. That’s the idea anyway! 

Somewhere amazing will be different places for different people but the one common aim is that every person on this journey (for it is best experienced as a shared journey) will aim for a destination that will give them hope in the journey. We want to celebrate the oasis in everyday life that lifts up the downcast, is the sunshine in the darkness, the laughter in the gloom. Those moments that remind us that our life is worthwhile and to keep on keeping on.

I’m a Christian (bear with me, I’m aware that word will have different connotations, good and bad, for different people depending on their location and experience) and although this blog isn’t designed to state my faith at every turn there will inevitably be posts here and there which will to some extent reflect that faith.  My faith has been a life line for me and although some won’t share that view, it is impossible for me to separate my life and faith. You won’t find sermons here but there may be the occasional meditation if I think its something I want to share. Some will read that word ‘Christian’ and already have done a runner. No problem, I respect your choice, all the best, have a good life, etc.

…still here? Well done you! 

I suffered from depression for the best part of ten years. I am not fully recovered and don’t know if I ever will fully recover, but am recovered enough to want to make an effort to write and share experiences from my past and present. Writing drives me and thrills me and fills me with a sense of possibility and the urge to create and communicate, it makes me feel alive and I love the process of transferring my thoughts to paper or the screen.  During the years when I felt my worst, writing, albeit in very short bursts back then, helped me to understand my own condition and helped me find a route out of it. Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is pick up the pen or touch my fingers to the keyboard, but when I do, I come alive. I have reached the stage where I believe that in my own way I can offer examples from my own experience which may help others. Even if they don’t help others, I like the process of putting my thoughts onto the screen. 

I am going to try to find the places I will call Somewhere Amazing, from my past and present and, hopefully, look forward and enjoy the journey onwards to my own personal Somewhere Amazing.

I will no doubt edit this a I progress, and as I get to grips with how WordPress works…hasn’t been straightforward so far!

Thanks for reading.

Somewhere Amazing

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36 thoughts on “About

  1. Sir: I just want to comment that there is nothing inherently wrong with you. God created you with a heart that feels deeply, a mind that understands the complexities of this human existence. On some level we all suffer from some form of existential angst. Your depression is an outward manifestation of you caring for the world we all live in, but feel hopeless that you can do nothing to change it. So god has lead you to start this blog and share your journey and experience with the rest of us. THE WORLD IS AN ILLUSION, you can never change “it” because it’s just a perceptual composite of everyone living in it. It seems more like a collective nightmare than reality…
    so once you change your own outlook through Jesus Christ and love from your fellow beings, suddenly the world is infinitely brighter,
    amazingly loving and full of grace. I love you and care about you, we will ascend together, everyone! Peace to you and be well.

    • BTW, I’m happy to see the balloon house as your blog logo. “UP” is one of my movie favorites, it’s literally uplifting!

  2. @Somewhere Amazing:
    See some nice changes here…fixed header…made a few changes.

    About page is almost done… 🙂

    Just still think your original intention is not being done. Remember our conversation as to the why’s…in the blogosphere. Why Why Why people ask me via email should I seperate the two.

    Liz shall state this clearly as to my opinion in a way that all peoples may understand this logic: Yes, this is a sharp tone, because I have stated this over and over and noone is listening…they are pressing the ignore button on Liz.

    Blogging on religion limits your readership, traffic, followers…you name it, it limits it!

    Why?

    People from all over the world may visit your site, if you are seeking world wide discussions from almost every country that has internet access, which is what you had stated is that you wished for discussion…..it is going to severly limit readers.

    You can comment on other blogs all day long…doesn’t matter.

    Is it because people do not like religion?

    No!

    It is because of the tons of spammers that latch unto the Christian blogging community, and crazy cult like people that try to pretend to be Christians on the blogosphere.

    Is there anything wrong with beliefs?

    No!

    Anything wrong with believing in God?

    No!

    I have my own beliefs

    If you are seeking a successful discussion forum, as you said, you have a seperate blog for discussing religion…..

