Carnaby Street in London was a very different place when I was growing up. As I write this, during Lockdown 3.0 ("This time it's cold") it's a VERY different place but that's not my point. It used to be that the Street was full of faintly dodgy leather goods stores and shops with racks upon racks of fake band T-shirts rather than the well curated row of shops and bars that it constitutes now. My friends and me went there every second Saturday (not a habit, a necessity, we were skint) to search for cut price items we could use to demonstrate our essence to a world that did not understand is. What was our essence? We were HEAVY METAL.
Money was not in abundance. We were happy, and I did not want for much, but buying something "proper" was a big deal. When I had enough money to buy a Levi 501 Denim Jacket it was an occasion. It was a sweet, sweet garment. The style effortless, the quality manifest. It was so good, that I swiftly and surely started to desecrate its holy surface; with sew-on patches.
You know what I'm talking about. You see them at airports on hostel hoppers rucksacks screaming to the outside world "I AM WELL TRAVELED THEREFORE POSSIBLY JUST A LITTLE BIT BETTER THAN YOU". I did not think I was better than anyone because of the proliferation of Iron Maiden patches on my previously perfect jacket but I did think was different. I did think they made me, me.
Every inch I could find I would cover. Iron Maiden (RUUUUUN FOR THE HIIILLS!), Metallica (EXIT LIIIGHT!) or Led Zeppelin (THERE A LADY WHO KNOWS…). Iron Maiden because I'm old school metal. Metallica because I'm West Coast Cool. Led Zeppelin because I remember my roots. Everything you needed to know about me; it was there. I declared to my gang in the pub (I looked old at 14. I look old at 43 to) "I don't know what I would do without this jacket". "I do, I'd jump for joy" my imperious Northern Girlfriend Sara replied. It obviously wouldn't last long I thought. She doesn't like me for me. I am the Jacket.
The inevitable happened, as it had to. All things pass. Including badly decorated jackets. It was left on a train, or an 88 bus. Either way, it left me. I was bereft. Part of me on a molecular level had been lost, never to be found again. What would I do? I thought as the best part of me floated away into the ether.
But then something strange happened. My life didn't fall apart. Sara didn't dump me. And the world continued to turn as it always did. The jacket was not me. It was nothing but a shell identity, not me at my core.
We all have jackets we wear. We cover them in the music we like, the jobs we do, the sports we watch, and the opinions we have. We plaster them on social media and use our jackets to build our personal brand to be seen in the crowd. Why do we do it? Why do we limit ourselves and hold onto these things as we cling on for dear life in the void? Even if you don't know the answer, you should ask yourself that question.
At the Council for Human Development, we don't believe in limits, we believe in people and their ability to shape a life that they want, rather than the life they believe they have been given.
Are you ready to leave your jacket on the bus and find out what you're really capable of? If so, SIGN UP FOR OUR UPCOMING WORKSHOP this weekend or BOOK A CALL with us to find out what your life can be with intention and without limits.
Free 2 day training in the techniques of Sciences Of The Unknown Universe - Jan 16th & 17th 10:30-17:00 CET
To kick-off this year and give some support to all those people who are struggling with their current life situation and COVID restrictions we decided to offer this workshop FOR FREE!!! (Optional Certification is available for £295)