2591So, the time has finally come to end Someone Once Told Me. Although it's only ending in the sense that new images will no longer be posted after today. From tomorrow, the site will go back to the first ever photo I published, back on 8 September 2007, and will go around all 2,591 images in a circle. Forever.
Check out the Read All About It page for more of my final thoughts on the whole project. But now, here's the story behind my own SOTM, which was taken in Valletta, Malta during the SOTM World Tour.
I was told it by an Egyptian man in a factory once, when working a boring summer job packing boxes during my university years, in 1997 I think. I don't remember his name, but he had a fabulous voice, deep and rich with an Arabic accent. I can still hear it now. I can't remember his name, but if I heard his voice I believe I'd recognise him today.
His words immediately glued themselves to my heart, and have never left. I'm often anxious about something, or ticking something over in my mind, trying to figure something out that's not quite right in my life, big or small. I've managed to quieten the storm down over recent years, but it's still there to some degree from the moment I open my eyes, most mornings.
I find life hard. Boy, is it hard. All you can do is refuse to give in, keep going, get angry with ugliness and refuse to become swamped in it. But the Egyptian's words are very true. If you haven't found peace in your mind and heart, then no matter what you do, where you go, what you buy or who you're with, you'll never find that which makes you feel better.
I thought I was close to finding a big chunk of peace recently, but then life twisted around and caused me more pain. Some of it I caused myself. But ultimately, I know that I need to concentrate on being peaceful with myself, with who I am, how I act and what I think, because that's the real key to a fulfilling life.
I know what I'm doing. I'm tough and although I make mistakes, most of what I do is a Good Idea. If I iron out a few things, I'll get there. The more peace I have inside, the better things seem. Someone Once Told Me really helped me find some peace and satisfaction.
The other thing the Egyptian man told me that day was: "Sometimes, I prefer to have a good game of chess, than to make love." To which I thought: "You're either doing one of those wrong, or doing something quite unusual with a chess set."
So thanks everyone. Someone Once Told Me has been, and still is, one of best things in my life, and that's because of those who shared their stories or came to learn about them. You've no idea how happy you all made me.
And that's it.