    Believe me, I have blogged on religion, and guess what had zero discussions or readership. I have my beliefs, but I wish to have philosophic and other discussions, with people from across the globe on my site and to learn of other cultures.

    Don’t ever say I didn’t “tell you so.” here in a few months. You asked, at least think you did some time ago. Well, maybe…but giving out my unwanted advice anyway.

    Liz

    • Hi Liz, I’ve partly answered some of these thoughts in a new post entitled “To God or not to God…”

      Just a couple things though.

      My original intention wasn’t to have conversations with people across the globe as such, simply to share my own thoughts, feelings, stories etc which have helped lift me with hope and the desire to keep on keeping on.

      Its not that no-one is listening, or its not that I’m not listening, its that I’ve listened and, while initially agreeing with some of what you say (and still agree in places), I have decided to respectfully disagree in other places.

      In any case, there simply isn’t the time to maintain two blogs any more.

      Anyway, I’ve shared some thoughts on the new posting as indicated above.

      Hope you are good 🙂

  3. I think this may be a blog lacking in BS. I like that.

  4. I am looking forward to reading your posts and following you on your journey to somewhere amazing. It is inspiring that you have battled depression for so long and are now in a place where you can and want to share your experiences. I hope you find many amazing places and have moments where you feel everything is amazing regardless of whatever is or isn’t happening.

    Congratulations on embarking on a most worthwhile journey and thank you for sharing it!

  5. I am looking forward to reading your posts and following you on your journey to somewhere amazing. It is inspiring that you have battled depression for so long and are now in a place where you can and want to share your experiences. I hope you find my amazing places and have moments where you feel everything is amazing regardless of whatever is or isn’t happening.

    Congratulations on embarking on a most worthwhile journey and thank you for sharing it!

    • Thank you very much for your encouragement and kind words, appreciated. Depression is a fierce enemy but also contributed to making me the person I am today, which, on balance, is a person I prefer to the one I was pre-illness. I wouldn’t have chosen the particular process of change, but I am glad for the change itself all the same. I still feel very new to ‘this’ form of blog-interaction but I am already grateful for ‘meeting’ some people who have enriched my life by sharing their own stories through their own personalities. I look forward to reading more of your own posts.

      • Yes, it seems that the hardest things in life are often the source of our present strength and the catalyst for a great change in our person. As you say, no one would eagerly choose this process of change. Blogging is an unusual form of interaction and I am still getting used to it as well. But the people we can meet definitely make it easier to deal with the learning curve! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  6. Wish could say something rosey and positive, but I would be lying —- sorry.

    L

  7. Header is scary and it sucks.

    🙂

    –Unwanted advice giver
    Liz

    • Sorry…I actually couldn’t help smiling at this. You remind me of my sister, you words are precisely the kind my sister might use if she didn’t like something. Sometimes I have tried to couch something in diplomatic language and she cuts through that and tells me its rubbish. Unwanted advice is sometimes the most accurate. Not always…but sometimes. That said, a couple other people have said in the past that they like it as its striking and effective. I simply liked the striking nature of the header and it reminded me a little of Lisbeth Salander from the Stieg Larsson books, a kind of anti-hero! But may like to find something more ‘me’. Still smiling at this… 😉

      • The header I would think with your obvious education and what appears to be marked intelligence would be professional.

        The about page certainly needs changed, that’s for sure. Most likely the reasoning for lack of comments. Change the two, add in some more interesting posts, as you have stated in some comments on Eccentric, and separate the two blogs as was your original intention.

        Feel if you do these things, you will gain the discussions that you wish to have on this site.

        • Thanks for the ‘obvious education’ and ‘marked intelligence’ comments. Not sure quite how accurate it is but I appreciate the words. It took me many years to recognise any such qualities in myself to even small degrees, but that’s another autobiographical story. I never liked school, was always pretty much slow, only really started to learn, enjoy learning and figure out what I actually enjoyed learning about after I left school!

