It’s interesting the difference two years can make. Roughly around this time in 2013, I wrote a blog about life on tour. As I pointed out back then, it was most definitely induced because of some boredom I was experiencing at the time. Fast forward two years and I’m sat alone, in my hotel room, awaiting my penne bolognese I’ve ordered from room service. The situation is the same, yet I don’t feel in any way the same. This tells me that actually loneliness wasn’t the reason I wrote that blog.
Before I even attempt to understand why I feel so differently, I think it’s worth noting how this is another wonderful example of what we believe we feel, and know, can be imprecise. I love these moments. This is why I love reading Malcolm Gladwell’s books, because they offer up perspectives that are both angular and abstract.
So why do I feel different? There is the most obvious reason; the fact that only yesterday I came close to winning and picked up a nice cheque. But one week ago, before I came 4th in Qatar, I still would’ve felt as content as I do now. There is the possibility it could be down to money and finances. After all I am financially far more secure than I was in 2013. But I’ve noticed that the money doesn’t make me happy. It’s made me less fearful about certain things yes, but not happier.
In truth, it’s likely a combination of the two above, along with the sensation that I’m confident about my golf at the moment, settled in a relationship, have my own space back in England to live in, and still have a caddie that makes me look like a basketball player on TV. But that’s not really the point I’m hoping to make. The point is back in 2013, before I’d had any top 10’s, any money and really, in hindsight, any true confidence in my game, I credited an open, honest and insightful blog to loneliness, even though, it had nothing to do with that.
I think looking back, that blog came from fear. When I read it back now, I am actually impressed! I don’t mean that arrogantly because I can look back at myself objectively since it was two years ago. It was genuine and I can understand how it resonated with people who travel and live a similar life to me. I think I was fearful (understandably) of a new environment, a different challenge, and also of the size and potential perils of the European Tour. But this opens up another question; why have I come through that period relatively unscathed (I say that with trepidation) when others haven’t?
It’s impossible to know for sure, and I most certainly don’t want to sound like I’m celebrating my development over others. (That’s not the goal) I’m simply curious when it comes to things like this. Some people will say it’s because of my talent, or my swing, or something entirely fallacious like my caddie. We can never be certain. But I would prefer to argue that I have managed to advance, albeit slowly at times, because of my appreciation of what each moment means. And that’s why I’m exemplifying my first blog about life on tour, because I believe it is an illustration of me doing exactly that. I’ve said it before, and I’m not a genius at it, but I try to be very good at it; nothing is more important than perspective. Jordan Spieth is great, not because he is inherently a better golfer than us other young players, but because he is sensationally smart and has found a way, very early in his career, to reach a consistent level of excellence through observation and analysis.
So the only true advice I could give to any young person is that nobody is worth knowing unless you know yourself. And that fear and (perceived) loneliness are entirely natural and you shouldn’t run away from them.
From That (and I honestly hate this bit) “Wise Old Owl”, cheers.