Lazy Luddite Log

5.11.10

2006-2010

In some ways writing this final instalment of my autoblography is the simplest and in some ways the most challenging. On the one hand all I have to say for the past five years is “look at my blog” since it corresponds to that time. On the other hand I feel the need to draw conclusions from the last few posts. I will try to both supplement existing blog posts and present some personal life philosophy too…

I wonder who I am following two decades of adulthood. I feel I have experienced lots of things and taken some surprising directions. And yet I also feel like the person I was in childhood – contemplative… sentimental… cautious yet whimsical. As much as things change they stay the same. Is that a problem? Sometimes. I think I will never change that much in fundamentals but I can and do shift the focus on facets of who I am. I tend to go with the flow but recently have gotten better – in fits and starts – at making things happen for me. This entry takes care of much of what I have done in recent years.

I decided that it is okay to just have work rather than a career. This is a controversial statement because of the popular notion that we have to be productive go-getting self-starters. Ultimately I want a good life and jobs are only part of that. I do have to work on motivation but I accept that I will never be an ambitious stress-junkie and that gives me a kind of freedom. Part of that involves developing non-work past-times. I have put more concerted effort into the solitary things I have always enjoyed. And the ironic thing is that part of that effort has involved asking others to help me do that. This has had varying degrees of success.

I invited some friends to pose for me to sketch and several were surprisingly keen. From those life drawings I would derive the basic lines to invent landscapes. Rather than just doodling now-and-then I have produced dozens of pencil sketches and have a modest folio. I feel I have more than that, however, because those who helped me derived something from the experience, which is in turn gratifying for me.

I participated in Monash Wordfest 2010 by entering this short story. I also attended a number of writing workshops and in one the author-facilitator expressed admiration of my impromptu writing. This sort of feedback made me think my entry would be recognized in an award category but that never happened. It was a mixed experience therefore but one I will try on a regular basis because sharing what one makes is a good thing.

I made contact with some academics to ask them whether the ideological classification I developed in the Political Objectives Test warrants further exploration in the form of me returning to study as a post-graduate. For this I have gotten zero response despite polite reminders from me. How far can I go in turning asking into nagging or cajoling? I have never done those things well and wonder whether it is worth it. I prefer asking nicely.

The text supporting that online political tool was finalized in 2009-2010 while I had lots of spare time living in the sleepy town that is our national capital. Likewise I completed documentation for my fantasy setting in which I one day hope to narrate daring adventures for friends.

Many of the pastimes I describe are inward-looking but I have also become more outward-looking. In this most recent timeframe I stumbled into more relationships than is usual for me. Did I just get more attractive or did I wander into some kind of wonderland? I suspect choristers will say it is the latter. Such experiences enrich life but are also challenging. I even had a fling towards the end of 2010 – a new thing for me. It was non-committal and yet the bond of friendship can be the only commitment needed in such liaisons. That experience provided a sense of connection I sorely needed following the end of my last relationship. It seemed a bit of a daring adventure at the time. The news took some friends by surprise but, if anything, improved my reputation as someone who handles things with care. That can only bode well for the future.

Lest you think I am self-deprecating I stress that words in this paragraph are descriptive rather than judgemental. I am a good person but I am also lazy and selfish. I desire companionship but am now wary of partnership with its demand for regular indicators-of-progress towards some distant life objective. This may well set me apart from my peers at that coming class reunion. Mortgages… children… divorces… it may just be all too much for me. I prefer the meeting rather than the merging of lives. But even that is a want rather than a need. To be me and be part of a community is what matters and anything more is a bonus. Other humans make me human even if solitude allows me to be me.

At the start of this set of posts I declared that we “are all alone - nobody will ever truly understand what it is to be me.” I stand by that but I also think it is an heroic undertaking to seek to combat that harsh fact as best we can. That is what friends are for so expect me to be the late-night conversationalist I have always been. And in seeking to understand you I will also do my best to understand who I am. Finally if I have drawn any conclusions from this let it be known that they are subject to change as life changes. I am still some kind of work-in-progress.

This was the final post in my Autoblography but then time passed and more life happened so I have (belatedly) written more.

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2 Comments:

  • I'm copying and pasting comments to this same post from LiveJournal (complete with messy formatting text). See below...

    From: pezzae
    Date: November 6th, 2010 09:51 am (local)
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    You and I are very similar in a lot of ways. Does that make it narcissistic of me to like you a lot? :)
    I've been thinking recently about work-life balance, and the oddness of our society that puts 'work' in front of 'life'. I know several people with careers that they are really quite good at who have recently decided that no, they don't want a job that demands to come before everything else. I hope that the X-Y generations will change the culture of work so that it's ok to have a life, and want a life, outside of (paid)work; without that being seen as an indication of 'slackness' or disinterest in one's (paid)work.
    (Reply) (Thread)

    From: originaluddite
    Date: November 6th, 2010 10:26 am (local)
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    Hehehe... I think narcissistic is taking it too far. We find similarity interesting or even compelling. I have had experiences that illustrate that lately (as well as others that say that difference is also attractive) which I would love to tell you but possibly that long-discussed afternoon tea would be a better venue than here.

    On the culture-of-work front I think we are seeing some changes but they are small in impact overall. Still the way to change things is (in part) to discuss it. I think I will be something of a curiosity at that class dinner next week.

    In other ways I _do_ have hope in the younger generation. I see lots of indicators of this on public transport like mixed race friendships and more incidence of same-sex hand-holding.
    (Reply) (Parent) (Thread)

    By Blogger Daniel, At 09 May, 2017  

  • Later this year (2020) I intend to update this content with two new 'autoblography' entries (one for 2011-2015 and one for 2016-2020). A lot has happened. To fit the new continuity I may need to edit this entry somewhat too. And of course consulting content of this blog over the last decade will help me compose my new content.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 20 January, 2020  

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