          One thing, you seem to indicate (I could be wrong) that education and intelligence should lead to one particular form of self-expression on a blog. I find myself wondering if the imagination proceeding from intelligence can’t express itself in many and varied ways? Of course much depends on the intelligence itself.

          That said, I can see where you advice would make a difference between what’s there now and what could be.

          Curious also as to what makes an ‘interesting’ post?

          I’ve read a little of the WordPress guidelines but I tend to just ‘go with instinct’.

          • Well, if you take yourself and put yourself into your readers’ shoes.

            Ask yourself this question:

            Would I read and comment on this post?

            This will help you to write and get the discussions you most likely seek on your blog.

            Note that readers can actually sense your mood/feeling/tone of a post/report/writing.

            Odd, but it is sensed even through the vast internet across the globe.

            🙂

          • Thank you, food for thought here 🙂

          • Darn darn darn darn darn…you know I think you might just be right! I so didn’t want you to be right, I really really really didn’t want you to be right!

            Although I can’t say I’ll never include anything religious in Somewhere Amazing, I don’t think I’m going to link it so much to HidingWithGod, my Christian blog, its a compromise I’m happy with and I feel is right. I’ll run them both but keep them apart.

            Darn, you’re good, you’re very very good 🙂

            You really need to be working in whatever it is that gives you such wisdom 🙂

          • Bossing people around would be a great job for me! ha ha lol

            If only the world would realize and my husband, that I am 99.9% of the time correct, the world would be better (kidding, no not really). ha ha lol

  8. a) seperate the blogs

    b) About page needs photo of you, your education, why you are blogging, country of origin, hobbies, etc.

    c) This about page if you are wishing to discuss other topics than Christianity could scare away many opiniated readers.

    A non-Christian reader would take one look and quickly “click off” the page.

    Trying to help, not hinder.

    You stated seperate blogs, but that’s not exactly what you did though

    • Appreciate the thoughts, I have been contemplating a complete revamp of Somewhere Amazing as even after just a few months I would like it to look and perhaps perform a little differently. Maybe it takes a little time to become familiar enough with a system to know what you like and don’t like, what works and what doesn’t.

      Thanks again 🙂

      • Not stating that religious beliefs are wrong, as I have my own firm religious beliefs.

        Problem I found early on in the blogosphere is that, I wished to have intellectual discussions with people from across the globe.

        I once stated my religious beliefs in a post, and found that it completely limited my readership, as people from across the globe, did not understand such things….

        Yes indeed your beliefs are who you are, as they are me, but I needed the brain exercises and in depth discussions with people from the UK, Russia, Cambodia, Argentina, Gib, Spain, etc.

        Stating such beliefs on the about page or elsewhere limits the readership, thus my statements about separating the two blogs.

        • Well, I think I did say in the About bit that although this wouldn’t be a specifically Christian blog, it would, on occasion, carry Christian elements.

          I don’t think I could, or would want to, separate the two completely, it would be a denial of who I am, I would actually feel I was misleading people. But I do understand that talking religion is off putting to many and that’s why I set up a separate blog for those articles.

          I’m also aware that their can be pretty big cultural differences in how religion is perceived even between America and the UK, although most of what I know of US Christianity is via the media which is often a less that reliable source. It was obviously important to you not to express your beliefs after your first attempt, for me though I honestly see no need.

          As I said, Somewhere Amazing will be largely for ‘stuff’ other than views stemming from faith, but it will sometimes have Christian elements. To be honest, while I have no desire to intentionally upset or turn people away, if I feel thoughts born of my faith are appropriate for what I want to say on SA, then to not record them on the basis of not wanting to switch people off would be, in my view, to deny who I am. I hope I never say anything to purposely antagonise, but if anyone doesn’t want to read SA because they see something Christian there, then so be it. While I do my best to accommodate, and if I want to hear from others then I accept a certain amount of accommodation is necessary, I also won’t suppress my faith where I feel its relevant.

