I’m all about community, apparently.

I have recently been updating my online bio’s (from my website through to my Twitter). This is usually a painstaking experience for me. Queue a barrage of q’s running through my head, like: what do I put? / how much do I write? / am I being authentic?, and so on. It can be quite draining, actually.

I am doing my best to not be so over-the-top crazy/worrisome/perfectionistic (though I still can’t help myself with those slashes), and just put down what spills out, what feels right.

Something strange happened today. I often talk about how much I’m a ‘people person’, how I’ve worked with people in some way since the age of 16, yadda-yadda. And yet… it was only today that I realised, sh*t, community is at the heart of me, what I stand for, who I am. Shiiiiiitake mushrooms. Powerful stuff.

I spoke to a dear friend of mine, Rima, earlier in the day on appear.in (she’s working remotely on a cool programme called Remote Year) and I spoke to her about how much I value community and connection to my core. Then, later this evening, whilst putting together my ‘bio’ to be rolled out across the various online platforms, the word (well, 2 words) “community builder” just sprawled out onto the page. Right there, just like that.

And in that moment, a big “aha”… the people around me have always mattered deeply in my personal life, with Thriva I was trying to create a powerful community, mu current role is pretty much a community one (I’ve even been given the funky title of ‘Community Co-ordinator). Sh*t. Mind. blown.

Before the age of 18, I’d worked with both toddlers + teenagers, and the elderly. Talk about covering all bases. For “work”, my career path to date looks like this: customer service -> sales -> ‘my own thing’ (Thriva) -> community.

Again, the power of articulating things out loud (thanks, Rima), and also writing things down (thanks, new bio).

Today, I realised I’m a community lover and a community builder.

Who knew.

by Jas

✏ Written: Friday 24th August, 2018

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rap poem: twenty-nine

twenty-nine, it’s almost time,

to settle down, stop fooling around,

head outta the clouds + feet on the ground,

braving the dark without making a sound.

thought i’d be a proper adult by now,

managed to get lost along the way somehow.

still home listening to the parents having a row,

surely I should move out + give ‘em some space about now?

love-hate relationship,

my mate’s relationship,

relationships good and relationships sh*t,

when’s the right time to start your own serious relationship?

one area of my life where there’s been a blip.

dreaming of a family home like on MTV Cribs,

where she calls dibs on the side of the bed,

she rests her feet and puts down her head,

not sure if i’m ready to take that next step.

i feel too selfish,

like i’ve not had enough time to play yet.

back in the day, i’d have been married and settled,

wouldnt’ve had much of a say,

society’s story would’ve gotten in the way.

it was unusual if you did it any other way.

life’s a game, you’ve gotta learn how to play.

hitting those milestones,

isn’t that sh*t ust cray?

sypposed to do this, supposed to do that,

ain’t gonna listen to what i’m told to do,

f*ck that,

gonna listen to who I wanna listen to,

Take That.

say the right things when it’s easier to just say them,

fake that.

i’m one year away from thorty,

not close to being married – but I ain’t hurtin’,

this generation of ours, we’re all going through the same thing,

swiping life, right, everywhere – we’ve forgotten how to be flirty.

here’s the truth,

i ain’t bulletproof,

i’m affected by the opinions of others too.

but I won’t let them rule me,

if you don’t like what I’ve gotta say,

try ‘n’ sue me.

i’m twenty nine, and you now what?

i’m feeling just fine.

you go live your life, and i’ll live mine.

there’s no point wasting each other’s time.

– – – – –

by,

Jas

poem/rap: green fields

Written on a train from London to somewhere greener…

These green fields are rollin’ by,

I’ve got Ed Sheeran playing on YouTube – oh my,

This guy can make a dude cry,

But he’s a good guy.

Went to see one of his concerts last night.

It started in the sunlight,

And ended in the moonlight,

People using their phone lights as torch nights,

Making it a starry night,

It was an incredible sight.

90,000 people connected in one moment,

No matter what their plight.

It felt so right.

With my family on Father’s Day,

I feel the future’s lookin’ bright.

A few things are falling into place now,

I reckon it’ll all work out somehow.

There are times I’ve worried that I’ll never settle down,

Constant state of uncertainty letting life pass me by,

Being known as the guy with unfulfilled potential,

But never reached his potential.

Stumbled through his life, didn’t feel that moving out his parents’ home was essential.

But he’s falling asleep as he writes these words,

Last night at Wembley was a late one you know,

Standing up for hours waiting for the show,

We kept edging forward ’till there was nowhere else to go,

How just a regular guy from Suffolk could have so much presence,

I’ll never know.

Self-confidence and laidbackness,

Uniting folks young and old,

No matter their whiteness or blackness.

I was in a trance.

Singing and swaying and nearly doing a dance.

Deep down I know I got a chance,

to have rock-solid self-belief,

Not caring what people think of me.

Not staring back at people looking at me,

Staying in my own bubble,

Just me, me, me.

Maybe that sounds egotistical,

I don’t mean to get statistical.

But those who seem more fulfilled with their lives,

Seem to live true to themselves,

And when it comes to others they don’t give a sh*t about them at all.

And that’s where I’m headin’,

Lord only knows where I’m headin’,

But I’ve got faith it’s somewhere good,

Either way I won’t let it do my head in.

– – – – –

by,

Jas 

✏ 18th June, 2018