Looking Back Over Blogs Past…

This week I was looking for inspiration for what to write for Friday’s blog post, so I went scouring through my past topics, starting right at the Bloggingbeginning. Looking back through all of the blog posts I’ve put up here was a really interesting experience, especially poring over some of my earlier posts. I remember feeling apprehensive and nervous about the whole thing and not especially keen on the idea. As I’ve said before, starting and maintaining a blog isn’t really natural to me, I never particularly wanted to be a writer and I am conscious of posting every detail of my life on the internet, something I believe has become a bit of an issue with modern society. I’ve also struggled with dyslexia for most of my life, so have to be really careful that these posts aren’t littered with errors. So you can imagine that I wasn’t exactly bubbling over with joy and excitement when BODO’s social media experts advised that I should start writing my own blog and that’s putting it lightly.
Though I wasn’t exactly over-enthusiastic when the blog began, I’ve gotten quite used to the idea of it now, it has somehow worked its way into my weekly routine and honestly I have started to find it quite cathartic. In a strange sort of way, it helps me to process all that is going on with my life and with BODO and compartmentalise stuff.
Looking back at the previous posts invoked a kind of pleasant nostalgia and was really useful in many ways. When you are really busy, like I am at the moment, running a business, preparing to launch and being the father of a 1-year-old who has clearly inherited all of my nocturnal traits, life can be really frantic! Some of the stuff I re-read, I’d even forgotten had happened and it was an interesting way of recapping all the things that had happened in the insanely busy 18 months that I have experienced. Some of the posts are like bizarre little time capsules into what was going on in my head at the time that they were written!!
I guess what I’m trying to say is that even though I was pretty reluctant at the start, blogging has really grown on me and I can see why it is such a useful tool for CEOs and business execs!

Tattoo Therapy With Project Semicolon

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of tattoos and tattoo art, so I was totally intrigued when I found out about Semicolon tattooProject Semicolon (and no, it’s not a movement by grammar enthusiasts – so you can all rest assured).

I kept seeing pictures of these semicolon tattoos appear in my newsfeed and discovered the meaning behind Project Semicolon, which describe themselves as a “movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction, and self-injury. Project Semicolon exists to encourage, love, and inspire.”
That of course was enough to capture my interest, as I could immediately identify with their ethics and intentions. I have worked on numerous projects in the past that have aimed to help and encourage those who have suffered with mental illness, depression, abuse and the like and it is something that is really important to me.
The reason that the semicolon has become this organisation’s symbol is quite interesting when you think about it, they say, “A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
Semicolon quoteProject Semicolon came about after a popular social media movement that began in 2013, initially people were encouraged to draw a semicolon on their bodies and post pictures of it on social media. What started out being drawn in biro or sharpie, soon transformed into marks of the more permanent kind, those in tattoo ink. This lead to The Semicolon Tattoo Project, an organisation inspired by the movement, whose organisers feel that the tattoos help to encourage conversations, which in turn help to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The Semicolon Tattoo Project organises events in the US where people can get their semicolon tattoos for a flat rate at specific studios, where they can come to discuss their issues part and present and meet others who have had similar experiences. Money raised by their tattoo day events have helped to fund their work in crisis centres where people can seek invaluable help and support, where they can go without fear of being judged, labelled, ostracised or criticised!
The project organisers must be doing something right, because what started out as a small localised movement, is quickly spreading out across the globe. Posts featuring these tatts are trending on social media and the movement is gaining some coverage in the mainstream media.

I think it’s an incredibly powerful movement, one that teaches society just how common mental illness really is and why more needs to be done to help sufferers and remove the stigma surrounding it.

Aylan Kurdi: A Terrible Tragedy That Never Should Have Been Allowed To Happen

Like so many of you, my heart was broken this week by the image of that poor little boy whose body was found washed up on a beach in Turkey.

Little Aylan Kurdi, who was only 3 years old, died a terrible death, alongside his mother Rehan and his brother Galip

Little Aylan with his older brother Galip.

Little Aylan with his older brother Galip.

as their family tried desperately to escape the crisis in war-ravaged Syria. Aylan’s father Abdullah was the only one who survived after their boat capsized. This poor man has described fighting to keep hold of his family in the dark, seas as people screamed all around them. I try to put myself in his position and just the thought of the pain he must be going through is unbearable. This man, who has lost everything, now has to try to live his life, without those who he held most dear. As someone who has recently become a father, I can only imagine the horror of what he went through, no one should have to experience suffering like that. The biggest part of the tragedy is that the terrible fate that has befallen the Kurdi family, is not an isolated incident. Hundreds if not thousands of refugees have given everything they own to smugglers who have pushed them into overcrowded vessels and sent them onto the seas to their deaths.
The people fleeing Syria and nearby areas are not stupid, they know full well the risks that they take when they climb aboard dinghies and rickety boats and set sail, clutching their children close to them as they set out on their dangerous journeys. They would not risk their lives, the lives of their children and loved ones if they had a choice. Taking their chances with the smugglers to them seems a better prospect of staying where they are and waiting to be killed or tortured. These people must be given another choice, another option. We cannot turn our backs on their plight any longer. I have lost count of the times that I have seen the picture of little Aylan’s lifeless body on that beach, and like most compassionate people out there, I long to be able to help him, to have extended a hand of hope out to him and his family before that tragedy struck, but we are too late to help Aylan. I can but hope that this terrible tragedy will galvanise our global leaders into taking the kind of action that the people of the world are demanding!

My Bucket List

tobago

Tobago – A true paradise

Following on from the last few weeks posts, I’ve finally finished compiling my bucket list. This is a list of things I really want to achieve in my time on this crazy planet, I haven’t put turning BODO into a massive success on this list, I think if you read this blog, you already know that’s one of my biggest ambitions.
1. Meet a world leader – I’ve always wanted to meet a world leader, preferably a nice one!!
2. Learn to Speak Turkish – As many of you know, I married my Turkish Cypriot fiancé last year, I have, over the years, picked up several words in Turkish and can speak a few sentences (mostly those that are geared towards the ordering of food), but I really need to perfect this!
3. Adopt a baby – there are so many orphaned children out there just waiting for a loving home, when my time and financial situation allows, I would love to offer a supportive and nurturing home to a child.
4. Re-connect with old friends – one of the downsides of being the founder of your own company, is that free time is a scarcity. When I’ve got more time on my hands, I’d love to catch up with old friends that I just haven’t had the time to see recently.
5. Get Hypnotised – this whole thing fascinates me, I’d love to try it sometime, whether it’s just for laughs or an attempt to cure myself of an addiction to cheese sandwiches!
6. Join a Flash mob – this one is self-explanatory really, it just looks like soooooo much fun!

Who wouldn't wanna join in?

Who wouldn’t wanna join in?

7. Eat a raw diet for a month – I’m convinced that processed food is causing our bodies and our general wellbeing all manner of damage, I’ve been a vegetarian for quite some time, but the raw diet is something that really intrigues me!
8. Attend a random free (non-religious) seminar – it’s all about expanding the mind and constantly learning new things. One day, I just want to turn up to random seminar on a subject and listen-in on whatever it may be (except the stock market, of course)!
9. Finally arrange my wedding celebration in Tobago – I initially proposed to my fiancé in Tobago on an idyllic holiday a few years ago. We loved it so much that we planned to get married there the next year, but life just kept getting in the way. We got registered last year, before the birth of our beloved baby daughter, but we still dream of having the big celebrations on that incredible island!
10. Always be a positive role model in my daughter’s life – I am struggling to find the words to articulate just how important this is to me, being a good role model for my daughter is probably the most significant thing to me on this list!