          As I said in About, I don’t believe faith can be compartmentalised, in the sense it can’t be switched off or kept to one part of a person’s life and separated from another. I don’t mean one must always be ‘in your face’ with one’s beliefs but faith can be expressed without the need for necessary offence.

          If I was on WordPress when I was a teenager I’d have tried to evangelise anything and everything that came within a cyber inch of me. I later learned that although there’s a place for evangelism, it can also do, and has done, more harm than good and lives have been damaged by that. That any Christian should have that testimony is shameful and a sign of a huge lack of understanding and sensitivity in the natural practise of their faith.

          I once read, and I believe it still, that there are different ways of being ‘faithful’. Once upon a time, to my shame, I thought no matter where I was, at work or with friends, it was my duty to tell everyone about Christ. I then read a famous preacher (now deceased) saying that the best witness you can be in your place of work is to do the work you are paid to do to the best of your ability. If God wants you to share your faith He will show you how and when but that’s not your main job, your main job is admin or bricklaying or cooking or teaching or whatever your job is. Do that well and that’s a statement of your faith right there.

          I’m genuinely grateful for your thoughts from your ow experience, much of which is a little treasure trove 🙂

          But for SA I don’t feel I can separate things totally.

          Sorry about the length of this, feel free to ignore as desired…

          • Well, my advice being said, it is your blog and you do as you wish, I was just dishing out advice due to reading what seemed to be the goals of your blog was for discussion (if I remember correctly), but the way to wonderful discussions is not to limit readership.

            Please also keep in mind that I have met many “nut” jobs that believe in such crazy things, and that is the reason many people will simply click off of the page if they see any religiousness on the page.

            Not due to christianity – let me explain. I have found several blogs that pretend to be christian blogs, but then when I take a look deeper into the site, it is sometimes:

            a) spam blog

            b) Crazy “cult” like beliefs – that I think are just an abomination.

            Many other bloggers, experiencing this, now often click off and will not join a discussion where anything religious is posted, due to spam blogs, and just strange cult like blogs, which there are many I have seen.

            When I say they believe crazy things, I mean some of the craziest things I NEVER could have imagined.

            Just absolutely ludicrous things, that are not even close to christianity, but they pretend to be christian to draw in christian readers.

            Is this making sense?

          • Thank you for relating this.

            It makes a horrible kind of sense.

            I’ll reply properly later 🙂

          • Good blogging advice doesn’t always necessarily apply when the blogger is curious and passionate about many different things, and also lives for Jesus Christ. It kind of doesn’t matter whatsoever if you’re blogging to spread the gospel of Jesus or if you’re blogging to get a break from your spiritual journeys; when your heart is deeply & completely inhabited by the love of the Lord and the breathtaking presence of the Holy Spirit, that all-consuming life-changing pursuit of God’s will in your life will invariably spill out in all that you do.

            As a compliment and an affirmation, I share this perspective to say “high five” to you, for finding a certain/unspecified confidence about the intentions of your blog and the decision to emphasize God or tread lightly in regard to mentioning Him; I’ve found your interactions on wordpress the MOST stirring, the MOST encouraging, the MOST meaningful and insightful in those times you stayed true to the heart and Spirit of the One who calls you forward. I say keep on keeping on, friend.

            And Liz tends to have impeccable accuracy regarding how to make your blog more relevant to a broader audience and how to get better view counts and responses. In this case, I’d counter only to say that if you’ll be true to who you are and what you stand for — in spite of any structural changes you make — you will invariably see great success.

        • Wanted to apologise if my long reply to this came across as in any way disagreeable. Wasn’t intended to be. I was thinking through the distinctions and relationship between my blogs and parts of my reply were me thinking out loud. Apologies if I offended in any way 🙂

  9. Life is an amazing journey. I think my blog helps me stop to “stop and smell the flowers”, notice the things that I usually might see as a mess (ie. fingerprints on the window) and see the real beauty in them. I think your blog may have the same sort of effect on you! Good luck!

  10. Cheers to the journey!

    Courtney Hosny

Deep breath, fingers poised, off you go ...!

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