Your face lights up all day, everyday. Though not with glee or pride or excitement. Rather, your face is illuminated, unflatteringly and insidiously, by the artificial glow of the 5x2” screen you cradle in your hands. Head bowed and shoulders hunched, you lose yourself in two dimensional images of tropical beaches, trendy cafes and beautiful people, consuming and consumed by lives not your own.
These images - once inspiring, aspirational, exciting - no longer elicit feelings of joy or motivation. Instead, they perpetuate the stagnant state you find yourself in, offering up an endless roll of unattainable examples to measure your life against. Scroll-tap-scroll-tap-tap-scroll-tap-scroll-scroll-scroll-scroll-scroll… It’s mere muscle memory.
Many of us find ourselves in this rut of toxic escapism and it can be hard to see a way out. There’s no escaping the fact that social media has a huge impact on the way we see the world and our place in it. We’re living in a postlapsarian digital age, ashamed of our apparently inadequate lives and constantly lusting after that of others. We’ve tasted the poisonous fruit and there’s simply no going back. But there is a way forward.
We need to look up. We need to start seeing, creating, living.
We need to start doing.
For us, doing what excites us means getting out and creating meaningful and inspiring content. Our day-to-day lives are as full of mundane moments and quotidien conversations as the next person’s. Both of us have full-time day jobs in standard offices, where the most exciting thing to happen is discovering a platter of left-over board meeting sandwiches in the kitchen.
So we live for the adventures we take outside of the 9-5, the side projects that lead us down winding paths to a myriad of intersections, where we encounter others on their own exciting journeys.
The photographs we take and the words we write at The All Night Listening Post are there to (hopefully) inspire you to live creative, exciting lives of your own. That’s not to say we don’t want you to spend a little time getting lost in our instagram feeds, it’s just that we’re not in the business of making people envious or in awe of the lives we lead (not that anyone would be). Our primary aim is to show you good things for a life well led, and to have fun doing it.
‘A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.’ - John le Carre
In the past month, we’ve ridden a Victorian goods lift up to a design studio in a former Manchester mill, watched sunglass frames being made in a loch-side workshop and gone wild camping with an acclaimed Glasgow-based rucksack maker. Sure, we've had to go back to our desks from time to time (these posts don't write themselves), but we do so with a feeling of contentment. Rather than languishing in the white-washed worlds that pervade social media, we spend those lulls in the working day planning our next adventure.
The jeans we're wearing in these images are made by a company who encapsulate the ethos of doing what you love and doing it well. Hiut Denim is a Welsh jeans manufacturer founded by David and Claire Hieatt with one aim: to get the town of Cardigan making jeans again. Arran is wearing the Selvedge Denim SkinR and I've got the Skinny (high waist) jeans on.
Hiut's motto is 'do one thing well'. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this: Find one thing that excites you and go out and do it.